Article #203 - Hayes/Fussell


Reply to Dr. Fussell, by G. P. Hayes


            Having as you are all aware who attended our last regular meeting; been severely attacked by a gentleman who differs widely from myself in the manner of treating diseases of different kinds, and not having been accustomed to extemporaneous speaking which I deeply regret that I have not practiced to a greater extent, and not being fully satisfied with the termination of the discussions, I deem it my duty at this time, to criticize for a few moments upon the arguments offered by my opponent against the principals [sic] I had assumed as a Materia Medica. Yet I hope my arguments shall be conducted in a different manner from his in the onset, and if I should be so fortunate as to ultimately triumph, then will be my time [for] wholesale denunciations, ridicule and contemptuous remarks upon his logic as he should take as freely as he gives.

            It is an imperative duty incumbent upon every rational individual, to contribute his or her mite toward establishing out of all proffessions [sic] upon the broad basis of truth and phylosophy [sic], and in the subject that we are now about to investigate, upon which rests

the welfare of suffering humanity, it is important that such a system of Materia Medica should be established and practiced as if founded on the never changing foundation of phylosophy. The question arises where is there such a rock upon which the afflicted of every nation upon the face of the earth may stand with a well grounded hope of being rescued from a premature grave, toward which their motion has been greatly accelerated by the slime of disease.

            Having at our last meeting as before mentioned assumed one that is perfectly simple and easy of practice the principals of which my opponent did not attack therefore I have but to refer you to it, for the principals inculcated, as his stormes [sic] of words has not yet scared me entirely out of my belief in it, simply because it was denounced by a veteran in the field of physic. Experience has been through all time and still continues to be an unerring pedagogue.

            Chemists no doubt can fortel [sic] to a great degree of certainty what will be the result of the admixture of certain ingredients, yet an actual experiment is actually indispensible to ascertain the final ultimatum. And thus it is with the different practices of Medicine. It is an easy matter for persons to build up theories upon sandy foundations, when they have not experimented  upon their own constitutions and to sound their trumpets through the printing press and attract the attention of the afflicted, anad induce them to try their medicine which has become so very popular as they say, though perhaps its inventor has in reality not disposed of a dozen bottels [sic], whereby they think to gain relief but alas how often do they pluck a thorn ins[t]ead of a

rose. This may be said to be diverting from the old school practice to the numerous preparations

now offered as patent or quack medicines. Yet there is no doubt but what they are much more nearly related to the al[l]opathy system, than to the hydropathy and whose principal is most invariably the same. After the relation of a story by which the doctor thought to completely storm and upset my castle, which he attempted to compare to the arguments I had adduced, he entered into a wholesale business of what scattering stock he could possibly scrape up of denunciation.

            The story was good enough if it had been applicable, but for my part I thought it very rough comparison for one who has been practicing the trade for such a length of time as the doctor. I have not had the good fortune to peruse the writings of such talented men as those from which he made an extensive quotation about trinstiches and tristiches which are words that are not to be found in Websters unabridged dictionary, and I am inclined to think that he has been perusing one of Davy Crockets [sic] almanacs instead of scientific works to find such high toned sentiments, and seasoned with such phylosophy as was contained in his arguments, and by

means of which he adduced such a compleet [sic] [??] to the Materia Medica I attempted to establish. As regards the requisitions of physicians if we obey physiological laws as he alluded to in his narrative they would become useless artacles [sic]. Yet in order to prevent the ar[r]ival of such a glorious epoch have the founders of medicine through the principles of ignorance and

interest for a long time endeavoured to keep their employers ignorant of the laws which govern health to the same degree of certainty as the mathematician solves a difficult problem. The essence of one of his stiches which I believe he termed trinstich was that if we did not become sick we would not require a physician. And I suppose he thinks that because persons become sick through violated physical laws he would have them made much worse before entirely recovering by gargling down some of his medicines such as calomel and its near relatives.

As his stiches are of but trifling importance, I believe it will not afford seven percent to follow them through. The doctor in one of his deadly blows positive[ly] denies that the al[l]opathy practitioners give medicine that will poison to effect a cure. Now I admit that this may probably be a fact, but I must tell him that I consider it very doubtful indeed. For my part I have always been of the opinion that they claimed that as the principal of their system, as I have almost if not entirely observed that the medecines administered by them stimulated before as they say

effect a cure, and upon asking him the principal of their Materia Medica he very nicely turns aside from answering the question by saying that it would require two weeks to tell the principals by which they are governed.

            I do wonder if the doctor has to study two weeks after examining a patient before he can prescribe a dose of calomel or whatever their system would require them to administer. I presume not or he would not be so popular as he now is, unless he acquired his fame by letting nature doing her own doctoring. No doubt she would decide in much less time than a fort-night, and in my opinion would be much more likely to prescribe the most appropriate remedy she could find in her great laboratory. Until he can explain this point more satisfactory [sic], I can tell him he need not count me as an Alpathist [sic], for I cannot believe what I cannot understand. Yet I do

believe that one reason why he kicked so hard was because there was some truth in arguments I

offered at our last meeting and he is afraid they will if they have not long ago, take root and flo[u]rish. It may be his candid opinion that his mode of treating diseases is the most appropriate and superior to all others, and as we live in a free country, he must grant me the same priviledge [sic] as he claims for himself. For from our personal appearance I presume our hearers will consider that I am as deeply interested in finding one that will answer as a compleet [sic] panacea

whereby I may gain my health equal to my opponent, as for him in advocating its propriety whereby he expect to profit from it pecuniarily. For what is here upon this earth so valuable as health. With it {??fine] is pleasure, Without it miserable existence.

            Again the Doctor tells us there is poison in every thing, even in the air we breath[e] and the water we drink. If this be true I wounder [sic] how he ever attained his presence [sic] corpulency as I know that he both breathes and drinks. It is certainly a great wonderment that he does not abandon their use entirely, if they are so poisonous as he represents them to be and take to eating a fair portion of calomel for breakfast, an ounce of {??jollep] for dinner with the delicious dish of blue {??mass] for a des[s]ert, and a few grains of the 28 or thirty preparations of iron to satisfy the demands of his appetite for supper, as I cannot call this tea. I presume he would ascertain before many months that they did not possess the life supporting principal and be convinced that the air we breath[e] and water we drink are not the most poisonous substances in existence.

            I believe he also asserted that I was entirely ignorant of chemistry, though I acknowledge I never have had the honour of receiving a diploma on this branch of science, I have heard tell of [??] treated in this subject I feel that I am chemist enough to know from actual experiment, that

he uses poison, and that is enough without analyzing his medicines further.

            He willingly acknowledges that he never cured a patient in his life, and that it was impossible for medicine to effect a cure. Here the truth of the old adage which says that an honest confession is good for the soul, is again exemplified, and no doubt such was the case with the doctor. And why does he adhere with such tenacity to his systems? Though I suppose he follows it because of the name and that it is an easy way of dig[g]ing the gold dust. For shure[sic] it is an honour to have M D attached to a persons name even if it be for mule driver.

            Further I believe he said the author of Natures Materia Medic[a] was without brains. I thank him for the high compliment and in return let me answer if I though[t] he had one iota to spare and leave him as a man of an ordinary mental capacity, I would very willingly condescend

to humble myself so much as to ask it of him, because I willing[ly] acknowledge my insignificance, yet I do not fear wars of words when I feel the principals I advocate are founded on the never changing foundation of philosophy. If I may be permitted to judge of him by the science of physiognome [sic] my conclusions would be that he possesses full an[d] ordinary portions, if his scaranium [?cranium] is not more than an inch in thickness, and like his physical

system throughout coarse in fiber and sloathful [sic] to activity unless actuated by interest or some selfish motive, as manifest on that occasion.

            Though I have a friendly feeling toward my opponent let me say to him he must take as freely as he gives. Brains or no brains I know full well that unless I could have produced one iota of argument or denied and proved the fallacy of a single assertion I would not get up before an intelligent audience and expose my ignorance and weakness to my passions as my opponent did.

            Next in regard to the requisitions of the Latin Language. I have much to say on this point but time compells me to be as brief as possible

            On this like on other points he is like the irishman with his bedfellow, who took his half in [the] middle and who gave his comrade his half on both sides. In the onset he said that it was actually indispensible in the study of medicine and that parts of the system and artacles of medicine had been named with latin terms and that a latin name was just as easy to recollect as an English one. So far as regards the name I concur with him, but what I objected to was having English and latin both, and though I am something of an abolitionist I am no amalgamationist, so let us adopt whatever is best.

            If any one should ask me for still greater proof of the uselessness of this practice, I would ask them to visit an apothecary shop where every artacle is labeled with latin and another in english, and I feel well assured they [?that] you would soon be convinced that the introduction of the Latin language was to render the study more difficult and thereby prevent physicians from becoming so numerous as to brake [sic] down the business.

            I would ask the doctor why it is that their orders to apothecaries are not written in english? Is it because they would not be understood by apothecaries or to prevent the bearer from knowing what he prescribes? Even this alone betrays his bigotry and his love for interest before the general diffusion of knowledge, whereby mankind would be benefited.

            On this point he was something like Paddy in politics who upon a critical time said, Just give me a wee bit of your mind and there I am with you. For at first he advocated its use and before he finished I believe he said he had made considerable exertion to introduce physiological

works into the common schools and those without tecnacealities [sic].

            Now I would ask my opponent in case this argument should be continued further to take one side or the other so that I may know whether we can agree or not on this point.

            Again he said my artacle was all humbug. As for this I will not vouch at present but refer

my hearers to the artacle itself. Yet I think it must have homed considerably in the Dr ears, or he certainly would not have set up such a roaring as was heard on that occasion, and I firmly believe that he fears that the humbuggarry [sic] of his system will soon be discovered, and let me tell him, although he is a physician, that the Marlboroughites so far as I have been able to learn, relish natures medicines which are ever at hand upon the face of the earth, better than those from its interior.

            I was also diverted at the mistake he maid [sic] on the false impression under which he laboured as regarded the origin of the artacle, as I have since been informed that he thought it came from a neighbouring association, and I suppose he was not aware that the practical anatomist on the quadrumania was synonomous [sic] to But[c]her Boy who now and then makes

a scratch for this Lyceum, I think he would be an excellent man in a rifle company to fight in a woods where he could deal out his deadly blows while in ambush or when he felt that he would not be seen or heard by his enemy. Yet unless he could be more successfull [sic] than in the last enguagement [sic] I think he would do well to use blank cutterages [cartridges?] for it certainly is a great wast[e] [of] grape.

            There is one subject which was neglected in its propper [sic] place which I shall now mention that is the assertion that I made, that there has been a move made toward introducing the greek language into the study of medicine, which my opponent denies, although we cannot agree I will not yet with draw the assertion as I have every reason to belive that I will soon be able

to convince him if he is not to[o] obstinate to be convinced and although he is a freesoiler I would ask him to be democratic on this subject, and remember that we live under a republican form of government where freedom of thought and speech are tolerated.

            As he pronounced me brainless my productions humbug throughout, let me tell him that I consider his remarks as cracke[d] corn and small potatoes with one in a hill together and the hills a mile apart, and to help him out they are as hollow as a soap bubble, with the skin dreadfully

diseased. They were worse than the Irish cats who eat themselves all up but the end of their tails for he does not even leave a shadow from a bristle from the latter end of their nar[r]ative.

            In concluding let me remark, that I had no idea of the abovementioned artacle causing one to write this one or anything of a similar character, and as the first was partiall[y] the means of becoming acquainted, I hope that no unfriendly feelings may arise from our controversy, for I feel it to be my duty to stand by what I believe to be true, regardless of the opinions of others, and

ever keep my mind in a passive state, when any one attempts to enlighten me on any subject, and

when I can be convinced, I shall not hesitate for a moment to acknowledge it, and proclaim it to the world through this association, and I shall feel thankful for the instruction I may receive, and should the Dr feel that he is aggrieved by my remarks or sarcasm I would have to remember the character of his.