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Charity; and I believe that the English notion of her is something like that of a Nun, or of something like a widow in weeds, something all in black, with black bonnet and veil, downcast looks, and pallid face, measured steps, tones and gestures.
The primitive Sister of Charity has not a bit of black about her except her shoes. She walks with a very active step, an upright head, and usually a good degree of colour in her cheeks. I have seen some who have brought back that colour even from Africa and China. The Sister of Charity is not a Nun; there is no cloister, no grille in her case ; she wears no veil; she shuns not the face of man, on the contrary, if necessary, she looks straight up to it, and speaks and acts as one who had nothing to fear, and was not naturally given to fear.
The Sister of Charity is not an ascetic; she eats and drinks very much like other people of her Church; the chief difference that I have found out being that she cannot take any refreshment where she visits as a matter of civility; a wise regulation perhaps, but one only made known to me upon trying the experiment; for to tell you the truth all I know of these Sisters has been drawn from personal acquaintance with some of them, and not from in. quiring after their rules and customs, which might appear an impertinent curiosity. The Sister of Charity is not a penitent; not a contemplative being; she has nothing to do with silence, mortifi. cation and seclusion. Except at night, and to sus
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she She walks with a very amesema and usually a good For sheets. I have seen some
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might appear an insentanen