Florence Nightingale Letters

[Letter, Florence Nightingale to Mary Mohl, June 30, 1881] Nightingale, Florence, 1820-1910 Jun 30, 1881

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 SIGNED LETTER FROM FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE TO MME MOHL, PEN [3:205-06] [8:594-95] June 30/81 6. a.m. 10, SOUTH STREET, PARK LANE. W. [printed address] Dearest, ever dearest Madame Mohl I always remember you. I "think of" you always. There is no danger of my "forgetting" you, if it were only for this, that I think of him. And how can you two be apart in my mind? He is living: I never think of him as dead: he is making the infinite progress in God which he did so long for on earth. God is everywhere: and in God he is nearer to us than he was when on earth. It is only of the soul's system of relations which the soul has that we can say: It is here: It is there: I was thinking of him -- in God -- & of you -- [what people call: praying] in the night particularly, even more than usual, just before your letter came. I am not worthy to meet him again: perhaps he would not know me with my body off. Because he thought better of me than I deserved. But he would not have been happy without you here. earth Why should you think he will be in the hereafter? future? He has taken up another system of relations the hereafter, & is waiting for you. You two will pursue greater objects, a wider sphere together hereafter. At least I don't think his objects could be greater: but he will pursue them in the `Glorious liberty of the children of God.' Here he was so chafed by the `limits': so vexed by the narrowness. He wished so to write a history of religions: or as I should call it, a history of God -- that is, of what we have found out about God. That was what all his study of Oriental languages & of discoveries of M.S.S. & remains had been for, he told me. And he used to say: "but we don't know enough". Now he knows: Now he enjoys. Now he is ever gaining fresh knowledge. You would not grudge it him. Hereafter you will be with him. Yes: I cannot remember the time when I have not longed for death. After Sidney Herbert's death & Clough's in 1861, 20 years ago, for years & years I used to watch for death as no sick man ever watched for the morning. It is strange that now [2] that I am bereft of all, I crave for it less. I want to do a little work a little better before I die. But I have no guide to help me but God in doing anything. Yes, dear friend, I do feel how you must long to die & be with him & with God, where he is. But I don't think at all that your interests are all "individual". You have great & wide sympathies & large interests. O indeed I love you, love you dearly -- Forty years & more have I loved you. You speak of Ida: would [not in 3:206] you not go to her for the summer? dear Ida give her my love. [You ask where Beatrice is: they have taken a cottage in Savernake Forest. But she may be at Embley now. If you write to her Mrs. Godfrey Lushington Embley Romsey it will be forwarded. Bertha Coltman has a sick son: a most interesting boy of 19 with a heavenly face. She has left London & taken a house at Westgate near Margate for 6 months for him to be by the sea.] I am as usual (you kindly ask) & more than usual immersed in business every day far beyond my strength. India: trained Nurses, &c People don't know how weak I am. Yesterday we opened the New Marylebone Infirmary for pauper Patients (760 beds.) We nurse it with our trained Nurses, thank God. I have each of these women to see for 3 or 4 hours alone before she begins work. Surely, dearest Madame [in 3:206] Mohl, if you come to London, I shall hope to see you. God bless you ever: always yours & his F. Nightingale

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