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Nightingale, Florence.

ALS to "Aunt Mai", July 30, 1888.

Manuscript/Typescript

TO AUNT MAI
Nightingale, Florence. Autograph letter signed, "God bless you ever, dearest Aunt Mai, your loving
old Flo," to Aunt Mai, July 30, 1888; one biolium leaf, four pages, in pencil.
"I think we try too much to chase away 'Doubt' and 'Fear' as enemies, whereas they are stepping-stones,
'guides' to Truth, the 'Ideal,' Love."
An excellent and revealing four-page letter by Nightingale ("Flo") to her Aunt Mai, in bold pencil,
opening, "Ever dearest Aunt Mai, Always I am thinking of you. But I have so much and such anxious
writing to do, as your kindness well knows, especially now that we have a new Viceroy for India, and our
new Matron, St. Thomas' Miss Pringle, as least only 9 months old, that I cannot write my thoughts." She
goes on, "Have you seen 'Gordon in Africa'? I sent it. I dare say the middle part is common place. I have
not read it. But what speaks to me is the beginning and the end. p.18 'And do we question: Shall it be thus
to the end?,' 'The ceaseless strain,' 'The songs of Sorry, Hope (* for 'Hope' read Trust or Faith, you will
say), Doubt, Fear and Pain,' 'Who guide us, and reveal to mortal sight,' 'The soul's Ideal on the heavenly
height." I think we try too much to chase away 'Doubt' and 'Fear' as enemies, whereas they are stepping-
stones, 'guides' to Truth, the 'Ideal,' Love. Not abject Fear, but the old forefathers' phrase, the 'fear of
God." Don't we repudiate too much these rather tiresome guides?" She closes, "I have been reading in
two or three places lately that, 'however our own frames may change, or our powers of comprehension
vary, He remains the same, yesterday, today and forever.' It is an old truth. But it is a great comfort to me
to be constantly reminded of it. God bless you ever, dearest Aunt Mai, your loving old
Flo".Nightingale had trained he Aunt Mai, along with 37 other volunteer nurses, during the Crimea War.
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