ep, too little or too much exercise, defective evacuation, the passions of the mind; and although some medical writers emphasized the last of these, few would have concurred with Hill that the fetid air of London was less harmful than the clearer air at Highgate. All readers of the novel of the period will recall the hypochondriacal Matt Bramble's tirade against the stench of London air. Beliefs of the variety here mentioned cause me to question Hill's importance in the history of medicine; there can be no question about his contributions to the advancement of the science of botany through popularization of Linnaeus' system of bisexual classification, but Hill's medical importance is summarized best as that of a compiler. His recommendation of the study of botany as a cure for melancholics is sensible but verges on becoming "a digression in praise of the author," a poetic apologia pro vita sua in Augustan fashion:
For me, I should advise above all other things the study of nature. Let him
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