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A TREATISE

PRACTICE OF MEDICINE.

Jt. PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS ON THE PATHOLOGY AND ETIOLOGY OF FEVER.

CHAPTER I.

OF THE PATHOLOGY OF FEVER IN GENERAL.

The history of practical medicine consists of little else than a review of the doctrines which have successively risen and sunk again, concerning the nature and treatment of fever. Whatever other objects of interest or importance within the dominion of medical science may have attracted the attention of physicians, fever has at all times been viewed as presenting the most extensive and inviting field for observation and the exercise of ingenuity. It is in this department that observation and research have been most industrious in accumulating materials, and that hypothesis has luxuriated in her wildest exuberance.

When, indeed, it is considered that the destroying angel has made bis most desolating visitations under the form of febrile epidemics, and that in the long list of human maladies, fever occurs in perhaps. nine cases out of ten, the paramount importance of this subject is strongly forced upon our convictions.*

• "If we except," says Van Swieten, " those who perish by a violent death, and such as are extinguished by mere old age, and which are indeed few, almost all the rest die either of fever, or of diseases accompanied with fever. We read in Pliny with what fear and trembling the Romans endeavoured to have

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