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Lives of Girls Who Became Famous Sarah Knowles Bolton

Florence Nightingale

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"'Oh, Roger,' cried Florence, 'you are not to hang poor old Cap; his leg is not broken at all.'

"'No, he will serve you yet,' said the vicar.

"'Well, I be main glad to hear it,' said the shepherd, 'and many thanks to you for going to see him.'

"On the next morning Florence was up early, and the first thing she did was to take two flannel petticoats to give to the poor woman whose skirt she had torn up to bathe Cap. Then she went to the dog, and was delighted to find the swelling of his leg much less. She bathed it again, and Cap was as grateful as before.

"Two or three days afterwards Florence and her friend were riding together, when they came up to Roger and his sheep. This time Cap was watching the sheep, though he was lying quite still, and pretending to be asleep. When he heard the voice of Florence speaking to his master, who was portioning out the usual food, his tail wagged and his eyes sparkled, but he did not get up, for he was on duty. The shepherd stopped his work, and as he glanced at the dog with a merry laugh, said, 'Do look at the dog, Miss; he be so pleased to hear your voice.' Cap's tail went faster and faster. 'I be glad,' continued the old man, 'I did not hang him. I be greatly obliged to you, Miss, and the vicar, for what you did. But for you I would have hanged the best dog I ever had in my life.'"

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A girl who was made so happy in saving the life of an animal would naturally be interested to save human beings. Occasionally her family passed a season in London, and here, instead of giving much time to concerts or parties, she would visit hospitals and benevolent institutions. When the family travelled in Egypt, she attended several sick Arabs, who recovered under her hands. They doubtless thought the English girl was a saint sent down from heaven.

The more she felt drawn toward the sick, the more she felt the need of study, and the more she saw the work that refined women could do in the hospitals. The Sisters of Charity were standing by sick-beds; why could there not be Protestant sisters? When they travelled in Germany, France, and Italy, she visited infirmaries, asylums, and hospitals, carefully noting the treatment given in each.

Finally she determined to spend some months at Kaiserwerth, near Dusseldorf, on the Rhine, in Pastor Fliedner's great Lutheran hospital. He had been a poor clergyman, the leader of a scanty flock, whose church was badly in debt. A man of much enterprise and warm heart, he could not see his work fail for lack of means; so he set out among the provinces, to tell the needs of his little parish. He collected funds, learned much about the poverty and ignorance of cities, preached in some of the prisons, because interested in criminals, and went back to his loyal people.

But so poor were they that they could not meet the yearly expenses, so he determined to raise an endowment fund. He visited Holland and Great Britain, and secured the needed money.

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Lives of Girls Who Became Famous
Sarah Knowles Bolton

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