- Project Runeberg -  The story of San Michele /
390

(1929) [MARC] Author: Axel Munthe - Tema: Medicine
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - XXV. The Little Sisters of the Poor

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were both young and rather pretty—the Mother
Superior had long ago confided to me that old
and plain nuns were no good for collecting
money. In return for her confidence I had told
her that a young and attractive looking nurse
had a far greater chance of being obeyed by my
patients than a plain one, and that a sulky
nurse was never a good nurse. These nuns who
knew so little of the world at large, knew a lot
about human nature. They knew at first sight
who was likely to put something in their
money-box and who was not. Young people, these
nuns told me, gave generally more than old
people, children alas! seldom gave anything
except when told by their English nurses. Men
gave more than women, people on foot more
than people sitting in their carriages. The
English were their best customers, then came
the Russians. French tourists there were so
few about. The Americans and the Germans
were more reluctant to part with their money,
the upper class Italians were still worse but the
Italian poor were very generous. Royalties and
clergy of all nationalities were as a rule not very
good clients. The hundred and fifty old men
in their care were on the whole easy to handle,
not so the hundred and fifty old women, who
were always quarrelling and fighting with one
another. Terrible drames passionels were not
seldom enacted between the two wings of the
home, when the Little Sisters had to try to
extinguish the fires smouldering under the cinders
to the best of their limited understanding.

The pet of the house was Monsieur Alphonse,

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