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brought him a hookah, no doubt he promised to smoke it all his life.
The fame which was Jenner's during the latter period of his life, so different from the obscurity of his first fifty years, never upset him. He remained simple and unaffected to the last. He could not learn to love the busy, crowded, gloomy, commercial streets of London, and he was never so happy as when he could steal away to Berkeley by the side of Mrs Jenner. Only one woman in the world existed for Jenner, and she was his wife.
In the days when temples were erected to Jenner, when religious processions marched shouting his name, when men begged for a pattern of his coat that they might wear the same garb on his birthday, Jenner heard that his oldest son was ill, and immediately he left for home. Important letters from London failed to move him. 'In this unfortunate situation,' he wrote, 'I should be unworthy of the name of father were I to stir from my children. Indeed, nothing would make me, not even a royal mandate, unless accompanied by a troop of horse.'
He ended as he began -the best type of the country doctor. On many wintry nights, and over many a stormy road, he urged his horse to the huts of the poor- often without a fee. Contact with royalty had failed to contaminate him. Edward Jenner was a man. When he was molded, the potter used finer stuff than went into the making of Whitelaw Reid, the American Sycophant to the Court of Saint James.
That Jenner should continually have conducted himself with such simplicity and dignity, speaks well for the natural grandeur of his character, for his was not an intellect of the first order. He was a skilled observer, a successful experimentalist, but no thinker. He had not a tithe of the mental reach of the man who first used the term 'agnostic,' and in all phases of rational and abstract philosophy he was a babe. No problems of the origin of our species, or of its ultimate destiny, ever perplexed his mind. He believed an answer to all
such questions could be found in the writings of Moses. Jenner was born in the same year that gave birth to Laplace and Goethe, and when we consider how the Frenchman speculated in the science of the skies, constructing a system of the universe without the hypothesis of God, and when we recall the German's endless intellectual sweep, formulating in a manner even the doctrine of Evolution, Jenner's limitations become apparent.
But in view of Jenner's practical work it would be as unjust to dwell upon his theoretical shortcomings as it would be to emphasize Alfred Russel Wallace's fall from Science to Spiritualism. Men far greater than Jenner have done far less for human happiness than he. Jenner made the most dreaded of maladies the least feared. Mankind is now more afraid of a cold in the head than of smallpox. Even in the poorest sections of our cities we would have to walk long to come across a pitted servant-girl. Measles bends over every cradle; the bacillus that Koch saw in 1881 is as much a menace to-day as it was twenty-five centuries ago, when Hippocrates called consumption the most dangerous disease; every autumn typhoid relentlessly claims its victims; on many doors the Board of Health tacks up the sign 'Scarlet Fever'; and the swift and sudden onslaught of pneumonia carries desolation in its wide trail; but so effectual has been Jenner's discovery that many active physicians of the present generation have never seen a single case of smallpox. The invalid once so common-bloated and puffy with pustules; his skin covered with crusts that fell off only to reveal scars that were permanent; itching, vomiting, delirious; vile to the smell and hideous to the sight; exhausted, feverish, trying to pick the bedclothes with flexed and stiffened fingers; with boils and abscesses in uncomfortable places, hair coming out, and the mouth held half open because of the edema of the buccal mucous membranes; staring apathetically thru a swollen and yellowish mask, with ulcers where eyes should bethis exemplification of agony and wretchedness has become
almost obsolete because Edward Jenner lived and worked. Modern sanitation has accomplished wonders — a thousand victories of medical science are summed up in that one word but hygiene cannot account for the practical extermination of the shotty papule. Smallpox never feared soap and water, and was as apt to infect a bathing beauty as Simeon Stylities. Only one agent can keep the smallpox in check, and that is vaccination. And vaccination has done it so well that we have forgotten what smallpox means, and therefore we sit back securely and form anti-vaccination societies. But let the vaccine virus be withheld from our bodies, and before many a moon waxes and wanes, the pock-marked face will greet us on every street-corner.
After the decease of his wife, Jenner retired almost completely from the world. Alone, at sunset, he would climb Barrow Hill and watch the Severn at its highest tide. From the summit he could see the forest of Dean, and afar off glistened the Bristol Channel, where sometimes a ship glided past in the twilight. Here he would linger till the orchards faded from view, and the oaks grew dim and ghostly, and the cliff which rose from the river-side could be seen no more.
His life too was sinking below the hills, soon to be enshrouded in darkness. He died where an intellectual man should die in his library. The village which gave him birth received his illustrious ashes. When his wornout body was laid at rest, it would not be surprising if some humble woman, whose child he had saved from smallpox, imagined that Edward Jenner had gone to heaven heaven to vaccinate the angels.