"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Friday, February 23, 2007

Florence Nightingale, Mrs Gamp and reflections on nursing and statues

Andrew Cunnigham in his daily episode of the excellent joint Open University / Radio 4 "The Making of Modern Medicine" today, provided a brief history of the nurse and the role of Florence Nightingale in developing the beginnings of professional educated nursing service. Lord Patel has currently taken on the role of nurse and amanuensis, as Lady Patel is discommoded having twice broken , first the 5th meta-tarsal and secondly the 1st meta-tarsal in her right foot.

He reminds us of Sairey Gamp the private nurse recommended by the undertaker Mould on the death of Sir Anthony Chuzzlewhit, to the sanctimonious Mr Seth Pecksniff, who is conducting her to the house of mourning.

'And so the gentleman's dead, sir! Ah! The more's the pity.' She didn't even know his name. 'But it's what we must all come to. It's as certain as being born, except that we can't make our calculations as exact. Ah! Poor dear!' She was a fat old woman, this Mrs Gamp, with a husky voice and a moist eye, which she had a remarkable power of turning up, and only showing the white of it. Having very little neck, it cost her some trouble to look over herself, if one may say so, at those to whom she talked. She wore a very rusty black gown, rather the worse for snuff, and a shawl and bonnet to correspond. In these dilapidated articles of dress she had, on principle, arrayed herself, time out of mind, on such occasions as the present; for this at once expressed a decent amount of veneration for the deceased, and invited the next of kin to present her with a fresher suit of weeds; an appeal so frequently successful, that the very fetch and ghost of Mrs Gamp, bonnet and all, might be seen hanging up, any hour in the day, in at least a dozen of the second-hand clothes shops about Holborn. The face of Mrs Gamp--the nose in particular--was somewhat red and swollen, and it was difficult to enjoy her society without becoming conscious of a smell of spirits. Like most persons who have attained to great eminence in their profession, she took to hers very kindly; insomuch that, setting aside her natural predilections as a woman, she went to a lying-in or a laying-out with equal zest and relish. 'Ah!' repeated Mrs Gamp; for it was always a safe sentiment in cases of mourning. 'Ah dear! When Gamp was summoned to his long home, and I see him a-lying in Guy's Hospital with a penny-piece on each eye, and his wooden leg under his left arm, I thought I should have fainted away. But I bore up.'

...and the memorable ...

'WHO deniges of it, Betsey?' Mrs Gamp inquired again. Then Mrs Gamp, by reversing the question, imparted a deeper and more awful character of solemnity to the same. 'Betsey, who deniges of it?'
It was the nearest possible approach to a very decided difference of opinion between these ladies; but Mrs Prig's impatience for the meal being greater at the moment than her impatience of contradiction, she replied, for the present, 'Nobody, if you don't, Sairah,' and prepared herself for tea. For a quarrel can be taken up at any time, but a limited quantity of salmon cannot.

Acquaintances of Lord Patel will also have good reason to understand his fondnes for the Mrs G and also Con man and swindler Montigue Tigg who first appears fronting for Chevy Slyme ( A London policeman) and trying to squeeze the assembled Chuzzlewit family for money. He later re-appears as head of the fraudulent and splendidly named Anglo-Bengalee Disinterested Loan and Life Assurance Company and has changed his name to Tigg Montigue. He dupes Jonas Chuzzlewit into joining the company, uses Jonas to fleece Pecksniff, and is murdered by Jonas and finally commits suicide.

A Memorial to Florence Nightingale OM was unveiled by the Duke of Devonshire in the grounds of Derby Infirmary on June 18th 1914. A statue in marble by Countess Feodora Gleichen ** 1861-1922 ( a relative of Queen Victoria with studios in St.James', he father Admiral Viktor Prinz zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1833-91),was the son of Queen Victoria's half sister , he was as sculptor of a statue Queen Victoria at Holloway College London) )with a surround of local Darley Dale Stone . The cost of £1,700 was raised by public subscription but the raising of a staue was considered inappropriate by many and the money better spent on education of more nurses..

A contingent of the Derbyshire Imperial Veterans` Association, including half-a-dozen Crimean veterans was present.

" ...she applied the lessons she had learned in the war against arms, to the war against disease" said the Mayor Coun. S. Johnson " ...that statue would be an incitement to duty, a sermon in stone an imperishable reminder and stimulus to all those who had eyes to see and consciences to be stirred to good deeds, an influence ever pointing to the great example which they might follow in their humble spheres. He had both pride and pleasure on behalf of Derby and Derbyshire in accepting the guardianship of that memorial to one of the world's greatest women (Applause)"

The effects of a recent cleaning of the stature and memorial by Derby Council can be seen in the more recent picture above and the details of how the Council care for their works of public art ( a model for any council) can be consulted here.

** Also the sculptor of the Artemis statue in Hyde Park, London

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(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish