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DUST AND DISEASE. 299

they plant themselves at distinct foci among populations
subjected to the same atmospheric'influences, just as grains
of corn might be carried in the pocket and sown. Hilde-
brand, to whose remarkable work, Du Typhus Uontagieux,
Dr. de Mussy has directed my attention, gives the following
striking case, both of the durability and the transport of
the virus of scarlatina: “ Un habit noir que j’avais en visi-
tant une malade attaquée de scarlatine, et que je portai de
Vienne de Podolie, sans l’avoir mis depuis plus d’un an et
demi, me communiqua, des que je fus arrive, cette maladie
contagieuse, que je répandis ensuite dans cette province, oh
elle était jusqu’alors presque inconnue.” Some years ago
Dr. de Mussy himself was summoned to a country-house in
Surrey to see a young lady who was suffering from a dropsy,
evidently the consequence of scarlatina. The original dis-
ease being of a very mild character had been quite over-
looked, but circumstances were recorded which could leave
no doubt upon the mind as to the nature and cause of the
complaint. But then the question arose, how did the young
lady catch the scarlatina ? She had come there on a visit
two months previously, and it was only after she had been
a month in the house that she was taken ill. The house-
keeper at once cleared up the mystery. The young lady
on her arrival had expressed a particular wish to occupy a
nice room in an isolated tower, and in that room six months
previously a visitor had been confined with an attack of
scarlatina. The room had been swept and whitewashed,
but the carpets had been permitted to remain.

Thousands of cases could probably be cited in which
the disease has shown itself in this mysterious way, but
where a strict examination has revealed its true parentage
and extraction. Is it then philosophical to take refuge in
the fortuitous concourse of atoms as a cause of specific dis-
ease, merely because in special cases the parentage may be
indistinct ? Those best acquainted with atomic Nature,

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