When, some twelve years since, I employed my leisure hours at a remote and solitary station in Burmah, in arranging my notes - many of them made years previously, for my "Manual of Practical Therapeutics" - I little anticipated that the work would ever arrive at a Second Edition: that it has done cannot be otherwise than most gratifying to ray feelings; and I would take this opportunity of expressing my grateful thanks to my professional brethren, especially to those in India, for the kind and practical approval which has been accorded to the work.

It was originally intended to have brought out the Second Edition at a much earlier period; but it having been represented to me, by those on whose judgment I could place reliance, that its value would be greatly enhanced by postponing its publication until after the appearance of the " British Pharmacopoeia," it was accordingly delayed; and when that work was at last issued, it was found that the changes introduced were so numerous and important, that a further delay (extending over some months) was required to bring the text up to the standard established by authority. This delay, however much regretted by me, will, it is hoped, be found to have resulted in increasing the practical utility of the work.

This Edition contains all the preparations of the new British Pharmacopoeia, together with notices of the principal new remedies which have been introduced into practice since the publication of the First Edition in 1854. It may, perhaps, be objected that some of these have been too slightly touched upon, whilst undue prominence has been given to others. On this point I would observe that, in a work of limited size such as the present, it was impossible to treat all articles to the extent which they perhaps deserve; and that, in selecting articles for particular or extended notice, I have exercised my discretion to the best of my ability. It is believed that nothing of vital importance in therapeutic discovery has been omitted.

Since the publication of the First Edition of this work, the treatment of Inflammatory and Febrile Affections has been in a transition state, diffusible stimulants having, in a great measure, replaced Blood-letting, and other antiphlogistic remedies formerly in vogue. Although I have been unable fully to recognise the great asserted superiority of the new mode of treatment, to the total exclusion of other measures, which centuries of experience have proved to exercise valuable remedial powers, yet my own more extended experience, as well as the recorded cases of others, has conclusively shown that the old mode of treatment was capable of great improvement, and that we may have recourse, with manifest advantage, to stimulants at an earlier period, and in larger quantities, than was formerly considered either advisable or safe. A similar remark applies, with equal force, to the employment of Quinine in the treatment of Paroxysmal Fevers, in which depletion and Calomel are, in a great measure, replaced by the preparations of Cinchona. These remarks are necessary to explain the modifications which some of the articles, as they appeared in the First Edition, have undergone. It has been my earnest endeavour to hold the balance evenly - a work of no small difficulty, under the circumstances. It is for the reader to determine how far I have successfully executed my task.

The new system of weights and measures introduced by the General Medical Council in the British Pharmacopoeia has been adopted in the case of all officinal preparations, excepting those of the London Pharmacopoeia, and in all prescriptions and directions given on my own authority. As, however, it was found excessively inconvenient, and well-nigh impracticable, to alter the formulAe of others to the new system, involving in every case the substitution of grains for scruples and drachms, and (in consequence of the difference between the British Pharmacopoeia and Troy ounce) in many instances for ounces, it has been deemed preferable to allow the quoted prescriptions to stand as they were written by their authors. It will, therefore, be necessary for the reader to remember that the old symbols always represent the weights (Troy) and measures of the London Pharmacopoeia, whilst the new symbols refer to the weights and measures of the British Pharmacopoeia, the main difference between the two systems being, that in the former the solid ounce ( j.) contains 480 grains; in the latter, the solid ounce (oz.j.) contains 437.5 grains.

As in the former Edition, the alphabetical plan of arrangement has been generally followed; but to obviate any inconvenience arising from occasional departures from it, necessitated by recent alterations in nomenclature, a full Index of the medicines and preparations noticed in the work has been added.

The authorities quoted in this work are too numerous to be specified. Information has been gleaned from all sources, given in most cases in the text. My especial acknowledgments, however, are due to Dr. Garrod, from whose valuable work, "The Essentials of the Materia Medica " (1864), much information has been derived.

In conclusion, I would tender my especial thanks to my friend Dr. F. C. Webb, who kindly undertook the onerous and responsible task of seeing the work through the press. The aid he has afforded has contributed in no small degree to any additional merit which this Edition may possess over its predecessor.

London, March 1st, 1865.

In offering the following pages to the notice of the Profession, the Compiler - for he aims at no higher distinction - feels that a few words are required to explain his reasons for adding another work to the many which have of late years issued from the press on that important department of Medical Science, Materia Medica and Therapeutics. In most works of this class, many of them distinguished by much research, talent, and a profound knowledge of the subject of which they treat, the botanical, chemical, and pharmaceutical departments have been so fully and minutely entered into, that their authors have doubtless found it impossible to devote that space to the consideration of the medicinal application of the various articles of the Materia Medica to the treatment of morbid conditions of the human body, which, from its great practical importance, it demands. By this remark, it is not intended in the smallest degree to detract from the value of these works, nor to imply that the therapeutic department has been omitted altogether; so far is this from being the case, that even the Manuals and smaller works on Materia Medica contain many interesting facts relating to the application and uses of the various medicines, especially when these are the results of the experience of the respective authors, whilst, in the larger and more costly works, particularly in that of Dr. Pereira, a large mass of valuable and important therapeutic facts may be found. It must, however, be admitted by every one conversant with works of this class, that the department of Therapeutics has not generally received the same attention or occupied an equal space with that allotted to the consideration of the chemical and botanical characteristics of the various substances constituting the Materia Medica.