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2 Now antecedent to illness, as I have stated above, certain signs arise, all of which have this in common, that the body becomes altered from its accustomed state, and that not only for the worse, but it may be even for the better. Hence when a man has become fatter and better looking and with a higher colour, he should regard with suspicion these gains of his for, because they can neither remain in the same state nor advance further, as a rule they fall back in a sort of collapse. Still it is a worse sign when anyone, contrary to his habit, becomes thinner, and loses his colour and good looks; for when there is a superfluity of flesh there is something for the disease to draw upon; when there is a deficiency, there is nothing to hold out against the disease itself. Further, there should be apprehension at once: if the limbs become heavier, if frequent ulcerations arise, if the body feels hotter[p. 99] than customary; if heavier sleep oppresses, if there are tumultuous dreams, if anyone wakes up oftener than usual, then falls asleep again; if the body of the sleeper has partial sweats in unaccustomed places, and especially about the chest or neck or legs or knees or hips. Again, if the spirit flags, if he is reluctant to talk or move about, if the body be torpid; if there is pain over the heart or over all the chest, or of the head as happens in most; if the mouth becomes filled with saliva, if there is pain in turning the eyes, if the troops are constricted, when the limbs shiver, if the breathing becomes more laboured; if the blood-vessels of the forehead are distended and throb, if there are frequent yawns; if the knees feel as if fatigued, or the whole body feels weary. Of these signs, many are often, some always, antecedents of fever. The first thing, however, to be considered is, whether any of these signs happen somewhat frequently, yet no bodily trouble has followed it. For there are some peculiarities of persons, without knowledge of which it is not easy for anybody to prognosticate what is going to happen. Consequently anyone may readily be at ease in the case of happenings which he has frequently escaped without harm: the man who ought to be anxious is the one to whom these signs are new, or who has never found them free from danger unless he has taken precautions.
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