Florence Nightingale Letters

[Letter, Sir Bartle Frere to Florence Nightingale, August 4, 1871] Frere, Bartle, 1815-1884 Aug 4, 1871

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 (Direct India Office) August 4th 1871 Porthmenor Crickhowel S. Wales   My dear Miss Nightingale, Your kind letter of the 30th found me here repairing damages after a tumble in a Hansom Cab, some time ago in London.  Some remains of a sprain in the hand will, I hope, excuse a scrawl. Mr. Plowden is very anxious to put into his Blue Book all he can of Dr. Cunningham's General Review.  But we have not yet got it at the India Office; & unless you could lend us your copy to work upon, we may have to wait long, ere the Govt. of India send it on with the lucubrations upon it.  If you can lend us your copy, there will be ample time; for Mr. Plowden had been waiting for a reply from the War Office, & the Bengal Portion has only just gone to the Printer & from the description you give of it, the Review should be given in extenso in the appx. with a para in the body of the Blue book drawing special attention to it.     If you can so help us will you kindly order the Rept. to be sent to Mr. Plowden at the India Office?  He would of course not criticise, and would merely give all that Dr. C. states, & say that the Rept. is now "under the consideration of the Govt. of India".     I fear it will be long ere the Financial Philistines at (?) enable Dr.C. to use any but moral & intellectual pressure Mr. Geo: Campbell in Bengal is an evil case.  Between an ignorant and bigotted population, selfish land-owners, an empty exchequer & an endless contest between himself and some secretary of Lord Mayo's, as to whether of the two can best, single handed & without aid or interference from any other mortal, manage in minute detail, the affairs of 40 millions of self-willed, evil minded & rather troublesome children.  God help them.             I have been set to look into the Indian Military Expenditure & to try to find out for the Duke of Argyll, why whilst the army has been decreasing since 1862/63, the expense has been increasing, to the extent of at least one million, in charges other than Pay & allowances. As far as I could judge it seemed all waste and mismanagement but Genl. Norman who invented the Staff Corps, & now rules in military matters in India, greatly to the grief of Lord Napier, says it is all your wicked devices.  He does not mention you by name, but improved barracks, hospitals (?) drainage and sanitary arrangements have done it all. As far as we have gone, "we fail to see", as the fashionable phrase is, any thing of the kind; I have great hopes that the result, whatever it may be in other respects, will show what a miserable amount of money has been spent on real sanitary improvements.     I do trust you are getting a little comparative rest; real rest I fear you never will have, whilst the world continues so dirty & disorderly.  But I wish you could have seen the results of one little book of yours, as I saw them last Sunday, in a Hospital just opened by Mrs. Clark at the great Dowlais Iron works near Merthyr.  She had been working quietly against the prejudices of Managers and Foremen who thought it better political economy to let people die, & of the people themselves who could not bear to leave their dark damp hovels, but she has prevailed at last & her great wish was that she could have seen you once. Believe me My dear Miss Nightingale Ever sincerely yours (?)Frere PS Could you in answering Dr. C. give him a hint to keep Mr Plowden always supplied with a couple of copies of his reports as soon as they are printed?


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