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Hospital sketches ; and Camp and fireside stories. Alcott, Louisa May (1832–1888).
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page: Illustration[View Page Illustration]

[View Figure]

"JOHN." The manliest man among my forty.-PAGE 53.

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HOSPITAL SKETCHES AND CAMP AND FIRESIDE STORIES

BY

LOUISA M. ALCOTT

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS

BOSTON ROBERTS BROTHERS

1869
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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1869, by ROBERTS BROTHERS, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts. Cambridge: Presswork by John Wilson and Son.

CONTENTS.

HOSPITAL SKETCHES.

CAMP AND FIRESIDE STORIES.

page: i[View Page i]

PREFACE TO HOSPITAL SKETCHES.

THESE sketches, taken from letters hastily written in the few leisure moments of a very busy life, make no pretension to literary merit, but are simply a brief record of one person's hospital experience. As such, they are republished, with their many faults but partially amended, lest in retouching they should lose whatever force or freshness the inspiration of the time may have given them.

To those who have objected to a "tone of levity" in some portions of the sketches, I desire to say that the wish to make the best of every thing, and send home cheerful reports even from that saddest of scenes, an army hospital, probably produced the impression of levity upon those who have never known the sharp contrasts of the tragic and comic in such a life.

That Nurse Periwinkle gave no account of her religious services, thereby showing a "sad want of Christian experience," can only be explained by the fact, that it would have as soon occurred to her to print the letters written for the men, their penitent confidences, or their dying messages, as to mention page: ii-3[View Page ii-3] the prayers she prayed, the hymns she sung, the sacred words she read; while the "Christian experience" she was receiving then and there was far too deep and earnest to be recorded in a newspaper.

The unexpected favor with which the little book was greeted, and the desire for a new edition, increase the author's regret that it is not more worthy such a kind reception.

L. M. A.

CONCORD, March, 1869.
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