Women of Belgium: Turning Tragedy to Triumph

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Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1917 - Women - 210 pages
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Page 41 - I discovered later that at four o'clock that afternoon she had charge of a cantine for four hundred mothers and their new babies, and that after that she visited the family of a little boy who was absent, according to the children, because his shirt was being washed. "All attempts to express admiration of this beautiful devotion are interrupted by the cry, 'Oh, but it is you — it is America that is doing the astonishing thing — we must give ourselves, but you need not. Your gift to us is the...
Page 89 - ... acolyte, who was apparently expecting some one. He saw me and agreed that I might enter if I wished ; so I slipped in and found room to stand just behind the altar-screen, where, all through the celebration, I could watch the face of the Cardinal, a face at once keen and tender — strong, fearless, and devout; one could read it all there. He was tall, thin, dominating — a heroic figure in his gorgeous scarlet vestments, officiating at the altar of this beautiful Gothic cathedral. The congregation...
Page 38 - Madame was darting about, watching every detail, assisting in every department. " It was raining outside, but all was white, and clean, and inviting within. Suddenly there was a rush of feet in the courtyard below. I looked out the window; in the rain 1,662 children, between three and fourteen years, mothers often leading the smaller ones — not an umbrella or rubber among them — were lining up with their cards, eager to be passed by the sergeant. These kind-hearted, longsuffering sergeants kept...
Page 92 - ... steady procession, marched along the street above, each man lifting his hat as soon as he came in view of the statue. All these things, I say, did not help Brussels in the matter of the demonstration at the cathedral. And a few days later a posted notice informed her that she had been fined one million marks!
Page 53 - Little Bees" in Brussels alone, where, during the first six months of 1916, infant mortality had decreased 19 per cent. It would be difficult to estimate the time given by physicians throughout the whole country, but probably half of the 4,700 are contributing practically all their time, and almost all are doing something. It is a common sight in the late afternoon to see a physician who has had a full, hard day, rushing to a cantine to examine hundreds of children. Outside the zone of military preparation,...
Page 45 - Little Bees" originated this phosphatine dessert, which is a mixture of rice, wheat and maize — flour, phosphate of lime and cocoa. They have a factory for making it, and up to August, 1916, had turned out 638,000 kilos. A gentleman in black frock suit and large hat came in to look about, and then went back to the lengthening line. Madame explained that he was the principal of the communal school of the quarter, and that he came every day to keep the children in order. I learned, too, that on every...
Page 205 - He stood silently,' she writes, ' as the sixteen hundred and sixty-two little boys and girls came crowding in, slipping into their places at the long narrow tables that cut across the great dining-rooms; and, when I looked at him, his eyes had filled with tears. He watched Madame and her husband, a physician, going from one child to another, examining their throats, or their eyes, taking them out to the little clinic for weighing, carrying the youngest in their arms...
Page 89 - ... remained silent. Three or four fainting women were carried out; that was all. Then the Cardinal mounted the pulpit at the farther end of the nave, to deliver his message — the same message that he had been preaching for two years. His people must hold themselves courageous, unconquered, with steadfast faith in God and in their final liberation. Tears were in the eyes of many, but there was no crying out. From the pulpit he came back to the catafalque erected in the middle of the nave for the...
Page xvii - Our share and the share of these women has . . . been a task of prevention, not a task of remedy. Our task and theirs has been to maintain the laughter of the children, not to dry their tears.
Page 39 - Only a little, mademoiselle.' Everybody said something. One tiny golden-haired thing pleaded, 'You know I like the little pieces of meat best.' In no time they discovered that I was a newcomer, and tried slyly to induce me to give them extra slices of bread, or bowls of milk. Madame seemed to be everywhere at once, lifting one after another in her arms to get a better look at eyes or glands. Her husband, a physician of international reputation, was in the little clinic at the...

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