In another chapter we have shown, that the human system is like a perfect, beautiful and harmonious instrument, each particle of matter having its own proper duty to perform, and when that duty is performed correctly, when each organ does its proper work, then the perfect machinery of the body quietly, silently fulfills its duty. There is no aching head, no throbbing pain, no burning fever, but the eye sparkles with health, the cheek is flushed with its rosy hue, the pulse bounds with vigorous life and with strong and elastic step man treads life's pathway, until this glorious temple crumbles away by the slow and undermining influence of age, and, liberating its ethereal spiritual form, returns to the dust from whence it came.

When, from various causes, any part of the system is clogged in its operation, and is thus prevented from performing its functions aright, the struggle which takes place between the vital, living principle within us, between nature in its effort to throw off this clog, to remove this friction, to restore the organ to its proper tone and strength, produces fever and its accompanying train of symptoms. Therefore fever, instead of being the disease itself, is merely occasioned by vital reaction against the disease, by the struggle of nature to throw off those clogs which prevent its free action. This struggle, as a matter of course, causes an increased combustion, an increase of heat is therefore the natural consequence, as well as an increased rapidity in the circulation of the blood.

You have seen the important part that the skin performs in the economy of nature, how every part of it is perforated with minute tubes which throw off into the 2 external world in the form of perspiration, not however always perceptible, worn out particles of matter which have performed their part in the economy of life. Close up these minute tubes, either by the sudden action of cold, by being exposed to a draft of air, or by any of the various causes of disease, and you at once disturb the whole economy of nature. Combustion is still going on, chemical changes are constantly taking place, but those particles which should be thrown of kept within. Now commences or should commence a contest between the vital principle, nature, or whatever you please to call it, against those causes which prevent its free action, and the result of this struggle is fever, the torturing pain, the rapid pulse and those various phenomena of disease to which different names have been assigned.

You know the absolute necessity of keeping the organs of respiration in a free and healthy state. Through them we receive oxygen, the life-giving principle of air in exchange for the carbonic-acid of the blood, the result of the chemical changes going on in the system. Re-strict the action of these organs either by cold, heat, sudden change of temperature, compression of the chest, or any of the varied causes which produce disturbance there, and you cause inflammation, sometimes of a violent form, producing the most agonizing pain, or it may be of a more passive character, ending in suppuration and consumption.

Take if you please the digestive organs. Fill the stomach with food it cannot assimilate, pay no attention to its powers of digestion, when it flags goad it on by stimulants, and you break down its strength, you render the liver torpid, you paralyze the intestinal canal, or deprive it of proper action, you force into the system more fuel than is required for the production of animal heat and the sustenance of life. And now the whole machinery of the body is out of order. Nature has been hampered in her movements, abused, trampled on, and yet she rises in all her strength and struggles manfully to vindicate her rights. But the disturbing cause may be too great for her unassisted strength, and she sink paralyzed, or, roused into too violent action, a highly inflammatory state is the result. In the former case, the disease is of a low, sinking character, in the latter, highly inflammatory. In both cases, the progress is full of danger and the end may be, death.

Now is the time for human skill to step in and aid nature in her efforts for relief. How is this to be done ? By binding her hand and foot, by opening a vein and drawing away her life, by producing violent action on the bowels, by depleting and paralyzing her every effort at relief, by dragging her down, shorn of her strength until she is perfectly helpless? No! common sense, outraged nature cries no, a thousand times, no. If you cannot aid nature, do not, in the name of heaven, throw obstacles in the way, and thus deprive the poor victim of the last chance of life. If you must meddle with something, meddle with inanimate matter, but oh! trifle not, tamper not with human life.

In disease, nature has an important part to perform. Unassisted, its efforts are to bring about a crisis sufficient for the extermination of the disease. Failing in this, death is the inevitable consequence. Do we aid nature, if we take away her vital power to wrestle with disease? How is it that in violent acute diseases, Pleurisy or Pneumonia, for instance, in which the patient has been bled, perhaps to fainting, where the depleting system has been carried on heroically? The patient gains, it may be, present relief, but in a short time the fever returns with almost, if not quite its former violence. Nature has been prostrated for the moment, the disease remains untouched, and the blow, which should have been aimed at the cause of the disturbance, is directed against nature. Instead of putting out the robber, who seeks to steal your life, the watchful sentinel, who warns of danger and struggles to repel the intruder, is stricken down at his post. For a moment it is paralyzed, but then rouses and renews, but with diminished strength, the contest. How much more philosophical and in accordance with nature, to assist her efforts in removing gently, yet surely, the causes of disease. Homoeopathic remedies act upon the disease oftentimes in such a specific way, as to remove the trouble without giving rise to any perceptible crisis. A crisis may however take place, in perspiration, diarrhoea, increased flow of urine, or eruption, the particulars of which will be given in their appropriate place.

In the simple or irritative form of fever the efforts of nature are generally adequate to the removal of disease.

In the inflammatory form the efforts of nature are more powerful, than is necessary, and the termination of the disease, unless human aid steps in, may be fatal.

In the torpid form, nature requires aid, but from a different cause. In this case nature is prostrated and has not sufficient power to wrestle with disease.

Before treating directly of the various forms of fever, some remarks are necessary as to general treatment, which is alike advisable in all varieties.

Absolute rest both of the mind and body are very essential. The food should be light in its character, easy of digestion, the patient abstaining carefully from the more solid and stimulating articles of diet. It is fortunate, that in most cases the stomach craves but little food, while there is a constant desire for drink, generally craving cold water, than which there can be nothing better. Ice-water, or even ice held in the mouth, when desired, can be given in small quantities with perfect safety. Toast water, or even lemonade, can also be given, save in looseness of the bowels, or while under the influence of Aconite, when acids should be avoided Should the fever be high, frequent ablutions in cold water are highly refreshing to the patient. The room should be well ventilated, the temperature kept as nearly as possible at an even rate, say from sixty to seventy degrees, according to comfort. The patient should be placed on a mattress, lightly covered with blankets, and kept at as comfortable a temperature as possible. The covering should of course be regulated by the feelings of the patient. Cleanliness should be carefully observed, and to this purpose the linen should be frequently changed. In nearly all cases, save where the bowels are disordered, fruits, but little if any tart, such as roast apples, oranges, strawberries, raspberries, and peaches, are, in moderate quantities, allowable. We now proceed to treat more directly of the different varieties of fever.