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Entered, according to act of Congress, in the year 1849, by
FOWLERS AND WELLS,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.
STEREOTYPED BY BANER & PALMER, 201 William st., cor. of Frankfort, N. Y.
PREFACE TO THE AMERICAN EDITION.
The work which is here presented to the American public, was first published in London, under date of 1815, with the title “ Additional Reports on the Effects of a Peculiar Regimen in Cases of Cancer, Scrofula, Consumption, Asthma, and other Chronic Diseases.” I have thought better to change this name to that of “ Water and Vegetable Diet in Consumption, Scrofula, Cancer, Asthma, and other Chronic Diseases," as being more expressive of the true character of the work. I place consumption first in the list of diseases, because of its greater frequency and importance. The new title will, I am confident, be more apt to attract the eyo of casual observers than the old one, which consideration is plainly a matter that should be looked to in this day of many books.
I have also, in the following work, changed many of the technic cal or scientific terms to such as will be better understood by the generality of readers. Numerous typographical errors, and some other mistakes, which had crept into the London edition, I have also corrected. I have likewise taken the liberty of omitting many of the marginal references of the former edition, references which were, for the most part, made either to works that are not accessible to American readers, or to those of foreign languages, which also are not here to be obtained. By making these omissions (which I consider does not at all depreciate the value of the work), it has been brought into a smaller space than it otherwise could have been, and is, as a consequence, afforded at a lower price. The notes and additions which I have made in the body of the work, will be recognized by the latter initial of my name.
That the “ Vegetarian diet,” (as it is now called in England, and of which there are many followers in that country,) is destined to do yet a vast amount of good in the prevention and cure of disease, in the United States, I confidently believe. I feel myself too thankful for the great benefit I have received by adopting it for the most part during a period of nine years, to remain silent on the subject.
Many in this country have indeed already found great relief and, in not a fow instances, a perfect cure, by the adoption of vegetable
regimen. A great number have also made shipwreck of the matter, so to say, and have in the end gone from bad to worse, and so as a consequence have got no good. It is very common to find persons who tell us that some years ago, after they had suffered much in the way of indigestion, constipation, and the like, they commenced the vegetable regimen, and apparently at first with the most beneficial results. At length, however, they found that they grew worse, and that on again returning to the use of flesh meat, they improved. Now I think that in most of these cases there has been manifest error in the method of the experiment. Thus the individual was at first careful in regard to every thing relating to both quality and Icind of food; at length, however, feeling an increase of tone and vigor in the digestive organs, and at the same time a great improvement in the keenness of appetite and relish for food, he took, insensibly and by degrees, to overdoing in quantity; a practice which it should ever be remembered is a violation of the most important of all dietetic rules. In the use of saccharine matter especially, have the “ Vegetarians" committed error in the United States. It is far better to partake of a proper meal of plain vegetables and flesh meat than to eat a variety of rich, concentrated, and highly sweetened articles, as many have been in the habit of doing.
" Vegetarianismhas hitherto been presented to Americans as a means of preventing rather than of curing disease. This work, then, brings the matter up in a new aspect. And surely any method, however simple it may be, which promises any relief whatever, in so grave maladies as those of which it treats, merits the candid consideration of every friend of his race.
The perusal of this work will lead many, doubtless, to the conclusion, that if such striking benefits as are here described are to be gained by attention to diet alone, how much greater may wo not look for in combining the waler-treatment with the course pointed out. I therefore recommend that all who make the experiment of vegetable diet, pursue at the same time a course of bathing, with an observance of good hygienic habits generally, such as are recommended in water-cure. The experiment will thus bo much easier borne, and its benefits rendered greater.
PREFACE TO THE LONDON EDITION.
In offering to the public these “Additional Reports," I fulfill the resolution I announced, when I published my “Reports on Cancer," of continuing to present to the public what I should think most interesting and important on the same subject. It will be seen that many of the facts, which I now bring forward, have been in my possession, even for a series of years; and I have felt no small repugnance at suffering them to remain useless to myself and others. To withhold from society facts regarding health, is a sort of felony against the common rights of human nature. But I have found that little good is to be done by producing solitary cases. I have, therefore, deferred this publication till I could obtain a body of facts concurring to the same end; and which, I hope, may possess some influence upon public opinion. I was, moreover, anxious to put the correctness of my assertions beyond the reach of doubt or suspicion. Circumstances beyond my control have forced me to consumo much more time than such an object really required. But, having at length effected it, I am conscious that whatever depends upon myself has been now accomplished.
The statements, which occupy the first part of these sheets, are drawn, for the most part, from very common sources of information; and the reader, therefore, is not to look for any thing like originality in them. But the inferences from these statements, though sufficiently obvious, are certainly not duly impressed upon the minds of men. It is to these, therefore, that I would more particularly direct the attention of reflecting persons.
I have purposely avoided in this work all refined reasoning about the nature of the matter, which, insinuating itself into the body in unsuspected vehicles, undermines its powers, and lays the foundation of fatal diseases. It is not that I think any thing which I have formerly advanced on these subjects untenable or visionary. In fact, the more I have considered the subject, the more have I been convinced of the general correctness of the opinions I have delivered. But several experiments which I have made are still unfinished;
other employment, particularly the attention due to this publication, having occupied my time. When I have completed the inquiries in which I am engaged, I shall probably publish them in a separate form. This may be more useful than blending matters more strictly scientific with things designed for the general reader and common utility.
I may take this opportunity of saying that I believe I have spoken too hastily, when I said, in the following work, that in certain very healthy situations, “probably not a tenth part of those born," die before two years of age. It rather appears by bills of mortality, that even in those places where the general health is so good, that one half the born live to mature age, still the great mass of mortality is in very early life. This error, however, does not materially influence the reasoning of the text.
The testimonies, which I have received from several correspondents, give me the satisfaction of knowing that my former attempts to direct mankind to the consideration of regimen have not been wholly lost. It would have better suited with my habits of feeling, to have suppressed the expressions of kindness contained in somo of them, that are merely personal. But I have thought it improper to withhold what conveys, perhaps, the most lively image of the sentiments of the writers. I have, therefore, given what has come to my hands without mutilation; and must content myself with hereby returning my thanks to the writers for these marks of their esteem. By the facts which they have conveyed to me, they have conferred a considerable obligation on me; but eventually, I believe, a much greater service on the public.
2. King's Road, Bedford Row,
25th March, 1815.