They are then permitted to walk about at large, and are under very little confinement during the remainder of the distemper.
A very ingenious and eminent physician, who has long practised inoculation largely with great success, and has published a valuable treatise upon this subject, directs both antimonial and mercurial medicines, during the preparation. He recommends that the variolous matter be inserted in its crude state; but he has informed me, since the publication of this work, that his doubts then remained, whether much depended upon the condition of the matter, at the time of inoculation.
I was very desirous of knowing what it was, in the whole regimen, that chiefly contributed to lessen the disease; particularly, what share the kind of variolous matter had in the success: whether it depended upon its being taken from the natural or inoculated small-pox; and then, whether in its watery, or in its purulent state. It would be a desirable thing likewise when the variolous matter inserted every other circumstance was the same to observe what effect mercurial medicines or purges had, when given preparatory. Nothing hitherto had been done in a comparative view, which, while practitioners continue in the same track, cannot be expected. An investigation of this sort therefore, which very few physicians are in a situation of making, I considered as of no small importance. I resolved, therefore, to put in practice several of the methods that had been used with success, together