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as to the cause of my coming; but, later, I was informed that my mother had hastened to her parents from London to be delivered of me; and that, after recovery, she had gone back to the Metropolis, leaving me in the charge of my grandfather, Moses Parry, who lived within the precincts of Denbigh Castle. Forty years of my life have passed, and this delving into my earliest years appears to me like an exhumation of Pompeii, buried for centuries under the scoriae, lava, and volcanic dust of Vesuvius. To the man of the Nineteenth Century, who paces the recovered streets and byeways of Pompeii, how strange seem the relics of the far distant life! Just so appear to me the little fatherless babe, and the orphaned child. Up to a certain time I could remember well every incident connected with those days; but now I look at the child with wonder, and can scarcely credit that out of that child I grew. How quaint that bib and tucker, that short frock, the fat legs, the dimpled cheeks, the
North Carolina (North Carolina, United States) (search for this): part 1.4, chapter 1.5
tutor to Cardinal Newman — appeared on his annual visit to the school, he was heard to express high approval of the attainments of some of the boys in the first class, and, after honouring them with valuable souvenirs, graciously blessed them. When Captain Leigh Thomas, the Chairman of the Board of Guardians, who was a local magnate, and of Indian distinction — being descended from that Captain George Thomas, who, in the last century, rose from obscurity to the rank of an Indian prince in North-West India--visited us, he pointed out to Francis promising traits in several of the head boys, and was not too proud to pat us on the head, and elevate us by kind encouragements with a hope that there were bright rewards in store for some of us for our manifest abilities. Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools on his tour of inspection professed to discover in some of our boys the signs of unusual intelligence, and, calling one up to him, felt his head and his temples, and then turned round
Manchester (United Kingdom) (search for this): part 1.4, chapter 1.5
joicings, or grieve in its sorrows; we knew no Royal or State occasions, shared in no jubilant celebrations, and were equally ignorant of public panics and disturbances, as of the pomp and woes of war. In the Crimea there might be a million of men gathered together to play at the dangerous game of cannon-balls, and to batter one another into shapeless fragments; London might roar day and night with its thunderous traffic; Birmingham might be suffocating under the fumes of its furnaces; and Manchester might vibrate under the force of its accumulated mechanisms,--to us it mattered as little as though we were in another planet. Year after year we noted the passing of the seasons by the budding blossoms, the flight of bees, the corn which changed from green to gold, the fall and whirl of leaves, followed soon after by white snow, and blasts of nipping winds, which stiffened our muscles, and sent us shivering to the fire. The little shops near and in St. Asaph had somehow the air of l
Birmingham (United Kingdom) (search for this): part 1.4, chapter 1.5
urrounding our home of lowliness. We could take no part in public rejoicings, or grieve in its sorrows; we knew no Royal or State occasions, shared in no jubilant celebrations, and were equally ignorant of public panics and disturbances, as of the pomp and woes of war. In the Crimea there might be a million of men gathered together to play at the dangerous game of cannon-balls, and to batter one another into shapeless fragments; London might roar day and night with its thunderous traffic; Birmingham might be suffocating under the fumes of its furnaces; and Manchester might vibrate under the force of its accumulated mechanisms,--to us it mattered as little as though we were in another planet. Year after year we noted the passing of the seasons by the budding blossoms, the flight of bees, the corn which changed from green to gold, the fall and whirl of leaves, followed soon after by white snow, and blasts of nipping winds, which stiffened our muscles, and sent us shivering to the fir
s become absorbing. Presently a woman advances, bends over me a moment, then lifts me up in her arms, and from a great height I survey my world. There is a settle of dark wood, a bit of carving at the end of it; there is a black, shiny chimney; a red coal-fire, with one spluttering jet of flame, and waving soot-flakes; there is a hissing black kettle, and a thread of vapour from the nozzle; a bright copper bed-warmer suspended to the wall; a display of coloured plates, mainly blue, with Chinese pictures on them, arranged over a polished dresser; there is an uneven flagstone floor; a window with diamond panes set in lead; a burnished white table, with two deep drawers in it; a curious old clock, with intensely red flowers above, and chains and weights below it; and, lastly, I see a door cut into two halves, the upper one being wide open, through which I gain my first view of sky and space. This last is a sight worth seeing, and I open my eyes roundly to take stock of this pearly s
Cambria (United Kingdom) (search for this): part 1.4, chapter 1.5
Chapter I the Workhouse it is said that one of the patrician Mostyns, of North Wales, possesses a written pedigree forty feet long, to prove the claim of his family to a direct descent from Adam. Though no doubt much of this extraordinary genealogy is fabulous, it allows all of us plebeians a reasonable hope to believe that ugh his charity I had learned to know God by faith, as the Father of the fatherless, and I had been taught to read. It is impossible that in a Christian land like Wales I could have avoided contracting some knowledge of the Creator, but the knowledge which is gained by hearing is very different from that which comes from feeling. my life. But for the stupid and brutal scene which brought it about, I might eventually have been apprenticed to some trade or another, and would have mildewed in Wales, because, with some knowledge of my disposition, I require great cause to break away from associations. Unknown to myself, and unperceived by anyone else, I had a
Cardinal Newman — appeared on his annual visit to the school, he was heard to express high approval of the attainments of some of the boys in the first class, and, after honouring them with valuable souvenirs, graciously blessed them. When Captain Leigh Thomas, the Chairman of the Board of Guardians, who was a local magnate, and of Indian distinction — being descended from that Captain George Thomas, who, in the last century, rose from obscurity to the rank of an Indian prince in North-West India--visited us, he pointed out to Francis promising traits in several of the head boys, and was not too proud to pat us on the head, and elevate us by kind encouragements with a hope that there were bright rewards in store for some of us for our manifest abilities. Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools on his tour of inspection professed to discover in some of our boys the signs of unusual intelligence, and, calling one up to him, felt his head and his temples, and then turned round to Franci
Murren (Switzerland) (search for this): part 1.4, chapter 1.5
h not particularly brilliant in any special thing that I can remember, held my own as head of the school. When the Eisteddfod was held at Rhuddlan in 1851, I was the one chosen to represent the genius of the school; but, soon after the nomination, I fell ill of measles, and Toomis succeeded to the honour. Apropos of this: exactly forty years later I was invited to preside over one of the meetings of the Eisteddfod, held at Swansea, but as I was preparing for this honour, a fall at Murren, Switzerland, resulted in the fracture of my left leg, which rendered my appearance impossible. The other boys in the school consisted of the dunces, the indolent, the malingerers, the would-be truants, the dull, the noisy, the fat-witted majority, just six times more numerous than the naturally-able boys. This proportion of one in six is very common in the world. In ships that I have sailed in, among the military companions with whom I have campaigned, among the blacks and the whites of my A
London (United Kingdom) (search for this): part 1.4, chapter 1.5
elligence begins to peep out and to retain durably the sense of existence. One of the first things I remember is to have been gravely told that I had come from London in a band-box, and to have been assured that all babies came from the same place. It satisfied my curiosity for several years as to the cause of my coming; but, later, I was informed that my mother had hastened to her parents from London to be delivered of me; and that, after recovery, she had gone back to the Metropolis, leaving me in the charge of my grandfather, Moses Parry, who lived within the precincts of Denbigh Castle. Forty years of my life have passed, and this delving into mIn the Crimea there might be a million of men gathered together to play at the dangerous game of cannon-balls, and to batter one another into shapeless fragments; London might roar day and night with its thunderous traffic; Birmingham might be suffocating under the fumes of its furnaces; and Manchester might vibrate under the forc
Swansea (United Kingdom) (search for this): part 1.4, chapter 1.5
who prophesied great things of him in the future, while I, though not particularly brilliant in any special thing that I can remember, held my own as head of the school. When the Eisteddfod was held at Rhuddlan in 1851, I was the one chosen to represent the genius of the school; but, soon after the nomination, I fell ill of measles, and Toomis succeeded to the honour. Apropos of this: exactly forty years later I was invited to preside over one of the meetings of the Eisteddfod, held at Swansea, but as I was preparing for this honour, a fall at Murren, Switzerland, resulted in the fracture of my left leg, which rendered my appearance impossible. The other boys in the school consisted of the dunces, the indolent, the malingerers, the would-be truants, the dull, the noisy, the fat-witted majority, just six times more numerous than the naturally-able boys. This proportion of one in six is very common in the world. In ships that I have sailed in, among the military companions wit
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