[November 15, 1915]
Monday, 9 A.M.
I mentioned, I think, how the rich people send crates full of fruit for this hospital, from the Queen downwards. Well, now a contrast: a parson came in the other night with a small parcel under his arm. He said a poor girl in the East End had been denying herself sugar for two months, so the wounded soldiers could have it. There were perhaps two pounds. Pathetic, eh?
In this war, you get a good chance to see what a leveller this war is from a social point of view. A woman with about a thousand pounds’ worth of furs sits on one bed, and the next holds a poor woman from the East End who has done her very best to trick herself out a bit, and only made herself look pathetic. Of course in Canada, or the States, the gulf is not so wide; but here where it has been, and will be again, so wide as to be unbridgeable, indeed a separate world altogether, it strikes with tremendous force. The men all look alike, in bed or in a blue hospital suit. Only when they speak can you place them; but their visitors label ’em at once and forever. I notice the men in the poorer class kiss their sons. The rich don’t. The poor display all their emotions from joy to tears. The rich seem casual, off-hand, just pleasantly cheery. But —
I know there are no serious heart-to-heart talks in this; but I don’t feel like that kind of a talk. Let it rest a while, till I get out of here.