That Miss Nightingale is trouble, I tell you

by Instant Noodle


Yep, you read it right.

THE ROBIN REDBREAST once did pious service to the Babes in the Wood. A NIGHTINGALE is performing a service yet more pious to the wounded at Scutari. Yet the piety of this NIGHTINGALE is questioned. She is condemned as not being a psalm-singing NIGHTINGALE: denounced as not up to the Standard: for in the journal bearing that name, a letter-writer observes that

“The fact that Miss NIGHTINGALE is so variously reported by some as a Roman Catholic, by others as a Unitarian, and by MRS. HERBEET as rather Low Church is a pretty good proof that her creed is not very distinct.”

Of all the petty things, this is pretty low. Luckily, Punch doesn’t sympathize.

Theological gentlemen who insist upon distinctness of creed, and sneer at a Christian lady for the supposed want of it, might consider whether their own creed is any clearer than that which they attribute to her; whether their ideas of faith are quite as distinct as their declarations? Perhaps were they to analyse the belief which they hold, they would fiud it to consist in simply believing just so much of their religion as they cannot understand, and no more. These gentlemen are generally so very “serious,” that we are afraid we shall shock them by referring them to Hamlet, and begging them to ponder what Laertes says to a certain “churlish priest” about “a ministering angel.” We will therefore advise them to consult a work of another inspiration than SHAKSPEARE’S, wherein something very like that saying is applied to those whose profession is so much more distinct, but whose practice is so much less faithful, than Miss NIGHTINGALE’S.

(January 1855)