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Page:New observations on inoculation - Angelo Gatti.djvu/29

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On PREPARATION.

Second Objection."The idea of health is a complicated one. Two persons equally healthy may have very different constitutions. The small-pox is an inflammatory disorder; and the more a constitution inclines to inflammation, the more dangerous the distemper will prove. Thus a stout and sanguine man, as healthy at least as a weakly or delicate one, shall have a more severe and dangerous small-pox. This tendency towards inflammation must therefore be lessened; preparation is necessary for that purpose, and cannot be dispensed with without rashness."

Answer.1st. The small-pox is not absolutely an inflammatory disorder. Inflammation, which constitutes the essence of some disorders, in this is only a symptom; indeed, a necessary one, since there can be no pustules without it. 2. Granting that the small-pox was in itself an inflammatory disorder, we have no certain criterion to know, whether a subject has a disposition towards inflammation. 3. If we had such a criterion, we should still be at a loss to determine to what degree this disposition ought to be lessened. 4. Lastly, the means employed for that purpose, which are chiefly bleeding and purging, may, and often have, a contrary effect.

These two objections are the only rational and intelligible ones, that can be alledged against my assertion with regard to the inutility and dangers of preparation. As to others, grounded upon the necessity of sweetening the

humors,