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cultures which, when the specific serum was used alone, caused early death. He proposed, therefore, that fresh normal ox serum should be injected together with the antibacterial serum, so as to add a fresh supply of the "complement."

Bokenham, who was one of the first to make a multivalent antistreptococcic serum, and who obtained good clinical results with it, came to the conclusion, that the more freshly prepared it was the better were the results obtained; and that the serum had become inert after the elapse of three to four weeks.

7.

Unsuccessful as well as successful cases should be recorded, but it is to be feared that so long as the surgeon remains merely human this last condition will continue to be the hardest one to comply with.

If all these points are considered just, then I think it must be admitted that the antipyogenic sera have not yet had anything like a fair trial; nor will they until those responsible for their administration approach the subject in a scientific spirit, bearing in mind that the essential conditions are:

Accurate bacteriological investigation.
Selection of appropriate cases.
Employment of the appropriate antiserum.
And adequate and early dosage.

P. W. G. SARGENT.

Christmas in the Hospital.

As the Patients said, Christmas this year was one large beanfeast! Early in December sisters and staff-nurses were busy buying Christmas "what-nots," and even probationers showed signs of suppressed excitement, whilst Timothy's tail and bark ceased not in their action night or day!

In spite of the nfluence of the nouveau art on the decorations, we were glad to see that our old friend the mistletoe was not omitted in appropriate places. The decorations in one particular ward struck us as being exceptionally artistic-we refrain from naming the ward. [No correspondence on this matter will be answered.-Ed.] The decorations were got up, not without the usual list of casualties, with an occasional rest for ever welcome tea.

Entertainments throughout the week were quite up to the usual standard, which is synonymous with excellence. Two pianolas were very kindly lent by the Pianotist and Apollo Piano-player Company, and were much appreciated; the R. A. P. was a delicate exponent of many charming pieces on these instruments, and was invariably vociferously encored. We hear that he is now seriously considering taking up the musical profession; his temperament and appearance lend credence to this rumour.

The dulcet tones of the carols rolled harmoniously down the length of the hospital like some soft summer wave on seductive golden shore! A suffused blush over each and every cheek was an acknowledgment which fully repaid the uproarious applause of the enchanted audiences. Sie transit gloria!

Our ever-green friend, Mr. Lionel Brough, delighted all with stories told as he alone can tell them, and was supported by an able company of friends. The pierrots were, as usual, to the fore, and if diminished in number, made their presence felt not one jot the less.

The Curette (by kind permission of the Vicar) told his only joke one hundred times, with one result in every case-they roared! We now know how a mushroom can grow in a wrda, but deprecate the practice of some members of our staff bringing their motor-cars, whether the cheap hired variety or the Panhard, into the wards.

A

Miss Polly O'Myelitis was enough to make a cat laugh (with apologies to Charley's Aunt), and her prescriptions for colly-wobbles might well be given a trial in our medical wards. Her duets with the Curette never failed to amuse and were nightly encored. topical poet and composer had been hard at work, and we believe that a member of our resident surgical staff was responsible for the rousing refrain and words of the ode to St. Thomas's. May we hear more from his pen !

We must take this opportunity of undeceiving our readers as to the sex of the Pierrot who took the part of a Native Queen. She was not a lady.

Among the more serious items, we would especially mention the "Venetian Song," exquisitely sung by Miss Polly O'Myelitis and Sir Felix Mas. The baritone songs of the latter were much appreciated; and the chorus sang out well towards the end of each evening.

To Uncle Clonus the worthy conductor is due all praise for leading so successful a troupe, and we tender him our best thanks

for adding so materially to our happiness this Xmas.

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The Knife.

IT

was a dismal evening in November. A drizzling rain rendered the appearance of the dreary landscape even more depressing and cheerless, and the sodden rooks cawed a melancholy dirge as the last rays of the yellow sun smattered feebly on the leafless boughs of the dejected and stunted trees. All Nature seemed drenched and overwhelmed by a damp and dispiriting atmosphere of gloomy desolation.

The weather was rotten.

There was an ominous air of brooding unrest and anxious expectancy in the awed manner of the postman as he delivered the letters at the castle lodge. Even the village constable held his breath and walked on rubber-shod heels past the gates, whilst within the courtyard the very ostlers sank their voices to a low hiss as they mechanically groomed the Ducal stud. For there was death up at the Great House.

Death, or something deuced like it.

All day long the servants had passed to and fro on their duties with hushed mien, or had gathered in whispering groups in the corridors. My Lady's maid, with red-rimmed eyes and choking voice, had thrice appeared in the kitchen to replenish a golden bowl with bouillon. Thrice that morn and thrice that afternoon had she come, and thrice again that evening were the perspiring cooks to be cheered by the thought that their loved mistress could still take nourishment.

The Eminent Specialist had just arrived from London. His silk hat, warm from his head, lay on the ground where he had cast it, the soft nap wafted idly by the evening zephyr. The carriage which had brought him still rocked on its springs. The horses lay exhausted on the gravel.

The coachman drank beer in the Servants' Hall.

Within her darkened chamber, prone on the couch reputed with such evident truth to have been once sat on heavily by the great Cromwell, lay the Lady Ermyntrude, pronounced Gertrudine, and spelt Gwladwys.

Hers was no ordinary type of beauty. Her hair was a trifle too scanty, her teeth a little too irregular and decayed, her complexion a thought too pathological, her single eye a shade too staring, her platysma a suspicion too loosely hung, her nose a fragment too disjointed to form a really perfect loveliness, yet her strongly emphasised eyebrows fixed in raised astonishmnt ever since her mirror first gave 'ghast pourtray to her wondering gaze stamped

her with that scornful air of proud regurgitation ever the birthright of the haughty Vasalines, now, alas! clouded by the pallid dignity of a disease which for years had dogged her footsteps.

She was a rum 'un to look at.

His Grace the Stoup of Burgundy feverishly strode the apartment in an agony of suspended frenzy and ill-suppressed agitation. Where now was the austere aristocrat ironically cheered by his cabman as he disdainfully ascended the steps of his Club in Pall Mall? Where now the majestic deportment and imperious presence that had opened local bazaars like so many oysters? Where now the proud noble whose fiery glance necessitated the use of tinted. glasses when speaking to one of inferior rank?

Clean off it.

To and fro he walked, now glancing with paternal tenderness at the figure of his only daughter, now gazing with nervous anxiety at the silent figure of the great man near the window.

Suddenly he stopped; his hoarse and blood-shot voice rang through the room :—

"Must it

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His voice broke into rusty fragments. The varnish on his boots rose into blistered ovals. His grey locks fell into tangled knots. His coronet of gilded steel bittered deep into his engorged brow. His teeth closed over his nether lip until bone met ivory. The effort to control himself was almost beyond even his iron will. Again the jagged syllables forced their way through the tense atmosphere.

"Must it

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A pitiful moan burst from the chalkstoned lips of the patient. A nurse bent aside the silver spoon found embedded in her mouth at birth and administered a few drops of some amber-coloured cordial. The effect was magical as the life-giving fluid coursed its way through her veins. Her features twitched, her limbs moved convulsively, her eye gleamed, her teeth chattered and she gave utterance to a few disjointed words as the nurse hastily mopped her chin and neck. Then once again she sank back into coma.

"Must it be

the knife?"

The grim, gaunt figure at the window turned slowly round. The shrewd yet kindly eyes assumed a piercing expression, the massive jaw set with plaster like firmness, the genial dewlap stiffened into professional severity.

"It must be

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He paused and flicked a stray streptococcus from his sleeve, raised his head and clasped his hands behind his back. The

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