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story ran that every night, clad in her Moorish garb, she appeared by the side of the fountain in the patio (the square of grass with its vase-surmounted pedestal in Earthbound'), in the hope of being seen by some Christian, at whose hands she might receive baptism and thus be enabled to rest in peace. Generations roll away; and at length a maiden, who despairs of the faithfulness of her lover, sits down one midsummer night disconsolate by the fountain side. The poor little damsel's heart was overladen with sad and tender recollections, her tears began to flow, and slowly fell drop by drop into the fountain. By degrees the crystal water became agitated, until a female figure, richly clad in Moorish robes, slowly rose to view.' Like Edmund Coventry, the Rose of the Alhambra the next morning relates her experience to her aunt, and like him is told that she must have been dreaming. Like him also, she resolves on seeing the gentle lady again, if it be possible. That what I have seen is no phantasy of the brain,' said she to herself, I am confident. If indeed it be the spirit of the gentle Zorayhayda, which I have heard lingers about this tower, of what should I be afraid?' Her hope is realised. The vision excites in her mind a strange tumult of feelings, but she is reassured by the soft and plaintive voice of the apparition, and the sweet expression of her pale, melancholy countenance.' The Moorish lady asks if the Maiden will undertake the task of breaking the spell by pouring over her the waters of baptism and uttering the holy words?
'I will,' replied the damsel, trembling. Come hither, then, and fear not. Dip thy hand in the fountain, sprinkle the water over me, and baptize me after the manner of thy faith: so shall the enchantment be dispelled, and my troubled spirit have repose.' The damsel advanced with faltering steps, dipped her hand in the fountain, collected water in the palm, and sprinkled it over the pale face of the phantom. The latter smiled with ineffable benignity. She dropped her silver lute at the feet of Jacinta, crossed her white arms upon her bosom, and melted from sight, so that it seemed merely as if a shower of dewdrops had fallen into the fountain.
In this legend we have the essential features and some even of the minuter details in the story of Earthbound.' It would be a matter therefore of no little interest to learn whether Mrs. Oliphant has found this tale localised in any English spot; in what shape it first came to her knowledge; and whether there is any clue towards tracing its history. Because it resembles in greater or less degree the Alhambra story, it by no means follows that it is a direct importation from Spain; but, on the other hand, no peculiarities of local colouring will suffice, of themselves, to prove that it is of strictly English origin. The features of The Ghost of Lew Trenchard' seem to be absolutely distinctive; and Mr. Baring Gould relates with reference to it a circumstantial tale which might deceive any but the most wary. A young man who had landed from America soon after the death of Madame Gould was riding home to Tavistock.
It was a clear moonlight night, and as he passed through the Lew valley,
with the white rime lying thick on the grass, he noticed a newly ploughed field, in which the plough had been left. On this was seated a lady in white satin, with long brown hair floating down her shoulders. Her face was uplifted and her eyes were directed towards the moon, so that Mr. Symonds had a full view of it. He recognised her at once, and taking off his hat, he called out, 'I wish you a very good-night, Madame.' She bowed in return and waved her hand, the man noticing the sparkle of her diamond rings as she did so. On reaching home, after the first greetings and congratulations, he said to his aged parents, 'What do you think now? I have seen that strange Madame Gould sitting on a plough this time o'night, and with frost on the ground, looking at the moon.' All who heard him started, and a blank expression passed over their countenances. The young man, seeing that he had surprised them more than he had anticipated, asked what was the matter. The reply was, 'Madame was buried three days ago in Lew Church.'
In this story Mr. Baring Gould sees a legend which in its essential features is of great antiquity, and he asserts in plain words that Madame Gould, a lady who died towards the close of the eighteenth century, is unquestionably an ancient Saxon goddess (the German Frau Holle) who has fallen from her pedestal and undergone anthropomorphism and localisation.' Such instances, he adds, although rare in England, are common enough in Norway. It would be interesting to learn whether the framework of Earthbound' has been provided by any like process; nor must it be forgotten that it is strictly the framework only which is a matter of scientific interest. The details may vary indefinitely; but the myths already examined must surely suffice to show that the divergences of stories manifestly cognate may be profoundly astonishing.
GEORGE W. Cox.
FEW weeks ago the writer of this paper was conversing with Mr.
A Bonham Carter, the Secretary to the Nightingale Fund. The
writer observed that he had always had a preference for the Nightingale, as opposed to all other so-called 'systems of nursing,' because long experience proved it to be founded upon business principles. Mr. Carter's reply to this remark explains the controversies at present vexing the hospital world with epigrammatic truth: Don't call it the Nightingale system! Miss Nightingale repudiates any patent rights in any particular system, as her sole object is to promote everywhere the progress of good nursing. In short, the so-called Nightingale system is really nursing on common-sense principles.' Every hospital committee can easily secure good nursing at their institution, and they will no more need the promptings of any particular system than a doctor needs patent medicines.
Yes! that is exactly what the public ought to be made acquainted with at the present time. Hospital nursing can be efficiently carried out in every institution, if the managers only display a fair amount of common sense. This is proved by many experiences, but perhaps the most convincing is that of Miss Nightingale herself. On her return from the Crimea, she was very anxious to improve the nursing arrangements of British hospitals. With this object she personally visited and investigated the systems in force at all the larger hospitals. As the result of her inquiries and observation, she came to the conclusion that Mrs. Wardroper had brought the nursing at St. Thomas's Hospital to a higher pitch of perfection than any other matron or superintendent, not excepting the lady superiors of the nursing sisterhoods who had charge of King's and University College Hospitals at that time. Realising this, she conferred with the Governors of St. Thomas's Hospital, and, with the cordial support of the treasurer, Miss Nightingale was allowed to establish there a school for training nurses, and to place it under the direction of the matron, Mrs. Wardroper. In doing this Miss Nightingale had no idea of upsetting the arrangements which had been adopted by Mrs. Wardroper, although she felt that improvements were in several respects possible. On the contrary, she cordially fell in with existing arrangements, and with their aid, and by degrees, Miss Nightingale founded what is now recognised all the world over as the greatest school of English Nursing. Miss Nightingale did not care for the triumph of her own particular crotchets, views, systems, what you will. She simply desired to make English nursing better and better, until it gradually became worthy of the reputation of a great people. Others have started special systems-sisterhoods,
metropolitan and national associations, training schools, and other high-sounding organisations for the promotion of high-class nursing -and have, as a rule, signally failed to meet the wants of these busy times in which we live. Why? Because they have fought for the triumph of personal influence, and not solely for the steadily developed progress of right principles of nursing. Hence it is not surprising that whereas a simple matron of the Nightingale class was enabled to gradually make the nursing of a workhouse hospital like the Highgate Infirmary as efficient as any in the kingdom, without any conflict whatever, the ladies superior and superintendents-general have all more or less failed to accomplish even moderate reforms without many bitter conflicts, often ending in numerous resignations, bringing serious monetary losses to the institutions concerned.
All that is really required for nursing reform anywhere is money, a little patience, and the services of a gentlewoman possessed of some experience and much common-sense. Such a woman, with tact, discreet action, and a regard for the rights and feelings of others, will effect the needful changes in two years' time to the satisfaction of everyone, and to the great advantage and comfort of the hospital patients, who, after all, are, or ought to be, the chief consideration. This much Miss Nightingale has proved to demonstration by training a numerous body of ladies who have introduced good nursing into English hospitals in all parts of the country, without bitterness and without strife. Yet it is unfortunately too common an experience nowadays that a lady who is deputed to introduce some particular and doubly warranted system of nursing into an English hospital where there is cause for complaint, signals her advent by some radical and specially aggressive changes which she is pleased to say it is necessary to carry through at once in order to assert her lawful authority, and to take up a just position in the institution. It will be noticed in all such cases that the objectionable step has always been taken to assert the authority and to assure the right position of the individual. It is not to introduce good or even better nursing, it is not to enable the patients to be better taken care of, but it is invariably to assert a principle of personal government. The writer's experience leads him to believe that hospital committees or treasurers will do well to regard the manifestation of this symptom at the outset as deserving of grave suspicion, as indeed is every system which does not sink the personal identity of the individual in the good of the cause it nominally professes to advance.
It is now twenty years since attention was first attracted to the reform of Hospital Nursing. At that time people were beginning to feel that the days of Sairey Gamp' ought to be numbered. The writer well remembers how frequently the doctor on entering the ward failed to observe a nurse in readiness to receive and attend him. Whilst hesitating as to his course, a figure would rise from the floor at the end of the ward, would drop a scrubbing-brush into the bucket beside her, and would unroll her apron. Then, coming
No. 607 (No. CXXVII. N. s.)
forth from her corner, she would address the physician, whilst still smoothing down her apron, with the words, Yes, doctor!' The scrubber and the nurse were in those days one and the same person in the majority of English hospitals. Of course there were exceptions, but as a rule the two offices were combined. Of the night nurses it may be said that they were for the most part non-resident, that they came on duty at 8 P.M., and that they left at 9 in the morning. Having been engaged for the greater part of the day in domestic duties at home, and being allowed no food by the hospital authorities, it is not surprising that this class of nurse was paid half-a-guinea a week for consenting to sleep in the hospital ward instead of in her own bed at home. The writer has known instances where it has been seriously argued that it was not necessary to have a smart nurse for night duty, because, forsooth, there was so little nursing to do at night. And yet it is when darkness approaches that patients become, as a rule, worse, and in bad cases life itself may be sacrificed because the skilful hand is not ready to apply the needful relief. Nevertheless, the above sentiment as to night nurses was a popular axiom twenty years ago, and hence the non-resident night nurse was the rule in our hospitals and not the exception.
In Scotland the nursing has always until quite recent years been worse than in England. Ten years ago the nursing at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, for example, was in all respects unsatisfactory. But an excellent system is now in force there, as we shall see later on.
In Ireland even now hospital nursing needs great improvement. Four years ago the writer paid his first visit to Ireland. Accustomed to the filth of many of the lower quarters of English cities, he was yet quite unprepared for the horrible uncleanness of Dublin. The hospitals, with the exception of the Mater, were abominably dirty; the floors, the bedding, everything disgusted and pained him greatly. Had some of them been situated in Russia or Siberia, the condition of affairs could scarcely have been worse. Since then, however, thanks to Dr. Grimshaw and the Dublin Hospital Sunday Committee, hospital management has greatly improved, and, judging by the experience of a second inspection last winter, the writer believes that ultimately the filthy will be made clean even in that dear but dirty city. In Dublin at the present time better nursing and better nurses are everywhere being sought for and secured. Briefly, then, nursing reform has actively progressed in England since 1860, in Scotland since 1870, and in Ireland during the past four or five years. Everywhere there are encouraging signs of a needful awakening, and the best results may, therefore, be speedily anticipated.
What, then, are the merits claimed for the modern system of nursing, and in what does it consist? Briefly, that every woman, before she assumes any position of responsibility in the nursing department of a hospital, shall be properly trained for the work. No matter how high or how humble the duties connected with her