The Valetudinarian's Bath Guide; or, the Means of Obtaining

long Life and Health. Dedicated to the Earl of Shelburne,

By Philip Thicknese. 8vo. 3s. Doddley. Mr. THICKNESše, well known to the public by many well written and well received performances, claims, from a long acquaintance with Bath, and his observation on the use and abuse of the Bath waters, that kind of physical knowledge, which, according to the old adage, every man turned of forty has a right to claim. This little Tract is divided into chapters, wherein he speaks of the wonderful efficacy, as well as the dangers of an improper use of the Bath waters. The feveral chapters are of Physicians, Surgeons, Apothecaries, Long Life, Health, &c. &c. and speaking sometimes morally, fometimes medicinally, he has interspersed each chapter with many curious, pointed, and entertaining extracts from other writers: upon the whole it is a book very proper for the valetudinarian, who hopes to bencfit himself from a use of the Bath waters,

His defence of Dr. Lucas appears to be liberally intended. -By way of specimen we select the Preface and Chapter IV. which are written in a spirited manner, and will, we doubt 'not, afford amusement to our readers.

" The weakness of patients the sweetness of life and the nature of hope.--make men depend upon physicians, says that firft, and greatest philosopher the world ever produced, Lord Bacons and the immortal Boyle, in his short memoirs for the natural history of mineral waters, highly censures the physicians of his time, for their ignorance with respect to fach waters.

• I expect it will be wondered at (fays he) that so many enquirers should be proposed, and so many things directed to be taken notice of about a subject, that has been thought to barren that men are wont to think their curiolity great enough, if they enquire what colours the mineral waters will strike with galls, or oaken leaves, and so observe what kind, and quantity of Calt will remain, after the evapo. ration of the liquor, and I much fear, that fome, even of the profeffion of phyfic; will think I cut them out a deal too much work, by so many troublełome queries and trials.' And after, wards he says, • I have made the less scruple to be ample in the enquiries I propound, because divers operations have persuaded me, that physicians ought to consider very well, both the nature of the waters they ordain, and to what persons, for what disor. ders, and in what manner, they pre cribe the use of them, for though many look upon them, as fuch innocent medicines, as, if they do no good, can at least do no harm, yet, the effects, that have too often ensued, the unskilful use of them, especially when Κρι. ΧΙ.


it was too long continued, allow me not to look upon the drink. ing of mineral waters, as a light thing, that may be safely play: ed with, but as that whereby we have seen, as very much good, so a great deal of mischief done; especially, some time after the operation is thought to be quite over, and perhaps almoft quite forgotten.'

• The remarks of fuch a great man' must be very applicable to the mineral waters of Bath; as I am confident no physician living will venture to affert, that in spite of all their healing virtues, they have not (when injudiciously ofed) been productive of grevi ous and fatal consequences; how neceffary then is it, that before mineral waters are prescribed, that the prescribers should be thoroughly satisfied what the nature of the water is, which his patient is to fwallow ? Yet, Arange to say, nay perhaps dangerous to fay it, we are at this day uncertain, whether the waters of Bath are, or are not, fulphureous! Dr. Guidott asserts they contain, among other things, sulphur, a fixt alcali, and nitre ; and despises Dr. Mayow, for thinking otherwise. Dr. Oliver countenanced the opinion of Guidott, and it has been, and is still, as far as I know, the prevailing opinion; and yet Dr. Lucas did, about twenty years since, analyze these waters in the presence of the late Lord Chefterfield, and other ingenious men, and proved to their unanimous satisfaction, that the Bath waters contain no greater. Mare, of fulphur, than any common water, but that a fubtil acid, and a small quantity of iron, constitutes their healing powers, that the former Aies off in the open air, and the latter settles, as the heat diminishes, The' fame ingenious gentleman analysed the waters of. Aix la-Chapelle, and afferts also, that those waters are deeply impregnated with sulphur.

“ Is it not therefore incumbent on the Physicians of Bath të have this matter cleared up, and to prove that either Dr. Lucas's Analysation is defective, or, that Dr. Guidott's is true; fór unless tbey are clearly fatisfied on which fide the truth lies, they cannot prescribe the use of them to any of their patients with perfect Iafety, and in some cases, not without imminent danger Dr. Lucas was esteemed a good phyfician, and an able chymiit, as well as an honest man; he was no ways interested in the qualities of the Bath waters, more than those of Aix-la-Chapelle, but he was deeply interested in the cause of truth, and the support of li. "berty.

“'What I could therefore wish is, that such patients who have received benefit, and such who hope to receive it from the fe waters, would promote a subscription, to make it worth the while of some reputable chymist, to come down to Bath and to analyze the waters in the presence of the faculty, and the subscribers, and thereby put the matter beyond a doubt. This would be a laud. able and universal charity; a charity which would extend to future generations.

" When it is certainly known of what natore the Bath waters really are, or rather what their impregnations are, there can be little doubt, but that an artificial water might be prepared, so as to render nearly, all the benefits, both inwardly, as well as ex ternally, to patients whose great distance, or bodily infirmities might prevent their coming to the fountain head.

titila tion

* Mr. De Magellan, has contrived a gla!s apparatus for mak. ing waters like those of Pyrmont, by means of which any' water may be saturated with fixed air, and that too, by a process which does not require a quarter of an hour to perform, The sanie ingenious gentleman has also invented fome Eudiometers, or inftru. ments, to ascertain with the greatest accuracy, the salubrity of the air. Is it not ftrange, therefore, in a kingdom like this, that a doubt should remain, what the real nature of the Bath waters are ? we acknowledge, and so do thousands of grateful patients with gratitude acknowledge, that God has given them to us for great and good purposes, but we have reafon to lament, that man has not more certainly ascertained, to what particular maladies they are most falutary, by knowing to what minerals they owe, not only their heat, but that subtil spirit, which fo foon Alies off, and leaves the water as void of medicinal powers, as the commonett well was cer, ' If Dr. Lucas's analyfation of them is erroneous, : wby does not some more able physician, upon the spot overturn it, if it is just, why not have the candour to acknowledge it? Dr. Da. vies, a gentleman who practised phyfic at Bath, with as great reputation as any män,

either before or since his time, acknowledged his ftedfaft belief in Dr. Lucas's experiments, and Mr. Haviland,

fenior, an apothecary, allowed to be the best chymift in Bath, was equally satisfied of this important trath. Why then should Dr. Lucas have been persecuted when here, and his affertions still contemned, till it is proved, that he was an ignorant impoftor? His assertions by no means leffen the merit, or efficacy of the Bath waters; on the contrary, he acknowledges their powers as fully as any physician on the spot, but Dr. Lucas is not to be believed, because it was Hb, not a physician on the spot, who detected the fraud, of tinging guineas, who proved that what was called the fulphur scum, was really vegetable moss, and that instead of a sulphureous quality, the waters have an acid volatile fpirit, a spirit

perhaps incompatible with sulphur, and a small proportion of iron. Under this dilemma will any phyfician be hardy enough to fay to his patient, no matter, whether they are of fulphur, or of acid, they are equally proper for you; drink them, and bathe in them?' Surely not. Were I a patient, it would be my first quel

* Lord Bacon thinks it strange that natural baths are not imitated with success, seeing they are confessed to receive their virtues from minerals, and not only fo, but discerned and distinguished from what particular mineral they receive tincture, as sulphur, vitriol, steel, or the like, which nature if it be reduced to composition of art, the powers of them may be encreased, and the temper of them will be Bore commended.' 02


rion to the physician I consulted, what is the nature and quality of the waters i am to use ! And if he could not, nor would inform me, I should not trust him with the nature of my complaint ; yet it is very natural to conclude, that Drs. Moysey, and De la Cour, me'n of acknowledged accuteness in phyfic, from their long residence, long life, and constant observations on the effects of bathing a. d drinking the waters, must be able to judge, in what cases they may venture to use them, and when to with hold them, but if they do not know the real nature of the waters, it is a mechanical, not a physical use they make of them. I will not deny that the physicians of Bath, from Dr. De la Cour,* down to Graham, and Gustard, do not know, that the waters have fome very excellent qualities, while they are hot, and poně when they are cold, except to quench the drought of the thirsty ; but till they refute Dr. Lucas's opinion, or prove that of Dr. Guidott's, their patients may as fafely use them, upon their own ji dgiment, as upon any other man's, unless they can prove, that a fulphureous bath, which opens the pores, or an acid one, which often closes them, is one and the same thing. This I can aver, that I went into, the King's bath, in hopes of opening the pores, and in expectation of the påtural consequences of a bot bath, but the reverse was the è feet, the pores were thereby totally itopt, and for foine days, I though tit would have dıove me mad; therefore, till Dr. Lucas's opinion is overturned, I will retain mine, leaving my readers to retain theirs also, but they must remember, that their 'phificians always consider accidentia anima, a principal part of their prcfcription"; àod now, from what has been said, and what follows, I Mall remind the reader of what Demofthenes said to the Athenians. Please to take notice, said he, that any council unto you is not such, whereby 1 fall grow great among you, þut it is of that nature, which is not so good for me to give, as it is for you to follow.

; CH A P. IV. OF B A THI“ N G.

Bathing, if we may believe what the late ingenious Dr. Oliver has said on that subject, and I never heard it contrad:cted in pioli, is the most general solvent, and probable means by which ohtructions of all kinds may be removed, as well as the mot gener:) lolvent, of all the humours of the human body, whether natural or inorbid ; and he thinks bathing is highly beneficial in all gouty or sheumatic cases. But previous evacuations, be says, are absolutely necessary to upload the habit, and

* If charity, humanity, and universal benevolence, are neceffary qualifications in a physician, (and I should think they are) I have very good reason to say, there does not live a CHRISTIAN"Man in this city, who has prescribed more liberally, nor more frequently, towards glas dening the hicart of the wretched, than Dr. De la Cour. † Vomits are particularly of service when they can be safely taken.


cleanse, the first passages, but let me observe that bathing early in the morning and taking the full force of the heat, is often attended with consequences the very reverse of what the waters would produce by a more moderate degree of heat. That wamth which opens the pores and promotes perfpiration, relieves the patient, but the hear when it is too - great, closes them, and often totally obftructs the infenfible perfpiration, and therefore the degree of heat Mould be particularly attended to, and it is much better to begin with a moderate bath, and increase it by degrees, than to dry and parch up the skin by using it in its full force. Mr. Nah,. however, who lived to a great age, always used parcial bathing for the gowt; and the minute he found one foot attacked with it, he sat with both in buckets of hot Bath water, and by that means put off the violence of the pain, and often the disorder itself,

Dr. Oliver was of opinion that the months of April, May, June, August, September and October, were most proper, either for drinking the waters or bathing. But experience has shown, that i here is no part of the year, not even the hottest, wherein the Waters may not be used both ways with success; and it is scarcely reconcileable to reason, thic the extreme cold weather should be fo fafe, efpecially to bathers, as the more temperate. Confident, therelore, of the benefit Mr. Nash received when he was attacked with the gout, were I subject to it, I would never omit sitting a quartepot an hour before I went to bed, with each leg in a buc. lenges of warm, not hot Bath water, there cannot be any danger in so doing, and there is every reason to believe great benefit would arise from such a practice, and that even common water heated by fire would have nearly the fame good effect. The baths newly confructed near the Cross-Ba h, have every convenience a bather. can with, and refervoirs of cold Bath water are provided to regu. late the heat to the defire of the patient. About an hundred and thirty years ago, this city, which is now UNIQUE, and may juftly vie with any cicy in Europe, was the most filthy and offen. five town in England. The baths were then crowded, day and night, with bathers of both sexes quice naxed, * and they were frequently insulted while in the water, not only with dead dogs, cats, pigs, &c. but with human carcases, as well as all sorts of filth and nastiness. The roads were so bad, it was scarce possible to get to the city in winter. Every house was covered with thaich, and at every door hung à manger to feed the horses, alles, &c. which brought coal and provisions into the town : and instead of that decorum which now generally prevails, nothing but obscenity, tibaldry, and licenciousnets was pra&iled. About the year 16.40, the body corporate put a stop to these enormities, by fóine whole

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* I have seen an accurate drawing of the King's-Bath, made about an hundred and fifty years ago, which confirms the truth of this mode of indecent bathing, and I have also seen about five and thirty years ago, an hundred naked colliers in the King's-Bath, rioting thcre at mid-day, and for

hours after:


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