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TREATMENT OF OPHTHALMIA.
much greater, and the same cause of suppression exists ?
Bleeding is not generally resorted to, unless it assumes a very inflammatory type. Locally, astringent lotions, such as nitrate of silver,* sulphate of zinc, and the medicine of the old pharmacopæias, the aqua saffarina are applied. When perfect cure is not effected, the most usual forms of blemish are slight nebulæ, or opacity, generally in the centre of the cornea, staphyloma of a small portion, or of the whole eye, and total loss of the organ; but cataract is much less frequent than might be expected.
The pharmaceutical department is under the care of the professor of pharmacy, and the students of the college assist in turn to compound medicine, and become acquainted with the practical details of that most necessary branch of medical education. The pharmacy was on a scale of great magnificence ; beautifully clean, in comparison with such establishments in England, and had in it all the most valuable and approved medicines, many of which were prepared in the laboratory by native hands.
I was next transferred to the care of Dr. Sicher, who conducted me through the college and school of medicine, which, as I before stated, forms a part of the building of the hospital, so that the student
AND SCHOOL OF MEDICINE.
arma has but to cross the court from his dormitory to the ward, and can proceed from thence in a few minutes to the dissecting theatre, or lecture-room ; become acquainted with materia medica under the same roof in which he sleeps, and enjoy his morning's walk in the botanic garden beneath his window. Besides this, they are all required to become acquainted with practical operative chemistry, and for that purpose are sent for a certain time to work at the chloride of lime and saltpetre manufactories. This system, added to that of the general medical education here given, is one well worthy of imitation in Great Britain, and reflects no small credit on its founder, Clot Bey.
At the date of my visit there were three hundred students in the college, who were fed, clothed, educated, and paid by the Basha. The dormitories, and other apartments of these young men were clean and airy, and they themselves appeared orderly and attentive. They all wear a uniform; are regularly drilled as soldiers, and rise in rank and pay according to proficiency. The pay
varies from twenty to fifty piasters a month, and they are allowed out of the college once a week, on the Sabbath.
The nominal duration of study is five years ; but the greater number are drafted off into the as long as seven.
The school of medicine consists of seven pro
fessorships, viz.—anatomy and physiology, surgery, pathology and internal clinique, pathology and external clinique, medicine and chemistry, botany and materia medica, and pharmacy. Instruction is given by means of an Arab interpreter, or dragoman; the professor writes his lecture, and it is translated to the class by the interpreter.
The majority of the professors are French, and their salary is somewhat more than £200 a year. They are all obliged to wear the Egyptian uniform, and shave the head, but no sacrifice of religion or principle is demanded ; and, I need hardly remark, that all Europeans, or Christians, are under the protection of their respective flags, and should they be convicted of any misdemeanour, must be handed over to their consul.
The laboratory contained a good chemical apparatus, and the dissecting-room several subjects. This latter indispensable requisite to medical education, it would be scarcely worth mentioning, but that it occurred among a people whose strong religious prejudices prohibited even the touching of a dead body in some cases ; and the introduction of this novel science, was one of the most difficult things Mohammad Alee had to enforce for a long time. He in the first place referred it to the priesthood, who obstinately set their faces against it, declaring it utterly incompatible with the religion of the Prophet of Mekka. The
Basha's answer, that it was his royal wish and pleasure that they should legalize the act, and that, if they did not speedily do so, it was more than probable they themselves should form material for the first experiment in this branch of the practical sciences, soon brought them to reconcile their prejudices with his unbending will.
Attached to the school is a museum, containing the usual anatomical preparations, besides a daily increasing zoological collection, and some good wax models—principally the workmanship of an Arab boy—and under the direction of the anatomical professor, Dr. Sicher. The
of this collection is now an object of much interest, and the most beneficial results may be expected from it by the lover of science, as well as the naturalist. As yet, the want of funds to support this museum has prevented it from being as extensive as it might be, in a country offering so wide a field; but the preparations are well done, and like all such infant institutions, it wisely gives a place to every thing that is offered to it. I should hope, that as many of the animals in it, are not yet introduced into our museums, we might be able to procure some in return for a set of wax models, or some such articles which could not be procured there.
There is a printing establishment connected with the hospital, where several of the most approved works on medical science are translated, and printed in Arabic. The chemical laboratory is a
handsome, spacious apartment, well furnished with apparatus, and all other necessaries; and I was informed by the professors, that it was a science in which the pupils took great interest, and made considerable progress. Besides professional education, general literary and religious instruction is provided for these students. There is a mosque inside the walls, and two or three Ulemas. The Europeans connected with this, and indeed with most of the recent improvements in Egypt complain, that the pupils are removed from their care, and sent into active service too soon. In other departments of the state, they say, this might be passed over, and would eventually find its remedy ; but in this case, it is a serious error, for if it be true of other sciences, that a little knowledge is dangerous, how much more so is it in medicine, where the uneducated, or partially educated are emboldened by that little knowledge to sins of commission in addition to those of omission. I have often heard it said of this, as well as of all the colleges and places of instruction, “Oh, what could you possibly expect from a set of illiterate brutes whom the Basha took but yesterday from the plough, or the Nile bucket; surely, you do not suppose that such persons, without any previous ideas, can be taught science ?” But what other native material had Mohammad Alee than this ?" And although they are at present illiterate, and cannot be expected to have the same ideas as Europeans of that rank in society