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"To-day I have visited Mrs. M-, the button-hole maker, on Bunhill Fields district, whom ladies at Brighton so kindly help. She had been at work from half-past four o'clock this morning, in order to get finished before five, and would receive about 6d. ; but is thankful for it, as she has had scarcely anything to do for some time, and the little weekly help has been quite a fortune to her. She is still as contented and happy as ever, never a murmur escapes her lips; told me how good the Lord is in raising her up such friends to send her weekly help. She has told her minister about it, and several other -friends, and they rejoice with her. Her little back room was so neat and clean, and on the table was her large-print Bible that she bought after she began to learn to read. She said I must hear her read the 23rd Psalm,-it was her husband's favourite one, and hers too. Her sight is very bad, but she read it through correctly; only a few years ago she did not know a letter.
"She told me she never knew her father as anything but a drunkard; the mother and children were starved, when they might have been comfortable, as he was a tailor, and earned between 27. and 37. a week; latterly he used to pledge the work he got to do. The mother died at 37, in a garret, and soon after they were turned out. This one was the youngest; she slept one night in a cellar, and for a fortnight after in the open fields, which have now been built upon; she was nearly twelve years of age, but had no one to take any interest in her. At length a neighbour one day saw her, and gave her some bread-and-butter, and took her to the workhouse, and she remained there till she was able to take a situation. The father was put in prison for thirty days for his neglect of her; some time after a relation left him 8007., and he was never sober till he finished it, and after it was all gone he used to come to her, while in her situation, begging for bread. At last he died in the workhouse at Shoreditch. The way of transgressors is hard.' She blesses the day she met with her husband, as he was so kind to her. After a time they were both converted, and lived happily together till he went into
consumption and died; and the Lord has honoured her faith, for she told her husband, when he was concerned about what would become of her, that her faith in God was such, that He would never let her want, and she never has. She is a total abstainer, attends her place of worship regularly; has a little district where she distributes tracts on Sunday, and comes to the Mothers' Meeting. She says her only desire now to live is that she may work for the Lord.
JOTTINGS FROM VISITS OF NURSE PIONEERS.
A PERSEVERING NURSE.
NURSE P is very persevering in her work; she takes no excuse from her patients, let the case be ever so dirty. Even as poor J. C--, a very wretched man, who has spent a life of misery and drunkenness, and is now near to its close, and scarcely sensible, so that it is doubtful if he understands what is said, but the truth is spoken to him by Nurse and others; whether it is accepted and believed none can tell. He is like a skeleton, and so neglected that a person in the house said she took a piece of flannel that he had used to wash it, and found it covered with vermin; this Nurse has proved to be true, yet it does not prevent her standing over him as if it was her own relative; and though to-day he would have had her let him lie as he was, and said he was tired, she coaxed the dirty linen from him and left him clean; indeed, anything she wishes he will do, but for no other person. A grateful look at last rewards her, and she is more happy than if she had accepted his excuse and avoided the unpleasant duty.
NURSE R, LAMBETH,
has several cases needing help; one is a severe case of scald. A poor young woman, who works at a City warehouse, had a large kettle of water fall on her legs; they are in a dreadful state. They had, the week before the Nurse had the case, spent 4s. for oil, but did not know how to use it. Since she has attended they have been easier; and the poor patient is so shaken by the
accident, she cries if she thinks it is past time for her to be there, lest she should leave her. The mother is aged; the poor girl needs extra nourishment with so severe a burn, and Nurse says they get little more than bread and tea; and her grief is that she cannot earn her food. A machine, for which she has to pay 2s. 6d. weekly, but cannot use, adds to her trouble. Her mother is a member with the Wesleyans, and is enabled to bear patiently this trial, and told us her daughter said she was sure God had sent Nurse, for they could not have paid for her to be taken to the hospital to have her legs dressed. They were much inflamed to-day, and Nurse kindly said she would go again in the evening and poultice them; the poor girl is afraid of her mother touching them. I trust the patient will, if spared, return to work, a changed character, for she seemed deeply impressed in considering how God had cared for her while she had been careless of Him. (The extra nourishment was given.)
66 THE LAND BEYOND."
One poor woman, Mrs. P-, has had a cruel husband, who thought nothing of turning her out of doors. His ill usage and privation have left her in a very weak state, and quite dependent upon Nurse and her lady. They both do all in their power, which keeps the poor thing from sinking. She said she could not tell what she should have done but for remembering that there was a "land beyond." She left her bad husband some time ago, but he persuaded her to return. She says he is more kind to her, but still selfish; and, though in this weak state, will take what food is in the house when going out, and leave her quite without. She keeps her little family, who are all well-trained, very clean, and her home is also a palace compared with many others.
Mrs. R― is another poor woman slighted by her husband, who told her if she was always going to be ill she had better be dead. The use of one leg seemed almost to be taken away, but Nurse fomented and put bran poultices. When the doctor came he said she had done quite right. This has been continued, and the poor, weak woman seemed more cheerful, and ate some beef
tea with an appetite; then her baby was nicely washed, which goes a great way to comfort these poor, cast-down wives. Then Nurse advised her to try and win her husband back by kindness; and, happening to meet him there, spoke to him. He took it kindly; and the poor woman said he came in and kissed the baby afterwards, and asked her how she was.
The child of Mrs. C
is a few days old, and when born was discoloured by a beating the husband had given his wife a few hours before her confinement; both were carefully dealt with by Nurse.
A long visit was paid to a family named P and Nurse washed and changed twin girls a few days old. In a bed was a sick boy, and in a coffin was the poor mother, who had gradually sunk after her confinement, leaving five young children. The oldest lad had cried and fretted about his poor mother, and made himself ill. He had been a very good son to her. The grandmother is staying with the children, who have a good father.
Nurse is a kind, motherly woman; she is a humble but intelligent worker, knowing just the right thing to do, in a quiet way. One old doctor, last week, where she was of good service to him in taking a dead baby when born, asked the patient, when alone, to whom Nurse belonged? saying he could see she knew her work.
In all the thirteen districts I have had on the Surrey side of London, I have not met with any Nurses working like ours among the poor in their own homes.
"Nurse H- seems to have worked for about 17 or 18 years, either as Bible-woman or Nurse, in the very depressing district of THE MINT. Here are the thieves' and tramps' lodginghouses, with many sad sights of wickedness, and the large slaughter-house yards for old and diseased horses, which are
still allowed in the midst of the homes of the tidy working people. We see such shocking, disgusting sights as we pass the yards, the stones and walls covered with blood, and often a dead horse, or the skins of others, all in sight; and then when the boiling is going on, I need not say what the air of the neighbourhood is like. It is sad to see little children playing near such places, and yet many are glad to live in this neighbourhood to have their rent a little cheaper. I find wounds heal very slowly, and often never heal, in such localities.
"Nurse works very quietly but cheerfully, and is well known and much liked. The last year has been a very trying one to her in her own family, but she says her work helps her to bear her own troubles, for while helping others for the time she forgets herself, and she is ready at any hour to go where wanted, and is much respected by the doctors."
THE BIBLE-WOMAN IN MADRID.
"MY DEAR MRS. R―,
"There is much sickness and trouble amongst the poor during the cold weather here. You will, I know, be glad to hear that our work continues to be as successful and interesting as At the beginning of the year a 'census' was taken in Spain, which required everyone to state their religion. This, being a new regulation, frightened the people much, so for a month we had a great diminution in our sales of Bibles, and could not get admittance into the houses. The poor things were afraid of 'Protestantism.' Especially, too, as at that time the priests were constantly preaching against the false Church and the heretics, as they call us, and distributing little leaflets against reading 'that horrible book the Bible.'
"Soon after the census was taken, the King's marriage took place, previous to which money was given to the poor. So these papers were shown to the priests who distributed the money, that they might know who were Protestants, as they were to receive nothing. They refused one poor old lady of 86 because her grandchild was sent to a Protestant school and her mother came to the Mothers' Meeting.