Medicine: Malingerer's Guide

"Better be a coward five minutes than a dead man all your life," runs the old song, Slattery's Mounted Foot. "Better a few weeks ill than all your life dead," runs the heading of a German propaganda leaflet recently dropped on British soldiers in Italy. The text, as reprinted in the British Lancet, tells how to get out of fighting by faking illness.

In general, the pamphlet advises, a man must: 1) act as if he hated to be ill, 2) stick to one set of symptoms, 3) "Don't tell the doctor too much!" Recipes for twelve diseases follow. Samples: ¶ "Artificial...

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