"After the vaccine and other infectious or inoculable diseases, it is, most probably, not the tissues alone, but the blood as much as or more than they, in which the altered state is maintained; and in many cases it would seem that, whatever materials are added to the blood, the stamp once impressed by one of these specific diseases is retained; the blood, by its own formative power, exactly assimilating to itself, its altered self, the materials derived from the food.

"And this, surely, must be the explanation of many of the most inveterate diseases; that they persist because of the assimilative formation of the blood. Syphilis, lepra, eczema, gout, and many more, seem thus to be perpetuated: in some form or other and in varying quantity, whether it manifests itself externally or not, the material they depend on is still in the blood; because the blood constantly makes it afresh out of the materials that are added to it, let those materials be almost what they may. The tissues affected may (and often do) in these cases recover; they may have gained their right or perfect composition; but the blood, by assimilation, still retains its taint, though it may have in it not one of the particles on which the taint first passed; and hence, after many years of seeming health, the disease may break out again from the blood, and affect a part which was never before diseased."—Lectures on Surgical Pathology, 4th ed., pg. 39. 1876.

Appendix  Index