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be concluded that this interesting application of bacteriological methods in agricultural practice is beyond its experimental stage. The evidence in support of the practical value of alinite is almost nil, while that in favour of nitragin is still of a very meagre order. An obvious criticism, and one which has been already urged with considerable show of reason regarding such artificial inoculation, is to be found in the following consideration :The occurrence of nitrogenfixing bacteria in the soil may be taken for granted to be universal. In soils where such bacteria do not freely develop there must be certain unfavourable conditions present. This being so, it may be doubted whether the simple introduction of pure cultures of such bacteria will have the desired effect. If the naturally occurring nitrogen-fixing bacteria do not develop in such a case, why should those artificially introduced have a better fate? It may, therefore, be suggested that perhaps greater practical benefits may result from a study of the conditions favourable for the development of such nitrogen-fixing organisms, with a view of inducing such conditions in the soil, than from their application in the above-described
Whatever the value of this practical application of bacteriological methods to soil cultivation may turn out to be, the mere fact of such a development marks an epoch in agricultural science, and cannot fail to possess the highest interest for all intelligent agriculturists.
The discussion of the question of the functions of the microbe in dairying would require more space than is available, and must be postponed to a future article.
C. M. AIKMAN.
FIRST WOMAN'S HOSPITAL IN MOROCCO
On the occasion of a visit to Tangier, Lord Meath and I chanced to meet Dr. Ernest Hart, who was then taking advantage of his travels to inspect some of the hospitals in the towns through which be passed. He it was who invited us to visit Hope House, a building owned by the North African Mission, part of the property being devoted to the care of the sick. It was this portion of the institution which had met with the Doctor's approval ; he considered that it was conferring great benefits on the Moors, and was well and economically managed. We gladly complied with the request, and were taken round the hospital by the resident medical man, who for six years has devotedly laboured amongst the natives, his skill and kindness having won for him gratitude and well-deserved esteem.
Dr. Terry drew our attention to a very weak point in the management of the establishment as it was then conducted. An attempt had been made to carry on the work after European fashion, giving women as well as men the opportunity of being treated under the same roof. According to Mohammedan ideas this was wrong, he felt that it had been a mistake, and his great desire under the circumstances was to limit his sphere of action to native men. The women necessarily would have to be otherwise provided for; but how was this to be accomplished ? Fortunately in these days, when ladies are content to undergo the arduous labour involved in passing medical examinations, the way out of the existing difficulty could easily be found. A lady would have to be appointed fully qualified to practise amongst her suffering Moorish sisters, and we readily undertook to assist in the welcome task of endeavouring to procure such a worker. Until inquiries were actually set on foot, with a view to engaging a fit person, I had no idea how hard it would be to meet with a suitable candidate.
Truly, from a worldly point of view, there are few, if any, inducements for a woman of refinement and education, unless she be inspired by the highest sense of duty, to undertake the onerous labours involved in becoming a missionary doctor in an country. The salary offered is a very small one; the hardships and difficulties are not slight, and often undertaken at the risk of health, if not of life itself; whilst, to our shame as Christians, it must be said that any one who is known to be a missionary is apt to be looked down upon by those who nominally profess the same religion. Of this fact I first became aware when travelling in India, and its effect upon Hindoos, Mohammedans, Buddhists, &c., cannot fail to be damaging to the cause of our faith. Only one candidate presented herself for the post in Tangier, and that not until a period of six months had elapsed. One other, it is true, had offered her services, but, not being fully qualified as physician, she could not be selected. Consequently the only lady doctor who applied was appointed, and results have proved that it was most fortunate for sufferers in Morocco that she presented herself. For nearly three years she has been attending to the needs of Moorish patients, and she was not even allowed sufficient time to acquire Arabic, the language of the country in which her work had to be performed, before her medical skill as well as her devotion were taxed to the very utmost. An outbreak of cholera occurred, and a doctor was required to go to Tetuan. The need for help being very urgent, she responded to the call, and when mounted on an animal en route for this place (carriage roads are all but unknown in Morocco) she met some Moors flying from the stricken town. "Back! back!' they cried; there is death in the city. "That is why I am going,' she replied—a response which greatly astonished her hearers. Her work amongst cholera patients was pre-eminently successful. Out of twenty-five sufferers only one death occurred. This she modestly accounted for by saying that at times it takes a great deal to kill a Moor; but doubtless, under Providence, much can be laid to the door of the doctor having had to act as nurse as well as physician ; and the attendance on the sick had to be carried on under difficulties from which, if I mistake not, many medical men would have shrunk. For instance, when it became necessary to apply a mustard plaster, the doctor would be granted the use of a basin in which to mix the compound, but denied a spoon, as the Moors refused to allow her to apply to the body of the patient that which she would not touch with her own fingers. A blistered hand was the result. Worse still, medicines could not be taken unless the unfortunate individual who prescribed them consented to take herself doses of the cholera mixture !
When she first settled down to practise in Tangier, she had only private rooms in which she could receive patients. These apartments had been secured in a narrow street in the native part of the town; more space and air became a necessity if the work were intended to spread. A building was eventually discovered suitable for a small hospital, standing on the walls of the city. It was likely to prove a healthy residence, as on one side it looked out on open country. The house consisted of two flats; in the upper one the doctor and
her helpers now reside, whilst the lower floor, with a separate entrance, is devoted to hospital purposes. If any one were to visit this institution, accustomed to the beautiful fittings and convenient arrangements of many of our English establishments, they might be sadly disappointed. Lack of funds is answerable for a great deal, but also it must be remembered that the requirements of Moorish women are very different from those of our own people. For instance, the waiting-room for patients in the Tangier institution is guiltless of all furniture ; but so, too, was an apartment which I once visited, occupied by the Basha’s wife, who lately died. Morocco women squat on the floor ; consequently sofas, chairs, and similar pieces of furniture can very easily be dispensed with. A native's idea of pictures is also peculiar. On one occasion a patient was admitted to a room on the walls of which hung a representation of the 'Prodigal Son.' On catching sight of the painting she hastily gathered round her face the folds of her ‘haïk' (a sort of blanket which enveloped her from head to foot), saying that she could not sleep in a room in which a man was to be found! Up to the time when larger accommodation was secured the work had to be confined to the treatment of outpatients. It now became possible to receive a certain number needing prolonged care. The women, however, showed great signs of fear about entering the institution, and it was only the braver spirits who would face such an ordeal. Amongst these was a countrywoman who, suffering from an affection of the chest, determined to enter. Two days after her arrival the hospital was besieged by anxious friends and relatives, who informed her that she would either be poisoned, cut to pieces, or turned into a Nazarene' by being made to eat pork! The woman was undaunted. She had informed the villagers that she was likely to die any way, and that she might just as well end her days in the hospital as elsewhere. After she had once experienced the missionaries' kindness she was not very likely to allow herself to be scared. I am glad to say that the heroic Moorish woman's pluck was rewarded by her returning to her village, within a short space of time, in a greatly improved condition of health. Soon after this event another invasion of the hospital occurred, but this time by would-be patients from the village to which the woman belonged, who, finding that she had recovered, thought that they too would like treatment. Another inmate of the hospital was a ‘Sheriffa,' or descendant of the prophet Mahomet; and not only that, but she was also entitled to bear the name of Santo,' because she first saw the light of day in s shrine above the spot where a holy man lay buried. This propitious fact, however, did not save her from the ravages of disease, for she was found wandering about the market asking for the ‘Tabeeba – lady-doctor. Another woman, thinking it an honour to assist so sanctified a person, brought her to the hospital. On her arrival the native women there assembled asked for her blessing. These feelings of reverence do not seem to have been shared by her own relatives, who sent a messenger to say that they hoped she would die, and not one of them had the humanity to come near her during the five weeks she lingered on in hospital. Disease had taken so firm a hold on her that the doctor's skill was unavailing to arrest its progress, and hers was one of the only two deaths which have, as yet occurred.
The nineteenth-century independence of youth seems to have found its way even into Morocco, for one day a young maiden of some nine summers appeared, stating that she intended to become a resident. She had heard that other people had been cured of their maladies at this institution, and she too wished to become so. At first she proved a very intractable patient, but her stubbornness yielded to the kindness of the good doctor, who used to take her on her knee and tell her stories which the child loved to hear. She submitted very patiently to the painful treatment necessary for her to undergo. Feeling much better, she one day announced her intention of departing, but one thing troubled her. She had arrived in a dirty, neglected condition, clad in one garment only. After due cleansing she was allowed the use of no less than three articles of clothing. Would she have to leave all these borrowed possessions behind ? She would catch cold, she insinuatingly suggested. The doctor was touched and allowed her to retain the much-prized garments; not only this, but she was permitted to carry off a very precious doll, the only remaining one of those sent out from England.
The question of food for patients in hospital is important, not only from a medical point of view, but principally on account of the prejudices of the people. It has therefore been wisely arranged that the cooking should be done by a native woman. The ordinary dietary consists of bread given in the morning with very weak and much-sweetened coffee, without milk; the midday repast is composed of bread and raisins; the principal meal is eaten at six o'clock, for which meat, vegetables, and rancid butter are boiled together and seasoned with pepper and salt. This year the hospital was partly closed during Ramadan, the well-known Mohammedan fast. Certainly the treatment of patients at this season must become a matter of serious difficulty, as from sunrise to sunset not a morsel of food can be swallowed, nor a drop of water given to quench thirst; the very medicines have to be given at night. This did not prevent the outpatients attending as usual, and one morning I went to the hospital to watch the proceedings. I was allowed a seat in the consulting room, and did not feel guilty of any indiscretion in so doing, as conversations were carried on in Arabic, an unknown tongue to me, and the doctor could tell me as much or as little as she thought right. The first patient was suffering from indigestion. She said that 'a ball went round and round her stomach. A prescription was given