A Treatise on the Eclectic Southern Practice of Medicine Page: 15 of 724
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each other with an unrelenting activity, to which the annals of
religious bigotry can alone furnish a parallel. It is not for us to
estimate the comparative merits of these two schools. It may
suffice to say that if the former was too expectantt," the latter
was too daring and experimental in the treatment of disease.
At length the Galenists gave way to a gradual revival and
preference of the doctrines and practice of Hippocrates and the
Chymists, to what we shall call the modern chemical school.
This last, under the lead of such great men as Sylvius and Wil-
lis, and Sydenham, applying chemical knowledge, now truly
scientific, with physiology, which the practice of anatomy had
by this time made a certain science, discarding the vagaries of
their predecessors, Paracelsus and company, yet not divested of
the IIippocratian theory, that the fluids are the seat of all
diseases, that the fluids themselves are the result of a certain
chemical fermentation of the material elements of the human
body, some of which fluids, in the healthy action of this kind of
human still, should be acid, others alkaline, and that disease is
caused by the deranged fermentation of these fluids, and their
improper production; for instance, that fever arises from the too
great acidity of those fluids which ought to be alkaline, and in
the treatment of disease, faithful to the before quoted axiom:
"contraria contrariis' czrantur :" they administered acids or
alkalies, respectively, according to the supposed diagnosis. As
a rare proof of the imprudence of rejecting entirely any pro-
posed system, experience has established the fact that alkalies
are valuable remedies in cases of fever; but this by no means
proves the correctness of the theory, nor justifies the attributing
ill diseases to one common cause.
Even this modern chemical sect had, in its turn, to give way
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Massie, J. Cam. A Treatise on the Eclectic Southern Practice of Medicine, book, 1854; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143817/m1/15/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.