UNPUBLISHED MATERIAL FROM THE WRITINGS OF CONSTANTINE HERING


Friends it requires the highest order of both physical and moral courage, to risk life calmly in trying to succour others. Witness the heroic act of a man alone in a room, whence all the attendants have fled, with a box he has just opened containing the most venomous serpent, the largest of its species, form whose glands after the most mature deliberation, he is about to extract the deadly poison.


Evidently the great-nephew of Dr. C.B. Knerr, author of Knerrs Repertory to Herings Guiding Symptoms, and one of the Editors who carried that great work to completion after the death of Hering; who, a few weeks before his death, said: “Perhaps from my place in Heaven, I may peep through a little hole, and see that my work is well done.” It was!.

IT appears to me to be unusually appropriate, and significant, that the International Association of strictly homoeopathic physicians should hold its meeting here, today, in his Athens of the New World where homoeopathy has flourished from its earliest history in this country, and where the torch still burns brightly showing the way to all who avidly search for its true and unadulterated principles. I refer with highest praise to the Post Graduate Course in Homoeopathic Medicine established here in Boston.

It is with extreme regret that we must admit that our precious principles are taught in so stepmotherly a fashion in some of our institutions. We reluctantly come to realize that newcomers about to take up the study of medicine would do well to first enter any of our modern universities where are taught the fundamental branches essential to a sound medical and surgical knowledge; to graduate therefrom, then, finally, to take a full course in homoeopathic materia medica and therapeutics so ably taught in this post-graduate course.

It is here, in Boston, that men like the Wesselhoefts came to practice. One of these, the elder William, was a pioneer, who had stood shoulder to shoulder with Hering at the Allentown Academy, the first Homoeopathic college in the world, where homoeopathic literature had its beginning, where some of the earlier textbooks, printed in German, were translated and published for the benefit of its students.

It was there that Wesselhoeft gathered the seeds of sound doctrine which he later planted here in Boston, which has borne fruit manifold and is still productive in the hands of his successors.

Among the pioneers, the founders of the Allentown Academy, I am proud to name one of my ancestors, a country clergyman of German descent, the Rev. John Helfrich, who, like the honoured Boenninghausen, became a skilled amateur in homoeopathy, which he practised among his parishioners and friends and assisted in making provings and contributions to the literature of those early days.

I owe my affiliation with my great teacher and honoured father- in-law, which began directly after my graduation from Hahnemann College, in the year 1869, to the close friendship between Dr. Hering and my great-uncle.

To the few to whom it has been permitted, by Providence, to have shared in the lives and labours of great men, to have lived, walked and talked with them, shared their intimacies and confidences, observed them in their daily tasks of doing good in a great way, has been granted a privilege that cannot be too highourly estimated, nor too deeply treasured in both heart and mind.

As I look back upon the past from what must be near the summit of a long life, longer than what is allotted to most men, I realize that the years in which I sat at the feet of Hering were years of golden opportunity.

From the moment of my entering upon my duties as assistant to the great Master, it was borne upon in my mind that this rare opportunity for acquiring supreme knowledge, would also be an opportunity for sharing with others of my profession, particularly those of a future generation, advantages enjoyed by me.

I forthwith began to record in a diary the conversations of Dr. Hering, his table talk, the daily incidents that occurred in his busy life, his interviews with other physicians of prominence, who came to consult or to be instructed and entertained by the sage so widely known and respected.

In the years that followed, eleven in all, with the exception of a year and three months spent abroad in hospitals, and interval, the book grew to a fair size filled with a mass of daily notes, of a kind that are calculated to interest the general reader, the followers of Hahnemann, and particularly the neophytes in homoeopathy.

I have in mind, if my plans succeed, the place before the pubic, and the profession, a volume to bear the little, Conversation and Philosophy of Dr. Constantine Hering, in two parts; Part I to contain the Notes, Part II, “Appreciations by the Profession”, in all covering about four hundred pages, to be neatly bound, and obtainable at a moderate price.

This first of a series of volume is to be followed by other volumes to contain the Lesser Writings from Herings pen, consisting of essays on materia medica, and therapeutics; provings and history of provings; clinical observations; correspondence with eminent homoeopaths of an early period: Hahnemann, Stapf, Jenichen and others in foreign lands as well as that of a later period, letters from and to practitioners in this country: Allen, Dunham, Bayard, Bell, Berridge (of London), Boyce, Bute (Herings student and predecessor in North America the one who coped with the cholera, in Philadelphia, before Herings arrival), P.P. Wells, the Wesselhoefts, William and Conrad, and many from different parts of the world.

Calvin B Knerr