The object of the book is to put into the hands of the people a statement of the views regarding the medical properties of alcohol held by those physicians who make little, or no use of this drug. In most cases their views are given in their own language, so that the book is, of necessity, largely a compilation.
ts had been seeking a panacea for all the ills to which flesh is heir, indeed for something which would enable men even to defy Death, and the subtle new spirit was eagerly proclaimed as the long-looked-for cure-all, if not the very aqua vitæ itself. Physicians introduced it to their patients, and were lavish in their praises of its curative powers. The following is quoted from the writings of Theoricus, a prominent German of the sixteenth century, as an example of medical opinion of alcohol in his day:--
"It sloweth age, it strengtheneth youth, it helpeth digestion, it cutteth phlegme, it cureth the hydropsia, it healeth the strangurie, it pounces the stone, it expelleth gravel, it keepeth the head from whirling, the teeth from chattering, and the throat from rattling; it keepeth the weasen from stiffling, the stomach from wambling, and the heart from swelling; it keepeth the hands from shivering, the sinews from shrinking, the veins from crumbling, the bones from aching, and the marrow