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those already in their hands. Where not fully read, they are in general carefully preserved, and will, it is to be hoped, rehearse hereafter to others, the short but weighty message, which they are intended to convey.
RESIDENCE AT THE PRINCES' ISLANDS.
Accidental introduction to medical practice-Prevalence of dis
ease-Affecting instance of superstition-Unfeeling physicianImportunity of friends—Vaccination-Advantages and disadvantages of uniting the medical with the missionary characterHermits and ascetics—State of Morals—Concluding remarks.
Syra, Dec. 1827. An accident which happened to the nephew of the respectable priest whom I have already mentioned, and which called for an unusual rather than difficult surgical operation, was the occasion of giving an important direction to my summer's employments.* In the midst of the confusion and alarm which prevailed, I offered in the absence of a surgeon to render the best assistance in my power. The means employed having proved successful, I was thereupon urged to visit several sick Armenian and Greek families.
* The event in question as it brought me into a more intimate connexion with the Greeks than I had intended, may perhaps affect my whole missionary career. If so, it will afford another illustration of that truth, “The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole ordering thereof, is of the Lord.”
Though I disclaimed any other than a very limited acquaintance with medical science, my opinion was earnestly intreated, and given in some cases, perhaps with advantage. The truth was, the medical professors of my Alma Mater, on learning my plans of missionary life had very generously afforded me every facility for pursuing the studies of their department. I had also improved the opportunity while voyaging with my missionary brother, of profiting by his superior knowledge of medicine, and I was furnished with a few valuable medical books. My fame in consequence of these first essays, soon became noised abroad through all the region round about. In Constantinople and vicinity, though happily there has been this year very little of the plague, there was notwithstanding an unusual degree of sickness. It is perhaps a moderate estimate to say, that one third of the population were ailing. Of course there was much suffering among the poorer classes, and it was difficult for others to obtain medical aid. The Frank physicians at Constantinople, of whom there are several, were as usual too closely occupied to visit the islands. Under these circumstances I gradually yielded to the solicitations of the people, and for several successive months, medical practice and the necessary preparatory study became a prominent part of my employment. When I arose in the morning or returned from a walk during the day, my room was often crowded with patients, and for many days in succession I have administered to twenty or thirty. vailing fever being for the most part of a mild type, readily yielded to the course of treatment which i adopted. Many chronic cases also which owed their
chief aggravations to the want of a little medical aid, were greatly benefited by diet, exercise, and the like simple remedies.
So much more rapid was the recovery of my patients than those under the patronage of St. George, that one after another gradually stole away from the monastery and crept down the hill to my door. At length the superior of the convent sent his head servant with a respectful request that I would visit the unfortunate within the walls of his sanctuary. Being desirous of conciliating the saint, I took my usual supply of tracts, and climbed up the hill to unite my exertions with his. There still were instances however in which the superstitions of the people, were attended with unhappy consequences. The following is an example in illustration. An infant child had long been wasting away with a disease which the ordinary remedies of the people had failed to arrest, and I was entreated to administer to it. After considerable examination of my books, I found a prescription which I thought would afford it relief. Having been at the pains of going over to Constantinople, to obtain the necessary ingredients, I was gratified to see the medicine operating favorably. The child again resumed its play and smiled on its mother, whose drooping head was once more raised from the ground. Calling one evening soon after to make my accustomed visit, I missed the mother and child. 6 They have gone very foolishly up to St. George's” said the father. And have they taken the medicine with them ?" "No." Another morning they had not returned the vow to the saint must be fulfilled, and when at last they did come back, two miles' exposure to the scorching
sun, and neglect to follow up the use of the medicine, had brought on a relapse, and it was soon laid in the grave.
Finding my patients increasing from the other islands; from the opposite coast of Bithynia, and even from Constantinople ; and that my study of Turkish would necessarily be much interrupted, I made repeated efforts to diminish my practice. It seemed harsh however to break away from the frequent cases of a like urgency with which I will narrate. A poor bed-ridden man had made application to a native physician, that had come over to spend some time in Prinkipos. The latter was an old man without a family, and had, I presume, received his education at one of the Italian universities. Whenever he went abroad, he wore the privileged white turban, and rode upon an ass with a servant walking before him. This hard-hearted man demanded in the first place a fee of ten dodecarias-dollars, before he gave his advice, and then sent them to his apothecary in the city, for medicine to the amount of half as much more. But they had received no directions for administering it, and he refused to open his lips again without an additional fee. Under these circumstances, the family who assured me they had expended six months' income, and were utterly unable to raise another dollar, besought me to call. His wife came several times to urge their plea, and the poor man contrived to get his head out of the window near which I passed and to exclaim, xúple, tipis, “Sir, Sir.” I felt particularly reluctant to interfere in consequence of the previous visit of a regular physician, but at last yielded to their entreaties. They offered me the medicines all neatly Vol. I.
sealed and tied with the red and white cord of the Constantinople apothecaries; but instead of using them, I put the poor man upon a simple course of regimen, and he was soon sitting in the market place, rising as I passed to proclaim the skill of the wonder working hakem. I sometimes met their unfeeling physician in the streets, and together with many compliments, received also urgent intreaties to call at his lodgings. Those who knew him better than myself, and the object for which a dish of coffee is sometimes served up in this country, advised me to decline his invitation. At another time after I had decided not to go abroad, a woman from Chalke came to present her sorrowful case. Her husband had been dangerously sick and having partially recovered, had exposed himself too coon to the heat of the baker's shop in which he was employed. The consequence was a relapse with some most alarming symptoms. I thought there was little prospect of affording him relief, besides I was myself ill, and wished to curtail my labors. I spoke kiodly to her and stated the reasons why I could not go. She listened a moment and then sunk down upon her knees, weeping and earnestly protesting that for the sake of Christ and the Virgin Mary, I would have compassion. She had several little children who were dependent, she said, on her husband's monthly wages of thirty piastres—two and a half dollars. I considered the subject for a moment, and felt that I might do more to recommend the gospel of Christ by complying, than by twice the time and expense, otherwise directed. Accordingly i bade her rise and go forward and await me at the boat, while I went to obtain the medicines of the village apothecary, though as I