HAHNEMANN HAS TO LEAVE TORGAU.
Hahnemann wrote to von Villers (“Leipz.Pop.Zeitschr. f. Hom.,” 1880. 11 year, page 47): Torgau, January 30th, 1811.
Another few words from me. I am living (now nearly fifty-six years old) surrounded by my family which is very dear to me–a wife of exceptional kindness, and seven happy, almost grown-up daughters, who are well educated, obedient and innocent, they take every care of me, and brighten my life (also with music). I am nearly always able to heal quickly and prematurely any patients entrusted to my care, and in that way make many people happy, through the Grace of Him Who made the remedies and put them in my hands. Am I not to be envied? But, see, they are making all preparations, to transmute Torgau into a big and terrible fortress, in which my family is not likely to live in peace. I have to sell my dear and comfortable freehold house and move hence–undecided–where? You see, dear friend, in this way the all-wise Providence puts sorrow on the other side of the scales, if the first is to hold such a full measure.
The Dissertation on Venia Legendi has the following title: Dissertatio historico-medica de Helleborismo veterum Quam Gratiosi medicorum ordinis auctoritate in auditorio maiori D. XXVI Junii MDCCCXII defendet auctor Samuel Hahnemann Medicinae et chirurgiae Doctor acad. Moguntinae scientiar utilium societies phys. med. Erlang. et societ.
regiae oeconom. quae Lipsiae floret sodalis honorarius Respondente Frederico Hahnemann filio art. lib. Mag. etc. med. bacc.
Lipsiae impressit Carolus Tauchnitz.
English: Historic-medicinal essay on treatment and cure with Hellebore of the Ancients.
Delivered by kind permission of the medical faculty in the large Audience Hall, on June 26th, 1812, defended by the author Samuel Hahnemann, doctor of medicine and surgery, honorary member of the Society of applied sciences at Mayence, of the physical and medical Society of Erlangen, of the Royal economic Society, which flourishes in Leipsic; it will be answered by his son Fredrick Hahnemann, Master of Arts and Bachelor of Medicine [Student who is just about to take his examinations for his Doctor’s degree– R.H.). Leipsic, printed by Karl Tauchnitz.
The essay consisted of 86 pages. After a short introduction Hellebore is described as a remedy in insanity and as an emetic; “helleborosus,” one who require much Hellebore is not in his right mind. Then are considered consecutively: the initial use of Hellebore as a medicine; Hellebore as the oldest remedy, especially as a purgative, proved by the testimony of ancient writers. Then follows an investigation into the question, whether Helleborus albus is the same plant as our Veratrum album. Hahnemann answers this in the affirmative, for the healing properties of both are not only similar but identical. (Proof: the testimony of many earlier and recent physicians).
Then are named the districts in Greece where Hellebore grows best, and the characteristics of especially good plants are enumerated. The description of the repeated medicinal use in the majority of cases of chronic diseases is proved with examples of important cases.
After that is shown, when Hellebore was first used and to what extent; further, at what time of the year, against what kinds of diseases, and for what types of people Hellebore was used by the ancients, when according to their ideas it was advantageous and when injurious; the preparation of the patient before using it; the way in which Veratrum album should be employed; what the Ancients mixed with Veratrum as a remedy; what to do for the condition of vomiting which regularly followed its use; the curing of the unfavourable and serious symptoms which arise from the effects of Veratrum. It concludes with some remarks on Helleborus niger.
In the professional criticism this essay met with approval without-as can be well understood-paying too much attention to it. It was not a polemical writing, and therefore had disappointed all parties in their expectations, as much those who had hoped for a new fundamental precept in the homoeopathic sense as also those who had expected further violent attacks on the old medical science. As neither the one nor the other day before them they passed quickly over this profoundly scientific work. Yet the reviewer writes in the “Medorrhinum Chir. Ztg.,” Supplement 192, page 234:
Although the effects of Veratrum may not be as helpful, as the author believes, there remains yet another merit, that is, the historical compilation of all the methods of treatment with available dates, and in this way the complete historical representation belongs entirely to the author; such a work as the one before us is all the more interesting as similar works are very rare. The earliest traces of the use of Veratrum album can be followed back to 1500 B.C.