To The Three Editions Of This Work, Condensed Into One.

For the last ten years the homoeopathic science and art of healing has been considerably perfected in all its branches; but no work has as yet been published which furnishes a systematic exposition of the treatment which ought to be adopted in the different diseases. This omission is probably owing in part to the inherent difficulty of the undertaking, and partly to Hahnemann, having remarked that no treatment can be based upon the classification of diseases as adopted by the old school. I have never despaired of succeeding in completing a work containing a systematic exposition of the homoeopathic treatment of disease, so much more as the phenomena which constitute the diseases, as described in allopathic books, are contained among the symptoms obtained by the provers of drugs, such as: asthma Millari, cholera morbus, fever and ague, and its varieties. It is the very plan which has been adopted by the author of homoeopathy, of arranging the symptoms of a drug in one list, and of distributing them in groups, that has suggested to me the idea and arrangement of the present work. I trust I have rendered a service to beginners, by describing the general diagnostic characteristics of a disease at the commencemerit of the chapter; the more particular indications for the special remedies have not been omitted.

My remarks on diagnosis, prognosis, etiology, classification of diseases, are necessarily very brief, and may call forth censure on the part of allopathic physicians. My object has been to furnish an accurate account of the homoeopathic treatment of disease. As regards the generalities and the collateral sciences in medicine, I had a right to expect that every homoeopathic practitioner should be thoroughly acquainted with them. Some allopaths may find fault with the distribution of the work; to such critics I have simply to observe that the distribution of the work has been a matter of secondary importance, and that my main object in adopting any classification of disease has been to establish points of reference which would facilitate the use of the work; the treatment and nature of diseases do not depend upon their classification. Certain diseases, which are considered chronic by allopathic physicians, have been transferred to the acute forms of disease; my reasons for making this change have been stated in treating of those diseases.

It is more than probable that indolent and indifferent practitioners will avail themselves of this work as a means of avoiding study and labour. To all such I would repeat the words of Pfeuf-fer, which may be found in his "Deceptions at the Sick-Bed." "Every case of disease, in spite of the physiognomic character which it may possess in common with other diseases, is an individual existence or form, upon which the dogmatism of the schools will be frequently wrecked. The power to individualize distinguishes the true physician from the routinier, whose rules and principles diminish as he advances in his practice."

The present work purports to be the mere outline of a future system of therapeutics, although such a system can never be made complete enough to give the beginners fixed rules for the treatment of every case, inasmuch as every case ought to be considered a distinct affection which has never existed before in precisely the same form, and for which no remedy can be pointed out beforehand (except a few contagious and miasmatic diseases, such as: scarlatina, measles, smallpox, purple-rash, syphilis, etc.). This observation, which has been so frequently repeated by homoeopathic physicians, ought to convince allopaths that their opponents cannot cure disease unless they possess the power to investigate the symptoms and the perceptible character of a disease with great accuracy, which they cannot do without a profound knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology, etc. Why then should homoeopaths be called ignorant, as has so often been the case?

According to homoeopathy, congestion, fever, inflammation, constitute the second phasis of a disease, which depends upon a morbid alteration of the nervous system. Starting from this ground I ought to have treated in the first place the affections of the nervous system; I have preferred preserving the common division of diseases, in order to avoid all unnecessary and embarrassing innovations. In describing the symptoms of diseases I have observed the following order: those of the irritable sphere first; next, those of the reproductive and sensitive sphere; and, lastly, some affections of the sexual organs, to which the diseases of females have been added, including the diseases of the female sexual organs.

The inflammatory affections of the male sexual organs will be found described in the chapter on blennorrhoea of the male urethra.

No essential changes have been made in the three editions of this work, except some changes in the arrangement of the materials and practical observations derived from my own experience and that of my friends. As regards the fundamental principles of our art, I can truly say, that I am more than ever convinced of their truth, and that I cherish particularly the great principle of selecting a remedy in accordance with the perceptible phenomena of the disease. I have, moreover, become convinced, that Hahnemann was right in exacting the most minute examination of a case; although he has modified his original views in many respects, yet he has constantly insisted unyielding firmness upon the necessity of making a rigid examination. Homoeopathy would perish, if we were to neglect that most important part of the treatment.

I have now practised homoeopathy for twenty-eight years, and my practice has been very extensive. This long period has afforded me abundant opportunities of becoming aware, that our knowledge of the internal character of disease is yet very imperfect, and that we have not even yet discovered a corresponding simile for every disease. Nevertheless, I cannot chime in with the wild innovations of the pretended modern reformers of homoeopathy. We should prove all things and hold fast to those that are good; but, on the other hand, we ought not to abandon a single rule or opinion, without having become convinced by rigid and impartial investigation, that it is either useless or erroneous.

F. Hartmann, M.D. Leipsic, Sept. 21st, 1816.


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