In laying before the public the following brief and superficial account of a disease, which, till it arrested the attention of Dr. Ferriar, had entirely escaped the sagacity of all ancient and modern physicians, it has been my object to touch chiefly on its leading characteristics; and to present the reader (in the language of my old friend Francis Quarles) with an "honest pennyworth" of information, which may, in the end, either suppress or soften the ravages of so destructive a malady. I might easily have swelled the size of this treatise by the introduction of much additional, and not incurious, matter; but I thought it most prudent to wait the issue of the present "recipe," at once simple in its composition and gentle in its effects.
Some apology is due to the amiable and accomplished character to whom my epistle is addressed, as well as to the public, for the apparently confused and indigested manner in which the notes are attached to the first part of this treatise; but, unless I had thrown them to the end (a plan which modern custom does not seem to warrant), it will be obvious that a different arrangement could not have been adopted; and equally so that the perusal, first of the text, and afterwards of the notes, will be the better mode of passing judgment upon both.
Kensington, June 5, 1809.
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