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cholera is epidemic and endemic, not contagious. Its sudden invasion, and equally sudden cessation, in the places visited, are quite incompatible with the doctrine of contagion. Thus, on Wednesday the 18th of January, there was not a case of cholera in Newburn :-" on Thursday morning it appeared in various parts of the town and vicinity." Is this like contagion spreading from individual to individual? But why need we multiply arguments on a question which now seems to be on the point of adjudication by the general sense of mankind? With one more extract we shall close our
notice of this highly interesting paper.
"As to the mode in which the disease, when once introduced, by whatever means, is diffused through a community, a few words will suffice. It must be admitted that it did run in families, two, three, or four of which were usually attacked; and this perhaps might be regarded as the strongest possible proof of contagion. This circumstance, however, must be accompanied with the qualification, that two or even three of a family were often attacked at once, or within so short a time of each other, that it is difficult to see how the disorder could have been communicated from the one to the other. I grant, that, on the period of intercourse necessary to communicate the disease, we have no exact information; and that we neither know whether one hour or one day is requisite; but we witnessed numberless instances in which the closest contact and the freest intercourse for some time was not followed by any attack. It must also be kept in view, with regard to the fact of families being attacked in Newburn, that this indicates equally the influence of the same local causes, since all were living in the same house, breathing the same air, using the same food, and exposed to the same local emanations. In one sense, indeed, the fact speaks more strongly against than in favour of contagion, since even in plague sometimes not more than one person in each family shows the marks of the pestilential poison." 379.
In conclusion, we may remark that this document from the talented Editor of the Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal, will do some service to the state-though it is somewhat late in its appearance. Fortunately for England, the fatal, heartless, and erroneous doctrine of contagion and importation, has done less harm, as far as human life is concerned, than in some other countries-because that horrible faith has been unable to reverse the laws of Nature, and the circumstances of society. It has done, however, incalculable mischief to commerce and domestic comfort. We will not be so uncharitable as the contagionists have been, who threatened “fire and ashes" on the heads of their opponents! No. We believe them to have been only deceived, and not designing deceivers. The very circumstance of their being so intolerant and bigotted, shews that they were conscientious. Do they allow so much for those who have opposed them? Alas no! From the first records of society, it has been found that, whenever the bigot took up an ERRONEOUS creed, fires, faggots, and daggers were poured on the advocates of TRUTH, with unrelenting virulence!
LA DOCTRINE HOMOIOPATHIQUE. Par Hahnemann.
READERS, are you in search of truth? for if ye are, incline your ears to the oracles of wisdom in this wonderful book. Truth, M. Hahnemann assures us, is eternal as the Divinity: men may neglect it for a season, but the time inevitably arrives that it will pierce through the clouds of prejudice, and diffuse over mankind a beneficent light, which cannot be obscured. Such is the appropriate exordium to the revelation of his most magnificent discovery of homoiopathia, or the mode of curing one disease by giving another which is like to it, and which, being more powerful, is to overwhelm and extinguish the former. Strange that men, since the days of Adam, have been so hard of perception and of understanding, as not to have found out this most simple and sublime axiom of science, that the only method of annihilating any sensation, either of joy or of pain, is to drown it in one that is more intense! How is it, exclaims M. Hahnemann, that we cannot see Jupiter in the morning sky? Simply because it is hid by the superior splendour of the sun. How do we try to stifle any offensive odour? By snuffing tobacco, which has a stronger one. How shall we drown the lamentations of the miserable? but by the noise of fifes and drums. Is not the kettledrum intended to deafen the roar of the distant cannon to the ear of the soldier? and is it not the best way of preventing the bad effects of excessive joy, to drink a dish of coffee, which, M. H. informs us, disposes the soul to most agreeable and happy impressions? But, in order to place this most important truth still more prominent, as far as regards medicine, we shall avail ourselves of a few, out of the many professional proofs adduced by our author, in confirmation of his doctrines :-Cholera morbus may be cured by giving drastic purges, as the white hellebore !-Profuse sweating is best counteracted by sudorifics!-Vertigo and nausea by narcotics such as tobacco!-Ophthalmia may be cured by acrid applications.-Dropsy by means which, according to the German physicians, will cause it in a healthy person.-Bronchitis by stimulating expectorants. -Dyspepsia, by such herbs as cause an extreme exhaustion of the vital energies, render the digestion painful, and destroy the appetite.-Inflammatory fevers by generous wines.-Drowsiness by the exhibition of opium.-Menorrhagia by the savin powder. Strangury by cantharides.-Asphyxia by inhaling the fumes of sulphur.-Cancer by arsenic, which, M. Hahnemann assures us, often gives rise to cancer.-Inflammation of the tongue and fauces by mercury. Do we wish to cool a patient? immerse him in a warm bath. Does he labour under the effects of a coup de soleil ? foment his head with hot decoctions. Has he diabetes? give him diuretics-or are his stomach and bowels inflamed? assuredly nothing is so serviceable as small doses of corrosive sublimate. We might easily enlarge our illustration; but the truth must now, we hope, be so very obvious and convincing to our readers, as to preclude the necessity.
Let us only keep in mind, therefore, that the groundwork of the theory is, that the deranged state of the organization, or of the function of a part, which is called disease, cannot be brought to a state of health, except by exciting another and a similar disease by the aid of medicines. Such is Hahnemann's homoiopathia, the only method which leads us, in a straight line, to an agreeable, certain, and lasting cure without causing any injury, or at all weakening the patient. The other two methods of treating diseases, and those which have been pursued by all, before this great German luminary appeared in the medical horizon, are designated by our author "allopathia," or " heteropathia," and "antipathia," or "enantiopathia ;" under the former is classed the employment of bleeding and of blisters in inflammations; the use of purgatives and diaphoretics
in fever; of diuretics in dropsy, and so forth; and, in short, any endeavour to check, control, or modify any morbid action of the sanguiferous, absorbent, and nervous systems, by exciting an action at variance with the existing malady, or by assisting Nature in any effort which she makes to relieve herself of it; whereas the latter denotes the practice of prescribing for insulated symptoms-as of ordering opium against watchfulness, laxatives against constipation, cold applications against burns, warm drinks against shivering, generous food and drink against weakness; a practice, according to the doctrines of the homoiopathic school, at once deceitful in its apparent effects and dangerous in its consequences. After these few words of prefatory explanation, we proceed rapidly to review the different sections of the work before us; to criticise it must be quite unnecessary, as there cannot be much difference of opinion on the score of its merits.
We much regret that the Doctor has not treated his readers, as he does his patients, by homoiopathic doses as minute and concentrated as possible; had he but docked one cipher from the 500 pages of this great work, his mode of treatment would have been as successful, and assuredly much more pleasant. We often have thought, while perusing the volume, of that sarcasm of D'Alembert -"an author bothers himself to amplify, what his reader equally bothers himself to abridge."
The first fifty pages are occupied with an assault and battery of all the ordinary common-sense doctrines of disease, which have prevailed in the world till Hahnemann propounded his views-views, says he, which are far elevated above that mechanical routine, of endeavouring to trace the causes and essential characters of maladies with a view to their cure. Hitherto it has been rather a boast of the enlightened members of our profession, to examine and watch carefully the operations of Nature; what means she employs, and what course she follows, in attempting to relieve herself of, or to repair, any injury done to the body; and we have been so blindly rash as to attribute much of our supposed superiority to the simpler and more rational views thence deduced. But it now appears that we have been led by an ignorant and foolish guide. Listen to the opinion of Dr. H. :-" Nature is brutish, and fails in almost all the efforts she makes she cannot reason—she is incapable of reflection-she cannot, like a skilful surgeon, close the lips of a wound, and heal them by the first intention; she cannot cure an oblique fracture, however much callus she throws out round the broken ends of the bone; she cannot tie a bleeding artery; she cannot reduce a dislocation; and if permitted to have her own way, will even be so perverse as to make it irreducible;-so stupid is she, that in order to relieve herself from a foreign body impacted in the cornea, she will destroy the eye by suppuration; and in a strangulated hernia, she knows no other mode of overcoming the imprisonment, but by gangrene and death. In opposing any acute malady, her operations are directed by the laws of mere corporeal organization, and not by the inspirations of thought and reflection; in short, says the Doctor, they are, in such cases, a good sample of allopathia!! In a word, every thing which she does to cure the diseases of the body, must satisfy the mind of the philosopher that her methodus medendi is a tissue of suffering and pain, and that, therefore, if he wishes to practise medicine with credit and honor, he must cast away the guidance of such an ignorant and obstinate conductress; he must abandon the practice of counteracting disease, by manfully opposing its cause or symptoms, for the oracle of Germany assures him that, even though he cures it apparently, the primary affection remains untouched and unreached, and that the fire is only smothered, to break out with redoubled fury. Let us take the case of a full, plethoric, and luxuriously-living man being attacked with gout, and consider what Nature suggests, and what physicians, hitherto trusting to these sugges tions, recommend. Do we not find that the patient is feverish and thirsty-he has lost his appetite, and betakes himself to simple, cooling beverages, thus indi
eating that the rich viands, and exciting wines have lost their relish; the medical man when summoned will probably follow a similar course; he will restrict his patient to the lightest and simplest food; he will purge him well, and lower his strength, and may even order cool applications to the torturing and heated joints; in a few days the patient is better; and in a few more he is quite well under this very simple regimen, which is in accordance with the principles of allopathia. Well the patient may be pleased, and the doctor may boast of the accuracy of his diagnosis, and of the success of his remedies; but the joy of the one and the pride of the other, says Dr. Hahnemann, will be turned into grief and disappointment :-the disease may be broken, but is not vanquished; the strength is impaired by the bleedings, and purging and low diet, and in spite of them all, the germ of the evil remains behind. As well might an army boast of a victory, when instead of attacking an enemy in front with equal weapons, and ending the dispute by death, it resorted to the ignoble stratagem of setting fire to the country in their rear, and cutting off all possible retreat; and even although an advantage is gained, the foe may be defeated, but is not annihilated; and he only requires fresh men and more arms, to burst out with more impetuosity than ever. Such is the sublime comparison and such the irresistible (at least in his own opinion) argument, by which the Doctor demolishes the doctrines of allopathia, which have taught us to employ antiphlogistic and depletory remedies in acute, and derivative and counter-irritant ones, in chronic diseases. We may remark, that in order to be able to appreciate fully the cogency of the reasoning, it is necessary to surrender all scepticism. We must implicitly receive, as gospel, whatever the Doctor is pleased to reveal, and most carefully shut the eyes, both of our bodies and of our minds, against any opposing facts. One example will be sufficient to demonstrate this. Most people have observed that chronic ailments have frequently been much relieved and even cured by spontaneous sweating, or purging; and have imitated the practice with what they deemed success; but M. Hahnemann tells him downright that this practice must invariably have a contrary effect, and encrease ten-fold the primary disease.
Readers, we caution you to beware of contradiction; if capable of an atom of such a heresy, ye are unworthy to be disciples of the great medical reformer!! But yet how can we fail to express our surprise that a single patient labouring under any disease, should ever have recovered under the murderous system of treatment which has from the earliest ages been adopted; and that the world has not by this time become altogether tenantless. Even when we have witnessed almost immediate good effects of any remedy, we now find that it has been nothing but a cheat, and a lie of our fancy. Millions of facts, exclaims the mighty German, prove what lamentable results have flowed from giving opium against diarrhoea, sleeplessness, and chronic pains; effervescing draughts against vomiting; astringents against menorrhagia; refrigerants and acids against feverish heat; and from employing ointments made with lead and zinc in cutaneous eruptions; or even from plugging the nostrils in epistaxis. Such modes of treatment are at utter variance with the principles of homoiopathia, which is truth itself.
Another great error of the vulgar school of medicine is that of employing wine, bark and other tonics, for the purpose of strengthening a patient debilitated from a chronic disease. Instead of good, they inevitably and necessarily must do mischief!! Cures indeed have been reported, but to use the sarcastic sneer of our author, they were cures, which were of no benefit to the patient.
After this it is to be hoped that we never hear more of allopathic treatment, or as it is expressed in Latin, of trying to cure “contraria contrariis.”
Sometimes indeed mere chance has directed medical men to a speedy and durable cure of some diseases; but little did they know all the time that they were employing homoiopathic remedies. What are generally allowed to be
specifics, as mercury in syphilis, bark in ague, arnica in the effects of contusion, and sulphur in scabies, Dr. Hahnemann pronounces to be homoiopathic, or capable of producing in the body of a person in health, the very diseases, which they are so successful in counteracting. If proofs are wanted by any of this position, we may tell them that they must remain in ignorance, for presuming to demand such from our infallible author: or if he deigns to listen to them, he will point to the good effects of applying snow to frost-bitten limbs; and of holding a burned finger to the fire.
We do not propose to enlarge upon the truth of this doctrine; for independently of all sound logical reasoning, we are told that experience, that infallible oracle, stamps it with the seal of her authority. We do not talk of the experience of those who have practised medicine according to the vulgar and erroneous notions which have hitherto prevailed, by prescribing for diseases a farrago of medicines, which would puzzle Esculapius himself to explain. Fifty years of such experience, are so many spent in looking through a kaleidoscope, which has been constantly revolving; we see an infinity of shapes and of colours; but they pass away and we can give no account of them. A few established facts will demonstrate that it is not in the power of Nature herself to cure an already existing disease, by opposing to it another which is dissimilar in its nature, however intense and severe it may be; and that no remedies, however energetic are of any avail, if they are not homoiopathic. For example, epilepsy has yielded to an attack of tinea of the scalp; but the tinea having been cured, the epilepsy returned; the itch has been driven from the field by scurvy, but speedily re-asserted its claims when the foe retired: typhus fever has suspended phthisis, as long as the symptoms of fever lasted; mania has done the same; when small-pox attacks a patient labouring under measles, the symptoms of the latter are usually arrested, till the former has run its course; scarlatina has ceased on the appearance of the vaccine vesicle. It sometimes indeed happens that the new, or second disease, after having for a long time acted upon and infected the system, forms an alliance with the original one, in spite of their dissimilitude; but in such cases each invader has separate head-quarters and distinct encampments, and his sway is limited to particular districts; thus the pox may become of an itchy nature; and the itch on the other hand may be of a poxy nature; the two diseases being dissimilar, the one cannot in the nature of things annihilate, or cure the other, although the symptoms of syphilis are suspended when an eruption of psora makes its appearance on the skin; but in course of time the two diseases being equally strong and powerful, instead of continuing a useless warfare, establish a reciprocal union, by which they may live in the same house together, each occupying those apartments which please and suit it best. If therefore Nature fails to cure any disease by the addition of another which is of a different nature, how should men be so weak as to expect better success? Yet on such a sandy basis, has the structure of medicine been hitherto attempted to be reared; for what are allopathic medicines, but substances which have the power of exciting a morbid state in the system, in no respect like unto the disease against which they were administered. Purgatives have been prescribed for the cure of the itch; and issues have been ordered in cases of epilepsy; and we will not deny that some benefit has been thus occasionally obtained; but it is only temporary; the germ remains behind, and the baneful weed will soon re-appear.
But the result is very different, when two diseases which are similar, meet together in the system; in other words, when to a disease already existing, there is added a second of the same nature, but of greater energy; the cure is at once speedy and agreeable. Such is the homoiopathic doctrine, in the Variola, support and confirmation of which a very few examples will suffice. one effect of which is often to destroy the vision, has in numerous cases cured obstinate ophthalmiæ; asthma and deafness have yielded to the same; agues