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LONDON: PRINTED BY JOSEPH MASTERS AND CO.,

ALDERSGATE STREET,

SISTERS OF CHARITY,

AND SOME VISITS WITH THEM.

LETTER I.

MY DEAR FRIEND,

You tell me you all want Sisters of Charity in England. Truly that is no news; all the civilized world knows it. There has been a voice from the East; a sound that has gone out through all nations where that wonderful paper, “The Times,” can travel. It has been an old idea of mine, one belonging to the bright days of youth, when, by circumstances connected with the trials and sufferings of others, I was first brought acquainted with those useful and friendly creatures, the Sisters of Charity.

And now we have all been thinking of our brave soldiers, of their noble gallant officers; and thus have been led to think of her who would have tended both alike; who would have seen suffering humanity in the one, precisely the same as in the other.

We have, a few of us at least, been thinking of the French Sister of Charity, which some of our troops

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may have seen carried to her grave while encamped at Varna; buried almost with military honours; attended to the tomb by soldiers she had served, some of whom she had watched over, perhaps even saved, in that fearful pestilence to which she herself succumbed, although invested in a panoply which has borne her gallant corps through many a harder conflict. The army of France showed its respect and gratitude, since soldiers formed her funeral escort, and, instead of the helm and sword, laid on her coffin lid a white wreath of flowers.

The sisters have not told me this; I read it, as you probably have done, in an English newspaper. But the women of England are as heroic as the women of France? Yes, I believe so. They too have done what they could ; have wished, and tried to do what many of them could not do. History will certainly record a new fact in the annals of England; not quite new, but new in modern times, Queen Philippa will be said to have found her equal; and the hospital of Scutari, where Christian women came to the help of Christian men who bled for the infidels, will yet be a show place, a place of renown, to which the traveller will be guided by his watchful commissionaire ; and he will look on it and say,– This spot showed to England her necessities; this spot called forth in England the national institute in which it was so defective, the English Sisters of Charity sprang from the blood shed in the Russian

war.

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