A letter of Hahnemann to Dr. Billig in Altenburg (Saxony). (“Hirschel Zeitschr. f. hom. Klinik,” 1855, Vol. IV, page 198).
Leipsic, 5 February, 1821.
Most Worshipful Obr. (Obr.-Ordensbruder-Member of the Masonic lodge.) Esteemed Friend,
From the public proceedings directed against me by the Saxon medical men, you will have learned (I am sure with grief) how bitterly my method of treatment and its author are persecuted in this country. This persecution has now reached its climax, and I should indeed be bearing a grudge to the beneficient science, and my own life, were I to remain here any longer and not seek protection in some foreign country.
Some propositions of this kind have been made to me from Prussia, but I should prefer to find the protection I need for the few remaining days I have to live (I am an old man of sixty- six) in the country of Altenburg. In a country that is so mildly governed as Altenburg is, and where, moreover, I can still meet with true Masons, I think I may be more comfortably settled, especially as twenty-four years ago I enjoyed great distinction as physician to the dear old Duke Ernst, in Gotha and Georgenthal.
I do not desire to go to the town of Altenburg itself, because dear friend, I do not want in any way to stand in your path, or in that of your colleagues by my presence.
I only wish to settle in some country or village, where the post may facilitate my connection with distinct parts, and where I may not be annoyed by the presumption of any apothecary, because, as you know, the pure practice of this art can only employ such minute weapons, such small doses of medicine, that no apothecary could supply them profitably, and owing to the mode in which he has learnt and always carried on his business, he could not help finding the whole affair ridiculous, and ridicule it to the public and the patients, therefore it would be impossible for this and other reasons to find an assistant in the apothecary for the practice of homoeopathy.
I beg of you my honoured friend, to receive me in your country, under your kind protection, and I should do all in my power to prove to you actively my gratitude and esteem. Please remember me most kindly to our worthy Obr. Hofrath Dr. Pierer.
You will oblige me greatly if you will be so good as to speak of this matter to the President of Government, von Trutschler, to whom I have also applied.
In the meantime accept a triple kiss from my esteem and love, as from your true friend and Obr.
DR. S. HAHNEMANN.
DESCRIPTION OF KOTHEN.
Dr. Peschier of Geneva, who visited Hahnemann in 1832, describes Kothen as follows: (Bibliotheque Homoeopathique, Vol. I, p.378.)
The route from Leipsic to Cothen is neither very interesting nor agreeable, though it is necessary for the driver to be familiar with it; my friend the Baron von Brunnow, who had set out with his sister, lost his way in a cross road and there wandered for more than three hours before he discovered the right way. Cothen is a pretty little town; it lies in a valley through which flows a little river, that gives freshness and beauty to the surrounding country. Wide and beautifully laid out streets together with the castle of the reigning Duke, adorn the town. The castle itself is surrounded by a garden which is open to the public, and in it many rare plants are cultivated with great care.
The dowager Duchess Julie-her husband Duke Ferdinand, who had reigned in Hahnemann’s time, had died in 1830-lives in a pretty house, situated in the middle of the garden which is adorned by a lake on which were swans. The house is situated near the gates of the town and is only separated from them by a broad walk and a few shrubs. The town gates and the old city wall are the relics of the once fortified town. Adjoining the castle is a Catholic church with a high portal and beautiful columns; this church had been built by the deceased Duke who was a Catholic, for the purpose of holding Catholic services.