Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/167

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to a healthy part, was as harmless as water, but when applied to a surface covering a diseased organ caused the morbific humor to exude. His success was immediate and great. Patients from London and all parts of the country rushed to consult the miracle-worker in his house in Harley Street. Ladies of the highest rank hastened to place themselves and their ailing daughters under his care. Long was shrewd enough not to undertake the cure of cases which were apparently hopeless. He pretended to cure consumption by the application of his liniment, and of course, as nine out of ten of his patients were women, and a large majority of these hysterical or perfectly healthy, his success was marvelous. For several years his income exceeded £13,000. He went out into fashionable society, and was a lion in the most aristocratic circles; his ready wit, fascinating manners, intellectual countenance, and handsome figure, procured him a host of admirers, among whom were Lord Ingestre, the Marquis of Sligo, Lady Harriet Kavanah, the Marchioness of Ormond, the Countess of Buckinghamshire, and many others. Long was a superb horseman, hunted regularly, and rode magnificent animals. "On one occasion, as he was cantering round the park, he saw a man strike a woman, and, without an instant's hesitation, he pulled up, leaped from his horse, seized the fellow bodily, and flung him over the park-rails." He had many offers of marriage, but declined them all. He wrote a book called "Discoveries in the Science and Art of Healing," which was well padded with letters from grateful patients, and testimonials of miraculous cures from his aristocratic friends. Soon misfortune came upon him; his liniment was applied to the back and breast of a perfectly healthy girl, inflammation set in, followed by gangrene, and in a few days his patient was no more. Long was convicted of manslaughter, and fined only £200 by a partial judge. In his trial he was supported and petted by his lady admirers, who gave evidence in his favor. One nobleman swore that Long had abstracted pure quicksilver from his head. Soon another patient fell a victim to his treatment; he was again tried for manslaughter, and again had the sympathy of his female friends, but this time he was acquitted. These trials had no effect in lessening his popularity: he went about proclaiming himself a martyr, comparing his case to that of Galileo, Harvey, and others. He died while still young, in 1834, retaining a large practice to the last. His admirers raised a magnificent monument to his memory in Kensal Green Cemetery, adorned with a long and laudatory inscription. After his death, his property became the subject of very tedious litigation. Among the claimants was a woman of humble station in life, who proved to be his wife. This explained his preference for bachelorhood. The wonderful liniment turned out to be acetic acid, which looks much like water. He of course substituted a bottle of water when he did not wish the "morbific humor" to come out, and so gulled his willing victims.