This sounded so familiar that I immediately turned to my copy of Three Men in a Boat, where J. remembers his boyhood:
Government research showed some mothers and fathers believed corporal punishment was an "effective method of control" when they were at school.
They said the decision to outlaw physical chastisement contributed to a decline in discipline.
The comments - in a study backed by the Department for Children, Schools and Families - come just months after a fifth of teachers called for the cane to be reintroduced to restore order in the classroom...
A survey of more than 6,000 teachers last year found more than a fifth believed the cane should be brought back.
One supply teacher told researchers: "Children's behaviour is now absolutely outrageous in the majority of schools. I am a supply teacher, so I see very many schools and there are no sanctions. There are too many anger management people and their ilk who give children the idea that it is their right to flounce out of lessons for time out because they have problems with their temper. They should be caned instead."
In the present instance, going back to the liver-pill circular, I had the symptoms, beyond all mistake, the chief among them being "a general disinclination to work of any kind."
What I suffer in that way no tongue can tell. From my earliest infancy I have been a martyr to it. As a boy, the disease hardly ever left me for a day. They did not know, then, that it was my liver. Medical science was in a far less advanced state than now, and they used to put it down to laziness.
"Why, you skulking little devil, you," they would say, "get up and do something for your living, can't you?" - not knowing, of course, that I was ill.
And they didn't give me pills; they gave me clumps on the side of the head. And, strange as it may appear, those clumps on the head often cured me - for the time being. I have known one clump on the head have more effect upon my liver, and make me feel more anxious to go straight away then and there, and do what was wanted to be done, without further loss of time, than a whole box of pills does now.
You know, it often is so - those simple, old-fashioned remedies are sometimes more efficacious than all the dispensary stuff.