HAHNEMANN IN PARIS
The “Allg. Anzeiger der Deutschen,” published in No.227 of the year 1837, a reprint of a letter from Paris, to which Boenninghausen refers in his letter of November 25the, 1837 (Supplement 141).
This was also reprinted in ‘Volksblatter fur homoopathisches Heilverfahren,” of C. E. Wahrhold, 1838, Vol. III, page 202, and the ‘allg. hom.Ztg.” `1837, vol. XII, page 120. The letter reads:
Since Hahnemann has been living in Paris very little authentic news about him comes to Germany, yet we hope that many of his numerous friends will be pleased to hear a little more in detail about his life and activity in the French capital; therefore the following news will be welcome.
Hahnemann lives at No. I. Rue de Milan, in a beautiful house with comfortable surroundings, such as he always liked. His outward appearance has remained almost unchanged, neither Paris nor old age have left any perceptible marks., Taking all things into consideration we may surmise that his mental and bodily activate will be maintained for a considerable length of time with rare vigor and vitality. It may be difficulty to decide whether his practice is as extensive ease some would as answer, who regret that his advanced age will have to succumb to impracticable exertions, or whether we may believe a calmer section of his followers who state that he has a very select practice, especially among the higher classes,. One thing is certain, and that is, that his waiting-room is always occupied, and the last arrival has frequently to wait for hours for his turn. Hahnemann never curtails that thorough examination of patients so earnestly recommended by himself, so that every individual takes up longer time that is the case in the consulting-room of other physicians. It is noticeable that Hahnemann now visits patients in the city which he could not easily be induced to do before. A regard for his health. which might be endangered no constant sitting is said to brave determined him to o this. The recognition of this greatness by the public is slight, if we take into consideration the appreciation given to his scientific views in general., and to his relation to the homoeopathic medical world in particular. It is relatively of the greatest importance for the contending and disputing parties and tendencies in homoeopathy, that the Founder does not seem at all incline to listen to instructions and additional facts proffered to him with more or less discretion for a along time, by a followers o his doctrines. Hahnemann wishes, firmly and definitely, that we should adhere to the truth not only of his generally accepted fundamental principal’s but also to that which is characteristic of him, that is, the rejection of of told traditional methods, the old pathology, and especially nosology, the protest against treatment based on names of disease, methods and connections in general, which link up with the old school.
This is not the place nor is it my intention to criticize the different parties in homoeopathy, and we must, therefore, pass over the reasons which make him the greatest scientific reformer known to history. We may, however, be permitted to state here that the question is far from being settled by the generally so-called scientific arguments, of which we have begun to have a super-abundance in homoeopathic literature, but the strict, yet not unscientific, procedure of Hahnemann’s fundamental principles, opens the way to an incalculable form of research, the results of which cannot yet be surmised. Unfortunately this partly has only one important representative, m Hahnemann himself: perhaps Boenninghausen may be added. At all events this mall number of adherents is to be regretted and can only be explained by reason of imperfect comprehension, on the part of the physicians, of the tremendous importance of this matter and the enormous difficult in carrying it out.
Hahnemann’ stern zeal for the cause and his opposition to his enemies k is still the same as years go,. On he occasion of a public insulting attack against his former assistant, Jahr, and his small essay,” On the Spirit of homoeopathy” (the sense and spirit Hahnemann’s teachings the psora theory with a word for the times to all the homoeopaths who entirely accept Hahnemann;s system or who only follow it partially, by G. H. G. Jahr. 72 pages, octavo, bound in coloured paper cover, and published in Dusseldorf by J. E. Schaub, price 8 gr.), G. H. G. Jahr, 72 pages, octavo, bound in coloured paper cover, and published in Dussledorf by J. E. Schaub, m price 8 gr.), Hahnemann remarks: “I will not tell him this twaddle in order onto offend him; the little book is excellent and remarkable. G. Griesselich. wishes to make a name for himself by abusing me and me true teaching. He and his assistants think that they can make easy the most difficult of all human sciences, by spoiling it with he old leaven, and to save their lazy followers the trouble of studying and thinking which many homoeopaths already consider superfluous. G. cannot answer for the harm he as already done.”
The continuation of Hahnemann’s “Chronic Diseases,” furnishes a proof of his enduring activity, in the aim which he has pursued for so long. (“chronic Diseases, their peculiar nature and homoeopathic treatment,” by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, 3rd part. ‘Anti-psoric Remedies,” second much amplified and revised edition, 26 sheets in large octavo, vellum. Subscription price 2 thalers 4 g.) This is being compiled by him with great care and diligence even to the minutest details. A glance will suffice to convince of the careful and thoroughly volume which has been recently published. It would be a considerable loss of science (as many seem unwilling to recognize) if Hahnemann were prevented from completing this important work in its second and revised form.
The completion of a plan which already promises to be successful would be of great consequence to Hahnemann’s doctrines that is, the erection o f large hospital in Paris, which would be under his special direction and guidance, and whose physicians would be appointed by him. An opportunity would be found here o verifying on a large scale what has been reported from many isolated districts, about the brilliant results of homoeopathy. Whatever the results might be, science in general could only gain from such an undertaking, and every physician who seeks for truth, whatever the school may be to which he belongs, must earnestly wish that this plan may soon be put into execution.
A VISIT TO HAHNEMANN IN THE YEAR 1839
An American actress, Anna Cora Mowatt, who visited Hahnemann in Paris in 1839, after her return to America in 1840 wrote, among other things, in a series of essays, an account of her visit to Hahnemann, under the nom-de-plume, :”Helen Berkley.”
(“Leipzigr. Pop.Ztg,” 1895, vol. 26, page 62rr):
In the winter of 1839-1840 I paid my first visit to Hahnemann to ask his advice about a friend who was ill. In order to have a consultation as early as possible I took a cab at nine o, clock, and after approximately half-an-hour, the cab-driver stopped but did not descend from his seat. I asked him if we had arrived. he answered, “No, madame; it is not our turn yet; we must wait a little! There Hahnemann’s house,” He said, pointing to a palatial building which was visible some distance away. The house was surrounded buy a massive wall, in the middle of which was an iron gate. Becoming impatient at the delay I leaned out of a carriage-window and saw a long row of carriages in trot of s, which drove one after the other through the gate and came out again as soon as their occupants had descended. This was very annoying to me as I had taken such pains to arrive sufficiently early and now found out that it had all been useless. I saw behind me a similar tow of carriages which increased in number each minute. this I had taken my place in a procession which moved slowly onward to pay homage to this modern AEsculapius.
I had already heard of Hahnemann’s fame, but my faith in his skill was marvellously fortified as I stared behind me and before me, and then at the empty carriage driving away around me. In about twenty minutes the carriage in carriages driving away around me. In about twenty minutes the carriages in which I sat, wondering and waiting, during that time having moved a few paces forward every minute, at last drove briskly through the iron gate around the spacious court, and deposited me, to my own great satisfaction, at the front entrance of Hahnemann;’s magnificent dwelling. Three or four liveried domestics, assembled in a large hall, received the visitors as they alighted, and conducted them to the foot of the wide staircase. At the head of the first flight they were received by a couple more of these bedizened gentlemen, who ushered them into an elegant salon sumptuously furnished, and opening into a number of less spacious apartments.
The salon was occupied by fashionably dressed ladies and gentlemen, children with their nurses, and here and there an invalid reposing on a velvet cough or embroidered ottoman. The unexpected throb, the noisy hum of whispering voices, the laughter of sportive children, and the absence of vacant seats, were somewhat contusing. I entered at the same moment with a lady why with her nurse and child, had alighted from her carriage immediately before me. Probably noticing by bewildered air, and observing that I was a strange, she very courteously turned to me, and said in French :We shall be able to find seats in some other room;permit me to show you the way.”: I thanked her gratefully and followed her. After passing through a suit of thronged apartments, she led the way to a tasteful little bounder, which was only occupied by one or two persons. I knew that the lady who has so kindly acted as my conductors was a person of rank, for I had noticed the coat-of-arms on the panels, of her coach, and remarked that her attendants were clothed in livery. But to met with civility from strangers is of so common an occurrence in France, that her graciousness awakened in me no surprise. I subsequently learned that she has the Countess de R–, a young Italian, who had married a French count of some importance in he Beau monde.
We had hardly seated ourselves in the quiet little boundoir, when a valet entered and politely demanded our cards. They wee presented, and he placed them, in the order received, amongst a large number in his hand. It was obvious that we should be obliged to wait an indefinite period; and I soon commenced amusing myself by examining the fine pinging with which the walls were lavishly decorated, the pieces of sculpture, the costly vases scattered about the apartments, and the number of curious medals heaped upon he centers tables.
The sculpture, vases, medals, and even some of the paintings, had been presented to Hahnemann as memorials of the esteem and gratitude of his patients. I was standing before a most life- like portrait of the great doctor, lost in admiration of its masterly execution, when the young countess who had retained her seat while I wandered around the room, joined me and said: “Do you know who painted that picture?”
“No, “I replied,” but although I am not a judge of art, I should almost venture to say that it was the work of a master’s hand.”
“Undoubtedly it is a masterly piece of workmanship. It was executed, however, by Madame Hahnemann,”
“Madame Hahnemann! is it possible. Is Hahnemann married, then?”
‘Yes, certain, y,” answered the countess. (And now she related to the American in answer to her questions something of he life of Hahnemann, and that he had married is present wife, who was 45 years young than himself, at eighty years of age, that the marriage was a very happy one, and Madame Hahnemann takes the greatest care of her husband. The American was also told something of Madame Hahnemann;s life, that the latter came from a noble and rich family, and that as Mademoiselle d’ Hervilly she had been given up as phthisical (?)! and incurable by her physicians and that then from Italy where she had spent the winter she had travelled to Hahnemann in Cothen and had been cured by him.)
At that moment our conversation was interrupted by the entrance of a lady. she was attired in a simple demi-toilette, and wore no bonnet: I therefore concluded she was not a guest. The instant she entered, the delicate-looking child my new acquaintance had been caressing on her knee, sprang suddenly to the ground, and greeted the lady with expressions of the most affectionate copy,. She was an elegant looking women with a finely rounded form, somewhat above the medium height. Her face could not be called beautiful nor pretty, but the word handsome might be applied to it with great justice. her forehead was full and high, and her hair thrown back in a manner which perfectly displayed its expansive proportions. Those luxuriant tresses, of a bright flaxen hue, were partly gathered in a heavy knot at the back of her head, and partly falling long ringlets behind her ears. Her complexion was of that clear but tintless description which so strongly resembles alabaster. There was a thoughtful expression in her large blue eyes, which, but for the benignant smile on her lips, would have given a solemn aspect to her countenance.
She exchanged a few words with Madame de R—, kissed the child with much tenderness, and addressed several other persons present. While she was conversing the child retained her hand, following her about, and pressing close to her side with its little pale, affectionate face upturned at every pause, as though silently soliciting a caress. In a few minute she retired.
I turned to Madame de R—, and inquired, “Is that Madame Hahnemann?”
“Yes. Is she not q fine-looking woman?”
“Undoubtedly; and from her appearance along I can well imagine her endowed with many of the attribute you have described he as possessing. Your little son appears much attached to her
“Poor little fellow! He has good cause to be so. He has suffered, from his birth, with a scrofulous affection, which baffled the skill of the best medical men in paris. They gave me no hope of his recovery, and he is my only child. At three years; old he was unable to walk, or even stand alone. It is then that Hahnemann arrived in paris, and I immediately called upon him. It was impossible to bring the child where without risking his life, and Hahnemann attends to patient out of his house. Madame Hahnemann, however, told me not to be uneasy, as she would herself take charge of the body. She visited him regularly, twice a day, watch’s him with the anxious tenderness of a mother, and prescribed few months the child recovered. he was never had a positive return of the and physician every few weeks, for the sake of learning her opinion of his health, and consulting her concerning his management.”
“Do you mean that Madame Hahnemann prescribed for him on her own responsibility?”
“I do she is almost as thoroughly acquainted with medicine s he husband. She became his pupil, with a view to assisting him when age might weaken his faculties. she now attends to all his patients, as you will find directly; merely consulting him in cases of great difficulty”
“That is being a helpmate indeed. But are the patients always willing to trust her?”
“Assuredly; she has too incontestably proved her skill not to be trusted. hahnemann is no longer able to undergo the fatigue of attending to the multiplicity of cases crowded upon him. Madame Hahnemann is universally confided in, respected and beloved, especially by the poor.”
“I can well believe it. Is Hahnemann assisted by any of his children in the same manner as by his wife?”
‘Not exactly in the same manner, but still he is assisted by them. One of his daughters, Daughters? This is impossible; Hahnemann’s daughters were living in Germany. Only his daughter Amalie visited he father in Paris now and them. and a fine intelligent girl she is, has the sole superintend of an enormous folio, containing he names of all his correspondents, and the dates of their letters also of several other folios containing the letters themselves, arranged in alphabetical order. His other children are of service to him in various arranged in alphabetical order. His other children are to service to him in various ways. To assist him is their chief delight. As I told you before, I never beheld a more united family.”
“Miss Hahnemann’s services along must spare the doctor a vast deal of trouble.”
‘Yes; but still every moment of his time is employed. He is the most systematic man imaginable. In his library you will find thirty-six quarto volumes, his register of consultations written entirely by himself. A propose, his hand writing is really worth seeing. What do you think of a man, eighty-four years of age, who writes a hand firm as a man’s ought to be, fine enough to be a woman’s and elegant enough to be traced on copper-plate, and thus without spectacles?”
Our conversation was interrupted by a valet who announced that monsieur le doctor was at leisure and would see madame la contesse.
She bade me good morning, saying, “It will be your turn next-I shall not keep you waiting long.”
I hope not, thought I, as a glance at the clock informed me that it was somewhat more than three house since I first entered the house.
A few moments after Madame de R-left me I was startled by hearing the same valet distinctly pronounce by mane, somewhat Frenchified, to be sure, and announce that monsieur de doctor was ready to receive me. I was too much surprised to do anything but stare until I remembered that I had placed my card in his hand some three hours before. I rose and followed him. He led the way through the same apartments I had traversed one entering. The doctor’s reception-chamber was situated at the further end of the suite. Throwing open a door, he loudly announced me and retired.
I stood in the presence of monsieur le docteur and Madame Hahnemann. The chamber I now entered was more simply decorated than any I had visited. In the centre of the room stood a long table; t its head a slightly elevated platform held a plain looking desk, covered with books. In front of he desk sat Madame Hahnemann, with a blank volume open before her, and a gold pen in her hand. Hahnemann was reclining in a comfortable arm-chair, on one side of the table. His slender and diminutive form was enveloped in a flowered dressing gown of rich materials, and too comfortable in its appearance to be of other than Parisian make. The crown of his large, beautifully proportioned head was covered by a skull-cap of lack velvet. From beneath is strayed a few thin snowy locks, which clustered about his noble forehead, and spoke of the advanced age which the lingering freshness of his florid complexion seemed to deny. His eyes were dark, deep set, glittering and full of animation. They both rose to receive me, and I presented to Madame Hahnemann a letter from Dr. Hirschfeldt, of Bremen, an eminent physician who had formerly been a pupil of Hahnemann’s.
As Hahnemann greeted me, he removed from his mouth a long painted pipe, the bowl of which nearly reached to his knees; but after the first salutation, it was instantly resumed, as i was apprised by the volumes of blue smoke which began to curl about his head, as though to veil it from my injudicious scrutiny. Madame Hahnemann gracefully expressed her gratification at the perusal of the letter, read a few lines of it to her husband in an undertone, and made several courteous remarks to me while the doctor bowed, without again removing his pipe. In sharp contrast to this description is a communication of his grandson, Leopold Suss-Hahnemann.
It was evident that he did not immediately recognise Dr. Hirschfeldt’s name, and he was too much accustomed to receive letters of introduction to pay any attention to the contents.
Madame Hahnemann placed herself at the desk, with the doctor on her right hand and myself on her left. I stated the principal object of my visit, attempting to direct my conversation to Hahnemann rather than to him wife But I soon found that this was not selon la regale. Madame Hahnemann invariably replied, asking a multiplicity of questions, and noting the minutes symptoms of h case as fast as my angers were given. Several times she referred to her husband, who merely replied, with his pipe between his teeth, ‘Yes, my child,” or ‘Good, my child, good!” And these we the only words that I as yet had heard him utter. After some time spent in this manner, r Madame Hahnemann accidentally asked.” Where was your friend first attacked? : “In Germany, ” I replied. Hahnemann had been listening attentively although he had not spoken. the instant I uttered these work his whole countenance brightened, as though a sunbeam had suddenly fallen across it, and he exclaimed in an animated tone, “Have you been in Germany? You speak German, don’t you?” The conversation had hitherto been carried on in French; hut the ready “Certainly.” with which I answered his question apparently gave him unfeigned pleasure. He immediately commenced a conversation in his native tongue, inquiring how I was pleased with Germany-what I thought of the inhabitants and their customs -whether I found the language difficult-how I was impressed with the scenery, and continuing an enthusiastic strain of eulogium upon his beloved country for some time. Then he asked from whom was my letter. When I pronounced the name of Dr. Hirschfeldt, to which he had listened so coldly before, he expressed the deepest interest in his welfare, and spoke of him with mingled affection and esteem. I was too much delighted with he doctor animated and feeling remarks to change t topic. Yet I felt that he had lost sight, and was fast inducing me to do the same, of the primary object of my visit. Madame Hahnemann, however, though she smiled and joined in the conversation, had not forgotten the host of good people who were taking lessons of patience in the antechambers.