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The medical treatment of this class of patients varies, of course, according to the symptoms of the malady and its connexion with other derangements of the system.
The confined situation of the buildings, together with their common appropriation to the purposes of a general hospital, unfortunately prevents the adoption of an efficient system of classification and employment, essential constituents of what is commonly termed moral treatment. Employment is believed to be beneficial in all cases except of acute delirium; where cure is possible, it conduces to it; and where this is not even hoped for, labour ensures sound repose and a gen. eral tranquillity, which is rare in the unemployed. This being the belief, founded on experience, of those who ad. minister the affairs of this institution, it is acted upon as far as circumstances will permit. The greater part of the females are employed in knitting, sewing, spinning, and similar avocations. It has been found more difficult to furnish occupation for the men; a number of them are, however, employed, some in weaving tape or fringe, preparing carpetyarn, and making mattresses, and others in supplying the house with fuel, keeping in order the yards, areas, &c. In short, every opportunity is taken to promote employment, and every disposition on the part of a patient to occupy him. self innocently is encouraged; to this end, chess, draughts, and some other amusements have been introduced, and newspapers and books are furnished to those who can enjoy them. Two musical instruments, a grand harmonicon and a pianoforte, have contributed many pleasant hours to the female patients; and the soothing melody of the flute is not unfrequently heard in the apartments of the men.
The diet afforded in this asylum is more generous than that of many similar institutions, judging from the bills of fare and other statements occasionally published. Spiritu. ous liquors, wines, and porter are only administered when prescribed by the medical attendant, who has power to order these, as well as any other article of diet, at his discretion.
No difference is made in the diet or treatment of patients merely on account of their wealth. An attempt is made to class them, in some measure, according to the society in which they have been accustomed to move, when the mind is susceptible of such distinctions, but no difference exists between the treatment of those who pay for their board and those who are supported on the charity of the institution, nor is it thought necessary to inform their attendants to which class they belong.
NUMBER OF PATIENTS.-PLEASURES OF THE INSANE. 403
Out of 120 patients, more than 90 usually eat at table in companies, their attendants sitting at the same tables, helping them to their food, and partaking of the same fare. The diet of these patients is not portioned; each is allowed to satisfy his appetite. Those who do not eat at table are the very dirty, the violent, and those placed by the physician upon a prescribed diet.
In the last year, 1837, up to the 28th of April, 1838, the total number of patients admitted into the Hospital was 1037, of which 784 were males and 253 were females; and of the same number, 382 were pay patients and 655 were poor. These, added to the number that remained in the Hospital at the close of the preceding year, made 487 pay patients and 759 poor ; of which 392 of the former and 657 of the latter were discharged, chiefly cured, and 95 pay and 102 poor patients remained in the institution.
Of the 1037 patients thus received in the past year, 572 were natives of the United States, and 411 were natives of Great Britain, 56 from England, eight from Scotland, three from Wales, and no less than 344 from Ireland, so large is the proportion which the emigrant labourers from that unhappy country furnish to the charitable as well, unfortunately, as to the criminal institutions of the United States.
In our conversation with the insane, of which we saw the greatest number, we found them all more sociable, and under more easy control, than we had anticipated. They appeared almost uniformly happy. One lady had danced with General Lafayette at a ball at Boston, and this was the great charm of her life. Another had, unfortunately, rejected the addresses of a suiter whom she really loved, but was afraid it would be thought immodest to accept him at once; and this was the poison of her existence. One of the happiest was a French captain in the army, who considered himself a field-marshal, and who talked with a degree of vivacity and volubility such as I had never heard before. The new asylum building for the lunatics at Brockley, some miles out of town, will be a great comfort to them, and a great relief also to the Hospital.
The Seaman's Friend Society.—The Magdalen Society.-Contrast of Europe and
America.-Indigent Widow's and Single Women's Society.–The Philadelphia 0:. phan Society.--Hospital for the Blind and Lame.-Union Benevolent Association Society for Promoting Christianity in China.-Proposed new Order of Missionanas - Testimony of Ellis's Polynesian Researches.- Letter of the Missionaries of Sand wich Islands.-Labours of Mr. Gutzlaff in China.—Reference to my Proposed toyage round the Globe.—Theory of the new Order of Missionaries.-Healing the Sick an Preaching the Gospel.-Guccess hitherto attending this Union.-Foundation of aa Opthalmic Hospital in China.- Testimony of the Chinese who had been CuredFormation of a general Dispensary in China.-Suggestion of a Medical Missionary Society.-Certain Benefits of such an Institution.
Besides the larger and more prominently useful of the benevolent institutions of Philadelphia already described, there are many smaller ones, all conceived in the same phil. anthropic spirit, and all productive of great good in their several spheres; a short account of which is due to the character of the community by which they are supported.
One of these is the “Seaman's Friend Society," which was formed in the year 1829, with a view to rescue, if possi. ble, the hundreds of thoughtless mariners from the temptations by which they are surrounded, and before which so many of them daily fall. It has been well observed by the founder of this truly useful and praiseworthy institution, that the greater number of seamen's lives are passed in the narrow, rude, contaminating society of the isolated vessel ; and their visits ashore, few and far between, are only distin. guished as the opportunities for squandering their hard-earn. ed wages in scenes of guilt and wretchedness. Privations and hardships, inclement skies, wintry storms, battle, murder, sudden death, and all the perilous incidents of their occupation, are fast sweeping them to eternity. If helplessness and need may then touch the sympathies of the heart, and impose a measure of duty according to the power to relieve, none of our fellow-men would seem to press more urgent claims upon prompt and efficient aid than those who “go down to the sea in ships.” They are not only exposed to the arts of the unprincipled, and to every evil influence from the licentious, but the general system of sailor board. ing-houses is a mere lure to excess, deriving its chief gain from pandering to their vices. Under the power of such temptation they are easily subdued, their aversion to moral enjoyments is deepened, and capacity for reflection and in
SEAMAN'S FRIEND SOCIETY.
struction destroyed; and, after a short period of feverish excitement and bewildering sensualities, plundered of every dollar and in debt, they are shipped off only to procure new means to ensure a repetition of the same arts of ruin at the next port they reach.
The only remedy for this evil was, of course, to provide other boarding houses than those formerly frequented by them, where the seamen might have all the comforts, and much more of the economy, but none of the vices and temptations of their old haunts. Such an establishment was accordingly formed in Front-street, near the Delaware, in the quarter where ships and seamen most abound, and placed under the direction of a discreet and excellent manager, Captain Abels, where every attention was paid to their real wants, but where no intoxicating drinks (the cause of all a sailor's extravagances and miseries) were permitted to be used or seen.
The superintendent of the establishment affords also every facility to the study of navigation ; and it has been pleasing to remark that, as seamen became weaned from coarse gratifications, they have applied themselves studiously to under. stand the science of their own calling. There is a reading. room, furnished with journals, civil, literary, and religious, maps and charts, and a small library of useful books; besides a registry, stating the names of vessels sailing, ports of destination, names of seamen shipped, also the names of all applicants for shipping employment; and a religious meeting is held one evening of every week, conducted by the stated preacher of the Mariner's Church. This meet. ing is well attended, and is highly interesting.
The superintendent states that, since the house has been under his care, there have been 234 boarders, averaging ten per week, of whom two thirds have been seamen ; 195 have been shipped in vessels for the most part under temperance regimen; four have studied navigation; six from common sailors have become officers ; five have respectably settled themselves in domestic life; three have joined the Church, and several had been seriously impressed, showing the happy influences of their new circumstances.
These are fruits that may well satisfy the expectations of those who were the first to plant the tree that has yielded them, and make glad the hearts of those who are enabled to repose under its shade.
The Magdalen Society of Philadelphia is another benevolent institution deserving of all praise. There is nothing,
perhaps, that strikes the English traveller who visits Amer. ica more than the contrast which the streets of its principal cities present, with those of similar towns in England, in the absence of unfortunate and depraved females. In London, it is impossible to pass on foot through any great thorough- . fare, even by day, without being gazed at and accosted in the most unequivocal manner by numbers who, from their style of dress, walk, air, and manner, as well as by gestures, and even words, leave no doubt on the mind of the ger as to their habits and character. In Edinburgh, Dublin, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, and other large towns, not to speak of seaports, such as Plymouth, Portsmouth, Bristol, and others, they abound; and after sunset, the throng that appears abroad in the streets is innumerable. In the cities of New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia (the only large places I have yet visited), I saw nothing during the day, in any of their great thoroughfares, to offend the eye or the ear in this particular; and at night, the number who, from being unattended by gentlemen, may be supposed to be women of unchaste character, is not a twentieth part of that with which the thoroughfares of our English towns are crowded; and even these behave with a decorum and propriety that is unaccompanied by any overt act of approach towards the male passengers, who are not commonly accosted or annoyed by them in any way.
Notwithstanding this superiority, however, of the great American cities over the British, there are no doubt some such women of loose character, a large proportion of whom, it is believed, come originally from Europe, and but few, comparatively, are native Americans.
native Americans. In Philadelphia, though containing a population of 200,000 persons, there are fewer, it is supposed, than in many English towns of 10,000 inhabitants; but, few as they are, an institution ex: ists, chiefly under the management of Quaker ladies, for reclaiming such as can be persuaded to quit a vicious and adopt a virtuous course of life.
Since the commencement of the society's labours, 466 fe. males have been provided for, and invited to a reformed life ; and besides the sixteen females now under their care, 170 have either been restored to their friends, or otherwise enabled to return to honest occupations in life; many of whom can now be named as respectable wives and affectionate and industrious mothers, or in various other modes adorning their professions of reform by exemplary lives.
The females received into this asylum are instructed in