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298 FRAGMENTS OF SCIENCE.

appearance, again showed predilection for that remote
county. Many also believe that the black death of five
centuries ago has disappeared as mysteriously as it came,
but Mr. Simon finds that it is believed to be prevalent at
this hour in some of the northwestern parts-of India.

Let me here state an item of my own experience. When
I was at the Bel Alp last year the clergyman appointed to
that station received letters informing him of the breaking
out of scarlet fever among his children. He lived, if I re-
member rightly, on the healthful. eminence of Dartmoor,
and it was difficult to imagine how scarlet fever could have
been wafted to the place. A drain ran'close to his house,
and on it his suspicions were manifestly fixed. Some of
our medical writers would fortify him in this notion, While
those of another school would deny to a drain, however
foul, the power of producing a specific disease. After close
inquiry, he recollected that a hobby-horse had been used
both by his boy and another that a short time previously
had passed through scarlet fever. Drains and ceSSpools
are by no means in' such evil odor as they used to be. A
fetid Thames and a low death-rate occur from time to time
together in London. For, if the special matter or germs of
epidemic disOrder be not present, a corrupt atmosphere,
however obnoxious otherwise, will not produce the-disorder.
Corrupted air may promote an epidemic, but cannot origi-
nate it. On the other hand, through the transport of the
special germ or virus, disease may develop itself in regions
where the drainage is good and the atmosphere pure.

If you see a new thistle growing in your field you feel
sure that its seed has been wafted thither. Just as sure
does it seem that the contagious matter of scarlatina, or
any other contagious fever, has been transplanted to the
place where it newly appears. With a clearness and con-
clusiveness not to be surpassed Dr. William Budd has
traced such diseases from place to plaCe; showing how

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