HEROINE OF PHILANTHROPY.
Many years ago a young lady —an orphan of good family and an heiress to boot —began to have grave doubts whether life was not a xxxore serious matter than the traditions of her class had hitherto led her to suppose. Now, just when she was beginning to be haunted by a vague longing to make her life noble and useful, came the well remembered cholera plague, arid the opportunity she desired presented itself. She left her luxurious home, volunteered as an amateur nurse, axxd tended the sick and dying through all the horrors of the loathsome malady. One might have thought that her bitter experiences in the cholera wards would have made her long for her former luxurious life. But, no. SKe now determined to take up the study of medicine, and had already passed her preliminary examinations, when she met, loved, and married Mr. Nathaniel Heckford, a young medical man. The husband and wife, both equally full of philanthropic enthusiasm, then resolved to establish a hospital where one was sorely needed— in the east of London, Mrs. Heckford cheerfully devoted a great part of her fortune to the purpose, and the hospital sprang into being without the public finding a sixpence. It went through the usual vicissitudes which attend institutions of this sort; but after Charles Dickens wrote that brilliant account of it called “ The Star of the East” its prosperity was secured. To make a long story short, the connection between the Heckfords and the hospital came to an end, Mr. Heckford died, and his wife went to Naples. There she helped to promote a society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and moreover wrote a novel called “Ex-
celsior. ” Then she went in for adventurous travels, going through Arabia, and baldest parts of India, often accorapanied. merely by one guide. She tried /to practise medicine among the women of " the Zenanda, but, finding it impossible to overcome native prejudices, abandoned the idea. Since then she has disappeared from civilised ken, the latest news received of her, being, that she is with a party of colonists in Africa, busily engaged in learning ostrich-fanning which she fondly imagines will furnish some of our redundant female population with a means of earning their livelihood.
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