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countries, as consultées and teachers in the science and art of obstetrics; thus making their sex entirely or almost independent of male assistance.
Such a re-arrangement of the different branches of medical practice, would save a large amount of the most valuable female life, would prevent an unnecessary ordeal to the feelings of a large number of delicate minded persons, and would furnish our middle-class women with a fine field of useful and remunerative labour.
The committee of the Female Medical Society are working to pave the way for the accomplishment of these objects. Dependent for the means of proceeding upon the assistance of the benevolent, and already indebted some £ 200 to the treasurer, they, nevertheless, are confident that, when public attention is evoked, the needful support will be forthcoming.
P.S.-Since the delivery of the above address leading articles and other comments have appeared in various journals. The author wishes to direct attention to articles in the Lancet of October 14 and 21, particularly to that of the former date, which is so inaccurate and intemperate as to be a disgrace to that learned profession which the Lancet is anxious to be considered to represent. The author begs, in reply thereto, to specifically disclaim hostility or disrespect to the medical profession; at the same time he is unable to alter facts, and finds himself equally unable to retract the conclusions which he has drawn from the death-rates, in child-birth, of the patients of the Royal Maternity Charity, and of the rest of London respectively.
Most of this adverse criticism is based upon pure misrepresentations, which a mere perusal of the address itself will sufficiently refute. The only attempt to controvert the author's figures is given in the following quotations :
(1.) “ But the statistics are fallacious; for though in the records of the Maternity Charity it is possible to separate the cases of true puerperal fever from deaths from other causes, in the Registrar-General's returns all deaths immediately following childbirth are classed together as occurring from 'metria,' and probably other causes ; and hence the writer's premises are as fallacious as his deductions are incorrect.
(2.) “This is, indeed, a scandalous perversion of facts and figures. He consounds, for the benefit of the public, “puerperal causes' with “puerperal fever.' He compares utterly dissimilar series of facts as though they were alike ; and he assumes that puerperal fever would not be conveyed from case to case by female accoucheurs. A more violent series of assumptions, and a more impudent and disgraceful attempt to hoodwink the public, never came under our notice."-Lancet, Oct. 14.
(3.) “We did our duty in pointing out that 'puerperal causes’ is a heading which includes a large number of causes entirely independent of such infection, and that the confusion produced by Dr. Edmunds in the public mind between deaths from all puerperal causes, and from puerperal fever, must lead to false impressions, highly prejudicial to the public, and libellous on the profession.”—Lancet, Oct. 21.
No. I is either a mis-statement or a blunder. See explanation of statistics, p. 49.
Nos. 2 and 3. “Puerperal causes” does, in both sets of figures, embrace the two classes of childbirth deaths; but it is also the fact, that the difference in the mortality is chiefly caused by the “fever” class, and therefore that a separation of the natural deaths in childbirth from those caused by the blood-poisoning, or “metria," cases, would have increased the death-ratio against the practice of the medical men.
Not wishing to put my conclusions too forcibly, I had refrained from developing this aspect of the figures. The cause “metria,” in the Registrar-General's returns, may be safely taken as synonymous with “puerperal fever" in the Charity returns; and on this' basis I find that while, for the five years, the death-rate from “puerperal causes” is ta against it, it is from “puerperal fever” lo against 1557. These figures amount almost to a demonstration of the conclusion that chillbirth mortality is largely increased ivy an infection which general practitioners are more liable to produce than those who restrict themselves to the practice of midrifery.
THE FISHERMAN'S DAUGHTER;
THE LOWLAND BAKER.
The same day it was settled that Donald Campbell should take up his residence in the fisherman's cottage, and this not only for the one night, as at first proposed, but for a week or so, until he obtained quarters more suitable. This accommodation was not effected, however, without previous inspection by his host of the new-comer, and a private caution to the impulsive Mary-left for several years past to the charge alone of her one parent-to be slow of “taking up ” with strangers. Yet the name and the descent of the stranger in question, at least by the father's side, as he stated, went far to smooth the way for his reception, and when next day he went out to sea with the owner of the boat, and proved himself, if not a bred fisherman, at least a willing and powerful aid, old Hugh declared he should have been one, and not, as he had informed him, a baker by trade.
For some days after this, Donald was busily occupied in calling upon the few better-off residents in the village ; such as the minister, doctor, and factor, not omitting a retired officer of the army, reposing on his laurels and half-pay, to inquire if they would give him their custom in the way of bread, provided he could obtain those rather difficult to be got things in the locality, an oven and some sort of a shop, no matter how inconvenient. They consented, rather glad of the variety in the articles of their consumption than otherwise ; only asking, naturally enough, how he came to leave the more promising prospects of Mid Lothian for such a chance of living in a retired highland village. The answer was plausible enough, at least at his years, when the passions are so apt to run away with the reason of the best of us. He had offended his relatives by some youthful frolic, and was too proud to ask their forgiveness until he had shown his power to maintain himself, and to earn a good character elsewhere. And where so likely as in a neighbourhood, highland as it was, such as that his father came from, and whose verdict would be therefore the better received by him? These customers secured, the others would follow; that is, when they had the money; but as so little trade was to be expected from the latter, the aspirant was advised to extend his journeys, and travel a considerable distance round about the country, making known his wishes to the few
landed gentry who were either resident the whole year upon their estates, or, anyhow, dwelt there during the shooting season. Some of these, he learned upon application, had bread baked by their domestics, and others got occasional supplies from the county town, or even had them from the more distant cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. Nevertheless, they too agreed to patronise the new baker, more or less to the relief of their cooks, and to the satisfaction of those members of their family who had a dislike to stale bread.
The sole obstacles that now lay in the way of Campbell were the non-possession of a bakehouse, and the need of obtaining flour from a
But he had money; not much, yet sufficient, it would appear, to entice one who had less of it, to rent to him a sort of shop, long unoccupied as such. The bargain was commented upon rather sharply by the neighbours as derogatory to the character of the owner, thus breaking through the understood rule of the village, that strangers should not dispossess the native inhabitants; and “no good would come of it," the speakers affirmed. Our acquaintance, Mary, who was present at one of these conferences, contended that if the lad was a Campbell, was quiet and obliging, had money to pay his way, and could bake, which none of them could, where was the harm done? As it was not easy to contradict such sensible observations, the only replies vouchsafed were to the effect that the baker had one good friend at least in the speaker; and the girl was observed to blush, as the other parties clenched their words with a knowing gaze at her countenance.
The further efforts of the baker were in time crowned with like success, and as the discontented grew fewer in numbers, his customers among the villagers increased, and for six months these proceedings went on with uniformity. The keeper of the small public-house in the place, also that of the post-office, remarked, at first to himself, and afterwards to his friends, that “the baker never got any letters,” as he phrased it, "from no quarter whatever ;" a singularity even in those days, when postage was dear and postal communication scanty. On one of these occasions, the smith of the village, who was present partaking of a dram, with a rapid association of ideas unusual to him, perhaps excited by the lively liquor he was moderately imbibing (for the highlanders do not consume the same quantity of spirits as the lowlanders, though, like the Irish, they are more easily affected by it), asked whether the baker sent any, “for,” as he pertinently added, “if he wrote to nobody, it was likely nobody would write to him.” The postmaster declared he had sent off one letter-or may be more-he could not take upon himself to say precisely; for, at this moment, he recollected that he, or anyhow his good wife, had been dimly suspected of violating some of the fastenings of the epistles which passed through their hands, and he wisely took refuge in numerical
uncertainty as to the extent of the baker's correspondence. Our former acquaintance, the carter, who was likewise present, here put in his word, and with an expression of mingled incredulity and contempt in his voice, demanded the name of the person to whom the important document was addressed. The interrogation was made in such a sudden and direct manner that the keeper of the post-office seemed at first as if he would be driven into a reply, but the next moment, remembering the character he had assumed, he turned his back upon the questioner, muttering, as if to himself, that he had other things to do than mind the backs of letters; which things he, with all haste, set about doing, by leaving the party to themselves for a time, until, as he anticipated, other subjects would arise to withdraw their attention from the delicate one in hand.
But it was fated that the baker or his concerns were to cross the keeper of letters that day, whether he liked this or not. He left the public room, as the little apartment might well be called, since everybody entered it at random and without ceremony, the door being rarely shut; and, as was correctly surmised by the community of Cladich, if anyone of the inhabitants were wanted, there was always more probability of his being found here than elsewhere—in the long winter nights engaged in playing draughts or cards, perhaps even in dancing, for the Celts were thus addicted ; and, in the days of summer, as we have seen, more briefly enjoying themselves with conversation and tobacco.
But hardly had he thus quitted the circle now assembled, than the parish-or, indeed, only-schoolmaster in the place, an intelligent and painstaking man, contriving to live upon a fearfully small salary, seized hold of him in the passage, and, thrusting a small, very dirty, and very crumpled printed sheet of only two leaves into his hand, said, as he turned round to go away again, his errand over
“Ay! There is the baker coming ; he always spies out the paper."
Sure enough, Donald was seen crossing the road, and, to the further irritation of the publican, straightway entered to hear the news. The society of the baker appeared to be more than the other could bear just at this moment, so, handing him the sheet, he told him to go into the room, where he would be also by-and-by.
If the keeper of the post-office were in doubt as to the number of letters which were received at Cladich, a fact to be taken with reserve, he could be in none as to that of newspapers—unless in the shooting season, when their number greatly increased--for there were only three came to the village, one of which was the property of the minister, despatched some days after publication at the metropolis ; received at Cladich, perhaps, a week after that; perused by the minister for another week; then lent to an elderly single lady friend ; who lent it
to a second such reader, a widow; who, descending in the scale, turned it over to the schoolmaster ; from whose hands it finally rested in those of the knot of politicians just described, a full month, usually, after the day it issued from the printing press. Upon now beholding its battered, though welcome, face, the smith began to rummage in his pockets for his spectacles, without the aid of which, his eyesight, impaired by the smithy fire and the wind of its bellows, could not avail for the deciphering of its contents. But, before the survey was completed, the sharper and younger eyes of the baker had run up and down the columns, as swiftly as silently; and when the man of iron at length held out his hand for the paper, his eyes duly provided with their optical instruments, the baker, flinging it down on the floor, and exclaiming that he had no more time to put off at present, vacated the public as quickly as he had entered it.
“So much the better," said the carter, when the other was fairly out of hearing ; " that lad is always in a hurry. I do not like people that are for ever on the wing. He came fleeing into the place, and perhaps he will go fleeing out of it."
And, to make sure that he, at least, did not contemplate flight, he sat down, slowly and heavily, to hear the paper read at leisure.
"Oh, man !” hereupon remarked the smith ; " but you have a bad tongue; it will bring you into trouble some day. Donald is aye in haste to see about the news from Edinburgh, but for the rest he does not care ; he is too young and light-headed yet to understand great affairs. He is more taken up with the lasses than better things; but it' is natural at his time of life.”
So saying, the smith began to read aloud, with many stops, some spelling of the more difficult words, more extraordinary mis-pronunciation of the same, and amidst the continual brief interruptions of his listener, asking him to read sentences twice over, varied by the reader's impatient compliance, and more just than polite expressions upon the other's dullness of hearing or slowness of comprehension.
The baker, on leaving the public room, dived into the recesses of his little dark further apartment, and, sitting down hastily on a settle by the fire, leant his head on his hand, like a man who has learnt something that is either perplexing or important to him, and which requires thought. He had sat thus for some time, when an humble female customer entered the front shop to make a purchase, and, seeing no one, rapped with the copper in her hand upon the board which served as a counter to attract the notice of the owner to her wants. There was no response. The purchaser then substituted her knuckles for the coin, making certain that this second intimation would succeed; but she only heard a shuffling, as it were, of feet, which gave her assurance of some one being in the back shop, as it was called, but