Previous Index Next
Page 292
(previous) (Page 000292) (next)
 
2 92 FRAGMEN TS OF SCIENCE.

our in 1867, and placed the prophecy as asealed letter in
the hands of the Mayor of St. Hippolyte.

In 1867 the Cultivators communicated to the mayor
their results. The letter of Pasteur was then opened and
read, and it was found that in twelve out of fourteen cases
there was absolute conformity between his prediction and
the observed fact-s. Many of the groups had perished to-
tally; the others had perished almost totally; and this
was the prediction of Pasteur. In two out of the fourteen
cases, instead of the prophesied destruction, half an aver-
age crop was obtained. Now, the parcels of eggs here re-
ferred to were considered healthy by their owners. They
had been hatched and tended in the firm hope that the la-
bor expended on them would prove remunerative. The appli-
cation of the moth-test for a few minutes in 1866 would
have saved the labor and averted the disappointment. Two
additional parcels of eggs were at the same time submitted
to Pasteur. He pronounced them healthy; and his words
were verified by the production of an excellent crop.
Other cases of prophecy still more remarkable, because
more circumstantial, are recorded in Pasteur’s work.

Pasteur subjected the development of the corpuscles to
a searching investigation. With admirable skill and com-
pleteness he examined the various modes by which the
plague is propagated. He obtained perfectly healthy
worms from moths perfectly free from corpuscles, and se-
lecting from them 10, 20, 30, 50, as the case might be, he
introduced into the worms the corpusculous matter. It was
first permitted to accompany the food. Let us take a sin-
gle example out of many. Rubbing up a small corpuscu-
lous worm in water, he smeared the mixture over the mul-
berry-leaves. Assuring himself that the leaves had been
eaten, he watchedthe consequences from day to day. Side
by side with the infected worms he reared their fellows,
keeping them as much as possible out of the way of infec-

Previous Index Next