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9 Sometimes also slow fevers hold the body without any remission, and give no place for either food or any medicament. In that case it should be the aim of the practitioner to change the disease, for[p. 269] perhaps that will make it more amenable to treatment.. For this object cold water, to which oil has been added, should be sprinkled at frequent intervals over the patient's body, for it thus comes about now and again that a shivering follows, and some beginning of a fresh pulse motion, and after this when, after the body has become hotter, there may even follow a remission. Rubbing with oil and salt appears also to benefit such cases. But if for a long while there is a chill, and a numbness and a tossing of the body, it is not unfitting to administer three or four cups of honeyed wine even while the fever is present, or food along with wine well diluted. For often in this way the fever is augmented, and the increased heat which arises simultaneously both relieves the pre-existing disorders and offers hope of a remission, and through that of treatment. Assuredly that treatment is no novelty by which some nowadays at times cure by contrary remedies patients who have been handed over to them, after dragging on under more cautious practitioners. Even among the ancients, before Herophilus and Erasistratus, but especially after Hippocrates. There was a certain Petron, who on taking over a patient with fever, covered him with a quantity of clothes in order simultaneously to excite great heat and thirst. Then when the fever began to remit somewhat, he gave cold water to drink; and if this raised a sweat, he declared that the patient was recovering; if it did not, he administered even more cold water and then forced him to vomit. If by either of the above ways he had rendered the patient free from fever, he at once gave him roast pork and wine; if he had not so freed him, he boiled water[p. 271] with salt, and obliged the patient to drink it, in order that by moving the bowels he might cleanse the stomach. And the above formed the whole of this man's practice; and it pleased those whom successors of Hippocrates had failed to cure, no less than in our time it pleases those, who, after they have dragged on for a long while under disciples of Herophilus and Erasistratus, have not been benefited. Yet it is harsh treatment none the less, for if it is adopted forthwith at the commencement, it kills many patients. Since, however, it is impossible for the same remedies to suit everybody, rashness helps those whom the usual regimen has not made well; hence it is that practitioners of this class manage other people's patients better than their own. Yet it is the part also of a circumspect man at times to renew and increase a disease and to inflame fevers, for when the existing condition does not answer to a treatment, that which is to come may do so.
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