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room, in which the business of the establishment
is carried on at periodical meetings.
The back parlour, in which the shopkeeper
would light his household fire, belongs to the
ladies. It is their committee-room, in which
they meet every week to decide on the best
manner of distributing their own particular
fund for the comfort of the afflicted. They
follow distressed patients from the hospital to
their own homes, and they have regard to wounds
that are not open to the surgeon's eye. The
drawing-room furniture consists of sick-beds,
beside which the skilful physician and the
willing nurse strive to recal women sinking
under the sore burdens of disease and toil, to
cheerful life again.

All the rooms of the house are airy and
lofty, specially supplied with ventilation, and
no one of them containing more than the four
or five beds that can be occupied in it with
perfect comfort. They are thus used as havens of
rest for the sad women to whom the street-door
is freely open. No recommendation from
subscriber, no certificate of any kind, is asked from
in-patient or out-patient. The utmost need of
poverty and sickness is the highest claim to a
place among sick inmates of the house. As
out-patients, all poor women and children may
come, or be brought, showing no more than the
real need of help as their sufficient claim upon
this institution for obtaining it. Up-stairs there
is a well-appointed operating room, where
remarkable success has attended one of the most
serious operations to which women alone become
subject. Down-stairs, with a distinct entrance,
there have been specially constructed, waiting-
rooms, a dispensary always open, and
consulting-rooms, which are crowded on stated days
with out-patients.

Besides the gentlemen to whom the hospital
is especially indebted for services in these
departments, two eminent physicians, and an
equally eminent surgeon, give their care to the
in-patients: four undertaking to wait in turn on
the out-patients. Of course, also, the Ladies'
Committee furnishes gratuitous help to
distressed women during their confinements, under
conditions that exclude mere waste of charity on
the improvident. These ladies, in their back
parlour, are as glad to receive help in gifts of
baby linen, rags, old clothes, and all the
miscellanies of which active charity knows the good
use, as the gentlemen in the front parlour
are glad to have help offered in more current
form and substance. That is all matter of

We are not preaching a charity sermon for the
Samaritans. Our purpose has been simply to
show how easily good may be done by those who
will but set about doing it actively: also to show
that every one among usthe humblest and
apparently least influentialhas it in his power
to make small beginnings that may end in large
results. The growth of the subscription of
shillings, and the room in a back street, into an
institution such as here described, is, indeed,
one of many signs of the good heart, energy, and
perseverance of English people, and not only
of the English; for they are by nature common
to the brotherhood and sisterhood of all


ONE of the dearest friends I have is pleased
to think that he is a staunch Conservative. I
say: to think, for in reality he is no more a Tory
than I am; but he is a quiet man, and
somewhat timorous and shrinking, and much
preferring to go without than to ask for things. A
Reformer must be always asking for things, and
in a pretty loud tone of voice, too. There are
some Rights and Liberties which it is expedient
not to beg the next gentleman, in a soft tone of
voice, to pass, but to stretch our hands boldly
across the table, and take. Still my friend
fancies himself a Conservative. He deprecates
the anarchical tendencies of the age, thinks the
people don't want any more Parliamentary
Reform; opines that education has done more
harm than good to the masses, and that national
schools have ruined the breed of domestic
servants; he admires the landed proprietary as the
best and wisest of mankind, and winces when
you reduce the Duke of Grafton's pension and
the Duke of St. Albans' falconry sinecure to
their abstract merits. He is for Finality; sets
up his flagstaff like Constantine's standard-
bearer with a "Here we had better remain," and
opines, that if the army continues its progress,
it must march eventually to the devil. They
are perfectly harmless, these sentimental
Conservatives, cherishing a generous, chivalrous,
merry England, every rood of ground-maintaining-its-man
Idea, that seems to be clothed in
a blue coat, brass buttons, and top-boots; but
it is only an Idea, like the Jacobite and
Cavalier figments. Do you think Professor Aytoun
would like to meet Grahame of Claverhouse
in the flesh? Do you think Prince Charlie
was at all "bonny" to the valet who helped
him to bed, tipsy, or to the lady favourites
whom he kicked and beat? The way in which
I usually confute my sentimental Conservative
is this. I ask him: "Would you like to
have Grampound and Gatton, the Admiralty
Droits and the Pension List, the Test and
Corporation Acts, and the Penal Laws against the
Catholics, thousand-lashes-by-court-martial
sentences, the Alien Bill, the Spy system, the Corn
Laws, yeomanry butcheries, Lord Eldon's
Chancery Court, the Gagging and Sedition
Laws, and the suspension of the Habeas Corpus
back again? For these were all pure Toryisms
in their time, and their removal was deprecated
by Tories as conscientious and as honourable as
yourself; if they were removed, sentimentalists
said, thirty years ago, the tide must inevitably
roll onward and to the deuce of course."
No; my friend would not have them back, but
he would stop, now. "Insensate," I cry,
"shallow man, whose horizon is at the tip of
your line aquiline nose: we cannot stop. We