Previous Index Next
Page 295
(previous) (Page 000295) (next)
 
DUST AND DISEASE. 295

Pasteur describes in detail his method Of securing
healthy eggs, which is nothing less than a mode of restor-
ing to France her ancient prosperity in silk husbandry.
And the justification of his work is to be found in the re-
ports which reached him of the application, and the unpar-
alleled success of his method, at the time he was putting
his researches together for final publication. In France
and Italy his method has been pursued with the most sur-
prising results. It was an up-hill fight which led to this
triumph, but opposition stimulated Pasteur, and thus, with-
out meaning it, did good service. “ Ever,” he says, “since
the commencement of these researches, I have been ex-
posed to the most obstinate and unjust contradictions; but
I have made it a duty to leave no trace of these contests in
this book.” And, in reference to parasitic diseases, he uses
the following weighty words: “ Il est au pouvoir de l’homme
de faire disparaitre de la surface du globe les maladies par-
asitaires, si, comme c’est ma conviction, la doctrine des géné-
rations spontanées est une chimére.”

Pasteur dwells upon the ease with which an island like
Corsica. might be absolutely isolated from the silk-worm
epidemic. And, with regard to other epidemics, Mr. Simon
describes the extraordinary exemption of the Scilly Isles for
the ten years extending from 18.51 to 1860. Of the 627
registration districts of England, one only had an entire es-
cape from diseases Which, in whole or in part, were preva-
lent in all the others: “In all the ten years it had not a
single death by measles, nor a single death by small-pox,
nor a single death by scarlet fever. And why ? Not be-
cause of its general sanitary merits, for it had an average
amount of other evidence of unhealthiness. Doubtless, the
reason of its escape was that it was insular. It was the
district of the Scilly Isles ,° to which it was most improb-
able that any febrile contagion should come from without.
And its escape is an approximative proof that, at least for

Previous Index Next