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was his skill or his luck, that his reputation went on regularly increasing, although he paid court neither to the old ladies, nor to the editors, nor to the clergy, nor to the nurses. In the course of his medical career, he demolished quack after quack, regular and irregular; generally finishing them off with a sarcasm or a nick-name, sly, shrewd, scornful, and unerringly fatal. Nor did he confine this enmity to the quackery of his own art: he held all other humbuggeries and pretensions in equal aversion. If a new preacher got into vogue, by tickling the ears of silly folks with big words, or amazing their eyes by flourishing his hands and arms; if a young lawyer or assemblyman got the name of eloquence by rant and flummery,-woe betide him, if Dr. Magraw came among his audience: he was a gone man. Whilst the orator, lay or sacred as it might be, was paddling about “on his sea of glory,” (as Wolsey has it,) “like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,” the doctor would, on the sudden, rip up the said bladders of popular applause, let out all their high-blown pride, and leave him floundering in the very mud and slime of public contempt.
He moreover extended his guardianship of the quiet little city he had chosen as his abode, to the protection of it against all impostors and
adventurers under the guise of style or fashion. It were long to tell of all the well-dressed swindlers whom he unmasked and routed out, with as little ceremony and as sure an instinct as a terrier hauls forth the villain rat from his hole. One instance will suffice.
There arrived, just after the peace of 1763, a French marquis, who turned the heads of half the pretty girls, and was received by the governor as the heir of one of the richest and noblest titles of France. He went on triumphantly, until he met Magraw at a grand dinner at the Government-house. The marquis was seated between her excellency the governor's lady and General Lord Amherst. He was as usual, gay and talkative. The ladies had scarcely left the table, when the company was astounded by the doctor's asking the governor, in a most audible tone, “ where he had picked up that Bordeaux hairdresser?" He had noted that the marquis's dialect was that of the Bordalese vulgar, and his gesticulation convinced him that he had been used to wield the powder-puff. Suspicion was excited, and the conjecture ascertained to be correct, just in time to prevent the Marquis of Powder-puff from quartering himself matrimonially, upon the richest family in the province.
In brief, Goldsmith's epitaph upon another
shrewd Scot of the same period,* might, with a little variation, have served for the tomb of Magraw:
MAGRAW here retires, from his toils to relax,
The city had been sickly, and the doctor so busy, that, though he had marked Tevas and his finery, he had had no time to pay attention to his
He now listened to the thousand-and-one rumours bruited among the crowd; and his instinct told him at once that there was roguery in it, coupled with the agency of some quack, corporeal or incorporeal. He therefore, getting up on the church steps, made an address to the crowd, telling them, in plain words, “they were a pack of blockheads; to convince them whereof, he would hire a couple of boats, and take whoever wished to go to Weehawken, over with him the next Friday;" adding, that “if the devil was there, he knew how to deal with such cattle.'
Friday came; and at three in the afternoon,
* Bishop Douglas, the antagonist of Hume, and the detector of Lauder and Bower.
Dr. Magraw, armed with a broad-sword and a brace of horse-pistols, appeared on the ferrystairs, accompanied by his dog Bounce, Mr. Vince, and a sergeant's guard from the fort, of broad-shouldered, red-kneed Highlanders, with their tartan kilts fluttering and flaunting about them. Some government barges were in waiting, together with two huge ferry-boats. The whole population of the city, except the bed-ridden and the dignitaries, poured down to witness the embarkation, and above a thousand wished to go on board; but the doctor and his guard put back the women and children and negroes, and admitted none but able-bodied white adults, who embarked to the number (as stated in my documents) of two hundred and ninety-seven. The doctor and his Highlanders led the way in the barges. The evening was fine, but there was no wind, and the tide was adverse; so that what with the delays of embarking and crossing the river, it was twilight when they arrived at the point of the Weehawken ferry. There, old Hank Zabriskie and his family met them. Hank expressed great joy at their intention, for he said he had made up his mind to quit the place, “ for the spook's noises every Friday night were growing louder and louder.” Hank pointed in the direction in which the lights were usually seen,
but no one had any idea of the exact locality of the preacher. The woods looked black and terrific, the rocks steep and high, so that even the Highland body-guard showed symptoms of dismay and repugnance to advancing; for the Wraiths of their native mists and torrents rose in their nagination, and unearthly voices murmured in their ears. The doctor swore at them in Celtic, adjusted his belt, took a powerful pinch of snuff, brandished his gold-headed orange-stick cane, and marched on, and they, at once ashamed and encouraged by his example, marched after him. Behind came the crowd, huddled together as closely as the inequalities of the ground would allow. For want of a better, they followed a kind of blind path, in which fuel had been drawn to the ferry from the woody mountainous country back of the Weehawk meadows. Thousands of fire-flies twinkled in the bushes about them; owls hooted from the tall tops of trees, and sailed away from their perches as they approached. Now and then they thought they heard the long howl of a distant wolf, and then came a terrifying shriek, which they knew to be the panther's cry.
It ned as if the very insects of the air were leagued to torment them. Great humming beetles, flying in heavy circles, came plump