A Treatise on the Eclectic Southern Practice of Medicine Page: 19 of 724
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to condemn, of a systematic adherence in practice to a favourite
theory. We allude to the celebrated Broussais. This French
physician, struck by the constant recurrence of inflammation in
so many diseases, especially in that most numerous class, fevers,
considered irritation the primary cause of all diseases. Acting
on the maxim, "' ubi irritatio, ibi flux," he applied his whole
treatment to allaying this supposed irritation or inflammation, to
accomplish which he could find no better instrument, one which
many of his followers, at least, have wielded with an unsparing
hand, the indiscriminate use of the lancet. To bleed locally
and generally was their incipient treatment, to which, if the
disease yielded not, re-leech ! re-cup ! re-bleed! and when some
stalwart patient survived this drain of vital energy, behold the
cure! Ile was pointed out as an instance of the truth of the
In this hurried sketch of the different medical schools and
sects, we have not spoken of the Anatomists, because, incalcu-
lable as are the services rendered to the curative art, their
influence upon the practice of medicine-our theme-has been
altogether indirect in its character. But, to give our readers
some idea of the labours of these great men, and a specimen of
the gradual development by which a knowledge of the human
body has been acquired, we will trace, in a few words, the suc-
cessive steps which led to the discovery of the circulation of the
blood. We cannot do this better, more clearly, nor yet more
briefly, than in the words of England's eminent Cardinal, the
Archbishop of Westminster." Some of our readers may be
tempted to smile at our quoting from a theologian on a medical
subject, but they must be little aware of the vast fund of general
and scientific knowledge to be found in the writings of the dig-
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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/m1/19/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.