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ON TIIL ORIGIN OF HOSPITALS FOR
ceed, as any noise or alann night occasion the death of both lady and child. The captain inquired when the lady had been confined : “ Within THE Greeks had no name to express this hour," the servant answered: what we understand by the word hosCaptain Macdonald stopped. The sera pital. Noroxepoor hias a different meanvant added, " They are just going to ing in the classical Greek writers, and christen the infant."-Macdonald, ta- is first used, as we now translate it, by king off his cockale, said, “ Let her St Jerome and St Isidore. At Athens, be christened with this cockade in her provision was made in the prytaneuin cap; it will be her protection now, for the maintenance of those who had and after, if any of our stragglers been severely wounded in war, as well should come this way. We will await as for that of their wives and children; the ceremony in silence;"_which they but there was no asylum for even accordingly did, and then went into these persons in case of sickness. Far the coach-yard, and were regaled with less was any such accommodation with beef, cheese, ale, &e. They then went in the reach of the poor citizens, or off, without the smallest disturbance. the mercenaries who always formed a
My white cockade was safely pre- large proportion of the Athenian force. served, and shewn to me from time to At Lacedemon, where, according to time, always reminding me to respect the rule of Lycurgus, all the citizens the Scotch, and the Highlanders in eat in common, there was nevertheless particular. I think I have obeyed the no establishment which bore any reinjunction, by spending my life in semblance to our hospitals. The HeScotland, and also by hoping at last to lots were abandoned in case of sickdie there.
ness; and a similar fate attended even ROSEMARY CLERK. the Ephori themselves, if they happened
to have no private fortune. This neglect P.S. If the above anecdote can be of the Athenian and Spartan legisla. of any interest to you or the public, it tures was imitated by the other Greis very much at your service. I have eian states. In the oath of Hippomentioned all the names of the persons crates, that illustrious physician swears, concerned, which you may retain or “ that he will all his life visit the sick leave out, as you think fit.
and give them bis advice gratis." At Miss Law, Prinee's Street, hearing that time the medical practitioners of the above ancclote, sent me a pre- were both surgeons and apothecaries, sent of the Prince's picture, and that so it would appear that Hippocrates of his ladly, the Princess Stollberg.
furnished the sick in his neighbour• Edinburgh, April 21st, 1817.
hood with medicines without expecting any reward.
Among the Romans, in like manner, we should seek in vain for any establishments intended to alleviate the sufferings of the indigent siek. No
thing of the sort is mentioned ainong The following inscription was lately the pious institutions of Numa; and discovered when digging in the church Servius, who distributed the people inof St Hilary, in the island of Jersey. to elasses, never thought of the numeIf we except one barbarisan, and one rous classes of poor, sick, and infirin. strong license, the epitaph may bear a During the time of the republic there comparison with most of the inscrip- were frequent distributions of land, tions in the Latin Anthology.
and divisions of the spoils taken from
the enemies of the state, which ameEnysea de stirpe meum Cornubia partum liorated in soine degree the lot of those Vindicate Hillarius jam tenet ossa saccs. who were called the cupite censi, bePer Sporades Gallosque pium comitata ma.
cause they could offer nothing to the ritum, Deferor huc vísa est sors mihi nulla gravis. lour and their life.
service of their country but their vaViximus unanimes, et prima prole beati;
Yet all these In mundun duplici morte secunda venit
largesses and gratifications were disa Pignora dividimust comitatur me morien. tributed anong those who enjoyed tem
good health, and no establishments Mortua ; solatur filia prima patrern. for the sick were erected either urder
INSCRIPTION IN THE CHURCH OF
the republic or under the emperors. a seigneurial hospital destined for These last indeed erected baths and their reeeption. But it is not till the thermæ for the use of the poor, and establishment of Christianity that we also made public distributions of food; can find any traces ot' those instituand in these respeets their example tions, which are now 50 common in was followed by the wealthy patri- Christendom, for the accommodation cians, who affected to give every day of the infirm and the unfortunate. In to their poor clients what went by the spite of all the persecutions to which name of the sportula. We see by the the first Christians were exposed, we descriptions of Juvenal, that the poor find that, about the year 258, Laurenand infirm dependents of these nobles tius, chief of the deacons, assembled a had no other resource to look to; for, great number of poor and siek, who according to him, the most acute disa were supported by the alms of the tempers could not prevent them drag- church. But it was in the year 380 ging their steps to the portico, and that the first regular hospital was soliciting their share in the sportula.“ built. St Jerome informs us, that “ Quid macies agri veteris quem tempore Fabiola, a Roman matron of distinlongo
guished piety, founded for the first Torret quarta dies olimque domestica febris, time a nosocomium, that is, as he
himself explains ít, house in the It is easy to see that no public aa country for the reception of those unsylum was open for their reception. Both happy sick and infirm persons who Greeks and Romans, then, the two were before scattered among the places most polished nations of antiquity, of public resort--and for the purpose consecrated no retreats for the unfor- of furnishing them in a regular mantunate. This was most probably the ner with nourishment, and those meconsequence of their constitutions and dicines of which they might stand in forms of government. Divided at all need." This establishment was situata times into freemen and slaves, the legis- ed at some distance from the city, and latures of these two nations never bes- in a healthy part of the country. towed much attention on the second When Constantine transferred the of these great bodies of men but al. seat of the empire to Byzantium, he ways regarded them as of a different caused an hospitium to be erected for race, and, as it were, the dregs of hu- the use of those strangers and pil. manity. A slave dangerously ill was grims who had by his time begun to left entirely to the care of his fellows visit the East from motives of religion. in servitude ; in many instances his. This edifice was constructed after the master would not even be at the ex, model of the house which Hircanus pense of burying his corpse, and allow. had built at Jerusalem, about 150 ed it to be thrown out to the vultures. years before the commencement of our The Esquiline Mount, whitened, ac- That prince sought, by the escording to Horace, by the great nuin-, tablishment to which I allude, to puri. ber. of bones left there in heaps by fy himself in the eyes of the Jews, these birds of prey, is a sufficient proof from the stain which he had contracthow little care was taken of the fune. ed by the sacrilegious rifling of the rals of the poor. These unhappy men, tomb of David. I'he riches which he of whom there was always a great had procured in that impious manner, number even in the best days of A- would, he flattered hinself, be less thens and Rome, had then no other unfavourably regarded, if he should resource in their calamities but private share them with the poor pilgrims, charity, the strength of their consti. whom zeal or curiosity drew in mul tutions, or the crisis of nature, titudes to the capital of Judæa. This,
The temple of Esculapius, in the according to Isidore, is the origin of island of the Tiber, was indeed a sort the name ardryior, i, e, hospital for of hospital, although far from corres- strangers, which was given to this ponding exactly, to what we call by building. In the year of our Lord that name; at least, the law of the 550, the Emperor Justinian construct. Emperor Claudius, which declares that ed, at Jerusalem, the celebrated hosslaves abandoned by their masters in pital of St John, which was the cradle the island of Esculapius, should be held of the military order of the knights of free in case of their recovery, seems to Rhodes and Malta. His successors intimate that there was in that place imitated his example with so much
zeal, that Ducange thinks Constanti- formed, by order of the French governnople contained at one time thirty-five ment, about the year 1788, in which a different charitable institutions of this committee of medical persons, and arnature. Those who travelled to the chitects, gave their united opinions as holy land were there received gratis to the general rules which ought to be into commodious hotels, and from these observed in all buildings of this nathe caravanserais of the East have taken ture. Their principal remarks are their origin-buildings which a few these that all the wards should be centuries ago attracted so much ad- separate—that a free communication, miration from Europeans, accustomed by means of covered galleries, should to the hostelleries of their own countries, be kept up between all parts of the at that tiine at once dear and filthy. house-so large as to admit of the utThe Emperor Julian attributed in a most purity of air, and to be serviceable, great measure to these charitable instie as promenades, for the convalescents. tutions the rapid progress of Christiani- The hospitals of this city, and of ty, and had it in view to attempt the re- Glasgow, have been long regarded with establishment of Paganism by similar much admiration by all visitors; and means. "We pay not sufficient attention the Lunatic asylum, lately erected in (says he in a letter to Arsaces, sove- the latter city, is perhaps the most noreign pontiff of Galatia) to those means ble monument of the professional talwhich have most contributed to the ents of the late Mr Stark.* Q. extension of the Christian superstition Edinburgh, March 1817. I mean kindness to strangers, and attention to the burial of the poor.
SITTING BELOW THE SALT." Erect forth with in all your cities, hospituls for the reception of strangers,
MR EDITOR, not only those of your own faith, but In your
last number I read a short all indifferently; and if they stand in paper, entitled, " Ou sitting below the need of money, let them be supplied Salt," in which the author gives seby the imperial officers.”
veral quotations, to prove that the anIn the Byzantine historians, and in cient custom mentioned in the “ Black the ancient charters, these hospitals Dwarf,” and “ Old Mortality,” of receive different names; as, Nosoco- placing the guests above or below the mium, retreat for the sick-Xenodo- salt, according to their respective digchium, Xenon, retreat for strangers nities, was not a mere fabrication of Ptochium, Ptochodochium, Ptochotro- the writer's brain. In common with phium, hospital for the poor and men- your correspondent, I have heard men dicants-Brephotrophium, asylum for of information, and even of antiquarian indigent children-Orphanotrophium, research, express their doubts as to orphan-hospital-(terocomium, hospi- the existence of such a custom during tal for old men- -Pandochæum, gratui-. any period of our history. tous hotel or caravansery-Morotro- Being an ardent admirer of the two phium, hospital for idiots.
works which have recently called our In the very interesting work of attention to this fashion of our anDurand, entitled, “ Parallele des Edi- cestors, and as it is in these works fices de tout genre," we find a com- alone, in as far as my information enaparative view of the plans of a great bles me to judge, that such a pracmany different hospitals of various tice has been alluded to in modern kinds, such as those of Milan, Geneva, times, I feel anxious to contribute toPlymouth, St Louis at Paris, Langres, wards the exculpation of their mystethe Incurables at Paris, the Lazaretto rious author, from the charge of for persons afflicted with the plague at mingling the spirit of fiction with the Milan, &c.-The great hospital at voice of truth. Milan, on account of its vast dimen- In addition, therefore, to the proofs sions, and the form of a cross in which which have been adduced in your first it is built, and also on account of the number, I beg leave to call your atnumerous galleries which every where tention to the following extracts, which surround the building, was long look- have escaped the notice of J. M. ; and ed upon as the best model of hospital which, besides shewing the universaliarchitecture. The architects of the different hospitals in Paris, as well as
* The reader may find much information those of this country, have all taken upon this interesting subject, in Beckmann's useful hints from it. A report was History of Inventions, vol. 4.
ty of the practice, are somewhat curi- Revels,' by Ben Jonson, I find the fol. . ous in themselves, and worthy the lowing passage: perusal of your readers.
Merc. “ He will censure or disI find the distinction of seats, in re, course of any thing, but as absurdly lation to the position of the salt-vat, as you would wish.--His fashion is familiarly known to English writers as not to take knowledge of him that is far back as 1597, at which time were beneath him in clothes.--He never published the earlier works of Joseph drinks below the salt."- Act II. Scene Hall, successively bishop of Exeter III. and Norwich, and one of our first legi- And in the “ Unnatural Combat” of tiinate satirists. As Hall's satires have Massinger, the saine custom is alluded never been printed in a commodlious to. forin, they may not have fallen into
Stea. “ My Lord much wonders, the hands of the generality of your That you that are a courtier as a soldier, readers, and as the one which contains In all things else, and every day can vary the allusion to the custom in question Your actions and discourse, continue conis short, and affords a good example of that writer's style, I shall insert it To this one suit. at full length.
Bclg. To one! 'tis well I have one
Unpawnd in these days ; every cast coin“A gentle Squire would gladly entertaine
mander Into his house some trencher-chaplaine ; Is not blest with the fortune, I assure you. Some willing man that might instruct his But why the question ? does this offend sons,
him ? And that would stand to good conditions. Stea'. Not much, but he believes it is the First, that he lie upon the truckle-bed, Whiles his young maister lieth o'er his head. You ne'cr presume to sit above the salt." Second, that he do, on no default,
Act III. Scene I. Ever presume to sit above the salt. Third, that he never change his trencher the above passage) for the delicacy of
“ It argues little (says Gifford on twice. Fourth, that he use all common courtesies ; our ancestors, that they should admit Sit beare at meales, and one half rise and of such distinctions at their board ; wait.
but in truth they seem to have placed Last, that he never his young master bcat, their guests below the salt, for no betBut he must ask his mother to define,
ter purpose than that of mortifying How many jerkes she would his breech them."
should line. All these observed, he could contented be
That this custom was not limited to To give five markes and winter liverie.”
our own island, but was faniliar at Satire VI. B. 24. least in France, is evinced by the
following passage from Perat, who In an entertaining old book, by fourished about the middle of the sixNixon, entitled, “ Strange Foot-Post teenth century. In speaking of the with a packet full of strange petitions," manners suitable to men of noble birth, London 1613, 4to., the author, speak, in regard to the different kinds of ridiing of the miseries of a poor scholar, cule and pleasantry, he says of one makes the following observations: species, “Neque ejusmodi dicacitates
“ Now, as for his fare, it is lightly nobilitatem honestant: quamvis enim at the cheapest table, but he must sit clientium caterva, amicorum humili. under the salt, that is an axiome in such ores, totaque omnino infra salinum stiplaces:- then having drawne his knife pata cohors, scurrantem dominum, et leisurably, unfolded his napkin man- (ut ait Flaccus,) imi Derisorem lecti, nerly, after twice or thrice wiping his cachinnationibus suis insulsis adulari beard, if he have it, he may reach the soleant; i tamen,” &c.--De Inst. bread on his knife's point, and fall to Nob. p. 36. his porrige, and between every spone- The foregoing quotations, however full take as much deliberation as a curious in themselves, may, I fear, in capon craming, lest he be out of his regard to the subject which they are porrige before they have buried part intended to illustrate, bave appeared of their first course in their bellies.” redundant or unnecessary to some of (F. 3.)
your readers, particularly after the saIn the works of our early dramatists tisfactory instances brought forward by there are not unfrequent allusions of J. M. of the prevalence of the same a similar nature.
custom. Thus, in the play called Cynthia's On a general view, it would form a
curious subject of research, and might bining, in their persons, the different throw considerable light on the man- characters of both parties ? or 2dly, ners and institutions of our ancestors, Did these opposite extremes unite in to investigate thoroughly the history the person of an individual on either of this singular fashion, and to mark side of the table, placed immediately the different changes which an indi- in front of the salt-vat? or 3dly, Was vidual of talent and enterprize was al- there no such "union of extremest lowed to make in taking up his posic things” permitted, but a vacant space tion at table, according to the increase or gap opposite the salt-vat on both of his wealth and consequent utility, sides, leaving a blank in the fair chain and the effects of such changes on his of gradation, similar to that which has general habits, and on the behaviour been caused in the scale of nature's of those who were formerly his com- works by the extinction of the mighty panions in obscurity.
Mastodon, which formerly inhabited The passages quoted by J. M. from the salt-licks of North America ? that most curious work, the Memorie Hoping that the preceding quotaof the Somírvilles, clearly demonstrate tions, observations, and queries, may ihe wide distinction of rank that existe meet with a favourable reception, if ed in this country at comparatively a not on their own account, at least from recent period, between noble and igno- the chance of their exciting the attenble tenures-between the Goodman; tion of others more able to communiRentaller or Yeoman, and the Laird or cate inforination on such curious toBaron. It would be an interesting pics, I remain, respectfully, your obeinquiry to trace the circumstances dient servant,
P. F. which contributed to break down the Edinburgh, 1st May 1817. jealous barriers of feudal honours, and to point out the period and manner ON THE FALL OF VOLCANIC DUST IN in which the nature of the holding came THE ISLAND OF BARBADOES. to be at last almost overlooked in aug- (The following excellent letter, contain. menting or disparaging gentility, ing an account of the fall of volcanic dust
On a more minute investigation, it in Barbadoes, has been communicated to us would be equally curious to examine by a friend) the specific distinctions which existed
SIR, between the two men who were placed In compliance with your request, I together, the one above and the other have drawn up a detail of the circumbelow the salt-vat, and to study that stances (as far as I was an eye-witness) beautiful combination of character, by of the fall of volcanic dust in the iss which they formed the links in the so- land of Barbadoes, which occurred on cial chain which united the nobility May 1st, 1812, and which was proof one end of the table, with the hum- duced by an eruption of the volcano, ble tenants of the other,-- leading by in the neighbouring island of St Vinan almost imperceptible transition from cent, lying to leeward, or to the westthe meanest appendage of a feudal ward of Barbadoes. feast, to the mailed retainer and the I was at that time resident on the plumed baron.
north-east coast of the island of BarBut I am unwilling to anticipate the baloes, or in what is termed the windobservations of your correspondent, ward part of that island, about eleven who will, I trust, make good his pro- miles from the principal town. On mise, of favouring the public with a the shore of this district, it may be eontinuation ot' his remarks.
proper to remark, there is almost conIn the mean time, to exercise the stantly a heavy surf rolling, produced learning and ingenuity of your an- by the trade wind impelling the sen tiquarian friends, I beg leave to pro- on a coast completely iron-bound by pose the following queries, the solu- rocks and rocky shoals. tion of which will tend greatly to faci- During the night preceding May litate the labours of future enquirers. 1st, I was awakened by what I took
1st, Were the two great classes of to be signal guns of distress from some society assembled at the same table, ships, wrecked at no great distance; connected by means of two individuals in a very short time the explosions on each side, seated together, the one became so frequent, as to induce me as it were placed opposite to the upper rather to believe that they proceeded or noble half of the salt-vat, the other from two vessels engaging each other. to the lower or ignoble half, and come in the town, these explosions, as I