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AMERICAN PUBLISHERS' NOTICE.
The prevention, no less than the cure of disease, is now understood to belong to the function of the physician, to whom alone the public can look for protection as well as for rescue. As the author very truly says: "The conception that these afflictions can be prevented is of modern times, and indeed we may say practically of the present century, or even of the later two-thirds of the present century;" and it would seem that the time had now come in which the results of the investigations and experience as to the relations between health and disease should be summed up, not only for present use but as a starting point for further acquisitions in this supremely important field of knowledge.
Although Dr. Richardson assumes that the present volume is intended primarily for the public, the publishers have, for the reason just stated, no hesitation in laying it before the profession, being advised that it contains much with which every physician should be familiar, while there is no work in the language in which the information here presented can be sought, systematically arranged, and intelligibly presented.
PHILADELPHIA, November, 1883.
I HAVE written this work for those members of the intelligent reading public who, without desiring to trench on the province of the Physician and Surgeon, or to dabble in the science and art of medical treatment of disease, wish to know the leading facts about the diseases of the human family, their causes and prevention. Any one, therefore, who opens this book with the expectation of finding in it receipts and nostrums will not have that expectation fulfilled, and will discover reference to no remedies except such as are purely preventive in character.
To adapt the book to the general reader I have carefully avoided most of the new names and terms which have recently stolen their way, at a rapid rate, into the literature of medicine. This was a necessity which I do not regret, because the old historical terms with which the people have become familiar are, as a rule, far more correct and classical than the new terms which have been introduced by modern caprice and love of change rather than by learning and judgment.
For the same reason I have kept pretty closely to that classification of diseases which has descended from the best scholars in medical science and art, and which, through their labors, is best known to the people at large.
For the objects and intentions of the book I respectfully refer the reader to the first or introductory chapter, in which all that is desired to be achieved is fully expressed.
25 MANCHESTUR SQUARE, LONDON, W.