The Autobiography of a Quack
by S. Weir Mitchell, MD, LLD

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THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A QUACK
AND
THE CASE OF GEORGE DEDLOW

BY
S. WEIR MITCHELL, M.D.,
LL.D. HARVARD AND EDINBURGH




CONTENTS

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A QUACK
THE CASE OF GEORGE DEDLOW




INTRODUCTION


Both of the tales in this little volume
appeared originally in the ``Atlantic Monthly''
as anonymous contributions. I owe to the
present owners of that journal permission to
use them. ``The Autobiography of a Quack ''
has been recast with large additions.

``The Case of George Dedlow'' was not
written with any intention that it should
appear in print. I lent the manuscript to the
Rev. Dr. Furness and forgot it. This gentleman
sent it to the Rev. Edward Everett Hale.
He, presuming, I fancy, that every one
desired to appear in the ``Atlantic,'' offered it
to that journal. To my surprise, soon afterwards
I received a proof and a check. The
story was inserted as a leading article without
my name. It was at once accepted by many
as the description of a real case. Money was
collected in several places to assist the
unfortunate man, and benevolent persons went
to the ``Stump Hospital,'' in Philadelphia, to
see the sufferer and to offer him aid. The
spiritual incident at the end of the story was
received with joy by the spiritualists as a
valuable proof of the truth of their beliefs.
S. WEIR MITCHELL



THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A QUACK

At this present moment of time
I am what the doctors call an
interesting case, and am to be
found in bed No. 10, Ward
11, Massachusetts General
Hospital. I am told that I have what is called
Addison's disease, and that it is this pleasing
malady which causes me to be covered with
large blotches of a dark mulatto tint. However,
it is a rather grim subject to joke about,
because, if I believed the doctor who comes
around every day, and thumps me, and listens
to my chest with as much pleasure as if I
were music all through--I say, if I really
believed him, I should suppose I was going to
die. The fact is, I don't believe him at all.
Some of these days I shall take a turn and
get about again; but meanwhile it is rather
dull for a stirring, active person like me to
have to lie still and watch myself getting big
brown and yellow spots all over me, like a
map that has taken to growing.