Do doctors, properly speaking, cure the diseases and injuries of their patients ? Yes, and no. Cure comes from a Latin word meaning care; to take care of something or somebody. That a good physician will always do. Sometimes, also, he may and must actually interfere with what is going on; as when he gives an antidote for a poison, and so saves life that would otherwise be lost. But, in many other instances, he simply takes care of the patient, and Nature cures, in the full sense of that word. There is, as we are created, a tendency to get well. A bone, for example, is broken. What does the surgeon do ? He draws it out straight, gets the pieces into their proper line, and puts on splints to keep them there. Then the bone knits, in a few weeks, of itself. So also with the healing of a wound. Its edges are placed and kept close together, if that can be done, till they unite again; or, if that be not possible, the wounded surface is covered with something which can do no harm, and which protects the part from outside air and other things, until it heals, of itself.

Here we see that certain conditions are wanted in each case, in order that the knitting or healing will take place. So it is with diseases, as well as with injuries. Some disorders are naturally self-limited; that is, they will, if the patient lives for a certain time, get well of themselves; they run a tolerably regular course, and then end. Scarlet fever either kills or is passing off, generally, within eight, nine, or ten days; small pox runs its course, living or dying, within about three weeks; typhus fever, in four weeks; typhoid fever, in the same or a longer time; and so with other fevers, all of which are self-limited.

There will always be need of doctors, and of skilful, well-trained, and well-informed ones, too, however highly we may appreciate the powers of nature and the value of good nursing. It is important to be sure that by their timely and well-judged use even of simple measures, death may often be averted or long postponed; suffering may be much lessened, and recovery

may be hastened from diseases which otherwise would be of very uncertain and far-off result.

Looking at remedies from our present standpoint, we may classify their objects as follows. Whatever their nature, they are used for one or more of the following purposes •.

To relieve pain;

To compose nervous disturbance;

To promote sleep;

To open the bowels;

To check diarrhea;

To ease vomiting or sickness of stomach;

To allay indigestion;

To improve weak digestion;

To reduce inflammation;

To lower fever;

To ease or quiet cough;

To stop hemorrhage;

To regulate menstruation;

To relieve dropsical swelling;

To support the system under prostration or exhaustion;

To increase strength in prolonged debility;

To cure certain diseases by special remedies;

To expel worms;

To antidote poisons;

To obviate the danger and suffering of accidents or injuries.

A full consideration of all the articles and procedures that are or may be used under advice of physicians for these different purposes, would make a work on "Materia Medica and Therapeutics." Our present aim will be to give a simple general view of the subject, and to dwell on such remedies as are safe and available in Home Medicine.