W9027 TO DR. CALVIN BROOKS MCQUESTEN from his friend H.A. Handerson
Nov 8 1903
To: Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten Unknown 1
From: 444 Dunham Avenue Cleveland, Ohio
My dear Mac,
I have waited patiently for the past two months, hoping to see your familiar form appear upon the horizon of my vision, and to renew old times for a few days at least. It is now, however, so late in the season that I fancy you will scarcely consider it prudent to travel, and I must defer the hope of seeing you until next year. Don't forget the engagement then for the first pleasant month of 1904.
I have just returned from Washington where I went to attend a meeting of the Missionary Council of the P.E. Church. The weather was delightful and I ran down to Fredricksburg to renew my acquaintance with the old battle fields of the vicinity, returning via Gordonsville, Orange G. H., [?] and the masses. The entire trip was very enjoyable, and I think did me good. I wish I could have had your company.
Here at home we are plodding on about as usual. I [?] [?] to work on my Hygium and look after numerous ends of non medical business. Etta is happy in her library work and seems to be doing very well, while the boys are of course in school.
The Republican system which overwhelmed Tom Johnson has rather cleared the air for the present at least and political oratory has absolutely ceased--thank heaven for so much! The [?] revolution has partially taken the plain of politics and preserves the papers from absolute stagnation. If the United States insists on being a "world power" I suppose we must form the borders of so trying a position, but personally I should enjoy less turmoil and [?] [?]. Doubtless this is "old-fogyish," but I have some reasons to remember what war really is, and agree with Mr. Sherman's dictum "War is hell."
Your remarks about the obscenities connected with albuminia are too true, and I confess firmly that I know less about it now than I thought I did twenty years ago. Hal Pratt had been in my horror the worst-case of acute nephritis that I had had under die daily for a week. Yet he has so far recovered so to be able to work continuously, although some [albumen?] continues in his urine. I can form no reasonable prognosis in his case. Have you no reason to suspect renal [colitis?] in your own case? The symptoms certainly seem suggestive.
My own health continues pretty fair, so long as I take good care of myself. But I am easily fatigued and my digestion troubles me considerably. Still, when I remember that 66 years have gone on my shoulders, I realize that I have much to be thankful for, and am grateful for the comforts I still enjoy.
While in Washington I looked in the [Lingrim?] Grants library the Rose Anglica of John Gaddeston, a work printed in Germany 1492 eight months before the discovery of America!2 It is well bound, well printed and as legible as a book of last year; yet think of the [overstudies?] to which it must have been subjected in from these 400 years! What book of the present day will be in existence A.D. 2303? And if any [purchase?] survives how [?] and silly will it seem "What fools we mortals be."
Write as often as you can. As you get older, the old friends are the best friends.
Handerson [Dr. Henry E Handerson]3
1 Dr. Calvin Brooks was likely living in Hamilton at this time. He would have been 75 years of age.
2 John of Gaddesden. Rosa Anglica practica medicine a capita ad pedes. Pavia: Joanes-Antonius Birreta, 1492. [St. Thomas's Hospital Medical Collection S2 c.5.]
This book is thought to be the first printed medical book by an English author. The author wrote that he named the book Rosa Anglica because, as the rose has five petals, so there were five parts to his book, dealing with fevers, injuries, hygiene, diet and drugs. Furthermore, he believed that as the rose excels all other flowers so his medical treatise surpassed all others.
Rosa Anglica or Rosa Medicinae, as it is also known, was compiled around 1314 and circulated widely in manuscript form before its first appearance in print in 1492. It contains references or quotations from Gilbertus Anglicanus, Avicenna, Averroes, Galen and Dioscorides, amongst others, and is essentially a compilation of the theories of these medical authorities with the addition of charms, folk remedies and some original observations by the author.
3 For a list of other letters by Handerson, see W1370.