« 이전계속 »
late, in the midst of a crowd of people, in order the more readily to conciliate their good will to the operation, I have found it of great advantage to use an instrument having a handle only threequarters of an inch long. By this means it is concealed from the view of the bystanders; or, if it happen to be observed by any of them, it has so diminutive an appearance, as to excite in them but very little, if any, dislike.
As I have often heard of ingratitude forming a prominent feature in the Hindoo character, I cannot avoid mentioning here, that I never saw people more grateful for any favour, than the generality of them in this place were for the restoration of sight; some of them were about to express their gratitude in a manner that called instantly for my decided disapprobation; and I informed them, that for whatever benefit they had received, they were wholly indebted to Government, and, on that account, no acknowledgment was expected, nor would any be received from their hands.
In the number of blind people restored to sight in this town, there were three boys born blind with cataract; one five years of age, another eight, and another thirteen. So little pain did the operation appear to give them, that, while seated on the floor, during its performance, they required no person to hold them; my assistant only supported their heads. The patients being so young, I was induced not to disturb the eye much, but merely to open the vertex of the cataract freely, which soon cleared up, and let in the light, when they saw well.
The acquisition of sight appeared, exceedingly, to raise the happiness of the oldest boy. The first time he began to perceive objects, and was able to walk without a guide, he proceeded up two pair of stairs to me, and requested me to observe how well he could walk alone.
I held a burch of keys before him, but he could not conceive what they were, until I shook them, when he immediately ascertained what they were, by the jingling sound. I laid a small square mahogany box before him, but neither did he know what it was, until he felt it, when the sense of touch immediately informed him.
I then showed him an infant, born of European parents, the sight of which very considerably engaged his attention, and raised in him the curiosity of inspecting it very narrowly. He seemed afraid, however, to touch it, and affirmed he had not the least idea of what it was. I laid his hand on the child's arms, at which he started back, and expressed a wish to retire; I then drew his hand over the child's face, which he immediately recognized to be the features of a child. He laughed heartily, and appeared very much pleased at his own discovery.
He was longer in learning to distinguish colours than in learning the names of things. White and red he soon distinguished, hut yellow, green, and blue he confounded with black; yet, he said, these colours contained more white than black. When from the roof of a high building, he viewed the river Taptee, he pointed with his hand towards it, and showed, by his manner of expression, that he felt great pleasure in viewing it; he requested my assistant to look in that direction, apparently for the purpose of enjoying the sight with him, but he had not the least idea of its being a body of water.
I showed him many other things, with nearly the same result; and a short time after these experiments were performed, I laid all the same things again before him, when he readily recognized them by the eye. He now follows the occupation of a shepherd.
As a question of very considerable importance, which has been frequently discussed by writers on the subject of cataract, is still undecided, that is, whether it be most proper to couch or extract, I have availed myself of the many opportunities presented to me during the last year, and extracted a very considerable number of cataracts. In order the better to observe the subsequent effects of the different operations, I extracted the cataract from one eye, and, immediately afterwards, couched the other; while in the case of some other patients, I extracted both cataracts at the same time.
The result of my experience is hostile to the practice of extraction. The reasons which have led to this conclusion are, the difficulty of being always able to make the corneal section sufficiently large by one puncturation of the knife; the unsteadiness of the Hindoo patient, during puncturation; the impossibility of removing the opake capsule with the lens,except in a few cases, where the capsule is exceedingly soft, and adheres to the vertex of the opake lens, with which it comes away; the greater pain connected with the formation of the corneal section, than the passing of the needle through the coats; the greater degree of irritation after extraction, than after couching; and the untoward treatment which the Natives practise on their eyes after the operation.
Besides, in referring to my register, which contains thirteen hundred cases of blind from cataract, restored to sight during the last twenty months, I find but 437 purely lenticular cases, and 863 lenticular combined with capsular opacity; of which number were 92 fluid, containing a small, hard, opake lens. So great a proportion of capsulo-lenticular cataracts, form, with the preceding circumstances, insuperable objections to the operation of extraction becoming general; and of their removal I see no probability.
I may also observe, that every one of these cataracts could have been couched with case; and it is most probable I could have removed them all by couching, had I not been anxious to ascertain by experience the best mode of operating; whereas not more than the third of the thirteen hundred could have been extracted; for extraction is a rude operation, unless performed by one puncturation of the knife, and the incision made large enough to allow the cataract to pass out entire, with scarcely any or no pressure on the eyeball, and without the introduction of a scoop; but when so done, it is an admirable operation. I have not met one instance of the vitreous humour escaping to the detriment of the eye; nor do I believe it possible to happen, except when the eye is rudely handled.
The propriety of operating on both eyes at the same time has also engaged the attention of writers on cataract; and as this subject still remains undecided, I may state, that I have invariably operated on both eyes at the same time with the most complete success; but great care should be taken that the eye be disturbed as little as possible.
The total number of blind restored to sight from cataract during the last year is as follows: 226 restored to sight at Ahmednuggur, and 586 restored to sight at Surat; which make a total of 812.
Besides cataractous patients, there were 1002, with other diseases in the eye, treated at Surat, and 100 at Ahmednuggur; making a grand total of 1914 cases treated during the course of the last year.
With respect to the Native practitioners, I have to report, that, a short time after my arrival here, I had occasional visits from some of them; but apparently they wished to conceal their intention. AVheo I discovered their profession, I communicated to them my directions from Government, and how glad I should be to render them assistance. They appeared to be in much better circumstances than those I had met in other parts of the c»untry: they practised only the branch of oculism.
They desired to see my mode of operating, and having done so, they asked to what purpose would it be for them to learn my method, since they were unable to procure instniments. I requested them to attend as often as they could do conveniently, and said I would undertake to procure some instruments when they were able to operate. I promised to show them a more certain and easy method of operating than any which they knew; I pointed out to them the extensive field of practice lying in every part of the country, and how a correct knowledge of their profession would give them an ascendancy over other practitioners, and procure them a comfortable income.
To win and encourage them, I showed them the goodness of vision in forty patients whom I had just restored to sight. In order to draw a correct focus in the eye, I fitted on cataractous glasses, when the patients, with great warmth, immediately expressed the perfection of their vision. One old doctor, however, seemed not to relish this open mode of expression, and, without the least ceremony, removed the glasses, and handed them back to me; I again fitted them on another patient, when the old doctor as readily removed them. I continued fitting them on other patients, and humoured them in their disguise; while he continued removing the glasses, until we went over the whole number.
At that time, I had about 400 patients attending me daily, and from twelve to twenty operations to perform at the same time; so that my time was wholly occupied in practice, on which account I found it impossible to discharge the duty toward the Native practitioners in a manner satisfactory to myself. They appeared chagrined at the great number of patients. I heard that they had endeavoured to dissuade the people from coming to me ; but, judging from the increase in number, their advice had a contrary effect; not finding employment in the town, they departed.
I was informed by several patients on whom they had operated, that they were in the habit of extorting money from their patients in. a very cruel manner: when they had proceeded to a certain length in the operation, they fastened a crooked instrument in the eye, and allowed it to remain until the patient came down with as much money as they wanted. I heard the same kind of story from a Native practitioner at Ahmednuggur; but I did not then give it credit. I am now, however, inclined to think there is some truth in this account of their conduct; especially when they are apprehensive of obtaining otherwise but little reward.
(Signed) Geo. Richmond,
Assistant Surgeon, 4th Light Dragoons, and Oculist to the Subordinate Station of Bombay.
I Opten seek 'ome solitary spot, Where idle eyes and foot-treads lingernot;Where nature tells her s ill responsive tale,
To me, to the wild-rose, and nightingale. And I have thought, in youth's more smiling hour, The bright carnations 'neath my summer bow'r Were far less beauteous than the flow'ret wild
Which all uncultur'd on the hedge-row smiled. 'Twas feeling gavethe charm: it stood so lone, So unadmlred, unsought—so all mine own;
'T had borne the bending of no other eye, And o'er its bosom pass'd no other sigh;And where it grew it faded—and the storm Gave to the winds its sweetly petal'd form:I've told its chaste and unobtrusive tale,— I loved this untouch'd flow'ret of the vale.
COMMITTEE OF THE LATE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
There are circumstances attending the proceedings before the Committee of the House of Commons, appointed to hear evidence and report on the case of Mr Buckingham, which deserve, and will be made the subject of exposure. But, from various obstacles, the official copy of the Evidence has not yet been obtained; and we are unwilling to trust entirely to notes, however accurate, where the documents themselves can be quoted. The delay of a few weeks is not material, compared with the superior importance of accuracy. But we will venture to say, that by the publication of a portion of the evidence and documents in question, a scene will be exhibited to those who have not had the misfortune to witness or be a party to such proceedings, which will both surprize and inform. The hitherto secret despatches of the Bengal Government to the Court of Directors here, will also be placed under review ; and, from the whole of these, we think it will be shown that a more mean, cowardly and dishonourable scheme of premeditated injury to a political opponent, than that planned and executed by the Government of Bengal towards the proprietors of the Calcutta Journal, was never practised in any age or country, or by any persons having the least pretensions to the character of statesmen or gentlemen.
Among the recent publications interesting to Oriental readers may be mentioned the second volume of Mr. Frazer's Travels, including his stay in the neighbourhood of the Caspian Sea; a History of the Mahrattas by Captain James Grant Duff, of the Bombay Army; a new translation of Bernier's Travels in the Mogul Empire; and a Letter to Sir Charles Forbes, Bart. M. P., on the Administration of the Affairs of India, by a Civil Servant. We have procured also a copy of Mr Wheatley's second Letter to the Duke of Devonshire on the Colonization of India,—of each of which, we hope to be able to give some account in our next. Sir John Malcolm's improved edition of his Politicil History of India has not yet appeared at the moment of our writing this, though it is announced for immediate publication; nor have we yet obtained a perfect copy of Captain Grindley's Costume and Views in Western India.