Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub
[merged small][ocr errors]

11-7-52

THE

LONDON ENCYCLOPÆDIA.

[ocr errors]

MEDICIN E.

ܪ

MEDICAL, adj.

Lat. medicus, me- Learned he was in medicinal lore, MED'ICALLY, adv. dicina ; Fr. mede- For by his side a pouch he wore, MEDICAMENT, 1. s.

cine. Physical, or

Replete with strange hermetick powder MEDICAMEN’TAL, adj. relating to the heal

That wounds nine miles point-blank with solder. MEDICAMENTALLY, adv. ing art. Medica

Butler. MED'ICATE, v. a. -ment is any thing

In this work attempts will exceed performances, it MEDICA'Tion, n. s. used in that art ; à being composed by snatches of time, as medical vacaMedic'inABLE, adj.

tion would permit. topical application.

Browne's Vulgar Errours. MEDIC'INAL,

To inedicate, to That which promoted this consideration, and meMedicinally, adv. tincture or impreg- dically advanced the same, was the doctrine of IlipMED'ICINE, 12. s. & v. a. nate with medicine pocrates.

Id. or any thing of a medicinal nature. Medicinable He advises to observe the equinoxes and solstices, and medicinal, having the power of healing, or

and to decline medication ten days before and after.

Id. of physic; appertaining to physic. Medicine is physic; any remedy prescribed by the faculty: fullest action of natural heat ; and that not only ali

The substance of gold is invincible by the powerthe verb is obsolete, but used by Shakspeare as

mentally in a substantial mutation, but also medicasignifying to operate upon as physic.

mentally in any corporeal conversion.

Id. A merry heart doeth good like a medicine ; but a

The hearts and galls of pikes are medicina'le. broken spirit drieth the bones. Prov. xvii. 22.

Walton. 0, my dear father! restauration, hang Thy medicine on my lips; and let this kiss

A cruel wound was cured by scalding medicaments, Repair those violent harms.

after it was putrified ; and the violent swelling and

bruise of another was taken away by scalding it with Shakspenre. King Lear.

milk. Not all the drowsy syrups of the world

Temple's Miscellany. Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep

I wish to die, yet dare not death endure ; Which thou owedst yesterday. Shakspeare.

Detest the medicine, yet desire the cure. Dryden. Come with swords as medicinal as true,

The second causes took the swift command Honest as either; to purge him of that humour The medicinal head, the ready hand; That presses him from sleep. Id. Winter's Tale. All but eternal doom was conquered by their art. Every medicine is an innovation, and he that will

Id. not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for Such are called medicina!-days by some writers time is the greatest innovator ; and if time of course wherein no crisis or change is expected, so as to foralter things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel bid the use of medicines ; but it is most properly shall not alter them to the better, what shall be the used for those days wherein purging, or any other end!

Lord Bacon. evacuation, is more conveniently complied with. The watering of the plant with an infusion of the

Quincy. medicine may have more force than the rest, because To this may be ascribed the great effects of medithe medication is oft renewed.

Id.
cated waters.

Arbuthnot. Accept a bottle made of a serpentine stone, which

No present health can health ensure gives any wine infused therein for four and twenty

For yet an hour to come ; hours the taste and operation of the spa water, and No medicine, though it oft can cure, is very medicinable for the cure of the spleen.

Can always balk the tomb. Couper.

Il'otton. Admonitions, fraternal or paternal, then public

1. MEDICINE, from Lat, medico, to heal, in its reprehensions ; and, upon the unsuccessfulness of verbal signification, means, as we have seen, the these milder medicaments, the use of stronger physick, art of curing, mitigating, and preventing disease; the censures.

Hammond. as a substantive it signifies the material employed Thoughts my tormentors, armed with deadly stings, to effect these purposes. Mangle my apprehensive tenderest parts ;

2. In treating of this subject, as a science and Exasperate, exulcerate, and raise

an art, we shall first present our readers with an Dire inflammation, which no cooling her!)

historical account of the successive revolutions Sor medicinal liquor can assuage.

Milton.

which medicine has undergone from the earliest The funes, steams, and stenches of London, do so medicate and impregnate the air about it, that it periods; we shall then give a short estimate of becomes capable of little more.

Graunt.

its present condition; engage in the consideration Innumerable persons blind, deaf, dumb, lame, and of classifying or arranging disease; and finally maimed, he restored to the use of their faculties, treat of ailments as they occur in practice, enand members respectively, without any medicinul ap- quiring into their sources remote and immediate, plications, or any natural means conducible to those and the methods best adapted to remedy and repurposes.

Barrow.

move them. VOL. XIV.- PART 1,

В

PART 1.

virtues to accidental observation. We learn

from fabulous history that Glaucus, son of Minos HISTORY OF MEDICINE.

king of Crete, having fallen into a cask of honey, 3. To reason from the general course of na- was sought for some time unsuccessfully, until ture, says an author of whose labors we shall Polydius, a soothsayer, who came from Argos, disavail ourselves in the present article, it is evident covered where he was immured. Minos finding that man, subjected as he is to the influence of a this Polydius to be so cunning a personage, bevariety of causes which may disorder the action lieved that it was in his power, if he were put of his organs, must very soon have been obliged upon his mettle, to restore the young Glaucus to to seek for the means of alleviating the pains and life, and accordingly ordered him to be shut up of curing the diseases with which he was af- in the same cask with the dead body for the purfected. As he cannot seclude himself entirely pose of inducing him to make the experiment of from the constant agency of many of those ex. re-animation. While thus confined with the corpse, ternal causes;

and as he carries within bim several and finding himself without resource, he perothers which are destined to act at particular ceived a serpent approaching him which he imperiods of life, or which may at any time exert mediately killed ; soon after another serpent their influence; we may with safety affirm that came; and, regarding the dead body of the first, the first trials of particular remedies bear almost immediately went out, and retyrned forthwith as ancient a date as the existence of man himself. bearing a certain herb with which he covered the Among the most rude and uncultivated tribes, dead body of his fellow, and thereby restored the as those of New Holland, and New Zealand, animal to life. Polydius directly tried the same of Lapland, and Greenland, of North America experiment on the dead body of Glaucus, and and the interior of Africa, we find traces of the with the same effect. practice of medicine and surgery.

The savages

7. This well known story, taken from Hyginus in these countries know how to distinguish dif- and Apollodorus, Le Clerc follows up by another, ferent diseases, and to apply a more or less suit- which, as having in it a little less of the marvellous, able method of treatment; and they are ac- is of course entitled to a little more credit. Melamquainted with the use of several remedies which pus while performing the duties of a shepherd, havform no part of their daily food. These un- ing observed that his goats were purged while they civilised communities present to us the picture fed on hellebore, ordered the milk of these goats of markind in their infancy, and give us a lively to be administered to the daughters of Prætus, idea of the original state of all nations.

who imagined themselves transformed into cows; 4. From their first existence, men must have the milk proved purgative to thein, and they bad diseases which they naturally sought to cure were cured by it of their hallucination; and hence or alleviate. To attain these objects they tried a has been traced the origin of an opinion which variety of methods. But we may presume that came to be general, that hellebore was not merely their discoveries were in general very slow, and a cathartic but that it possessed some specific inmore frequently the offspring of fortunate acci- fluence upon disorders of the mind. dents than the result of rational investigation. 8. In another part of his history Le Clerc Men receiving by tradition a knowledge of the alludes to the story told by Pliny respecting the discoveries which had been already made, would hippopotamus, or sea-horse, drawing blood from soon find themselves obliged to make new ob- his body by means of a reed, thus relieving himservations for themselves, and in this manner self from a plethora, and thus teaching man the their acq

sitions would gradually increase. In art and benefit of artificial blood-letting; and to these early ages all the knowledge of the tribe the account further of the bird ibis administering formed a common stock; and their imperfect enemas to itself with its own bill; and having arts might be exercised by all those who were recorded these with other narratives and intimaendowed with a certain portion of intelligence. tions, he concludes with the following judicious Medicine therefore existed before there were any remarks. Besides that fable is more or less regular physicians. (Cabanis).

founded on fact, every one knows by his own ob5. Whether instinct or actual observation had servation on others that the condition of health most to do with the origin of medicinal attempts is greatly referrible to matters whether of diet or has been the subject of dispute, but it is most luxury taken out of the ordinary course of probable that each had a share in the matter; and, things; and, if accidental observation be thus although we must receive as fabulous and un- capable of teaching the deleterious qualities of worthy of full credence several accounts which certain substances, the same observation would have been transmitted to us on the subject of men be likely to lead to the discovery of salubrious being taught the virtues of herbs by witnessing substances. Thus mankind would come succesthe instinct of brutes, it is more than probable sively to observe, to reason, and to generalise, that some of these narrations have their founda- and thus would experience and experiment in tion in truth.

the art of healing be gradually systematised into 6. The necessity of medicine from the ear- a science. liest periods being admitted, says Le Clerc, it may 9. We may here incidentally remark, before naturally enough be inferred, that both reason we proceed with our history, that the simplicity and chance might place several remedies in the of primeval medicine, and its present condition hands of man; and the most ancient accounts among savage tribes, have been preferred as arwe find extant, respecting the manner in which guments against the necessity of its complicamedicinal virtues were ascertained to exist in tion; in other words it has been urged that the certain plants, attribute the discovery of such ancients with their herbs and simples did quite

as well as the moderns who have brought into furnishes means more independent of all political subserviency the other kingdoms of nature, and revolution, to those who impose upon the creduhave converted medicine from a matter of mere lity of the public, and cultivate it, like a fruitful observation and simple inference, into one of ex- soil, with the utmost care and attention. It was, tensive reasoning and complicated induction ; therefore, natural that the priests should become but objectors of this kind, even if we allow their physicians, as they in fact became; and in most correctness as to fact, overlook the circumstance savage tribes the art is still practised by the of artificial states engendering artificial wants, priests or by mountebanks. and that as law, from a simple consideration of 13. Egypt was the cradle of medicine as it apright and wrong, branches, eventually out into pears to have been of every other science; and code, and precepts, and acts, so does the neces- we hear of Thoth, or Thouth, whom the sity of medicine's complication increase with in- Greeks have called Hermes, and the Latins creasing luxury, and become complicated to meet Mercury, but about whose actual existence there the complicated demands of artificial existence. seems to be some doubt; and the same may be

10. As, however, medicine was first 'culti- said of Isis and Osiris, which were perhaps rather vated by the patients themselves, or by their regal titles and allegorical representations than friends and relations, it becomes a matter of in- real existences. At any rate, their history is so teresting investigation to trace the successive mixed up with fable, and one is in such a mansteps by which it proceeded from general to par- ner confounded with the other, that very little of ticular cultivation; and to develope the causes satisfaction can be obtained with respect to thern and circumstances which have in the course of as cultivators and promoters of the healing art. ages advanced the science and profession to the Some have attributed the invention of medicine rank and importance which they now assume to Horus, son of Isis, who was the Apollo of the and maintain.

Greeks, and about whom the early historians 11. It must be recollected, as a matter of im- speak as a real person. It is to this Apollo that portance connected with this enquiry, that in the Ovid alludes in his Metamorphoses, making him very earliest ages, and before the physical call himself the inventor of medicine and the sciences had made much progress, events were subjector of plants to his power in the following often considered as having received a satisfactory well-known lines :solution, in respect to their rationale, by referring Inventum medicina meum est, opiferque per orbem them to divine interpositions; no one, indeed, Dicor, et herbarum subjecta potentia nobis, i. 521. even in the present day, ought for a moment to 14. Æsculapius was called by the Greeks the question that an interposing providence regulates son of Apollo, and we find a great deal, both in the affairs of the world, but we do not now talk the historians and poets of the early periods, of of the darts of Apollo' when we contemplate allegorical and metaphorical matter mixed up the consequences of a heated atmosphere on the with the accounts respecting the circumstances Trojan marshes. But, when such was the mode of Æsculapius's birth and elevation. Certain it of settling the matter, it is easy enough to con- is, that, for a long time, he acquired the ascenceive that the first men, who came as a distinct dancy over medicine and medical rites; and the order of men to take cognizance of disease and priests, who were still the physicians of the time, its management, would be those who were the acted in the assumed capacity of priests of Escuprofessed media of communication between lapius, and invented charms and effected cures heaven and earth.

avowedly under this assumption. 12. ' The priests,' says Cabanis, soon seized 15. Temples were erected in different parts of upon the province of medicine, and found it no Greece, dedicated to Æsculapius, now deified, ditñcult matter to combine it with their other in- and from these temples oracles were issued by struments of power. Indeed, the medical and the officiating priest, as if emanating from the the sacerdotal professions have in reality many resident and presiding divinity; these oracular features of resemblance. Both bring into action emanations were usually conceived and issued in the same principles, hope and fear; and, although such sort as to establish their prophetic and opethe objects of these two passions are not the rative power in the event of success, and to be sare in the hands of the priest as in the hands susceptible of a double signification, so as to of the physician, their effects had, at that time, elude exposure, or conceal the imposition, in the nearly the same degree of influence in promoting event of the prediction not being fulfilled. And the views of both. Certain it is that medicine, in spite of the doubts of the philosophers, and like superstition, exerts on the minds of men an the occasional ridicule of the satirical writers of influence proportional to their weakness; and, the times, the mass of the people resorted to the as the former acts upon more real and palpa- Æsculapian temples under the full feeling of ble objects than the latter, it is found that the belief and expectation; and often returned, satismost rational and enlightened men can never fied and cured, from the very circumstance of entirely resist its power. In short, no art pene- their faith keeping pace with their wishes. trates further into the human heart; no profes- 16. We are told, moreover, that the air ression enables its votaries more easily to obtain pired in the country, and surrounding the Æscupossession of the most important family secrets ; lapian temples, was naturally pure, from the no species of doctrine (except that, indeed, which elevation of the soil, and was rendered still more relates to the agency of invisible powers) affects salubrious by the woods which encompassed so nearly all those fanciful ideas in which the them. These woods themselves became also the human mind, when it throws off the restraint of objects of religious veneration; they were prereality, is so apt to indulge; and certainly none served with great care; and their sombre shade contributed much to the awe with which the pian prophets and priests did not act as much people naturally beheld the abode of their deities. under the principle of self-deception as that of The temples of Æsculapius, in particular, en- deceiving the multitude; and, indeed, whenjoyed all these advantages, which seemed to be they found crowds of votaries returning from more peculiarly appropriated to them; for an their visits to the temples, with their faith conunbealthy abode would have been very unsuit- firmed and their maladies healed, it was natural able to the god of physic. If his advice did not enough, in these early times of fanaticism and always restore health, it was at least becoming unfounded belief, that they should come to bethat the patients should contract no new dis- lieve themselves what the people supposed them orders at the foot of his altars. In consequence to be, immediate interposers between them and of some prudent precautions in this respect deity. Knavery is often supposed and charged, many cures must have been accomplished by even in modern times, when the fact has been the diversions which the patients experienced in that the individuals thus impugned have been the course of their journey to the temples; by an acting under the influence of somewhat better exercise to which, perhaps, they had been but motives than those supposed to be in operation. little accustomed; by the beneficial consequences The facts connected with the history of our late of a change of air; by the invigorating effects . prophetess, Joanna Southcott, were sufficiently which an elevated situation produces upon man, humiliating and extraordinary; but it is far from and indeed upon the generality of animals; and, impossible that even this woman was quite as lastly, by the still more invigorating effects of much a fanatic as an impostor, and that she was hope. Esculapius acted like a certain descrip- worked upon by the faith of her followers, so as tion of physicians, who possess more cunning to actually suppose herself what her disciples than real talent; he established himself in si- gave her credit for being. In any other point of tuations the salubrious influence of which left view than that of fanaticism and delusion, it is him little or nothing to do; and he maintained difficult to realize the systematic procedure of his reputation the better, that he had less occa- the priests in ancient times with regard to their sion to labor in order to acquire it.

profession of miraculous powers. 17. The temples of Esculapius, continues 20. In Egypt then, in the first instance, and subthe author from whom we are now extracting, sequently in Greece, medicine was practised were very spacious; and within their walls were alone by the sacerdotal orders; and this was in convenient lodgings for the priests; but, as the fact the case among the Israelites; we find in deity did not permit any person to die within sacred history that the Levites were the persons them, which certainly would have been very in- consulted respecting the management of leprosy decorous, those persons who were afflicted with and other disorders incident to the age and peusevere disorders, and women in the last stages of ple, and in the porch of the temple of Jerupregnancy, were obliged to remove to the neigh- salem, a complete formulary of remedies was bourhood; and they often remained in the open exhibited, of which Solomon was said to be the fields exposed to all the injuries of the weather. author.' The Essenes, a sect celebrated for the The deity, too, forbade any part of the offerings pure and mild system of morality which they and victims to be consumed out of the temples. endeavoured to propagate among a wicked and From this prohibition, which was no doubt, very hypocritical people, cultivated the science of politic, we see that he was both wise and provi- medicine, not only in order to render themselves dent; and had the welfare of his ministers no more respected, but also in order to discover less at heart than his own fame and character. means to improve the minds of their adherents

18. Of the great number of temples dedicated by rendering their bodies more healthy. Zealous to Æsculapius the most celebrated were those of apostles of their doctrine they endeavoured to Epidaurus, of Pergamus, of Cos, and of Cnidos. confirm it by the performance of cures; and by The temple of Cos was burnt in Hippocrates' these means they were often enabled 10 brave the time. The walls and pillars of it were covered jealous furies of the Pharisees, those hypocritical with inscriptions, briefly describing the history and domineering priests. They went sometimes of diseases, and giving an account of the re- by the name of Essenes and sometimes by the medies which had been successfully employed appellation of Jepanevtal, which signifies healers for their cure according to the advice of the or physicians.' deity. People of affluence had these inscriptions 21. Chinese pretensions to antiquity always defy engraved on marble, on metal, or on stone; the any attempts to follow them; but there were poorer sort had them carved on mere tables of some practices among these people of exceedingwood. However imperfect these descriptions of ly ancient date which have been resumed in modiseases, and of the methods of cure, may have dern times such as acu-punctuation; and among been, their collection was nevertheless very va- the Babylonians and Chaldeans a great deal of luable. They formed, as it were, the first rudi- their medicine was connected with astronomical ments of the art; and discovered some faint traces investigations that characterised these people. of the method of observation and experiment Herodotus, however, speaks of the sick at which alone is capable of placing it on a solid basis. Babylon as being exposed in public places to

19. In contemplating the circumstances and the inspection of passers by, who were solicited particulars connected with and characterising to give them advice and furnish them with means. ancient medicine, we are disposed to think that of cure; so that part of the medicine of these anthe whole was imposition on the part of the cient people consisted in something more palpaagents, and credulity on the part of the people; ble than astrological influence, or mere calculsbut it may be questioned whether the Ascula- tions from planetary positions.

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »