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the power of a vice; but of what use are
these accomplishments, unless combined, in
one person, with a Listonian knowledge of
anatomy, and dexterity in the use of the
Lisfranc-knife, the gum-fleam, the lancet?
Yet all these instruments are committed and
commended, by the author of Household
Surgery, to the hands of parents and guardians
(together with the probe, the scalpel, and the
forceps,) as freely as if they were knives and
forksas remorselessly as if their darling
"younger branches ' " little locomotives were
legs of lamb!

We must not, however, forget that cases
and emergencies do occasionally occur in
domestic life, in which some knowledge of
medicine and surgery is demanded, and may
be most effectually put into practice. Such
are the occasions when " a little knowledge"
is not "a dangerous thing," for we may
thereby mitigate suffering, and even save
human life. The line of demarcation,
however, must be drawn between those cases which
an unprofessional person may deal with "pro
tem" and those which it would be dangerous
for him to meddle with at all. "Thus far
shalt thou go and no farther." Every good
housewife should know as well how to make
a poultice as a plum pudding, and whether
made of bread-and-water, linseed-meal, bran,
yeast, treacle, or mustard, she should bear
in mind the emphatic words of Abernethy,
"Poultices are either blessings or curses as
they are well or ill-made." She should have
some knowledge of embrocations, she should be
learned in liniments and lotionshence, with
hartshorn and oil, opodeldoc, soap-liniment, and
Goulard Water, her acquaintance should be
intimate. She should be able to dress a blister,
put on leeches, apply poor man's plaister,
bandage a sprain, foment chilblains, put on
sticking plaister, and administer other
harmless styptics, including burnt and intact rag.
She might also be allowed to dispense simple
medicines like senna-tea, magnesia, rhubarb,
Epsom salts; but we should strictly prohibit
her from using opiates, mercurial preparations,
including that eternal " hydrarg." which
appears at the top of every preliminary
prescription of every routine practitioner, besides
iodine, and many other potent remedies which
may be seriously misapplied. It should always
be remembered that Medicines differ from
poisons only in their doses, in other words all
medicine is poison if administered ignorantly
and in excess.

For advice and instruction in these harmless
helps in need, the little work we are now
considering will be found exceedingly efficacious.
It is to the surgical operations it
recommends and describes that the force of
objection is greatest.

The practice of domestic surgery, ought
to be exceedingly limited. The idea of
"Every man his own Surgeon," which we now
contend against, would be curiously absurd,
if it were not a problem how far any man
may be trusted to deal surgically with his
own frame. Our own opinion is, that his
legitimate agency is extremely contracted, and
that all conceivable " Hints on Emergencies"
of that nature are entirely thrown away. We
candidly confess that we see no objection to
certain self-surgical operations in which men,
from long practice, have, more or less, attained
a certain degree of proficiency. We see not
the slightest objection to the operation of
shaving: a man may pare his own nails; if he
be blessed with strong nerves, and a steady
hand, he may cut his own corns; and if he
be a stoic and don't mind ridicule, or being
mistaken now and then for an escaped convict,
he may cut his own hair; but we do most
emphatically protest against his setting his
own broken thigh, or drawing his own
teeth, or cupping himself, or reducing the
fracture of his own arm; or actively treating
tetanus instead of hastening to a
professional surgeon, and, till then, resolutely
holding his jaw. Cowper, the poet, vowed,
that if any son of his ever made himself wings
and flew from Exeter to Falmouth he would
be excessively angry with him; the same
motive for indignation would exist from
precisely the same cause towards any person
who should attempt on his own person any
of the surgical feats we have named.

Amateur surgeons should be equally chary
of their advice and interference with the
limbs and diseases of their neighbours. They
should not be appointed Surgeons to the
household without a regular training; but in
some stations and non-medical professions
that training is necessary. Clergymen living
in remote districts, who may not have even a
village doctor to consult in a case of
emergency; captains on board ships, who may be
deprived of the services of their medical
officers; travellers on land, especially in the
East: intelligent emigrants taking their families
into a thinly populated colony, should be
provided with certain surgical instruments and
such articles as may be found in every well-
stored medicine chest. To this extent we
must enlarge the prescribed boundary, and
recommend that all such persons should
acquire as much knowledge of household
surgery and medicine as they possibly can;
there is no secret mystery to unravel, for
happily, the principles of medical science have
been so clearly elucidated that any man of
ordinary intelligence may, with application
and study, soon acquire sufficient knowledge
to guide him on his way to alleviate human
suffering, and restore health to the afflicted.
As a manual, such persons, but such only, will
find " Household Surgery; or, Hints on
Emergencies," very useful.

Now ready, Price 5s. 6d., neatly Bound in Cloth,
THE FIRST VOLUME
OF
HOUSEHOLD WORDS.

Published at the Office, No 16, Wellington Street North, Strand. Printed by BRADBURY & EVANS, Whitefriars, London.

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