Some have had a confluent small-pox, and been in danger; others have suffered, besides the small-pox, an additional infectious disorder. Many have had troublesome complaints after the operation; wounds not easily healed, erysipetalous tumours, abscesses, imposthumes; and lastly, some thinking themselves safe after having gone through what was thought inoculation, have since caught the distemper in the natural way.
Notwithstanding these inconveniences, I have continued recommending and practising inoculation, both because they are far less considerable than those which attend the chance of the natural small-pox, and because the worst of these mischances happened to me more rarely than to most other inoculators.
I now think, I have discovered the cause of all these accidents. Had I from the first made choice of the best method, every one of my patients would have had a true small-pox, both slight and kind, and attended with no bad symptoms, adventitious disorders, or consequential complaints. I was misled by the rules generally laid down; and an opposite way of acting would always have conducted me safely, as in fact it did, whenever I kept to it.
The following tract is the result both of my experiments and of my reflections. My design is not to apologize for inoculation, but to enquire into the best method of managing it.
I write for gentlemen of the profession, and especially for such as have acquired some expe-