The Life of Florence Nightingale Volume I Part 33
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The Barracks and Hospitals Improvement Commission had already done a good deal when he came into office, and he continued the work. Buildings were ventilated and warmed. Drainage was introduced or improved. The water-supply was extended. The kitchens were remodelled. Gas was introduced in place of the couple of "dips," by the light of which it was impossible for the men to read or pursue any occupation except smoking. Structural improvements were made in many cases, and Mr.
Herbert, so far as he could extract money from the Treasury, reconstructed buildings which had been condemned by his Commission. This policy was abandoned for many years after his death, and later generations heard in consequence of sanitary scandals in barracks at Windsor and Dublin and elsewhere. The General Report of the Barracks and Hospitals Commission, dated April 1861, was presented to Parliament in that year, and many of Miss Nightingale's friends, on reading it, referred to it as "her book." They were not far wrong, for much of the Report, and especially the long section dealing with the proper principles of Hospital and Barrack Construction, was in large measure her work.
Miss Nightingale, in order to ensure that such principles should be better understood and carried out in the future, induced Mr. Herbert to appoint a special Barracks Works Committee, "to report as to measures to simplify and improve the system under which all works and buildings, other than fortifications, are constructed, repaired, and maintained, in order to give a more direct responsibility to the persons employed in those duties." Of this committee Captain Galton was a member, and the Draft Report was submitted to Miss Nightingale for criticism and suggestion. There are many causes to which the improved health of the Army in our own time may be attributed, but the chief of them has probably been the improvement of barrack accommodation, and for this the name of Florence Nightingale deserves to be held in grateful remembrance by the Army and by the nation.
 For its appointment, see below, p. 405; and for the successive Committees, etc., in connection with barracks, see the Index, Vol. II. (_under_ Barrack).
As a supplement to the improvements in barrack kitchens, Mr. Herbert introduced a reform in a direction which Miss Nightingale had pressed upon Lord Panmure's attention; he established a School of Practical Cookery at Aldershot, for the training of regimental and hospital cooks in the art of giving men a wholesome meal. Miss Nightingale had been painfully impressed in the Crimea by the importance of this reform.
 See above, p. 331. The School of Cookery at Aldershot is mentioned in the _General Report_ of the Barracks Commission, 1861, p. 114 _n._
The second Sub-Commission was charged with the duty of reorganizing the Army medical statistics. This was one of the requirements of rational reform which had most forcibly struck Miss Nightingale in the East. The emphasis which she laid upon this side of her experience, the persistence with which she pressed the matter, the statistical skill with which she showed the way to a better system, are amongst the most valuable of her services to the cause of Army Reform. When the suggestions of the Sub-Commission were carried out, the British Army Statistics became the best and most useful then obtainable in Europe.
 The Committee on Army Medical Statistics (Mr. Herbert, Sir A.
Tulloch, and Dr. Farr) reported in June 1858, and its Report was printed in 1861. In the same year the _First Annual Statistical Report on the Health of the Army_ (issued in March) was printed; it was compiled by Dr. T. Graham Balfour, who was appointed head of the statistical branch of the Army Medical Department.
The third Sub-Commission was to carry out another of Miss Nightingale's favourite ideas: the establishment of an Army Medical School. There were here the most wearisome delays and obstructions, and it was not until Mr. Herbert himself became Secretary of State that he was able to give effect to his Sub-Commission's Report. And even then, as soon as the Minister's personal oversight was averted, the War Office "Subs."
set to work to defeat their chief. Mr. Herbert had appointed the staff in 1859, but it was not till September 1860 that the first students arrived at Fort Pitt, Chatham. They promptly came to the conclusion "that the School was a hoax." As well they might, for the School was without fittings or instruments of any kind! The explanation, which may be read elsewhere, is remarkable even in the annals of departmental muddles. There was, apparently, no method known to the red-tape of the routine-men whereby the School could be fitted, and it might have remained empty indefinitely, but that a trenchant letter from Miss Nightingale secured the personal intervention of the Secretary of State.
"There! At last!" wrote Mr. Herbert to her, in forwarding the official order at the end of its long travels through departments and sub-departments. The Army Medical School was peculiarly Miss Nightingale's child, and she watched over its early stages with constant solicitude. Mr. Herbert had commissioned her, in consultation with Sir James Clark, to make the Regulations. She had the nomination of the professors. For the chair of Hygiene she nominated Dr. E. A. Parkes, whose acquaintance she had made during the Crimean War. It would be difficult to exaggerate the services which the stimulating teaching of this great sanitarian rendered to the cause of military hygiene. He had much correspondence with Miss Nightingale in connection with the syllabus of his first course of lectures. In every administrative difficulty the professors went to her for help. The correspondence between her and Dr. Aitken is especially voluminous. She had made a successful fight, against much opposition, to have pathology included in the professoriate, and Dr. Aitken was ultimately appointed to the chair. He it was who set Miss Nightingale in motion about the fittings of the School. He often asked her to "give us another push." "Kind thanks," he wrote (March 1861) when a further hitch had arisen, "for placing our train on the proper line." Her intervention at headquarters was necessary even to extract pay for the professors. "I have just received an intimation from the War Office," Dr. Aitken wrote to her (Aug. 7, 1860), "that Sir John Kirkland has been authorised to issue my pay; so I presume the numerous officials concerned have been able to satisfy each other that I am in existence. The 'at once' in this instance is equal to six days--an activity I am inclined to believe is due to your exertions on Sunday." Sunday was the day of the week on which, if on no other, she always saw Mr. Herbert. Dr. Aitken was sarcastic, and not without cause, about the Circ.u.mlocution Office; but it is possible that the fault was not always only on one side.
Professors are said to be sometimes "children" in matters of business; and on one tale of woe addressed to Miss Nightingale, the docket (in Dr.
Sutherland's handwriting, but doubtless at her dictation) is this: "I hope the present difficulty has been got over, but it will be well to bear in mind that the School is so nearly connected with the administrative part of the War Office, that all your future proceedings, whether by minute or otherwise, should be concise and practical." The School survived the perils of its infancy, and introduced a most beneficent reform by affording means of instruction in military hygiene and practice to candidates for the Army Medical Service. "Formerly," as Miss Nightingale wrote, "young men were sent to attend sick and wounded soldiers, who _perhaps_ had never dressed a serious wound, or never attended a bedside, except in the midst of a crowd of students, following in the wake of some eminent lecturer, who _certainly_ had never been instructed in the most ordinary sanitary knowledge, although one of their most important functions was hereafter to be the prevention of disease in climates and under circ.u.mstances where _prevention_ is everything, and medical treatment often little or nothing." Miss Nightingale's services as the true founder of the School were publicly acknowledged at the time. Dr. Longmore, the Professor of Military Surgery, told the students that it was she "whose opinion, derived from large experience and remarkable sagacity in observation, exerted an especial influence in originating and establis.h.i.+ng this School."
"In the Army Medical School just inst.i.tuted," wrote Sir James Clark, "hygiene will form the most important branch of the young medical officer's instruction. For originating this School we have to thank Miss Nightingale, who, had her long and persevering efforts effected no other improvement in the Army, would have conferred by this alone an inestimable boon upon the British soldier."
 The story of them may be read in _Stanmore_, vol. ii. pp. 364-8.
 _Stanmore_, vol. ii. p. 367.
 Sir William Aitken (1825-1892), M.D. of Edinburgh; a.s.sistant-pathologist to a medical commission during the Crimean War; F.R.S. 1873; knighted, 1887. He held the professors.h.i.+p from 1860 till the year of his death.
 _Introductory Address at Fort Pitt_, _Chatham_, October 2, 1860, by Deputy-Inspector-General T. Longmore, p. 7.
 Introduction, p. 20, to a new edition (1860) of Andrew Combe's _Management of Infancy_.
The School was afterwards moved to Netley. It is now in London, is one of the Medical Schools in the University, and is placed in convenient proximity to a military hospital. The Tate Gallery, on the Embankment at Millbank, stands between two buildings which are of peculiar interest to any one concerned in the life and work of Florence Nightingale. To the east of the Gallery is the Royal Alexandra Hospital, a general military hospital for the London district. It is built, of course, on the "pavilion" plan, and in every other respect conforms to Miss Nightingale's ideas of what a hospital should be--with many additions to its resources, which the progress of science has suggested since her day. A complete apparatus for X-ray treatment, capable of being packed into five cases for service in the field, is likely to attract the special attention of a visitor. But in connection with Miss Nightingale there was something else which struck me more. As I went through the surgical wards with the Commandant, the smart "orderlies" (old style, now the trained men of the Army Medical Corps) stood at attention. The Colonel entered into conversation with the Sergeant of a ward. He was awaiting promotion until he had qualified in the hospital, under the Matron, Sisters, and Staff Nurses. Promotion in the Corps is now dependent on an examination _plus_ a certificate from the nursing authorities. Into how great a thing has the introduction of female nursing for the Army, due to Miss Nightingale, grown, and how ironical are some of time's revenges which the development has brought with it!
Originally the female nurses occupied the lowest place; sometimes they were little more than superior domestics, often they were amateurs, and their position was always a little nondescript. Now they represent the most highly-trained and professional element, and without a certificate from them no male hospital attendant can win full promotion! And there was another thing that struck me. After a tour of the surgical wards, I inquired about the medical wards; but time was pressing, "and you would find little to see there," said the Colonel, "for the Army is so healthy in these days that there are few medical cases."
 It should perhaps be explained that venereal cases are treated in a separate hospital.
On the west of the Tate Gallery stands another, and a larger, pile of buildings. These are occupied by the Royal Army Medical College, through which every Army Medical Officer has now to pa.s.s both a preliminary and a post-graduate course. Shortly before I visited the College, I had been reading the large ma.s.s of Miss Nightingale's papers which contain her first suggestions for the foundation of the school, with her drafts for its rules and regulations; and which describe the struggles and difficulties of its humble infancy. And then I was taken through the n.o.ble inst.i.tution into which it has developed; equipped with large laboratories which are, I believe, among the best in the country, with smaller laboratories for private research; with a department for those "cultures" which are said to have done so much to preserve the health of the Army in India; with a s.p.a.cious lecture-theatre, a fine library, a large museum; and with handsome mess-rooms for the comfort and convenience of studious youth. The transition was like a transformation-scene in a pantomime. The Fairy G.o.dmother of the College would have rejoiced to see it. Only one thing seemed to me to be wanting. There are portraits or other memorials of many of the men whose acquaintance we have made in these pages. In the entrance lobby there is a bust of Dr. Thomas Alexander, whose appointment as Director-General Miss Nightingale procured. In the smoking-room there are portraits of the first professors whom she nominated. I noticed no memorial of the two founders to whom the original inst.i.tution of the College was due--Sidney Herbert and Florence Nightingale.
 This is a department of the College which would not have appealed to Miss Nightingale. She loathed and mocked at inoculation. "Oh, yes, I know," she once said; "they will give you smallpox or diphtheria or plague or anything you like. You pays your money, and you takes your choice."
The last of the four Sub-Commissions--the "wiping" Sub-Commission--had very varied duties a.s.signed to it, and there was no branch of the reform bill which encountered more stubborn opposition from the permanent officials. One of Mr. Herbert's many letters to Miss Nightingale on the subject speaks of the "gross ignorance, and darkness beyond all hope" of the princ.i.p.al obstructive, who maintained that the idea of a sanitary official was all fudge. Some of the work of this Sub-Commission need not be detailed here. It framed a new Army Medical Officers' Warrant (issued by General Peel in 1858), and reorganized the Army Medical Department (1859). These were useful steps at the time, but there have been so many new warrants and so many War Office reorganizations since then that this part of the reforms of Mr. Herbert and Miss Nightingale belongs in any detail only to ancient history. The case is different with the general work of the Wiping Sub-Commission. Here also there have been new developments, and some of the forms have been changed; but in substance, these have all been built upon the foundations laid in the years 1859-60. To Miss Nightingale primarily, and to her more than to any other individual, is due the recognition of a principle which may seem self-evident at the present time, but which was entirely novel in her day--the principle that the Army Medical Department should care for the soldier's _health_ as well as for his _sickness_. The Sub-Commission--or to go behind the form to the reality, Miss Nightingale and Mr.
Herbert--drew up a Code for introducing the sanitary element in the Army, defining the positions of Commanding and Medical Officers and their relative duties regarding the soldier's health, and const.i.tuting the regimental surgeon the sanitary adviser of his commanding officer.
The same code contained regulations for organizing General Hospitals, and for improving the administration of Regimental Hospitals, both in peace and during war. Formerly, general hospitals in the field had to be improvised, on no defined principles and on no defined personal responsibility. The wonder is, not that they broke down, as they did in all our wars, but that they could be made to stand at all. In all our wars, again, the general hospitals had been signal failures--examples, as during the earlier months at Scutari, of how to kill, not to cure.
The general hospital system, devised in the Code--including its governor, princ.i.p.al medical officer, captain of orderlies, female nurses, and their Superintendent (Mrs. Shaw Stewart)--was realized in 1861 in the hospital at Woolwich.
[Ill.u.s.tration: _Florence Nightingale about 1858 from a photograph by Goodman_]
There were some other reforms introduced by Mr. Herbert, as Secretary of State, which owed their origin to Miss Nightingale's experiences, observation, and suggestions. In January 1861 Mr. Herbert issued a new Purveyor's Warrant and Regulations. Hitherto "the Purveying Department, like many others, had no well-defined position, duties, or responsibilities. It was efficient or inefficient almost by chance. Like other departments, it broke down when tried by war; and all its defects were visited on the sick and wounded men, for whose special benefit it professed to exist." The new Code "defined with precision the duties of each cla.s.s of purveying officers, together with their relation to the Army Medical Department. They provided all necessaries and comforts for men in hospital (both in the field and at home) on fixed scales, instead of requiring sick and wounded men (even in the field) to bring with them into hospital articles for their own use, which they had lost before reaching it." The reader will remember how largely purveying defects entered into Miss Nightingale's difficulties in the East, and a reference to her letters from Scutari will show that Mr. Herbert's Code was based on the broad lines of her suggestions. As is hardly surprising, since she drafted the Code in consultation with Sir John McNeill.
Mr. Herbert also appointed a Committee to reorganize the Army Hospital Corps (1860). "In former times there were no proper attendants on the sick. For regimental hospitals a steady man was appointed hospital sergeant, and two or three soldiers, fit for nothing else, were sent into the hospital to be under the orders of the medical officer, who, if he were fortunate enough to find one man fit to nurse a patient, was sure to lose him by his being recalled 'to duty'; sometimes, indeed, men were nominated in rotation over the sick in hospital as they would mount guard over a store. No special training was considered necessary; no one, except the medical officer, who was helpless, had the least idea that attendance on the sick is as much a special business as medical treatment. Unsuccessful attempts had been made to organize a corps of orderlies, unconnected with regiments; the result was most unsatisfactory. Mr. Herbert's Committee proposed to const.i.tute a corps--the members of which, for regimental purposes, were to be carefully selected by the commanding and medical officers--specially trained for their duties, and then attached permanently to the regimental hospital." This reform, which owed much to Miss Nightingale's suggestions, was carried into effect shortly after Mr. Herbert's death.
Mr. Herbert also took up those questions of the soldier's moral health in which Miss Nightingale had been a pioneer. In 1861 he appointed a Committee to consider how best to provide soldiers' day-rooms and inst.i.tutes, in order to counteract the moral evils supposed to be inseparable from garrisons and camps. The Committee, of which Miss Nightingale's friends, Colonel Lefroy, Captain Galton, and Dr.
Sutherland were members, showed that "the men's barracks can be made more of a home, can be better provided with libraries and reading-rooms; that separate rooms can be attached to barracks, where men can meet their comrades, sit with them, talk with them, have their newspaper and their coffee, if they want it, play innocent games, and write letters; that every barrack, in short, may easily be provided with a kind of soldiers' club, to which the men can resort when off duty, instead of to the everlasting barrack-room or the demoralizing dram-shop; and that in large camps or garrisons, such as Aldershot and Portsmouth, the men may easily have a club of their own out of barracks. The Committee also recommended increased means of occupation, in the way of soldiers'
workshops, out-door games and amus.e.m.e.nts, and rational recreation by lectures and other means. The plan was tried with great success at Gibraltar, Chatham, and Montreal. Mr. Herbert's latest act was to direct an inquiry at Aldershot as to the best means of introducing the system there." Miss Nightingale, in thus summarizing the case, did not state, what her correspondence shows to have been the fact, that she had been the prime mover in the appointment of the Committee; that, as already related (p. 351), she had worked hard to obtain a reading-room, etc., at Aldershot; and that, in the case of Gibraltar, the equipment of the room owed much to gifts from her own private purse and to the contributions of personal friends (Mrs. Gaskell among them) whom she had interested in the scheme. Here, as in so many other directions, Miss Nightingale's work as a pioneer has been greatly developed; and no modern barrack is deemed complete without its regimental inst.i.tute, with recreation room, reading-room, coffee-room, and lecture-room, while means of out-door recreation and shops for various trades are also provided.
 See above, p. 281.
 This Committee received its instructions on Feb. 17, and reported on Aug. 24, 1861. The Report (1861) is No. 2867 in the Parliamentary Papers.
In recounting Mr. Herbert's reforms, Miss Nightingale brought the results of them, after her usual manner, to the statistical test. She prefixed to her Memoir some coloured diagrams showing how Mr. Herbert found the Army and how he left it. In the three years 1859-60-61, just one-half of the Englishmen who entered the Army died (at home stations) per annum as formerly died. The total mortality at home stations from _all diseases_ had become less than was formerly the mortality from consumption and chest diseases _alone_. The results of comparisons of British armies in the field were equally striking. The China expedition put the reforms to the test. "An expeditionary force was sent to the opposite side of the world, into a hostile country, notorious for its epidemic diseases. Every required arrangement for the preservation of health was made, with the result that the mortality of this force, including wounded, was little more than 3 per cent per annum, while the 'constantly sick' in hospital were about the same as at home. During the first months of the Crimean War the mortality was at the rate of 60 per cent, and the 'constantly sick' in the hospitals were sevenfold those in the war hospitals in China." The improvement in the health of the Army has, in peace at any rate, been progressive. In 1857 the annual rate of mortality in the Army at home was 175 per 1000. Forty years later it had fallen to 342. In 1911 it was 247.
Besides all this, Mr. Herbert undertook in 1859 the chairmans.h.i.+p of the Royal Commission on the Sanitary State of the Indian Army. Other work of his in connection with the Army is well known; and some of it--such as his Fortification Scheme--did not endure, but these matters do not concern us here. His measures for the health and well-being of the soldiers were what Miss Nightingale was interested in; and this joint work of theirs has been of lasting benefit. After Sidney Herbert's death there was an arrest in reform; but the main lines laid down by him have been followed to our own day. In 1896 a friend in the War Office went through Miss Nightingale's Memoir of Sidney Herbert for her, and noted the present state of things in relation to it. The Army Sanitary Committee was still in existence. The School of Cookery at Aldershot was in the Queen's Regulations. The General Military Hospitals were maintained. The Army Medical School had been moved to Netley. The Army Medical Statistics were still published annually. The position of Army Medical Officers had been further improved. There was a regularly organized Medical Staff Corps. The recommendations of the Barracks Works Committee of 1861 had been carried out, with the result that the engineer officers had more individual responsibility, and were better acquainted than formerly with the details of healthy barrack and hospital construction. Soldiers' Inst.i.tutes had been put up on War Office land at several stations. Recreation and reading-rooms were to be found in most barracks, and no new barrack was erected without them.
Such changes as have taken place since 1896 have been for the better, as I have indicated in preceding pages; for the better, and more in line with Miss Nightingale's ideas. Her great work, _Notes on the Army_, contained, as events were to prove, not only the scheme of all Sidney Herbert's reforms (except those relating to defence), but the germ, and often the details, of further reforms (within the same sphere) which have continued to our own day. During the years of her co-operation with Mr. Herbert, Miss Nightingale chafed at obstruction and delay, and after his death she cried out bitterly at the cessation of further progress.
But in the end it was as her wise mentor, Sir John McNeill, wrote (March 26, 1859):--"It vexes me greatly to find that you are thwarted and annoyed by such things as you tell me of, but I am not in the least surprised. I did not expect you to accomplish so much in so short a time. Be a.s.sured that the progress from a worse to a better system is in almost every department of human affairs a progress slow and interrupted. Do not then be discouraged. If you have not done all that you desired--and who ever did?--you have done more than any one else ever did or could have done, and the good you have done will live after you, growing from generation to generation. I do not remember any instance in which new ideas have made more rapid progress."
The bearing of the new ideas in relation to the Army was pointed out in Miss Nightingale's summary of Mr. Herbert's services. "He will be remembered chiefly," she wrote, "as the first War Minister who ever seriously set himself to the task of saving life, who ever took the trouble to master a difficult subject so wisely and so well as to be able to husband the resources of this country, in which human life is more expensive than in any other, more expensive than anything else, and to preserve the efficiency of its defenders." In this work, during Mr.
Herbert's term of office, as in the preceding years, Miss Nightingale was his constant a.s.sistant, and often the originator. They conferred personally or by letter almost every day. No move in the sphere of sanitary reform was made by the Minister for War until he had taken her opinion. Every draft was submitted to her criticism and suggestion. When Mr. Herbert took office, his wife wrote (June 16, 1859) to thank Miss Nightingale for her "dear note of congratulations," adding, "He entirely agrees with your suggestions of this morning, and I am copying your Circular Note for the four pundits." In the following month (July 26), he sends her the proposed Sanitary Regulations: "I shall be very much obliged if you will go over the papers with Sutherland." "Sidney is coming to see you to-day (Aug. 13) to talk about the Regulations." Four days later: "Can Miss Nightingale give me the names of some Governors for our new General Hospitals?" In later months, the scheme for the Medical School and the new Regulations for Purveyors were discussed between them. On one occasion a dispatch from Miss Nightingale, enclosed under cover to Mrs. Herbert, followed the Minister to Windsor: "I gave your letter to your 'Sovereign'; it's lucky the real one did not see your cover." The correspondence of 1860 is to like effect. "Here is a dispute which is Hebrew to me; would you look it over with Sutherland?"
"I have written in our joint sense," and so forth. Miss Nightingale supplied, however, more than detail--for one thing, persistent stimulus.
At the end it was stimulus to a dying man.
THE DEATH OF SIDNEY HERBERT
Cavour's last words: _La cosa va_. That is the life I should like to have lived. That is the death I should like to die.--SIDNEY HERBERT (_as recorded by Florence Nightingale_).
The progress of the reforms, sketched in the foregoing chapter, was somewhat impeded, and an extension of them to a further point was altogether arrested, by a cause against which neither Mr. Herbert's courageous spirit nor Miss Nightingale's resolute will could avail. The Minister's health broke down under the long strain; he was stricken by disease; and, with failing health, his grasp of affairs was necessarily relaxed.
The beginning of the end came early in December 1860. "A sad change,"
wrote Miss Nightingale from Hampstead (Dec. 6) to her uncle, "has come over the spirit of my (not dreams, but) too strong realities. Mr.
Herbert is said to have a fatal disease. You know I don't believe in fatal diseases, but fatal to his work I believe this _will be_. He came over himself to tell me and to discuss what part of the work had better be given up. I shall always respect the man for having seen him so. He was not low, but awe-struck. It was settled that he should give up the House of Commons, but keep on office at least till some of the things are done which want doing. It is another reason for my wis.h.i.+ng to go to town soon, as he is particularly forbidden damp, and to see him here always entails a night-ride." To their meeting on this occasion, early in December, Miss Nightingale often referred in letters of a later date.
Mr. Herbert had put before her the three alternatives between which he had to choose. He might retire from public life altogether. He might retire from office, retaining his seat in the House of Commons. Or he might retain his office, and leave the House of Commons for the House of Lords. The first alternative, though it might seem to promise the best hope of recovery, was soon put away: it offered small temptation to a man of Herbert's buoyancy of spirit and high sense of public duty. The second alternative was that to which he at first inclined. He was essentially a politician, and a "House of Commons man." He had sat for twenty-eight years in that House, where his fine appearance, his personal charm, and his considerable gift of eloquence made him a commanding and popular figure. To go to the House of Lords was, as he thought and said, to be "shelved." Miss Nightingale urged him with all her formidable powers of persuasion, to make the sacrifice for the sake of their unfinished work. And so it was agreed; at the cost of many a pang on his part, as he confessed, but to the relief of his wife. "A thousand thanks," she wrote to Miss Nightingale, "for all you have said and done," and "G.o.d bless you for all your love and sympathy." Mr.
Herbert retained office, resigned his seat in the Commons, and was created Lord Herbert of Lea.
 It was Lord Herbert, who, on sitting down after his first speech in the House of Lords, and on being asked by a friend beside him whether he had found it difficult, replied, "Difficult! It was like addressing sheeted tombstones by torchlight."
Miss Nightingale did not fully realize how ill Lord Herbert was. She did not remember that a life entirely laid out, as hers was, for work, and freed from all distraction, involves less strain than one in which social ties, general conversation, family responsibilities and journeyings to and fro fill up the time between hours of work. And she was pa.s.sionately set upon the accomplishment of the work in which they were engaged; she longed to see it crowned and made secure. Every step already taken by Mr. Herbert in the War Office had been an administrative improvement. "The great principle involved in his reforms" was, she wrote, "to simplify procedure, to abolish divided responsibility, to define clearly the duties of each head of a department, and of each cla.s.s of office; to hold heads responsible for their respective departments, with direct communication with the Secretary of State." The cause of Army Reform would not be completed, the permanence of the improvements already made would not be secured, unless every department of the War Office was similarly reorganized under a general and coherent scheme. So Miss Nightingale urged her friend forward to "one fight more, the best and the last." The War Office, she had written to him (Nov. 18, 1859), "is a very slow office, an enormously expensive office, and one in which the Minister's intentions can be entirely negatived by all his sub-departments and those of each of the sub-departments by every other." Mr. Herbert had agreed. A departmental committee had been appointed to report upon reorganization, and Lord de Grey (who was Under-Secretary until Mr.
Herbert went to the Lords) had drafted a scheme. This was the scheme which in substance Miss Nightingale now urged Lord Herbert to carry through. But the Horse Guards was on the alert to mark the least infringement of its privileges, and Sir Benjamin Hawes, the Permanent Under-Secretary at the War Office, was copious with objections. There are amongst Miss Nightingale's papers many drafts in which she and Dr.
The Life of Florence Nightingale Volume I Part 33
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