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much of their virulence, and foon ceafe. In the progress of the cruise, the fcurvy begins to appear ; at first it is only detected by spreading ulcers, in consequence of accidental wounds ; afterwards it appears in its own peculiar form. We find it, in our last war, less frequent and less violent than in any former one. The native vegetable acids cured it completely, even at fea; the malt ftopped its progress, if taken in the early stages; and wine and melafies contributed, in a great degree, to prevent its appearance. It was found to be of the greatest consequence to watch its firft symptoms. We allow it to be unphilosophical to deny that the fcarvy is contagious; but we do not think that our author has sufficient reasons even to raise a suspicion that it is so.
• There was a confiderable increase of fcurvy in May, 1782, compared with the former months of this campaign; but very inconsiderable, compared with what had occurred in cruises of the fame length in former years.
The last divifion of the feet had been at sea feven weeks all but one day when it arrived at Port Royal, and though the fcurvy had appeared in several of the ships, it did not prevail in any of them to a great degree, except in the Nonfuch. Out of fourteen deaths which happened in the whole flect from this disease, in May, seven of them were in this hip, and several were fent from her to the hospital in the last and most desperate ftate of it. But, opon the whole, the cases of the true fea scurvy in the fleet in generał were few and flight, and a great many of those given in the reports under the head of fcurvy, were cutaneous eruptions or ulcers, not properly to be classed with it.
• The cruise in the preceding year to windward of Martinico, may
be compared with that in May of this year ; for the Meets in both cases had been at sea about the same length of time. But the comparison is very greatly in favour of the latter, which is most probably to be imputed to the plentiful supply of melaffes, wine, four krout, and effence of malt. But no adequate reason that I could discover can be assigned for the prevalence of it in the Nonsuch, to a degree so much more violent than in the other thips ; and it was here farther remarkable, that it attacked every description of men indiscriminately; for I was assured by the officers and by the surgeon, that not only the helpless and dispirited landsman was affected, but old seamen who had never before suffered from it on the longest cruises. I have been led by this, and some other facts, to suspect that there may be fomething contagious in this disease.
The only other fact, afterwards adduced js, that the fourvy once spread from the naval hospital at Portsmouih, to the ad. jacent country; but this has been often combated.
It appears, from the comparative returns, that the West India fileet was more healthy than that which cruised in the
channel ; this is easily explained, when we recollect that the home fleet was constantly recruited by pressing, and that the pressed men were often landsmen. Another fa&, seemingly more extraordinary, is, that frigates are more healthy than tips of the line.
• From the account of the three frigates at the bottom of the lift in the table, it appears how much more healthy they are than ships of the line. The total complements of the three is exactly equal to that of one seventy-four gun fhip; but their whole áckness and mortality is lefs than that of any one fhip of the line of that class, although the Triton was uncommonly fickly for a frigate.
• There seem to be several caufes for the superior degree of health usually enjoyed by this fmaller clafs of thips. There is less chance of mixtures of men in frigates, as their complement is i'maller: it is more easy for the captain and officers to keep an eye over a few men than a great number; for in a great ihip there are generally men, who, concealing themselves in the most retired parts, no one takes cognizance of them, and they destroy themselves, and infect others, by their laziness and filth.' In the next place, there is a greater proportion of volunteers and real feamen in frigates, and more landsmen and pressed men in ships of the line, the former being more in requeft, on account of the greater chance of prize-money, Lastly, a fmall fhip is more easily ventilated, and the mass of foul air iffuing from the hold, from the victuals, water, and other stores, as well as the effluvia exhaling from the men's bodies, is less than in a large fhip.'
The month of April, 1782, diftinguished for the most glorious victory perhaps ever gained, because the forces were more than usually equal, is also distinguished for the superior health of the fleet. The mortality on board, exclusive of wounds, was only 1 in 862. It was more healthy than any of the preceding twenty-three months, or any future month, till the feet reached America. Independent of not having been lately exposed to the land air, in watering parties, and the great supply of antiscorbutics received from England,
Might not this extraordinary degree of health have also been owing, in part, to the effects of fuccefs upon the spirits of the men ? It is related, that when the fleet under admiral Matthews was off Toulon, in daily expectation for some time of engaging the combined fleet of France and Spain, there was a general stop put to the progress of disease, particularly of the scurvy, from the influence of that generous Aow of spirits, with which the prospect of battle inspires British seamen. But if the mere expectation and ardour of a battle, without any happy event, could have such a sensible effect, what must have bcen the effect of the exultation of victory, a victory in which the naval glory of our country was revived and retrieved, after a
series of misfortunes and disgraces, which had well nigh extin. guished the national pride in every department of service. The plain and honest, though unthinking seaman, is not less affected by this than the more enlightened lover of his country. Even the invalids at the hospital demonstrated their joy, upon hearing of this victory, by hoisting Ihreds of coloured cloth on their crutches.
• It would appear, that there is something in situations of exertion and danger, which infuses a sort of preternatural'vigour. When the mind is interested and agitated by active and generous affections, the body, forgets its wants and feelings, and is capable of a degree of labour and exertion, which it could not undergo in cold blood. The quantity of muscular action, employed in fighting at a great gun for a few hours, is perhaps more than what is commonly employed in a week in the ordinary course of life, and though performed in the midst of heat and smoke, and generally with the want of food and drink, yet the powers
of nature are not exhausted nor overstrained ; and the future health of those who survive unhurt by external violence, is so far from being injured, that it is fome. times mended by this violent but salutary agitation.'
Another very effectual, but violent remedy for diseases; was the hurricane in October, 1780. Every practitioner on the islands found its efficacy; the chronic Auxes in the hospi. tals were cured or relieved by it; the phthises were generally relieved, and sometimes cured. Every one had a keener appetite ; and those on the verge of disease, who had looked thin and fallow, became fresh and plump. The fleet was then at New York ; but the naval hospitals were much less crouded after this dreadful convulsion of nature.
• I have been able, says our author, to calculate the numbers of deaths from disease in this great fleet, both on board and ac hospitals, during the period of my own service, which was three years and three months, and they amounted to 3200, independent of those that were killed and died of wounds.
• There died of disease in the feet I belonged to, from July, 1780, to July, 1781, about one man in eight, including both those who died on board and at hospitals. But the annual mortality in the West India fleet, during the last year of the war, that is, from March, 1782, to March, 1983, was not quite one in twenty. This difference was parıly owing to the general increase of health in fleets as a war advances, partly to some improvements in victualling, and partly to better accommodations as well as regulations in what related to the care of the fick.
• Though the mortality in fleets in the West Indies is, upon the whole, greater than in Europe, yet it has so happened, that, in the late war, the fleet at home has, at particular periods, been considerably more fickly than that in the West Indies was at any one time. I was informed by Dr. Lind, that
when the grand fleet arrived at Portsmouth, in November, 1779, a tenth part of all the men were sent to the hospital. It appears, that in the years 1780 and 1781, a period at which the fleet in the West Indies was most fickly, the medium of the numbers on the fick litt was one in fifteen, and many of these were very light complaints; whereas, in the fleet alluded to in England, the diseases were mostly fevers, and so ill as actually to be sent to the hospital. It appears likewise that there was the greatest proportion of fick in our fleet when it was on the coaft of America, in September, 1780. This difference is owing to the greater prevalence of the fhip fever and of the fcurvy in a cold than in a hot climate.'
Added to 3200, who died of disease, 648 were killed in. battle, and 500 died of wounds ; in the whole, 4348, independently of those who fell in action in lingie ships. Dr. Blane quotes a passage from Arrian, in which we are told that in Alexander's expedition a greater number died of disease than in battle.
The Second Part is on the Cause of Sickness in Fleets, and the Means of preventing it. This is a valuable collection of the best methods hitherto known of preserving the health of seamen, and we would strenuously recommend it to the attention of every commander. Even the best informed will probably find some valuable hints in it. It may be proper to preserve the following short observation :
• It is difficult to ascertain how far the influence of vapours from woods and marshes extend; but there is reason to think that it is to a very small distance. When the ships watered ac Rock Fort, they found that if they anchored close to the fore, so as to smell the land air, the health of the men was affected ; but upon removing two cables length, no inconvenience was perceived. I was informed of the following fact, in proof of the same, by the medical gentlemen who attended the army in Jamaica. The garrison of Fort Augufta, which fands very near some marshes, to which it is to leeward when the land wind blows, was yet remarkably healthy; but it became at one time extremely fickly upon the breaking in of the sea in consequence of a high tide, whereby the water which was retained in the hollows of the fort produced a putrid moisture in the soil, exhaling a vapour offensive to the smell, and with all the noxious effects upon health commonly arising from the effluvia of marshes.'
The Third Part contains the Description and Treatment of Diseases most frequently occurring in Fleets, in hot Climates. The first disease is the ship fever, now well known. The description of the febrile delirium is animated and correct. There is one remark which we did not recollect, but an observation to the same purpose occurs in Celsus, copied from Hippocrates, and it is caudidly mentioned in the note, 6
• Quibus caufa doloris, neque fenfus ejus eft, his mens la bore.' The usual irritations to discharge the excrementitious substances are not, in febrile delirium, referred to their proper origin, but occasion general uneasiness, and often an exacerbation of the delirium. If patients, in this situation, are reminded of the probable neceffity, they foon perceive it, and, after the proper discharge, are much more quiet. When opium is necessary in the ship fever, Dr. Blane recommends adding to it a small proportion of camphor, and half a grain of emetic tartar ; but he thinks the medicine is much more effectual when joined with some neutral : in that situation, he chose the spiritus mindereri, and sometimes nitre. We have ftated this remark, because our author thinks it new; but in this way we have frequently employed it with success, without fufpecting that we had made any discovery. He does not recommend the Peruvian bark indiscriminately, but with antimony, or some neutral, after having evacuated the intestines. This is found and judicious advice.
The next diseases are the bilious, remitting, and yellow fevers; but the treatment affords little remarkable. In the voi miting attendant on the latter, the infusion of chamomile flowers is faid to be sometimes useful ; but it is well known to be an obftinate, and often an unconquerable fymptom.
Dr. Blane gives also his obfervations in favour of the success of flowers of zinc and white vitriol in intermittents. On the subject of fuxes and scurvy, meet with little that ought to detain us. In the latter, we are informed that the fimaruba, to be successful, should be given in a weak decoction.
The volume concludes with some account of the wounds received in battle, on the 12th of April, 1782. In that action 266 were killed, and 88 died of their wounds; 16 of thefe died of the locked jaw, and 3 only recovered from the disease. One of these used opium as usual; but was much relieved by the warm bath. Another took large quantities of bark and opium ; but the most sensible benefit arose from a cataplasm of twelve ounces of opium beat into that form, with the tinct. Thebaic. and applied to the cheek.
The third was relieved by opium, camphor, the warm bath, and mercurial friction. The most active and vigorous application was certainly that of the opiate cataplasm; the rest present nothing new. Mr. Alanson's method of amputating is said to have answered very well ; and Dr. Blane recommends some simple tourniquets to be always in readiness, during action, to prevent hæmorrhages, which sometimes prove fatal before the man can be carried to the cockpit.