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3 2 6 FRAGMEN TS OF SCIENCE.

sufliciently large to cause the resulting disease to assume
an epidemic form.

“ I may remark further that the infection of the air'in
these two cases was obviously not the work of chance, but
only represented the effect of agencies Which are always in
operation where this fever prevails.

“ The phenomenon is, in fact, merely the expression of a
general law.

“ The germs cast off in the liquid excreta of contagious
diseases rise into the air by no power of their own, but in
virtue of the very same physical conditions which cause the
germs of the great tribe of Infusoria, which, as their name
bespeaks, breed in liquids, to rise in swarms into the same
medium.

“ If there were time or need, I could show, by evidence
quite as decisive, that all these statements apply equally to
cholera also.

“ I do not know that there is any thing in these data to
suggest additional matter for your essay, but I have thought
it worth while to 'bring them under your notice, harmoniz-
ing as they do with your own investigations which show
by such striking phenomena that air and water are equally
objects of distrust.

“ As to the germ-theory itself, that is a matter on which
I have long since made up my mind. From the day when
I first began to think upon these subjects, I have never had
a doubt that the specific cause of contagious fevers must be
living organisms.

“ It is impossible, in fact, to make any statement bearing
upon the essence or distinctive characters of these fevers,
without using terms which are 'of all others the most distinc-
tive of life. Take up the writings of the most violent oppo-
nent of the germ-theory, and, ten to one, you will find them
full of such terms as ‘ propagation,’ ‘ self-propagation,’ ‘ re-
production,’ ‘ self-multiplication,’ and so on. Try as he

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