The description of Magoosh
In consequence of orders, from the Court of Directors to the Government in India, it became my duty to give some account of the health of the troops employed on the late expedition from India to Egypt, and to describe the prevailing diseases.
The sources of information, to which I had recourse, were the reports made to me, and an extensive correspondence with the medical gentlemen of the army; particularly those employed in the pest-establishments. Besides these, to which[vi] my situation, at the head of the medical department of the army from India, gave me access, other sources of information, regarding the plague, were open to me, as a Member of the Board of Health in Egypt.
Some may think the present a very short, and many may think it an incomplete account; but, I trust, it will not be found incorrect. I have purposely avoided doubtful speculations and hypotheses. Anxious, above all things, to adhere closely to facts, and keep these unmixed with any notions of my own, I have, in most cases, published the extracts from letters to me, without altering a word of the correspondence.
Of the numerous imperfection of these Sketches, I am abundantly sensible. The life of a medical man in the army is at no time very favourable to literary pursuits; mine has been peculiarly unfavourable; and I have had little time[vii] or opportunity, since I first entered the army, to attend to the ornaments of diction. For the last fifteen years of my life; mostly spent in the East Indies, West Indies, or at the Cape of Good Hope; sometimes at sea, sometimes on land; my time has been occupied in a laborious attention to my duty in the army.
Some necessary avocations oblige me to dismiss this tract in a more imperfect form than it might have appeared in, perhaps with more leisure. As it is, it conveyed to government, in India, all the information which they required; and I must mention, that it comes before the public very nearly in the state in which I presented it as a report in India. From materials in my possession, I could have enlarged most parts of it, and rendered the whole more complete; but, when I drew up the following account in India, it never occurred[viii] to me, that my imperfect Memoir would be the only medical account of the Egyptian expedition. I expected, on my arrival in England, to have found complete histories of the climate and diseases of Egypt, during the time that it was occupied by the English, from some of the medical staff of the British army; several of whom were known to be fully equal to the task. If any of these gentlemen should hereafter give to the world the medical history of this renowned campaign, my Memoir may stand in some stead: it gives some facts and it will supply some information to which no one but myself had access.