One hundred years ago: Hospitals at Christmas time

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 08 February 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:h

Mr Burdett has given a most pleasant account of Christmas Day at the London hospitals. His profound knowledge of their administration does not hinder him from comprehending the lighter side of the life within their walls, and he praises above all the devotion of the nursing staff, the residents, and the students–their determination to fill the whole place with happiness. Christmas Day lifts to their zenith the sympathy and good fellowship that illumine our hospitals–every ward is made home, every patient receives assurance that goodwill among men is a solid fact. We are, indeed, in some risk of overdoing our festivities–bewildering those who are seriously ill, and upsetting their temperatures. So long as we avoid this excess of hospitality our Christmas entertainments, being of the quality of mercy, are twice blessed; and it is just because of the sombre shadows that hang over hospitals that when festivities come there they have a brightness and a beauty far above the pleasures of a placid and self-centred life.

BMJ 1897;i:38.

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