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may have been orginally derived, are not "the result of my own observation." Facts and signs are matters of experience and of observation; of these I have not hesitated to express myself with decision. Explanations of facts and signs are often merely matters of opinion; of them I trust I have ever spoken with caution, and with becoming deference to the opinions of others. At the same time, when I have entertained settled and decided opinions upon any debatable question, with whatever difficulty or doubt that question may be surrounded, I have thought it right to give expression to those opinions; while upon some matters, the explanation of which appears to me to be still involved in obscurity, I have not hesitated to acknowledge my ignorance.

I have thought it preferable to make use of the terms ordinarily employed, as, though open to some objection as stated by some previous authors, they have an acknowledged meaning among auscultators, and are so generally received, that I believe the changes proposed by those writers would not be attended with any advantage, commensurate with the confusion which would arise from their introduction. The language

of auscultation is already difficult enough to the uninitiated; it appears therefore unadvised, particularly in a work intended to simplify, to increase the difficulty by a "confusion of tongues."

As to the style in which the work is written, I may observe that my chief desire has been to write plainly, so as to be intelligible by all. I have studied utility rather than elegance, and, if capable of attaining the "apte" and "distincte," I have not been very solicitous about the "ornate" of the Roman orator. I have written for those especially who are engaged, or who are likely to become engaged, in the practical study of thoracic disease at the bed-side; and I have written for them as I would address them, in a familiar and almost colloquial manner. At the expense of frequent repetitions, of homely phrases, and, it may be, of some literary coarseness, I have attempted strongly to impress upon the mind of the reader an important fact, rather than to polish an expression or to round a period. Of this just complaints may perhaps be made; but it must be recollected that what may appear grating to the ear of the literary critic, may be smooth and easy to the less refined, and that to borrow the simile

of a philosophical writer of the last century"the luxurious receive no greater pleasure from their dainties than the peasant does from his bread and cheese; but the peasant, whenever he goes abroad, finds a feast, whereas the epicure must be well entertained to escape disgust."

H. M. H.


Oct. 1845.

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