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and going out of the world. For Mrs.
Crapper is as often an attendant upon the
sunset as upon the sunrise of life.

There is also the Indian Nurse, the Ayah, a
brown female in crumpled white muslin, who
comes over, with her nurse child, or baba, with
Mrs. Captain Chutney in the Puttyghaut East
Indiaman, or with the widow of Mr. Mofuzzle
of the civil service overland. Her
performances in England are chiefly confined to
sitting upon the stairs, shivering and chattering
her teeth pitiably, and uttering heart-rending
entreaties to be sent back to Bengal. Back
to Bengal she is sent in due time, accordingly,
to squat in a verandah, and talk to her baba
in an unintelligible gabble of Hindostanee
and English, after the manner of Ayahs

There is a lady of the nurse persuasion
who does not want a place in the Times, but
who is not above wanting nurse children.
The custom of putting children out to nurse
is decidedly prevalent. The present writer
was "raised " in this manner. I have no
coherent remembrance of the lady, but I bear
yet about me an extensive scar caused by a
humorous freak of hers to tear off a blister
before the proper time. She also, I understand,
was in the habit of beating me into a
very prismatic condition, though, to do her
justice, she distributed her blows among her
nurse children and her own with unflinching
impartiality. The termination of my
connection with her was caused by her putting
me into a bed with two of her own children
who were ill of the measles; following out
a theory she entertained, that it was as well
that I should catch that complaint then as in
after days; on which occasion I was rescued
from her and conveyed home, wrapped up in
blankets. I have also an indistinct
remembrance of having been, in some stage of my
petticoathood, introduced to a young gentleman
in a trencher cap and leather breeches,
on the ground that he had been my foster-brother.
Carrying memory farther back, and
remembering sundry cuffs and kicks, and
mutual out-tearings of handfuls of hair, I had
some faint idea that I really had been
acquainted with the gentleman at some time or

The person who takes children out to
nurse resides at Brentford, or at Lewisham,
or Sydenham. Her husband may be a
labourer in a market-garden, or a suburban
omnibus driver, or a river bargeman. She
may be (as she often is) a comely, kindly,
motherly woman, delighting to make her
little knot of infants a perfect nosegay of
health, and beauty and cleanliness; or she
may be (as she very often is, too) an ignorant,
brutish, drunken jade; beating, starving
and neglecting her helpless wards, laying in
them the foundation of such mortal maladies,
both physical and moral, as years of
after-nurture shall not assuage. And yet we take
our nurses, or send our babies to nurse, blindfold,
although we would not go out partridge
shooting with a gun we had bought of Cheap
Jack, or adventure our merchandise in a ship
of which we knew not the name, the tonnage,
and the register.

One more nurse closes my listthe hospital
nurse. Mrs. Pettifer's high-blown pride may
have, from over distension, at length broken,
and the many summers she has floated " in
a sea of glory " may, and do, find a termination
sometimes in the cold, dull, dark pool
of an hospital ward. Yet power has not
wholly passed away from her; for, beyond
the doctors, to whom she must perforce be
polite and submissive, and the students,
whom she treats with waggish complacency,
she is prima donna assoluta over all with
whom she comes in contact. Mrs. Pettifer,
formerly feared and obeyed by the Candyshire
vassalage, is here Nurse Canterbury or Nurse
Adelaide, still feared, still obeyed in Canterbury
or Adelaide Ward. Controller of physic,
of sweet or bitter sauce for food; smoother
of pillows, speaker of soft or querulous words,
dispenser of gall or balsam to the sick, she
is conciliated by relatives, dreaded or loved
by patients. I often think, when I walk
through the long, clean, silent wards of an
hospital (nothing, save the lower decks of
a man-of-war, can come up to hospital order,
neatness, and cleanliness) watching the patients
quietly resigned, yet so expressively suffering,
the golden sunlight playing on their wan
faces, the slow crawling steps of the
convalescents, the intermittent cases sitting
quietly at their beds' foot, waiting patiently
till their time of torture shall come, hearing
the monotonous ticking of the clock, the slow
rustling of the bed-clothes, the pattering foot
of the nurse as she moves from bed to bed,
consulting the paper at the bed-head as to the
medicine and diet, and slowly gurgling forth
the draught: I often think of what an
immense, an awful weight of responsibility
hangs in this melancholy abode upon the
nurse. The doctor has his vocation, and
performs it. He severs this diseased limb,
and binds up that wound. The physician
points out the path to health, and gives us
drugs like money to help us on our way. But
it is for the nurse to guide the weary
wanderer; to wipe the dust from his bleared
eyes and the cold sweat from his brow; to
moisten his parched lips; to bathe his swollen
feet; to soothe and tend and minister to him
until the incubus of sickness be taken off and
he struggle into life a whole man again.

Sometimes the hospital nurse is not an
aristocrat in decadence, but a plebeian
promoted. Often the back streets nurse, at the
recommendation of the doctor, changes the
venue of her ministrations from Carnaby
Street to Saint Gengulphus's or Saint Prudes.
The hospital nurse is ordinarily hard-working,
skilful, placable, and scrupulously cleanly;
but she has, too frequently, two deadly sins,
She drinks, and she is accessible to bribery

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