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But it appears to me that those things are more especially deserving of being consigned to writing which are undetermined by physicians, notwithstanding that they are of vital importance, and either do much good or much harm. By undetermined I mean such as these, wherefore certain physicians, during their whole lives, are constantly administering unstrained ptisans, and fancy they thus accomplish the cure properly, whereas others take great pains that the patient should not swallow a particle of the barley (thinking it would do much harm), but strain the juice through a cloth before giving it; others, again, will neither give thick ptisan nor the juice, some until the seventh day of the disease, and some until after the crisis. Physicians are not in the practice of mooting such questions; nor, perhaps, if mooted, would a solution of them be found; although the whole art is thereby exposed to much censure from the vulgar, who fancy that there really is no such science as medicine, since, in acute diseases, practitioners differ so much among themselves, that those things which one administers as thinking it the best that can be given, another holds to be bad; and, in this respect, they might say that the art of medicine resembles augury, since augurs hold that the same bird (omen) if seen on the left hand is good, but if on the right bad: and in divination by the inspection of entrails you will find similar differences; but certain diviners hold the very opposite of these opinions. I say, then, that this question is a most excellent one, and allied to very many others, some of the most vital importance in the Art, for that it can contribute much to the recovery of the sick, and to the preservation of health in the case of those who are well; and that it promotes the strength of those who use gymnastic exercises, and is useful to whatever one may wish to apply it.

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