Edward Jenner (pioneer of the smallpox vaccine) and his two colleagues seeing off three anti-vaccination opponents; the dead are littered at their feet. Coloured etching by I. Cruikshank, 1808.
Vaccination against small pox, or mercenary & merciless spreaders of death & devastation driven out of society
Jenner (r.), standing between two colleagues, holds a vaccination knife whose blade is inscribed ‘Milk of human Kindness’. He addresses three old-fashioned doctors, practicers of inoculation, who run off to the left. holding similar but much larger knives, the blades dripping blood and inscribed ‘The curse of human kind’. Jenner says: “Oh Brothers, Brothers, suffer the love of Gain to be Overcome by Compassion for your fellow creatures, & do not delight to plunge whole Famileis in the deepest distress, by the untimely loss of their nearest and Dearest relatives”. A cherub is about to crown him with a laurel wreath, saying, “The preserver of the Human Race”. The three inoculators say: “Curse on these Vaccinators we shall all be starved, why Brother I have matter enough here to Kill 50,; And those would communicate it to 500 more; Aye - Aye. I always order them to be constantly out in the air, in order to spread the contagion”. The ground is covered by dead or dying infants, heavily spotted. A spotted mother clasps her spotted infant, while her infected husband leans against her. On the extreme right. stands a woman saying “Surley [sic] the disorder of the Cow is preferable to that of the Ass”. Jenner’s two colleagues hold large rolled documents, one inscribed ‘Bill to’; one (r.) also holds a rose.
June 20 1808