excerpt from 'Rhymes and Recollections of a Hand-Loom Weaver, 2nd edition' pp. 21; 28; 30-31 (358 words)

excerpt from 'Rhymes and Recollections of a Hand-Loom Weaver, 2nd edition' pp. 21; 28; 30-31 (358 words)

part of

Rhymes and Recollections of a Hand-Loom Weaver, 2nd edition

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

in pages

21; 28; 30-31

type

text excerpt

encoded value

[Thom gives a harrowing account of walking for days in search of lodgings and food with his wife and four children, his infant daughter Jeanie dying of starvation and exposure en route, following the closure in 1837 of thousands of mills in Dundee because of economic depression]

Amongst the many villages thus trade-stricken, none felt the blow more severely than that of Newtyle, near Cupar-Angus [east-central Scotland where the Thom family had been living].

 […]

 Early on Monday we resumed our heartless pilgrimage—wandering onwards, without any settled purpose or end. The busy, singing world above us was a nuisance; and around, the loaded fields bore nothing for us—we were things apart. Nor knew we where that night our couch might be, or where, to-morrow, our grave.

[…]

 We settled for the night at a house kept for the humblest description of “travellers” […] Our fellow-lodgers were of all nations, to the amount of two dozen or so.

[…]

At the gloamin’ hour [sunset afterglow], we entered the village of Errol in the Carse of Gowrie. In the main street, a group of people had gathered round a man, and stood silent and attentive, as if expecting some display or another. I wondered, for a moment, whether the man was a preacher, and at a dead stop for material […], the bewilderment of his look certainly intimated that, what ever his employment, his lips had “closed for the season.” It was not so. I knew it all afterwards. He had been just then singing—for the first time, singing in the streets. I heard his song. Surely, surely, thought I, it comes from his very heart; such earnestness, such sorrowful sweetness! Misery makes niggards of us, and at times sympathies will actually become self-consumed; yet this man and his “Light of other days,” haunted my fancy, even to my motley lodgings.

 

 [The street-singer and his wife, it turned out, also were sheltering at the traveller’s lodge, where their infant son died on the evening of the listening experience. Thom and the anonymous singer became life-long friends].

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excerpt from 'Rhymes and Recollections of a Hand-Loom Weaver, 2nd edition' pp. 21; 28; 30-31 (358 words)

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