Annals of the British Homoeopathic Society, and of the London Homeopathic Hospital.
London : Triibner and Co. NewYork : – Boericke and Tafel.
WE have received a copy of the above Annals, and, as we are not members of either institution, we presume that it has been sent to us by the publishers for the purpose of being reviewed.
We have read the articles in these Annals, and we regret our inability to find anything of HAHNEMANN or of his Homoeopathy in them; and if there be anything of the latter, it is so attenuate, so infinitesimal, that it is really nowhere, unless it is to be found in a paper by Dr. Duncan Matheson, recording an extremely interesting case of Membranous Dysmenia, cured by either Belladonna or Mercurius; but which of them, the thrice-accursed system of routine‑ alternation alone knows, and on being questioned, remains dumb. Without entering further into the merits or demerits of this brilliant cure–for brilliant it is, and it is a mighty triumph or Homoeopathy to have cured an all but incurable affection; an affection which Allopathicians hitherto have failed to find any remedy for—we are inclined to think that if Dr. Matheson had given a single dose of Mercurius-vivus high, and the higher the better—and repeated it at long intervals, only when each dose had seemingly exhausted itself—we should have had a cure worthy of HAHNEMANN himself, and there would then have been no doubt about the relative value of Mercurius and Belladonna in effecting the cure in this as well as in all similar cases. By « similar cases « we do not mean cases of membranous dysmenia, but cases of the kind, with similar symptoms, conditions, and concomitants. We have a case of the kind in process of cure, but neither Belladonna nor Mercurius is at all indicated.
In a future number we hope to be able to give full particulars.
It may be thought that we have been rather sweeping in our criticism of the Annals of the British Homoeopathic Society, and we had somewhat of a fit of remorse of conscience deserving of a dose of Ars. or Puls., a fear lest our « prentice hand » had been prematurely raised in judging our neighbors; but, on turning to page 282, great was our relief when we found our views in every way corroborated by our old friend of the Lancet, and of the daily papers notoriety. In an address delivered before the Annual Assembly of the Society, the Vice-President, Dr. Wyld, on reviewing the transactions of the year, writes as follows :
« On analyzing these nine papers and the discussions which followed, we find this: One paper only was purely (?) homoeopathic; five nights were devoted to the exclusion of homoeopathic subjects, being occupied by the considerations concerning Heat, Electricity, Vaccination, Pelvic Pathology, and Muscular Movements, and the remaining three nights were devoted to the discussion of subjects involving mixed homoeopathic and general treatment. »
Dr. Wyld goes on to illustrate the text, « Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee », and says : « This analysis is an interesting commentary on our recent discussions as to the expression I presumed to use in the Lancet, when I said that we supplemented our practice by the frequent use of auxiliaries. The analysis, indeed, would almost go to show that our Society is as much a Society of broad-minded physicians as of exclusive homoeopaths. Indeed, so far as I know, there is not one member of this Society who is exclusively a Homoeopathist. We are rather a Society of educated medical men, only too happy to enrich our therapeutics from every available source, proving the truth of the saying, ‘Men are usually better than their creed’ » We cannot resist the temptation, to close our quotation from this distinguished Vice-President of the British Homœopathic Society, A.D. 1877, with the following elegant and classical photo of a British Homoeopathician : “I may add, that every member of this Society, when, on a cold day, he warms first his front and then his back at the fireside, so far gives a priori and a posteriori reasons for not being a Homoeopathist!” Then why? great reason why? call yourselves « The British Homoeopathic Society », when, by your Vice-President’s open confession, you are the broadest Eclectics—and eight-ninths anything but Homœopathic, the remaining ninth paper being said to be, by Dr. Wyld, « purely homoeopathic « minus the Belladonna? As further criticism would spoil the effect, we proceed to examine some of the other papers in a cursory manner. And first, as to Dr. Drury’s paper on « Inoculation and Vaccination », and, par excellence, his Origin of Vaccinia in the Cow.
Dr. Drury is very particular in giving us the classical derivation of « Inoculation »; but he has failed to give us a true picture of its essential nature; and, what is more, we are not aware that its true position in the Practice of Medicine is anywhere given. Inoculation of Small-pox, which is Variolation, and Syphilization, are identical processes, and, so far as we are aware, are not, at this present moment, anywhere practised, except by way of experiment, or from ignorance—and no wonder, as they are the only two specimens known of genuine Isopathy—an attempt to cure a disease by its own materies morbi, “a house divided against itself.” As we shall devote an article to the subject of « The Bugbear Isopathy » in our quarterly contributions on High-potencies, we shall say no more on the subject of Inoculation, the more so as it is now only of historical interest, being deservedly shelved.
Dr. Drury commences his remarks on Vaccination by stating that he believes as fact that which is only a hypothesis, a mere phantom of some one’s imagination. Dr. Drury is not the discoverer or inventor of this hypothesis; it is a joint-stock affair of officers of State. Men high in authority hold, promulgate, and act upon the same phantom of their imaginations, and deal destruction all around, empowered and licensed to do so by Act of Parliament.
Dr. Drury says that cow-pox is modified small-pox, which undergoes no further modification by being conveyed back again to the human subject. It « produces in the individual genuine cow-pox, and protects the recipient from an attack of small-pox, as efficiently as any lymph can do. » We may be wrong, but we cannot take in a particle of this. The cow-pox of Jenner was obtained by inoculating the pus and lymph, or their spiritual aromas, from the disease called « grease » in the horse, and never from Variola in man. We quote from Jenner’s work, published in 1798, where he says : « There is a disease to which the horse is frequently subject; the farriers term it the grease. It is an inflammation and swelling in the heel, from which issues matter possessing properties of a very peculiar kind, which seems capable of generating a disease in the human body, after it has undergone the modification of passing through the body of the cow, a disease which bears so ‘strong a resemblance to the small-pox, that I think it highly probable it may be the source of that disease. » Jenner further informs us that the « genuine » cow-pox was most probably developed as follows : « Several horses belonging to the farm began to have sore heels, which Merret (stableman) frequently attended. The cows soon became affected with the cow-pox, he having assisted in milking the cows. » Dr. Jenner continues : « Simon Nicholas lived as a servant with Mr. Bromedge. He was employed in applying dressings to the sore heels of one of his master’s horses, and, at the same time, assisted in milking the cows; the cows became affected in consequence. »
The above is a very different account of the « origin » of cowpox from that given by Dr. Drury, and it seems, to our judgment, a little more « genuine. » What confidence can we place in Dr. Drury as an authority on Vaccination when he builds upon a hypothesis destitute of facts. In fact, upon a lie.
“A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring;
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.”
Although Dr. Drury has neither legs nor ground to stand upon, he advances the statement that this same « genuine cow-pox », got from inoculating cows with small-pox lymph, « protects the recipient from an. attack of small-pox. » What does Dr. Drum make of the immense mortality from Variola of those who have been vaccinated with his « genuine cow-pox « ? to say nothing of the still greater number who must have taken the disease in the recent epidemic, and escaped death? Where, we ask, is Dr. Drury’s « protection of the recipient from an attack of small-pox »? We have ample evidence of Vaccination and of Compulsory Vaccination, but we have no more proof of the stamping-out process than we have of the end of the world.
If Dr. Jenner believed that cow-pox and small-pox were « identical », why did he not say so? His words are, « so strong a resemblance to the small-pox. » To be identical, they must not only be so in appearance, but in cause and in essence. Why does Dr. Drury quote Aitken instead of Jenner? One might as justly quote Drury instead of HAHNEMANN! (Note, page 222.)
We are glad to see that Dr. Wyld has sound views on the capability of spreading small-pox among human beings, by putting Dr. Drury’s hypothesis into practice. Instead of Vaccination, we have VARIOLATION, and there can be no doubt about it; the names of Dr. Seaton, Dr. Ceeley, and the late Sir John Cordy Burrows, to the contrary notwithstanding. They who sow the wind must expect to reap the whirlwind. There is not a doubt about it, that through this fatal mistake we are now sowing small-pox broadcast; and we must reap small-pox, and, what is worst of all, nolens volens the law compels medical men, and the public by the advice of medical men, to ruin their ‘children and future generations in the sacred name of medicine —which is a liberal profession; most liberal! We know it to our cost! We are strongly of opinion that, at this present moment, three-fourths, if not all, the so-called Vaccine-lymph in this country, is Variolous matter passed through the cow—and this is VACCINIA !
In the discussion which followed, we find a sensible remark from Dr. Dyce Brown) who is always « to the front », or nowhere. He says, « The more closely it is examined, the more clearly it is seen that Vaccinia and Variola are not the same disease, or modifications of one another, but are diseases distinct, though very closely resembling one another. This, then, easily accounts for the protective power of Vaccination » (not Variolous-Vaccination —Reviewer) « in small-pox, on the principle of similars. Dr. Brown thought the principle should be carried still further, and that small-pox should be treated with vaccine lymph, properly diluted, and given internally. » Why not give from one to three or four doses of Vaccinum, or of Variolinuin, high? We believe it has been stated on good authority, that if three or four doses of Variolinum, Cm. or Mm. (Swan), have been given, at intervals of a week, to an infant before its first vaccination, it will not take, and, what is more, it is much more likely to be immune, so far as Variola is concerned, than if vaccinated. There can be no difficulty in putting so simple an experiment to the test, even upon a large scale, and, for our part, we shall only be too happy to give every publicity to the results, for and against. This is not Isopathy, but the Homoeopathy of the Master, as we shall show by and by.
Dr. Wyld, also, during the discussion, gave it as his opinion that blood only, and not lymph, can convey the poison of syphilis. We quite agree with Dr. Drury in combating this plausible error. Dr. Wyld must have seen a vast amount of disease in his day, and possibly a good deal of syphilis. Knowing this to be the case, we confidently ask him how many cases of chancre of the glans and preputium penis, as also of the vulvae, has he seen, where there was not one drop of blood, or even of liquor sanguinis, drawn or lost at the time, or soon after the impure coitus? aye, where there was not even the slightest abrasion of the surface? If Dr. Wyld has not seen such cases, we have. The lymph, the liquor sanguinis, contains the poison in quite as potent a form as the blood corpuscles. At the same time, we agree with Dr. Wyld, « that a Government which rendered vaccination compulsory, was in duty bound to supply a lymph with total freedom from syphilis », and other animal poisons, more or less inherent in every human being. How they are to effect it is another matter. One thing is certain. Vaccination is a curse, Variolation is worse, and Compulsory Vaccination and Revaccination, or rather Variolation and revariolation, are worser and worser. In a future number we shall give more fully our views on this subject, which is one of the greatest national importance, and one not to be trifled with.
Dr. Dyce Brown’s paper is a Case of Spinal Paralysis, occurring during Pregnancy, and which, Dr. Wyld remarked, has no pretensions to being of a Homoeopathic character. Dr. Brown says, « I should not waste time with Phosphorus, Nux Vomica, Strychnia, or Arsenic », all of which, however, he used. How can it be a waste of time to give a simillimum? It ‘is a waste of time to give medicines for paralysis, such as Physostigma, Curare, Strychnia, and such like, which correspond to the single symptom of paralysis. The remedy must correspond to the patient, and not to the disease only; and the characteristics of the remedy must correspond to the characteristics of the patient. The paralysis is the effect, and not the cause; one might as well treat death itself as treat the paralysis alone.
Dr. Hughes, in his selection of remedies, is not any happier or the least more strictly homoeopathic than Dr. Brown, namely, Plumbum, Phosphorus, Arsenic, and Mercury, as he fails to individualize, but generalizes them, as an Old-School Teacher would, under the Brown-Sequard-physiological creed, because they » affected the nutrition of the cord. » With all deference to our teachers, this is not by any means the teaching of HAHNEMANN, and instead of it being an improvement on the Master, it is the very reverse. Hence the utter impossibility of Dr. Brown and Dr. Hughes ever agreeing upon the simillimum, a desideratum they are never likely to find by any other process than that of HAHNEMANN.
The space at our command forbids further extension of this review. Let us hope and trust that next year we shall have the pleasure of praising, instead of finding fault; let us hope that, rather than sit under a false title, the members will have altered the name of the Society to « The British Eclectic Medical Society », a much more true and becoming title. We are not at all astonished, nor do we find fault with the « Quadrilateral », for the honorable and magnanimous manner in which they strove to strike their colors. It showed an honesty of purpose to which they are fully entitled, but which no one, alas! his given them credit for. They may have felt that they were sailing under false colors, and they desired to pull them down; but the tyranny of numbers, which is always with the majority, said, « You shall do no such thing! we know better than you what is good for you! Read The Lancet; prescribe opiates, aperients, and tonics; mineral waters and other ‘frequent auxiliaries’; and, to make‑ believe, give powders of Saccharum lactis; do whatever you like; but, for the sake of goodness, and peace, and good-fellowship, and all that sort of thing, do not strike your colors; keep up the name, if it were only for the honor of the family.' »All this sounds bad; the law of correspondences is a universal law, and the only law of cure.
The title « Homoeopathy » was given by HAHNEMANN to an EXCLUSIVE system of medicine; and anyone who joins it should make up his mind beforehand to practice it exclusively. If he cannot do so, then let him take Punch’s advice to those about to marry— « Don’t ! »