François Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694–1778). Letters on the English.

François Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694–1778). Letters on the English.

The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Letter XI—On Inoculation

The Harvard Classics.  1909–14. Letter XI—On Inoculation  IT is inadvertently affirmed in the Christian countries of Europe that the English are fools and madmen. Fools, because they give their children the small-pox to prevent their catching it; and madmen, because they wantonly communicate a certain and dreadful distemper to their children, merely to prevent an uncertain evil. The English, on the other side, call the rest of the Europeans cowardly and unnatural. Cowardly, because they are afraid of putting their children to a little pain; unnatural, because they expose them to die one time or other of the small-pox. But that the reader may be able to judge whether the English or those who differ from them in opinion are in the right, here follows the history of the famed innoculation, which is mentioned with so much dread in France.  1   Read more

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