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Lives of Girls Who Became Famous Sarah Knowles Bolton

Florence Nightingale

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In England, in 1832, he became acquainted with Elizabeth Fry. How one good life influences another to the end of time! When he went back to Germany his heart was aglow with a desire to help humanity.

He at once opened an asylum for discharged prison-women. He saw how almost impossible it was for those who had been in prison to obtain situations. Then he opened a school for the children of such as worked in factories, for he realized how unfit for citizenship are those who grow up in ignorance. He did not have much money, but he seemed able to obtain what he really needed. Then he opened a hospital; a home for insane women; a home of rest for his nurses, or for those who needed a place to live after their work was done. Soon the "Deaconesses" at Kaiserwerth became known the country over. Among the wildest Norwegian mountains we met some of these Kaiserwerth nurses, refined, educated ladies, getting in summer a new lease of life for their noble labors.

This Protestant sisterhood consists now of about seven hundred sisters, at about two hundred stations, the annual expense being about $150,000. What a grand work for one man, with no money, the pastor of a very humble church!

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Into this work of Pastor Fliedner, Florence Nightingale heartily entered. Was it strange taste for a pretty and wealthy young woman, whose life had been one of sunshine and happiness? It was a saintlike taste, and the world is rendered a little like Paradise by the presence of such women. Back in London the papers were full of the great exhibition of 1851, but she was more interested in her Kaiserwerth work than to be at home. When she had finished her course of instruction, Pastor Fliedner said, since he had been director of that institution no one had ever passed so distinguished an examination, or shown herself so thoroughly mistress of all she had learned.

On her return to Lea Hurst, she could not rest very long, while there was so much work to be done in the world. In London, a hospital for sick governesses was about to fail, from lack of means and poor management. Nobody seemed very deeply interested for these overworked teachers. But Miss Nightingale was interested, and leaving her lovely home, she came to the dreary house in Harley Street, where she gave her time and her fortune for several years. Her own frail health sank for a time from the close confinement, but she had seen the institution placed on a sure foundation, and prosperous.

The Crimean War had begun. England had sent out ship-loads of men to the Black Sea, to engage in war with Russia. Little thought seemed to have been taken, in the hurry and enthusiasm of war, to provide proper clothing or food for the men in that changing climate. In the desolate country there was almost no means of transportation, and men and animals suffered from hunger. After the first winter cholera broke out, and in one camp twenty men died in twenty-four hours.

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Lives of Girls Who Became Famous
Sarah Knowles Bolton

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