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and ulcerated. As regarded the risks of re-vaccination there was no doubt that in a certain number of cases bad arms were to be expected, but the fact that the same lymph was used in several cases without any such result following showed that the vaccination merely called out mischief ready to show itself on provocation. Of course, it was possible that disease might be conveyed by the lymph, but the facts that he had mentioned showed that it was not the cause in the majority of cases. Bad arms were not often seen after first vaccination, and in the cases where eruptions appeared, on careful inquiry, it could often be ascertained that some eruption had appeared before vaccination, or that any connection with vaccination was very remote. As a large number of children came under his observation, he took some trouble to inquire about these matters when cases came before him where vaccination was blamed. A gentleman, who had Buffered from eczema, applied to him to be vaccinated; he told him that he could not guarantee that the operation might not be followed by a return of his attack, his patient preferred this risk to the risk of taking smallpox; the result was one of the most severe attacks of eczema he had ever seen. His practice was to advocate vaccination, while he strongly objected to its being made compulsory; he did not think that the controversy for and against vaccination had been carried on with fairness by either its friends or its opponents. He wished to point out one peculiarity of the recent epidemic of smallpox, which was this, that formerly children who had been vaccinated were almost absolutely safe from an attack of smallpox till the age of fourteen, as strongly insisted on by the late Dr. George Gregory and Dr. Copland, whereas in the last epidemic vaccinated children had not this same universal protection.
Dr. J. Galley Blackley. begged to add his testimony to the value of vaccination, both primary and secondary. During the epidemic of smallpox in Liverpool in 1871 out of 150 cases which had passed through his hands tbe speaker only remembered one fatal case, where there was distinct evidence of vaccination having been previously properly performed, whilst in those who had been revaccinated not a single case of smallpox occurred. He thought that the protective influence certainly diminished with lapse of time, and instanced three cases of smallpox occurring in one family. The first, a child of three months old who had not yet been vaccinated, had a most severe attack of confluent smallpox and died; the second was a boy of seven who had been successfully vaccinated in infancy; in this case the attack was a remarkably mild one, whilst in the third case, which was that of a girl of fourteen, who also had been vaccinated in infancy, the attack was much more severe, but terminated favorably. Beferring to the question of the transmission of disease by means of vaccination, Dr. Blackley thought this had been very much exaggerated, as well-authenticated cases were really very rare. As to the mode of transmission, we had as yet no proof that the bloodcorpuscles alone were the agents, there being just as great a probability in favour of the lymph itself being the vehicle. In conclusion, the speaker expressed his preference for the ivory points, which when used to a scarified surface seldom failed.
Dr. Bayes (Vice-President) said that he had wished to add a few remarks to those already expressed, but that owing to the lateness of the hour he would only express the satisfaction which he felt at the turn the discussion had taken, as, although many different opinions had been expressed as to the best mode of preserving lymph and of vaccinating, yet there was perfect unanimity, on the part of all the members present, as to the value of vaccination as a prophylactic against smallpox,
Memoir of Sir James Y. Simpson, Bart. By J. Duns, D.D., F.E.S.E., Professor of Natural Science, New College, Edinburgh.
Evek since the death of Sir James Simpson the profession, and indeed the general public, have been eagerly looking forward to some biography which should give a fair view of the life, labours, and character of that distinguished man. It was reasonably anticipated that the career of one who, from comparative obscurity, had, in virtue of his own genius and diligence, come "to stand before kings rather than before mean men"—whose name had become a household word in thousands of families, the members of which had shared the blessings of that anaesthetic which his labours principally contributed to bring into common use—who, while by general consent facile princeps in his own special department, had yet found time to linger in nearly every province of the healing art, and in each had left imperishable traces of his presence behind him—who had thrown considerable light upon the interesting but obscure subject of medical antiquities—who, during nearly thirty years, had lectured to perhaps the most numerously attended medical class in the University of Edinburgh, and who in private life attracted the admiration and warm personal regard of the thousands with whom his princely hospitality brought him into contact, must necessarily interest not his professional brethren alone, but also those of the community at large who had profited by his benevolence, industry, and skill, and indeed all who find pleasure in the spectacle of labour and genius obtaining their due meed of competence and fame. Most persons, indeed, must have feared that the narrative of the numerous and acrimonious controversies into which Sir James Simpson had plunged from time to time, which would be inevitable in any biography professing to give a fair representation of his life, must recall much which it would be better for his fame to bury in oblivion. But the story of those very controversies, if fairly related, however much to be regretted for the reason we have just mentioned, would still have formed a most important chapter in the history of medicine, and so have lent an additional interest to the biography itself.
Neither the medical profession nor the general public, however, have much cause to congratulate themselves upon the specimen of biography with which Dr. Duns has favoured them in fulfilment of such anticipations. In some respects, indeed, Dr. Duns appears to possess eminent qualifications for the labour of love he has undertaken. A warm admirer, and, for many years, an intimate personal friend of Sir James Simpson—with abundant materials, as he himself assures us, placed in his hands, and being, moreover, a resident in the city which was the scene of his hero's chief labours and the centre of his fame,—presumably, too, acquainted with many of Sir James Simpson's opponents as well as of his supporters—we anticipated from Dr. Duns not merely an interesting account of the life of this eminent man, but also a fair representation of both sides of the memorable disputes which took up so large a portion of his time, which might easily have been produced by giving characteristic and well-chosen extracts from the voluminous records of these controversies still existing in print. Of course, as Dr. Duns is not himself a medical man, it was not to be expected that he should be able to throw any new light on the respective merits of the controversialists; but it was quite within his power to have, at least, exercised impartiality by allotting equal space to both sides, and the advice of medical friends might have guided his choice of the particular documents or portions of such to be selected. Dr. Duns, however, has taken quite a different view of the matter, and unmistakably hints in his preface that he regards the nature of his own training and studies as entitling him to lay down the law on medical subjects with no small authority—a privilege of which he does not scruple frequently to avail himself. We learn from the title-page that Dr. Duns is Professor of Natural Science (which we are informed means Natural History) in New College, Edinburgh. How the study of zoology and comparative anatomy is to enable any one to deliver ex cathedra opinions (of any value) upon acupressure, homoeopathy, and anaesthetics, we confess we are at some loss to discover. But this is not all. In his accounts of all Sir James Simpson's numerous controversies Dr. Duns seems to have been guided solely by his own prejudices as to the selections he makes from contemporary documents, and this has led him to the simple and ingenious contrivance of finding room for copious extracts from his hero's arguments by means of ignoring all the refutations and allegations brought forward by his opponents. It is true Dr. Duns is so far impartial as to take small pains to disguise Sir James Simpson's insolent and acrimonious pertinacity, but he salves all this by continually remarking that great indeed must have been the provocation which could have induced such a man to use such language, without, as a rule, stating what the provocation was. We do not in the least restrict these remarks to the account Dr. Duns gives of the celebrated "homoeopathy" controversy—although, indeed, it is the ridiculous misrepresentations and transparent absurdities there brought forward which first induced us to select this biography as the subject of an article in this Journal—for they equally apply to his narrative of the disputes with the Edinburgh Senatus and with Professors Syme, Miller and Lister, as we shall see when we come to examine the book in detail.