I hardly think that the publication of this course of Lectures upon a department of medicine the literature of which is so scanty requires any apology whatever; for that some such treatise was required is perfectly obvious to any one acquainted with our literature; and whether this will meet the want that certainly exists it is for others and not for me to determine.
My object has been to make these lectures as practical and as interesting as possible, and to supply such information regarding aural disease as will render my remarks specially acceptable to the general practitioner.
As a compendium upon Ear Diseases these Lectures will be found deficient upon several points, notably upon such matters as the Artificial Tympanum, the Removal of Aural Polypi, and a few other things usually made prominent in treatises upon the subject; the reason of this is that my attention has been entirely engrossed in laying down a firm foundation, and one upon which all skilled knowledge must necessarily rest.
In a word, I have gone upon the principle that the ear is an organ the diseases of which are not of a character so essentially special as to require the observance of principles in any way differing from those that have successfully guided the clinicician in investigating the ailments of other parts of the body; I have, therefore, made it a main object to bring anatomy and physiology to bear upon the facts daily seen in the presence of disease, and by this means to obtain a clear insight into a class of affections that are as common as they are important, and as little generally understood as they are common.
We must mention that the first six of the Lectures appeared in the Homœopathic World, and these Mons. Dekeersmaecker, the eminent oculist of Brussels, is engaged in translating into French, an honour that I fully appreciate but can hardly suppose to be deserved.