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affirm it, that blood-letting induces both in Hippocrates, the father of medicine, the blood itself, and in our tissues, certain used water in his treatment of disease. modifications, and pathological phenome. His plan was, to pour water over the pa. na, which resemble, to a certain extent, tient and then clothe him warmly, and those we have seen developed in animals thus produce perspiration. His works deprived of atmospheric oxygen, of drink, bear testimony to the cure of cramp, conand of solid food."
vulsions, gout and tetanus. Galen, who Now, a turtle-fed alderman might lived in the second century, cured fevers with advantage prove the truth of this with water only. Celsus recommends last statement of Magendie. It might be water for the cure of certain diseases. the best possible treatment to abstract Boerhaave recommends the use of water some of his surplus food, after it was to render the body firm and strong. Hoffmade up into blood, if we could not per- man, a contemporary of Boerhaave, suade him to submit to the deduction at wrote on Water for the cure of disease. an earlier period. I was pleased to find His words are, If there exist anything that Magendie did not ride his hobby to in the world that can be called a pana: death, and cut himself off from the ad- cea, it is pure water." vantage of a remedial agent capable of Hahn, a German physician of note, producing the greatest possible mischief wrote a work on the Cúrative Effects of when abused. I went on with my stud. Water, in 1738. Hahn mentions an in. ies, giving up idol after idol, and reso veterate case of itch, which was cured lutely refusing to think for myself—not by wrapping the patient in a wet sheet, the rarest kind of resolution by the and bathing several times a day. He way. At last 1 began to fear that the gives instances of the remarkable cure of science I had chosen was a foe to all fix- St. Anthony's fire, cancerous ulcers, ity. Afloat on the ocean of conjecture, I small pox, and the whole family of exstill explored with confidence, and at last, panthemata. He also cured many cases thanks to the good genius who presides of insanity with water. over the fate of mortals in general, and One of the best works on Water is that medical men in particular, I discovered in of James Currie, M. D., F. R S., of Livthe wide waste of waters an island, erpool, published in 1797. Rev. John where were firmly fixed the great men Wesley published a work on Water in of ancient and modern times—Medical 1747. Mr. Wesley gives a list of eighty Eclecticism ! the land of rest and promise diseases curable by water. Indeed, he for the wise, the terror and dread of fools. prescribes for almost every disease, and
I looked over the world—disease and this, perhaps, is the greatest error suffering were everywhere. I saw the of modern hydropathy.
It is pretty most earnest and gifted spirits condemned certain that "douche,” and “ umschlay to years of darkened agony-like some lein tuch,” will never mend broken rare bird, beating in sad unrest against the bones, perhaps they will not grow defiwiry walls of its unwelcome cage. Night, cient brains, though we heard a good with her raven wing, and myriads of lady, some time since, seriously recomflashing worlds that gem her bro is mend Water Cure to a gentleman, to only night to the sick soul. Its shadows wash the cobwebs out of his brain, that but deepen the gloom in which these are he might see with greater clearness sunplunged, and morning brings no ray of dry of her radical notions. The gentlelight to them. In view of all this, my man probably thought that the “ con. heart was filled with an unutterable pity. summation” was not very “ devoutly to I looked over the field of medical sci. be hoped for,” even were it possible. ence. I became conscious of the central But commend us to harmless hobbies, stand point of our profession. I knew neither mulish nor asinine. And with that all things are ours. The « discov- this devout aspiration, we wash our ery” and practice of Priestnitz were hands of Water Cure. bruited everywhere. I would be the last I am a sad dreamer, and in my waking to rob Priestnitz, or any other man, of dreams, I often live over many of the one ray of glory; but let any one exam scenes of my life. I just now remember ine the history of medicine which is con a case that occurred in my practice soon tained in the medical books from Hippo- after I commenced the very responsible crates downward, and he will find the facts business of thinking for myself. It and philosophy of Water Cure scattered comes before me like a vision of bright through a large number of these works. and dark things. Oh! the many and
blessed charities that cheer the rude way that fixed my wandering attention at Mrs. and the often unwelcome labor of the H.'s, deserves a passing notice; and to man who professes to poison people make more plain what is to come here. into health. One bitter winter night, I after, reader, you must consent to be insat, half-slumbering, over the ashes of troduced to her. A crowd of gentlemen an exhausted coal fire, dozing and dream- had gathered about her; and the clear, ing, not of death’s heads, or cross bones, silver music of her voice was only equal. or pills, powders, sick-rooms and skele. ed by the beauty of the thoughts she exton heads, but of a moving panorama of pressed. She realized my dream of an bright things, a glare of lights, the whirl Italian Improvisatrice. She was a sec. of beautiful forms, the sweetness of the ond Corinne to me. She spoke as one most bewitching melody, in the pauses who had deep knowledge of sife. Whence of which a beaven of harmony was re- had one so young and so unworldly such produced in my soul. I had just left all knowledge. Her conversation was true this at an early hour comparatively, for poetry, for it was wisdom incarnated in I felt the responsibilities of my profes- beauty. How the depth and fullness of sion, but I could not leave it. It was all life, present and prospective, were open. “ burned into my consciousness.” I sat, ed to me, as I listened to her. I made in my dreamy, half-slumber, in my room, one of a most admiring, yes, adoring, cirwhich was cold, cheerless and dark, but cle. Our homage was evidently apprethe roseate hues of light enveloped me. ciated, for it seemed that the sparks of My world was of the heart. I thanked living fire fell in showers from her eyes, as God that I was a man, not a philosopher. she kept up the most intensely intellectuI seemed to rest on a purple cloud, in a al converse, now bright with a delectable far-off heaven of bliss.
wit, now deep with the most exquisite
pathos. I felt that she had “ What happy things are youth, and love, and sunshine:
“ Vowed she would crop the world for me, How sweet to feel the sun upon the heart,
and lay it To know it lighting up the rosy blood,
Herself before me even as a flower."
She seemed to be some twenty years of grot.
age ; her complexion was a pearly, transWe walk among the sunbeams as with parent white; a liquid lustre shot from angels."
her eyes; her swan-like neck was bare
enough for statuary; her arms, rounded Reader, the plain English of all this and Venus-like, were shaded only with is, I was beginning to get in love. Yes, delicate lace, which seemed like a thin I have had my turn of the tender passion, mist on a wreath of snow. and like measles and small-pox, I am Beautiful being ! she possessed my sure it can take but once with me. But bachelor soul, as the spirits of mischief this sort of constitution that resists the possessed the room that was swept and soft infection the second time, or even garnished in olden times. I very uncerthe second score of times, is very rare.emoniously hid her in my heart and took Indeed, I recollect to have somewhere her to my room to blissen my dreams. read of a heart that was like an old Eng At a very late hour I awoke to mortal lish burying-ground, so full that it was consciousness, and sought my pillow shut up from farther interments—sad, with thoughts and feelings, sepulchral hearts, full of dead things, are
“ Like rays of stars that meet in space, there! But there I sat, by those dim em
And mingle in a bright embrace.” bers, and dreamed of what had floated before me at Mrs. H.'s party. But all was I was just deepened into dreamless indistinct, though beautiful, except one slumber, when the startling tinkle, jingle, bright form. An ethereal creature was jangle of my bell awoke me. « No. 364, she, and I could not class her with the B— St., Lady very ill,” was the servants denizens of earth (par parenthese). I message. I dressed in haste, and soon saw her by candle-light. Descriptions stood by the bedside of the sufferer. She of beauty are too threadbare for a Medi- lay enveloped in the white drapery of cal Eclectic. Besides, I have never her couch-a thin, emaciated, and almost known them to operate as a tonic to a transparent hand lay nearly lifeless upon susceptible gentleman, or a cosmetic to the counterpane. The slightest possible an ugly lady. But the fairy form flutter of the pulse was perceptible. I
looked upon the fallen, relaxed and no life seemed to flow into it, though she deathy face—her eyes were closed, and slowly unclosed her eyes and looked into the shut lids were continually contracted my face. A slight shudder passed over ‘by spasmodic action of the nerves. A her as she recognized me, and she shadpremature age seemed to bave shrunk and ed her eyes with her hand, as if she were wrinkled her face. There were no cir- determined not to see me. It is said that cular lines in that countenance. All was in moments of great suffering and peril, angular as misery. Could I have read a life is crowded into a point of time. ! death in her face I should have been re- recognized the truth of this saying as I lieved—oh! how much. But I saw that stood by the bedside of Mrs. Waters. she would not die-certainly not yet. It What an ideal I had cherished but an was not suffering that was written in hour before, and now the terrible actual every line of her face; it was agony. A had taken its place. shudder passed over her, and an attend She seemed to have a consciousness of ant removed the drapery to alter her my state, and convulsively grasping my position. My eye fell upon a diamond hand with her cold fingers, she said: cross that sparkled upon her exposed neck—this, and the lace clinging upon
Terror, madness, crime, remorse." ber bare and lifeless arms, revealed to me “ Abandoned hope, and love that turns to the beauty and belle of the evening at hate, Mr. H.'s. Terrible revealing! My And self-contempt, bitterer to drink than spirit was stirred to its very depths. The blood; words of the poet were traced, as by a Pain whose unheeded and familiar speech breath of flame, upon her :
Is howling, and keen shrieks day after day,
And hell, or the sharp fear of hell.” “Oh! I have suffered till my brain became Distinct with wo—as is the skeleton leaf, And then the coiling snakes that Whose green hath fretted off its fibrous seemed writhing in her features, sunk frame
away to something like rest, and she And bare to our immortality of grief.”
said : I had seen change and suffering. I “Soul is not more polluted than the had seen those sudden transitions which beams scare the strong man-but I had never
Of heaven's pure orb.” seen anything to be compared with what She raised her eyes with something of was now before me.
earnestness to my face : “ Doctor," said The attendant seemed perfectly at she, “the light passes through all the taint home, and as quiet as if the whole were of earth-born atmospheres' unstained. an every-day scene.
My soul is pure and true, though you “ She'll be better soon -she is always see me weighed down with ill-unable better after she takes her powders,” and to sustain any but the falsest life, and she removed a glass which 1 glanced unable to die.” into. I saw a very large dose of mor I laid my hand upon her head. I tried phine remaining as a sediment. The to speak. I was ashamed of my emowhole flashed upon me in an instant. I tion. I knew that I was expected to prehad been so absorbed in the symptoms scribe for my patient. that I had not noted them. Now I But why should I prescribe for ber ? told them one by one, as we hold our The only thing I could have done with breath, and contemplate those landmarks any wisdom, or peace, would have been of Christian progress, the gallows, the to order a warm bath to expel the poison. gibbet, and the rack.
This she would have resisted with the But what business had I here? The strength of insanity, or she would have lightning had struck. But why speak doubled her next potion. I knew, too thus ? The apparently blasted and dead well, that no medicine could produce of the fiery fluid, have been saved by the any desirable effect, with all the tissues affusion of cold water. Might there not loaded with morphine. I was more embe a mental lavatory, or lustration, which barrassed—more at a loss than I had ever might save even here.
been. But something must be done—I Slowly, almost imperceptibly, the mechanically dealt out some powders of faint, flickering pulse became distinct, calcined magnesia and left to seek my animation returned to the shrunken fea. cold and darkened room, with no light tures. I held the thin hand in mine, but of the soul to cheer it. It is astonishing
how much light a man may radiate upon that she had hid the mischief before I the world around him, especially if the came, would not allow me to remain un. lady he admires is beside him. A gold. enlightened. There was camphor, and en glory rests on the landscape, cowslips calomel, winter-green, and wourali, for are a great deal yellower, brooks gurgle aught I know. much more musically and smoke curls made a longer stay than was my more gracefully. In short, Edens are custom, and saw the sickly lady depart only such when blessed with an Eve. with pleasure, and then I endeavored to
The next day I called on my patient in make Mrs. Waters aware of the exceedvery prosaic daylight. There had been ing folly of still farther taxing her disno twilight in my experience with the eased system with health-destroying lady. I had passed from the glare of substances-though called medicinal. high noon to black midnight. I was With a mind exceedingly clear on most somewhat unprepared to meet a beautiful, subjects, she was a child with respect to faded, very interesting woman of forty the economy of the human system, the years of age. Though I should not have laws of health, or the healing art. Like thought her over thirty, so slight and too many others she looked to a physiyouthful was her appearance. The first cian when ill, with as blind a faith, as impression that came forcibly to me after that with which the ancients consulted entering her room, was that she was at their oracles, or the Indian his “medithe mercy of all impressions--with a cine man.” And though she failed alsoul great enough for all effort, she had ways of receiving any lasting benefit, she been so bound by untoward conditions, went on trying old and new medicines, that no legitimate action was possible to and old and new doctors, with a zeal her. Her life had been intensified by be- worthy a better fate, and a faith which ing thrown back upon itself. With the did not fail, because it was continually freedom and plainness of truthful youth, fed by hope. Thus are the most unreashe told me her history. It was the same sonable and discouraging demands made tale of passion that all great natures upon the Medical Profession—a profesmust always have to tell. She had loved sion which, when rightly understood and -Death had taken the loved one and practiced, is one of the noblest in the her heart had preyed upon itself, because world. But now men and women abthe motive power of her nature was not surdly expect their physician to create required for the varied and legitimate ex• health for them, whilst they do nothing ercise of her faculties. She could not but manufacture disease. We find at the bear the misery of her life. She took point of progress which man has now morphine ; this gave her a factitious reached, that there is no orderly, or balpleasure, the brilliancy and agony which anced development of his faculties. I had witnessed.
When the perversion, or want of balance Her life, or rather her living death, can is excessive, we recognize it as a cause never be described. No description can of disease. We look with pity upon the describe it; and I am not one to attempt bloated and tremulous debauchee. We the impossible.
see how his disea
has been produced. When I entered the room, a delicate Why should a high degree of civilization lady with a pale yellow complexion, in uniformly produce an exaltation, and exwhich was the slightest possible tinge of acerbation of every form of disease known red, with a most attenuated waist and a to the primitive condition of man, whilst sharp cough was sitting by the bedside. at the same time, new ills whose name A stand and waiter was beside her, on is legion, spring into being before us. which was spread all sorts and sizes of Civic life is frightfully fruitful in ill medicated lozenges. I had, evidently health. The army of diseases is in disput a stop to any quantity of eloquence proportion to everything but the upon the virtues of these panaceas. doctors. “ Doctor,” said Mrs. Waters, only see That system of medicine which deals how kind Mrs. Hunter is; she has brought in simple remedies, of whatever kind, me all these nice medicines.” I felt a which does not embrace psychology and pride too professional to make any in- a complete mental philosophy will fail, quiry as to articles spread before me, but in nine cases out of ten, of curing disease, the garrulity of an idle woman, notwith- and succeed by chance in curing the standing she was somewhat afraid of tenth. " the Doctor” and wished very heartily, But what was I to do for the beautiful
ruin before me? If I could, by any I confess I listened with something of course of treatment, expel the poison surprise to remarks like these from one, from her system, I could by no means who, with all her power to reason, had secure to her that mode of life which no power to act. should exercise her glorious powers, and The very next day, when I called, I save her from the living death of inaction. found her interested deeply in an account And what would have seemed most won- of a new German doctor, with a name derful to an unthoughtful observer, was the most unmusical and unpronounceable the fact that she saw with perfect clear- of any that has been imported. The ness her state and its causes, and at the patron of the new doctor was a man I same time that she was blindly putting had met occasionally at places where the herself at the mercy of every quack who
best dinners” are eaten. I had amused made pretensions to some new nostrum myself by setting down the items of bis of wonderful efficacy.
bill of fare. He was in very delicate I flatter myself that I have some know- health, and so he never ate delicately. ledge of mental philosophy, but the min- Like Mr. Gobbler, he never had any gled wisdom and ignorance of this won- stomach ; and yet, strange paradox, his derful woman astonished me.
To see a
stomach always troubled him. I had seen woman surrounded by pretenders to him eat soup and salmon, oil and vine. magnetic and mesmeric science, depend- gar, ham and eggs, roast pig—all sorts of ing on morphine and Moffat’s Life Pills, poultry—a hall-dozen incomprehensible and employing a physician with no more French dishes, as many more unmen. of an understanding appreciation of him tionable American horrors; and then the than she had of the crowd of quacks, man had the audacity to complain of beand the endless procession of nostrums ing ill, as if it were possible for him to with which she was surrounded, and yet be anything else. But just now he was conversing upon life and its phenomena, particularly dazzled by the foreshine of with a far-reaching wisdom and a bril- perfect health. Mr. Feeder was a relaliant beauty, was more than I was pre- tive of Mrs. Waters, and, as such, he pared for.
made large demands upon her faith on “Doctor,” said she, “had I the power to the present occasion, and large quotamake conditions for myself, I would have tions from ber larder. The character of health. The causes of disease must be the lunch he was leisurely discussing in sought in the conditions and habits that Mrs. W.'s room, so as not to deprive her men make for themselves. If there is no of a moment of his precious company, healthy development of the material na was unique, as far as my observation of ture, through legitimate exercise or in- lunches extends. I really trembled for dustry, the body is not reproduced in a the little light chair, which looked as healthy manner, and the mental condition though it must have the gift of breaking is proved to be far from sane or sound by down under the composite infliction of the fact that there is not sufficient wis- the rotund invalid and his comprehensive dom to furnish such material conditions luncheon. He breathed thick and short, as shall insure healthy development. and loosened his neckcloth as he ate a We may take the vitiated air in our plate of oysters, an ice cream, some blanccities as an example of want of wisdom, mange, a bologna sausage, a cold tongue, and rightly directed effort. In the present a sandwich and some sardines, and sponge state of society, no efficient medical police cake and fruit cake. He had his hand is possible. The more gross and terrible on his side whenever it could be spared miasmas may be removed by the degree from his mouth and his plate, and, in the of corporate action to which we have al. intervals of deglutition, he entertained tained. But, Doctor, we see all too plainly Mrs. Waters and myself with an account for our peace, that all regulations possi. of his new doctor, a celebrated homeopa. ble at this day, with regard to those con- thist, who has improved him wonderfully ditions which we see are essential to within the last month. He had given health, fall lamentably short of attaining up his calomel, and his quinine, and his for man what unitary action can alone weekly bleeding, and the black draught, accomplish. And so dim and distant and the saline draught, and the Congress look those conditions, which we see are water, and the morphine at night, and essential to our well-being, that balanced the effervescing draught in the morning, development and universal health seem and his dinner pill, and the doctor's frethe wildest of all utopian dreams.” quent calls, and confined himself to the