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arrived from England. Kind visitors sat So did Lord Herbert, the Secretary of by the beds to write letters for the patients, War, to whom, in conjunction with Miss undertaking to see the epistles forwarded Nightingale, the British army, at home, to England. When the invalids became in India, and everywhere, owes its reable to rise for dinner, it was a turning- demption from special sickness and undue point in their case; and they were soon mortality. In America the advantages getting into the apartment where there may be enjoyed without tax or drawback. were games and books and meetings of The citizens are accustomed to organize old comrades. As I have said before, themselves for action of all sorts; and those who died at these hospitals were no stiff-necked classes stand in the way finally scarcely more than those who of good management. The difficulty in died in- not the hospitals — but the bar- America must rather be to understand racks of the Guards at home.
how anything so perverse as the manageWhat were the changes in organization ment of British military hospitals ten years needed to produce such a regeneration ago can have existed to so late a date. as this?
It was supposed, ten years since, that They were such as must appear to there must be nine separate departments Americans very simple and easy. The in every Military General Hospital, and wonder will be rather that they were the officials bore titles accordingly; but necessary at last than that they should there was such an odd confusion in their have been effected with any difficulty. functions that every one of the nine was But Americans have never known what often seen doing the business of some othit is to have a standing army as a long- The medical officers were drawing established and prominent national insti- corks and tasting wines and inspecting tution; and they can therefore hardly provisions, when they should have been conceive of the strength of the class- by the bedside. The purveyor was countspirit which grows up in the various de- ing the soldiers' money, and noting its partments of the military organization. amount, when he should have been marThis jealousy, egotism, and stiffness of keting, or ordering the giving out of the prejudice were much aggravated by the provisions for the day. The paymaster long peace, in which a great rusting of could scarcely find time to discharge the the apparatus of the system took place, bills, so much was his day filled up with without at all impairing the complacency doing eternal sums about the stoppages of those who formed a part of it. The in the pay of the patients. There were old medical officers were incapable, pe- thirteen kinds of stoppages in the army, dantic, and jealous; and no proper rela- three of which were for the sick in hostion had ever been established between pital: the paymaster could never be quite them and the military authorities. The certain that he had reckoned rightly with imbecility of the system cost the lives of every man to the last penny; the men others than the soldiers who died in hos- were never satisfied ; and the confusion pital. Brave men arose, as in all such was endless. The commissariat, the purcrises, to bear the consequences of other veyor, and the paymaster were all kept men's mistakes, and the burden of expos- waiting to get their books made up, while ing them; and several physicians and soldiers were working the sums, – being surgeons died, far from home, in the effort called from their proper business to help to ameliorate a system which they found about the daily task of the stoppages. unworkable. The greatest benefactor in Why there should not be one uniform exhibiting evils and suggesting remedies, stoppage out of the pay of men in hosDr. Alexander, lived to return home, and pital no person of modern ideas could instigate reforms, and receive the honors see; and the paymaster's toils would have which were his due ; but he soon sank been lessened by more than one-balf, if under the consequences of his labors. he had had to reckon the deduction from the pay.
the patients' pay at threepence or four- alone, and administering a simple and pence each, all round, instead of having liberal system of diets and appliances of to deal with thousands per day individu- all sorts. It is bis business to provide ally, under three kinds of charge upon everything for the consumption of the
establishment, and to keep the contracThe commandant's post was the hard- tors up to their duty. The Treasurer's est,- he being supposed to control every function speaks for itself. All the acprovince, and have every official under counts and payments under the Governhis orders, and yet being powerless in re- or's warrant are in his charge. gard to two or three departments, the There is one more office, rendered nebusiness of which he did not understand. cessary by the various and active service The officers of those departments went always going on,- the superintendent each his own way; and all unity of action of that service, or Captain of the Wards. in the establishment was lost. This is He is to have the oversight of the orderenough to say of the old methods. lies, cooks, washers, and storekeepers; he
In the place of them, a far simpler sys is to keep order throughout the house ; tem was proposed at the end of the war. and he is to be referred to in regard to The eternal dispute as to whether the everything that is wanted in the wards, commandant should be military or medi- except what belongs to the department cal, a soldier or a civilian, was set aside of the medical officers or the steward. by the decision that he should be simply As for the medical department, there the ablest administrator that could be is now a training provided for such solfound, and be called the Governor, to diers as wish to qualify themselves for avoid the military title. Why there should hospital duty. Formerly, the hospital be any military management of men who was served by such men as the military are sick as men, and not as soldiers, it is officers thought fit to spare for the purdifficult to see; and when the patients are pose; and they naturally did not send about to leave the hospital, a stated su- the best. These men knew nothing pervision from the adjutant-general's de- of either cleaning wards or nursing papartment is all that can be required. Thus tients. Their awkwardness in sweeping is all the jealousy between military and and scouring and making beds was exmedical authority got rid of. The Gov- treme; and they were helpless in case ernor's authority must be supreme, like of anything being wanted to a blister or that of the commandant of a fortress, or
One was found, one day, earthe commander of a ship. He will not nestly endeavoring to persuade bis pawant to meddle in the doctors' profession- tient to eat his poultice. It is otherwise al business ; and in all else he is to be now. The women, where there are any, paramount, — being himself responsible ought to have the entire charge of the to the War-Office. The office, as thus sweeping and cleaning,—the housemaid's declared, is equivalent to three of the work of the wards; and as to the rest, nine old ones, namely, the Commandant, the men of the medical-staff corps have the Adjutant-General, and the Quarter the means of learning how to dress a master-General.
blister, and poultice a sore, and apply Next to the Governor, the Chief Med- plasters, lint, and bandages, and adminical Officer must be the most important ister medicine, and how to aid the sick man in the establishment. He is to be in their ablutions, in getting their meals concerned with professional business only, with the least fatigue, and so on. and to see that all under him are to be Of female nurses it is not necessary to devoted in the same way. For this pur- say much in America, any more than in pose there must be an end to the system England or France. They are not adof requisitions. There must be a Stew- missible into Regimental Hospitals, in a ard, taking his orders from the Governor general way; but in great military and
civil hospitals they are a priceless treas- should, generally speaking, be attended
on by men, -- and if not, that each feThe questions in regard to them are male nurse of convalescents should have two. Shall their office be confined to a hundred or so in her charge, whereas the care of the linen and stores, and the of the graver cases forty or fifty are as supplying of extra diets and comforts ? many as one nurse can manage, with any If admitted to officiate in the wards, how amount of help from orderlies. These far shall that function extend ?
proposals give some idea of what is conIn England, there seems to be a strong templated with regard to the ordinary persuasion that some time must elapse, nurses in a General Military Hospital. and perhaps a generation of doctors must The superintendent of the nurses in each pass away, before the ministration of fe- institution must be a woman of high qualmale nurses in military hospitals can be- ity and large experience. And she will come a custom, or even an unquestioned show her good sense, in the first place, by good. No rational person can doubt insisting on a precise definition of her what a blessing it would be to the pa- province, that there may be no avoidable tients to have such nurses administer ill-will on the part of the medical officers, nourishment, when the rough orderlies and no cause of contention with the capwould not have discernment or patience tain of service, or whatever the administo give the frequent spoonful when the trator of the interior may be called. She very life may hang upon it. Nobody must have a decisive voice in the choice doubts that wounds would be cleans- of her nurses; and she will choose them ed which otherwise go uncleansed, – for their qualifications as nurses only, afthat much irritation and suffering would ter being satisfied as to their character, be relieved which there are otherwise health, and temper. no hands to undertake. Nobody doubts No good nurse can endure any fuss that many lives would be saved in every about her work and her merits. Enthugreat hospital from the time that fevered siasts and devotees find immediately that frames and the flickerings of struggling they are altogether out of place in a hosvitality were put under the charge of the pital,-or, as we may now say, they would nurses whom Nature made. But the dif- find this, if they were ever to enter a hosficulties and risks are great. On the pital: for, in fact, they never now arrive whole, it seems to be concluded by those there. The preparation brings them to who know best, that only a few female a knowledge of themselves; and the two nurses should be admitted into military sorts of women who really and permaand naval hospitals : that they should be nently become nurses are those who dewomen of mature age and ascertained sire to make a living by a useful and valgood sense, thoroughly trained to their ued and well-paid occupation, and those business: that they should be the women who benevolently desire to save life and who have been, or who would be, the mitigate suffering, with such a temper of head nurses in other hospitals, and that sobriety and moderation as causes them they should be paid on that scale: that to endure hardship and ill-usage with they should have no responsibility, firmness, and to dislike praise and cebeing wholly subject to the surgeons in lebrity at least as much as hostility and ward affairs, and to their own superin- evil construction. The best nurses are tendent in all others : that no enthusiasts foremost in perceiving the absurdity and or religious devotees should be admitted, disagreeableness of such heroines of ro– because that very qualification shows mance as flourished in the press seven that they do not understand the busi- years ago, — young ladies disappointed ness of nursing: that everything that can in love, who went out to the East, found be as well done by men should be done their lovers in hospital, and went off with by trained orderlies: that convalescents them, to be happy ever after, without any VOL. VIII.
anxiety or shame at deserting their pa began. Her ill-health has withdrawn her tients in the wards without leave or no from active nursing and administration; tice. Not of this order was Florence but she has probably done more towards Nightingale, whose practical hard work, the saving of life by working in connecpersonal reserve, and singular adminis tion with the War-Office in private than trative power have placed her as high by her best-known deeds in her days of above impeachment for feminine weak health. Through her, mainly, it is that nesses as above the ridicule which com every nation has already studied with monly attends the striking out of a new some success the all-important subject of course by man or woman. Those who Health in the Camp and in the Hospimost honor her, and most desire to follow tal. It now lies in the way of Ameriher example, are those who most stead can women to take up the office, and, ily bring their understandings and their we may trust, to “better the instruchearts to bear upon the work which she tion."
A STORY OF THANKSGIVING-TIME.
Old Jacob Newell sat despondent be of New England winters and overcame side his sitting-room fire. Gray-haired the stubbornness of its granite hills, and and venerable, with a hundred hard lines, whose idea of a perfect life consisted in telling of the work of time and struggle the rigorous discharge of all Christian duand misfortune, furrowing his pale face, ties, and the banishment, forever and at he looked the incarnation of silent sorrow all times, of the levity of pleasure and the and hopelessness, waiting in quiet meek folly of amusement. She could have walkness for the advent of the King of Ter- ed, if need were, with composure to the rors: waiting, but not hoping, for his stake; but she could neither have joined coming; without desire to die, but with in a game at cards, nor have entered into no dread of death.
a romp with little children. All this was At a short distance from him, in an an plainly to be seen in the stern repose of cient straight-backed rocking-chair, dark her countenance and the stiff harshness with age, and clumsy in its antique carv of her figure. ings, sat his wife. Stiffly upright, and Upon the stained deal table, standing with an almost painful primness in dress a little in the rear and partially between and figure, she sat knitting rapidly and the two, reposed an open Bible. Between with closed eyes. Her face was rigid as its leaves lay a pair of large, old-fashiona mask; the motion in her fingers, as she ed, silver bowed spectacles, which the husplied her needles, was spasmodic and ma band had but recently laid there, after chine-like; the figure, though quiet, wore reading the usual daily chapter of Holy an air of iron repose that was most un Writ. He had ceased but a moment beeasy and unnatural. Still, through the fore, and had laid them down with a mask and from the figure there stole the heavy sigh, for his heart to-day was soreaspect and air of one who had within herly oppressed ; and no wonder; for, foldeep wells of sweetness and love which on- lowing his gaze around the room, we find ly strong training or power of education upon the otherwise bare walls five sad had thus covered up and obscured. She mementos of those who had “ gone belooked of that stern Puritanical stock fore,” — five coarse and unartistic, but whose iron will conquered the severity loving tributes to the dead.
There they hang, framed in black, each paths open on Thanksgiving-Day, — the with its white tomb and overhanging wil- paths and the roads; for nearly half the low, and severally inscribed to the memo families in the place expected sons and ries of Mark, John, James, Martha, and daughters from far away to arrive on the Mary Newell. All their flock. None train which should have been at the railleft to honor and obey, none to cheer, road-station on the previous evening, but none to lighten the labor or soothe the bad been kept back by the snow.
All gone, and these two left be- But Jacob and Ruth Newell had neihind to travel hand in hand, but desolate, ther son nor daughter, grandchild, cousin, though together, to the end of their earth relation of any nearness or remoteness, to ly pilgrimage.
expect; for the white snow covered with There had, indeed, been one other, but a cold mantle scores of mounds in many for him there hung no loving memorial. graveyards where lay their dead. And He was the youngest of all, and such a they sat this day and thought of all their noble, strong, and lusty infant, that the kindred who had perished untimely,father, in the pride of his heart, and with all save one. his fondness for Scriptural names,
bad Whether he lived, or whether he had christened him Samson. He, too, had died, - where he lay buried, if buried he gone; but in the dread gallery that hung were, — or where he rioted, if still in the about the room there was no framed land of the living, they had no notion. funereal picture “ To the Memory of And why should they care ? Samson Newell.” If in the tomb of his He had been a strong-willed and wild father's or mother's heart he lay buried, lad. He had disobeyed the injunctions no outward token gave note thereof. of his parents while yet a boy. He had
So the old couple sat alone before the not loved the stiff, sad Sabbaths, nor the sitting-room fire. It was not often used, gloomy Saturday nights. He had rebelled
scarcely ever now, except against the austerities of Fast-and Thanksupon Sunday, or on those two grave holi- giving-Days. He had learned to play at days that the Newells kept, — Thanks- cards and to roll tenpins with the village giving- and Fast-Day. This was Thanks- boys. He had smoked in the tavern bargiving-Day. The snow without was fall- room of evenings. In vain had his father ing thick and fast. It came in great tried to coerce him into better ways; in eddies and white whirls, obscuring the vain had his mother used all the persuaprospect from the windows and scudding sions of a maternal pride and fondness madly around the corners. It lay in great that showed themselves only, of all her drifts against the fences, and one large children, to this brave, handsome, and pile before the middle front-window bad reckless boy. He had gone from worse gathered volume till it reached half up to worse, after the first outbreaking from the second row of panes; for it had snow- the strict home rules, until he had become ed all night and half the day before. The at length a by-word in the village, and roads were so blocked by it that they anxious mothers warned their sons against would have been rendered impassable but companionship with wicked Samson Newfor the sturdy efforts of the farmers' boys, ell, — and this when he was only sevenwho drove teams of four and five yokes teen years of age. of oxen through the drifts with heavily Perhaps mildness might have worked laden sleds, breaking out the ways. The well with the self-willed boy, but his fasidewalks in the little village were shov- ther knew nothing but stern command elled and swept clean as fast as the snow and prompt obedience in family managefell; for, though all business was suspend- ment; and so the son daily fell away, ed, according to the suggestion in the until came the inevitable day when his Governor's proclamation, and in conform- wrong-doing reached a climax and he ity to old usage, still they liked to keep the left his father's roof forever.