The Harvard Classics Volume 38 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 554 pages of information about The Harvard Classics Volume 38.

To return to the confinement cases.  Would it not be of great service to place a warm concentrated solution of boric acid, and compresses, at the bedside of each patient; which she could renew frequently after saturating with the solution, and this also after confinement.  It would also be acting the part of prudence to place the compresses, before using, in a hot air oven at 150 degrees C., more than enough to kill the germs of the common organisms. [Footnote:  The adoption of precautions, similar to those here suggested, has resulted in the practically complete disappearance of puerperal fevor.—­Translator.]

Was I justified in calling this communication “On the extension of the germ theory to the etiology of certain common diseases?” I have detailed the facts as they have appeared to me and I have mentioned interpretations of them:  but I do not conceal from myself that, in medical territory, it is difficult to support one’s self wholly on subjective foundations.  I do not forget that Medicine and Veterinary practice are foreign to me.  I desire judgment and criticism upon all my contributions.  Little tolerant of frivolous or prejudiced contradiction, contemptuous of that ignorant criticism which doubts on principle, I welcome with open arms the militant attack which has a method in doubting and whose rule of conduct has the motto “More light.”

It is a pleasure once more to acknowledge the helpfulness of the aid given me by Messrs. Chamberland and Roux during the studies I have just recorded.  I wish also to acknowledge the great assistance of M. Doleris.

Prejudices which have retarded the progress of geology
uniformity in the series of past changes in the animate and
inanimate world
sir Charles Lyell


Sir Charles Lyell was born near Kirriemuir, Forfarshire, Scotland, on November 14, 1797.  He graduated from Exeter College, Oxford, in 1819, and proceeded to the study of law.  Although he practised for a short time, he was much hampered in this profession, as in all his work, by weak eyesight; and after the age of thirty he devoted himself chiefly to science.

Lyell’s father was a botanist of some distinction, and the son seems to have been interested in natural history from an early age.  While still an undergraduate he made geological journeys in Scotland and on the Continent of Europe, and throughout his life he upheld by precept and example the importance of travel for the geologist.

The first edition of his “Principles of Geology” was published in 1830; and the phrase used in the sub-title, “an attempt to explain the former changes of the earth’s surface, by reference to causes now in action” strikes the keynote of his whole work.  All his life he continued to urge this method of explanation in opposition to the hypotheses, formerly much in vogue, which assumed frequent catastrophes to account for geologic changes.  The chapters here printed give his own final statement of his views on this important issue.

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The Harvard Classics Volume 38 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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