Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/757

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HOMŒOPATHY AS A SCIENCE.

have one billion cubic feet of air saturated with the smell. Not only is this space filled once, but it is kept filled for an hour, radiating out indefinitely into space; from which it is clear, according to our critic, that a passer-by, an hour afterward, deceives himself by a supposititious shock to the sense of smell caused by the decillionth part of the drop of skunk-odor. But the involuntary clapping of the hand to the nose affords conclusive proof that both the sensor and motor nerves have been sensibly affected.

That in a chemical laboratory there is no appliance so sensitive as a diseased nerve, does not argue the inefficacy of the atomic dose, but proves the want of adaptation of the chemical apparatus to deal with the subject.

Hahnemann's method of trituration is urged as an argument against his principles, without showing that it has anything to do with the principles, or that it fails to accomplish the object sought. The work is now done with great exactness by machinery.

It is said that since the discovery of the Sarcoptis hominis, or itch insect, the dogma about psora being such a powerful factor in the causation of diseases has fallen to the ground; that is to say, that those who supported this theory have been, by this discovery, forced to abandon it. Why? Evidently because the theory is inconsistent with the itch-insect. But who proves it? Is the disease the cause of the insect, or the insect the cause of the disease? Do maggots breed carrion, or carrion maggots? Was Hamlet trying to shift the responsibility of Polonius's death from himself to the worms?

"Now, Hamlet, where's Polonius?"

"At supper."

"At supper! Where?"

"Not where he eats, but where he is eaten. A certain convocation of politic worms are e'en at him."

That is, the worms killed Polonius.

But it is clear that Hamlet was not so mad as that, for he said, "For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog, being a god-kissing carrion—"

So will psora breed the Sarcoptis hominis, but so will not the insect breed the itch. Being but the effect, it can not produce the cause. It is not its own causa causans.

Homœopathy has suffered, and is likely to suffer, more from its friends than from its enemies.

Persons who adopt it as an easy means of gaining a livelihood are apt to fail, and fall back upon the allopathic school, with its nosology and procrustean prescriptions. Few are those in any calling who have either the frankness to confess or ability to perceive the cause of failure to be from within. The convenience of a name for every disease is apparent. It relieves from further investigation. How little Dr. Shepherd knows of the laws of homœopathy may be demonstrated