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Mr. Cruncher, glancing over his shoulder, "it's
my opinion that indeed she never will hear
anything else in this world."

And indeed she never did.

                 GOOD SAMARITANS.

WOMEN and children under five years old form
several hundred thousand more than half the
London population. Women and young children,
all the world over, are more numerous than men.
Wherever they may be, or whatever they may
do, they are in man's opinion a peculiar people.
Among the clumsiest male stammerers of
ignorance, the women move, knowing more
than their lords, talking a dozen times as
much, but uttering far less of what is in

We laugh at the woman's tongue, and wonder
when a woman keeps a secret; but every true
woman keeps a box of choice reserves for her
own private indulgence. The man's mysteries are
not hers; if he cannot keep them to himself
let him expect them to be blown abroad. Her
own secrets of love, of loss, of self-denial, of
unsuspected suffering, no woman, exposes
altogether, even to her nearest friend. There never
lived a husband happy in the true love of his
wife, who fairly knew all the depths of her
mind about him. Everyman profits stupidly by
the wise little perceptions that arise so quietly
and have no utterance except in deeds, of which
we vaguely ascribe the fitness to a special faculty
called woman's tact. Women, in short, keep to
themselves four-fifths of the secrets of society,
and do it with a winning air of frankness all
their own. A man with a secret will be stony
or portentous, or provokingly suggestive; he
will keep his mouth shut ostentatiously. A
woman is too absolutely secret to set up a public
sign over whatever may lie buried in her mind.
She gossips, prattles, pours out what she does
not care to hold, with such an air of unreserved
simplicity that all mankind is mystified, and
says, in friendly jest, "A woman only hides what
she don't know."

Among the uneducated poor, this difference
between the woman and the man is most
conspicuous. The innate powers of her sex place
her at once upon an eminence which man can
only reach by education. She must needs often
be tied to one in whom there is not the grain ol
understanding requisite to the formation of true
sympathy. By far the greater number of the
wives of unskilled labourers and mechanics live
more or less happily, and more or less conscious
of the hidden life within them, having such a
seal upon their minds and hearts.

Let them fall sick and the truth of this is
evident. The sick woman becomes nervously
sensitive. Though she may be surrounded with
all that a man's wit and wealth and love can
furnish, she will generally crave for more and more
assurance that her heart's desire for sympathy is
satisfied. The child living on love, dependent,
under Heaven, for all things from day to day
upon the tenderness of those about it, craves,
not less than a woman, for the kind word and
the understanding look. Depressed by sickness,
either a woman or a child, away from home in the
hospital bed, needs, in fact, more than the fine
skill and the rough kindness that are abundantly
sufficient for a man.

But a child's ailments and diseases often are
peculiar to itself. Diseases, also, which are
common to the child and the adult, take in the
child a peculiar course, require a special
habitude of observation, and an extreme vigilance.
There might most reasonably be a body of
physicians wholly devoted to the treatment of
diseases in children. There must reasonably be
hospitals devoted specially to such a purpose,
and the want of such an institution in London,
before the foundation of the Hospital for Sick
Children, in Great Ormond-street, was a large
hole in our manners as a nation. We are not so
civilised as we suppose ourselves to be if,
instead of understanding that we ought to
maintain in London five such hospitals, we
should allow even this one to languish half

Women have also their peculiar diseases, but
for a woman's hospital the demand is not, as for
a child's hospital, absolute and urgent. Little
children, who should have their threescore years
before them, perish by millions because of our
great want of understanding, and death sups
especially upon the young. But women sicken
as men sicken; their obvious peculiarities of
constitution require studyspecial heed to them
produces larger understanding of their
treatmentbut whatever may be done, according to
the present average, a woman lives a little longer
than a man.

A dozen years ago, the founders of the
Samaritan Free Hospital for Women and Young
Children observed that of seventy-five public
institutions for supplying medical relief to the sick
poor, only two very small establishments confined
themselves to the treatment of the weaker sex.
and age. Of women and children under five
years old, there were then in London a million
and a hundred and fifty thousand; the whole
remaining population was only eight hundred
thousand. Women and children had, however,
equal admission with the men to all the charities.
There was, and there is, no hospital or dispensary
for men alone. For children, equal rights
like this did not supply the full measure of
scientific care; for women, as far as concerned
science, they were not inadequate. Increase has
indeed been made to medical and surgical
knowledge by the physicians and surgeon at this very
Hospital for Women of which we now speak.
Nevertheless, hospitals for women have mainly to
rest their claim to support, on the fact that
a sick woman requires something more
than food and medicine. Particular regard
should be had to the ease and solace of her

In a great, general hospital, the natural
secretiveness of a woman is increased. She is thrust
back upon herself. Although lodged in a ward