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WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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John Smedley, entrepreneur 1803-1875

John Smedley was a remarkable man. In 1825 he expanded and modernised a company that is still successful 230 years after it was founded. Instead of retiring, he founded a different industry (hydropathy) that changed Matlock from a village into a town with thousands of visitors from countries worldwide. He also found the time to build a Castle and write a bestseller that went through 12 editions. His autobiography gives an insight into his mind and its driving forces. He was very religious, and in contempt of Victorian medicine. The secret of his success: He found the time for his many pusuits by getting up very early.

Information about John Smedley, on this website:

On this page: Smedley empire 1784-1893 | Smedleys autobiography 1868
Elsewhere on this website:
Rare cabinet card of:John and Caroline SMEDLEY
Pedigree of John Smedley by Thomas INCE updated 1858.
Wirksworth Parish Register: Baptisms, Marriages and Burials | Baptisms only
Census for Hydro: 1901 | 1891 | 1881 | 1871 | 1861.
Mentioned: FLINT pedigree
White's directory 1857: Indexed | Baths | Extract
Photos: Hydro (I) | Hydro (II) | Hydro grounds | Hydro 1868 | Interior | Interior | Interior | Advert 1905
Plans: Plans & description
Photos: Smedley's engravings | Smedley's winter gardens | Riber Castle.
Details of Hydropathic Treatment: Bath Book 1934

John and Caroline Smedley, Riber Castle about 1867, more details at X352

    An outline of the Smedley Empire 1784-1893

    taken from www.John-Smedley.com

    The company was founded in 1784, at Lea Mills in Matlock, Derbyshire by Peter Nightingale and his associate John Smedley. Lea Bridge provided an ideal setting for the mill as the brook which ran through the village provided motive power and a constant source of running water.

    In the early days the mill specialised in the production of muslin and spinning cotton to send out to local cottages with hand frame looms. Towards the end of the 18th century the company had extended its activities to include knitting and hosiery manufacture and by the time John Smedley was running the business alone, although the Nightingale family retained an interest in the property.

    In 1819 John Smedley's son John was apprenticed to the company, and after thorough training took over the helm six years later at the age of 24. With great energy and vision he set about modernising and expanding the company, with the intention that all the manufacturing processes required to produce finished product should be under one roof, using the finest quality raw materials available.

    These principles continue to be the cornerstone of the company's success. A growing and dedicated workforce was established, indeed younger generations of original Smedley workers can still be found at the factory today.

    The younger Smedley also took a keen interest in philanthropy, including hydropathy - the treatment of illness with water, and established the Smedley Hydro in Matlock, patronised by visitors from all over the world. He also built Riber Castle, the family home until 1880.

    Upon his death in 1875 the second John Smedley had no heir, thus the business was passed onto a third John, a cousin J T Marsden Smedley, who after his death in 1877 entrusted the company to his son, the fourth John B Marsden Smedley.

    He was to thrust the company expansion even further, remaining chairman for an impressive 70 years. During this time he installed up-to-the-minute knitting-machines and, made the decision to become a limited company in 1893.

    An autobiography, by John Smedley, written 1868

    taken from "Practical Hydropathy" by John Smedley 1869



    Having, about five years ago, printed (mostly for gratuitous distribution) an edition of 30,000 of a pamphlet on " Hydropathy, and Its Application to the Cure and Prevention of Disease," I have since been asked to publish another edition, giving the unproved methods discovered and the experience we have had in the treatment of the many hundreds of cases which have passed through our hands, since that pamphlet was published. I have long been desirous of doing this, but the incessant calls upon my time have put it out of my power, and now I can only accomplish my work by using that time which should be allowed to the repose of the body. The many very gratifying testimonies which I have received, both from this country and from other parts of the world, to the usefulness of my former pamphlet, and the valuable improvements we have been enabled to make in the application of Hydropathic treatment, have induced me, now that we have removed to our summer retreat, at Riber Hall, on Riber Hill,* within view of the Hydropathic Establishment at Matlock Bank, to devote some of the early hours of the morning in endeavouring, by God's guidance, to make this pamphlet more generally useful. Here-where the sun at this

    * I have since built a lodge on the summit of the hill.


    season has risen high in the heavens at five o'clock, and the chorus of the birds has commenced still earlier, -where there is a very extensive and beautifully-varied landscape of mountain, valley, and wood,-there is every inducement to throw off drowsy feelings, and rise to work for the glory of God, and the benefit of mankind. Yet sometimes, even in this charming spot, melancholy thoughts will cross the mind, especially when I reflect that many of the former inhabitants of this ancient and beautiful Hall may not have been wise, in the day of their pilgrimage, in securing the salvation of their immortal souls, by being " born again of water and the Spirit," without which. none who have heard the Gospel tidings, the Scriptures say, shall enter the kingdom of heaven. Should there have, been such, I sometimes think, when viewing the grand panorama of mountains around, how dreadful must be their remorse and self reproach now they have discovered that they might have had, by a life of faith and obedience, the blessings of this life , and the fruition of that which is eternal; for all the treasures of earth, and all its beauties and its pleasures, are but shadows of happiness in comparison with the great realities to be enjoyed in the regions of the blest. May such thoughts of such possibilities quicken the living to a lively sense of the realities of the same. Here also is the site of a Druidical temple, the remains of which, standing on the summit of the hill overlooking Darley Dale, were, by barbarous hands, removed but a few years since. It was, indeed, a commanding spot for such a purpose. The mind is led back to the time (probably more than two thousand years ago) when the inhabitants of the surrounding district, far and near, might be seen on the first day of November ascending the steep mountain side from the surrounding district, bringing their offerings to the priests, ,and carrying back the sacred fire, to relight their family hearths, which had all been extinguished by the priests' command the evening before; and no doubt also often to witness human sacrifices. This worship was put an end to by the Romans, who came into this country BC. 55; and who, on this hill, in aftertimes, made large fires, when the south wind blew, not for sacrifices, but to smelt the lead ore so abundantly found in this locality.

    Very frequently my patients have requested me to print my personal experience of Hydropathy, and the reasons which induced me to have a Hydropathic Establishment. I promised to do that when I brought my new pamphlet out, and, at the risk of incurring criticism, I now perform my promise.

    It may seem to some persons presumptuous in me,having, had no regular medical education, to write on the curative principles of any treatment; but very gratifying success of our efforts, however, for the benefit of our fellow-creatures, has emboldened me to go on with my work. We may truly say, we have seen so many hundreds restored or relieved, without any serious errors, that we cannot


    doubt we are in the path God designs us to pursue. Our time, health, and strength, and all the means of a not inconsiderable property, are by us willingly, and even thankfully, devoted to our work, with a single eye to live to the glory of God and for the welfare of mankind. My wish is to encourage others to work and stand by the true principles of the Gospel, and leave the result to God, without any fear of the consequences.

    After devoting many years to a manufacturing business, and having accumulated more than sufficient for ordinary wants, it was my intention to manage my business principally by deputy, and retiring from it to see foreign countries, making England occasionally my home. The idea of repose and leisure, after labour which few, in my circle, have gone through, was the bright time I had in anticipation viewed with pleasure; and many a dark fatiguing day has that pleasant prospect helped to cheer. A regular attendant at the Established Church and the sacrament of the Lord's supper, on terms of close intimacy with those ministers and such persons as had the reputation of being evangelical in their doctrine and practice, self-satisfied with obeying the outward forms of religion, and having the reputation of being both religious and charitable, I believed I was quite justified in looking forward to enjoy the fruits of my labour in ease and self-gratification. "Man proposes, and God disposes." We took a journey through France, Germany, and Switzerland; and on our return I was seized with typhus fever. The great varieties of temperature I had gone through, the fatigue, and more than all, the unwholesome food, and worse, the wine and malaria met with in some parts, had caused that fever which brought me to the brink of the grave. My doctor visited me on my arrival home; said I was in a bad state; gave me medicines, and told me a short time would develope my complaint, which indeed that short time soon did. Instead of our soothing wet-sheet envelope, to relieve the parched hot skin, I had only an aggravation in the shape of drugs. Soon the fever rose to madness and delirium; I entreated the doctor to give me something to cool my parched mouth, but all his accumulated knowledge of the London Pharmacopoeia, with his certificate of qualification for the treatment of disease, given to him by the examiners of Surgeons' and Apothecaries' Halls, availed not for my relief : the overruling hand of God, and a healthy constitution, carried me through that fiery ordeal. Once the servant bathing my arms in cold water, I exclaimed, "What a relief!" It was the only agreeable relief I experienced. but of course only being done locally, it had no control over the fever, which. was burning throughout my whole body. I was exhorted to look to Christ for the repose of my mind. I replied, I had no hope. My time of trial was come, and I found no witness in my own heart that I had ever been any thing but a formal, professing Christian. I soon became insensible to all outward and bodily sensations; but my mind was often


    exquisitely alive to the whole course of my past life. I saw my character clearly, and it was that of a hypocrite. I believed I was shut out, from the presence of God for ever; and felt the justice of my doom. God mercifully brought me back to outward consciousness, but I was long in arriving even at a low state of convalescence. My mind, however, was fully awakened to the awful folly of living for the gratifications of this life; but how to find peace, I saw not.

    In a very few months after, being somewhat convalescent, I, with my wife, left home to seek for repose of mind in travel and change of scene. Some good, sincere Christian workmen in my employ pointed out to me the simple means of gaining peace; I tried it, and failed, because I was yet unacquainted with my own unchanged heart. There Was yet disappointed ambition, and love of this world's good opinion, ruling in it. I found it was indeed a strong man armed keeping the house, and holding me in an iron cage of misery. Travel again brought no relief; and in a condition hopeless of life, I was advised to go to a Hydropathic Establishment, which my state of desperation only would have induced me to try. There, in November, worn as I was to a skeleton, and distracted in mind, the bitter cold-water treatment aggravated my sufferings at first considerably; had I but commenced with our mild system instead until the body had somewhat recovered its tone, I should have been saved much unnecessary suffering. I had not slept above an hour or so at once for months. How ever, after a few weeks at the establishment, I slept pretty well, I got tolerably good functionary action of the stomach, &c., and after nine weeks returned home. Here, however, old recollections soon threw me down again, I had not yet learned to count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ. In nine months I returned again to the Water Establishment for three months, and regained bodily health, but no relief to my mind. We set out on a tour to Cheltenham, the coast of Devonshire; then to Dover, and crossed over to France; came back to England, and returned to Malvern, and thence to Cheltenham, where I took No. 11, Suffolk square, for the winter. I purchased the estate of Rose Hill, near Pitville, then the residence of Admiral King. Shortly after this, I found peace in believing. I had been labouring a good deal in visiting the poor and schools, and practising self-denial in those things I formerly rejoiced in; determining to seek for happiness in the favour of God, through the merits of my Redeemer, and knocking in humble sincerity, the door was at length opened to me. I entered the fold of the great Shepherd., and experienced unbounded joy and confidence. My wife, I was thankful indeed to find, heartily reciprocated my feelings. We then determined to return amongst our work-people, and try to live that life of usefulness God had so graciously laid out for us, but which I had formerly neglected to realise for the vanities and unsatisfying things of this world. I immediately went by London to Ben Rhydding near Leeds, purposely to kneel down in the room in


    which I had suffered so much from bodily ailment and despair of mind, to thank God for all his goodness to me, and to dedicate myself and all I possessed to His service.

    I returned to Lea Bridge (seventy miles), and sat up part of the same night burning my foolish ballads and light books, upon which even clergymen had with me often wasted precious time. I locked up my extravagant plate, ornaments, equipage, &c., until I could give them away or sell them for the benefit of religious societies, which I did shortly after. I then brought my wife from Cheltenham, and we commenced our new and better work. Soon, however, we found that we had crosses to take up, when we would no longer comply with the customs of our former circle, in giving or attending dinner or evening parties, and in keeping our house exclusive for a certain class. We found instead ample consolation in the peace within, and in the communion of humble and sincere Christians. I built six chapels and two school-rooms in different parts of the country, some where I had work-people. I assisted many poor societies, and, worshipped with our own people in one of the chapels I had built here, imposing nothing but the simple word of God on the congregation. It is now seven years since we embarked on this course, and we have found every year to bring more solid peace and joy; and we know it will be thus with us until God shall take us to serve him in a brighter sphere.

    On returning home I took in a few men, upon whom to try the Hydropathic remedies, which proved successful; and many more making application, I made a place for the free board, lodging, and baths of a certain number of males and females: and hundreds since, have here found restoration to health of body, and peace of mind, through the renewal of the Spirit. Persons in our own station then applied for advice, seeing such wonderful effects being produced, sometimes on their own servants. We did not know where to recommend them to go, as we had little confidence in the mode of treatment pursued at some establishments, which is often indeed the "cold water" practice. Some could not afford the expense (which at all the principal establishments is about £18 for the first month) ; so we made our house a free hospital, until we found we could not afford room enough. I then bought a small house at Matlock Bank for six patients, board, lodgings, and treatment at 3s. per day. Uniform success in the treatment soon brought more; the place was enlarged. Soon again we had to refuse applicants; and thus has it grown until We have had one hundred and ten at one time under treatment. Although I have not had a regular medical education, human physiology has long been a pursuit of much interest to me, and I now find the benefit of my early studies of these subjects. The feeling of responsibility, from the great number who have been at our establishment and the free hospitals, has also induced me to labour hard, and spare no expense, in the acquirement of physiological knowledge;


    and the actual practice, in seeing the application of Hydropathic treatment to so many hundreds during the last six years, has given us confidence in our plan of treatment, from the great success in so many cases of persons who had tried medicine and even Hydropathy before, without good effect. Our system of mild treatment, with the application of bandages, not used in the same way elsewhere, and some newly invented baths, have gained such celebrity, that we are now compelled to limit our admissions. I could refer to physicians, surgeons, homeopathic practitioners, clergymen, dissenting ministers, military and naval officers, merchants, manufacturers, from whom I have often received testimony, acknowledging the benefits derived from our mild practice. In the case of females especially, this treatment has done wonders. (My wife has sole charge of female invalids.)

    The charge at the establishment is fixed with an intention to make it neither a source of pecuniary emolument nor of loss. A large sum of money has now been invested; and the baths are models for Hydropathic Establishments or Public Baths, and I am very desirous of calling the attention of the patrons of the latter to their superiority over the ordinarily-constructed baths, which not unfrequently cause irreparable injury to the body. No person can use a plunge bath without risk. We could refer to patients who have come to the establishment for relief, whose maladies have been caused by plunging into a cold bath, or into the sea. Many escape injury by such bathing, but none practise it without the risk of being invalids for the rest of their lives, from congestion of the brain, asthma, or internal tumours, caused by the blood being suddenly driven on the internal organs and certain weak parts which are not able to return it. Females, especially, are liable to danger from plunge baths (see Mrs. Smedley's Manual, 1s. 6d).

    One of the principal objects I have in view in this work is to teach Hydropathic remedies for self- application, and to show the labouring classes how to manage many of the processes by the simple means within their reach, which, if acted upon, would often stay the progress of fever, consumption, and inflammation, or prevent their proceeding beyond the first symptoms. Resolution, and not sparing trouble, alone are necessary.


    AFTER SEVENTEEN YEARS' PRACTICE OF HYDROPATHY (not the cold water system), and the distribution by sale or gift of forty thousand of this book on "Practical Hydropathy", and of thirty thousand of my wife's "Manual for Treatment of Ladies and Children," another edition of this work is unexpectedly called for, the last two editions of five thousand each having gone off rapidly. We had not the slightest idea or intention of having such a practice on our hands; and certainly, if we had thought it would have enlarged to its present extent, we should have shrunk from the work. God, however, has given us health and success; and so far from regretting having such an undertaking, we are unboundedly thankful, and willingly give up all our time and energies to it. We have not been away from home, with one exception of thirty-six hours, for many years; but the gratification in being instrumental in restoring or relieving so many hundreds of our fellow-creatures from suffering, and in many instances wresting them from the jaws of death, whose cases previous to applying to us were pronounced hopeless by the medical profession, fully rewards us for any amount of labour, and the deprivation of social intercourse with friends, or recreation abroad. Life is short with all, and wherever and in whatever way a sphere of usefulness is found, which promotes the spiritual and physical welfare of mankind, those who find such a work will find that it brings daily pleasure with pleasant retrospective and a joyful prospective. It is a work for the benefit of our species, and will last for an almost unlimited time, when the workers have passed away. Not so where worldly ambition and aggrandisement of families are the aim of life. How few, especially young people born to wealth, are a blessing, to society! How often the contrary does the society round every locality bear melancholy witness! Yet the object of life with many seems to be to work hard, save money, and get estates for their descendants. "By the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat bread"" &c., is God's decree. Providing for descendants leading an idle life is poor man's idea, and it bears fruit accordingly, when set in opposition to God's law : hunting, shooting, often leading to racing, county balls, and - ruin. I am lead to make these remarks from having had hundreds of suffering, ruined patients, who have been brought up not with an expectation to work, but of independence; and it is melancholy to see how the getters of wealth try to deceive themselves and others by an affectation of self-denial, and of working for their children or relatives, when, in fact, it is their own love of money. They die often in harness, and their descendants squander the gains which should have equally benefited their relatives and the necessitous in the land. God gave no man an exclusive right to the fruits of the earth, and it is no mere accident of birth that one man is a labourer and another in other circumstances.


    The often-repeated declaration in God's word, and from teachers of religion, that we are only stewards, is little regarded. That God gives and that God can take away is mostly ignored, except the first. Man goes on with his projects for enriching his family, thoughtless that he has not one hour's surety of life : he returns to his dust and his thoughts perish ; but his works, good or bad, follow him. "Work while it is day, before the night comes, when no man can work." Work for the glory of God, and the benefit of mankind, and all will be well both for present enjoyments and when the time of departure comes. Our motives have never been pecuniary profit - far from that. I have sacrificed a fortune in the undertaking.

    For the first few years of our practice we averaged from two to three hundred patients per annum, and these mostly at our free hospitals, Lea Mills. These numbers gradually increased to about sixteen hundred per annum, and last year about two thousand. But for some years our want of bedrooms has kept the numbers about stationary. We have so repeatedly tried medical assistants and failed, that we were unwilling to increase our accommodation. The last year, 1867, however, we had to refuse so many that were hopeless of cure or relief by any other means, that we decided to build a new wing to our Establishment, and trust to Providence for help. Now, March, 1868, the building, 200 feet long, 50 feet wide, and four storeys high, is being rapidly completed. Every appliance and convenience our long experience has taught us will be brought into operation. It is not that medical professors are deficient in knowledge that they have not succeeded in taking part or all of our work: far from it. They have, as a matter of course, more knowledge of the nature and functions of the body than any lay persons can possibly have, or education is of no use. But medical professors from the highest to the youngest- Allopathic, Homeopathic, and even cold-water doctors - start from an unsound basis, and therefore cannot arrive at a successful result. They look upon disease as something to be driven out or stifled; hence purgatives, blisters, leeches, cupping, setons, issues, cauterising, tonics, morphia, &c. &c.; and so long as disease is not considered and treated as want of vitality, and nothing given or applied that will not only not farther lower, but will increase the vital heat of the body, so long will it be striking in the dark. Witness the continual alterations and disagreements in medical practice. We have a staff of bath-men and bath-women whom we have no difficulty in teaching and qualifying to go out to most critical cases, and hundreds of cases in various parts of Great Britain and abroad have given testimony to their unerring sound judgment. When sent to critical cases, in no one instance have they failed to cure or relieve, They have not the prejudice of the profession to overcome, but act on Nature's laws, taught them at our establishment. We have not altered any of our principal applications since we began practice, and believe we could not now invent any more efficacious,


    The amount of superstition, however, in favour of legalised doctors secures them from having their plans brought to the test of reason and common sense, except to a very limited extent; and patients rarely indeed apply to any but the regular doctor. If they knew how often these doctors are driven in their extremity to come to us, and send their families and relatives where they find restoration, perhaps people might doubt if the old traditional practice was quite correct. But superstition holds minds in bondage who, in business or legislation, are eminent for their astuteness. The fact is, the community are brought up under the impression that the structure and functions of the body are too abstruse for any one to understand but a doctor. The extent of this trusting, unreasoning confidence is marvellous. The friend of an eminent man, some years ago, came from under the hands of doctors at home and abroad not only without benefit but much injured. He got well with us. His friend was taken ill suddenly, and the former persuaded him to allow our applications to be used, which immediately gave him relief, and if they had been continued a few hours longer would have cured him; he felt the comfort and relief, but true to the superstition about doctors, he ordered the appliances to be removed and the doctor to be sent for, who of course discarded all the comforting, and put him under his own regimen to his immediate sorrow. Still he stuck to the good old way, and is now an invalid. A friend of mine, seized with congestion of the liver, scoffed at our treatment as being ridiculous in urgent cases; he was previously a remarkably stout man, but leeches, blisters, cupping, calomel, &c, killed him in a few months. Another case has occurred very recently, where exactly the same course of treatment was taken with the same fatal result. A friend of mine, in this neighbourhood, was seized similarly with congestion of the liver about Christmas. He was attacked with cold shivering, and severe pain and sickness. I had a few weeks before, given him some pads, mustard, and fomenting can, and begged of him, if ever he was ill, to use them instantly. He so to his immediate relief, and was well in two days ; he was fully satisfied with the results. Another case, a female aged forty six, had erysipelas in the face and head, which became alarmingly swollen, closing the eyes. She sent for one of my wife's bath-women, who, knowing it was only obstructed circulation from cold, steamed the head and face by putting hot water in a vessel with a blanket over the head to keep the steam in. After an hours steaming, a bread poultice in a bag, was put over the face, and the head was packed in a cloth wrung out of hot water, with flannel and mackintosh over all to keep the warmth in. By the next day the swelling was nearly gone, and all the heat and uncomfortableness. A spongiopiline mask damped with warm water was put on, and flannel over the head. Her old mother said she had never heard of St. Anthony's fire being cured in that way, and would not believe it. She sent for


    a doctor, who had the mask removed, and applied the orthodox lotions and aperients to "cool the blood." The poor patient was soon cold enough, for she died in thirty-six hours. The doctor's prescriptions brought back the obstructions to circulation by weakening her vitality. I could give many such cases in our seventeen years, practice, yet exactly the same course is taken by the doctors, without the slightest regard to the oft-repeated fatal result. A gentleman came to me last spring who had lost the sight of one eye. His doctor did not give him much hope of saving the other, as his mixtures, dropped into the eye, with blisters on the temple and behind the ear, had not saved the other, but destroyed the sight of it. I could tell him with confidence, if he would stay with us he would have the sight of both eyes restored, and also regain his general health; he left us quite well. We comforted nature, made healthy blood, and that cured when the doctor's course, as it always is, diametrically opposite, failed. A gentleman, age fifty-four, came at the same time with a chronic disease, for which he had consulted the most eminent surgeons, who said an operation was necessary, but that it would be all but certain to be fatal. I could see no difficulty in the case, and he was thoroughly cured without any operation, merely by comforting the part and getting up the general health in a very simple way.

    We are most anxious to have helpers in our work, or would willingly be superseded, as we cannot always go on, and as at present, we see this Establishment will be at an end when we cannot longer attend to it. I could give scores of cases in which our acquaintances and friends have stuck to the old original doctoring system, and lost their lives, or been made cripples and sufferers for life, when they have witnessed the success of our treatment. Superstition and obstinacy is inherent in the human mind, and mankind will pursue it and suffer for it to the end of time. I am glad this is the case in manufacturing operations, or I should not have had the monopoly of our own manufacture, which I have had the last thirty years. Man is not generally a thinking animal, as Professor Huxley says he is, and which distinguishes him from the apes. Apes would not take a second dose of physic willingly, nor be blistered a second time without a hard fight for it, and would especially shun the society of doctors after one experiment. I have two letters to-day - a sample of hundreds I receive. The person mentioned in one had hurt his knee by falling on a piece of iron. The doctor leached the part and painted it with iodine, which made the injured part weaker, and, as a consequence, the lameness was worse. Then a celebrated surgeon in a large town said the ligament was torn: he must have the limb strapped to a board, and lie in bed three months, and use lotions. He lay nearly the time, but found he was no better, and, at a loss what to do, applied to me. I offered him my free hospital, where we have never failed to cure such cases. (See case, page 12g, and 146½ Bath list.) The other letter is from a medical student, who


    has neither taken stimulants or tobacco and has always been steady. He had a weak stomach, and was otherwise naturally weak in body The doctors gave him tonics, which caused sickness and headache and constipation, and soon required purgatives. Thus he says, he has tried all things recommended by surgeons and the professors in the university, who all tell him he has no disease, yet he is suffering and unfit for duty. This is another illustration of the doctors' idea of drugging out disease; when, in fact, the young man's stomach simply wanted vitality, which cannot be given to it by anything the doctors can find in all their pharmacopaeias - it wanted natural nourishment, which cannot be had from physic. Scarcely a day passes but we have letters illustrating how poor humanity is brutally treated under the pretence of scientific, orthodox, legal practice. It is really disheartening to contend with educated people for submitting to it, and not using their common-sense-it is Naaman the Syrian and the little Israelitish maid over again. If they were asked by us to swallow some potion of the contents of which they were ignorant, or be immersed in cold water, there would be some reason for their hesitation; but their faith in doctors is so strong that they frequently take potions containing the most deadly poisons, and at the same time are aware that such poisons are known to be used in the practice of these learned doctors; but they suffer for it, and yet go on. oh, immortal superstition! It is in the nature of mankind. Mankind like to throw the responsibility, as they think, upon others. As to the destruction of life by caustics, internally and externally, in males and females - the latter more especially - it is shocking to think of; for caustic destroys the organic nerves and causes cancer in healthy persons. Thousands of females are victims to caustic. How few use the brains God has given them to guide them! Men with brain of a high order we see led to folly by those of a lower type. Well might the Swedish statesman say to his son, "Behold with how little wisdom the world is governed!" But what is, or can be, the result of being governed by prejudice and ignorance?

    Riber Castle, 2nd March, 1868.

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