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There is now in Paris a physician, by birth a Dutchman, whose miraculous cures are attracting the attention of all classes. His name is Schmitt. It was at first believed that he was a humbug, but it is now generally acknowledged that by his discovery of a medical plant previously unknown to Europeans, ho has rendered a great service to medical science. His life reads like a fairy tale. While still very young, he entered the navy .of his country, and made a voyage to Borneo as assistant physician in a man-of-war. Wounded in a sea fight between the Dutch fleet and a tribe of Javaiā€™cso, he lay for a long time in the hospital at Java surrounded by native physicians, who frequently spoke in his hearing of the wonderful healing properties of certain tropical plants directly or indirectly to dangerous wounds. At first he resisted the application of these remedies in his own cise, but, gangrene having set in, all remedies proving powerless against its advance, he finally consented to subject himself to the treatment of the native physicians. Under their hands he shortly recovered. Then he decided to resign his naval commission and devote all his energies to the study of the recipes of the Javanese physicians, who are also the priests of Brahma. But this was no easy task ; these priests are all jealous of their secrets as were the old magi of the East. After three years of continual study, and after colouring the skin with the juice of various plants in order to pass for an Indian he presented himself to one of the leading members of the priesthood. He had the good fortune to please the latter, whose slave he became. For seven years he lived in this condition, and, as a matter of course, was present at all the ceremonies and sacrifices of his adopted religion. Amid these scenes the learned doctor pursued his scientific researches in the forest, seeking to wrest from the mysterious Indian vegetation all its secrets in order to introduce them into Europe. His experiments turned particularly toward a certain plant called guaco, which was valued in Java as an antidote against tne bite of poisonous snakes. From various applications of this plant he discovered that it could be most effectually employed in curing all kinds of sores and other diseases of the skin and the blood. At last the slave physician and priest grew tired of Brahma and his worshippers, and 311 e fine morning ran away from his temple and made his way to a ship about to sail for Europe. As soon as the ship had reached tlio high seas, remorse seized him, and he feared him that he had not learned enough of the science to which he had sacrificed everything. He longed to return. His ship was wrecked and went to the bottom a few miles from Hong Kong. After drifting almost for two days it sea, he was taken up by a Japanese vessel and carried to the English colonies in India, where he made new studies and liscoveries. The ex-priest of Brahma lias followed a variety of callings. After svandering through all the principal cities if Europe he has at last settled in Paris, in the faubourgs of which he intends to build a private hospital where he will continue his marvellous cures with guaco. Among the valuable qualities of this medicine is its effects in the treatment of hydrophobia, a use to which it has been applied by Dr. Schmitt. His experiments thus far seem to have been most successful, and permit the hope that a radical cure has been found for rabies.

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Bibliographic details

A WONDERFUL DOCTOR WITH A ROMANTIC HISTORY., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 107, 1 June 1880

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A WONDERFUL DOCTOR WITH A ROMANTIC HISTORY. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 107, 1 June 1880