This section is from the book "Shampooing Or Benefits Resulting From The Use Of The Indian Medicated Vapour Bath", by Sake Dene Mahomed. Also available from Amazon: Shampooing: Or Benefits Resulting From The Use Of The Indian Medicated Vapor Bath.
I deem it necessary to premise, in order to be screened from criticism, that my pursuits have been widely different from those of literature, generally, through life. Little can be expected where little is promised, and my only regret is, that my endeavours will not be equal to my wishes and the expectations of my readers.
The humble Author of these sheets, is a native of India; and was born in the year 1749, at Patna, the capital of Bahar, in Hin-doostan, about 290 miles N. W. of Calcutta. I was educated to the profession of, and served in the Company's Service, as a Surgeon, which capacity I afterwards relinquished, and acted in a military character, exclusively for nearly fifteen years. In the year 1780, I was appointed to a company under General, then Major Popham; and at the commencement of the year 1784, left the service and came to Europe, where I have resided ever since.
The time and attention which I devoted during the early period of my life, to the peculiar modes of Bathing, used, both medicinally and as luxuries in the Eastern part of the world, induced me to think seriously of introducing into this country that description of Bath, till then unknown, the Indian Vapour Bath combined with the Art of Shampooing; for this purpose I sedulously applied myself, when I arrived here, in trying such preliminary experiments, as from their complete success, convinced me of the correctness of the hypothesis which I had formed, that the process, which in India is used as a restorative luxury, would, with certain improvements, operate in this country also, as a most surprising and powerful remedy for many cases of disease. I felt justified in publishing to the world the discovery I had made, a discovery supported by proof the most flattering and convincing, as will be shown in the course of this work.
On my arrival in Brighton, I was not immediately enabled to promulgate the decided advantages which my method had over the common Warm-bathing; I was fortunate however, in several gratuitous cures, after every other attempt had been made and failed; cures which soon gained circulation among those who were ignorant of the virtues of my Bath, and adducing the most positive and convincing evidence of the great superiority of Shampooing over every other description of treatment, in peculiar cases.
It is not in the power of any in dividual to give unqualified satisfaction, or to attempt to establish a new opinion without the risk of incurring the ridicule, as well as censure, of some portion of mankind. So it was with me: in the face of indisputable evidence, I had to struggle with doubts and objections raised and circulated against my Bath, which, but for the repeated and numerous cures effected by it, would long since have shared the common fate of most innovations in science.
Fortunately, however, I have lived to see my Bath survive the vituperations of the weak and the aspersions of the credulous. Its virtues are now well known and established; it has reared itself and stands upon its own merits. We have only to refer to the cases, and a conviction of its benefits will stare us in the face.
I cannot but repeat the hope, that the following sheets may be received with that kindness and indulgence, which have ever been the distinguished characteristics of an English Public, and which will afford me a pleasing return for my humble, though grateful endeavours,