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any reason, after more mature reflection and more extended experience, to recede. On the contrary, I hope that the facts which I am about to bring forward in the course of my present undertaking will go far toward establishing them beyond controversy.
I might continue to rest the proof of them upon the phenomena of the cancer, as my observations on that disease have been confirmed both by myself and others, since the publication of my “Reports” on that subject. Persons of very narrow information are ready to allow that any manner of living, which is found useful in the cancer, would probably be beneficial in other chronic diseases likewise ; and that it would afford a satisfactory proof of the general superior salubrity of the proposed method. But as the prejudices of mankind are deeply rooted and widely extended, and the views, that different individuals take of the same subject, are infinitely various from the education, habits of thinking, or capacities of each, I have thought it may be useful to take a wider circuit. I have therefore thrown together such materials as appeared to me connected with the end I had in view. They will serve, I hope not inaptly, as an introduction to the cases which it is my principal object to relate, and will perhaps prepare the mind, in some degree, for the conclusions I propose to draw, by show. ing that the opinions which I have adopted may be supported by many collateral facts, and are by no means at variance with those of men of the most respectable authority.
It is surely in favor of these opinions, in general, that they are fundamentally in unison with the plain, unsophisticated, common sense of mankind. Though hardly any two men agree with regard to the salubrity of particular things, yet all are convinced of the general importance of the subject. That our diseases have an intimate connection with our habits, is allowed by all who have ever paid any attention to the subject. Some facts are so flagrant, that they force themselves upon the most heedless. Does any one dispute that luxury and intemperance enervate the mind, and destroy the body? that there is an essential difference between the peasant of the country and the artisan of the city ? that, to possess a hardy and healthy body, it is necessary to adopt hardy and healthy modes of life? The influence of some customs becomes evidently imprinted on the features, and gives a character to the form and physiognomy. Who can mistake the lineaments of habitual drunkenness? The first questions, put by the valetudinarian to his medical adviser, are-Is this wholesome? is that wholesome ? and, how ought I to regulate my diet? Though on no subject whatever do there exist more deep prejudices, and, as I think, more pernicious errors, there are none concerning which many indi-. viduals are more seriously engaged in searching after the truth.
The venerable authority of the father of medicine may be adduced in support of the same doctrine; external causes being acknowledged by Hippocrates to have the greatest influence upon health and disease. He attributed much to the air; and on this subject he entertained ideas which were sufficiently correct. The spreading of epidemic diseases he attributed to the operation of some morbific exhalation, or miasma, corrupting the atmosphere. Sleeping and watchfulness; exercise and repose; the matters secreted, or retained within the body; andthe dominion of the passions, were severally enumerated by this ancient philosopher as powerful agents upon the human frame. Regimen, in the most extensive sense of the word, includes the totality of these agents.
Hippocrates considered man to be, as the plants and animals by which he is surrounded, a product of the soil upon which, he grows, and as having his qualities modified by the circumstances in which he is placed. He observed that nations had, like individuals, their characteristic physiognomy; and he taught that the forms and manners of men must be consonant to the character of the country which they inhabit. In support of this doctrine, he contrasted the Asiatics with the Europeans. His words are: “I say that there is a great difference between Asia and Europe, both with regard to the productions of the soil, and also the men. All the productions of Asia are more beautiful, and of a larger growth: for the climate is much milder than ours, and the manners of the natives more kind and cultivated. The cause of these phenomena is the constitution of the seasons; for Asia is placed toward the rising of the sun, removed from the cold. This, of all circumstances, tends to produce increase and mildness, since there is no predominant power to divert the course of nature, but an equality of force is prevalent throughout.
- This is not the case, however, throughout the whole of Asia : the inland parts, which are equally remote from the heat and the cold, are the most fertile, the best wooded, the finest, and watered the best by the rains or by rivulets. Thus it is neither burnt up by the heat, nor dried up from want of water, nor condensed by the cold; but it is fanned by southerly winds, and moistened both by rains and snow. Hence (as might be expected) the plants are abundant, whether ised by man, or
growing spontaneously: upon the fruits of which the inhabitants subsist, improving them by culture and transplantation. The cattle will be of a larger growth, more prolific, and the offspring more beautiful. The men are well nourished, of the finest forms, and the largest stature, and with little individual differences in these respects.”
The Europeans, on the other hand, are depicted by Hippocrates as differing much more among themselves, both in their stature and form ; which he attributes to their variable climate, exposed to great vicissitudes of heat and cold, of rains and droughts, and the inconstancy of the winds; from the cooperation of which the body is exposed to perpetual changes. These circumstances would undoubtedly produce a more robust frame, greater energy and activity, and a more adventurous spirit. But Hippocrates was perfectly aware of the powerful effect of political institutions upon the moral character. While, therefore, he attributes, in some degree, to the relaxing effects of the climate the timidity, effeminacy, and unwarlike spirit of the Asiatics, as compared to the Europeans, he ascribes still more to their institutions. “Almost all Asia,” he says, “is under the dominion of absolute monarchs; a condition which, by necessity, engenders cunning, selfishness, and pusillanimity: the Europeans, on the other hand, possess liberty and property, living under the safeguard of laws; which produces a character marked by boldness, pride, and independence." ..
I cannot resist the temptation of quoting another of the examples by which this great man has illustrated the principles he has inculcated. It is taken from the same treatise from which the foregoing remarks have been extracted, a treatise which has been justly esteemed one of the most precious relics of antiquity. It seems to have furnished to the author of the “Spirit of Laws” the basis on which he raised the superstructure of his immortal work.
“I will add a few words concerning the inhabitants of the Phasis. Their country is marshy, warm, and thick-set; much rain falls during every season. The inhabitants live in the marshes, having houses made of wood, or of reeds, constructed among the waters ; so they walk very little, except when they go to the city and market; but they sail up and down in boats, made out of a single piece of wood. There are many ditches ; and they drink hot and stagnant waters, putrefied by the sun, and increased by the rain. The Phasis itself is, of all rivers, one whose course is the most sluggish. All the fruits of country are unwholesome, without strength, and crude,
the superabundance of water; nor do they ever ripen. Many fogs from the waters cover the face of the country.
“For these causes, the inhabitants of the Phasis are, in their appearance, different from other men. Their size is large, their bodies corpulent; the joints of their limbs are not visible, nor the veins; their color is pallid, as if suffering under jaundice; they speak the slowest of all men, living in a dull, obscure, and moist atmosphere; and they are in their bodies slothful, and unfit for labor. *
This is, perhaps, an extreme case; but there is strong internal evidence that the description is, in its principal features, taken from nature. The same causes, at this day, produce similar effects; as is experienced in our hundreds of Essex; in Walcheren, Beveland, and in Zealand—a country which is surrounded by the oozy and slimy branches of the eastern and western Scheld. The mass of the people are, in such situations, unhealthy, dull, bloated, and leucophlegmatic.
Nor is any truth more fully acknowledged by those who have taken an extended survey of human nature, than that the various races of men have their specific and characteristic forms; so that the exprienced eye can pronounce, from simple inspection, the race or country to which any individual belongs. Philosophers may not have determined, with perfect exactness, all the circumstances which modify the system, and impress upon it its peculiarities. Some of them, perhaps, have, as yet, eluded their research. That climate, including, in the term, all the circumstances peculiar to each particular situation, is of great efficacy, has never been doubted. The changes which are produced in the frame, either by an animal being brought up in a particular spot, or by its being transplanted to it, are not confined to the human race: the brutes equally partake of them; they affect alike the whole animated creation.
* The people described by Hippocrates in this passage, were those who inhabited the modern Mingrelia. According to the relation of an Italian traveler, there is a great similitude between the present and the ancient inhabitants. He says of them, “Very few of them reach a sound old age. Disease of the spleen is universal, which, not being treated with proper remedies in time, always terminates in dropsy. The tertian and quartan ague is so familiar, that, esteeming them nothing at all, even in the time of the paroxysm, the people follow their usual occupations. In the autumn, the quotidian is a universal malady. Catarrh and asthma are apt to suffocate men of mature years; jaundice and lethargy prove fatal to others."-Lamberti, Relatione della Colchide, oggi della Mengrellia cap. 27, p. 193.
CHAPTER II. Opinions of Hippocrates concerning Food, and the use of Diluents; that ‘of Van Swieten.-General doctrine of Hippocrates on the effects of Water. Opinion of Hoffman ; of M. Cabanis.-Cullen's opinion ex
amined.-Some additional considerations on Water. Such was the general doctrine of Hippocrates on the antecedent causes of health and disease, and those things which principally affect and modify the human system. But of all the circumstances, the influence of which it is necessary to appreciate, Hippocrates considered diet as by far the most important; and, under this term, he included all the matters used in the ordinary manner of living, namely, food, whether fish, flesh, milk, or vegetables; wine, and other fermented liquors; and water. He has declared in general, with regard to the qualities of food—“Whoever gives these things no consideration, and is ignorant of them, how can he understand the diseases of men? for, by every one of these, the body is affected and changed, either in one manner or in another; and of these is the whole of life composed, in health, in convalescence, and in sickness.” Another passage of the same writer is still more direct and express, and indicates, in my opinion, a wonderful sagacity in the writer, considering the time at which it was written. In treating of the generation of anasarca, he suggests that the foundation of the disease is laid in a tuberculated state of the lungs. To prove this, he refers to the same condition of the lungs in domesticated animals: the ox, the dog, and the sow. In these quadrupeds, he says, tubercles full of water are formed in the lungs: they are readily found by dissection. And he adds—"Such things are much more likely to happen in man than in animals, inasmuch as we use a more unwholesome diet.”*
* Hippocrates, Lib. De Internis Affectionibus, xxv. Hippocrates had probably seen hydatids: he says, “ the water will flow out;” which is not true of the common tubercle.
An ingenious writer, speaking of domestic animals, observes, “The diseases of domestic animals are interesting, inasmuch as they show the power of unnatural food and habits to cause a variety of disorders, and confirm the opinion that human diseases are chiefly referable to the same cause. In dissecting tame animals, I have frequently found ossifications of the soft parts and preternatural tumors; but I never remember to have found any marks of organic disease in those which might be properly called wild.”-Forster on Spirituous and Fermented Liquors, p. 50.
It may be doubted whether wild animals, living strictly according to their natural habits, suffer any constitutional disease; but the question