A rational account of the causes of chronic diseases: ... By John Morland, M.D.
TO prevent the unfavourable impreſſions which Gentlemen, of the profeſſion, might otherwiſe be induced to entertain of him, in conſequence of this mode of publication; the author thinks it proper to declare, with his hand on his heart—That the DIVINE ART of HEALING hath not, cannot have, a more diſintereſtedly zealous advocate than he is, nor one that more truely honours every worthy profeſſor of it, who knows his Art, but not his Trade.
FARTHER—That the moſt valuable part of his life has been employed, [...], in painful, laborious (he might add, very expenſive) reſearches, and experiments, with a ſole view to the improvement of that art: whereby many individuals have been enriched; ſome indeed very unworthily — who are at this time accumulating thouſands annually, by converting to private emolument his diſcoveries, [Page ii] originally intended for public good.
To conclude — The moſt benevolent, the moſt public ſpirited member of the faculty of phyſic, cannot more pathetically bewail than he does, the preſent alarming growth of licentious quackery; that conſequential miniſter in the train of modern riot and intemperance—which he cannot help looking upon, with heartfelt concern, as the ominous antitype of that luxury, which firſt betrayed the people of ancient Rome to the murderous havoc of empiriciſm, and finally effected the ruin and deſtruction of that once glorious republic.
ALL arts, whether plaſtic, mathematical, mechanical, or phyſical, are but the handmaids and imitators of Nature. Moſt ſucceſsful is the practitioner who can happily trace her path, and can copy neareſt to the divine original: Who, knowing her ways, is able to lend a hand when ſhe is obſtructed; or can render her propitious by gentle and well timed invitations. In the healing art particularly, it was obſerved two thouſand years ago by Hippocrates, the great father of medical ſcience*, that, NATURE is the ſovereign curer of diſeaſes, and that phyſicians are, or ought to be, her humble imitators † and ſervants ‡. By unceaſing attendance on the ſick, invincible patience, and the moſt vigilant obſervation of every action and motion of NATURE, that illuſtrious Archiater acquired a wonderful knowledge of the genuine nature of diſeaſes,—of the [...], and of the gradual, [Page 6] uniform, conſentient operations* of that exquiſite mechaniſm, and innate, energetic principle of ſelf preſervation, with which the CREATOR of man hath been pleaſed to endow our bodies: And, by carefully comparing the ſame ſort of diſtempers, and their various minute motions, in different patients, and all the circumſtances [ [...]] and accidents [ [...]] which uſually preceded and attended them, he could readily foretel an approaching diſeaſe, and after its invaſion, give a right judgment of the progreſs and event of it.
This ſurprizing ſkill of his, in foretelling the approach, ſucceſſive changes, and event, of diſcaſes, and that of other ſucceeding phyſicians who carefully ſtudied and purſued his method, procured them a kind of religious veneration among the people, who were wont to look upon them as prophets inſpired by the Gods, and even as arbiters of life and death.
But as this old method of acquiring the [...] is extremely tedious, crabbed, and ſevere, it has been little regarded for many ages, except by certain particular retainers to the Coan ſchool; ſuch, for inſtance, as Sydenham and his truly ingenious and ſingularly modeſt tranſlator Mapletoft †, Bagtivi, Boerbaave, Mead, Huxham, &c.[Page 7]
In later times, a much eaſier and more compendious way to fame and opulence has been happily diſcovered: And we can now, with ſingular propriety, apply to the ancient practice of obſervation, what that lucky ſon of fortune Gnatho (in Terence) told an honeſt, ſimple, half-ſtarved brother of his, on a ſimilar occaſion —
— "Olim iſti fuitGeneri quondam quaeſtus, apud ſeclum prius —— HOC NOVUM EST AUCUPIUM."
This Prince of Phyſicians firſt obſerved in what manner the ſymptoms in acute diſeaſes [ [...],] when not interrupted by art, or by any external cauſe [ [...]] ſucceeded one another, and by what evacuations, NATURE, when left to herſelf, got rid of thoſe diſeaſes*: And on this ſolid baſis of obſervation, he originally erected that nobleſt production of human genius and ſagacity, (monumentum aere perennius) [Page 8] the art of preſaging; and formed from thence a method of curing natural diſeaſes, by means of ſuch artificial ones as NATURE, when too languid and remiſs herſelf, never failed to point out or reveal to this her faithful miniſter. He had frequently obſerved, in the practice of his divine miſtreſs, that a ſpontaneous haemorrhage of blood from the noſe always mitigated, and oftentimes carried off, certain kinds of fevers, and other violent diſorders. This ſuggeſted to him the practice of artificial haemorrhages by bleeding, ſcarification, &c. which he likewiſe uſed, on certain occaſions, prophylactically, or by way of prevention: For experience had taught this conſummate artiſt, that thoſe means which were wont to aſſuage bad ſymptoms after they appeared, would prevent their coming on, if uſed in proper time. He had likewiſe obſerved, that NATURE frequently cured certain diſeaſes by ſpontaneous abſceſſes in different parts of the body. When he found NATURE prevented from working her own way, by ſuch ſalutary operations, he ſubſtituted in their room artificial abſceſſes, ſuch as iſſues, ſetons, &c.
It became farther obvious to him, that ſome violent diſorders were carried off by a ſpontaneous diarrhoea, or vomiting; others by plentiful warm ſweats, or a gentle moiſture of the ſkin; others again by a critical diſcharge of urine, and ſome by expectoration, &c. Hence [Page 9] his practice*, [...], of exciting artificial diarrhoeas by purging medicines;—vomits; ſudorifics; diaphoretics; diuretics; expectorants, &c.
That a medicine, which, conſonant to this rational and truely phyſical doctrine of Hippocrates, the prime miniſter of NATURE, would conſtantly operate with equal ſafety, eaſe, and efficacy, in all, even the moſt oppoſite conſtitutions, and uniformly anſwer every intention of an univerſal evacuant, by attenuating, diſſolving, and carrying off, the viſcid concretions, and foulneſſes, of the ſtomach and inteſtines; thereby cleanſing and deterging thoſe concoctive organs, and reſtoring them to their priſtine natural action; or, by a milder gradual operation†, in proper doſes, removing obſtructions in the remoter veſſels, and carrying off any morbid or excrementitious humours, by inſenſible perſpiration‡, ſweat, and urine. — That [Page 10] ſuch a medicine is one important deſideratum in phyſic, the learned and judicious profeſſors of the faculty, who have ſacrificed at the ſhrine of NATURE, will readily acknowledge—That the ſubject of this diſcourſe is ſuch a medicine, the author dares, with undeſigning confidence, aſſert; after a thouſand ſucceſsful trials made of it, by himſelf, and his medical acquaintances in different countries: Under the ſanction of which impartial experience, he can now ſafely recommend it to the public, as an univerſal purgative,—not as an univerſal medicine,—nor even as a ſpecific one, that, 'by its peculiar operation on the animal fluids, can transform any morbific matter, or preternatural ferment, into good blood and humours.'—He knows none ſuch: Nor can he, on this occaſion, forbear expreſſing a real and honeſt concern, that the [...] — by ſpecific remedies, is not yet wholly confined to the mountebank profeſſions of empirics; to whom promiſes coſt nothing but the health and lives of thoſe who truſt them. That the opinion of the ſpecific operations, or, which is the ſame thing, the occult qualities, of medicines, in the cure of diſeaſes, continues to be a prevailing principle in phyſic, the publications of the current century, and ſhop records, mutually evince: Though 'tis evident, that, agreeably to this doctrine, and method of procedure, it will be impoſſible ever to fix any [Page 11] bounds to the materia medica, (and conſequently to the ſtill growing, tho' already inſupp [...]rtable expence of phyſic) or to reduce the praxis medica to any rational general principles; whilſt the whole vegetable, animal, and mineral kingdoms are ranſacked and tortured, in order to find out thoſe occult qualities and ſpecific operations. — Hence, ſuch is the felicity of the preſent times, and ſo wonderfully is the world now enriched with ſpecifics, ſimple and compound, (under the conjuring titles of alexipharmics, cardiacs, cephalics, neurotics, ſtomachics, &c. antifebrifics, antihyſterics, antepileptics, anticterics, antiſcorbutics, &c.) that there is not a family in the kingdom which can ſpare a few ſhillings, but may purchaſe a diſpenſatory, containing ſeveral hundreds of thoſe choice appropriated remedies, for the cure of all diſeaſes. — Nor is it of leſs utility to the junior part of the faculty, or ſucking practitioners, [ [...],] as the learned Doctor Gideon Harvey quaintly titles them: Since, by this means, they are accommodated with an elegant ſet of extemperaneous preſcriptions, and a competent number of thoſe moſt approved ſpecifics, recommended by the authority and experience of the greateſt names, are always kept ready prepared in the ſhops, ſuch as may anſwer all caſes [...], to avoid the needleſs trouble of making a right judgment* upon any caſe in particular. [Page 12]
With regard to this ſpecific practice, (the conſtant political ſubterfuge of phyſic-craft) it is well known to every judicious experienced phyſician, that the artful pretence of curing diſeaſes by the occult qualities of ſpecific remedies, is now, as it always has been, the principal ſource of all the knavery, impudence, and ignorance, that we meet with in the profeſſion.
Any ſemicrude practitioner in this way, who is poſſeſſed of a tolerable ſhare of cunning and addreſs, can never want a ſpecious pretext for making a property of his patient, almoſt as long as he pleaſes, by flattering his hopes from time to time; tho' the patient finds himſelf never the better, but perhaps ſtill grows worſe: If one ſpecific ſucceed not, another is tried, and, if that fails, a third, and ſo on*; as long as the poor infatuated believing ſufferer has any money, ſtrength, or patience left.
Suffice it here to quote one inſtance, out of a multitude that might be produced, of this medicina politica; and be that the ſpecific treatment of thoſe chronical diſorders commonly diſtinguiſhed by the technical epithets of arthritic, rheumatic, ſcorbutic, hyſteric, and hypocondriac. Several hundred volumes (without counting thoſe petit eſſays† that are daily ſpewing out of the preſs) have been profeſſedly written‡ on the cauſes, &c. of theſe maladies: Though [Page 13] their whole aetiology may be compriſed in a few words.—Eaſe, indolence, intemperance, indulged pleaſure, irregular gratifications of the natural appetites, and the want of pure, freſh air*, and habitual exerciſe, are the [Page 14] genuine original cauſes of theſe diſorders amongſt us; and, in ſhort, of all our national conſtitutional [Page 15] complaints—of our growing weakneſſes, increaſing ſcurvies, multiplying rheumatiſms, [Page 16] univerſal wandering gouts, and the moſt obſtinate chronic and hereditary diſeaſes fixing and radicating themſelves ſtill more and more in our natural habits and conſtitutions.—Hence it is, that the natural evacuations become obſtructed and diminiſhed; the ſecreted humours are thickened, and rendered viſcous, adheſive, and clammy; the ſolids, eſpecially the nervous ſyſtem, weakened and relaxed; the fluids neceſſarily contract ill qualities; and an acrid, ſaline, corroſive ſerum is produced: This ſerum, wherever it is thrown, or happens to be depoſited, lacerates or erodes and ulcerates the ſolids, and occaſions* all the ſymptoms of a true and genuine land ſcurvy. And this name of ſcurvy it commonly receives, and is diſtinguiſhed by, as often as it proves effluent†, in pimples, blotches, ſcaly leprous ſcurf, ſcabs, tetters, and other ſuch eruptions on the ſkin: But [Page 17] when it happens to prove influent*, and is thrown upon the ſtomach, bowels, lungs, liver, ſpleen, meſentery, kidneys, bladder, womb, or any internal part, it ſometimes paſſes under the more polite appellation of nervous or ſpaſmodic complaints; but chiefly under the technical names of febricula, cholic, cachexy, dyſentery, dropſy, aſthma, atrophy, jaundice, diabetes, dyſury, gonorrhaea, fluor albus, or white flux: A complaint, this laſt, the moſt diſagreeable of all others to the natural delicacy of the ſex, and, on account of its increaſing prevalency, the moſt alarming in a national light; as being the greateſt, however generally unheeded, enemy to conception, and, in its conſequences, more fatal to population than the ſword itſelf.—From the ſame ſeroſe or ſcorbutic cacochymy, in like manner originate†, in different conſtitutions, the cancer; St. Anthony's fire; gout; ſciatica; rheumatiſm; palſy, &c.
Now, the orthodox medical proceſſes, and formulae, of our ſpecific practitioners, in thoſe, commonly denominated, arthritic, ſcorbutic, hyſteric, and hypocondriac diſorders, conſiſt chiefly of hot vegetable aromatics, bitters, and aſtringents, infuſed in ſtrong wines or ſpirits; the volatile oils and ſpirits of vegetables and [Page 18] animals; ſpirituous ſolutions of the foetid and oily gums, and vegetable reſins; tinctures and infuſions of caſtor, contrayerva, cochineal, ſaffron, ſnake-root, valerian, and the like; chalybeates, opiates, and various ſorts of pharmaceutic drams heated and raiſed ſtill higher with the volatile oils, ſpirits, and ſalts.—But, if this original morbid conſtitution, as already obſerved, ſhould conſiſt in the tenacity and viſcidity of the blood and animal fluids, occaſioning a diminution of the ſecretions, and a conſequent diſtention and relaxation of the nervous ſyſtem; 'tis evident, that the foregoing heating, rarifying method, by aggravating all the ſymptoms, muſt ſtrengthen the morbid habit, and confirm the diſeaſe ſtill more and more.—And thus it is, in fact, that patients under theſe complaints are, by our ſpecificians, kept on from year to year, living and dying by turns; being ſtrictly interdicted the uſe of all ſtrong malt liquors, wine, and common drams; at the ſame time that they are continually loaded with preſcriptions of liquid Fire out of the ſhops.
When the conſtitutions of the patients are, in this manner, nearly exhauſted, and life worn out to its bare threads*; our ſpecific practitioners [Page 19] immediately put them under the regulations of diet, riding, change of air, bathing, and water-drinking, at Bath, Briſtol, Buxton, or ſome other diſtant mineral ſpring; where they may die decently, with a favourable ſalvo to the doctor's reputation, as having then uſed the laſt remedies—which, in all medical propriety, ought to have been the firſt.
Now, it is in chief as a friendly co-operating auxiliary to theſe truely appropriate remedies*, (the dernier reſſort of our ſpecificians) that the author of the Univerſal Purgative, cordially, conſcientiouſly, recommends the occaſional uſe of it, to every native of Britain labouring under any of the above national chronical maladies. Not but that this medicine will always be found, when properly adminiſtered, a more ſalutary aſſiſtant to the ſame remedies, in the prevention, than in the cure, of thoſe maladies: Foraſmuch as NATURE is ever in ſome degree weakened, by the invaſion of an enemy; even though ſhe alone, or judiciouſly aſſiſted, may have expelled him out of her dominions.
The immediate or firſt efficient cauſe (the praeincipient cauſes† have been already given) of all our arthritic, rheumatic, ſcorbutic, hyſteric, and hypocondriac complaints; and, in ſhort, of the whole gloomy catalogue of nervous diſorders, ſeems to be an acrid ſerous humour, produced [Page 20] as above deſcribed, and lodged either in the glands, minute veſſels, or vaſcular coats, or interſtices of the veſſels, of the ſtomach; occaſioning, by its irritation, a preternatural laxity and debility of the fibres of the alimentary canal; a vitiated ſecretion in the glands of the ſtomach, and a conſequent depraved ſtate of the gaſtric juices; a laeſion (with the naturally conſequent ſpaſmodic affections) of the nerves of that concoctive organ; an imperfect digeſtion; a generation of wind and phlegm; an irregular and leſs vigorous and uniform motion of the blood in the vena portae, and, of conſequence, an inert, viſcid, peccant bile, which, in its natural healthy ſtate, is the moſt highly animalized of all the juices, and the moſt conducive towards promoting all the ſecretions and excretions of the human body, particularly thoſe of the alimentary tube—The principal ſeat of all nervous, hyſteric, and hypocondriac affections.
That this rationale is juſt, the really learned and indefatigable inquirers into the human pathology will allow; and conſequently, that the true curative intention will conſiſt wholly, at firſt, in correcting, attenuating, reſolving, and expelling, this acrid humour, by ſome of the natural evacuations *.[Page 21]
In this firſt capital intention, the medicine here recommended, properly doſed, and properly adminiſtered (for on this [...] depends the ſucceſs of every appropriate remedy) has been found, in a long and extenſive experience, to produce very ſalutary effects, even in perſons of the moſt oppoſite natural habits and conſtitutions.
Nor will theſe aſcribed effects appear exaggerated to the judicious and experienced practitioner, when he is informed, that this medicine is compoſed of near a dozen of the moſt powerful known deobſtruents, beſides two mineral preparations of the author's own diſcovery, which two alone, united [...], have been found to perform, in fact, what that indefatigable phyſician the late Doctor Huxham peculiarly aſcribes to his favourite Tincture, in the following words—"It paſſeth through and ſcours even the very ſmalleſt tubuli of the whole human frame, and is beſides ſufficiently powerful to give a ſtrong irritation to the great alimentary canal, and therefore more ſurely to affect the ſmall canaliculi of the body; and yet, from the exceeding tenuity of its minute particles, it by no means lacerates the veſſels."
In a ſimilar manner*, this medicine operates, in properly adapted doſes; removing obſtructions [Page 22] in the remoter veſſels, and promoting [...] the ſecretions in general, particularly thoſe of urine and perſpiration.
For the univerſal promptitude, eaſe, and efficacy *, of its operation, as a purgative, even in the moſt delicate and irritable habits, the author has the concurrent teſtimony of many judicious practitioners, ſome of them phyſicians of eminence; not only in England, but in Holland, Germany, and Switzerland: And, in this intention, the like uniform operation has been found to attend its uſe, in different, and even in oppoſite climates; without any of thoſe injurious colliquative effects† ſo generally aſcribed by phyſicians to the preparations of aloes, and particularly to that long popular one originally known by the name of Francfurt Pills, firſt invented and deſcribed by Hartman Beyer; of which feveral ſpurious ſorts have been ſince vended, in different countries, under various names—Pilulae Angelicae, Aloes Roſata, Pilulae Tartareae, Grana Angelica, &c.—At Rome, (notwithſtanding the obſervation of that diſtinguiſhed Roman phyſician Giorgio Baglivi, in his Praxis Medica; where, treating of the cure of diſeaſes in that city, he ſays—"No ſort of remedies afford ſo much benefit to the inhabitants of Rome, as exerciſe, and a prudent repetition [Page 23] of gentle purgatives—but purgatives, given in the form of pills, have no ſucceſsful or plentiful operation,") it has been found, by the experience of ſeveral travellers, the author's friends, to operate with all deſirable efficacy: And, on the like authentic evidence, in a much greater variety of inſtances, he can ſafely warrant, in the ſame intention, effects equally ſalutary, from its uſe, in both Indies:
In occaſional, or habitual coſtiveneſs, it will be found an effectual remedy, free from the inconveniences aſcribed to aloetic, rhabarbarine, and ſaline preparations, in that intention; as it neither produces ſickneſs nor gripes, and leaves no aſtriction in the bowels.
But, in no one intention will this medicine prove more univerſally ſalutary and beneficial, than in that of a frequent family purge, on the ſo juſtly celebrated prophylactic plan of that happy explorer of Nature Lord Verulam—to cleanſe the ſtomach and bowels from thoſe viſcid, or ſlimy, and vitiated bilious, humours which are ſo frequently collected in them, conſtituting the ſource and fomes of various diſeaſes, as well chronic as acute, to which people of every rank are liable; but the delicate, the polite, the ſtudious, and the ſedentary, more particularly ſo: It being paſt all doubt with the author, that thouſands even of valuable lives are yearly cut off, by prematurity of death, which an exact practical obſervance of this plan [Page 24] (including, in its full extent, exerciſe *, with alacrity, temperance, and ſimplicity of diet) might have happily conducted, with tranquillized paſſions†, to the placid [...] of old age—when death becomes ultimately a neceſſity and no pain, the bleſſing and not the evil of Nature.
Notwithſtanding the here recited, and other valuable properties of this medicine; the author has not the ridiculous preſumption to offer it to the public as a Specific Remedy in any particular diſeaſe.—In the above mentioned chronical diſorders, he is warranted, by the indiſputable ſanction of experience, to recommend it as an efficacious aſſiſtant to thoſe peculiarly appropriated remedies—An early well maſticated cruſt or biſcuit; a regulated diet; riding; friction ‡; [Page 25] change of air; ſeaſonable bathing *; medicinal [Page 26] [Page 27] [Page 28] water-drinking *; and ſummer voyages at [Page 29] ſea *: By which laſt alone, under a proper dietetic [Page 30] regimen, and the occaſional uſe of theſe pills, he has known inveterate chronic diſeaſes [Page 31] cured, which had baffled all the powers of medicine. [Page 32]
Nor is it irrational to ſuppoſe, from the known antiſcorbutic properties of this compoſition, [Page 33] that it might prove a ſalutary prophylactic, or preventive of the marine ſcurvy, in ſeafaring [Page 34] people:—The propriety of this ſuppoſition is, in fact, confirmed by atteſted ſucceſsful [Page 35] experiments made of it, by two very able ſea-ſurgeons —But, on this head, the author can ſay nothing from his own experience—his ſole criterion of the real powers of medicine: And by this criterion, he honeſtly confeſſes, he has found ſeveral elaborate preparations of his own, (for he too was formerly an indefatigable labourer in the curious [...] of medicine, ſearching after a ſuccedaneum to the tree of life) as well as the moſt pompouſly authenticated ſecifics, in chronic diſeaſes, that have been exhibited to the public, for thirty years paſt, deplorably wanting, and inadequate, not only to the particular ends propoſed, but to the genuine ultimate end of phyſic in general— [...]; not excepting even thoſe of the learned Vienna Auſtrian ſchool—to which the diſtinguiſhing palm—the ſupreme eclat of working wonders, in regular practice, has, by the united ſuffrage of the faculty in Europe, been deſervedly given of late years. [Page 36]
The celebrated profeſſor Pitcairn long ago publiſhed to the world his notion of ſuch a remedy, as a grand deſideratum in phyſic: And an illuſtrious ſucceſſor of his, in the ſame profeſſorial chair, Boerhaave, uſed often, in his public lectures, to ſpeak of the poſſibility of diſcovering a remedy that might cure moſt or all acute febrile diſeaſes; and actually recommended the trial of medicines compoſed of antimony and mercury, ("ad magnam penetrabilitatem arte deductis") for that purpoſe.—The author is in poſſeſſion of a remedy, without antimony, mercury, or any other mineral, in its compoſition, which he believes will immediately cure a fever, in its incipient ſtate: That it has been uſed, with great ſucceſs, at Conſtantinople, and other places in Turky, in carrying off the plague itſelf, when adminiſtered on the firſt appearance of the ſymptoms, he is aſſured by a traveller, of great learning and curioſity, to whoſe friendly communication he owes his knowledge of it.
The prevailing hypotheſis, that a fever is 'NATURE'S inſtrument to expel an enemy;' or, in [Page 37] other words, that 'every fever is its own cure,' and conſequently, that no medicine can be ſaid, in ſtrict propriety, to cure a fever, was originally invented by Aſclepiades, (that finiſhed maſter in the [...]) above eighteen hundred years ago*. But this hypotheſis, however [Page 38] ſpecious, however recommended, by the ſanction of antiquity, and the later authority of [Page 39] great names, has always appeared to the author unſupported by Reaſon and FACTS.—The moſt plauſible argument he has met with, in favour of this theory, is, that in acute diſeaſes of the eruptive kind, and particularly in the ſmall-pox, 'as ſoon as the morbific matter is expelled to the ſurface of the body, the fever ceaſes:" therefore, 'the fever is an effort of NATURE to relieve herſelf.' But it is well known to every experienced practitioner, that the leſs the [Page 40] fever is in the natural ſmall-pox, the fewer will be the puſtules, and the variolous matter more happily expelled; or, according to our great Sydenbam, [Angliae lumen, artis Phaebum] "Quo ſedatior eſt ſanguis eo melius erumpent puſtulae."
It has indeed been a received opinion, almoſt ever ſince the firſt appearance of the ſmallpox* in Europe, that 'a certain degree of fever [Page 41] is always required, to concoct, ſeparate, and expel, the vitiated and infectious matter.' But Mr. Sutton (the reputed author of the new method of inoculation; though, by the bye, the very ſame method, in every eſſential point, was practiſed by Mr. Glaſs, an eminent ſurgeon in the univerſity of Oxford, long before Mr. Sutton was known) has fully demonſtrated, by many thouſands of ſucceſsful experiments, that the fever in this diſeaſe is ſo far from being 'NATURE'S inſtrument to expel an enemy,' that itſelf is her greateſt enemy; and conſequently ought to be prevented, or extinguiſhed * immediately. And, in his peculiar attention to this ſingle point, the author has ſufficient reaſon to believe Mr. Sutton's SUPERIOR ſucceſs wholly conſiſts: For, having had many favourable opportunities, during ſeveral years, of aſcertaining, by means of a moſt accurately-made pyranthropometer, the natural heat of the body, in Mr. Sutton's patients, when in perfect health, immediately before their entering on his preparatory courſe, and afterwards during the progreſs of the diſeaſe; he found, in a variety of inſtances of a compleat and regular ſmall pox, [Page 42] the bodily heat, when at the higheſt, from ſix to fourteen degrees below that of perfect health.
The moſt diſtinguiſhed ancient phyſicians of the Hippocratic ſchool, had no other idea of a fever than that of their great maſter—viz. a fiery or preternatural heat. This preternatural heat they conceived of, as a ſymptom, the cure of which was the province of the phyſician; whilſt the removing, and carrying off, the primary cauſe of this ſymptom, that is, the cure of the diſeaſe, was conſidered chiefly as the work of NATURE. Now, the primary cauſe of every fever is, as the author conceives, ſome ſtimulant or acrid matter ſpaſmodically affecting the vaſcular and nervous ſyſtem: Whether this matter be, 1ſt. A foreign ſubſtance lodged in the fleſh—2dly, A putrid fomes abſorbed into the habit, from gunſhot wounds, &c. in removing theſe two cauſes, NATURE may often require the ſurgeon's helping hand—3dly, Deleterious miaſmata reſiding in the air—4thly, A putrid fomes of any kind, producing an acrimonious ſtate of the fluids—5thly, Purulent matter lodged in the body, from internal ſuppurations—Or, 6thly, external cold, or, what is uſually called catching of cold. This laſt mentioned, and, perhaps, moſt frequent cauſe of fevers, has been generally ſuppoſed to be the materia perſpirabilis of Sanctorius *, retained in [Page 43] the body, or, as it is commonly expreſſed, obſtructed perſpiration: But a courſe of ſtatical experiments [Page 44] inſtituted principally with a view to aſcertain this doctrine, and regularly proſecuted with a moſt ſcrupulous exactneſs, for eighteen months, fully convinced the author, many years ago, (as a ſimilar courſe of experiments, proſecuted, for one year, at Charles-Town, South-Carolina, in like manner convinced his ingenious friend and fellow-labourer Dr. Lining) that no fever is cauſed merely by obſtructed perſpiration.
OF all the branches of medical knowledge, the moſt highly intereſting, and ſubſervient to health, long life, and happineſs in this world, is the prophylactic, founded upon the two great preventive principles, DIET and HABITUAL EXERCISE*—THE ONLY SURE MEANS [Page 46] OF PRESERVING TO THE BLOOD ITS ORIGINAL PURITY, TO THE SECRETIONS THEIR FREE COURSE, TO THE NERVES THEIR DUE TONE, TO THE MUSCLES THEIR STRENGTH AND FIRMNESS, AND TO THE TASTE ITS NATIVE RELISH FOR GENUINE SIMPLICITY.
On this preſervative branch of medicine, and particularly on the dietetic part of it, a multitude of books have been written; many of them by phyſicians of eminence, with a ſpirit of philanthropy that does honour to the profeſſion. But, as thoſe productions conſiſt chiefly of general rules laid down for mankind without diſtinction, to preſerve their health, and prolong their lives, they have not proved in any degree adequate to the propoſed end: For, ſo infinite is the variety of conſtitutions, (in reſpect of which all food acts, by a certain immutable law of Nature, relatively & ſecundum quid, as logicians expreſs it, not abſolutely & per ſe) that any general rule laid down to any number of men, for this purpoſe, muſt be hurtful or deſtructive to the greateſt part of them at leaſt, [Page 47] if they all comply with it. Happily for mankind, all the needful directions, on this head, univerſally conducive to health and long life, may be comprized in a very ſmall compaſs, without overloading the memory, or confounding the judgment.—If people would only follow the dictates of that moſt beneficent of all legiſlators, Nature, by letting the ſtomach always take the lead of the palate, and by feeding moderately upon ſuch things as they find they can digeſt with the leaſt trouble and inconvenience*, they would need no other practical rule of diet: So far as this extends, every reaſonable man, of competent age and experience, muſt infallibly be a better judge of what he ought to do, for the benefit of his health, than any phyſician can be, who is not intimately acquainted with all the circumſtances of his conſtitution.
As for thoſe whimſical hypocondriacs who, like their brain-ſick brother in the comedy of Moliere, are eternally making an outcry, tho' nothing ails them, and thoſe more eſpecially who have been perſuaded to purchaſe health and longevity by eating and drinking exactly by weight and meaſure, as if they could ſupply the various and alterable exigences of Nature juſt as they fill a tub, the capacity and diſcharges [Page 48] of which are always uniform and the ſame; they are in imminent danger of falling into the doctors hands*. An oeconomiſt of this ſort might, with equal propriety, impoſe upon himſelf the critical taſk of ſtanding or ſitting continually in the ſame place, of lying always in the ſame bed, of wearing conſtantly the ſame weight of cloaths, and of riding or walking every day preciſely the ſame number of feet and inches; nay farther, he muſt compound with Providence for continual wet weather, or continual dry, for the ſame immutable degree of heat and cold, and the ſame invariable conſtitution of the air in which he breathes: For 'tis certain that all theſe may, ſome way or other, affect the conſtitution, appetite, and digeſtion, ſo as to require ſometimes larger, and [Page 49] ſometimes more ſparing meals, and the occaſional uſe of weaker or ſtronger liquors.
In general, the beſt rule, perhaps, that can be laid down, for preſerving health, and prolonging life, is (what the moſt elegant Celſus recommended to the world ſixteen hundred years ago) to obſerve ſtrictly no particular rule at all; but, upon the rational principle of moderation and temperance [noverca medicorum], to follow the ſober dictates of Nature; who has not ordained a ſingle want to man, the reaſonable ſatisfaction of which, (beſides its manifeſt ſubſerviency to health) does not afford a pleaſure every way ſuperior to what can be found in any unnatural gratification of the appetities: For true pleaſure is the bounty of Nature, and Reaſon her diſpenſer of it.
To conclude—In ſpite of all the falſe refinements of art, the true ſublime of taſte, and the ſweet ſimplicity of Nature, will for ever continue inſeparable. In diet, SHE is ſo far from objecting to variety, that ſhe delights in it: Her proteſt is only againſt that, which is produced by the deſtruction of Simplicity; againſt that, by which the palate is debauched from its natural taſte, the appetite irrecoverably depreſſed through the cloying repetition of preventive viands*, [ſuch, for inſtance, are the [Page 50] infernal compounds of French cookery] the functions of the body robbed of their ſprightly vigour, and all its powers for the true reliſh of pleaſure enervated; in ſhort, againſt that, whereby the votaries of luxury are prematurely cut off from her richeſt inheritance, HEALTH and LENGTH OF DAYS.FINIS.
ONE of the moſt troubleſome and obſtinate complaints, to which children are liable, is the HOOPING COUGH. The methods of treating it hitherto in uſe, have generally been found ineffectual to ſtop its progreſs, or to ſuppreſs it with ſafety, before it hath run its natural courſe.—
OUR great maſter in phyſic, DR. SYDENHAM, in his account of it ſays—"What others may be able to do in this diſeaſe, I know not: as for myſelf, I have uſed abundance of all ſorts of medicines, and ſtill loſt my labour."
THE author of the foregoing diſcourſe, whoſe practice is much among children, therefore informs the public, that by a long ſeries of experimental inquiries into the nature and cauſes of the diſeaſes of children in general, and of this hitherto intractable, and frequently fatal one in particular, he has diſcovered a ſafe and eaſy method of treating it with ſucceſs.
From the ſame cauſe, their diſpoſitions are ſoft, cowardly, and effeminate, impatient of labour and hardſhip. Whatever, ſays he, is manly, laborious, painful, or bold and daring, [ [...]] can find no place in ſuch a conſtitution; but pleaſure is the governing principle: And hence proceeds the great variety of forms amongſt their wild beaſts—Neither is the mind, in ſuch a conſtitution, ſubject to ſurpriſes [ [...]], nor the body to violent changes; circumſtances that are apt to give a ſharper edge to the paſſions, and a higher degree of underſtanding, and ſprightly vigour, than where things remain continually in the ſame ſtate: For the mind of man is always rouſed, and not ſuffered to reſt, by frequent and ſudden changes. Upon theſe accounts, the eaſtera Aſtatics are weak, timorous, and ſervile, eaſily ſliding into monarchies: With reluctance they leave their eaſe and families, and hazard their lives for deſpotic maſters. On the other hand, in Greece, and the northern parts of Aſia, where the temperature of the ſeaſons is leſs mild, and leſs uniform, the men are bold, hardy, and warlike: Without compulſion they quit their eaſe, and voluntarily expoſe themſelves to toil and danger, animated with the hopes, and rewarded with the fruits, of conqueſt.
In countries abounding with certain mines, travellers find the frame and temper of their minds ſuddenly altered; their intellectual faculties more ſprightly and vigorous, conceptions clearer, imagination more briſk and lively; and on paſſing to another ſoil, an univerſal relaxation, idea, gloomy, confuſed, and indiſtinct, immediately ſucceed. Thus, conſonant to the philoſophic notions of the DIVINE OLD MAN, the diſcovery, and improvement, of arts and ſciences may, in ſome meaſure, depend upon the air and climate; ſome ſucceeding beſt, where a ſprightlineſs of fancy, others, where intenſe application of mind, is required.
In a pharmaceutic intention, air, or the humid part of it, acts as a true diſſolvent, in the ſame manner as water in its groſſer form. The cathartic and aſtringent virtues of certain vegetables neither volatile nor exhalable by heat, but of the fixed kind and diſſoluble by menſtrua alone, have been obſerved to be diffuſed through the air. Hence it appears, that the atmoſphere may be impregnated with all the medicinal powers of vegetables which aqueous menſtrua are capable of extracting. And upon this account it is, that, in ſtanding, walking, or ſleeping, under ſeveral kind of trees, people have found themſelves variouſly affected.
The peculiar medicinal powers of certain vegetables exhalable by heat, are, by the bye, equally remarkable and curious. In obſtinate watchings, and deliriums, the author has, by the ſteams of one of this kind, procured eaſe, reſt, and ſleep, after all the uſual internal ſedative medicines had been tried in vain.
In acute diſeaſes of the malignant kind, where ſweating was indicated, but could not be procured by any internal means, the effluvia of a vegetable, applied in a certain manner to the external ſurface of the body, have proved an efficacious ſudorific.
From a variety of ſimilar experiments, and certain obſervations on the oeconomy of Nature, reſpecting cuticular inhalations, a phyſiological conjecture is drawn, namely, that the human body is endued with ſome ſecret energetic power of attracting ſuch ſalutary particles as it may be in immediate need of, from ſurrounding bodies which contain them.—Hence, old perſons, and thoſe whom long and tedious indiſpoſitions had brought to the laſt ſtage of life, have, by the effluvia of young, ſound, and healthy animals, been ſurprizingly recruited, ſtrengthened, and invigorated.
In Perſia, Arabia, and other eaſtern countries, at certain ſeaſons of the year, the people are obliged, by the exceſſive heat of the weather, to lie down at night to ſleep, on the tops of their houſes, in balconies, turrets, &c. expoſed to the open air, and dews, which are ſo copious, notwithſtanding the exceſſive heat, during the time of ſleep, that the body is cooled, preſerved from thirſt, and refreſhed by its abſorbent power of attracting or inhaling the dews; provided there be any perceivable ſaltneſs in the taſte of thoſe dews: On the contrary, if the dews have not a ſaline taſte, it is then found dangerous to ſleep in the open air, and frequently attended with pernicious, and ſometimes fatal conſequences.
The almoſt total diſuſe, in modern practice, of a remedy ſo ſtrongly recommended by the univerſal experience of ancient Greece and Rome, as well as by its perfect agreement with our later diſcoveries in the oeconomy of Nature, reſpecting the cutaneous diſcharges, can only be aſcribed to the unreaſonable impatience of people, in every rank of life, who can hardly be perſuaded to think well of any method which does not ſurprize with ſome ſudden alteration, or of any remedy that does not promiſe to cure like a charm. Strange infatuation—to expect immediate relief in Chronic Diſeaſes which, perhaps, have been many years contracting, and, by an inveterate habit, are incorporated into the very vitals of the conſtitution. This precipitate impatience for a cure, by prompting people to truſt to the deluſive promiſes of tawdry, boaſting medicaſters [ [...]], has ultimately occaſioned the deſtruction of more lives than war or peſtilence.
Medicated baths muſt have been of very high antiquity; ſince we find, by the beſt authenticated accounts, that the ancient Jews and Egyptians made uſe of them in curing the moſt obſtinate and deſperate maladies.—Virgil, ſinging the praiſes of his favourite Iapis—'Phoebo ante alios dilectus,' (who was cotemporary with the ſons of Eſculapius) introduces him uſing a medicated bath in the cure of father Aeneas; and ſays of him, that being greatly beloved by Apollo, he offered to teach him augury, to play on the harp, and to draw the bow well; but that he rather choſe to prolong: he dying father's life, to learn the virtues of plants, and to cure diſeaſes—
Maluit, et mutas agitare inglorius artes*."
That the wonderful power of abſorbency in all the external (as well as internal) parts of the human body was well known to Hippocrates, appears from the following paſſage in the ſixth book of his Epidemics— [...].—Galen, quoting this very paſſage, and in direct alluſion to the doctrine of cuticular abſorption, ſays— [...]—"But they [the pores or abſorbent oriſices of the bibulous veins] attract no ſmall part from the circumambient air."—Upon this principle, Hippocrates recommended bathing where the body wanted moiſtening, and to be cooled: In hot weather he preſcribed warm baths, and in cold weather cold ones.—The intenſe thirſt accompanying certain acute diſeaſes, in hot climates, is aſſuaged immediately by immerſion of the body in warm water.—After continuing twenty minutes in a bath of warm water, the author of this has, during a courſe of ſtatical experiments, frequently found himſelf from forty to fifty ounces heavier than he was before immerſion. By the ſame means he has found an extreme thirſt removed almoſt immediately. Bathing in ſeawater has been found, by experiment, to produce the ſame refreſhing effect.—And hence, perhaps, the deplorable calamities, to which the ſeafaring part of mankind are frequently expoſed (burning like a ſhip on fire, in a deluge of ſurrounding waters) by the extreme want of freſh water, might be mitigated at leaſt, by repeated immerſion in the ſea-water. All chronic diſeaſes, proceeding from a redundancy of ſaline or acrimonious particles floating in the vital juices, or accumulated upon the glands appointed to ſeparate them from thoſe juices, are relieved by ſea-bathing; as the ſolvent parts of the ſea-water are thereby imbibed through the pores of the ſkin, and carried into immediate action upon thoſe ſaline or acrimonious particles; and there is not, perhaps, any menſtruum, natural or artificial, hitherto known, that is ſo perfect and immediate a ſolvent for ſaline bodies as the aqueous vehicle of the ſea-ſalt in its pure and diveſted ſimplicity.
This Herculean difficulty might, perhaps, be better ſolved, by ſuppoſing the word mutas to be oppoſed to citheram, which Apollo offered him, whereby the poet might not only mean muſic, but poetry too, for which it is often put; and that by the word inglorius the poet ſignifies no more than unaſpiring or unambitious; as one who for the knowledge of phyſic renounced thoſe other gifts or talents, to which the poet, as ſuch, was obliged to give the preference—For this reaſon Virgil might call phyſic ars muta, in oppoſition to poetry and muſic, which were properly vocales.
Thoſe of the acidulous or purging kind, by means of the neutral ſalt with which they abound, are of excellent ſervice in certain conſtitutions, where the firſt paſſages want cleanſing; but this ſervice is done by only a few repetitions: If they are long continued, (and many who drink them, without proper advice, are apt to think, the more they purge, the farther they are from being ſick) the remedy often proves worſe than the diſeaſe: For it is well known to phyſicians, that all fevers which come after long purging, and eſpecially thoſe which ſupervene the imprudent uſe of purging waters, are of the worſt kind, and frequently prove fatal.
There is not in the whole compaſs of medicine, a more efficacious remedy, in certain caſes, than the natural chalybeate waters, that is, ſuch as receive their medicinal properties from iron: For, as the learned Boerhaave obſerves, where the powers of the body are debilitated by a preternatural relaxation of the ſolids, and an indolent, cold, aqueous indiſpoſition of the fluids, no virtue of any vegetable or animal ſubſtance, no diet, or regimen, can effect that, which is effected by iron and its preparations. Yet how many fevers are every year occaſioned by an imprudent uſe of them, as well as vertigos, epilepſies, and apoplexies, (frequently aſcribed to other cauſes) in plethoric habits?
From this juſt and candid information, the intelligent reader will naturally conclude, that he ought never to meddle with any of thoſe waters, without the previous advice of ſome ſkilful phyſician, who will not fail, on ſo peculiarly proper an occaſion, to inculcate and explain to him that golden precept (equally applicable to every human undertaking) of our divine maſter Hippocrates— [...].
Being ſenſible that the art of healing took its riſe from natural ſagacity improving upon accidental diſcoveries, and unforeſeen events, they did not employ their time in writing imaginary theories, and mingling falſe philoſophy with intrinſic truth; but in carefully collecting the ſimple obſervations, experiments, and caſual diſcoveries of others, even the moſt obſcure and illiterate people, and afterwards ſul jecting them to the rigid ſcrutiny of variouſly repeated trials; in making diligent obſervations and cautious experiments themſelves, and in writing pure and accurate hiſtories of diſeaſes which came under their cognizance; i. e. in diligently collecting the laws enacted by Nature, and deſcribing them in the very manner Nature ſpoke them. And if this direct though difficult route to medical certainty had been ſteadily and uniformly purſued by ſucceeding phyſicians, without deviating into the uncertain though ſmoother paths of fanciful philoſophy, or hypotheſis, (that ſpecious image of truth, that idol to which the learned ſtill bow down) or being ſeduced by the love of eaſe, and the facility of playing with the paſſions of mankind to their own private emolument, from the age of Hippocrates, down to our time, phyſic in general would have made a different appearance from what it does at preſent ["Si jam indè ab Hippocratis temporibus ad hanc noſtram uſque aetatem, (to uſe the more expreſſive language of the learned and judicious Baglivi) praeſtantiſſimae artis Studioſi, hanc quidem promovendae artis rationem conſtanter retinuiſſent, dici vix poteſt, quot quantique progreſſus hac hodiè parte haberentur. Cùm verò rem alioqui adeò neceſſariam, tam praeclaram, atque ità feliciter inſtitutam reliquerint, ut ſe infinitis, et (ut apoſtoli verbis utar) interminatis quaeſtionibus, et [...] implicarent, aliam afferre cauſam non poſſum, quàm offenſi, ac ulciſcentis Numinis iram. Hoc ſanè, vel invitus fatebitur, quiſquis in aetatem hanc noſtram oculos conjecerit; cùm enim caeterae omnes quâ diſciplinae, quā artes, non ſolùm in priſtinum ſplendorem reſtitutae ſuerint, ſed in dies magis magiſque excultae, noviſque inventis ornatae floreant; ſola Medicinae praxis, neſcio quo ſato, maxime ſui parte jaceat, et, quod maximè dolendum, vilior quotidie apud indoctos evadat Quod cur ita ſit, (proceeds this Hippocratic phyſician) id unum in cauſâ eſſe arbitror, quod objervationum unde [...]rs praeſtantiſſima effecta fuerat, ratione contemplatâ, lyſtematis, et hypotheſibus prorſus indulſerint; non tàm de cognoſcendis, curandiſque morbis, quàm quo pacto eorum probabilem rationem redderent, ſolliciti. Ex quo fit, ut, in maximam humani generis perniciem, et Medic [...]nae dedecus, non jam tutiſſima Artis praeſcripta, ſed proprii ingenii commenta conſulant."] and the Materia Medica, one of the moſt eſſential parts of it, in particular, would not have now been, what every experienced, honeſt phyſician knows and laments, more confuſed, precarious, and uncertain, than any other branch of ſcience.
During a courſe of experimental inquiries into the peculiar and diſtinct medicinal properties of vegetables, that is, their real effects, diſting uiſhed from the operations of Nature unaſſiſted, in the human body, (proſecuted for upwards of twenty years, in the manner originally, and hitherto almoſt ſolely, practiſed by Dioſcorides) the author is not aſhamed to own, that he has, with uncommon aſſiduity, and no inconſiderable trouble and expence, ſought every poſſible means of informing himſelf of the traditional knowledge, and empirical practice, of the common people; and from this ſource alone he has drawn more real aſſiſtances, in aſcertaining the medicinal powers of ſimples, than from the moſt famous modern herbals; in which, not one in forty (innumerable experiments warrant the aſſertion) will anſwer the character it beart, and many are ſtill celebrated for a thouſand divine virtues, that are ſcarcely endued with one valuable property.—The merit of Dioſcorides's Herbal (meaning his GENUINE work; for the writer has abundant reaſon to ſuſpect, that many ſpurious articles, miſnomers, and falſe de [...]riptions hitherto unnoticed, have been foiſted into it ſince his time) muſt have been of a very different complexion.—What Petronius ſays of the celebrated philoſopher Democritus, namely, that he lived and died in the midſt of experiments, may, with ſtrict truth, be applied to this indefatigable author of medical botany: For, we are aſſured, that he advanced nothing in his Materia Medica, but what was confirmed to him by real experiments. The laſt experiment he made was upon an highly deleterious plant: The doſe proved too ſtrong for his conſtitution; and he expired in the very act of deſcribing its effects upon himſelf, and the ſymptoms it produced.—If this poiſonous plant was, as hath been ſuppoſed, a ſpecies of the wolf's bane, it was moſt probably that with the blue belmet flower,—univerſally deemed by the ancients one of the rankeſt vegetable poiſons.
The induſtrious Linnaeus, ſpeaking of the yellow wolf's bane—Flor. Lappon. p. 179. No. 221.—tells the following ſtory—"As I was travelling in the northern parts of Sweden, early in the ſpring, I met with a poor woman who was gathering the leaves of this plant [aconitum folits peltatis multifidis liſpidis, petalo ſupremo cylindracio]: When I aſked her for what uſe ſhe gathered thoſe leaves, ſhe replied, that they were to be caten. Being deſirous to adviſe her better, for I thought ſhe was not acquainted with the herb, and might miſtake it for a ſpecies of the geranium or crane's-bill, called gratia Dei, which it greatly reſembles; I intreated her, in a very ſerious manner, not to deſtroy herſelf by eating a moſt deadly poiſon. She ſmiled at my apprehenſions for her, and told me that ſhe was very well aſſured of being right in her choice of the herb, and that ſhe with the reſt of her neighbours had eaten of it for a great many years. I went to her cottage, where ſhe cut the plant ſhe had gathered into ſmall ſhreds, and boiled it with a little piece of fat meat, and made a ſoup with the ingredients, on which herſelf, her huſband, two children, and an old woman, made an hearty meal; and, what I own greatly ſurprized me, without any damage or bad conſequence. And thus it happens, ſays this diligent explorer of Nature, that THINGS ARE FREQUENTLY DISCOVERED BY TEMERITY, WHICH REASON MIGHT NEVER HAVE INVESTIGATED."
Notwithſtanding this remarkable inſtance of the harmleſs effects of the leaves of this plant when young and tender, it appears from the real experiments made by Matthiolus upon condemned malefactors with its root alone, that the fatal effects of it could not be prevented by any antidotes he was acquainted with. —The moſt effectual corrector of vegetable poiſons in general the writer has yet found out, in the courſe of his experiments, is a pure vegetable acid, or vinegar of wood; the proceſs for obtaining which was originally publiſhed by Glauber, (an ingenious chymiſt, but a wretched philoſopher) in the firſt part of his Philoſophical Furnaces, where he ſhews profeſſedly how to diſtil an acid ſpirit or vinegar from all vegetables, in great quantity, and at a ſmall expence.
Notwithſtanding the boundleſs ſtrife of opinions that unhappily attended phyſic after the death of its great parent Hippocrates, the ancient pharmacy ſtill preſerved its footing, in ſome degree, as likewiſe the Hippocratic doctrine, till this arch-craftſman of the profeſſion had the cunning and addreſs to demoliſh the whole, calling it, in deriſion, 'a meditation upon death.'—He made the whole materia medica to conſiſt only of ſuch things as would give eaſe, and exhilerate the ſpirits of the patient: Nay, in certain caſes he adminiſtered to the luxury of his patients, and indulged them in the uſe of wine, even to intoxication. This flattering of the palate, in conjunction with his new amuſive inventions, and a lucky accident of his diſcovering ſome ſigns of life in a man that was carrying to be buried, whom he ſoon recovered, and whom the people were perſuaded to believe he had raiſed from the dead, conſpired to make him the ſupreme archiater of thoſe times; and what ſtill farther contributed to eſtabliſh him in this elevated ſtation, was his having publicly challenged the Fates, by conſtantly declaring that he ſhould never be viſited by any bodily diſtemper. Nay, Pliny the hiſtorian informs us, he held diſeaſes and prematurity of death ſo much in defiance, that he would frequently, amongſt his acquaintances, offer to lay any wager, and even to ſtake his whole fortune, that he ſhould never be ſick, as in fact he never was, not even at the time of his death; for that he broke his neck by a fall down a pair of ſtairs.
From this paſſage in Galen, Sanctorius undoubtedly took the firſt hint of his ſtatical experiments for aſcertaining the daily waſte of the animal fluids, made by the outlets of the external ſuperficies of the body, and by the lungs: But it is impoſſible to aſcertain the quantity of this waſte, without knowing, at the ſame time, the quantity of moiſture, &c. abſorbed or imbibed by the pores of the ſkin and lungs; which Sanctorius did not advert to: For the author of this, after violent exerciſe in riding, notwithſtanding a great expence of perſpirable matter, and no food taken, has, in certain conſtitutions of the air and atmoſphere, facilitating the cutaneous immiſſions, often found himſelf, by moſt exact ſtatical experiments, many ounces, ſometimes twenty and upwards heavier than he was before. Hence it appears, that all we can with certainty diſcover, reſpecting the quantity of ſanctorian perſpiration, by experiments of this kind, is, the difference between the exhalata and the inhalata, that is, between the perſpirable matter we exhale from the pores of the ſkin and lungs, and whatever we imbibe or inhale through the ſame: For exhalation and inhalation ſo confound each other as to render it impoſſible to aſcertain the exact quantity of either; as the author purpoſes, in a ſhort time, to demonſtrate more at large to the medical reader.