She came by ran to town to see, me, and a married daughter was in the habit of meeting her at the station. When she first came to me she was not able to recognize her daughter on the platform, but this morning she recognized her already at quite a distance, and that readily, and can as readily discern my pictures.


July.-Vision much improved; can now read an article in the newspaper.

Rx Iodium 30.

August.-Receive word from the daughter that patient now sees so well that she does not propose continuing treatment any longer. She reads books with large print comfortably.

September 15th.-A lady friend of the patient called about her own condition, and remarked,”Mrs.-now reads the paper from an hour and a half to two hours every day.” She is now eighty-two years of age.

London, September, 1881.

This is my thirty-fifth reason for being a homoeopath.


You are in a sense quite right in saying that my last-cited case was not a complete cure, but kindly note that I did not say it was; moreover, the cure was enough, for what more does an octogenarian want than the power to read the newspaper by the hour? As my thirty-sixth reason for being a homoeopath I will mention one other case of cataract-this time so completely cured that patient can read No.1. Is that good enough?

The lady came first to me in June, 1884, being then fifty- eight years of age, and as clear-thinking, hard-headed a sceptic as ever you saw. The diagnosis was made by an eminent specialist, whose opinion you would not dream of doubting. You see he is so sweetly orthodox! If he were to turn homoeopath, however, he would not (thereafter) know a lens from a broom-handle!

I looked humbly at the lenses-both of them-and found them uniformly milky-opaque; but as I am not an oculist, and, besides, am so sorely heterodox, you will not care to know how the lady’s lenses appeared to my optics; so just take it parenthetically as it were, that to me they were “kinder darkish like”; cataract our orthodox specialist calls it! Well, I discharged her cured in July, 1887, and able to read No.1.

As I said before, is that good enough? In any case it is my thirty-sixth reason for being a homoeopath-so I bid good-bye to cataracts for the present!

P.S.-In case you should care to know what remedies this lady took, I subjoin a list, viz. Urea 6 and then 12, Psorinum C, Calcarea carb. C, Sulphur 0, Silicea 30, Thuja C, Calcarea carb. 30, Causticum C, Silicea C, Causticum 30, Lapis alb. 30, Sulphur 30, Conium 1, Calcarea flour. 30, Graphites 30 Chelidonium 0, Hepar 3, etc. The reasons for giving them I cannot explain here but the patient’s lenses ar now so clear that she sees to thread needles. *Note.-The indications for all these remedies may be found in any Materia Medica Pura Homoeopathica.*


You take exception to that number of remedies used in my last case, and want to know “which cured the case?

Will you get a long ladder and put it up against the side of your house, and mount it so as to get into your house by the top window; and window and when you have safely performed the feat write and tell me which rung of that ladder enabled you to do it.

I sympathize with your objection because it was once my own great stumbling-block in accepting the results of homoeopathic treatment; it may perhaps be adequately explained somewhere in the vast literature of the homoeopathic fraternity, but I have have never come across such an explanation and hence have had to work it out for myself. I will put it to you thus:- In difficult, chronic complicated cases of disease you require not a remedy but a ladder (series) of remedies, not one of which can of itself effect the cure, but each of which works cure words, their cumulative action eventuating in a cure – THAT is how I cure cataract and many other chronic diseases that are currently held to be incurable by most men of all shades of therapeutic opinion. I regard this power of utilizing a long series of remedies for the cure of difficult chronic cases as only second in importance to the law of cure itself. I originally learned the thing in conversation with Dr. Drysdale of Liverpool though not formulated by him, and I doubt if Dr. Drysdale ever did formulate it. In my own mind I call it the ladder of remedies plan. It is what I often heard Dr. Drysdale call ” a course of medicines.”

I often compare the cure of a difficult case of disease to a game of chess in which you have king queen bishops, knights rooks and pawns the various powers which you must learn before you can play chess.

You do not expect to play chess without learning the game, but you do expect to be able to treat homoeopathically without even knowing the homoeopathic pawn! Hence my writing you all these reasons for my being a homoeopath is a futile farce. I am in fact, writing to you about chess without your knowing the pieces or even the board! Still here is my thirty-seventh reason.

It is more than a dozen years ago that I in the North attended a very wealthy lady, about seventy years of age, for acute mania. The friends had, under the advice of the local practitioner, decided to send her to an asylum, but I objected to that course being very sure she would never come out again. I have had charge of an asylum myself and know well that therapeutically anyone that goes to an asylum is lost.

They are treated with great kindness and kept from harm and mischief but as to curing them- well the doctors” never even try! and indeed it is useless to treat the demented allopathically. But good genuine Homoeopathy would cure half the inmates of our asylums. You will question my statement, I dare say, but it is the bare simple truth all the same. It has been well and learnedly argued in the theory and often proved in practice as you may find for yourself if yourself if you will refer to our hereto-relative literature.

Homoeopathic (and other!) practitioners are often hoodwinked by the personal surroundings of a patient, and to be pitchforked into a nest of unbelievers to cure a desperate case is verily no pleasant position to be in, as any physician of the homoeopathic ilk knows but too well.

Now my patient had a lady companion who cast a withering glance at my humble self, and I knew instantly that she would baulk me in my efforts to cure unless I go or she must solemnly promise to obey all my orders with regard to the patient, “for said I, you do not believe in Homoeopathy, do you? “No indeed, I do not!” And that young lady’s look of scorn and contempt!

Thanks to Baptisia and other common homoeopathic.

remedies my patient made a complete recovery and never had a relapse.

This is my thirty-seventh reason for being a homeopath, and if ever I lose my reason become maniacal great Father in heaven, send me a homoeopathic brother who will treat me as I treated Mrs. B —


If you really wish to know the remedies that “did the trick’ in my last reason, you have only to look into our literature with a humble receptive mind, and you will soon spot them!

I must get on with my task, which is beginning to pall upon me, and I really cannot spare the time.

Not very long after I said good-bye to my ex-maniacal patient I was one afternoon sitting in my consulting room, when who should appear on the scene but the before-mentioned lady companion of my said ex-maniacal patient.

“Doctor,” said she, as you have cured Mrs. B -, I have been wondering whether you could also cure my sister, who is in an asylum suffering from mania; she is very bad, and the doctors say they have no hope of her, as she has been violent for so long.”

I enquired somewhat into the nature of the case, and gave as my opinion that Homoeopathy could cure her.

The plan was communicated to the superintendent of the asylum, who called me some very hard names, the first of which was that I was a deceiver, and that I knew perfectly well that she would never get well. We required the help of three or four people to bring her in a special carriage, and her violence was dreadful for many weeks.

For more than twelve years this young lady has been as same as you or I, and has during all that time fulfilled the ordinary duties of an independent English lady. If you care to know what medicines did the good, you will find the whole case reported in the British Journal of Homoeopathy, about a dozen years ago. I remember figures with difficulty, so I cannot give you the exact date. The young lady went with her mother to see the said asylum physician after she was well, but this cure did not lead him, so far as I ever heard, either to apologize to me for his vulgar slanders of me, or to investigate the system of medicine that helped me to cure where he failed, and which cure is my thirty- eighth reason for being a homoeopath. *Note.- This lady still continues quite well (1896) *


The weather is bad to-day so I am not busy in my chambers; sick people cannot get out in this dreadful weather, and that gives consulting physicians a little time to ruminate. However a gentleman of seventy-nine, whom I have just converted to Homoeopathy was here just now, and his case must afford my thirty-ninth reason. It has the merit of being short and needing no particular introduction. He came to me last August and what fixed my attention was his striking resemblance to the late Lord Cairns who, by the way was a homoeopath, as was also ARchbishop Whately, the logic Man, Fancy the great logician a homoeopath!

James Compton Burnett
James Compton Burnett was born on July 10, 1840 and died April 2, 1901. Dr. Burnett attended medical school in Vienna, Austria in 1865. Alfred Hawkes converted him to homeopathy in 1872 (in Glasgow). In 1876 he took his MD degree.
Burnett was one of the first to speak about vaccination triggering illness. This was discussed in his book, Vaccinosis, published in 1884. He introduced the remedy Bacillinum. He authored twenty books, including the much loved "Fifty Reason for Being a Homeopath." He was the editor of The Homoeopathic World.