Editorials and Medical Intelligence

1848 Boston Medical and Surgical Journal  
has been published, showing that the subject of which it perpetually treats, viz., water, and its sovereignty over diseases, possesses an untiring charm to the patrons of the Journal. It is a maxim with politicians, that people with but one idea can know but little of human affairs; and, moreover, that they are both to be pitied and laughed at for their persistence in an effort to centralize the attention of the whole world upon the one great thought occupying their minds. In that field of
more » ... that field of observation, it may be so ; but in medicine, alas, a long course of observation demonstrates the fact, that the one-idea champions-at least those who join the ranks in season-invariably succeed in the accomplishment of their object,-first, in benefiting themselves, and next in favorably impressing a certain portion of the public with a belief in their doctrines, whether true or not. An adventurer starts off with a miraculous pill, for example, making such monstrous pretensions in respect to its efficacy, that the fellow at once becomes the butt of ridicule, and the source of unmeasured merriment, Wilh a single eye, however, to the accomplishment of an original design of making a fortune out of nothing, he is inilotnitablo and unrelaxing in his efforts to reach every ear with the marvels of his new medicine, and, to the surprise of every body, he succeeds, and not only enriches himself even beyond his own aspirations, but, through the assistance of fools, who are always in the majority where palent medicines are patronized, créales a reputation for disinterested benevolence. This is a specimen of the one-ideaisin in medicine with which ihe world now abounds. Is not the hydropathic mania of the same class and charaf 1er ? By a perseverance that never acknowledges fatigue, and by operating on those who are ready to seize upon straws, either from absolute necessity to keep off that worst of distempers, ennui, or for amusement, the wuter-cnro physicians, with their one idea, have introduced themselves, almost unperceived, and, with a modesty and simplicity of manner, have captivated an order of intellect that will by and by recoil with surprise, if not with indignation, from the fascinations of the system. What is more innocent than water ? is the oft-repeated question ; and who shall dare deny its potency over the thousands of maladies which prey upon humanity ? All the while, water is water still,-pure, harmless, and forever the same excellent necessary of life; while the nctive imaginations of those who live in wet shoets, and fancy that their days have boen prolonged by n skilful appli-
doi:10.1056/nejm184808090390206 fatcat:bqdvj6mwfvh4jgka22drjqcihq