" Folk-Medicine " comprehends charms, incantations, and traditional habits and customs relative to the preservation of health and the cure of disease, practised now or formerly at home and abroad ; an attempt has been made in the following pages also to classify the explanations of the cause of disease which come to light in folk-lore. In approaching a subject involved in great obscurity the first duty of a writer must be to strike a note of warning. This is specially necessary when the primitive conceptions of the origin of disease, as suggested or evinced by existing folk-iore and kindred conceptions in Folk-Medicine generally, are to be considered. However well authenticated the facts may seem to be, any conjecture founded on them should, in the present state of our knowledge, be tendered with caution, and only accepted after careful consideration, for generalization on the subject of superstitions must be always perilous.
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