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THE GERM THEORY.

plosives. Yet, surely ground has been shown for the suggestion that increased attention should be bestowed upon the improvement of the laws, and the instruction of the common people, relative to the modern explosives.

 

THE GERM THEORY.[1]
By Professor LOUIS PASTEUR.

GENTLEMEN: I had no intention of addressing this admirable VX Congress, which brings together the most eminent medical men in the world, and the great success of which does so much credit to its principal organizer, Mr. MacCormac. The good-will of your esteemed president has decided otherwise. How could one, in fact, resist the sympathetic words of that eminent man, whose goodness of heart is associated in no small degree with great oratorical ability? Two motives have brought me to London. The first was to gain instruction, to profit by your learned discussions; and the second was to ascertain the place now occupied in medicine and surgery by the germ theory. Certainly I shall return to Paris well satisfied. During the past week I have learned much. I carry away with me the conviction that the English people are a great people; and, as for the influence of the new doctrine, I have been not only struck by the progress it has made, but by its triumph. I should be guilty of ingratitude and of false modesty, if I did not accept the welcome I have received among you, and in English society, as a mark of homage paid to my labors during the past five-and-twenty years upon the nature of ferments—their life and their nutrition, their preparation in a pure state by the introduction of organisms (ensemencement) under natural and artificial conditions—labors which have established the principles and the methods of microbie (microbism), if the expression is allowable. Your cordial welcome has revived within me the lively feeling of satisfaction I experienced when your great surgeon, Lister, declared that my publication in 1857, on milk-fermentation, had inspired him with his first ideas on his valuable surgical method. You have re-awakened the pleasure I felt when our eminent physician, Dr. Davaine, . declared that his labors upon charbon (splenic fever or malignant pustule) had been suggested by my studies on butyric fermentation and the vibrion which is characteristic of it. Gentlemen, I am happy to be able to thank you by bringing to your notice a new advance in the study of microbie as applied to the prevention of transmissible diseases—diseases which, for the most part, are fraught with terrible consequences, both for man and domestic animals. The subject of my com-

  1. London "Lancet's" translation of an address delivered at the International Medical Congress in London, August 8, 1881.