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practitioner, visiting children at their own homes,
could, except under exceptional circumstances,
fulfil such a condition. Even rich
parents would flinch from the cost of so much
care, and even a practitioner who has not
much to do, would still find that he has not
time enough for such a charge.

If we knew all the causes of the terrible
mortality among young children in this
country, we should fill England with hospitals
for children, and the rich would be
almost as ready as the poor to use them. In
them only is it possible for each one of the
little sufferers to be watched even from hour
to hour by an eye specially trained to observe
the turns peculiar to the diseases of a child.
Such diseases are unlike those of adults;
they never are so hopeless, and yet they are
infinitely more beset with risk of unexpected
turns produced by unexpected causes. In
the homes of the poor those unexpected
causes are, in a vague sense, expected hurts.
It is impossible, with the best care, to
protect the child against imprudence and
negligence in some one among a household of
people ignorant and little trained to think,
who often are most dangerous when they
obey only the impulses of love.

And there is not to be put out of sight the
hardness of heart that belongs to the worst
of the ignorant, who know not how to think.
They do not fill a small class. Many are
careless of the child's fate; many desire by
its death to be relieved of an expense and a
restraint; someit would be less than truth
to say a fewensure the child's death by
a deliberate neglect that is equivalent to
murder. Law takes no cognisance of such a
crime. I have fought many a vain battle to
prevent such murders, when there was no
child's hospital in all the land, to which a
little sufferer could have been sent, and
in which any child so perilled might be
saved.

Let the rich also, who would never use a
children's hospital themselves (however wisely
they would act in doing so), remember the
great need there is of special knowledge of
those special classes of disease whereby
children perish. No medical man is
altogether competent to treat a sick child, if he
has not made of the diseases of children a
distinct matter of study, and there is no true
study of disease possible from books alone.
The book is but a guide to observation in the
hospital.

When a Hospital for Sick Children was
first founded in London we were not slow to
urge its value on the public; a few years have
elapsed and now we have Liverpool
distinctly following the lead of London. In
Liverpool an Infirmary for Children was
established in the year eighteen hundred and
fifty-one, which relieved, during last year,
more than eleven hundred little patients, not
without receiving from their grateful mothers
an appreciable contribution in the form of
gifts made to a voluntary fund. Of late it
has been desired partly to convert the
infirmary into that which is yet more urgently
requireda Children's Hospital, in which those
children may be tended who are too ill to be
brought through all weathers daily, or
perhaps irregularly, for such brief notice as can
be paid to them in an out-patient's room.
Eight beds have been furnished. Eight beds
for the sick children of the poor of Liverpool!
Considering that in this movement Liverpool
joins London as a leader; knowing, too, with
what feeble support the children's hospital
in London achieves all the good it does; we
cannot say that the subscription list is
scanty, or that the ladies of Liverpool are
negligent in their supply of books, and toys,
and flowers. Recognition of the value of an
institution of this kind is still imperfect
throughout the country. Every great town
will, some day, possess one, and the multitude
of our little prattlers that now lie dumb in their
graves,—prattling on still, years after death
in our sad hearts,— will be represented among
our children's children by stout boys and
girls growing up ready and able to do their
part in the world's work, side by side, with
those of their brothers and sisters whom the
hand of sickness never touched. Of all things
in life there should be nothing so preventible
as there is nothing on the face of it so
unnaturalas the death of a little child. Yet
it is of all things in life the commonest, the
one we really make, as a community, least
effort to prevent.

           THE POISONED MEAL.
             IN FIVE CHAPTERS.
CHAPTER THE FIFTH. HUSHED-UP.

THE saddest part of Marie's sad story now
remains to be told.

One last lamentable resource was left her,
by employing which it was possible, at the
last moment, to avert for a few months the
frightful prospect of the torture and the stake.
The unfortunate girl might stoop, on her side,
to use the weapons of deception against her
enemies, and might defame her own character
by pleading pregnancy. That one miserable
alternative was all that now remained; and, in
the extremity of mortal terror, with the shadow
of the executioner on her prison, and with
the agony of approaching torment and death at
her heart, the forlorn creature accepted
it. If the law of strict morality must judge
her in this matter without consideration, and
condemn her without appeal, the spirit of
Christian mercyremembering how sorely
she was tried, remembering the frailty of our
common humanity, remembering the warning
word which forbade us to judge one another
may open its sanctuary of tenderness to a
sister in affliction, and may offer her the
tribute of its pity, without limit and without
blame.

The plea of pregnancy was admitted, and,

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