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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/828

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for the superior microbe a vaccine—that is to say, a virus capable of producing a milder disease. Here, then, we have a method of preparing the vaccine of splenic fever. You will see presently the practical importance of this result, but what interests us more particularly is to observe that we have here a proof that we are in possession of a general method of preparing virus vaccine based upon the action of the oxygen and the air—that is to say, of a cosmic force existing everywhere on the surface of the globe. I regret to be unable, from want of time, to show you that all these attenuated forms of virus may very easily, by a physiological artifice, be made to recover their original maximum virulence. The method I have just explained of obtaining the vaccine of splenic fever was no sooner made known, than it was very extensively employed to prevent the splenic affection. In France we lose every year by splenic fever animals of the value of 20,000,000 francs. I was asked to give a public demonstration of the results already mentioned. This experiment I may relate in a few words. Fifty sheep were placed at my disposition, of which twenty-five were vaccinated. A fortnight afterward the fifty sheep were inoculated with the most virulent anthracoid microbe. The twenty-five vaccinated sheep resisted the infection; the twenty-five unvaccinated died of splenic fever within fifty hours. Since that time my energies have been taxed to meet the demands of farmers for supplies of this vaccine. In the space of fifteen days we have vaccinated, in the departments surrounding Paris, more than 20,000 sheep, and a large number of cattle and horses. If I were not pressed for time, I should bring to your notice two other kinds of virus attenuated by similar means. These experiments will be communicated by-and-by to the public. I can not conclude, gentlemen, without expressing the great pleasure I feel at the thought that it is as a member of an international medical congress, assembled in England, that I make known the most recent results of vaccination upon a disease more terrible, perhaps, for domestic animals than small-pox is for man. I have given to vaccination an extension which science, I hope, will accept as a homage paid to the merit and to the immense services rendered by one of the greatest men of England, Jenner. What a pleasure for me to do honor to this immortal name in this noble and hospitable city of London!



DURING the past autumn I received a letter from a gentleman engaged in literary work, requesting my opinion on the "mysterious disease" of the great author and wit whose name distinguishes this paper. My interlocutor particularly wished to know whether the