We remarked, in speaking of Medicine among the Hebrews, with what care Moses had regulated everything that concerned health. The Asclepiadae, who, like him, owed their first scientific instructions to the Egyptian priests, gave special attention,
also, to hygiene. Their writings on this branch of the art have in general all the completeness that could be attained from the lights of that era. They are, first, a treatise on Airs, Waters, and Places, a work written with great firmness, and ornamented with all the pomp of style. The author there explains methodically, and on the authority of his experience, the influence of climates, seasons, and various topographical circumstances, on the constitution of man. The work has been reproached for its superficial treatment of the subject ; but it must not be forgotten that experimental physics was not yet born, and that without it such a subject could not be treated in a profound manner. We have already spoken of the book at the commencement of our account of the present period, and it may be inferred from what was there said, that no other book of the period contains views of higher philosophic import. I shall add, in support of my assertion, but this single remark : it contains the germ of two modern productions, justly regarded as chefs-d'oeuvre - the " Spirit of Laws," by Montesquieu, and the " Relation of the Moral and Physical Man," by Cabanis. (See his Lettre sur les Causes Premieres)
2. A treatise on Regimen, divided into three books ; a well-conceived and well-executed composition, notwithstanding some digressions and strange associations that impair the first part. The author considered man as formed of two principles, fire and water, the just balance of which constituted health. The first book is entirely devoted to the development of that theory : in the second he examines the various hygienicmodifiers, relative to their faculty for causing dryness or moisture ; finally, in the third book he regulates the use which is to be made of these modifiers, as regards the social position and the occupation of persons, the seasons of the year, and especially in regard to the bulk and fullness of the body. Already we see appear the dichotomy, to which so many physiologists have since endeavored, under various names, to refer all the modifications of the animal economy.
3. The small treatise on Salubrious Diet, summarily abridged from the preceding work, and free from all physiological dissertation : it is, however, obnoxious to the single reproach of being too succinct. The author mentions in it the custom of certain persons taking one or two vomits a month, as being an ordinary hygienic proceeding of his time. " He who is in the habit of vomiting himself twice a month," he remarks, "will find more advantage in doing so on two successive days than once every two weeks."