Imatges de pÓgina

with which we should do well to grapple ; for the lives of these working mothers, the health and eyesight of the next generation, are subjects of national importance.

We, of the present day, have found this problem awaiting our solution-all these women attended by untrained and uneducated midwives, with these disastrous results. We have tried to solve it by taking a few of the same uneducated women, or rather their daughters, and giving them a very little training, and paying them a very little salary, and still no one is satisfied. Not the mothers, for they continue to die out of all proportion to those in hospital. Not the midwives, for they feel themselves now worth a larger salary, and yet fail to obtain it. Not the public, for they bave spent a certain amount of time and money on the problem, and still the experts grumble. It sounds an heroic measure, but one cannot help wondering whether we should not succeed better if we went to work on a very much larger scale. If, for instance, large central training schools were instituted, by Government or otherwise, where a very prolonged training were given, as in France and Holland, the class of women entering the profession would be very materially altered. There would be very few of the cottagers, bred amongst the fatal old superstitions which have accompanied our midwifery from time immemorial, because such women, living of necessity from hand to mouth, could not afford to spend so long a time without receiving a salary. In their place we should find a considerable number of the educated middle class, who are always on the look out for fresh fields on which to expend their energies. They are now repelled by the extraordinary discrepancy between the responsibility of the work and the amount of training considered necessary. A superficial smattering of science, a hasty glance at the nursing requirements, a few lectures on the hygiene of infants—in itself a life study. It is not by these qualifications that a thoughtful mind will be attracted to a field where death and disease are always waiting to take advantage of every lapse in skill or knowledge.

If our midwives belonged to the middle class, they would, many of them, be able to wait a little before they became self-supporting; some of them would settle in the more populous centres, where a very fair living can be made by means of a sliding scale of fees. Others, again, would establish themselves in the very many country districts where a reasonably large clientèle can be reached by the help of a bicycle ; and the remoter parts could be served either by the creation of parish midwives, to be paid by the local authorities, or by those holding Government posts in return for their training, as in Holland. Such dreams, Utopian as they may seem to those who demand immediate returns for all Government investments, have already been held as possible of realisation by able and humane men. A most disinterested effort was made in 1872 by the members of the London Obstetrical Society, to improve the training of midwives." (It is worthy of note that the subject was first brought forward in connection with infantile mortality.) It was then urged by D. Tilt that even from the point of view of national economy it would entail a smaller expense to the country to set the instruction and licensing of midwives on a reasonable footing than that which was being constantly incurred, as a result of the large amount of preventible disease caused by the incompetence of the women who habitually attend confinements among the working classes. It was evidently felt by these pioneers that a year's training was the least that could be offered, as it was further urged by Dr. Tilt in opposition to a more comprehensive scheme : 'It will not be so very easy to find funds for the maintenance and tuition of midwife pupils for a year ... but to ask Government to provide for the board and tuition of women for three or four years would be asking what it would never do.' Matthews Duncan, speaking before the same open-minded body in 1881, gives vent to the following pregnant utterance :

Many people still living remember the time when the whole of this practice was in female hands. It was taken from them by the other sex, not because they were male, but in consequence of their superior education and scientific attain. ments. ... If women are to be reinstated in the practice of midwifery, it is education and science alone that can do it, and women may be sure that these are irresistible.

They were certainly proved to be so in the case of the famous French midwife of the last century, Madame La Chapelle. This lady was left a widow in 1795, at the age of twenty-six, and devoted her great gifts to this particular cause from then till the day of her death, twentysix years later. At the time when she first joined her mother in the charge of the only hospital with a maternity ward in Paris, sepsis was running riot; the ward was so crowded that it was not uncommon for women to share a bed—the training of the pupils (a three months' course) left everything to be desired. During Madame La Chapelle's time, and largely owing to her influence, a proper hospital was built at Port Royal, where these conditions were entirely altered, and it was thanks to her zeal that the training course was increased to a year, with the option of remaining a second year with increased responsibility. It was owing to her great professional skill, as well as the excellence of her teaching, her humanity, and administrative gifts, that this institution at Port Royal became almost from its foundation a great school for midwives, and one which, in many respects, we should do well to copy."

The scheme of a national training school, ambitious as it at first sounds, takes its place among the necessaries rather than among the luxuries of the common weal, when we realise that not one, but many

• A chapter in the History of the Midwives Question. C. J. Cullingworth, M.D. British Journal of Nursing, Memories of Madame La Chapelle.'

of our neighbours have accomplished something at least equally farreaching, and that not yesterday, but in some cases a century ago.

A very small beginning—the merest corner of the entire schemehas already been attempted in the south-east outskirts of London, but even the movement is checked by the same indifference, the same objections. Impossible to raise the money, we are told—impossible to raise the women-of an educated class, that is to say, with sufficient enthusiasm to adopt so strenuous, so exacting a profession. If the testimony of one who has tried it, in a remote district, and for eight consecutive years, is of any value, it is entirely at the service of her country; and it is this : That if any English woman loves Nature, loves Humanity, loves an independent active existence, in close touch with the primeval forces of Life, in hand to hand fight with ignorance and superstition, let her become a district midwife, she is not likely to regret it.

ALICE S. GREGORY. The Deanery, St. Paul's.

* Home for Mothers and Babies, and Training School for District Midwives, Woolwich.

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The influence which has been exercised in the world of literature and art, by persons who belonged to the French Reformed Protestant religion, and who were known as Huguenots, has been a source of justifiable pride to their descendants and co-religionists, and this influence has been the subject of marked attention in Geneva, the city where many of them took refuge. The Huguenots are able to point with considerable satisfaction to such men as Jean Cousin the painter, Jean Goujon the sculptor, the architect Salomon de Brosses, the enameller Limousin, the potter Palissy, the ébéniste Boulle, and the tapestry worker Gobelin, as well as to the subjects of these few notes, the two celebrated workers in enamel, Bordier and Petitot.

The Historical Society of French Protestantism has for the past forty years given considerable attention to the publication of contemporary information with regard to such important persons, and it has more than once arranged for an exhibition of documents and art treasures, in the same interest. It has quickened the energies of a devoted body of Swiss writers, who were eager to gather up all that could be known respecting the heroes of their faith, and who, from time to time, prepared volumes, not only on the persons whose names have already been mentioned, but on such important residents in Geneva as Theodore Beza, Goudimel the musician, Calvin, and Zwingli.

The latest of these workers has been M. Ernest Stroehlin, who has gathered together some new information on Petitot,' which may perhaps be of interest to English readers. He has been able to examine the precious little book which Petitot left behind him for the benefit of his family, and which was written and drawn out entirely by his own hand. It is an octavo volume, bound in parchment and covered in velvet, containing 166 leaves, and was prepared in 1674, in order that the artist might inform his family of such facts in his own history as were worthy of their remembrance. The greater part of it is filled up with prayers and meditations, and the little journal bears the title, Prières et Méditations chrétiennes pour la famille, en temps de santé,

· Petitot et Bordier, Genève, 1905.

de maladie, et de mort,' but the book contains, besides these prayers and meditations, a great deal of genealogical information regarding the Petitot family, and two delightful portraits, one of Petitot himself and one of his wife, drawn in Indian ink. It passed after the death of the artist to one of his daughters, Marie, who married in 1693 a certain Jean Bazin, and went to live at Rotterdam, and from her it has come down, always in the female line, to her descendants, through several families, and in several places, the little book having been at Amsterdam, the Hague, Montpellier, Brest, and Bordeaux. It now appears to belong to a certain Madame Roqueplane, the widow of Vice-Admiral Prouhet. The volume, as we have stated, was written in 1674, eleven years before the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. It was not, however, the only manuscript book which Petitot left behind him, as he wrote a second volume of prayers and meditations during prosperity and under adversity'in 1682 for the use of his family. This is a quarto book, bound like the other, but the details of its history are not so clearly known. It belongs to Monsieur Chatoney, who bought it at the sale of the library of Baron Jérome Pichom. It does not, however, contain the genealogical information which gives the special value to the smaller volume.

The portrait of Petitot himself in the little book shows us a man in an ample wig, having a white linen collar with two tassels, about his neck, and wearing a dark-coloured cloak, similar to those adopted by the clergy of the Huguenot Church. His expression is serious and meditative, the eyes clear and full of life, the mouth small, with very expressive lips, and the portrait bears a very striking resemblance to three other portraits of the artist, all in enamel, one on the cover of a gold snuffbox belonging to M. Stroehlin, signed ‘P. F.,' another signed by Petitot himself in full, belonging to the Earl of Dartrey, and a third in the possession of the Queen of Holland. It also enables us to decide that the portrait attributed to Mignard, belonging to the museum at Geneva, and representing a man of about thirty-five, in a large black wig, wearing a rich lace cravat and a silk broché cloak, and marked ' Jean Petitot,' is not a portrait of the father, with whom at this moment we are dealing, but of his son, who bore the same name. The portrait of Madame Petitot, which appears opposite to that of her husband, is a half-length, representing her dressed in a silk costume, the neck and throat bare, the hair brown and curly. She has a calm, dignified appearance, and the little volume is dedicated to her in the following words : ‘Je vous fay présent, ma chère femme, de ce petit recueil de prières et de méditations, que j'ay faict pour le laisser à notre famille, affin qu'il luy soit une aide pour les porter à la piété.'

The Petitot family came originally from Burgundy, and was one of those artistic families which fled from France to Geneva. In similar fashion, the Bordiers came from Orléans, the Arlauds from the Auvergnes, the Huaulds from Poitou, the Thourons from Rouergue, and

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