Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Thu Jan 3 13:27:26 UTC 2002

When I was young, all the boys knew of the aphrodisiac "Spanish fly" =
cantharides. When I was still young (and gullible) my doctor (apparently a
practical joker) prescribed topical cantharidin collodion for my wart: the
first application raised a horrendous painful blood blister; I decided to
live with the wart.

"Harper's New Monthly Magazine" 41(241):158 (1870) [MoA Cornell]:

<<"The counsel for the plaintiff," said a gay and festive attorney of the
Superior Court, "has been somewhat discursive in his remarks to you. He has
alluded to almost every thing in the pages of history, ancient and modern.
He has socked with old Socrates, roamed with old Romulus, ripped with old
Euripides, and canted with old Cantharides. But, gentlemen of the jury,
what has that got to do with this case? All his allegations are false, and
the old alligator knows it himself. My client don't need any of this fine
talk. Look at him, gentlemen, and say, if you can, that he hasn't done the
honest thing by the plaintiff! From his youth up he has been as you now
find him -- A No. 1, extra inspected, scaled and screened, copper-fastened,
free from scoots, silver-steel, buck-horn handle, nine yards to the dollar,
thread thrown in!">>

-- Doug Wilson

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