Remarkable for their ingenuity, if nothing else, were many of the measures resorted to by our fore- fathers in routing the fell demon of disease ; and to the modern—and therefore enlightened—reader an ancient "medicine book" is a perfect mine of curiosities, in which he may find sense and nonsense, ignorance and a certain amount of shrewdness, blind faith and barefaced quackery, all served up by turns, or, it may be, together. The pharmacopoeia of our ancestors was both richer and poorer than ours of the nineteenth century. The former rejoiced in a collection of "leechdoms," which would be enough to make the hair of any modern patient stand on end, and give the College of Physicians the shivers. Where science halted and medical knowledge looked blank, inventive superstition stepped boldly to the front, and bade this charm be repeated for an ague, and that one for a broken bone, prescribed to drink of herbs and holywater for a fever, and the wearing of drink of herbs and holywater for a fever, and the wearing of a specified amulet for the gout. In all "cures" resulting from those mild remedies, faith was no doubt the most active, though probably the unsus pected agent. It certainly speaks volumes for the constitutions of our forefathers that they so frequently got the better of their ailments in spite of the pranks they played withthemselves. The old stock was apparently after the patternof Joe Bagstock, "Tough, sir, devilish tough." We, the descendants, though chips of the self-same block, have lost in hardiness what we have perchance gained in polish. It was not only to the sick body, but also to the mind diseased, that the leeches and wise women of bygone days attempted to minister, with their potions and their nostrums.
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