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form. "Certain females, suffering from the small-pox, are unable to take syrup of poppies without vertigo, vomiting, and other affections, which naturally are the affections that syrup of poppies would allay." Had he met with more instances of this kind, he might have registered them, and let them guide him in search of the great object of his pursuit-specific medicines. He might, but attached as he was to the Hippocratic method of evacuation, and the polypharmacy of Galen, allopathic practice would be the rule with him, specific the exception. He was what we should now call a bold practitioner; he made very free with the blood of his patients. He recommends blood-letting in hysteria, continued fever, pleurisy, bastard peripneumony (suffocative catarrh), rheumatism, erysipelas, quinsey; "bleed freely from the arm" in small-pox; in St. Vitus' dance, "bleed from the arm to eight ounces, more or less, according to age;" after passing a day, "blood must be drawn the next day, and the catharsis repeated; and so bleeding and purging must alternate until the third or fourth time, provided only there be sufficient time between the alternate evacuations to ensure the patient against danger," danger, evidently, of sinking from exhaustion. In like manner he bled to this point in chorea! In ophthalmia, "bleed to ten ounces; if the disease do not yield, repeat the venesection once or twice." In dysentery, diarrhoea and gripes, "bleed at once." In bilious colic, "bleed freely. If the disease have arisen from an over-free use of the fruits of the season, or from any other imprudence in food, the stomach must be washed out at once by a large draught of milk and beer. After this, an anodyne must be given. The next day a vein must be opened."2 Surely a most sanguinary treatment of a very simple disorder! In hysterical colic, "if the patient be of a sanguine temperament, and it be the first attack, blood may be taken 1 Vol. II., p. 103. 2 Ibid., p. 258.


In fluor albus, "bleed In hæmorrhoids, "bleed Hooping cough "is only


from the arm before the emetic is given." hystericus is similarly treated." from the arm to eight ounces.' to ten ounces from the arm." subdued by bleeding and repeated purging, and it is a disease otherwise most obstinate and incurable.' bleeding from the nose, "bleed frequently." In vomiting. and spitting of blood, "bleed from the right arm to ten ounces. Next morning, give the common purgative potion. Bleed, as occasion requires, once, twice, or thrice, at the intervals of a few days." On the treatment of common Mania, he says: "In young patients, bleed from the arm to eight or nine ounces once or twice, with three days between each venesection. Then bleed from the jugular vein. After this the treatment will consist wholly in the following purge, which must be given every third or fourth day until convalescence; observing only, that after the patient has been purged eight or ten times, the exhibition of the cathartic may be omitted for a week or two.”

We need go on no longer; enough has been quoted, even before the last remarkable passage; (which, if Hellebore had been stated as the purgative to be used, might have been extracted from the writings of Hippocrates ;) enough, and more than enough, is met with in turning over the practical papers of Sydenham, to justify fully the appellation of the English Hippocrates. He resembled Hippocrates in his energetic use of the lancet and the purge, and he resembled Galen in his love of compound medicines. To establish this, we may take the following prescription -want of space forbids other examples, which abound in his writings.


"Take of the leaves of common mugwort, lesser centaury, white horehound, germander, scordium, calamint, fever-few, meadow saxifrage, St. John's wort,

1 Vol. II., p. 271.

golden rod, wild thyme, mint, sage, rue, St. Benedict's thistle, pennyroyal, southern wood, chamomile, tansey, lily of the valley, (all fresh gathered and cut up small), of each a handful. Hog's lard, lb. iv.; mutton suet, lb. ij.; claret, o. ij. Soak in an earthen jar over the hot ashes for twelve hours. Then boil until the liquor is consumed. Strain and make into a liniment. Anoint the belly and hypochondres morning and evening, as well as the limbs affected, for thirty or forty days until convalescence."

Surely this is out of Galen or Dioscorides!

But where, unless, indeed, it was out of the Old Testament Scriptures,' did he get the following method of cure? It is entitled, "De Methodo Medendi Morbos, per Accubitum Junioris," and consisted in putting to bed with the patient one or more youths, to furnish vital heat. In the case of Mrs. Houlston, who, "after a chronic fever, was falling into a fatal-like diarrhoea, I caused her son, a plump, hot lad of thirteen years of age, and her nurse's son, of six or seven years, to go to bed to her naked, and to lie, the one close to her belly, the other close to her back. The very same course I took with Mr. Little, who had a fever about seven weeks, and at that time, August, 1662, was so far spent that his doctors judged him a dead man. I told his wife that nothing would preserve his life but the putting a boy to bed with him; so she procured a link-boy to lie close to him all night, and the next morning I found his fever almost off. The very same way I cured Bishop Monk's lady,”—only in this case, as the patient was the wife of a bishop, the doctor procured, not a link-boy, but a girl, who fell ill, as she thought, in consequence; but the lady recovered "very speedily both her unspiritedness and coughing." It is evi

1 "Now King David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he got no heat. Therefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin, and let her stand before the king and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that

my lord the king may get heat. So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered unto him."- 1st Book of Kings, ch. 1.


dent from various expressions he uses, that Sydenham believed the good derived from the close proximity of a healthy human body, by one in a state of great exhaustion, was due to something more than the heat imparted. The heat was not simple caloric, but animal heat and vital spirits. His views on this subject would have predisposed him, had he lived later, to investigate, and probably to accept, the doctrines of animal magnetism; so far, at least, as these have reference to the cure of disease. In short, Sydenham, this modern idol of medicine, was little better than half a heretic; as such he was regarded by the College of Physicians of his own day, who frowned on him, and did what little they could, as their wont is, to hinder his success. By so doing, it is not unlikely that they increased his popularity; and for this, as for their many acts of unconscious usefulness, they deserve the gratitude of posterity. "The great Sydenham," says Dr. Lettsom, "for all his labours only gained the sad and unjust recompense of calumny and ignominy; and that from emulation of some of his collegiate brethren and others, whose indignation at length arose to that height that they endeavoured to banish him, as guilty of medicinal heresy, out of that illustrious society,"—that is, the Royal College of Physicians. And if they had expelled him, would they not have done their duty, and no more? It is for the College of Physicians to protect the altars of the gods; it is for those who seek to overthrow the old worship and introduce a new-it may be a better, it may be a worse -to show their sincerity by running the risk of a mild course of persecution. To be abused when alive, and worshipped when dead, is one of "the orders of merit.” Sydenham was no exception; and, doubtless, when mortified at the conduct of his intolerant colleagues, he sought the refreshing society of such men as Boyle and Locke, and received from them the sympathy his own body denied him.

After all, we find a certain fitness in the title Sydenham has obtained, of the English Hippocrates. It is true, as the writer of the article in Bayle's "Biographie Universelle" observes, that the distance between the great Hippocrates and Sydenham is immense. There can be no question of equality: Hippocrates belongs to a different order of mind. But if we were to imagine the spirit of Hippocrates entered into the body of an Englishman of the seventeenth century, a genuine able-bodied, fighting, gouty, practical medical man, living at Westminster, "struggling for existence" amid ungenerous rivals, in an age of revolutions of all kinds, and much rough work and successful quackery, the result of this strange union might be a character not unlike Sydenham's, accurate in observation, daring in practice, full of self-reliance, tending to bold generalities, in which we may see the germ of aphorisms; respectful of the past, but acting strongly in the present and with rare independence; disposed withal to a fine natural piety, and a reverent acknowledgment of the divine government of the universe.

It would be pleasant to dwell on the character of Sydenham in this aspect, and to speculate what the man would have required to raise him to the position of the English Hippocrates, in the fullest sense of the appellation; of Hippocrates, developing with the cycles of the times, and combining all that is noblest in the Greek with all that is best in the English type of the human family. But cui bono? It will be more to the purpose to leave Sydenham as he is, a noble English medical man of the seventeenth century; and to consider, not what he was, but what he did.

His great success was due to the way in which he worked the new specific: of this there can be no doubt. As an ordinary practitioner, he was fond of those strong measures which are now known to be strong against life

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