out by those who had an interest in exaggerating its dangers—had to give up half his property before being permitted to bury himself for life in the out-of-town places provided by the Church. The omnivorous taste and good digestion of the Church have become proverbial.
The majority of the clerical associations having failed, the seventeenth and still more the eighteenth centuries were far behind former periods in regard to systematic nursing. It has taken a long time between the church institutions, which no longer came up to the intentions of their founders, and the spontaneous efforts of free men and women who felt the necessity of appropriate efforts on a different basis. The history of this slow evolution is very interesting; it is the co-ordinate of the history of a healthy and wholesome individualism in general, after long indifference and chaos.
Schools for training nurses were established in Germany fifty years ago; in Berlin by Dieffenbach, Kluge, and Gedike, and in Göttingen by Ruhstaat. Books to serve the purpose of instructing nurses and the public in general have been written by numerous men and women, some of them, particularly in our days, by celebrities. Gedike himself published a work, fifty years ago, which is a very readable one even now. Passing by Nightingale, who has proved how to become immortal without enjoying high office, or playing on cannon, or tyrannizing nations, or being borne on a throne, let me allude to but a few illustrious names: Nothnagel, who wrote on the nursing of those sick with nerve-diseases; Billroth, who published a book on nursing in general; Esmarch, who taught the first aid in emergencies; and the greatest of the many great men of the century, Virchow, with his many contributions to the literature of the subject, and mainly, in 1869, with a lecture “On the Instruction of Women in caring for the Sick outside the existing Ecclesiastical Organizations.”
This instruction of women in caring for the sick, and the relation of women to nursing as a profession, can be considered from two distinct points of view: first, in its influence upon them; second, in its effects upon the public.
The first consideration is a very important one. The opposition to women stepping out of their sphere, which was meant to be cooking and washing, knitting and darning, begging alms and taking a daily whipping, also getting married and raising a family, has been overcome by common sense and habit. Common sense ceased to understand why or how every woman could or should cook and wash, knit and darn, beg alms, or get whipped or married. And habits are formed and reformed with such rapidity that opposition becomes changed into favor in a few years. It is but little more than a dozen years since women physicians were recognized by the profession; not over half a dozen years since you heard of women lawyers. The female part, and, for that matter, the male part of my audience also, are sorry they heard so much of a