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 great ceremonial, for yet another new hospital, which was to be larger and even to have two storeys. Twenty years later, when more than half a million guilders had been spent on it, it still was not quite ready.36
But this expensive new building could not bring improvement in medical care either. The number of hospitalized 'impotenten' fluctuated greatly and this may point to high mortality or to rapid turnover through recovery, though the latter is less likely. In 1779 for example the new hospital at a given moment had 175 patients, four years later only 118, while in 1789 no fewer than 353 sick men were to be found there. The naval officer Vaillant, who visited the Cape in 1789, gave the hospital a very poor press in his letters home: the sick were rarely washed or changed, those recovering were soon used for all kinds of services without having been discharged as patients, so that the hospital keeper could continue to pocket the rations, and the building was used at the same time as a barracks for soldiers in good health.3 7
The shortages of soldiers and seafarers with which the VOC was faced in the eighteenth century, induced the directors as well as Batavia to put pressure on the Cape government to place recovered men on the ships as soon as possible. In 1778 Batavia asked how it came about that in the preceding year 640 men had disembarked at the Cape from outward bound ships, while only 390 had embarked again. The governor and council replied that of those 640, mostly sick, men, 52 had died, while a number of these sailors had to replace seafarers serving at the Cape, since the latter had been placed on undermanned homeward ships. Yet it appeared possible to meet the Hoge Regering halfway, and with the fluyt HOOP 200 military were sent to Batavia. As a result of this move the Cape government was not able to meet the request, received soon afterwards from the Republic, to supply the ships CERES (4310) and AMSTERDAM (4312) with an extra 100 men on their way to Ceylon.3 8
For those in good health the Cape was a much more pleasant sojourn. Masters and senior officers sought lodging with the citizens, although this was not officially allowed, while the crew found recreation in the many inns and ale-houses. It is with good reason that the Cape has been called the Tavern of two seas'.39
The settlement at Table Bay developed in the eighteenth century into a sizeable town, often referred to by foreigners at the end of that century as Capetown. Also at Simon's Bay, that part of False Bay where the ships were anchored, some facilities for crews and ships were installed. In 1774 Stavorinus noted there a small hospital, a storehouse, a slaughterhouse and several dwellings. In 1795, when the British occupied the Cape, these facilities were praised by the English naval commander; according to his description, there were large storehouses, an excellent wharf and crane and a large size hospital.4 0 A post-hol- der was stationed there, who on sighting ships would hoist the same signal flag as used on the Leeuwenkop; this post-holder also took care of the duties performed by the equipage- meester in Table Bay in the reception of ships. There were also small settlements at Mossel Bay and Saldanha Bay and post-holders were employed to assist ships calling at these bays.4 1
36 Boëseken, Nederlandsche commissarissen, 109-112 ; id., Die Nederlandse kommissarisse, 149-150. 37 The letters of Vaillant (28.7.1789) in A R A , coll. Van der Hoop; we thank Mrs. S. Dörr for her
advice on these letters; Jeffreys (ed.), Kaapse Archiefstukken 1779, 181 and 1783, 118.
38 Jeffreys, Kaapse Archiefstukken 1778,23,59,244 and 290. For the voyage of the Hoop see no. 4244. 39Boxer,TheDutchseaborneempire,242. 40Stavorinus,Voyages,II,45;Rodger,'ThebuildingsofSimonstowndockyard'.
41 Van Winter, 'Zuid-Afrika', 30, 42; the activities of the post-holders in Jeffreys (ed.), Kaapse
Archiefstukken 1778, passim.

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