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two years of age, with many swellings of this kind, the appetite for animal food was so strong that the mother thought it right to check it. In a few, there was hardly any animal food given, probably from poverty. These children appeared healthy ; but in every case, except one, they had a considerable thirst upon them.
To those who think that animal food has the smallest tendency to prevent the appearance of glandular swellings, I recommend the consideration of the following facts taken from the mouth of a patient of this institution, on whom I observed these glandular swellings on each side of the neck, and was informed that they existed also under the armpits, and in the groins.
T. L., aged twenty-one, lived till he was fourteen years old with his father, the head servant or workman in the warehouse of a wholesale druggist. Being one of a large family living on servant's wages, their diet was principally vegetables ; the family had commonly some meat on Sundays, but scarcely on any other day. Their drink was chiefly water. Under this manner of life he was without disease, but was not a strong hearty boy. At fourteen he was put apprentice to a goldsmith. Here he had meat daily, as much as he chose, for dinner; his drink was small beer, but he was allowed a little porter on Sundays. The consequence was that he improved considerably in strength and in appearance; and, as he expresses it, he thought himself becoming quite a hearty lad. This increased strength and apparently improved health lasted nearly two years. After that it began to decline. Though the diet continued unchanged, the strength diminished ; and he is certain that, now at the age of twenty-one, he is not so strong as he was three years ago, at eighteen. He is not now able to raise weights which he could do then.
Besides this, mark well the sequel. During the second year of his living on the fuller diet, while he was flattering himself that he enjoyed so much better health, these tumors above mentioned first appeared upon him. And they have continued ever since, nearly as they are at present.
We see then, first, that though the strength may be increased by animal diet, yet the increased strength may not continue though the diet be continued. On the contrary, there is a sort of oscillation, the strength first rising and then sinking again. This is what is experienced by the trainers of boxers. A certain time is necessary to get these men into condition ; but this condition cannot be maintained for many weeks together, though the process by which it was formed is continued. The same is found to hold in the training of race horses and fighting cocks. Increasing the strength, then, is no proof of salubrity of diet.
Now let us suppose this young man had had these marks of scrofula upon him while he resided at home. It would most commonly have been ascribed to the poorness of his diet; the appearance of increased health and strength upon a fuller course of living would have been brought in support of this opinion ; and it would have been probably said that if he had had the benefit of a good dinner of animal food, daily, these marks of scrofula would not have appeared. The faets, however, are in direct opposition to this supposition; for the signs of scrofula first appeared, as I have stated, when he was under the strong, est influence of the apparently beneficial change introduced by the animal food.
With equal confidence has this writer enjoined the use of animal food to prevent consumption, as he would fain persuade us. He says, “In cases where habitual weakness or the history of the family gives reason to apprehend consumption, one of the most indispensable rules of preservation is to use animal food freely. There seems no limit to the quantity, but the indications furnished by the palate, and the power of the digestive organs. More should not be given, more will not be taken than is relished.” One can hardly help staring with astonishment at seeing such directions as these; when we see examples daily of young persons becoming consumptive who never went without animal food for a single day of their lives; and consider that such is the constant habit of this country, where consumption destroys its thousands and tens of thousands.
If the use of animal food were necessary in northern latitudes to prevent consumption, we should expect that where the people lived almost entirely upon such a diet, the disease would be unknown. Now the Indian tribes, visited by Mr. Hearne, live in this manner. They do not cultivate the earth. They subsist by hunting, and the scanty produce of spontaneous vegetation. But among these tribes consumption is common. Their diseases, Mr. Hearne informs us, are principally fluxes, scurvy, and consumption. But to return to my present subject.
Scrofula, as affecting the whole constitution, is to be considered, probably, as a disease of organic power. If a bone exfoliates, for example, or a membrane loses its proper structure, as the cornea of the eye, there was probably some original organic defect. But the more common phenomenon of glandular swellings and suppurations is attributed, probably with jus
tiee, to a vitiated state, or acrimony as it is called, of the lymph. It is to be considered that the lymph is not merely the exudation into the various cavities, which is reabsorbed, but the parts of the body which, being no longer fit to continue a part of the living system, are to be eliminated and thrown out of the body. The solid parts of the body must become fluid before they are absorbed and form part of the lymph. The lymph, therefore, must be considered in part as a dead, or at least, a dying part of the system; and hence it may readily be conceived to acquire occasionally a degree of virulence or poisonous acrimony; to be alreads, as it were, cadaverous, and therefore to be irritating to the parts through which it passes.
If this be correct, the glandular swellings in scrofula are secondary symptoms. Indeed, we often see conjoined to the glandular swellings in the neck, scabs or sores upon the scalp; and the thickness of the upper lip, and tumefaction and soreness of the nostrils, are so frequent as to be esteemed a common symptom of this disease. It is not improbable, therefore, that the glandular swellings always indicate some disease of the membranes, cavities, or other organs from wbich the lymphatics originate. It is not impossible that, as we see a portion of bone perish and be thrown out of the system, so a membrane, or other soft part, may occasionally perish, and be regenerated ; it is possible that this process may take place without any external signs of it, and that during such a process the lymphatic glands may be irritated, tumefy, and suppurate.
Upon such a theory of scrofula, as this view of the phenomena points to, there is no immediate connection as cause and effect between impure water and scrofula. Impure water does not directly cause the scrofula ; nor are we to suppose the glandular swellings to be occasioned by foreign matter passing through the glands irritating and inflaming them. But the putrescent matter of water acts on the scrofulous habit as upon others; only the scrofulous habit appears to be more than commonly irritable. This matter is a depressing power; the tone of the body is diminished by its aetion; the radical powers of the fibres are either destroyed or greatly impaired; of many parts the structure is altered; of others, the very substance is destroyed. But these processes are, in no circumstances, chemical processes, but universally vital processes.
This connection has been so often asserted, that it cannot be doubted that it has been really remarked, that scrofulous disorders are abundant where the water is very impure. Dr. Beddoes has furnished us with two such authorities, which I
shall copy. Ile says, “ Hard, selenitic, and calcareous waters have been given out by respectable observers for a cause of scrofula. M. de Luc, for instance (Lettres, I. 17), remarks, that where he has found incrusting or petrifying springs, there the people were scrofulous.” The following passage is anonymous : “Quod vere assertum, licet ad strumas potissimum endemias pertineat, nullus tamen dubito tales aquas etiam diatheseos scrofulosæ evolutionem promovere, malumque augere posse. Gottingæ scrofulæ frequentissimæ sunt; aquæ vero ibidem scaturientes calcareis particulis insigniter abundant." 5. But though the facts be granted, there appears an error in the mode of conceiving the operation of impure water. As I have said, impure water does not cause scrofula specifically, but impure water excites and brings into action the diseased propensities of the constitution, whatever they may be, which propensities, but for the application of this morbific power, might have continued dormant and quiescent.
These truths will, perhaps, be more evident by considering the particulars of the following case. I have already brought it forward as a proof of the quickness with which an ulcerated surface feels the substitution of pure to common water. The further contemplation of the phenomena enlarged, and, in a measure, corrected the opinions I had formed when I published the former facts concerning it.
I have noticed, at p. 170 of my “Reports on Cancer,” a lad named John Milner, a miserable object from an inveterate scrofula. I have there described the case. I shall here, therefore, produce only some of the facts which appeared during the course of the treatment. .
This lad had a large ulcer on his arm. Under the regimen (which was undertaken October 19, 1808), on November 31st this ulcer ceased to discharge, and in a week or two more it cicatrized. - But during the following year the cicatrix often gave way, the part became sore, and again discharged, and in
a few days again healed. The same event took place in Feb• ruary, 1810, after which time the sore healed completely, and
This state of the glands appeared occasioned by a diseased state of the scalp, on which there were several sores and scabs. It extended in some measure to the eye and eyelids. More than once, about this period, they inflamed, and the eyelids tumefied so much as.to close, for a time, the eyes.
The regimen had upon this boy the same effect as on the last subject. The ulcers were quickly dried up, and they soon began to cicatrize. In half a year, the boy was able to leave off all the coverings about his neck; and all the ulcers were completely healed, except that which had been so deep. In two or three more months, this became well also; and nothing remained but a redness about the parts. The scabs, however, continued upon the scalp. They, no doubt, afterward came off, but when I cannot exactly say.
This boy was very refractory, and discontented with the restraints imposed upon him. At the end of the twelvemonth, therefore, the regimen was given up. The boy, however, continued well, as I saw, at least a year and a half after, since which time I have lost sight of him.
Under these circumstances, it is probable that these ulcerations would have got well under common regimen. But it was evident that the cure was accelerated by the treatment. It can hardly be doubted that the disease of the glands was occasioned by the condition of the scalp; and it could not have been expected that they would become sound, before the integuments had recovered. But the fact was otherwise. I would not, however, infer more from this case than, first, that it shows evidently the influence of the pure water on an ulcerated surface; and secondly, that a full diet of animal food and fermented liquors, which is commonly enjoined in such cases, is, to say the least, unnecessary.
I cannot omit this opportunity of paying a small tribute of respect and gratitude to the memory of Dr. Garthshore. He was, at this time, the oldest member on the college list resident in London. To me he was wholly unknown. At a time when I was struggling in vain to obtain a few cases suited to my object; when, from the gentleman to whom I had shown the facts concerning cancer, I received, after the labor of years, a cold and reluctant, assent I cannot call it, but withholding of contradiction to the conclusions which were pressed upon me; when another practitioner, a physician of great employment, with whom I had lived from early life in fraternal familiarity, preferred putting an end to an intimacy of five-andtwenty years to supplying me with a single pauper; at this