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- Edward Worth Library
This quotation from Worth’s copy of Jean Claude Adrien Helvétius’ An essay on the animal oeconomy. Together with observations upon the small pox (London, 1723), sums up the impact of smallpox on early eighteenth-century populations. Sir Richard Blackmore (1654–1729), the author of another work on the subject collected by Worth, succinctly defines the disease in conjunction with one of its chief symptoms, fever: ‘The Small-Pox is an Inflammatory Fever, accompanied by an Eruption or breaking out of small red Spots, like Flea-bites, that by degrees encrease, and ripening like little Boils, grow full of Matter, and at length, but not in less than in ten Days, after the first Assault, compleat their Course.’ The occurrence of its most characteristic symptom, these disfiguring pustules, suggested that there two main classes or types, distinguished by Helvetius as ‘distinct’ and ‘confluent’, depending on the pattern of the pustules.
Giovanni Battista Sitoni, Miscellanea medico-curiosa(Cologne, 1677), engraved title plate.
Elluchasem Elimithar Tacuini Sanitatis (Strasbourg, 1531), p. 117.