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tributed to the first two editions of his Materia Medica Pura, no candid critic can find fault. The precautions taken, as related in his preface and elsewhere, to secure healthy subjects, freedom from extraneous disturbance, good faith and accurate observation, leave nothing to be desired. That the minute deviations from ideal health incident to every one at all times should be mixed up with true medicinal effects, is almost inseparable from provings on the human subject, and scarcely detracts from their value. Hahnemann, at all events, did his best to eliminate them; and his work is pure gold, with only Buch alloy as the necessities of human currency compel.
Already, however, one element in the six volumes of the Seine Arzneimittellehre must have a different verdict passed upon it. The symptoms cited from authors (some 4000 in all, or about 12 per cent. of the whole) are of very various quality. So far as they are observations of poisoning, they are mostly valid. But very many of them are phenomena occurring in sick persons taking the drugs, and referred by Hahnemann (not by the physicians administering them) to the remedy rather than the malady. When these symptoms have been examined in their original records, they have nearly always had to be rejected— the evidence for their being medicinal being quite insufficient. To these (and to their later congeners) belong pretty well all the strange and incredible effects ascribed to certain drugs—the "green stools" of Belladonna, the "rage" and "tenacioua leucorrhoea " of Aconite, the " purulent expectoration " of Conium, the "hernia" of Antimonium crudum, the " dropsy," "jaundice," "phthisis" of China, the "gonorrhoea" of Chelidonium, &c. Now when Hahnemann retired from Leipsic to Coethen, he had no source but observations on patients taking his medicines on which he could draw for pathogenetic purposes. All symptoms warranted by him at this epoch—his additions to the later issues of the first two volumes of the Reine Arzneitnittellehre (1830-3), and his copious contributions to the Chronischen Krankheiten (1st ed., 1828-30; 2nd ed., 1835-9)—are of this nature. Of the discrimination he exercised in separating between medicinal and morbid phenomena, we may judge from what we have seen him do with the observations of others; and it must be remembered that all his remedies were now given in infinitesimal doses. The example be set was also followed by some of his later disciples, among whom Wahle and Hering may be named as prominent.
Patients, moreover, afforded another opportunity for supplying the Materia Medica with symptoms. Aggravations of their existing troubles occurred from time to time during treatment; and the exaggerated notions which Hahnemann entertained of the power of drugs, especially when highly attenuated, led him to set these down as, in most instances, the effect of the medicine they were taking.* Here, too, he has not wanted imitators. But by these he has been quite outdone as regards the utilisation of the sick for enriching the Symptomen-Codex. When in a prover some existing deviation from health disappeared during the action of a drug, Hahnemann records it, adding "Heilwirkung" (curative effect). Only in the case of Iodinm has he done this with definite maladies (as goitre and enlarged glands) treated with the medicine. But his disciples have Beized upon the proceeding and carried it to lengths from which he would have Bhrunk aghast. They have freely admitted" clinical symptoms" into our pathogenetic lists, cutting up the cases which have recovered under the action of a remedy into their component parts, and sowing these in the appropriate divisions of the schema. They at first denoted such symptoms by a sign (° or *); but soon grew careless about affixing it, and at last (as in Lippe's Text-Book and Hering's Condensed Materia Medica and Guiding Symptoms) avowedly omitted it altogether.
To these deliberate vitiations (as I must call them) are to be added those incidental to time and use—the havoc wrought by translation and re-translation, the errors of repeated copying, and such likev The result is that our Materia Medica is an Augean stable, almost as foul as was the common one when Hahnemann exposed its condition, and set to work at its purification. There are, indeed (to employ another figure), far more numerous grains of wheat now scattered through the mass, and to winnow these from the chaff is not so difficult. How far this has been done, or yet remains to be done, I shall inquire immediately. Let me first speak of the other repellent feature of the Materia Medica—the mode of presenting its constituent parts.
* The evidence for these statements as regards Hahnemann's mode of proceeding has been given in my little tractate on The Sources of the Homoeopathic Materia Medica.
2. It does not admit of dispute, that to convey to the student the action of a medicine as elicited by proving, the record of the experiments should be given in detail. He must know tho subjects on whom the drug is tried, the doses taken and their repetition, and the connection and sequence of the results. On the other hand, the practitioner of homoeopathy frequently needs simply to know what drug has produced such and such symptoms present in his patient; and for his purposes an index to the 'proving, or an arrangement of its produce in some orderly form, is necessary. Now, Hahnemann seems unfortunately to have had in view only the practitioner's requirements; and has withheld (it is said, destroyed) his provers' day-books, giving us their symptoms only arranged in an anatomical schema. Iu this he was followed by all his disciples, until, in 1844, the Austrian Society began to publish their provings and reprovings in the Oeslerreicliische Zeitschrift. The immense superiority of the detailed records here given must have impressed every candid mind, and it has only been the old Hahnemannians and certain modern retrogressionists* who have since ventured primarily to present fresh provings in schema form. The mischief, however, had been done; and a great mass of our pathogenetic material is only available in the disjecta membra of an anatomical catalogue of symptoms. Of the lamentations which this deplorable state of things has elicited from all quarters, space would fail to give an account. I shall content myself with citing tDr. Dudgeon's caustic description of the schema. "It is," he says, "as unnatural and artificial an arrangement of the features of many allied morbid portraits as though an artist should paint a family group, arranging all the eyes of all the members of the family in one part of the picture, all the noses in another, the ears all together, the mouths all together, and so on. From such a picture, correct though each feature might be, it would be a difficult matter for us to build up each separate portrait, and it is equally difficult for us to ascertain the various morbid portraits from the tableaux Hahnemann has presented us with in his Materia Medica" (Lectures, p. 233). If homosopathists can thus speak of it, what impres
* See the Report of the Materia Medica Bureau of the 1881 Session of the American Institute, justly stigmatised by Dr. Allen.
VOL. XLI, NO. CLXV. JULY, 1883. U
sion must it make on the already far from friendly minds of oldschool readers?
Now, when in the early part of the last decade, Dr. Allen undertook to bring together our scattered Materia Medica in one great collection, he found it in the state I have described. It did not, it seems, enter into his plan to exercise any criticism as to its materials or institute any reform of its arrangement. He took all he found in our literature just as it stood; he refused no bond fide assignment of symptoms to drugs, whatever" their principle of selection; he would do no more than bracket even citations of Hahnemann's from authors demonstrably unwarrantable. I have no fault to find with this course, which was perhaps necessary as a preliminary step. I only mention it to show how much has yet to be done. Then, as to presentation, so much of our Materia Medica existing only in schema form, Dr. Allen thought it better, for the sake of uniformity and accordance with custom, to cut up our detailed provings and poisonings in like manner. This, indeed, I must regard as without justification; and my esteemed friend seems to be of the same mind, judging from the very different manner in which he has dealt with the material of the " Appendix " in his tenth volume.
The result is that the work in which is garnered up all our pathogenetic wealth, which has deservedly superseded Jahr and every other compilation as our Symptomen-Codex, has all the defects of the Homoeopathic Materia Medica as this has hitherto existed. That to these it has added the sin of imperfect translation has been confessed by the editor himBelf, in the Critical Bevision he has commenced. This makes ample atonement for the fault, but it is only a beginning of reparation of the injury done. Dr. Allen's Encyclopaedia is a great work; it redounds to the highest credit of the industry and public spirit which has conceived and carried it on. I, who greeted it at the beginning, who have cheered it on throughout, and gladly given it my modicum of assistance,—I am the last to say a word against it. It is simply indispensable, alike to the student who would learn and the physician who would practise homoeopathy in its fullest possibilities. Its merits are all its own; its defects are those of the material it has collected and the arrangement it has followed. But because it inherits these defects, I urge that it should not be regarded as the inauguration of a new era, but the summing-up of an old one. Hitherto we have been content to let wheat and tares grow together till the harvest, content though we could not see our wood for its trees. The time has now come for analysis, for scrutiny, for reform; on the basis of what Dr. Allen has done for us we can rear the better Materia Medica of the future.
What then is it that we propose to do? There have hitherto been two schemes on foot among those who feel the defects of our present Materia Medica. One is that of the Hahnemann Publishing Society, which seeks to issue a series of exhaustive monographs on individual drugs, each being undertaken by a single writer. These are to include detailed provings and poisonings, with a schematic index; a commentary; a summary of the clinical experience gained with the drug; and a bibliography. The drugs already published in the Hahnemann Materia Medica are to be revised for this object; and, associated with Bix or seven others, will shortly appear in a single volume. It is indeed to be hoped that such monographs will be multiplied; but it is obvious that their production is no slight task, one which few can undertake, and which no one can get through quickly. On the other hand, we have my friend Dr. J. P. Dake's proposal to establish a College of Provers, for the purpose of re-proving our medicines after a scientific and rational fashion. This, too, would be a most excellent thing, were it found practicable. But, while monographs are undergoing a slow gestation, and proving colleges are as yet conceived only in the mind, the student is hungering for a Materia Medica alike genuine and intelligible, from which he can learn the real disease-producing effects of drugs. His lectures, indeed, teach him much; but these answer to commentaries on Holy Scripture, and are meant to illuminate, not to supersede, the text. The analogy at once indicates that the latter should be in the hand of every one who is to practise the art of healing, that with whatever help he can get (and the more the better), he may drink at its fountains for himself.
Now, what the British Homoeopathic Society proposes is to furnish the text, and to make it genuine and intelligible. Genuine, because all versions and copies will be traced back to their ultimate originals, and verified, corrected, or reproduced