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Etty's big picture. Leave rifle clubs alone, young ladies, and don't meddle too much with Toxopholite societies. The commanding, Field Marshal, Amazonian woman is a rarity. Boadicea had better put up with a whipping, and bring her action for aggravated assault, than head the insurgent Iceni, give battle to the Romans, and end by taking poison ; and I am sure, if the invader were marching on London, that I should be one more to vote-if I had a vote for our dear Queen, and the children, and the treasure, and the bank-books, and the national pictures, being sent north of Trent for safety, while the men went forward to fight; rather than insist on a sort of parody on the famous behaviour of Queen Elizabeth under similar circumstances, and expect that the Sovereign should put on casque and corslet, harangue the troops at Tilbury Fort, and, returning to London, dine off pork and peas at the “ King's Head," to show her “foul scorn" of the French, and her magnanimous stomach against them. Women have a different mission in war, and I believe, did the necessity occur, they would be found once more to be fully equal to its fulfilment. Only with extreme unfrequency are the functions they are called on to perform, belligerent. Sometimes it may happen that a Margaret Douglas must bar the door with her arm; that the Carthaginian ladies must give their hair for bowstrings; that a Maid of Saragossa must point and fire the cannon; that a Jeanne Hachette must drive back
that a Charlotte de la Turnouille must hold her own against the Roundheads; that delicate, tenderly-nurtured English girls, made valiant by peril worse than death, must be among the bravest of the beleaguered in an Indian mud fort, fetch the failing ammunition to the ramparts, serve out the scanty rations, keep watch and ward with, and give life and spirit to, the vexed garrison, and be ready to spring the mine when the last hope is gone, and the Sepoys are pressing
to the assault. But war and tumult evoke and develope more womanly ministrations than these.
If a fair young prince, driven from the throne of his ancestors, hunted like a fox by his enemies, were wandering naked, fugitive, and penniless, but with a price of thirty thousand pounds on his head, I do believe there would be found once more a gently-daring Flora Macdonald to shelter and protect him, and make use of every weapon in her armory of feminine subterfuges to save that comely young head from the headsman's axe. For it is woman's part to assuage the horror and mitigate the black wickedness of war. The first drop of oil was cast on the raging waters of the Crimean strife by the wife of a Russian general, Madame Osten-Sacken, who tended with quite an angelic pity and tenderness a poor little wounded midshipman taken out of the wreck of the Tiger. What had she to do with Hango massacres and Crimean guet-apens, good woman? She only recognised the sacred instincts of long-suffering maternity. Afterwards, the vials of womanly compassion were poured out in abundance on the contending hosts. Now it was the Empress Eugénie and her ladies scraping lint for the wounded. Now it was Cocotte or Babette—some sturdy little vivandière, in scarlet breeches and a white apron, a mob cap on her head, and a keg of spirits by her side-kneeling down by some fainting Zouave, and succouring him amid a rain of bullets. Now it was brave old Mother Seacole, most Samaritan of sutlers, trudging up to the front with her brandy flask, and holding it to the lips alike of plumed staff officer and white-fringed drummer, and nursing big grenadier guardsmen like babies. And now it was the pearl and pride of womanhood, Florence Nightingale, leaving her easel, her Greek Testament, her splendid home, to go forth into the wilderness of war and do good. Ladies of England, Ladies
tirona Fuence de Leite ir I) Eraiter brutal stops, and IIT SIT. DOW LLanolact **11.173; to them with the festy of the Levich, EDİ Bean of Sentari, and the rascal "Ining of a great ETT; to be tritkasingly in the midst of boriste sizbis, ani socais. art stenches, to go thrrgh all th's violence, watcheurass, lotion, with a meek quiet face, calon ere, ani steziy bani. intent only on her Master's business. Did you ever see the &alid springles art in which Miss Sighsicgale rode alimt in the Crimea ?-the comfortless dras they called her
carriage;" Can you imagine the horror of those Crimean and Constantinople hospitals as she first saw them, bare, cheerless, grimy, noisome, without comforts or eren necessaries? Have you any idea of the scenes through which the heroic Woman hai to pass ? A dear friend, now dead, who was in the East when that appalling drama was being played out, told me that he was in a ward of Scutari hospital, when a batch of soldiers wounded at Inkerman were brought to Miss Nightingale and her nurses from the transport which had conveyed the poor fellows across the Black Sea. There was one soldier horribly wounded, and who had suffered more horrible neglect, who, as they laid him shrieking on his pallet, all unconscious of his vicinage, burst into a flood of dreadful execrations and vile language. A surgeon who was
"shocked” by such an unseemly exhibition in the presence of a lady, laid his hand on the poor wretch's arm, and angrily bade him remember where he was, and “ behave himself;” but Miss NIGHTINGALE, who was on the other side of the bed, looked up into the doctor's face with a calm sternness, and said, “Don't you see, sir, that the poor man is in pain, and does not know what he is saying ? Leave him to me.” Indeed, the wounded soldier was raving. I dare say that if he recovered he would have been one of those who would have cut their tongues out sooner than use a coarse or ungainly word while his guardian angel was by, and who would rise in his bed as the Lady with the Lamp glided from ward to ward, to kiss her shadow as it floated o'er his couch. What were curses and revilings in her reckoning? The woman's ears were deaf to everything but the command to do good. Her eyes were blind to everything save the spectacle of suffering humanity before her ; but eyes and ears shall be opened some day to hear a gracious commendation, and see a glorious reward, when you and I, and all the world, the evil and the just, the prevailing tyrant and the oppressed party, shall all appear and receive our symbol.
My dear, you live in the midst of peace and comfort. A quiet round of daily duties is your portion; untroubled by cares or sorrows, it is yours to indulge in harmless and cheerful relaxation. You are called upon to make no great sacrifices, to participate in no great afflictions, to console or assuage no great woes. It is because, while I wish you to be as pretty and engaging and fascinating and merry as nature and competence happily permit you to be; while I would have you girt and fenced about by all due barriers of gentle, staid, and decorous maidenhood, I would still have you remember that in the most refined woman's life there may come stern and terrible actualities; that the proprieties of gentility
and demure behaviour must sometimes be quite overthrown and cast on one side in the performance of your duty towards God and your neighbour. Be, then, well behaved, so far as modesty, humility, cheerful good nature, ready kindness, hatred of meanness and vulgarity go to make the best of good behaviour ; but don't let your too keen sense of the petty proprieties of life allow you to ignore the great and cruel truths by which you are surrounded. Don't be a hypocrite to yourself, and think that existence is one round of frivolity, and urbane tittle-tattle, and punctilious etiquette. Don't let your heart wear gloves. Don't think you have fulfilled all the requirements of politeness when you leave a card on your con. science. Call upon conscience. Insist upon seeing her. Rout her
she is not at home. Keep your veil down when you fancy gentlemen are watching you, as you survey life ; but look at it with your veil up when alone. Try and understand the duties, the perils of your sex. Consider your
sister who is in low or vile estate. Find out how poor women live; how they manage their husbands and children. Study the realities. Don't lecture about them at social science congresses, but lock each Truth up in your heart of hearts, to be made use of in action when the time
And it may come—a time of trial and a time of tribulation—even while you are trying on six-and-a-half gloves at Houbigant's, or inspecting Irish poplins at Waterloo House. Adieu. A bientôt.