Though it has at times denied this spirit, been guilty of crimes, persecutions, wars and greed - still the Church has never quite forgotten him who went about doing good, nor freed itself from the contagion of his example.
Thus malaria and sand-fly fever, dysentery, typhoid and paratyphoid fever, cholera, smallpox, and occasionally typhus fever, eye diseases, oriental sores and indeed any disease conveyed by impure water, flies, contaminated dust or the contagion of sufferers from infectious diseases, are prevalent in the inhabited places along the Persian Gulf, and precautions must always be taken to guard against them.
According to one view it was imported from the opposite coast of Dalmatia, though no definite history of contagion was established; according to others, it originated endemically in that place.
Opinions were divided, and the evidence appears even now nearly balanced, though the believers in contagion and importation gained the victory in public opinion.
The contagion spread very rapidly, extending as far as the Rhine provinces, and, across Germany, into Bohemia.
The Jews were thrust into a position of isolation, and the Code of Theodosius and other authorities characterize the Jews as a lower order of depraved beings (inferiores and perversi), their community as a godless, dangerous sect (secta nefaria, feralis), their religion a superstition, their assemblies for religious worship a blasphemy (sacrilegi coetus) and a contagion (Scherer, op. cit.
Milan and Piedmont were comparatively well governed; but repugnance to Austrian rule in the former case, and the contagion of French Jacobinical opinions in the latter, brought those populations into increasing hostility to the rulers.
The contagion had spread through towns and villages and the open country, but it might still be stayed.
Pasteur established (I) that the corpuscles are the special characteristic of the disease, and that these invariably manifest themselves, if not in earlier stages, then in the mature moths; (2) that the corpuscles are parasites, and not only the sign but the cause of the disease; and (3) that the disease manifests itself by heredity, by contagion with diseased worms, and by the eating of leaves on which corpuscles are spread.
He visited all the neighbouring parishes where the contagion raged, distributing money, providing accommodation for the sick, and punishing those, especially the clergy, who were remiss in discharging their duties.