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DOCTOR DULCAMARA, M.P.

ARTS are forgotten and revived; thrones
are pulled down and built up again; heroes
of war and heroes of peace have their alternate
seasons of favour and neglect; vast
political schemes and daring social speculations
inflate themselves to enormous dimensions,
burst, and are seen no more; national
reforms are projected and abandoned; public
abuses are exposed to universal denunciation,
one day, and are comfortably huddled up
again in oblivion the next. But, one human
institution remains perennially unchanged
the institution of Imposture. One man among
us can boast of a field of action which never
contracts or changes; that man is no other
than our beloved old quack; our eloquent, our
far-famed, our magnificent impostor, Doctor
Dulcamara, M.P.

Freed by the arrival of the autumn from
his engagements on the politico-operatic stage,
this eminent and melodious public man has,
of late months, been going his rounds gaily
in provincial England. He has assumed a
great variety of characters, taking especial
care (for the Doctor knows his public
intimately) to seek his originals in the world of
rank and title, and never to impersonate any
individual who stands lower than a member
of the House of Commons. Now, as a noble
lord, now as a noble and learned lord, and
now simply as M.P., he has been calling
meetings all over England. Among other
announcements he has proclaimed his
discovery of a new soothing syrup to be taken
largely in a great many table-spoonfuls, called,
"Social Science." (Wisely saying nothing
whatever of the many years during which it
was endeavoured, by hard labourers, to force
that nostrum on his attention: or of his taking
no heed of it until it by slow degrees became
popular.) He has referred, with his usual
brazen self-complacency, to his long-
established pills and powders, devoted to the cure
of exhaustion and weariness in mechanics'
institutions, and artfully adapted never to
attain the end which they profess to
accomplish. He has revived with greater success
than ever, that admirably-impudent performance
of his which he calls "Giving an account
of his stewardship to his constituents." And
in each and all of these cases, he has once
more achieved that amazing feat of oratorical
jugglery on which the main foundation of his
celebrity has from time immemorial reposed.
In other words, he has talked for hours
together without the slightest intermission,
and, at the end of the time, has said
nothing.

The one striking difference which we
discern between the practice of this consummate
conjuror on the metropolitan stage, and
his practice on the country platform, is, that,
in the former case, he does actually produce
his specifics as well as talk about them;
while, in the latter case, he merely promises
to produce them when he goes circuit again
next year. That next year will come; the
platform will be swept again for use; the
water-bottle and tumbler will be set up on
the little table; our Dulcamara's nearest
friend and admirer will solemnly preside in
an arm chair; and the Doctor's audience will
be just as unaccountably large, just as
amazingly patient, just as unreasoningly
ready to believe, as ever. Wonderful institution
of Quackery! Unrivalled, unblushing,
unchangeable Doctor Dulcamara!

Among all our old friend's appearances in the
country, this season, none has struck us with
more wonder and admiration than his
presentation of himself, on the twenty-eighth of
October last (in the character of the Right
Honourable Mr. Sidney Herbert), to
prescribe for the Warminster Athenaeum.
Dulcamara's Address, orto speak of the
Doctor in his assumed character by way of
tribute to the excellence of his impersonation
the Right Honourable Mr. Sidney Herbert's
Address, on that occasion, has been commented
on pretty strongly already, by the few
perverted peoplethe obstinately-incredulous
minority of Englishmenwho offend the
orator of Warminster by expressing
themselves anonymously (that is to say on
the anti-Dulcamara principle) through
the medium of the daily and weekly press.
We have no intention of echoing, in these
pages, remarks that have been made
elsewhere, or of pointing attention to any parts
of the Right Honourable Doctor's remarkable
oration which have received their full share
of notice already. But, there is one passage
in this masterly piece of assurance, touching
on the subject of Literature as seen from the

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