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The source of this error seems to arife from people not being duly sensible of the value of health, till they have lost it, and the evils they might certainly avoid on this occafion ; for, in general, medical advice, and the services that might result from it, are undervalued and disregarded, on the mere presumption that the diseases they are said to have prevented, would probably never have happened. But if intemperance and neglect are known to destroy health ; tem. perance and prudent caution will as certainly preserve it. Valetudinarians would therefore act a friendly part to themselves, in supposing a Physician as much entitled to reasonable gain, for laying down rules towards the preservation of health, as he who should prescribe medicines with a view to restore it.
If some faults, therefore, fall to the share of the medical profession, others may as justly be imputed to many who employ
them. Very unreasonable advantages are fometimes, taken of the most liberal and disinterested conduct. The visits of a Physician, or attendance of an Apothecary, are often requisite, when the first finds it unnecessary to prescribe medicines, or the last to prepare them.
There are seasons when they ought to be discontinued as well as administered, and every one who has judgment and probity will duly regard such distinctions; but this cannot possibly be done without seeing the patient from time to time ; consequently, visits made on those occasions being equally important to their safety, ought not to be disregarded; and it is a real hardship that those whom honesty forbids to direct medicines, where none are necessary, should fuffer in their interest on that account.
It would be affectation, as well as ingratitude in me to regard with indifference the distinguished marks of public approbation, however unmerited, which
the former editions of these Medical In. structions have been received, notwithstanding the puny efforts of felfishness and prejudice. If I have had much trouble in preparing them for publication the pleasure I have sincerely felt, in rendering them serviceable to the community, has been a sufficient recompence.
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Of the Periodical Discharge peculiar to Women,
in its natural state, commencing at the age of maturity.
TOWARDS a more perfect know
ledge of Chronic Diseases incident to women, and as an introduction to their treatment and cure, it will be necessary to explain the nature of that periodical discharge which commences at the age of maturity.
A minute discussion of the many specu. lative paints and contraverted opinions mentioned by authors, would rather embarrass
and perplex, than instruct the female reader, it will be sufficient to lay before her such plain and obvious circumstances as afford general idea of the subject, and tend to difpoffess her mind of those prevailing errors, which might otherwise influence her conduct to the prejudice of health.
First then, it should be remarked, that a woman's conftitution is endowed with the power to prepare a larger quantity of vital fluid called blood, than is necessary for the immediate subsistence of her own body; the overplus being intended for the nourishment of her child in the womb; and left it should over-fill the vessels and incommode her constitution, when she is not pregnant, provident nature has ordered it off by the womb once a month ; it is therefore properly called the Menses or Monthly Difcharge.
'Tis evident that this superfluous blood was intended for the service of the infant,