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Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XVI., December, 1880 online

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homeward journey, when almost within sight of their homes, the heroic
little band were seized by order of the ruler of their enclosure and
committed to prison. The tribe are still in the malarious swamps to
which they were exiled. Strangers hold their farms and the houses which
they built with their own hands.

The anomalous condition of a people legally ranking as animals, and not
human beings, would naturally produce unpleasant consequences when they
are criminally the aggressors. When they steal or kill they cannot be
tried, sent to jail or hung as if they were human in the eye of the law.
The ruler of each enclosure is granted arbitrary power in such cases to
punish at his discretion. He is judge, jury, and often executioner. He
has a control over the lives of these people more absolute than that of
any Christian monarch over his subjects. If he thinks proper to shoot
the offender, he can call upon the regular army of the country to
sustain him. If the individual offender escapes, the whole of the
inmates of the enclosure are held responsible, and men, women and
children are slaughtered by wholesale and without mercy.

My readers understand my little fable by this time. It is no fable, but
a disgraceful truth.

The government under which a people - many of whom are educated,
enlightened Christian gentlemen - are denied the legal rights of human
beings and all protection of law is not the absolute despotism of Siara
or Russia, but the United States, the republic which proclaims itself
the refuge for the oppressed of all nations - the one spot on earth where
every man is entitled alike to life, liberty and the pursuit of
happiness. The only people in the world to whom it denies these rights
are not its quondam slaves, not pagans, not runaway convicts, not the
offscourings of any nation however degraded, but the original owners of
the country.

The legal disability under which the Indian is held is as much of an
outrage on human rights, and as bald a contradiction of the doctrines on
which our republic is based, as negro slavery was.

R.H.D.




A LITTLE IRELAND IN AMERICA.


The humorous side of life was never more vividly brought before me than
while living a few years ago in the vicinity of an Irish settlement in
one of the suburbs of New York. What we call "characters" were to be
found in every cottage - the commonplace was the exception. Indeed, I do
not remember that it existed at all in "The Lane," as this locality was
called.

Perhaps among the inhabitants of The Lane none more deserved distinction
than Mary Magovern. The grandmother of a numerous family, she united all
the masculine and feminine virtues. About the stiff, spotless and
colossal frill of her cap curled wreaths of smoke from her stout
dhudeen as she sat before the door blacking the small boots of her
grandchildren, stopping from time to time to remove the pipe from her
mouth, that she might deliver in her full bass voice a peremptory order
to the large yellow dog that lay at her feet. It was usually on the
occasion of a carriage passing, when the dog would growl and rise. Very
quickly out came the pipe, and immediately followed the words, "Danger,
lay by thim intintions;" and the pipe was used as an indicator for the
next movement - namely, to patiently lie down again upon the ground.

Mary Magovern kept a drinking-shop behind the living-rooms of her
cottage, and the immense prestige she had in The Lane must have had some
foundation in the power which this thriving business gave her, many of
her neighbors being under the obligation of debt to her.

Mike Quinlan would have been her most frequent visitor had it not been
for the ever-open eye of Mrs. Quinlan, which caused her husband to seek
his delights by stealth at a village a mile away. Mike was an elderly
and handsome man, but his wits had ebbed out as the contents of the
wine-cup flowed in, and the beauty that had won so remarkable a person
as Mrs. Quinlan in its first glow was somewhat marred. He was the owner
of a small cart and a mule, and those who had stones or earth to move
usually remembered to employ poor Mike. But it was on foot, as a more
inconspicuous method of eluding the watchfulness of Mrs. Quinlan, that
Mike slipped away to the neighboring village of an afternoon, and it was
on foot that I one night saw Mrs. Quinlan going over the same road with
an invincible determination in her countenance and a small birch rod in
her hand. Mrs. Quinlan was somewhat younger than her lord and master:
she had a clear, bright-blue eye, a roseate color in her little slender
face, and gray hair tidily smoothed back beneath the dainty ruffles of
her cap, about which a black ribbon was tied. She wore short petticoats
and low shoes, and as she walked briskly along she smoothed her apron
with the disengaged hand, as if, the balance of the family
respectability having so wholly fallen upon her own shoulders, she would
not disturb it by permitting a disorderly wrinkle. Half an hour later
she passed again over the road, her face turned homeward and wearing an
even greater austerity, the birch rod grasped firmly in her hand, and
her worser half preceding her with a foolish smile upon his lips, half
of concession, half of pride in the power to which he stooped.

Another of Mrs. Magovern's occasional visitors was Old Haley, who had
regular employment upon our own place. Like Mike Quinlan, he rejoiced in
a wife who was an ornament to her sex - a most respectable, handsome and
intelligent woman, though education had done little to sharpen her wits
or widen her experience. She could tell a one from a five dollar bill,
as her husband would proudly inform you, and she could cook a dinner, do
up a skirt or a frilled cap, keep a house or tend a sick friend, as well
as any woman in the land. "Maggie's a janeous!" her husband would remark
with a look of intense admiration.

One evening Mrs. Haley made her appearance at our house, asking for an
audience of my mother. The object was to inform her - these sympathetic
people like to be advised in all their affairs - that being in need of
various household supplies she proposed on the following day to go to
the city and purchase them at the Washington Market.

"I suppose you have been to the city before, Mrs. Haley?" remarked my
mother.

"I have not, ma'am," said Mrs. Haley.

"Had you not better take some friend with you who has been there before,
lest you should get lost?"

"Faith, I had, ma'am: I had a right to have moor sinse an' think o'
that."

So Mrs. Haley departed, returning again in company with Mary Magovern:
"Here's Mary Magovern, ma'am: she's goin' along wid me."

"Ah, that's very well. - You know the city, Mary? you've been there?"

"I have not, ma'am."

"Why, what, then, is the use of your going with Mrs. Haley?"

"We'll make a shtrict inquiry, ma'am."

The next morning they started, and at four o'clock Old Haley came in
much anxiety of mind to seek comfort of my mother: "Maggie's not come,
ma'am. Faith, I'm throubled, for the city is a quare place."

When it grew late Haley returned again and again, in ever-increasing
anxiety, to be reassured. At last, when the family were retiring to bed,
came Mrs. Haley and Mrs. Magovern to report their arrival. In spite of
the lateness of the hour my mother received them, and in spite of their
wearied and worn faces administered a gentle rebuke for the anxiety that
Mrs. Haley had caused her spouse.

"Well, indade it's no wonder he was throubled," said Mrs. Haley, "an'
it's a wonder we got here at all. We got nothing at the Washington
Market, for we couldn't find it at all: I think they tuk it away to
Washington. It was in the mornin' airly that we got to the city, ma'am,
an' there was a koind of a carr, an' a gintleman up on the top of it,
an' anuther gintleman at the dure of it, wid the dure in his hand, an'
he sez, sez he, 'Git in, ladies,' sez he. - 'We're goin' to the
Washington Market, sur,' sez I. - That's where I'll take yez, ladies,'
sez he. 'Pay yer fares, ladies.' An' we got in, ma'am, an' wint up to
the top of the city, an' paid tin cints, the both of us. An' there was a
great many ladies an' gintlemen got in an' done the same, ma'am, an'
some got out one place an' some another. An' whin we got up to the top
of the city, 'Mrs. Magovern,' sez I,' this isn't the Washington Market,'
sez I. - ' It is not, Mrs. Haley,' sez she. - 'We'll git out, Mrs.
Magovern,' sez I. - 'We will, Mrs. Haley,' sez she. An' thin, ma'am,
there was a small bit of a howl in the carr, and it was through the howl
the ladies an' gintlemen would cry out to the gintleman on the top o'
the carr, and he'd put his face down forninst it an' spake wid thim; an'
I cried up through the howl to him, an' sez I, 'Me an' Mrs. Magovern
will git out, sur,' sez I, 'for this isn't the Washington Market at
all.' - 'It is not, ma'am,' sez he, 'but that's where I'll take yez,' sez
he. 'Sit down, ladies,' sez he, 'and pay me the money,' sez he. 'I had a
great many paple to lave,' sez he. An' indade he had, ma'am. An' we paid
the money agin, an' we wint down to the bottom o' the city. 'This is not
the Washington Market, Mrs. Magovern,' sez I. - 'It is not, Mrs. Haley,'
sez she. - 'We'll git out, Mrs. Magovern,' sez I. - 'We will, Mrs. Haley,'
sez she. Thin came the gintleman that first had the dure in his hand.
'What's the matther, ladies?' sez he. - 'This isn't the Washington
Market, sur,' sez I. - 'It is not, ma'am,' sez he, 'but the city is a
great place,' sez he, 'an' it's not aisy to go everywhere at wonst,' sez
he; 'an' if yez will have patience,' sez he, 'ye'll git there,' sez he.
'Git in, ladies,' sez he, 'an' pay yer fares.' Wid all the houses
there's in the city, an' all the sthrates there's in it, faith, it was
no good at all to thry to foind our way alone; but thim wur false
paple - they niver took us to the Washington Market at all; an' it was
all the day we wint up to the top o' the city and down to the bottom o'
the city, and spinding our money at it. An' sez I, 'Mrs. Magovern, it
would be better for us if we wint home,' sez I. - 'It would, Mrs. Haley,'
sez she; an' we come down to the boat, an' it was two hours agin befoor
the boat would go, an' thin we come home; an' it's toired we are, an'
it's an' awful place, the city is."

Haley's statements could seldom be relied on, but his untruth fulness
was never a matter of self-interest, but rather of amiability. He
desired to tell you whatever you desired to know, and to tell it as you
would like to hear it, even if facts were so perverse as to be contrary.

One day I wanted to do an errand in the village, and called for the
horse and carriage. Haley brought them to the door. As I took the reins
I remembered that it was noon and the horse's dinner-time: "Did the
horse have his dinner, Haley?"

"I just gave it to him, ma'am; and an ilegint dinner he had."

"Why did you feed him just when I was about to drive him?"

"Oh, well, it's not much he got."

"He should have had nothing."

"Faith, me lady, I ownly showed it to him."

There were no more respectable people in The Lane than John Godfrey and
his family. His pretty little wife with an anxious face tenderly watched
over an ever-increasing family of daughters, till on one most
providential occasion the expected girl turned out to be a boy, and I
went with my sisters to congratulate the happy mother. "What will you
name the little fellow, Mrs. Godfrey?" I asked, sympathetically.

The poor woman looked up with a smile, saying weakly, "John Pathrick,
miss - John afther the father, an' Pathrick afther the saint."

The following year the same unexpected luck brought another boy, and
again we young girls, being much at leisure, carried our
congratulations: "What will be the name of this little boy, Mrs.
Godfrey?"

"Pathrick John, miss - Pathrick afther the saint, an' John afther the
father."

A confused sense of having heard that sentence before came over me.
"Why, Mrs. Godfrey," I said, "was not that the name of your last child?"

"To be shure, miss. Why would I be trating one betther than the other?"

A member of this same family, upon receiving a blow with a stone in the
eye, left her somewhat overcrowded paternal home for the quieter
protection of her widowed aunt, Mrs. King, and one day my sister and
myself knocked at Mrs. King's door to inquire about the state of the
injured organ.

"Troth, miss, it's very bad," said Mrs. King.

"What do you do for it, Mrs. King?"

"Do?" said Mrs. King, suddenly applying the corner of her apron to her
overflowing eyes - "Do?" she continued in a broken voice. "I've been
crying these three days."

"But what do you do to make it better?"

Mrs. King took heart, folded her arms, and thus applied herself to the
setting forth of her humane exertions: "In comes Mistress Magovern,
an', 'Mrs. King,' sez she, 'put rar bafesteak to the choild's oye;' an'
that minit, ma'am, the rar bafesteak wint to it. Thin comes Mrs. Haley.
'Is it rar bafesteak ye'd be putting to it, Mrs. King?' sez she. 'Biling
clothes, Mrs. King,' sez she. That minit, ma'am, the rar bafesteak come
afif an' the biling clothes wint to it. In comes Mrs. Quinlan. 'Will ye
be destryin' the choild's oye intirely, Mrs. King?' sez she. 'Cowld ice,
Mrs. King.' An' that minit, ma'am, the biling clothes come aff an' the
cowld ice wint to it. Oh, I do be doin' iverything anybody do tell me."

It was a memorable sight to see the Gunning twins wandering down The
Lane hand in hand when their maternal relative had gone out washing for
the day and taken the door-key with her. "Thim lads is big enough to
take care of thimsilves," she would remark, though "the lads" were not
yet capable of coherent speech. No doubt they wandered into some
neighbor's at meal-time and received a willingly-given potato or a drink
of milk. They seemed happy enough, and their funny, ugly little faces
were defaced by no tears. They grew in time old enough to explain their
position to inquiring passers-by and to pick up and eat an amazing
quantity of green apples. A lady passing one day stopped and
remonstrated with one of them. "Barney," she said, "it will make you ill
if you eat those green apples." - "I do be always atin' of them, ma'am,"
replied Barney, stolidly.

Perhaps it may have been the green apples, but from whatever cause
Barney fell ill, and all that the doctor prescribed made him no better.
"It's no matther, stir," said Mrs. Gunning one morning: "yer needn't
come ag'in. I'll just go an' ask Mrs. - - - " (my mother).

The next morning the doctor, meeting my mother, laughingly remarked
that it was very plain that they couldn't practise in the same
district: he had just met Mrs. Gunning, who informed him that "what
Mrs. - - - gave her the night befoor done the choild a power of good."

The day preceding our departure from the place my sister and I passed
through The Lane, and received the most amiable farewells, accompanied
with blessings, and even tears. The figure I best remember is that of
Mrs. Regan, who, bursting out from her doorway, stood in our path, and,
dissolving in tears, sobbed out, "Faith, I'm sorry yez be goin'. I don't
know what I'll do at all widout yez;" and, seizing my sister's hand,
gave her this unique recommendation: "Ye were always passing by
mannerly - niver sassy nor impidint, nor nothing."

The Lane has changed to-day. A Chinese grocer has, I hear, set up a shop
in its midst. Some of its most noted characters have passed away, and
the younger generation have taken on habits more American than those of
their predecessors.

M.R.O.




A CHILD'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY.


A quaint and charming volume, which has fallen in our way, is _Little
Charlie's Life_, "the autobiography of a child between six and seven
years of age, written with his own hand and without any assistance
whatever." It was at the urgent request of the gentleman who acted as
editor, Rev. W.R. Clark - thus rescuing an inimitable little work from
comparative oblivion - that the parents of the youthful author
reluctantly consented to the publication of this curious delineation of
child-life. From the date of his birth (1833), Charlie must have written
his work some forty years ago. How long he was engaged in its
composition is not stated, but from the internal evidence yielded by the
spelling and the handwriting (for the work is lithographed in exact
imitation of the manuscript) we should infer that it occupied two or
three years, the handwriting of the first seven chapters being in
imitation of ordinary printing, while the remaining chapters appear in
an ordinary schoolboy's hand. We may add that it is copiously
illustrated by himself, and that the illustrations are worth their
weight in gold, supplementing as they do, in a superfluously exact and
curiously quaint manner, this most unique work.

He starts with this account of himself: "My name is Charles John Young,
and I was born in Amfort, a pretty village in Hampshire, 1833 in July,
that pleasant time when the birds sing merrily and flowers bloom
sweetly. My father and mother are the kindest in the world, and I love
them dearly and both alike. I shall give a description of them by and
by. In the mean time I shall just say that my papa is a clergyman."

The earlier chapters describe the various migrations of the family from
one parish to another, and from them we have no difficulty in
recognizing in "papa" the Rev. Julian Young, who possessed no small
share of the talents that distinguished _his_ father, the celebrated
tragedian, Charles Young, and which seem to have been transmitted to our
author, who, we understand, has honorably served his country in Her
Majesty's army. From his earliest years Charlie seems to have been
strongly influenced by religious feelings. His creed was a bright and
trustful one, a realization of God's presence and of the need of
speaking to Him as to one who could always hear and help. When he was
about three years old, we are told in the editor's interesting preface,
he was often heard offering up little petitions for the supply of his
child-like wants. Once, when, his nurse left him to fetch some more
milk, his father overheard him saying, "O God, please let there be
enough milk in the jug for me to have some more, for Jesus Christ's
sake. Amen." Many quaint little religious reflections and scriptural
allusions are interspersed throughout the book. In one place he declares
that "without papa and mamma the garden would be to me what the
wilderness was to John the Baptist;" while again he offers up a pathetic
prayer for a baby-brother; and throughout we are struck by the fact that
his religion was pre-eminently one of love. Charlie's educational
advantages were of the noblest and best, home-training largely
predominating. In the ninth chapter he refers in a simple matter-of-fact
way to his early studies: "Mamma devotes her time in teaching me and in
reading instructive books with me. Papa tells me about the productions
of the earth, rivers, mountains, valleys, mines, and, most wonderful of
all, the formation of the human body." Further on we read: "Nothing of
any great importance occurred now for some time. My life was spent
quietly in the country, as the child of a Wiltshire clergyman ought,
mamma devoting her time in teaching me, and my daily play going on the
same, till at last papa and mamma took me to the splendid capital of
England." However much this brilliant transition may have dazzled him,
he still prefers his quiet country home, arguing thus: "As to living
there [in London], I should not like it. The reason why - because its
noisy riots in the streets suit not my mood like the tranquil streams
and the waving trees I love in England's country.... 'Tis true - oh, how
true! - in the poetic words of Mr. Shakespeare, 'Man made the town, God
made the country.'"

Despite the stilted style and absurdly pompous descriptions, with an
occasional terrible breakdown, Charlie's love of Nature, and especially
of the animal creation, seems to have been most genuine. He speaks of
"the wide ocean which when angry roars and clashes over the beach, but
when calm crabs are seen crawling on the shore and the sun shines bright
over the waves," and of "the billows rolling over each other and foaming
over the rough stones," with an apparently real enthusiasm. The softer
emotions of his nature were engrossed in this way, as we infer from the
negative evidence afforded by his autobiography that he reached his
seventh year without any experience of the tender passion.

His physiological ideas in the speculations regarding the origin of a
baby-brother are na√ѓvely expressed: "One day I was told that a baby was
born [this was when he was three years and a half old], and upon going
into mamma's bedroom I saw a red baby lying in an arm-chair wrapped in
swaddling-clothes. It puzzled me very much to think how he came into the
world: it was mysterious, very, and I cannot make it out now. My first
thought was, that he must have had airy wings, and after he had come
they had disappeared. My second thought was that he was so very little
as to be able to come through the keyhole, and increased rapidly in
size, just as it says in the Bible that a grain of mustard-seed springs
to be so large a tree that the fowls of the air can roost upon it."

In his sixth year Charlie evinced poetic tendencies. We have in one of
his poems a description of his grandpapa, "a venerable old gentleman
with dark eyes, gray hair, noble features, and altogether very generous
aspect." Here is "a song appropriate to him:"

Oh, venerable is our old ancestor -
Cloud on his brow,
Lightning in his eyes,
His gray hair streaming in the wind.
To children ever kind,
To merit never blind, -
Oh, such is our old ancestor,
With hair that streameth wild.

At the head of this poem is a picture of the old ancestor, consisting of
a hat, a head, a walking-stick, one arm and two legs, one of
which - whether the right or left is doubtful, as their origin is
concealed by the aforesaid arm - is much longer than the other, and
walking in a contrary direction. The most wonderful feature of this
sketch is the "hair streaming in the wind," the distance from the poll
to the end of the flowing locks being longer than the longest leg.

We cannot conclude without an extract describing a "dreadful accident"
which happened to our youthful author; "perhaps," as he solemnly says,
"for a punishment of my sins, or to show me that Death stands ready at
the door to snatch my life away:" "One night papa had been conjuring a
penny, and I thought _I_ should like to conjure; so I took a round brass
thing with a verse out of the Bible upon it that I brought into bed with
me. I thought it went down papa's throat, so _I_ put it down _my_ throat,
and I was pretty near choked. I called my nurse, who was in the next
room. She fetched up papa, and then my nurse brought the basin. Papa
beat my back, and I was sick. _Lo! there was the counter!_ Papa said,
'Good God!' and my nurse fainted, but soon recovered. Don't you think
papa was very clever when he beat my back? Papa then had a long talk
afterward with me about it - a very serious one."

The above pathetic story is accurately illustrated, but we especially
regret that we cannot transfer to these pages some of the marvellous
delineations of the animals in the Clifton Zoological Garden.

M.S.D.




WANTED - A REAL GAINSBOROUGH.


I am an unmarried man of twenty-four. After that confession it is hardly
necessary to add that I am in the habit of thinking a great deal about a
person not yet embodied into actual existence - i.e. my future wife. I
have not yet met her - she is a purely ideal being - but at the same time
I so often have a vivid conception of her looks, her air, her walk, her
tones even, that she seems to be present. My misery is that I cannot
find her in real life.

No one need fancy that I am an imaginative man: quite the contrary is
the fact. I am a lawyer, and have an office in Bond street. Every
morning at eight o'clock I take the Sixth Avenue horse-cars and ride
down to Fourteenth street. I have a fancy for walking the rest of the
way, and toward evening I saunter back homeward along Broadway and Union
Square.

Prosaic as these journeys may seem, they are nevertheless the
inspiration of my hopes, the feeders of my visions. It is at such times
that I enjoy my glimpses of the lady I long to meet. I jostle gentle
creatures at every step: feminine shapes and feminine tones are on every
side presented to eyes and ears. I trust nobody will be prejudiced


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Online LibraryVariousLippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XVI., December, 1880 → online text (page 19 of 20)