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Page:New observations on inoculation - Angelo Gatti.djvu/36

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manner. The famous Thessalian, who first introduced it in Constantinople, did nothing more; neither did several women who carried it into the islands of the Archipelago, where to this day it is performed in the same manner.

In the dutchy of Urbino in Italy, a grievous epidemical small-pox, that raged in the year 1746, induced several mothers, alarmed at the havock it made, to try to save their children by inoculating them; they had only been told that the thing was practicable; and could think of no other way than to prick the skin with a pin dipt in matter.

Such was the voice both of nature and season; such the practice of the first inoculators; fathers and mothers inoculated in this manner; and so it is that women have always gone about it. Let us now see what art has added, what physicians have done. Soon did they forsake this plain and natural road; soon they devised new and intricate by-paths. Instead of a puncture, an incision was made; the depth was gradually increased; both arms were cut, then the two legs, sometimes all the four limbs. Instruments were contrived for making these incisions; and to a simple operation, which required no care nor apparatus, a variety of inventions were substituted, requiring a long and close attendance, and productive of most evils charged upon inoculation, though merely owing to the way of inoculating.

These several methods, after having deviated from the former simplicity, are gradually be-