The whole field of pathology is divisible into the general and the local; and the opinions of pathologists have fluctuated many times in assigning the controlling power to the one or the other.
Ignorant minds necessarily look at the seat of pain or other disturbance as containing the disease. It was considered a great scientific advance when disease was pronounced an affection of "the humors," meaning all the liquids of the body, and therefore conceived as general with local manifestations. In our time the cellular pathology of Virchow has given a strong impulse again toward the more local conception, and bacteriology seemed for awhile about to convert all pathology into the local action of microbes. But the opinion grows that it is not so much the bacteria as their ptomaines, diffused by the hæmatic and lymphatic circulations, which cause disease; and this may bring us back again to the humoral