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In the Asclepiad it is my intention to bring out in occasional volumes, after the manner of the volume now presented, a series of essays on subjects relating to medical science in its various departments. I cannot promise in this series any distinct regularity of publication, inasmuch as time, labour, and thought are not altogether at my disposal; but I hope that the volumes will, on an average, be issued half-yearly, or, at least, annually.

While it will be my object in this series always to consult, as far as in me lies, the requirements of practical medicine, I shall endeavour to weave into the subjects discussed such matters bearing on the current theories of medicine as shall tend to open the way to new and more comprehensive views, and to a sounder and more rational practice.

I wish it to be understood that if, in progress of time, any expression or opinion which may be advanced should prove on reasonable evidence to be incorrect, I shall not fail to make the correction. Nor shall I fear the charge that one volume is not strictly in accord with its predecessor; for, as Emerson aptly remarks, "unyielding consistency is the hobgoblin of weak minds;" and, as in medicine many things are still very obscure, and all things admit of being re-learned and re-taught by the light of advancing knowledge, so it is not for the student to dogmatise and to refuse to re-construct because he has previously constructed.

12, Hinde Street, Manchester Square,
November 28th, 1861.



Plate I. . . .to face 33

„ II. . . . . . 106

III. . . . . .253

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