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Florence Nightingale Letters

[Letter, Florence Nightingale to Mary Mohl, April 18, 1870] Nightingale, Florence, 1820-1910 Apr 18, 1870

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 A.13 Signed letter from Nightingale to Madame Mohl, Pen, Handwritten by Nightingale, dated April 18/70 [cat care] 35 South Street, [printed address] March Park Lane, W. Dearest Madame Mohl How I have longed to write to you. I was put into such a fright by hearing (accidentally) that M. Mohl had been ill that I took my courage, desperate, in both fists & sent to Lady William R.'s. She was so very kind. (I shall love her all my life for it). She sent back your own letter to her by my messenger without a moment's delay & without a word. And then she wrote in the evening to explain. That is true consideration. Ah my dear, my friend, how I wished to write & remind you of what you once said to me that, where one had, as you had, (you said & I know) the Central affection all right, nothing else signified, nothing ["els" crossed out] could shake you. though having the "Central affection" does not extinguish, it rather enhances the other affections. I have thought of you a great deal -- your loss in the D. de Broglie -- in M. de Montalembert. (what was the long illness of which he died?)-- What a long time M. d'Haussonville is in bringing out the remaining Vols: of his "1er "Empire" & "Eglise Romaine." Is that coquetterie? There are only 4 Vols out in England. My poor lady is waiting for it impatiently [I read it all in Revue 2 Mondes.] Since Lady William R. relieved me, I have heard from M. Mohl himself. His letters are always welcome as flowers in spring. But that was doubly welcome -- as you may suppose. Think of me as a poor woman, so overwhelmed with business -- which yet ought not to be overwhelming -- & with increasing illness that she feels all the more while able all the less to express it.....what you know, the invaluable value of M. Mohl's & your life & work -- so invaluable that I can only put as second what you both are to me. April 18/70 Dearest friend. how long has this letter has been in my portfolio -- because it was not worth sending -- and I had no strength or time to write anything to make it worth sending. If you don't write to me, may your conscience be as a bed of thorns & your soul as a pillow of prickles. (tho' I am not usually vindictive) -- at least, not very. Tit, Mufti & Topsy are well. Tit is the kit [1:759] you were so good as to bring last May. Mr. Muff (as the servants call him) & Topsy Mrs. Dicey brought in October. They are not so feeling as the Mr. Tit I once had from you, who, when I was crying for dear Hilary, used to put his arms round my neck. & he not 4 months old. But all cats, bless you, have much more sympathy & feeling than human beings have. Don't you remember X de Maistre, after telling the offers of service, the professions of affection his friends have made him (who now never come to help him or remember his existence) – (oh my dear, how I have felt that!) adds: "Ma chère Rosine" (Rosine is his dog) "qu'il ne m'a jamais fait d'offres de service, me rend le plus grand service qu'on paisse rendre a l'humanité ; de m'aime il jadis, et m'aime encore aujourd'hui (for X. de maistro read 'Flo : for Rosine' read 'Tit'). [continued on first page of letter, written sideways in margin is the conclusion of the letter]: I hope your book is going on & going on well. ever yours dear friend F. Nightingale (Flo)


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