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and listens to the moan of the young raven, find none for himself; she could take washand whose ears are ever open to our cry, ing and ironing for the gentle folks; she read the sincere purpose of her soul, and the could find “turns,” and “jobs,” and “chores” boy was given from the very grasp of death for Johnny and Kathleen. A very thrifty back into the bosom of his mother.
and notable dame was Bridget M'Calloran, At last, with languid steps, and aching by and by, when the keen edge of her sorhearts, and withered hopes, the emigrants row and disappointment had been kindly trod upon a stranger shore. Their provisions time-blunted; and though her brow more were all exhausted, their money was nearly frequently than of yore contracted frownall spent. The grandparents seemed to ingly, and her voice was sometimes elevated look longingly at the "Potter's Field," as to a higher key than would be admissible in having left behind them every thing that drawing-rooms, she managed to keep her made life dear or valuable. The surviving house—if the plan of their abode might be children were meagre, and pale, and feeble; dignified with the name—her husband, and the hearts of the parents were full to the her children, “in very nate and tidy thrim." very brim of hopelessness and sorrow. But They were abundantly patched, to be sure, something must be done; a shelter of some with all sorts of colors, but never ragged or kind, if it were only a shed, must be pro- filthy; and if Bridget scolded, and fretted, vided; food and employment must be ob- and "twitted" unwisely, she was, neverthetained; for Biddy M'Calloran was resolved less, an excellent wife, a faithful mother, and her remaining little ones should not starve. a model in many things to her proverbially
A single room in a crazy old building in negligent countrywomen. New-York was procured, and they crowded into a hive already swarming with their disappointed and discontented countrymen. In the lapse of a few weeks, the M'Calloran “Come now, Biddy darlint," said Thaddy family was diminished by the decease of the one evening when he came in from loitering in grandparents, and near them, like a fresh the streets, for he had found no work that day, bud laid to wither beside a hoar and moss- though his wife had had no lack of washing grown trunk, they buried still another boy. and ironing-enough to make her feel worn This latter loss, however, was soon made up and weary; for it was a sultry and suffocatto them in the advent of a fat and chubby ing evening in midsummer, and, besides, the child, whose enjoyment, when out of the children had been unusually mischievous mother's arms, seemed perfect while engaged and troublesome, and Biddy's patience had in examining his own wonderful little hands, ebbed down almost to the low-water mark. so round, and soft, and plump, and dim. She was not, indeed, so even-tempered and pled.
gentle as she used to be in the deserted With the birth of this boy, things seemed home in the “ould counthry," and when to take a more prosperous turn. Thaddeus, Thaddy came in this evening, he found * to be sure, had left all of the mushroom things in a good deal of confusion. Mrs. energy that had so suddenly sprung up be- M'Calloran was scolding boisterously; Kathfore his emigration entirely behind; but he leen was pouting, and snivelling, and coverwas still a very kind and docile husband, ing her summarily boxed ears with her and a very fond and devoted father. Biddy hands; little Mike, with tearful eyes and an resolved herself into a “committee of ways angry countenance, was rubbing off the and means,” and her invention, like the in- smart which had not ceased to burn and vention of women in general, steadily kept tingle ever since a measure of salutary discipace with every novel emergency. She pline had been administered by the strong, could find work for Thaddy when he could horny hands of his mother, in return for
his snatching the candlestick from the baby; "I wish you could make pictures, father," the baby was kicking and screaming out his re at length he said. sentment, although the snatched candlestick "I can, sure, my son," replied Thaddy, had been restored; John had sought quiet “an' it's pictures that ye're afther wanting; in a corner, and with an earnest and thought- any thing to plase ye, darlint.” ful face, he was looking delightedly at an
The children all fixed their wondering old torn picture book, which he had the eyes upon him, as he took the candle from good fortune to pick up in the street. the table and placed it with the air of a
" Come, Biddy, darlint,” soothed Thaddy, magician in Kathleen's hands, that shadows “whether hadn't ye betther give over your might be cast more favorably on the opposcoulding the childhers a bit, and be aisy for site wall. They watched in amazement the a leetle ! no good will happen for scoulding mysterious interlocking and hooking together 80 much."
of his fingers. "An I reckon yo would be afther having "Now look on the wall yonder," he said, as much scoulding yerself, Thaddy,” retorted and let's see which of ye all will tell me the irritated Mrs. M'Calloran, “ was ye tied first what kind of crather ye see there." up to the childhers from mornin' to night, The children opened their eyes very wide as their mither is, with all their mouths to and round, to take in the form and dimenfill besides! Why don't ye
conthrive some sions of the wonderful beast that was to be thin' to plase 'em and keep 'em quiet, whin somehow inexplicably connected with the niver a bit of nothin' else have ye to do?" strange linking of their father's fingers. Ah!
“That's what I will, sure," returned Thad- there it comes ! A head, and eyes, and dy, sitting down on a chair, and summoning ears, and legs, just like some animal. But the children smilingly about him. “Come, what is it? Kathleen, and my little Mike, we'll have "Oh, there's a rabbit on the wall !" shouted some sport that will dry up your tears and Johnny, clapping his hands. “How could make ye look smilin' and happy again." ye make him, father ?”
The children were in a moment by his “A rabbit on the wall !” repeated Kathside, and he began the performance of some leen and Mike; and then they all united in simple games and pranks, which very soon a chorus of glad laughter, in which the baby made Kathleen forget her red and stinging sympathetically joined, screaming and crowears, and Mike the maltreatment he had ing with a hearty enthusiasm that won a suffered, in the childish heartiness of their loving smile to the face of his mother, and merriment. The cloud passed away from warned her to fold her arms more securely Biddy's face, by and by, and she took up about him, to save bim from the danger of the baby in her arms, and sat down beside a sudden bound into the air, in the very exher husband, that baby too might join in the cess of his simple enjoyment. frolic and forget the grievances he had en " What makes it, father? What ?" earndured in the temporary loss of his most unestly inquired Johnny, as the rabbit still lay toward plaything. But Johnny was too in bold relief on the wall. deeply absorbed in his old tattered, worn-out “Nothing, sure, only the candle asthrampicture-book, to be attracted even by the ing through the fingers,” replied his father. gleeful shouts that rung out from the circle "Ye can do it yourself, boy: hook your so happily clustered together; at last, how- fingers together, so, and hold 'em up 'twixt ever, when he had looked it through and the light and the wall, and ye'll have a baste through, with ever-increasing admiration, he of yer own." laid it aside, and with his bright face Johnny's education in casting shadows sparkling with pleasure, he drew into the
was more delightful to him than any lessons group.
he had ever learned. All the remainder o
the evening, till long after the eyes of the outbursting of an impulse, which, though other children were fast locked in slumber, vastly remote in its relationship, might yet the fascinated boy amused himself by re- claim kindred with the impulse which moving the light from place to place, to brought Pygmalion to the feet of his peerthrow the shadow of every thing in the room less Galatea, with a prayer that a form so on the walls. He was astonished and puz- divinely beautiful as the marble he had chiszled with the different dimensions and shapes elled, might no longer be passionless and of the shadows, according to their different dead, but waken into the perfection of an distances and positions, in relation to his actual existence ? little flickering luminary. Breathlessly in- From this hour, this battle-hour of his quisitive, Johnny sought of the ignorance of genius, as it were, the soul of the Irish boy his parents the elucidation of the mystery; seemed to rise above his condition, and to his mind had been suddenly quickened into tabernacle within itself. The simple and vigorous action, and he was not enlightened puerile enjoyments of the childish mind with his father's explanation, drawn, to be lost all charm for him; he forgot the sure, from the best stores of his philosophy, “chores” his mother required him to do at " that it was always so, and that there was home; he forgot the task his teachers reniver a bit of rason for it, only it did so." quired him to learn at school; and yet The awakened intellect of the boy panted to somehow he became, in a little while, both know the laws and the principles which intelligent and ambitious beyond the meagoverned those changes; he wondered if sure of his years. He mastered the spellingany body could render a more satisfactory book with incredible facility, and then he explanation than his father had done; he trod disdainfully the simple and rudimental wondered if there were any books in the pathway which children are required to world that told about shadows, and if there tread. His mind thirsted and clamored were, how ardently he longed to be a scholar, for the inbreaking of a stronger and clearer that he might lay up in his own heart such light; but his parents were very poor and treasures of knowledge.
ignorant, and in the lowest social position; It was not until after repeated admoni- yes, and his teachers were poor and ignorant tions from his mother that Johnny M'Cal- too, and he was left to pine under an inloran could be persuaded to bed ; and then ward famine, because nobody understood or the inner chambers of his fancy were all could compound the nutriment which would hung about with shapes, and pictures, and have given him vigor. There were “imfaces, and varying shadows, which changed mortal longings" in him-longings, whose and fitted marvellously. There was a glow unfolding and maturing his poverty and low of light and beauty within, of which he had station seemed likely effectually to smother; sometimes seen ill-defined and misunderstood but in the depths of his soul a heaven-lit glimpses before, when objects of beauty or flame struggled to burn-a flame which sublimity had met his vision ; but now the must be self-consuming, or burst its way out inner imagery seemed substantial, and he into an element from which it could derive feared to open his eyes upon the darkness of support and strength, and the quickening his garret, lest the blessed sights should of a new inspiration. vanish irrecoverably away.
John was very happy when he came in His dreams were but a continuation of his undisputed possession of a slate and pencil, waking fancies; he saw over again, with re- all his own. Long before had he perfected newed wonder, the rabbit on the wall, and, himself in "charcoal sketches,” with the under his enchanted gaze, it seemed to un- wall, the hearth, the pavement, for a canfold into a living, breathing, moving thing. vas. Now he would sit, hour after hour, Was it not the inexplicable, but spontaneous throwing upon his slate singularly natu
ral and graceful outlines of almost every years of wretchedness indeed to the M'Calthing within the range of his vision. The i loran family. Thaddeus became confirmed faces of his parents, brothers, and sisters, in in his habits of indolence; he contracted, their many varying expressions; the cat, moreover, vicious and ruinous appetites; the table, the tea-kettle, the chairs, fancy wasted Biddy's laboriously gained pittances scenes, both serious and comic; groupings, at the tippling house; swaggered, and rude and undirected by scientific principles, swore, and rioted in the streets; raved, quarto be sure, but strangely perfect and origi- relled, or slept, at home; a miserable, loath. nal. The unequivocal exponents of a latent some, bloated victim of intemperance. With genius they were, and they seemed to rub such a fire kindled at the root of domestic off from the point of his pencil, and to happiness, no wonder Biddy grew neglitake form and comeliness at his will. gent and irritable and violent under the
His parents called him a “strange and abuse she endured, and the sufferings and techy child;" and his mother, fondly as she burdens she was forced to bear. Biddy doated on him, began to chide him as an M'Calloran was born with a gentle heart; idle and useless boy, good for very little or drunkenness was a vice she abhorred, and nothing, when the family were for ever in could by no means pardon, especially when such need. His father, who was himself a it took the bread from the mouths of her worshipper of ease and idleness, had, never-children, and turned her home, low and theless, a strong anxiety that John should poor as it was at best, into a haunt for a be useful. They, naturally enough, lost all foul imbruted creature, who was her torforbearance for John's idle propensities, as ment rather than her helpmate. She hated they imagined them, and hired him out, at every thing in life, except the swarm of a good chance, to clean gutters and watch meagre, squalid, tattered children, that kept swine; low and loathsome drudgery, from continually increasing around her: a scarwhich the high soul of the boy recoiled and city of every thing else, there were children revolted; and by and by, after storms of enough; and she prayed passionately to hard words between father and son, and an the saints that she might die, only that her unmerciful whipping for his obstinacy and eyes longed for one more sight of her rebellion, John's share of the potatoes was swate and darling Johnny, an' he were yet left to increase the rations of the other above ground.” hungry mouths; John's straw pallet in the Darkness had thus settled heavily about garret, the dearest place in the house to the household of the emigrant; when one him, for it had been turned into an incipi- morning, in the midst of a noisy altercation ent studio, was untenanted; and he had dis- between Thaddeus and Biddy for the posappeared, nobody knew whither.
session of a sixpence, the last they could At first they passionately cursed their command, a stranger suddenly halted beungrateful child for his desertion, just as his fore the door. Hostilities were suspended labor began to be productive, and the pos- to look at him, for he stood long and silently session of him a benefit; and then came gazing at the combatants, as if he were a not unnatural transition of feeling, and riveted to the ground whereon his feet they grieved over his absence and un
rested. He was a young man of commandknown fate, more bitterly than they woulding appearance, and his whole figure exhibhave grieved to lay him peacefully at rest ited those grand and manly proportions in the burial-place.
which might serve as a model of an Adam in Paradise. His hair was dark, and swept
carelessly back from a very white forehead; The years which followed-years in which his eyes were blue, and wore a strangely no tidings came of the runaway son-were spiritual expression; and the lower part of
his fine face was concealed by a profuse she added : “ There was our swate Johnny, growth of black whiskers. The children, our darling eldest boy, the child of his miboys and girls of all sizes, from a lad of ther's heart. But something bewitched him, fourteen or fifteen down to a “toddling like, and he took to ways we didn't underbabby," had taken to flight, or been ejected stand, and now he's gone-ah! more than from the door in the warmth of the con twelve long years ! I reckon he's among tention within; and there they were, frater the saints in heaven!" nizing harmoniously with boon companions, The long-sealed fountain of tears burst the swine, that were lolling and grunting in open, and the mother wept. the sunshine. Instinctively, they gathered There was a sudden retreat of the blood about their naked legs the fragments of from the stranger's cheek and lip; an extheir rent garments, and then stole timidly pression of marked agony swept swiftly up to the stranger, to stare in his face, with across his face, and he wiped the perspiraeyes and mouths inquisitively open. The tion from his forehead. The mother repigs and dogs and cats and poultry in the sumed her family history in a moment. immediate neighborhood seemed drawn by “We laid little Mike, the darlint, in the the same magnetism, and ranged themselves church-yard yonder, where ye see the blessin an indiscriminate cluster about him; the ed cross; and we buried three boys in the swine and dogs erecting their lean noses big waters when we came from the ould inquiringly, and ruffling their filth-laden counthry.
counthry. Alack-a-day," she continued, bristles; the poultry expressing their sense dashing off the streaming tears from her of the advent of a stranger by stealthy up-cheeks with her rough and brawny hand, ward glances, and a chorus of continuous we were happy in Ireland, but sure we're cacklings. The visitor kicked a few of the wretched enough here." lower animals aside, to open for himself a " You seem to be wretched,” replied the pathway to the door; then laying his large visitor, kindly; “ what can be done for you !" white hand upon the head of the eldest “I can bear any thing but that my innoboy, he said:
cent childhers should statve," said Biddy, “Can you tell me who lives here, my casting a frowning glance at her husband; boy? What is your name ?"
“it was only a wee morsel I could give “Tommy M'Calloran,” replied the lad, them for breakfast, and niver a bit have I thrusting his fingers into his mouth. tasted myself."
"And are these your father and mother ?" “Should you be thankful to have all
"Why don't ye beg something of the their wants supplied, and would he be a gintleman, Tommy?" interposed Mrs. M'Cal man again?" said the stranger, pointing his loran. “Plase yer honor, we are all starv- long finger at Thaddy, who by this time had ing—all starving," she emphasized, “ for the melted into a fit of silly weeping. “I love rason that Thaddy M'Calloran there is such your country, and I can do you good; will a lazy dhrunken baste of a husband." you promise me, Thaddy M'Calloran, to be
Thaddy fixed his stupid eyes on his wife, a sober man, and a kind husband and faand was about to retort, when the stranger ther, if I furnish your table with food, and stepped within the door, and inquired of your children with clothing ?" Biddy, without noticing the husband : "Are The whole family stared at the visitor these all
with mute surprise; and overawed by his “No, yer honor, not all. Kathleen is vehemence, Thaddy uttered an audible away off in the counthry, at sarvice, and “Yes !" she spends all her gains in finery, the hussy, “ Then I promise, that before the sunsetinstead of helping her poor mither a bit,” | ting, this miserable and grief-worn woman replied Biddy. And then in a lower voice with her children shall be decently appa