Sailor still ill

Surgeon’s journal

The first of this month Jacobus Duinkerken, a sailor from Middelburg, complained to me about diarrhea. I found that he had dysentery. I attempted to purge the body through three scruples of pulverized emetic, and then a soft laxative (Prescription 20). To stop the diarrhea I prescribed medicine of which one or two scruples was given to him in the mornings and evenings. This made it seem recovered, but a day or so later he complained again about severe atrophy. I found mostly slime, however, and little to no blood. After that I again gave him the mentioned laxative (prescription 20). I also give him a big pill (prescription 22).


Prescription 20

R/ Misce fac pulvis [mix and make a powder]

  • Radix rhei tosti [root of roasted rhubarb]: ℈ II
  • Nuces moscatae [nutmeg; in cases of dysentery]: ℈ ß


  • ℈ scruple = 20 grain, so approximately 1,3 g
  • ß = ½ of the given amount

Prescription 22

R/ Misce fac bolus [meng en maak een vettige substantie], in disenteria [in geval van dysenterie]


  • ℈ scruple = 20 grain, so approximately 1,3 g
  • ʒ drachma = 3 scruple, so approximately 4 g
  • ß = ½ of the given amount
  • gr. = grein ; approximately 65 mg