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Here a young

inadequate remuneration. But low as is doubled here. Indeed it is rarely they are, with very rare exceptions, grappled with at all ; for women hired they are made to include the cost of by the Board are so invariably brought all the drugs ordered to the patients ! into collision with the master and maIt would seem as if the mere mention tron, that even the kindest of such of such a system were enough to con- officials say (and probably say truly) demn it. Underpaid and overworked, that it is best to be content with the it is impossible to expect that the pauper nurses, over whom at least they labour and the cost of exhibiting the can exercise some control. The result more expensive medicines can be ordi- is that, in an immensely large proportion narily undergone. In many cases we of houses, the sick are attended by male believe it would swallow up the whole or female paupers who are placed in such miserable salary of the surgeon, and go office without having had the smallest far beyond it, were he to give to the preparatory instruction or experience, pauper sufferers the anodynes they so and who often have the reverse of kindly piteously require, and to the weak, half- feelings towards their helpless patients. starved, scrofulous, and consumptive As payments

As payments they usually receive patients the tonics, cod-liver oil, &c., allowances of beer or gin, which aid on which their chances of life must their too common propensity to intoxidepend. Again, there may be the most cation. difficult and intricate cases, requiring A good deal of misapprehension, we all possible skill. In every other hos- believe, exists as to the class of persons pital the most experienced physicians who are inmates of the sick wards of would attend such cases.

our workhouses. They are very freman (necessarily at the outset of his quently quite of another and higher profession, or he would not accept such order than that of the able-bodied paua position) has to decide everything for pers—their disease, not any vice or idlehimself. What would the Board think ness, having brought them to their of being continually called on to pay present condition. Especially among the consultation fees to the leading surgeons women do we find the most piteous cases and physicians in the neighbourhood ? of reduced respectability-widows of

It is the received theory that it is in tradesmen, upper servants, and even the power of the medical officer of each teachers and governesses, joined in one union to order all that his patients re- common lot of sordid poverty, and sleepquire ; and guardians perpetually boasting side by side with poor creatures that they never refuse to countersign whose lives have been passed in a hopesuch orders. The nature of the case, less drudgery of labour-in selling apples however, is pretty obvious. The surgeon in the streets, or in lower avocations still. knows what things will, and what will All the heaviest misery, in fact, of our not be sanctioned, and rarely attempts country drains into the workhouse as to the useless task of collision with the the lowest deep; and only by meeting it Board, in which it almost invariably there can we hope to relieve the worst happens that along with many bene- of our social tragedies. volent guardians are others whose sole A few notes from the memoranda of a object is to “keep down the rates” at dear friend will enable the reader who any cost of human suffering.

has never visited a workhouse infirmary Besides the anomalous arrangements to form some judgment of its inmates. of wards and medical attendance in “I went first to — workhouse to workhouses, which are actually hospitals “ visit an old woman whom I had without proper hospital supervision, “ known for some time before she enthere remains a third source of misery “ tered it. She had been more of a to the inmates—the nurses.

companion than maid to an invalid to understand that the difficulty of ob- “ lady, and had the manners of a well

It is easy

ness.

effectually accomplished, and many house is there a chair on which the more where the intention to do it is sufferers in asthma or dropsy, or those sincere, though the absence of the fading away slowly in decline, could female element of thoughtfulness for relieve themselves by sitting for a few details and tenderness for infirmity in hours, instead of on the edges of their the very place which the sternest con- beds, gasping and fainting from wearitemners of the sex declare to be woman's Arrangements for washing the proper post, namely, at the bedside of the sick, and for cleanliness generally, are sick and dyingthe absence, we say, of most imperfect. We cannot venture to this element, constantly neutralises the describe the disgusting facts of this good intentions of the Board. Further, kind known to us as existing even in however, than this. The fundamental metropolitan workhouses, where neither system of workhouse management is in- washing utensils are found, nor the rags compatible with proper care of the sick. permitted to be retained which the The infirmary is an accident of the wretched patients used for towels. house, not its main object; and proper Again, in other workhouses, cleanliness hospital arrangements are consequently is attempted to an extent causing endalmost impracticable. The wards are less exasperation of disease to the rheuhardly ever constructed for such a pur- matic sufferers and those with pulpose as those of a regular hospital would monary affections, to whom the perbe, with proper attention to warmth, petual washing of the floor is simply light, and ventilation. In some cases fatal.? In new country workhouses the their position with regard to the other walls of these sick-rooms are commonly buildings entails all sorts of miseries on of stone--not plastered, but constantly the patients—as, for example, the ter- whitewashed, and the floor not seldom rible sounds from the wards for the of stone also. Conceive a winter spent in insane. In the courtyard of one me- such a prison : no shutters or curtains, tropolitan workhouse carpet-beating is of course, to the windows, or shelter to done as a work for the able-bodied the beds, where some dozen sufferers lie paupers. The windows of the sick and writhing in rheumatism, and ten or infirm open on this yard, and during fifteen more coughing away the last the summer cannot be opened because chances of life and recovery. of the dust. In another court a black- But even the unfitness of the wards and smith's shed has been erected close their furniture is second to the question under the windows of the infirmary, of medical aid and nursing. The salaries and the smoke enters when they are usually given to workhouse surgeons opened, while the noise is so violent as are low, the pressure for employment to be quite bewildering to a visitor. in the medical profession being so great Can we conceive what it must be to as to induce gentlemen to accept wholly many an aching head in those wretched rooms ?

charitable ladies at trifling expense to relieve The furniture of the workhouse infir- this last misery. A knitted bed-rest, the shape maries is commonly also unsuited to its of a half-shawl, five feet six inches long, and destination. The same rough beds two feet deep in the middle, affords the most (generally made with one thin mattress

wonderful comfort. laid on iron bars) which are allotted

common knitting-cotton, and tied by double

tapes at the end to the ends of the bed, then to the rude able-bodied paupers, are

passed round the patient's back, to which it equally given to the poor, emaciated, forms a support like a cradle. Any lady who bed-ridden patient, whose frame is

would send one of these to Miss Louisa

probably sore all over, and whose aching

Twining, 13, Bedford Place, Russell Square,

would be sure to have her work well applied. head must remain, for want of pillows,

2 Ought not the floors of all sick wards to in nearly a horizontal position for be waxed, so as to obviate the necessity of months together. Hardly in any work

washing? The damp is agony to the rheu.

matic patients, and death to those with conA very simple invention might be used by sumption or erysipelas.

It should be made of

Here a young

inadequate remuneration. But low as is doubled here. Indeed it is rarely they are, with very rare exceptions, grappled with at all; for women hired they are made to include the cost of by the Board are so invariably brought all the drugs ordered to the patients ! into collision with the master and maIt would seem as if the mere mention tron, that even the kindest of such of such a system were enough to con- officials say (and probably say truly) demn it. Underpaid and overworked, that it is best to be content with the it is impossible to expect that the pauper nurses, over whom at least they labour and the cost of exhibiting the can exercise some control. The result more expensive medicines can be ordi- is that, in an immensely large proportion narily undergone. In many cases we of houses, the sick are attended by male believe it would swallow up the whole or female paupers who are placed in such miserable salary of the surgeon, and go office without having had the smallest far beyond it, were he to give to the preparatory instruction or experience, pauper sufferers the anodynes they so and who often have the reverse of kindly piteously require, and to the weak, half- feelings towards their helpless patients. starved, scrofulous, and consumptive As payments

As payments they usually receive patients the tonics, cod-liver oil, &c., allowances of beer or gin, which aid on which their chances of life must their too common propensity to intoxidepend. Again, there may be the most cation. difficult and intricate cases, requiring A good deal of misapprehension, we all possible skill. In every other hos- believe, exists as to the class of persons pital the most experienced physicians who are inmates of the sick wards of would attend such cases.

our workhouses. They are very freman (necessarily at the outset of his quently quite of another and higher profession, or he would not accept such order than that of the able-bodied paua position) has to decide everything for pers—their disease, not any vice or idlehimself. What would the Board think ness, having brought them to their of being continually called on to pay present condition. Especially among the consultation fees to the leading surgeons women do we find the most piteous cases and physicians in the neighbourhood ? of reduced respectability-widows of

It is the received theory that it is in tradesmen, upper servants, and even the power of the medical officer of each teachers and governesses, joined in one union to order all that his patients re- common lot of sordid poverty, and sleepquire ; and guardians perpetually boast ing side by side with poor creatures that they never refuse to countersign whose lives have been passed in a hopesuch orders. The nature of the case, less drudgery of labour-in selling apples however, is pretty obvious. The surgeon in the streets, or in lower avocations still. knows what things will, and what will All the heaviest misery, in fact, of our not be sanctioned, and rarely attempts country drains into the workhouse as to the useless task of collision with the the lowest deep ; and only by meeting it Board, in which it almost invariably there can we hope to relieve the worst happens that along with many bene- of our social tragedies. volent guardians are others whose sole A few notes from the memoranda of a object is to “keep down the rates” at dear friend will enable the reader who any cost of human suffering.

has never visited a workhouse infirmary Besides the anomalous arrangements to form some judgment of its inmates. of wards and medical attendance in “ I went first to — workhouse to workhouses, which are actually hospitals “ visit an old woman whom I had without proper hospital supervision, « known for some time before she enthere remains a third source of misery

“ tered it. She had been more of a to the inmates—the nurses.

companion than maid to an invalid to understand that the difficulty of ob- “ lady, and had the manners of a well

It is easy

“ her son.

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" husband was unfortunate in busi

ness, and left her with a daughter, “ who herself married and died, leav“ing the grandmother to support

I am not writing their “history, or I might tell of patience « and faith from which we all might “ learn. At last the old woman, almost “blind and crippled with rheumatism, “ could no longer do anything for her“self—the boy entered the navy, and " she took shelter in the workhouse. “ Her shame at receiving me there was “ at first very painful both to herself " and to me; but she is thankful now, " and talks of her comforts and of God's

goodness in providing her with shelter 6 and food. Her heart was cheered after “ two years by her grandson's return « and offer to try and support her out “ of the house ; but she has few days, “she hopes, to stay there now, and she “ will not burden his young life. ... « In the next bed lies an old woman of

nearly eighty, paralyzed, and, as I “thought, gone beyond the power of “ understanding me.

Once, however, “ when I was saying 'good bye' before

an absence of some months, I was “ attracted by her feeble efforts to catch

my attention. She took my hand and

gasped out,‘God bless you; you won't “ find me when you come back. Thank

you for coming. I said most truly " that I had never been any good to her, “ and how sorry I was I had never

spoken to her. 'Oh, but I see your “face; it is always a great pleasure and

seems bright. I was praying for you “ last night. I don't sleep much of a “ night. I thank you for coming.'.. “A woman between fifty and sixty

dying of liver disease. She had been "early left, had struggled bravely, and “ reared her son so well that he became “ foreman at one of the first printing “ establishments in the city. His master

gave us an excellent character of him. “ The poor mother unhappily got some “ illness which long confined her in “ another hospital; and, when she left it “ her son was dead-dead without her

care and love in his last hours. The worn-out and broken-down mother,

“ too weak and hopeless to work any

longer, came to her last place of refuge “ in the sick ward of the workhouse. “ There day by day we found her sitting

on the side of the bed, reading and “ trying to talk cheerfully, but always

breaking down utterly when she came " to speak of her son. Opposite to her

an old woman of ninety lies, too weak " to sit up. One day, not thinking her

asleep, I went to her bedside. I shall

never forget the start of joy, the eager “ hand, 'Oh, Mary, Mary, you are come ! “ It is you at last!' Ah, poor dear, “ said the women round her, she most " always dreams of Mary. 'Tis her “ daughter, ladies, in London ; she has “ written to her often, but don't get any “ answer. The poor old woman made

many and profuse apologies for her " mistake, and laid her head wearily on “the pillow where she had rested and “ dreamed literally for years of Mary.

" Further on is a girl of eighteen, paralyzed, hopelessly, for life. She “ħad been maid-of-all work in a family “ of twelve, and under her fearful drud

gery had broken down thus early. Oh

ma'am,' she said with bursts of agony, “ 'I would work ; I was always willing “ to work if God would let me; but I “shall never get well-never!' Alas, “ she may live as long as the poor “ cripple who died here last summer “ after lying forty-six years in the same “ bed gazing on the same blank, white “ wall. The most cheerful woman in “ the ward is one who can never rise “ from her bed; but she is a good needle “woman, and is constantly employed in

making shrouds. It would seem as if “the dismal work gave her an interest “ in something outside the ward, and she “ is quite eager when the demand for “ her manufacture is especially great!

“ Let us go to the room above, the Surgical Ward, as it is called. “ Here are some eight or ten patients, “all in painful diseases. One is a young

girl dying of consumption, complicated 16 with the most awful wounds on her

poor limbs. “But they don't hurt so

bad,' she says, “as any one would “ think who looked at them, and it will

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soon be all over. I was just thinking “almost whether it be a laugh at all “ it was four years to-day since I was “a child's laugh in that chamber of “ brought into the Penitentiary (it was “ suffering and death!” “ after an attempt to drown herself after The condition of one class of the sick a sad life of sin at Aldershott); and in the workhouse calls, however, for

I have been here three years. more than pity-for simple justice. They “ God has been very good to me, and are excluded from the benefits of the free

brought me safe when I didn't deserve hospitals, not, like the others, by accident, “ it.' Over her head hangs a print of but by rule

. Their sufferings are greatest “ the Lost Sheep, and she likes to have of any, and no assumption of blame of " that parable read to her. Very soon any kind lies against them. I allude to " that sweet, fair young face, as innocent the Destitute Incurables, for whom only

as ever I have seen in the world, will of late a plea for some share of public “ bear no more its marks of pain. Life's charity has begun to be urged. We have “ whole great tragedy will have been long gone on quietly admitting that, when “ ended, and she is only just nineteen! cancer, dropsy, or consumption becomes “ A little way off lies a woman dying in hopeless, the sufferer must be rejected severest agonies, which have lasted by the hospital in which, while curable,

long, and may yet last for weeks. he might have found every comfort. “ Such part of her poor face as may be But why have we never dreamed of

seen expresses almost angelic patience asking, Where does he go, when thus ex“ and submission, and the little she can cluded ? Where and how are spent the say is all of gratitude to God and last long months, or perhaps years, of

'I shall not live to see So-and- inevitable agony, whose heavy weight it so again, but don't let them think I has pleased an inscrutable providence to “ did not feel their kindness. The lay upon him ? Perhaps it has seemed

doctor, too, he is so good to me; he there were too few of such patients to "gives me everything he can.' On the need any special provision. The Regis“ box beside her bed there stands usually trar-General's report, however, gives us

a cup with a few flowers, or a different idea of the case. Taking the “ leaves or weeds—something to which, above-named three types of incurable “ in the midst of that sickening disease, disease alone, we find that upwards of " she can look for beauty. When we

80,000 persons die of them in England bring her flowers her pleasure is almost every year. There are other forms of “ too affecting to witness.

malady-as, for instance, confirmed rheu“she remembers when she used to climb matism—entailing equally intense and “ the hedgerows to gather them in more prolonged suffering. But we will “ the beautiful country.'— Opposite confine ourselves to the 80,000 who die " this poor sufferer, in the midst of all of dropsy, consumption, and cancer, and “ those aged and dying women, lies a ask the reader to estimate how many of

strange little figure asleep on his bed. those under such a visitation must be " It is a boy of ten years old, so crippled flung helpless on either their friends or " that his little limbs as he sleeps are the community for support ; and how “all contorted. Nothing could be done many of them can be supposed to have “ for him ; so he is left here to live per- friends able and willing to nurse and "haps a few years, and then, no doubt, support them through the last months of “ he must die. He is an orphan, poor disease? The answers may vary; but we “ child ! but many of the women take may safely maintain that at the very “ an interest in him, and he seems so lowest computation 30,000 must be

quiet and gentle one can hardly wish driven to die in the workhouses under “him to go among other children. We all the aggravations of their misery which “ bring him little toys now and then. we have described. “ His laugh is very strange—so feeble, It is manifestly hopeless to think of

even

She says

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