ATTACKS ON HAHNEMANN.
(To Councillor Becker).
Torgau, June 11th, 1806
I am not without enemies in my own profession, they have been sent me from above for the purification of my heart, but I conquer them by silence and frequent remarkable cures with medicines which have neither smell nor taste, but usually help in a permanent manner without causing much discomfort. On those occasions I see that I am not lacking the necessaries of life, and have the sweet assurance that I have, taking all things into consideration, made unhappy people happy.
THE CASE OF “BRUCKMANN.”
On March 17th, 1808, U.F.B. Bruckmann, Dr, med and Court physician in Brunswick, published in No. 76 of “Allg. Anzeiger der Deutschen,” a case which dated back more than ten years, in order to accuse Hahnemann of desire for gain. It was in connection with the treatment of an epileptic which Hahnemann had undertaken in the summer of 1796, in Brunswick. Although the patient had not been cured, Hahnemann had demanded a special indemnity of 70-80 Rth. apart from the ordinary fees. The alleged letter of Hahnemann speaks of 100 Louis d’ or-with the remark that people did not like to have to pay in Brunswick, but of course they could not expect great results from the physicians of that city. If he, Hahnemann, achieved a great success it was only fair that he should receive three or four times as much remuneration. Bruckmann then reproached Hahnemann with ill- treating his patients and said that they suffered morally under him. He states in his writing:
I have now been fifty-seven years a medical practitioner in Brunswick but have never known a local physician who was so avaricious and who practised so much charlatanism as Dr. Hahnemann when residing in our city, and later on at Konigslutter. But because this kind of practice did not succeed in our country, and also because the physicians were not allowed to dispense their own medicines, or to extort money out of the patient’s pockets by so-called Arkana, or secret remedies, Hahnemann took up his staff and wandered on, and I do not know where he went to.
How little Bruckmann’s essay could be taken seriously from a scientific point of view, can be seen from the closing part, where he says in connection with Hahnemann’s “Fragmenta de viribus medicamentorum” and the provings of medicines contained in it:
Should Mr. H. continue to carry out many such provings on his own person, I fear that a destruction of his whole body and especially of his brain will take place. Really these kind of experiments should only be carried out on criminals deserving a death sentence. If all physicians had to make such experiments upon themselves, or wished to make them, I would fear that they might all be crippled in body and soul.
The publication of this unusually violent attack which had been started at the first opportunity, and which among other things referred to the pneum alkali, and also to the scarlet fever prophylactic, had brought forward, as the publisher said, an impartial and clear-sighted doctor, H. of W. from the district of the Ocker, who came to the assistance of one so bitterly attacked. In NO. 94 of the “Allgemeinen Anzeiger” of April 5th, 1808, he leaves to Dr. Bruckmann, whom he knows personally, every honour and justification, but refutes the attack on Hahnemann as regards its from and contents. His judgment is based entirely on his “truly scientific and useful publications.”
Such a man who with marvellous science of all the joys of life puts his health in the background, in order to put the physicians on the only true and correct road, in regard to the effect of medicines, should not be openly put in the pillory. One would rather find in such a man, who has acquired great merits from medical science and suffering humanity, what is good and meritorious, sooner than expose his weaknesses. It would be very desirable to keep from the general public such writings, as they are abhorrent to it. Scholars should carry on their discussions in a scholarly way.
It was natural that Hahnemann too could not keep silent. In No. 97 April 8th, 1808, he replied to the “abusive writings of the old man now more than eighty years of age.”
In Brunswick they are aware of his character and in every line of his essay he reveals a soul which is only the shadow of a noble picture of humanity. Think of it! for twelve years the noble author has been seething in the poison, and now on the brink of his grave squirts it at me; for twelve long years he has cunningly kept back a slander until the witnesses of the time who could have refuted it, have passed away, and until the clear- sighted Duke of Brunswick was dead, who would not have let such an action directed against me go unpunished, because he was fond of me.
Like the incendiary Herostrat, a man of no fame, who by his knavish trick, erected for himself a monument to his mode of thinking, in which jealousy was the active motive, so even now it is jealousy that led him to persecute Hahnemann, because of several satisfactory cures, and also because to this day patients come to Hahnemann from his district. And so he renewed old calumnies of years before with which were interwoven ignorance and misunderstanding, and accusations which had long been refuted.
The rest were purely untruths and believed by his own soul.. Why should I be angry with angry with him? In such a condition of body and mind all such importances are useless. I am only sorry that his old heart-ache of a bad conscience together with such public-disgrace.
ESSAYS AND WRITINGS OF HAHNEMANN OF THE TORGAU
OWN ESSAYS AND WRITINGS.
(a) Chemical and Pharmaceutical.
1806. On Substitutes for Cinchona. “Hufeland’s Journal,” Vol. 23 Part 4, p. 27-47.
1806. What are Poisons? What are Medicines? Ibid., Vol. 24, Part 3, p. 40-57.
1806. Objections to the Proposed Substitute for Cinchona, published in 1806, No. 12, “Reichsanzeiger,” and on Substitutes in General. “Reichsanzeiger,” No. 57.
1808. On the Present Want of Medicines, Extraneous to Europe, “Allg. Anz der Deutsch.” anonymous, No. 207.
1808. On Substitutes for Foreign Drugs. Ibid., No. 327. (b) Medicinal.
1805. AEsculapius in the Balance. Leipsic, by Steinacker, p. 70.
1805. Fragmenta de viribus medicamentorum positivis sive in sano corpore humano observatis. Leipsic, by J. A. Barth. Two parts, VIII p. 269, VI pp. 470.
1806. Scarlet Fever and Miliary Purple Fever, two quite different diseases. “Hufeland’s Journal,” Vol. 44, Part I, pp. 139-146.
1806. Medicine of Experience. Ibid., 22, Part 3, pp. 5-99, printed separately in Berlin by Wittich.
1807. Indications of the Homoeopathic Employment of Medicines in Ordinary Practice. “Hufeland’s Journal,” Vol. 26, Part 2, pp. 5-43 (later partly altered, and printed in the preface of the first three editions of the “Organon”).
1808. On the Value of the Speculative Systems of Medicine. Especially Contrasted with the Ordinary Practice which is joined to it. Anonymous. “Allgemeiner Anzeiger der Deutschen,” No. 263.
1808. Extract from a Letter to a Physician of High Standing, on the Great Necessity of a Regeneration in Medicine. Ibid., No. 343 (translation in Lesser Writing).
1808. (Observation on Scarlet Fever. Ibid., 160. Anonymous (translation in Lesser Writings).
1808. Correction of the Question put in Vol. 27, Part I, on the Prophylactic for scarlet Fever. “Hufeland’s Journal.” Vol. 27, Part 4, pp. 153-156.
1809. To a Candidate for the degree of M.D. Anonymous. “Alg. Anz. der Deut.,” No. 227 (translation in Lesser Writings).
1809. Instructions on the Prevailing Fever., Anonymous. Ibid., No. 261 (translation in Lesser Writings).
1809. Signs of the Times in the Ordinary System of Medicine. Anonymous. Ibid., 326 (translation in Lesser Writings).
1810. Organon of Rational Medicine. Dresden, by Arnold, 222 pp. (2nd edition, 1819, “Organon of the Art of Healing,” 371 pp., 3rd edition, 1824, XXIV and 281 pages, 4th edition, 1829, XVI and 307 pp., 5th edition, 1833, XXV and 304 pp., 6th edition, 1921, LXXVII and 347 pp.).
1811. Materia Medica Pura. Part I. Dresden, 248 pp. (see Supplement).
1806. Albrecht v. Haller’s Materia Medica. Leipsic, by Steinacker.
REMARKS ON SOME OF THE ENUMERATED PUBLICATIONS.
On “Fragmenta de viribus.”
Letter to the Editor Barth:
I cannot define exactly the number of sheets. After a close estimate of my first manuscript it might well be two quires; but I cannot ascertain quite accurately.
As I am working more for the advancement of the good cause than for gain, I will accept your offer, with the suggestion that you give a helping hand in the completion of this work.
The text, being exclusively mine, as you know, does not require any outside help, but in my notes there are quotations which require putting in their right places, and correcting where necessary. For this purpose I need to look at various books, which I am expecting through your kindness, from the Eilenburg delivery van. These transport expenses are only small, so please undertake them. I shall in my turn promise to return the books, which I need for corroboration, bound or unbound, in the same good condition as I receive them, and not to keep any, even the most voluminous, more than eight days.