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contract a great acrimony. Juices, therefore, from a bad digestion retained and stagnating in the body, grow sharp and putrid. Hence a fermenting heat, the immediate cause of the gout. The curing this by cooling medicines, as they would increase the antecedent cause, must be a vain attempt. On the other hand, spices and spirituous liquors, while they contribute to remove the ante, cedent cause, or bad digestion, would by inflaming the blood increase the proximate or immediate cause of the gout, to wit, the fermenting heat. The scope therefore must be, to find a medicine that shall corroborate, but not inflame. Bitter herbs are recommended; but they are weak in comparison of tar-water.
82. The great force of tar-water, to correct the acrimony of the blood, appears in nothing more than in the cure of a gangrene, from an internal cause ; which was performed on a servant of my own, by prescribing the copious and constant use of tar-water for a few weeks. From my representing tar-water as good for so many things, some perhaps may conclude it is good for nothing. But charity obligeth me to say what I know, and what I think, howsoever it may be taken. Men may censure and object as they please, but I appeal to time and experiment. Effects misimputed, cases wrong told, circumstances overlooked, perhaps too, prejudices and partialities against truth, may for a time prevail and keep her at the bottom of her well, from whence nevertheless The emergeth sooner or later, and strikes the eyes of all who do not keep them shut.
83. Boerhaave thinks a specific may be found, for that peculiar venom, which infects the blood in the small pox, and that the prospect of fo great a public benefit should stir up men to search for it. It's wonderful success, in preventing and mitigating that distemper, (a) would incline one to suspect that tar-water is such a specific, especially since I have found it of sovereign use as well during the small pox as before it. Some think an Erysipelas and the Plague differ only in degree. If so, tar-water should be useful in the Plague, for I have known it cure an Erysipelas.
84. Tar-water, as cleansing, healing, and balsamic, is good in all disorders of the urinary passages, whether obstructed or ulcerated. Doctor Lister fupposeth, indeed, that turpentines act by. a caustic quality, which irritates the coats of the urinary ducts to expel sand or gravel. But, it should seem, this expelling diuretic virtue conlifted rather in the falts than the resin, and confequently refides in the tar-water, gently stimulating by it's salts, without the dangerous force of a caustic. The violent operation of Ipecacuanha lies in it's resin, but the faline extract is a gentle purge and diuretic, by the stimulus of it's salos.
85. That which acts as a mild cordial, (b) neither hurting the capillary vessels as a caustic, nor affecting the nerves, nor coagulating the juices, must in all cases be a friend to nature, and assist the vis vitæ in it's struggle against all kinds of contagion. And from what I have observed, tar-water appears to me an useful preservative in all epidemical disorders, and against all other infection whatsoever, as well as that of the small-pox. What effects the animi pathemata have in human maladies, is well known, and consequently the general benefit of such a cardiac may be reafonably supposed. ; 86. As the body is said to clothe the foul, fo the nerves may be said to conftitute her inner garment. And as the foul animates the whole, what (a) 2, 3
nearly touches the soul relates to all. Therefore
This is the latent spring of much woe,
87. In diseases sometimes accidents happen from without by mismanagement, sometimes latent causes operate within, jointly with the specific taint or peculiar cause of the malady. The causes of distempers are often complicated, and there may be something in the idiosyncrafy of the patient that puzzles the phyfician. It may therefore be presumed that no medicine is infallible, not even in any one disorder.
But as tar-water poffefseth the virtues of fortifying the stomach, as well as purifying and invigorating the blood, beyond any medicine that I know, it may be presumed of great
and general efficacy in all those numerous illnesses, which take their rise from foul or vapid blood, or from a bad digestion. The animal spirits are elaborated from the blood. Such therefore as the blood is, such will be the animal spirit, more or lefs, weaker or stronger. This sheweth the use. fulness of tar-water in all hyfteric and hypochondriac cases ; which together with the maladies from indigestion comprise almost the whole tribe of chronical diseases.
88. The scurvy may be reckoned in these clic mates an universal malady, as people in general are subject to it, and as it mixes more or less in almost all diseases. Whether this proceeds from want of elasticity in our air, upon which the tone of the vessels depends, and upon that the several secretions ; or whether it proceeds from the moisture of our climate, or the grofsness of our food, or the falts in our atmosphere, or from all there together ; thus much at least seems not absurd to suppose, that, as physicians in Spain and Italy are apt to suspect the venereal taint to be a latent principle, and bear a part in every illness, so for as good reason the scurvy should be considered by our physicians, as having some share in most disorders and constitutions that fall in their way. It is certain our perspiration is not so free as in clearer air and warmer climates. Perspirable humours not discharged will stagnate and putrify, A diet of animal food will be apt to render the juices of our bodies alcalescent. Hence ichorous and corrosive humours and many disorders. Moist air makes viscid blood ; and faline air inflames this viscid blood. Hence broken capillaries, extrava. fated blood, spots, and ulcers, and other scorbutic fymptoms. The body of a man attracts and imþibes the moisture and salts of the air, and what
ever floars in the atmosphere, which, as it is common to all, so it affects all more or less.,
89. Doctor Musgrave thinks the Devonshire fcurvy a relique of the leprosy, and that it is not owing to the qualities of the air. But as these insulars in general live in a gross faline air, and their vefa sels being less elastic, are consequently less able to fubdue and cast off what their bodies as sponges draw in, one would be tempted to suspect the air not a little concerned, especially in such a situation as that of Devonshire. In all these British isands we enjoy a great mediocrity of climate, the effect whereof is, that we have neither heat enough to exalt and dinipate the gross vapours, as in Italy, nor cold enough to condense and precipitate them, as in Sweden. So they are left foating in the air, which we constantly breath, and imbibe through the whole surface of our bodies. And this together with exhalations from coal fires, and the various fossils wherein we abound, doth greatly contribute to render us fcorbutic and hypochondriac. ୨୦. .
There are some who derive all diseases from the scurvy, which indeed must be allowed to create or mimic most other maladies. Boerhaave tells us, it produceth pleuritic, colic, nephritic, hepatic pains, various fevers, hot, malignant, intermitting, dysenteries, faintings, anxieties, dropsies, consumptions, convulsions, palsies, fluxes of blood. In a word, it may
be said to contain the seeds and origin of almost all distempers. Insomuch that a medicine which cures all sorts of scurvy, may be presumed good for most other maladies,
91. The fcurvy doth not only in variety of fymptoms imitate moft distempers, but also when come to a height, in degree of virulence equal che most malignant. Of this we have a remarkable proof, in that horrible description of the scorbutic