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exposed as he is, or perhaps have to prefer going in, in some degree with the plan of the antimercurialists. In warm latitudes, and in fine settled weather, we can venture without much fear, to give the medicine even though the patient be at duty.
In these ships there is no commode for the convenience of the sick, and this is a great want. It must undoubtedly be often productive of very injurious effects for a man labouring under disease to rise from his warm bed, probably frequently in the night, and probably when it rains hard and a piercing wind blows, and go to the head of the ship, where the common commode is. Yet this be must do, for there is no place else. And from this cause are we often obliged, when the weather is bad, to put off for a time giving medicine which we are inclined to give. . But the case sometimes demands immediate attention; and when the disease is dysentery, the circumstance is exceedingly unfortunate. In such cases, in cases where we suppose there is danger, disagreeable as it is for the healthy,
the patient must not be allowed to leave the birth.
Emetics are now not so frequently prescribed in diseases of warm climates as they have been, but still cases occur now and then where we think they are called for, and when these cases happen the surgeon must in general be content to take a little trouble. As no one else thinks it their business to assist the sick man, and as the sick man in many cases must have assistance, the surgeon cannot refuse to become the assistant. · He must push about and get whatever is required; he must indeed, if he does what is right, superintend the whole operation.
There is also some difficulty occasionally ex perienced when a patient is recovering from disease; there is a difficulty in getting for him certain things in the shape of food or drink which we think he requires. It is well known that a person just getting the better of an acute complaint, requires a little nursing. The stomach will receive and relish, when weak, many kinds of light pleasant nourishment, though it loathes the common fare of sailors, and much can often be done for the patient, the cure can sometimes be considerably expedited by a little attention to diet. Yet no provision of this kind is made, There is nothing whatever laid in for the sick. And though in almost every ship, such things when they are really needed, can easily be got, still it is a little inconvenient not to have them. And even though they can be got, there is often from the want of proper assistance and regulation, some difficulty experienced in the preparation of them.
He, then, who goes, surgeon of a privatetrading ship must not expect to be altogether comfortable; he must not expect a practice so smooth as he may have been accustomed to on shore, I do not say he will have, by any means, a laborious situation, for his sick are never very numerous; but he will have rather a troublesome
He must lay his account with meeting a good many annoyances, and annoyances too, which, with all the trouble he can take, he will not be able to get completely remedied, But much certainly depends upon management; and though in many respects he is placed a little awkwardly, still, if he goes rightly about things, he will manage to lighten many of his grievances, and get on, upon the whole, tolerably well. Though he may find the situation a little irksome at first, as he gets better acquainted with it, he will get better pleased with it; the practice, which appeared at first the most disagreeable, he comes in a little time not to think so hardly of. If he looks about, he will generally find some one among the men possessing rather a more kindly disposition than the others, who will be ready to lend him a helping hand in his sick charge. If he manages well, he need not have any great difficulty in getting whatever things he in the shape of nourishment for the sick prepared; and from the liberality of almost every commander, he need not want when he requires it, either wine, or fresh food, or any thing else the ship can afford. However, as I have already hinted, he must take the most part of the labour upon himself. He must make up his own medicine; he must carry it himself to the patient, and he must see it taken; for Jack, even when ill, would rather dispense with the doctor's drams, and unless the doctor takes the trouble to see them fairly down the throat, the chance is, they never will go that road. He must see that the drinks, &c., which his patient requires are really made and given; and if his patient be very ill, he must not think it too much even to attend occasionally and help him to them. In short, if he wants to have any credit by his practice, he must be apothecary and surgeon and nurse altogether; he must, in a word, superintend all and do all.
But surely it is incumbent on the owners of ships to send rather more hands than just enough to do the duty. Almost always one or two out of the number are unable for duty, and sometimes five, six, or more; and when this is the case, the labour comes very hard upon the remainder; indeed, they have sometimes considerable difficulty in getting the business carried on at all. The expense of a few supernumerary hands would