Page:A short history of social life in England.djvu/300

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
280
INOCULATION FOR SMALL-POX

reserved for a woman to introduce into England the system of inoculation for small-pox. This disease was still rampant, some 3,000 persons dying of it in London alone in the year 1719. Inoculation, which consisted in procuring a slight attack of small-pox by means of incision, was practised at Constantinople, where Lady Lady Mary Wortley Montague had her five-year-old boy inoculated in 1717. The child at once had a slight attack of small-pox, from which he easily recovered. The King's daughter-in-law took up the subject; experiments were made on condemned criminals and charity children, and the results being satisfactory, the two little Princesses of nine and eleven, granddaughters of George I., were inoculated with marked success. But the idea grew slowly, and it was not till 1740 that inoculation came into general use.

Thus, while under George I. great ideas were slowly developing among the more enlightened and educated members of the English community, the common people persisted in their old-world remedies. They tried to cure asthma by drinking a wine-glass of wine in which wood lice were steeped, cramp by wearing garters made of rosemary leaves sewn up in fine linen, loss of