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Englisn ideas. Ladies trained at St. John's House have found no difficulty in carrying such a system into practice. The reason is obvious. Given a gentlewoman possessed o. common sense, some administrative ability, and a good knowledge of nursing, and any hospital committee can easily and at small cost make its nursing arrangements as efficient as any in the country,-at small cost because the gradual training of nurses for the work enables a greater number to be engaged in the bospital wards without much increased expenditure. Such a system will commend itself to the approval of all connected with a medical charity, because the sole reason for its existence is not that it may train private nurses, but that the hospital patients may be efficiently nursed. For this reason everything is sacrificed to the good of the patients and to the interests of the hospital. All engaged in the work are animated by a feeling of pride in the prosperity of the institution with which they are connected. It is to them the one object to which their whole energies are devoted, and so nothing but good results from such a system. No divided allegiance is theirs. No sisterhood claims their first and best attention. On the contrary, from the highest to the lowest, one sentiment animates the whole staff-a desire to see their hospital take the first place for efficiency in all its departments. This is the grand end to be everywhere attained. Such being the case, knowing it can only be secured by the system here advocated, we commend it with confidence to the adoption of hospital authorities throughout the country.
The following brief details, as to the system of nursing actually pursued at Guy's Hospital and the London Hospital previous to November 1879, may interest many readers who have had their attention directed to the subject by the course of recent controversy, in which we have not felt it necessary to engage. We have preferred to give our own views and a statement of facts bearing on the wider question, the result of much experience:
Guy's Hospital.-For the past ten years each ward of twentyfour beds has been nursed by a sister, a day nurse, a night nurse, and an assistant nurse, commonly called a probationer. To these must be added a ward-maid to scrub the floors, and to do what is known as the menial work of the ward. All nurses, whether they have served in a similar capacity or not in other hospitals, must, before appointment as a trained nurse, have remained a given time on probation at reduced pay. The period of probation varied with the attainments of the probationer, but it was never less than six months. In the selection of probationers, preference was given to a good class of domestic servants, varying in age from twenty-two to forty, married women, where possible, being allotted to male wards. In training a probationer, great attention was always given to the necessity of securing as varied an experience as possible, and she was moved about from one part of the hospital to another to accustom her to medical and surgical work. In addition to the regular staff, twelve special nurses were retained for extra duty, half of which number were
trained nurses, the others being placed under the sisters in different wards. The sisters have always been selected from ladies in the middle class of life, who ..ave had previous opportunities of practical housekeeping, and who were required to serve for a time, six months or a year - under the regular sister before they were finally appointed. They were not engaged before the age of thirty, or after forty years of age. The duties were of a multifarious character, as the sister was the medium of communication between the medical officer and the patient, and she was constantly in communication with the executive of the hospital. Several widows and daughters of medical men and clergymen have beld and still hold this office, and all have received an excellent education, and are respectably connected.
The London Hospital.—There is a regular training home and school for nurses in connection with this hospital, which is in charge of the matron. Each sister has charge of a ward under the direction of the matron. The nursing staff consists of day, night, and probation nurses, and no probationer is appointed a nurse until she has undergone a thorough training in all the duties of the office. Nearly all the present staff have been trained at the hospital. The majority were formerly domestic servants of the most respectable class. At the end of twelve months' training, if competent, the probationers were engaged as nurses, but their training was not considered complete until the expiration of three years' service, when they received a certificate of competency. No one was engaged as a night nurse unless she had been first trained as a probationer, and the night nurses received higher wages than the day nurses. There are, and have been for many years, two night sisters or superintendents, who inspect and visit the wards during the night, so that it is impossible that the night nurses should neglect their duties, or that the day sisters should be disturbed. The sisters are nearly all ladies, who have been thoroughly trained in nursing, and who are competent in all respects to discharge the duties devolving upon them. Five ladies were always in training for the office of sister, and by this means a good reserve in case of a vacancy was always available.
The foregoing brief statements of the actual condition of the nursing at the two great metropolitan hospitals attacked by Miss Lonsdale are taken from the · Medical Times,' and have been verified by personal investigation. They sufficiently dispose of an article which has attracted far too much attention, and we purposely refrain from comment. A reference to the April number of the Nineteenth Century,' and a comparison between facts and fiction, will best dispose of the points at issue. Dr. Steele, the Superintendent of Guy's Hospital, so long ago as the year 1869, in an excellent and valuable paper on · Hospital Nursing,' showed how groundless even at that period were many of the serious charges made by Miss Lonsdale. The nursing of twenty years ago has been made to do duty for the more modern system of to-day, and necessarily a very pretty quarrel
has resulted. It is not our intention to take a hand in the rubber. More than enough has been said and apologised for already, and we shall therefore spare our readers from any such nursing 'polemics.' On a future occasion it is our hope and intention to give a more detailed description of some of the many so-called systems of nursing. For the present we are content to leave the question here. It is hoped, however, that no hospital managers will henceforth hesitate boldly to take the bull by the horns when they desire to rearrange their system of nursing. With a fair amount of common sense, the right kind of matron, and some patience, they are sure to succeed in their venture, and the sooner they try the experiment under such circumstances the better for all concerned.
HENRY C. BURDETT.
An army in rebellion against its general in the face of the enemy is happily a rare, an almost impossible, contingency. A Ministry refusing to resign or to give up the reins of government in spite of a hostile majority in both Houses of Parliament has to be born. Yet the state of affairs at Guy's Hospital, as we write, embraces both positions, and threatens to ruin a great institution. Since last November events have been growing worse and worse. Sisters and nurses have been constantly leaving, the medical staff has been completely upset, the resident officers have for the most part taken sides one against the other, and now the students in a body, countenanced by the resident medical officers, have hissed the Treasurer when in the discharge of his duties within the hospital itself. The question may well be asked, Where are the patients, and how are they faring? Surely the time has come when an end should be put to this most regrettable controversy. We have refrained as far as possible from any allusion to these events in the foregoing paper, but the crisis of to-day is too serious for silence. The facts which are patent to outsiders are that, from whatever cause, the present administrative chief of Guy's Hospital is unable to carry on the efficient working of the institution, or to maintain the necessary discipline. If this state of things continues, one of our greatest medical charities will be permanently discredited. The governors ought promptly to interfere, or neither patients nor first-year students, for that matter, are likely to seek admission to the walls of Guy's Hospital.
H. C. B. June 18, 1880.
THE BOOK OF JOB.
A LITERARY AND BIOGRAPHICAL STUDY.
T has been remarked by a Jewish writer' that Semitic modes of thought and expression still remain much more remote from Western comprehension than those of Aryan races. The reason which he gives for this is one not altogether creditable to students of the Bible. No doubt, the study of classical antiquity accounts partly for our sympathy with the Aryan type of culture; but considering the large space still occupied by the Bible in our thoughts and in our system of education, it seems not unreasonable to demand that almost equal sympathy should be accorded to the Semitic. It is not so, however; and we are only awaking to the truth that the Old Testament at least is worth studying as a literature, and that the Christian interpretation of it is only admissible as a superstructure reared upon (though by no means a mere derivative of) the literary and philological. Hence in order to bring the Book of Job nearer to the modern Western mind, it is necessary to compare it, on the literary side, with the loftiest modern Western poems of a moral and religious import; only then shall we discover the points in which it is distinctively ancient, Oriental, and Semitic. Our great Puritan poet, himself attracted at one time chiefly to Classical and Renaissance art and literature, seems to have had a special fondness among the Biblical writings for the Book of Job, which he calls a brief model' of that epic form, whereof the two poems of Homer, and those other two of Virgil and Tasso, are a diffuse (model),' and in the judgment of S. T. Coleridge, the poetic dialogue of Job was Milton's pattern for the general scheme of his 'Paradise Regained.' Paradise Lost,' however, has in virtue of its subject a greater affinity to the Book of Job than Paradise Regained.' Like 'Job,' it is a theodicy, though of a more complex character, and aims
And the author of Paradise Lost,' though not to be equalled with the founders of Biblical religion, is still distinguished from all modern poets (except Dante and Bunyan) by his singularly intense faith in the operations of the Divine Spirit. That prayer of his, beginning And chiefly Thou, O Spirit,' and a well-known parallel passage in his Reason of Church Government,' prove conclusively that he held no contracted views as to the limits of Inspiration. This, in addition to his natural gifts, explains the overpowering
1 Dr. Goldziher, in his Ancient Hebrew Mythology.
impression of reality produced by the visions of Milton, and in a still greater degree by those of our Puritan prose-pcet, John Bunyan. A similar faith in the divine Spirit, but more original and less affected by logical theories, was one great characteristic of the author of 'Job. He felt, like all the religious wise men' (of whom more presently), that true wisdom was beyond mortal ken, and could only be obtained by an influence from above. In the strength of this confidence he ventured, like Milton, on untrodden paths, and presumed to chronicle, in symbolic form, transactions of the spiritual world. Have we not-that is, religious people in general-reason to humble ourselves for our low thoughts of the mighty gift of the Spirit, when we see what a 'tried money-changer' this ancient Israelite was with the comparatively small talent committed to him? Without going so far as the author of Ecce Christianus,' who asserts that the Church of Christ for the last eighteen centuries has held a false notion as to the power and range of faith in Christ' (p. 86), we may and ought to admit that the bracing intellectual effects of the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit are not generally felt as they ought to be, simply because they are not looked for. According unto your faith, be it unto you':-this law of the spiritual world is enforced alike by the prophets and poets of the Old Testament, by the Apostles of the New, and by the two Puritan poets of our own land.
'Faust' has in some respects a better right to be compared with 'Job' than Paradise Lost.' Not so much, however, in the Prologue, where the superficial resemblance is the strongest ; for Mephistopheles, the personification of critical ironry, has none of the characteristic features of his professed ancestor. But in the body of the poem there is this marked similarity to the Book of Job-that the problem treated of is a purely moral and spiritual one; the hero first loses and then recovers his peace of mind; it is the counterpart in pantheistic humanism of what St. Paul terms working out one's own salvation.' But there are great and most instructive divergences between the two writers. Observe, first, the complete want of sympathy with positive religion-with the religion from which Faust wanders-on the part of the modern poet. Next, a striking difference in the characteristics of Job and Faust respectively. Faust succumbs to his boundless love of knowledge, alternating with an unbridled sensual lust; Job is on the verge of spiritual ruin through his demand for such an absolute correspondence of circumstances to character as can only be realised in another world. The greatness of Faust lies in his intellect; that of Job (who in chap. xxviii. directly discourages speculation) in his virtue. Hence, finally, Faust requires (even from a pantheistic point of view) to be pardoned, while Job stands so high in the divine favour that others are pardoned on his account.
A third great poem which deserves to be compared with Job' is the Divina Commedia. Dante has the same purpose of edification as the author of 'Job' and even of Faust,' though he has not been