TOOTHACHE is an universal plague. Every country has a special " nostrum " for its cure. China knows the plague, and China has a nostrum, which may well challenge all others for originality and efficacy. The quacks who in this case advance their specific are all women. I speak of them and their doings as I have seen and known them in the province of Chekeang. Whether they are found elsewhere in China I know not. The remedy they employ has never yet, to my knowledge, been published to the world ; and we must not feel sur-prised if, after this paper has once got abroad, a shipload of these charlatans should be sent for, and make their appearance " one fine morning," in the Thames.
These female quacks maintain that the usual cause of toothache is a little worm or maggot, which has its nest in the gum under the root, and if this little offender can be driven or coaxed out, the gnawing pain will immediately cease. But how he is to be driven or coaxed out is the secret of their trade, the knowledge of which they confine most rigidly to those of their own profession. We had not been resident many years in the country before we heard talk of these women and their wonderful performances, and as my friend and I took our customary walks together, our con-versation not unfrequently turned their way. My friend stoutly maintained that it was all impos-ture ; it was impossible, he said, that maggots in the gums or teeth should have escaped the obser-vation of our dentists, who had examined hundreds of thousands, not merely of teeth, but of mouths for so many years.