Art. VI. [Review of Political Recollections in Egypt, by George Baldwin]
[Alexander Hamilton] *
Disease, Medical Treatment, Induction, Error, Chemistry, Experiment
The reviewer is fiercely critical of the work, stating that George Baldwin 'has suppressed every particle of information on the subjects he professes to discuss'. As an example of this, he discusses Baldwin's 'essay on the plague' which 'occupies a considerable portion of this publication'. Baldwin has been led by a 'singular process of induction' to place his confidence in the topical application of olive oil for the prevention and cure of the plague. (60) The treatment is based on a chemical theory of disease; Baldwin supposes that the humours of the diseased body are caused to effervesce by the presence of an acid, which can be abstracted from the body by its affinity for oil. He suggests the same treatment for gout. He has sought to demonstrate its efficacy by an experiment in which the acid juice of a lemon is removed by its affinity for olive oil.
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