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: When I was seventeen, I heard a call from God. He spoke to me, Mr Milnes. Now, you can laugh if you like. Richard Milnes
: And what precisely did God call upon you to do? Florence Nightingale
: I don't know. That's what torments me. Something more, to be more than a pampered, wealthy, little girl. Somehow, to use the gifts I have to serve, instead of going dancing and to parties.
: Inside the hospital? Florence Nightingale
: Not much to see on the outside. Fanny Nightingale
: You, without asking our permission, went alone into all that filth and squalor? Florence Nightingale
: That's a fair description of it, Mama. How did you know? Parthe Nightingale
: How dare you address mama in that fashion! Florence Nightingale
: Would you have me contradict her and say that it was beautiful? Or that the doctors and nurses were sober? Or that the floors were sparkling and clean instead of filthy and verminous? And that the stench was almost enough to make... Fanny Nightingale
: Florence, that is quite enough!
: Something happened the other day. I think I learned something about myself I didn't know before. I went to Middlesex Hospital. I was drawn there. I wanted so much to learn how to heal the sick. But instead of learning anything or seeing anything, I was frightened and ran away. I want to be brave. I don't want to be a coward. I don't want to be sheltered from the other side of life. I used to think I was called to heal, now I'm certain of it. But I have to learn.
: Don't you see? We have to change our attitudes towards the poor and the sick, and towards women who would go among them and help them. William Nightingale
: But how do you propose to do that? Florence Nightingale
: By example. My example.
: Army regulations should be a matter of common sense! Purveyor
: Well of course, if you think that Madam, you don't know the army.