« ForrigeFortsæt »
the air. This meant enormous saving, and caused the name of Pasteur to become acclaimed as the great benefactor of commerce.
In 1864 he was invited to lecture at the Sorbonne, where as a student he had been one of the great throng that had listened to the master, Dumas. Now as a master himself, Pasteur was to lecture. A A still greater throng awaited him as a lecturer than had jostled him as an auditor. The intellectual Paris was there. Spontaneous generation was his subject. He began by saying: "Great problems are now being handled, keeping every thinking man in suspense; the unity or multiplicity of human races; the creation of man 1,000 years or 1,000 centuries ago, the fixity of species, or the slow and progressive transformation of one species into another; the eternity of matter; the idea of a God unnecessary. Such are some of the questions that humanity discusses now." He showed his sterile culture media, and declared that life would not generate in them while sealed, but that it would appear if they were opened to the dust-containing air. He was now a public man, and acclaimed with applause wherever he appeared.
Now for many years a silk worm disease some mysterious malady was destroying eggs, worms, crysalides, and moths. The districts of France which depended upon the silk industry were becoming impoverished. The anxious greeting of men, who passed upon the road, was not for one another's health, but "How is it with the worms?" The stricken people presented a petition to the Senate to help them. The Minister of Agriculture sent Pasteur to the task. For four years (1865-1869) he studied the problem among the silk raisers, over
coming many discouragements, and finally placing upon a practical basis, measures for conquering the disease. The waning industry was rejuvenated, and the name of Pasteur became as that of a magician in Alais.
The activities in scientific research in which he engaged embraced many fields. He went among the sick at the Lariboisiere hospital, and studied cholera as an infectious disease. He became the friend and admirer of Claude Bernard, the greatest physiologist of his time, and helped and received help as his co-worker.
At the age of forty-six, as a result of close attention to his investigations and the burdens of responsibility, he suffered an attack of cerebral hemorrhage, which left his left leg and arm partially lamed. "I am sorry to die; I want to do so much more for my country," he said. country," he said. He cha fed under the restraint of convalescence, and yearned to get back to the unsolved problems. He recovered, and enjoyed twenty-seven more years of work.
During the siege of Paris he was at work at Arbois. His love for his country was so great and his sympathy for humanity so much greater that this period of the war was the saddest of his life. His heart ached for his bleeding France. When the aged chemist Chevreul read to the Academy of Science the report that the Museum of Natural History had been bombarded by the Germans, Pasteur was overwhelmed with grief and bitterness. He uttered his protest by sending back to the University of Bonn the diploma by which it had conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Medicine. He begged the University to efface his name from its archives, and take back the diploma, "as an indication of the
indignation inspired in a French scientist by the barbarity and hypocrisy of him, who in order to satisfy his criminal pride, persists in the massacre of two great nations." He added: "The sight of that parchment is odious to me, and I feel offended at seeing my name with the qualification of virum clarissimum that you have given it, placed beneath a name which is henceforth an object of execration to my country, that of Rex Gulielmus.”
The sin of war oppressed him. The preservation of France was close to his heart. His own son, serving in the army, brought it still closer to him. Could he but have known that his discoveries were to contribute more to the mitigation of the horrors of war than the work of any other man!
The army surgeon Sidellot wrote distressfully to the Institute: "The horrible mortality among the wounded in battle calls for the attention of all the friends of science and humanity. Places where there are wounded are recognizable by the fetor of suppuration and gangrene."
It is a pity that no French surgeon at that trying time had been alert to the discoveries of Pasteur, as had Lister in England, who already in 1867 had set on foot measures for destroying the miscroorganisms which Pasteur had proved to be the cause of these diseases. Lister freely acknowledged his indebtedness. One of the finest documents to be treasured by science is Lister's letter of Feb. 13, 1874, to Pasteur. Here are two sentences from it: "Allow me to take this opportunity to tender you my most cordial thanks for having, by your brilliant researches, demonstrated to me the truth of the germ theory of putrefaction, and thus furnished me with the principle upon which alone the anti
septic system can be carried out. Should you at any time visit Edinburgh, it would, I believe, give you sincere gratification to see at our hospitals how largely mankind is being benefitted by your labors." These two great men always understood one another and the merit of one another's work.
As an indication of Pasteur's direct contact with medical science may be cited the treatise published by him in 1862, in which he showed that ammoniacal decomposition of urine was due to microorganisms. to microorganisms. This is the most important knowledge in genitourinary surgery. He furthermore experimented, and showed that boric acid impeded the development of these organisms, and suggested the use of boric acid solution for cystic irrigations. Guyon put in practice the suggestion and gave Pasteur the credit for the discovery.
He gave himself freely to the investigation of diseases at the hospital. He studied especially puerperal fever, charbon, bubonic plague, yellow fever, and anthrax. He threw so much light upon some of these diseases that as a result of his work they have been conquered. He has made it possible to eliminate anthrax. Chicken cholera and swine fever he succeeded in bringing under the control of man. The commercial value of these discoveries was at once appreciated.
Huxley in a lecture before the Royal Society of London said: "Pasteur's discoveries alone would suffice to cover the war indemnity of five milliares ($1,000,000,000) paid by France to Germany in 1870."
Then came the work on rabies. Step by step he sought the cause of this disease. With infinite pains he mastered its secrets, stopping only at the
He determined of human nature. Envy and hatred appeared. Falsehoods were uttered; insulting newspaper articles were published; scurrilous anonymous letters were received by this gentle man. All of these saddened his sensitive spirit. The great men of science consoled him. The British Commission, after fourteen months' study, made its report to the House of Commons corroborating all of Pasteur's findings and results. His name was proclaimed around the world.
In 1888 the Pasteur Institute was formally opened by the President of the Republic, in the presence of a gathering of distinguished savants.
Nations vied with one another to do him homage.
In 1892, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway formed committees to coöperate with other similar committees to celebrate his seventieth birthday. The artist Roty designed a medal for the occasion. On one side was a profile relief of Pasteur; on the other side, surrounded with laurel and roses, the inscription, "To Pasteur, on his seventieth birthday. France and Humanity grateful."
On December the 27th, 1892, the great theater of the Sorbonne was filled. There were delegates and committees from foreign scientific societies, members of the Institute, professors of the Faculty, and deputations from the great schools. The Academy and the scientific societies were represented officially by their presidents and life secretaries. The young men of the Ecole were there. Each of the large cities of Europe had sent its delegate. As the band of the Republic played a triumphant march, still limping slightly from his old hemiplegia, somewhat stooped, but with alert eye, Pasteur entered, leaning upon the arm of Car
specific cause itself. He determined that the virus invades the nervous system; and then by a series of inoculations gradually reduced its potency until he was able to produce a vaccine which had the power to prevent the disease. He first succeeded in his protective inoculation in animals. But one more step was required, to try it in the case of man. The little Alsatian boy Joseph Meister, with his arm mangled by a mad dog's teeth, was brought to Pasteur as his only hope. The experiments had proved positive in saving dogs which had been bitten: here was a little boy. Pasteur himself made the injections - twelve in all — he suffering much, the boy but little. The result is known to the world. Then the cases, applying for treatment, rapidly multiplied.
When Pasteur reported to the Academy of Sciences his treatment of human beings, bitten by mad dogs, the members were deeply impressed. Boulay, the chairman, proclaimed that "the present meeting will remain forever memorable in the history of medicine, and glorious for French science." Vulpian said, "M. Pasteur has been preceded by none in his path."
People bitten by rabetic animals thronged to Pasteur from all parts of the world. He gave personal attention to all. Children were especial objects of his solicitude. His eyes were often suffused with tears for their suffering. He corresponded with them after they returned home. The results were wonderful.
Money poured in from many countries for the establishment of a Pasteur Institute rich, poor, provinces, and governments, all contributed. The mortality among cases treated was brought down below one per cent. Then there revealed itself the weak side
not, the President of the Republic. He was lead to a table on the platform upon which the addresses of the various delegates were laid. The Presidents of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, the Ambassadors and Ministers took their seats upon the platform. The official delegates of the Academies of the Institute of France stood behind the President.
The Minister of Public Instruction, Dupuy, arose and opened his address with these words: "Who can say how much human life owes to you, and how much more it will owe to you in the future? The day will come when another Lucretius will sing, in a new poem, on Nature, the immortal Master whose genius engendered such benefits." He closed with these: "May France keep you for many more years, and show you to the world as the worthy object of her love, of her gratitude and pride."
The President of the Academy of Sciences presented to Pasteur the commemorative medal. Orators and sages laid their best at his feet. Lister, representing the Royal Societies of London and Edinborough, presented the homage of medicine and surgery.
Pasteur's short speech was modest, eloquent, sincere, and scientific. He closed: "I have expressed to you my deep emotion and hearty gratitude. the same way that Roty, the great artist, has, on the back of this medal, hidden under roses the heavy number of years which weigh on my life, you have, my dear colleagues, given to my old age the most delightful sight of all this living and loving youth." Amid the shouts of "Vive Pasteur!" the President of the Republic rose, walked toward Pasteur to congratulate him, and earnestly embraced him.
Then for three more years, tributes
from all parts of the world poured in upon him. France attempted to express her gratitude by gifts of money, but the hearts of the people expressed it best. it best. Streets in cities in two hemispheres bear his name. A district in Quebec is called after him by order of the Canadian Government. In Algeria one of the oldest towns was changed to that of Pasteur.
Still he worked on. When his health failed he was carried each day to the laboratory. His fondest hope now was that he should live to see diphtheria conquered. His pupils Roux and Yersin were industriously experimenting in the same lines as had been followed in rabies. It was in this line of research that the cure for diphtheria was finally found.
He said, "There yet remains much to be done." He would have liked to have done more. No scientist ever gave greater zeal to this eternal searching for the truth. He died in his simple home on September 28, 1895, surrounded by his children, grandchildren, and a world of loving friends, his hand clasped in that of his wife.
Fifteen years after this a referendum was carried out by the Petit Parisien to ascertain whom the French people regarded as the greatest personage of the ninteenth century. Fifteen million answers were received. It was supposed that the name of Napoleon would lead all the rest; but the people of France, which for centuries has gloried in its military spirit, and in which every man is trained in the army, ranked Napoleon fourth in the list, and placed at the head the name of the modest scientist, Pasteur.
Louis Pasteur was the ideal man of science. The truth was his goal. He was modest, unselfish, and sincere. When attacked by malice or falsehood,
he remained the scientist and gentleman always. He strove to convince others of their errors, but with charity and kindness. He said, "A man of science should think of what will be said of him in the following century, not of the insults or the compliments of one day."
It is impossible to estimate the extent of his benefactions to science and humanity, so varied and far reaching are they. He is the founder of the science of bacteriology and all that that implies. He made modern therapy and surgery possible. He laid at rest forever many of the superstitions that had enthralled men's minds. Paul Bert classified his bacteriologic discoveries in three groups: (1) "Each fermentation is produced by a special microbe." (2) "Each infectious disease is produced by a special microbe." (3) "The microbe of an infectious disease, cultivated under certain detri
mental conditions, is attenuated in its pathogenic activity; from a virus it becomes a vaccine." He was the greatest benefactor the science of medicine has had.
"Asceticism as an Auto-Erotism" is the title of an article by James G. Kiernan in a recent number of the Alienist and Neurologist. It scans with more or less detail most of the forms of sexual perversions and shows the trend of thought among careful observers in this interesting field. It may never be that society will view the subjects of these perversions with aught but contempt and loathing. Any
As a man his life is exemplary. He reveals himself in his letters to his parents, sisters, children, students and friends. In these documents, the exalted moral tone, the grasp of social values, the fine philosophic character, and the breadth of interest display the greatness of the man. Above all he was intensely humane.
His family life was beautiful. It is in this that the sweetness of his character is revealed. Tender, affectionate, lively in his imagination, his spirit was one of fragrance.
Science was his religion. It was science that he believed should redeem the world.
He was right; it is science that is to redeem the world.
other attitude, probably, would be unfortunate for the community to adopt, or for the legal or the medical profession to assume. Nevertheless it is true that, as a type, the pervert is not the embodiment of evil. His affliction, per se, does not stamp him as the vilest of the vile. Strange as it may seem, his opprobrious acts are merely accentuations of some of the most beautiful symbolisms and sense percep