For time is like a fashionable host,
That slightly shakes his parting guest by the hand,
And with his arms outstretch'd as he would fly,
Grasps in the comer: welcome ever smiles,
And farewell goes out sighing.
Troilus and Cressida, 111, 3, 165-169
COMPARED with the British Sanitary Commission, said Bellows, the United States Sanitary Commission was born "paralytic." In the beginning the commissioners consulted the past to learn the conditions of people herded together in unhygienic quarters; but only the findings of inspectors could reveal the actual state of Union troops; and only theory hand in hand with inquiry could say what ought to be maximum security and efficiency. In direct relations with army officers the Commission tried to carry out the commands of the Medical Bureau; in conjunction with state governments and benevolent societies it worked for uniformity in plans and cooperation in action; for such extra purposes as the law did not provide, it had to find money and supplies.
Time and emergencies brought new duties, as the commission began to distribute supplies and develop the functions of relief. Before the end of 1861 it was recording the burials of those who had died in hospitals and battles. Enrolled as associate members, doctors prepared medical monographs, which reported the latest findings in medicine and