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lieved it to be a kill or cure system. I fan- ic at bed-time, cease to require these aids cied it must be a very violent remedy-that to life, as if by a charm. Nor this alone. it doubtless might effect great and magical Men to whom mental labor has been a necures—but that if it failed it might be fatal. cessary-who have existed on the exciteNow, I speak not alone of my own case, but ment of the passions and the stir of the inof the immense number of cases I have seen tellect—who have felt, these withdrawn, the -patients of all ages-all species and gene- prostration of the whole system--the lock ra of disease—all kinds and conditions of to the wheel of the entire machine-return constitution, when I declare, upon my hon- at once to the careless spirits of the boy in or, that I never witnessed one dangerous his first holiday symptom produced by the water-cure, wheth- Here lies a great secret; water thus skiler at Doctor Wilson's or the other Hydro- fully administered is in itself a wonderful pathic Institutions which I afterwards visit- excitement, it supplies the place of all others ed. And though unquestionably fatal con- -it operates powerfully and rapidly upon sequences night occur from gross misman- the nerves, sometimes to calm them, someagement, and as unquestionably have so oc- times to irritate, but always to occupy.curred at various establishments, I am yet Hence follows a consequence which all paconvinced that water in itself is so friendly tients have remarked—the complete repose to the human body, that it requires a very of the passions during the early stages of extraordinary degree of bungling, of igno- the cure; they seem laid asleep as if by enrance, and presumption, to produce results chantment. The intellect shares the same really dangerous; that a regular practition-rest; after a short time, mental exertion beer does more frequent mischief from the comes impossible; even the memory grows misapplication of even the simplest drugs, far less tenacious of its painful impressions, than a water doctor of very moderate expe- cares and griefs are forgotten; the sense of rience does, or can do, by the misapplica- the present absorbs the past and future; tion of his baths and friction. And here I there is a certain freshness and youth which must observe, that those portions of the pervade the spirits, and live upon the entreatment which appear to the uninitiated joyment of the actual hour. Thus the great as the most perilous, are really the safest, * agents of our mortal wear and tear—the and can be applied with the most impunity passions and the mind-calmed into strange to the weakest constitutions; whereas those rest,-Nature seems to leave the body to its which appear from our greater familiarity instinctive tendency, which is alwaystowards with them, the least startling and most innoc recovery,

All that interests and amuses is uous,t are those which require the greatest of a healthful character ; exercise, instead knowledge of general pathology and the in- of being an unwilling drudgery, becomes dividual constitution. I shall revert to this the inevitable impulse of the frame braced part of my subject before I conclude. and invigorated by the element. A series

The next thing that struck me was the of reactions is always going on-the willing extraordinary ease with which, under this exercise produces refreshing rest, the resystem, good habits are acquired and bad freshing rest willing exercise. The extrababits relinquished. The difficulty with ordinary effect which water taken early in which, under orthodox medical treatment, the morning produces on the appetite is well stimulants are abandoned, is here not wit- known amongst those who have tried it, nessed. Patients accustomed for half a even before the water-cure was thought of; century to live hard and high, wine drink- an appetite it should be the care of the skilers, spirit-bibbers, whom the regular physi- ful doctor to check into moderate gratificacian has sought in vain to reduce to a daily tion; the powers of nutrition become sinpint of sherry, here voluntarily resign all gularly strengthened, the blood grows rich strong potations, after a day or two cease and pure-the constitution is not only to feel the want of them, and reconcile them- amended—it undergoes a change. selves to water as if they had drank nothing The safety of the system, then, struck me else all their lives. Others, who have had first ;-its power of replacing by healthful recourse for years and years to medicine,

stimulants the morbid ones it withdrew, their potion in the morning, their cordial at noon, their pill before dinner, their narcot

* Doctor Wilson observed to me once, very tru. ly I think, that many regular physicians are be

ginning to own the effect of water as a stimulant, * Such as the wet-sheet packing,

who yet do not perceive its far more complicated + The plunge-bath-the Douche.

and beneficial effects as an alterative.


whether physical or moral, surprised me Persons so afflicted who try this system must next;—that which thirdly impressed me arm themselves with patience. The first efwas no less contrary to all my preconceived fects of the system are indeed usually branotions. I had fancied that whether good cing, and inspire such feelings of general or bad, the system must be one of great well-being, that some think they have only hardship, extremely repugnant and disa- to return home, and carry out the cure pargreeable. I wondered at myself to find how tially to recover. A great mistake-the al. soon it became so associated with pleasura-terative effects begin long after the bracing ble and grateful feelings as to dwell upon a disturbance in the constitution takes

-a the mind amongst the happiest passages of place, prolonged more or less, and not till existence. For my own part, despite all that ceases does the cure really begin. Not my ailments, or whatever may have been that the peculiar “crisis,” sought for so vemy cares, I have ever found exquisite plea-hemently by the German water-doctors, and sure in that sense of being which is as it usually under their hands manifested by boils were the conscience, the mirror of the soul. and eruptions, is at all a necessary part of I have known hours of as much and as viv- the cure

e—it is, indeed, as far as I have seen, id happiness as perhaps can fall to the lot of rare occurrence—but a critical action, of man; but amongst all my most brilliant not single, not confined to one period, or recollections I can recall no periods of en- one series of phenomena, is at work, often joyment at once more hilarious and serene undetected by the patient himself, during a than the hours spent on the lonely bills of considerable (and that the later) portion of Malvern-none in which nature was so the cure in most patients where the malady thoroughly possessed and appreciated. The has been grave, and where the recovery berise from a sleep sound as childhood's--the comes permanent. During this time the impatient rush into the open air, while the patient should be under the eye of his wasun was fresh, and the birds first sang—the ter-doctor. sense of an unwonted strength in every limb To conclude my own case: I staid some and nerve, which made so light of the steep nine or ten weeks at Malvern, and business, ascent to the holy spring—the delicious from which I could not escape, obliging me sparkle of that morning draught-the green then to be in the neighborhood of town, I terrace on the brow of the mountain, with continued the system seven weeks longer the rich landscape wide and far below—the under Doctor Weiss, at Petersham; during breeze that once would have been so keen this latter period the agreeable phenomena and biting, now but exhilarating the blood, which had characterized the former, the and lifting the spirits into religious joy; cheerfulness, the bien aise, the consciousand this keen sentiment of present pleasure ness of returning health, vanished; and were rounded by a hope sanctioned by all I felt succeeded by great irritation of the nerves, in myself, and nearly all that I'witnessed extreme fretfulness, and the usual characin others—that that very present was but teristics of the constitutional disturbance to the step—the threshold—into an unknown which I have referred. I had every reason, and delightful region of health and vigor; however, to be satisfied with the care and -a disease and a care dropping from the skill of Doctor Weiss, who fully deserves frame and the heart at every stride. the reputation he has acquired, and the at

But here I must pause to own that is on tachment entertained for him by his pathe one hand the danger and discomforts of tients; nor did my judgment ever despond the cure are greatly exaggerated (exagger- or doubt of the ultimate benefits of the proated is too weak a word)—so on the other cess. I emerged at last from these operahand, as far as my own experience, which tions in no very portly condition. I was is perhaps not inconsiderable, extends, the blanched and emaciated—washed out like a enthusiastic advocates of the system have thrifty housewife's gown—but neither the greatly misrepresented the duration of the bleaching nor the loss of weight had in the curative process. I have read and heard of least impaired my strength; on the contrachronic diseases of long standing cured per- ry, all the muscles had grown as hard as iron, manently in a very few weeks. I candidly and I was become capable of great exercise confess that I have seen none such. I have, without fatigue; my cure was not effected, it is true, witnessed many chronic diseases but I was compelled to go into Germany. perfectly cured-diseases which had been On my return homewards I was seized with pronounced incurable by the first physicians, a severe cold, which rapidly passed into high but the cure has been long and fluctuating. fever. Fortunately I was within reach of

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Doctor Schmidt's magnificent hydropathic And now, to sum up, and to dismiss my establishment at Boppart; thither I caused egotistical revelations, I desire in no way myself to be conveyed; and now I had oc- to overcolor my own case; I do not say casion to experience the wonderful effect of that when I first went to the water-cure I the water-cure in acute cases; slow in chro- was affected with any disease immediately nic disease, its beneficial operation in acute menacing to life-I say only that I was in is immediate. In twenty-four hours all fe- that prolonged and chronic state of ill ver had subsided, and on the third day I re- health, which made life at the best exsumed my journey, relieved from every tremely precarious—I do not say that I had symptom that had before prognosticated a any malady which the faculty could protedious and perhaps alarming illness. nounce incurable—I say only that the most

And now came gradually, yet perceptibly, eminent men of the faculty had failed to the good effects of the system I had under- cure me. I do not even now affect to boast gone; flesh and weight returned; the sense of a perfect and complete deliverance from of health became conscious and steady; I all my ailments-I cannot declare that a had every reason to bless the hour when I constitution naturally delicate has been first sought the springs of Malvern. And rendered Herculeanl, or that the wear and here, I must observe, that it often happens tear of a whole manhood have been thorthat the patient makes but slight apparent oughly repaired. What might have been improvement, when under the cure, com- the case had I not taken the cure at interpared with that which occurs subsequently. vals, had I remained at it steadily for six or A water-doctor of repute at Brussels, in- eight months without interruption, I cannot deed, said frankly to a grumbling patient, do more than conjecture; but so strong is “I do not expect you to be well while here my belief that the result would have been -it is only on leaving me that you will completely successful, that I promise myknow if I have cured you."

self, whenever I can spare the leisure, a It is as the frame recovers from the agi- long renewal of the system. These adtation it urdergoes, that it gathers round it missions made, what have I gained meanpower utterly unknown to it before-as the while to justify my eulogies and my gratiplant watered by the rains of one season, tude ?-an immense accumulation of the betrays in the next the effect of the grate capital of health. Formerly it was my faful dews.

vorite and querulous question to those who I had always suffered so severely in saw much of me, “ Did you ever know me winter, that the severity of our last one gave twelve hours without pain or illness ?” me apprehensions, and I resolved to seek Now, instead of these being my constant shelter from my fears at my beloved Mal- companions, they are but my occasional vern. I here passed the most inclement pe- visitors. I compare my old state and my riod of the winter, not only perfectly free present to the poverty of a man who has a from the colds, rheums, and catarrhs, which shilling in his pocket, and whose poverty is had hitherto visited me with the snows, but therefore a struggle for life, with the occain the enjoyment of excellent health : and sional distresses of a man of 50001. a year, I am persuaded that for those who are deli- who sees but an appendage endangered, or cate, and who suffer much during the win-a luxury abridged. All the good that I ter, there is no place where the cold is so have gained, is wholly unlike what I have little felt as at a water-cure establishment. ever derived either from medicine or the I am persuaded also, and in this I am German mineral baths : in the first place, borne out by the experience of most water it does not relieve a single malady alone, it doctors, that the cure is most rapid and pervades the whole frame; in the second effectual during the cold season—from place, far from subsiding, it seems to inautumn through the winter. I am thor- crease by time, so that I may reasonably oughly convinced that consumption in its hope that the latter part of my life, instead earlier stages can be more easily cured, and of being more infirm than the former, will the predisposition more permanently eradi- become—so far as freedom from suffering, cated, by a winter spent at Malvern, under and the calın enjoyment of external life are the care of Doctor Wilson, than by the concerned-my real, my younger youth, timorous flight to Pisa or Madeira. It is And it is this profound conviction which by hardening rather than defending the has induced me to volunteer these details, tissues that we best secure them from dis- in the hope (I trust a pure and kindly one),

to induce those who more or less have suf


fered as I have done, to fly to the same richsis of a grave character in persons of an adand bountiful resources. We ransack the vanced age. Thirdly, in tubercular conends of the earth for drugs and minerals- sumption. As may be expected in this stage we extract our potions from the deadliest of that melancholy disease, the water cure poisons—but around us and about us, Na- utterly fails to restore, but I have known it ture, the great mother, proffers the Hygean even here prolong life, beyond all reasonafount, unsealed, and accessible to all. ble calculation, and astonishingly relieve the Wherever the stream glides pure, wherever more oppressive symptoms. In all cases the spring sparkles fresh, there, for the vast where the nervous exhaustion is great and proportion of the maladies which Art pro- of long standing, and is accompanied with duces, Nature yields the benignant heal- obstinate hypochondria, hydropathy, if sucing.

cessful at all, is very slow in its benefits, It remains for me to say, merely as an and the patience of the sufferer is too often observer, and solely with such authority as worn out before the favorable turn takes an observer altogether disinterested, but place. I have also noticed that obstinate without the least pretence to professional and deep-rooted maladies in persons other. science, may fairly claim, what class of wise of very athletic frames, seem to yield diseases I have seen least and most tracta- much more tardily to the water cure than ble to the operations of the water-cure, and similar complaints in more delicate constihow far enthusiasts appear to me to have tutions; so that you will often see of two over-estimated, how far skeptics have under- persons afflicted by the same genera of valued, the effects of water as a medica- complaints, the feeble and fragile one rement. There are those (most of the water cover before the stout man with Atlantic doctors especially) who contend that all shoulders evinces one symptom of amelioramedicine by drugs is unnecessary—that tion. water internally and outwardly applied suf- Those cases, on the other hand, in which fices in skilful management for all com- the water cure seems an absolute panacea, plaints—that the time will come when the and in which the patient may commence drug doctor will cease to receive a fee, with the most sanguine hopes, are, First, when the apothecary will close his shop rheumatisın, however prolonged, however and the water cure be adopted in every complicated. In this the cure is usually hospital and by every family. Dreams and rapid-nearly always permanent. Secondabsurdities! Even granting that the water ly, gout. Here its efficacy is little less cure were capable of all the wonders as- startling to appearance than in the former cribed to it, its process is so slow in most case ; it seems to take up the disease by chronic cases-it requires such complete the roots; it extracts the peculiar acid, abstraction from care and business-it takes which often appears in discolorations upon the active man so thoroughly out of his the sheets used in the application, or is course of life, that a vast proportion of ejected in other modes. But here, judging those engaged in worldly pursuits cannot always from cases subjected to my personal hope to find the requisite leisure. There knowledge, I have not seen instances to are also a large number of complaints (per- justify the assertion of some water doctors, haps the majority) which yield so easily to that returns of the disease do not occur. a sparing use of drugs under a moderately The predisposition—the tendency, has apcompetent practitioner, that the convenient peared to me to remain. The patient is plan of sending to the next chemist for liable to relapses—but I have invariably your pill or potion can never be superseded, found them fur less frequent, less length. nor is it perhaps desirable that it should ened ; and readily susceptible of simple and be. Moreover, as far as I have seen, there speedy cure, especially if the habits remain are complaints curable by medicine which temperate. the water cure utterly fails to reach.

Thirdly, that wide and grisly family of The disorders wherein hydropathy ap- affliction classed under the common name pears to me to be least effectual are, first of dyspepsia. All derangements of the dineuralgic pains, especially the monster pain gestive organs, imperfect powers of nutriof the Tic Doloreux. Not one instance of tion—the malaise of an injured stomach, a cure in the latter by hydropathy has come appear precisely the complaints on which under my own observation, and I have only the system takes firmest hold, and in which heard of one authentic case of recovery it effects those cures that convert existence from it by that process. Secondly, paraly- from a burden into a blessing. Hence it follows that many nameless and countless (persist in supposing, that patients are put complaints proceeding from derangement into wet sheets and there left to shiver. of the stomach, cease as that great machine The sheets, after being saturated, are well is restored to order. I have seen disorders wrung out—the patient quickly wrapped in of the heart which have been pronounced them-several blankets tightly bandaged organic by the learned authorities of the round, and a feather-bed placed at top; the profession, disappear in an incredibly thus, especially where there is the least feshort time--cases of incipient consumption, ver, the first momentary chill is promptly in which the seat is in the nutritious pow. succeeded by a gradual and vivifying ers, hæmorrhages, and various congestions, warmth, perfectly free from the irritation of shortness of breath, habitual fainting fits, dry heat-a delicious sense of ease is usumany of what are called, improperly, nervous ally followed by a sleep more agreeable complaints, but which, in reality, are indi- than anodynes ever.produced. It seems a cations from the main ganglionic spring; positive cruelty to be relieved from this the disorders produced by the abuse of magic girdle in which pain is lulled, and powerful medicines, especially mercury and fever cooled, and watchfulness lapped in iodine, the loss of appetite, the dulled sense, slumber. The bath which succeeds, reand the shaking hand of intemperance, freshes and braces the skin, which the opeskin complaints, and the dire scourge of ration relaxed and softened; they only who scrofula-all these seem to obtain from hy have tried this, after fatigue or in fever, dropathy relief-nay, absolute and unquali. can form the least notion of its pleasurable fied cure, beyond not only the means of the sensations, and of its extraordinary efficacy; most skilful drug doctor, but the hopes of nor is there any thing startling or novel in the most sanguine patient.*

its theory. In hospitals now water-dressings The cure may be divided into two are found the best poultice to an inflamed branches—the process for acute complaints member; this expansion of the wet dressing —that for chronic; I have just referred to is a poultice to the whole inflamed surface the last. And great as are there its benefits, of the body. It does not differ greatly, exthey seem commonplace beside the effect cept in its cleanliness and simplicity, from the system produces in acute complaints. the old remedy of the ancients—the wrapFever, including the scarlet and the ty- ping the body in the skins of animals newphus, influenza, measles, small-pox, the ly slain, or placing it on dunghills, or imsudden and rapid disorders of children, are mersing it, as now in Germany, in the soft cured with a simplicity and precision slough of mud-baths.* Its theory is that of which must, I am persuaded, sooner or warmth and moisture, those friendliest later, render the resources of the hydropa- agents to inflammatory disorders. In fact, thist the ordinary treatment for such acute I think it the duty of every man, on whom complaints in the hospitals. The principal the lives of others depend, to make himself remedy here employed by the water doctor acquainted with at least this part of the wais, the wet-sheet packing, which excites ter-cure :-the wet sheet is the true life presuch terror amongst the uninitiated, and server. In the large majority of sudden inwhich, of all the curatives adopted by hy-flammatory complaints, the doctor at a disdropathy, is unquestionably the safest—the tance, prompt measures indispensable, it one that can be applied without danger to will at the least arrest the disease, check the greatest variety of cases, and which I the fever, till, if you prefer the drugs, the do not hesitate to aver, can rarely, if ever, drugs can come—the remedy is at hand, be misapplied in any cases where the pulse wherever you can find a bed and a jug of is hard and high, and the skin dry and water; and whatever else you may appreburning. I have found in conversation so hend after a short visit to a hydropathic esmuch misapprehension of this very easy tablishment, your fear of that bugbear-the and very luxurious remedy, that I may be wet sheet—is the first you banish. The pardoned for re-explaining what has been explained so often. It is not, as people

A very eminent London physician, opposed

generally to the water-cure, told me that he had Amongst other complaints, I may add dropsy, effected a perfect cure in a case of inveterate which in its simple state, and not as the crown leprosy, by swathing the patient in wet lint ing symptom of a worn out constitution, I have covered with oil skin. This is the wet sheet known most successfully treated ; cases of slight packing, but there are patients who would take paralysis; and I have witnessed two instances of kindly to wet lint, and shudder at the idea of a partial blindness, in which the sight was restored. wet sheet!



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