Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 List of Illustrations
 A boy I knew
 Four dogs
 Back Cover

Group Title: A boy I knew : and, Four dogs
Title: A boy I knew
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00086571/00001
 Material Information
Title: A boy I knew and, Four dogs
Alternate Title: Four dogs
Physical Description: x, 87 p., 34 leaves of plates : ill., port. ; 21 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Hutton, Laurence, 1843-1904
Harper & Brothers ( Publisher )
Publisher: Harper & Brothers
Place of Publication: New York ;
Publication Date: 1898
Subject: Dogs -- Anecdotes -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Human-animal relationships -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Parent and child -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Grandfathers -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Amusements -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
City and town life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Family stories -- 1898   ( local )
Autobiographies -- 1898   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1898   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1898
Genre: Family stories   ( local )
Autobiographies   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
autobiography   ( marcgt )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
England -- London
Statement of Responsibility: by Laurence Hutton. ; profusely illustrated.
General Note: Title page printed in red and black.
General Note: Publisher's advertisement precedes text.
General Note: "The papers upon which this volume is founded ... appeared originally in the columns of St. Nicholas." -- Introductory note.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00086571
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002231973
notis - ALH2361
oclc - 16260861

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
    List of Illustrations
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
    A boy I knew
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 4a
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 6a
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 8a
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 10a
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 12a
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 14a
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 16a
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 18a
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 20a
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 22a
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 24a
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 26a
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 28a
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 30a
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 32a
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 34a
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 36a
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 38a
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 40a
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 42a
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 44a
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 46a
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 48a
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 56a
        Page 57
        Page 58
    Four dogs
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 62a
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 64a
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 68a
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 74a
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 76a
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 80a
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 82a
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 84a
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text



The Baldwin Library


- -% 1;A


,I 'T'I


Profusely Illustrated


Copyright, 1898, by HARPEE & BBOTHERS.

All rights reserved.


Cloth, Ornamental, $1 00.
8vo, Cloth, Ornamental, $1 00.
Cloth, Ornamental, $1 00.
8vo, Cloth, Ornamental, 75 cents.
Cloth, Ornamental, $1 75.
8vo, Cloth, Ornamental, $1 00.
PORTRAITS IN PLASTER. Illustrated. Printed on Large Paper
with Wide Margins. 8vo, Cloth, Ornamental, Uncut Edges and
Gilt Top, $6 00.
8vo, Cloth, Ornamental, Uncut Edges and Gilt Top, $2 50.
16mo, Cloth, Ornamental, $1 00. (In "Harper's American
Cloth, Ornamental, $1 00. (In Harper's American Essayists.")
EDWIN BOOTH. Illustrated. 32mo, Cloth, 50 cents.






May the light of some morning skies
In days when the sun knew how to rise,
Stay with my spirit until I go
To be the boy that I used to know.
H. C. BUNNER, in "Rowen."


THACKERAY AND THE BOY ... ontispiece
THE BOY'S MOTHER. . . .Facing p. 4
THE BOY IN KILTS . ... .... 10
" GOOD-MORNING, BOYS ........ 16
"ALWAYS IN THE WAY". . ... 24

DEVOTED BAND" .... ....... 36
JOHNNY ROBERTSON ......... .". 40
JANE PURDY . . ... 42
JOE STUART .......... ... 44





WHISKIE .. . .

PUNCH .......



ROY . .


ROY . .


MOP .. . .

. .o .

. . ,


....... oo,


.... .....

. .o *

Facing p. 46



S 62









THE papers upon which this volume is founded-
published here by the courtesy of The Century Com-
pany- appeared originally in the columns of St.
Nicholas. They have been reconstructed and rear-
ranged, and not a little new matter has been added.
The portraits are all from life. That of The Boy's
Scottish grandfather, facing page 20, is from a photo-
graph by Sir David Brewster, taken in St. Andrews
in 1846 or 1847. The subject sat in his own garden,
blinking at the sun for many minutes, in front of
the camera, when tradition says that his patience
became exhausted and the artist permitted him to
move. The Boy distinctly remembers the great in-
terest the picture excited when it first reached this
Behind the tree in the extreme left of the view of
The Boy's Scottish-American grandfather's house in
New York, facing page 22, may be seen a portion of
the home of Mr. Thomas Bailey Aldrich, in 1843 or
1844, some years earlier than the period of "The


Story of a Bad Boy." Warm and constant friends
-as men-for upwards of a quarter of a century, it
is rather a curious coincidence that the boys-as
boys-should have been near neighbors, although
they did not know each other then, nor do they re-
member the fact.
The histories of A Boy I Knew and the Four
Dogs" are absolutely true, from beginning to end;
nothing has been invented; no incident has been
palliated or elaborated. The author hopes that the
volume may interest the boys and-girls he does not
know as much as it has interested him. He has
read it more than once; he.has laughed over it, and
he has cried over it; it has appealed to him in a
peculiar way. But then, he knew The Dogs, and he
knew The Boy!



HE was not a very good boy, or a very bad boy,
or a very bright boy, or an unusual boy in any
way. He was just a boy; and very often he for-
gets that he is not a boy now. Whatever there may
be about The Boy that is commendable he owes to
his father and to his mother; and he feels that he
should not be held responsible for that.
His mother was the most generous and the most
unselfish of human beings. She was always thinking
of somebody else-always doing for others. To her
it was blessed to give, and it was not very pleasant
to receive. When she bought anything, The Boy's
stereotyped query was, Who is to have it ?" When
anything was bought for her, her own invariable
remark was, "What on earth shall I do with it?"
When The Boy came to her, one summer morn-
ing, she looked upon him as a gift from Heaven;
and when she was told that it was a boy, and
not a bad-looking or a bad-conditioned boy, her


first words were, "What on earth shall I do with
it ?"
She found plenty "to do with it" before she got
through with it, more than forty years afterwards;
and The Boy has every reason to believe that she
never regretted the gift. Indeed, she once told him,
late in her life, that he had never made her cry!
What better benediction can a boy have than that?
The Boy's father was a scholar, and a ripe and
good one. Self-made and self-taught, he began the
serious struggle of life when he was merely a boy
himself; and reading, and writing, and spelling, and
languages, and mathematics came to him by nature.
He acquired by slow degrees a fine library, and out
of it a vast amount of information. He never bought
a book that he did not read, and he never read a book
unless he considered it worth buying and worth keep-
ing. Languages and mathematics were his particular
delight. When he was tired he rested himself by the
solving of a geometrical problem. He studied his
Bible in Latin, in Greek, in Hebrew, and he had no
small smattering of Sanskrit. His chief recreation,
on a Sunday afternoon or on a long summer evening,
was a walk with The Boy among the Hudson River
docks, when the business of the day, or the week, was
over and the ship was left in charge of some old
quartermaster or third mate. To these sailors the
father would talk in each sailor's own tongue, whether



it were Dutch or Danish, Spanish or Swedish, Rus-
sian or Prussian, or a patois of something else, always
to the great wonderment of The Boy, who to this
day, after many years of foreign travel, knows little
more of French than "Combien ?" and little more of
Italian than "Troppo caro." Why none of these
qualities of mind came to The Boy by direct descent
he does not know. He only knows that he did in-
herit from his parent, in an intellectual way, a sense
of humor, a love for books-as books-and a certain
respect for the men by whom books are written.
It seemed to The Boy that his father knew every-
thing. Any question upon any subject was sure to
bring a prompt, intelligent, and intelligible answer;
and, usually, an answer followed by a question, on the
father's part, which made The Boy think the matter
out for himself.
The Boy was always a little bit afraid of his
father, while he loved and respected him. He be-
lieved everything his father told him, because his
father never fooled him but once, and that was
about Santa Claus!
When his father said, "Do this," it was done.
When his father told him to go or to come, he went
or he came. And yet he never felt the weight of his
father's hand, except in the way of kindness; and, as
he looks back upon his boyhood and his manhood, he
cannot recall an angry or a hasty word or a rebuke


that was not merited and kindly bestowed. His
father, like the true Scotchman he was, never praised
him; but he never blamed him-except for cause.
The Boy has no recollection of his first tooth, but
he remembers his first toothache as distinctly as he
remembers his latest; and he could not quite under-
stand then why, when The Boy cried over that raging
molar, the father walked the floor and seemed to
suffer from it even more than did The Boy; or why,
when The Boy had a sore throat, the father always
had symptoms of bronchitis or quinsy.
The father, alas! did not live long enough to find
out whether The Boy was to amount to much or not;
and while The Boy is proud of the fact that he is his
father's son, he would be prouder still if he could
think that he had done something to make his father
proud of him.
From his father The Boy received many things
besides birth and education; many things better than
pocket-money or a fixed sum per annum; but, best
of all, the father taught The Boy never to cut a
string. The Boy has pulled various cords during his
uneventful life, but he has untied them all. Some
of the knots have been difficult and perplexing, and
the contents of the bundles, generally, have been of
little import when they have been revealed; but he
saved the strings unbroken, and invariably he has
found those strings of great help to him in the proper




' ~i

. ^<._




fastening of the next package he has had occasion
to send away.
The father had that strong sense of humor which
Dr. Johnson--who had no sense of humor what-
ever-denied to all Scotchmen. No surgical opera-
tion was necessary to put one of Sydney Smith's
jokes into the father's head, or to keep it there. His
own jokes were as original as they were harmless,
and they were as delightful as was his quick appre-
ciation of the jokes of other persons.
A long siege with a certain bicuspid had left The
Boy, one early spring day, with a broken spirit and
a swollen face. The father was going, that morning,
to attend the funeral of his old friend, Dr. McPher-
son, and, before he left the house, he asked The Boy
what should be brought back to him as a solace.
Without hesitation, a brick of maple sugar was de-
manded-a very strange request, certainly, from a
person in that peculiar condition of invalidism, and
one which appealed strongly to the father's own
sense of the ridiculous.
When the father returned, at dinner-time, he carried
the brick, enveloped in many series of papers, begin-
ning with the coarsest kind and ending with the finest
kind; and each of the wrappers was fastened with
its own particular bit of cord or ribbon, all of them
tied in the hardest of hard knots. The process of
disentanglement was long and laborious, but it was


persistently performed; and when the brick was
revealed, lo! it was just a brick-not of maple sugar,
but a plain, ordinary, red-clay, building brick which
he had taken from some pile of similar bricks on his
way up town. The disappointment was not very
bitter, for The Boy knew that something else was
coming; and he realized that it was the First of
April and that he had been April-fooled! The some-
thing else, he remembers, was that most amusing
of all amusing books, Phcenixiana, then just pub-
lished, and over it he forgot his toothache, but not
his maple sugar. All this happened when he was
about twelve years of age, and he has ever since
associated "Squibob" with the sweet sap of the
maple, never with raging teeth.
It was necessary, however, to get even with the
father, not an easy matter, as The Boy well knew;
and he consulted his uncle John, who advised patient
waiting. The father, he said, was absolutely de-
voted to The Commercial Advertiser, which he read
every day from frontispiece to end, market reports,
book notices, obituary notices, advertisements, and
all; and if The Boy could hold himself in for a
whole year his uncle John thought it would be
worth it. The Commercial Advertiser of that date
was put safely away for a twelvemonth, and on the
First of April next it was produced, carefully folded
and properly dampened, and was placed by the side



of the father's plate; the mother and the son making
no remark, but eagerly awaiting the result. The
journal was vigorously scanned; no item of news or
of business import was missed until the reader came
to the funeral announcements on the third page.
Then he looked at the top of the paper, through his
spectacles, and then he looked, over his spectacles, at
The Boy; and he made but one observation. The
subject was never referred to afterwards between
them. But he looked at the date of the paper, and
he looked at The Boy; and he said: My son, I see
that old Dr. McPherson is dead again!"
The Boy was red-headed and long-nosed, even from
the beginning -a shy, introspective, self-conscious
little boy, made peculiarly familiar with his personal
defects by constant remarks that his hair was red and
that his nose was long. At school, for years, he was
known familiarly as Rufus," Red-Head," Carrot-
Top," or Nosey," and at home it was almost as bad.
His mother, married at nineteen, was the eldest of
a family of nine children, and many of The Boy's
aunts and uncles were but a few years his senior, and
were his daily, familiar companions. He was the
only member of his own generation for a long time.
There was a constant fear, upon the part of the elders,
that he was likely to be spoiled, and consequently the
rod of verbal castigation was rarely spared. He was
never praised, nor petted, nor coddled; and he was


taught to look upon himself as a youth hairily and
nasally deformed and mentally of but little wit. He
was always falling down, or dropping things. He
was always getting into the way, and he could not
learn to spell correctly or to cipher at all. He was
never in his mother's way, however, and he was
never made to feel so. But nobody except The Boy
knows of the agony which the rest of the family,
unconsciously, and with no thought of hurting his
feelings, caused him by the fun they poked at his
nose, at his fiery locks, and at his unhandiness. He
fancied that passers-by pitied him as he walked or
played in the streets, and he sincerely pitied himself
as a youth destined to grow up into an awkward,
tactless, stupid man, at whom the world would laugh
so long as his life lasted.
An unusual and unfortunate accident to his nose
when he was eight or ten years old served to ac-
centuate his unhappiness. The young people were
making molasses candy one night in the kitchen of
his maternal grandfather's house--the aunts and
the uncles, some of the neighbors' children, and The
Boy-and the half of a lemon, used for flavoring
purposes, was dropped as it was squeezed by careless
hands-very likely The Boy's own-into the boiling
syrup. It was fished out and put, still full of the
syrup, upon a convenient saucer, where it remained,
an exceedingly fragrant object. After the odor had



been inhaled by one or two of the party, The Boy
was tempted to "take a smell of it"; when an un-
cle, boylike, ducked the luckless nose into the still
simmering lemonful. The result was terrible. Red-
hot sealing-wax could not have done more damage
to the tender, sensitive feature.
The Boy carried his nose in a sling for many
weeks, and the bandage, naturally, twisted the nose
to one side. It did not recover its natural tint for a
long time, and the poor little heart was nearly broken
at the thought of the fresh disfigurement. The Boy
felt that he had not only an unusually long nose, but
a nose that was crooked and would always be as red
as his hair.
He does not remember what was done to his un-
cle. But the uncle was for half a century The Boy's
best and most faithful of friends. And The Boy
forgave him long, long ago.
The Boy's first act of self-reliance and of conscious
self-dependence was a very happy moment in his
young life; and it consisted in his being able to step
over the nursery fender, all alone, and to toast his
own shins thereby, without falling into the fire. His
first realization of "getting big" came to him about
the same time, and with a mingled shock of pain
and pleasure, when he discovered that he could not
walk under the high kitchen-table without bumping
his head. He tried it very often before he learned


to go around that article of furniture, on his way
from the clothes-rack, which was his tent when he
camped out on rainy days, to the sink, which was
his oasis in the desert of the basement floor. This
kitchen was a favorite playground of The Boy, and
about that kitchen-table centre many of the happiest
of his early reminiscences. Ann Hughes, the cook,
was very good to The Boy. She told him stories,
and taught him riddles, all about a certain Miss
Netticoat," who wore a white petticoat, and who
had a red nose, and about whom there still lingers a
queer, contradictory legend to the effect that "the
longer she stands the shorter she grows." The Boy
always felt that, on account of her nose, there was a
peculiar bond of sympathy between little Miss Net-
ticoat and himself.
As he was all boy in his games, he would never
cherish anything but a boy-doll, 'generally a. High-
lander, in kilts and with a glengarry, that came off!
And although he became foreman of a juvenile hook-
and-ladder company before he was five, and would
not play with girls at all, he had one peculiar femi-
nine weakness. His grand passion was washing and
ironing. And Ann Hughes used to let him do all
the laundry-work connected with the wash-rags and
his own pocket-handkerchiefs, into which, regularly,
every Wednesday, he burned little brown holes with
the toy flat-iron, which would get too hot. But

.II; .,' i;:
.""'"'~ '"'ibr', ~ .'',:: '':' '



Johnny Robertson and Joe Stuart and the other
boys, and even the uncles and the aunts, never knew
anything about that -unless Ann Hughes gave it
The Boy seems to have developed, very early in
life, a fondness for new clothes-a fondness which
his wife sometimes thinks he has quite outgrown. It
is recorded that almost his first plainly spoken words
were "Coat and hat," uttered upon his promotion
into a more boyish apparel than the caps and frocks
of his infancy. And he remembers very distinctly
his first pair of long trousers, and the impression they
made upon him, in more ways than one. They were
a black-and-white check, and to them was attached
that especially manly article, the suspender. They
were originally worn in celebration of the birth
of the New Year, in 1848 or 1849, and The Boy
went to his father's store in Hudson Street, New
York, to exhibit them on the next business-day
thereafter. Naturally they excited much comment,
and were the subject of sincere congratulation. And
two young clerks of his father, The Boy's uncles,
amused themselves, and The Boy, by playing with
him a then popular game called "Squails." They
put The Boy, seated, on a long counter, and they slid
him, backward and forward between them, with
great skill and no little force. But, before the
championship was decided, The Boy's mother broke


up the game, boxed the ears of the players, and car-
ried the human disk home in disgrace; pressing as
she went, and not very gently, the seat of The Boy's
trousers with the palm of her hand!
He remembers nothing more about the trousers,
except the fact that for a time he was allowed to
appear in them on Sundays and holidays only, and
that he was deeply chagrined at having to go back
to knickerbockers at school and at play.
The Boy's first boots were of about this same era.
They were what were then known as "Welling-
tons," and they had legs. The legs had red leather
tops, as was the fashion in those days, and the boots
were pulled on with straps. They were always
taken off with the aid of the boot-jack of The Boy's
father, although they could have been removed much
more easily without the use of that instrument.
Great was the day when The Boy first wore his first
boots to school; and great his delight at the sensa-
tion he thought they created when they were ex-
hibited in the primary department.
The Boy's first school was a dame's school, kept
by a Miss or Mrs. Harrison, in Harrison Street, near
the Hudson Street house in which he was born. He
was the smallest child in the establishment, and
probably a pet of the larger girls, for he remembers
going home to his mother in tears, because one of
them had kissed him behind the class-room door.

. c/ .

', .A H E I



He saw her often, in later years, but she never tried
to do it again!
At that school he met his first love, one Phoebe
Hawkins, a very sweet, pretty girl, as he recalls her,
and, of course, considerably his senior. How far he
had advanced in the spelling of proper names at that
period is shown by the well-authenticated fact that
he put himself on record, once as "loving his love
with an F, because she was Feeby !"
Poor Phoebe Hawkins died before she was out of
her teens. The family moved to Poughkeepsie when
The Boy was ten or twelve, and his mother and he
went there one day from Red Hook, which was
their summer home, to call upon his love. When
they asked, at the railroad-station, where the Haw-
kinses lived and how they could find the house, they
were told that the carriages for the funeral would
meet the next train. And, utterly unprepared for
such a greeting, for at latest accounts she had been
in perfect health, they stood, with her friends, by the
side of Phoebe's open grave.
In his mind's eye The Boy, at the end of forty
years, can see it all; and his childish grief is still
fresh in his memory. He had lost a bird and a cat
who were very dear to his heart, but death had
never before seemed so real to him; never before
had it come so near home. He never played fu-
neral" again.

In 1851 or 1852 The Boy went to another dame's
school. It was kept by Miss Kilpatrick, on Franklin
or North Moore Street. From this, as he grew in
years, he was sent to the Primary Department of the
North Moore Street Public School, at the corner of
West Broadway, where he remained three weeks,
and where he contracted a whooping-cough which
lasted him three months. The other boys used to
throw his hat upon an awning in the neighborhood,
and then throw their own hats up under the awning
in order to bounce The Boy's hat off-an amuse-
ment for which he never much cared. They were
not very nice boys, anyway, especially when they
made fun of his maternal grandfather, who was a
trustee of the school, and who sometimes noticed
The Boy after the morning prayers were said. The
grandfather was very popular in the school. He
came in every day, stepped upon the raised platform
at the principal's desk, and said in his broad Scotch,
"Good morning, boys !" to which the entire body of
pupils, at the top of their lungs, and with one voice,
replied, G-o-o-d morning, Mr. Scott!" This was con-
sidered a great feature in the school; and strangers
used to come from all over the city to witness it.
Somehow it made The Boy a little bit ashamed; he
does not know why. He would have liked it well
enough, and been touched by it, too, if it had been
some other boy's grandfather. The Boy's father

:1 Arw




was present once-The Boy's first day; but when he
discovered that the President of the Board of Trus-
tees was going to call on him for a speech he ran
away; and The Boy would have given all his little
possessions to have run after him. The Boy knew
then, as well as he knows now, how his father felt;
and he thinks of that occasion every time he runs
away from some after dinner or occasional speech
which he, himself, is called upon to make.
After his North Moore Street experiences The Boy
was sent to study under men teachers in boys'
schools; and he considered then that he was grown
The Boy, as has been said, was born without the
sense of spell. The Rule of Three, it puzzled him,
and fractions were as bad; and the proper placing
of e and i, or i and e, the doubling of letters in the
middle of words, and how to treat the addition of a
suffix in "y" or tion "almost drove him mad,"
from his childhood up. He hated to go to school,
but he loved to play school; and when Johnny
Robertson and he were not conducting a pompous,
public funeral-a certain oblong hat-brush, with a
rosewood back, studded with brass tacks, serving as
a coffin, in which lay the body of Henry Clay, Dan-
iel Webster, or the Duke of Wellington, all of whom
died when Johnny and The Boy were about eight
years old-they were teaching each other the three


immortal and exceedingly trying R's reading,
writing and 'rithmetic-in a play-school. Their favor-
ite spelling-book was a certain old cook-book, dis-
carded by the head of the kitchen, and considered
all that was necessary for their educational purpose.
From this, one afternoon, Johnnie gave out "Dough-
nut," with the following surprising result. Conscious
of the puzzling presence of certain silent consonants
and vowels, The Boy thus set it down: "D-O, dough,
N-O-U-G-H-T, nut doughnut!" and he went up
head in a class of one, neither teacher nor pupil per-
ceiving the marvellous transposition.
All The Boy's religious training was received at
home, and almost his first text-book was "The
Shorter Catechism," which, he confesses, he hated
with all his little might. He had to learn and recite
the answers to those awful questions as soon as he
could recite at all, and, for years, without the slight-
est comprehension as to what it was all about. Even
to this day he cannot tell just what "Effectual Call-
ing," or "Justification," is; and I am sure that he
shed more tears over "Effectual Calling" than would
blot out the record of any number of infantile sins.
He made up his youthful mind that if he could not
be saved without "Effectual Calling" whatever
that was-he did not want to be saved at all. But
he has thought better of it since.
It is proper to affirm here that The Boy did not



acquire his occasional swear words from "The
Shorter Catechism." They were born in him, as
a fragment of Original Sin; and they came out
of him innocently and unwittingly, and only for
purposes of proper emphasis, long before the days
of "Justification," and even before he knew his
A, B, C's.
His earliest visit to Scotland was made when he
was but four or five years of age, and long before he
had assumed the dignity of trousers, or had been sent
to school. His father had gone to the old home at
St. Andrews hurriedly, upon the receipt of the news
of the serious illness of The Boy's grandmother, who
died before they reached her. Naturally, The Boy
has little recollection of that sad month of December,
spent in his grandfather's house, except that it was
sad. The weather was cold and wet; the house, even
under ordinary circumstances, could not have been
a very cheerful one for a youngster who had no
companions of his own age. It looked out upon the
German Ocean-which at that time of the year was
always in a rage, or in the sulks-and it was called
"Peep o' Day," because it received the very first
rays of the sun as he rose upon the British Isles.
The Boy's chief amusement was the feeding of
"flour-scones" and oat cakes to an old goat, who
lived in the neighborhood, and in daily walks with
his grandfather, who seemed to find some little com-


fort and entertainment in the lad's childish prattle.
He was then almost the only grandchild; and the
old man was very proud of his manner and appear-
ance, and particularly amused at certain gigantic
efforts on The Boy's part to adapt his own short legs
to the strides of his senior's long ones.
After they had interviewed the goat, and had
watched the wrecks with which the wild shore was
strewn, and had inspected the Castle in ruins, and
the ruins of the Cathedral, The Boy would be shown
his grandmother's new-made grave, and his own name
in full--a common name in the family-upon the
family tomb in the old kirk-yard; all of which must
have been very cheering to The Boy; although he
could not read it for himself. And then, which was
better, they would stand, hand in hand, for a long
time in front of a certain candy-shop window, in
which was displayed a little regiment of lead soldiers,
marching in double file towards an imposing and im-
pregnable tin fortress on the heights of barley-sugar.
Of this spectacle they never tired; and they used to
discuss how The Boy would arrange them if they
belonged to him; with a sneaking hope on The Boy's
part that, some day, they were to be his very own.
At the urgent request of the grandfather, the
American contingent remained in St. Andrews until
the end of the year; and The Boy still remembers
vividly, and he will never forget, the dismal failure

i i-ibd
!g r




- : L. 4


of Auld Lang Syne" as it was sung by the family,
with clasped hands, as the clock struck and the New
Year began. He sat up for the occasion-or, rather,
was waked up for the occasion; and of all that fam-
ily group he has been, for a decade or more, the only
survivor. The mother of the house was but lately
dead; the eldest son, and his son, were going, the
next day, to the other side of the world; and every
voice broke before the familiar verse came to an end.
As The Boy went off to his bed he was told that
his grandfather had something for him, and he stood
at his knee to receive-a Bible! That it was to be
the lead soldiers and the tin citadel he never for a
moment doubted; and the surprise and disappoint-
ment were very great. He seems to have had pres-
ence of mind enough to conceal his feelings, and to
kiss and thank the dear old man for his gift. But
as he climbed slowly up the stairs, in front of his
mother, and with his Bible under his arm, she over-
heard him sob to himself, and murmur, in his great
disgust: "Well, he has given me a book! And I
wonder how in thunder he thinks I am going to read
his damned Scotch!"
This display of precocious profanity and of innate
patriotism, upon the part of a child who could not
read at all, gave unqualified pleasure to the old gen-
tleman, and he never tired of telling the story as long
as he lived.


The Boy never saw the grandfather again. He
had gone to the kirk-yard, to stay, before the next
visit to St. Andrews was made; and now that kirk-
yard holds every one of The Boy's name and blood
who is left in the town.
The Boy was taught, from the earliest awakening
of his reasoning powers, that truth was to be told
and to be respected, and that nothing was more
wicked or more ungentlemanly than a broken prom-
ise. He learned very early to do as he was told, and
not to do, under any consideration, what he had said
he would not do. Upon this last point he was al-
most morbidly conscientious, although once, literally,
he "beat about the bush." His aunt Margaret, al-
ways devoted to plants and to flowers, had, on the
back stoop of his grandfather's house, a little grove of
orange and lemon trees, in pots. Some of these were
usually in fruit or in flower, and the fruit to The
Boy was a great temptation. He was very fond of
oranges, and it seemed to him that a home-made"
orange, which he had never tasted, must be much bet-
ter than a grocer's orange; as home-made cake was
certainly preferable, even to the wonderful cakes made
by the professional Mrs. Milderberger. He watched
those little green oranges from day to day, as they
gradually grew big and yellow in the sun. He prom-
ised faithfully that he would not pick any of them,
but he had a notion that some of them might drop

- ~ ,r= 2f

- 7-
^- '^-^*^^^-^^




off. He never shook the trees, because he said he
would not. But he shook the stoop And he hung
about the bush, which he was too honest to beat.
One unusually tempting orange, which he had known
from its bud-hood, finally overcame him. He did
not pick it off, he did not shake it off; he compro-
mised with his conscience by lying flat on his back
and biting off a piece of it. It was not a very good
action, nor was it a very good orange, and for that
reason, perhaps, he went home immediately and told
on himself. He told his mother. He did not tell
his aunt Margaret. His mother did not seem to be
as much shocked at his conduct as he was. But, in
her own quiet way, she gave him to understand that
promises were not made to be cracked any more
than they were made to be broken-that he had
been false to himself in heart, if not in deed, and
that he must go back and make it all right" with
his aunt Margaret. She did not seem to be very
much shocked, either; he could not tell why. But
they punished The Boy. They made him eat the
rest of the orange !
Hb lost all subsequent interest in that tropical
glade, and he has never cared much for domestic
oranges since.
Among the many bumps which are still conspicu-
ously absent in The Boy's phrenological develop-
ment are the bumps of Music and Locality. He


whistled as soon as he acquired front teeth; and he
has been singing "God Save the Queen" at the St.
Andrew's Society dinners, on November the 30th,
ever since he came of age. But that is as far as his
sense of harmony goes. He took music-lessons for
three quarters, and then his mother gave it up in
despair. The instrument was a piano. The Boy
could not stretch an octave with his right hand, the
little finger of which had been broken by a shinny-
stick; and he could not do anything whatever with
his left hand. He was constantly dropping his bass-
notes, which, he said, were "understood." And
even Miss Ferguson-most patient of teachers-de-
clared that it was of no use.
The piano to The Boy has been the most offensive
of instruments ever since. And when his mother's
old piano, graceful in form, and with curved legs
which are still greatly admired, lost its tone, and was
transformed into a sideboard, he felt, for the first
time, that music had charms.
He had to practise half an hour a day, by a thirty-
minute sand-glass that could not be set ahead; and
he shed tears enough over The Carnival of Venice "
to have raised the tide in the Grand Canal. They
blurred the sharps and the flats on the music-
books--those tears; they ran the crotchets and
the quavers together, and, rolling down his cheeks,
they even splashed upon his not very clean little




hands; and, literally, they covered the keys with
Another serious trial to The Boy was dancing-
school. In the first place, he could not turn round
without becoming dizzy; in the second place, he
could not learn the steps to turn round with; and in
the third place, when he did dance he had to dance
with a girl! There was not a boy in all Charraud's,
or in all Dodworth's, who could escort a girl back to
her seat, after the dance was over, in better time, or
make his "thank-you bow" with less delay. His
only voluntary terpsichorean effort at a party was
the march to supper; and the only steps he ever
took with anything like success were during the
promenade in the lancers. In "hands-all-round"
he invariably started with the wrong hand; and if
in the set there were girls big enough to wear long
dresses, he never failed to tear such out at the gath-
ers. If anybody fell down in the polka it was al-
ways The Boy; and if anybody bumped into any-
body else, The Boy was always the bumper, unless
his partner could hold him up and steer him straight.
Games, at parties, he enjoyed more than dancing,
although he did not care very much for "Pillows
and Keys," until he became courageous enough to
kneel before somebody except his maiden aunts.
"Porter" was less embarrassing, because, when the
door was shut, nobody but the little girl who called


him but could tell whether he kissed her or not. All
this happened a long time ago !
-The only social function in which The Boy took
any interest whatever was the making of New-
Year's calls. Not that he cared to make New-Year's
calls in themselves, but because he wanted to make
more New-Year's calls than were made by any other
boy. His "list," based upon last year's list, was
commenced about February 1; and it contained the
names of every person whom The Boy knew, or
thought he knew, whether that person knew The
Boy or not, from Mrs. Penrice, who boarded oppo-
site the Bowling Green, to the Leggats and the
Faures, who lived near Washington Parade Ground,
the extreme social limits of his city in those days.
He usually began by making a formal call upon his
own mother, who allowed him to taste the pickled
oysters as early as ten in the morning; and he in-
variably wound up by calling upon Ann Hughes in
the kitchen, where he met the soap-fat man, who
was above his profession, and likewise the sexton of
Ann Hughes's church, who generally came with
Billy, the barber on the corner of Franklin Street.
There were certain calls The Boy always made with
his father, during which he did not partake of pic-
kled oysters; but he had pickled oysters everywhere
else; and they never seemed to do him any serious



The Boy, if possible, kept his new overcoat until
New Year's Day-and he never left it in the hall
when he called! He always wore new green kid
gloves-why green ?-fastened at the wrists with a
single hook and eye; and he never took off his kid
gloves when he called, except on that particular New
Year's Day when his aunt Charlotte gave him the
bloodstone seal-ring, which, at first, was too big for
his little finger,-the only finger on which a seal-
ring could be worn--and had to be made tempo-
rarily smaller with a piece of string.
When he received, the next New Year, new studs
and a scarf-pin-all bloodstones, to match the ring
-he exhibited no little ingenuity of toilet in dis-
playing them both, because studs are hardly visible
when one wears a scarf, unless the scarf is kept out
of the perpendicular by stuffing one end of it into
the sleeve of a jacket; which requires constant at-
tention and a good deal of bodily contortion.
When The Boy met Johnny Robertson or Joe
Stuart making calls, they never recognized each
other, except when they were calling together, which
did not often occur. It was an important rule in
their social code to appear as strangers in-doors, al-
though they would wait for each other outside, and
compare lists. When they did present themselves
collectively in any drawing-room, one boy-usually
The Boy's cousin Lew-was detailed to whisper "T.


T." when he considered that the proper limit of the
call was reached. T. T." stood for Time to Trav-
el"; and at the signal all conversation was abruptly
interrupted, and the party trooped out in single file.
The idea was not original with the boys. It was
borrowed from the hook-and-ladder company, which
made all its calls in a body, and in two of Kipp and
Brown's stages, hired for the entire day. The boys
always walked.
The great drawbacks to the custom of making
New-Year's calls were the calls which had to be
made after the day's hard work was supposed to be
over, and when The Boy and his father, returning
home very tired, were told that they must call upon
Mrs. Somebody, and upon Mrs. Somebody-else, whom
they had neglected to visit, because the husbands and
the sons of these ladies had called upon the mother
of The Boy. New Year's Day was not the shortest
day of the year, by any means, but it was absolutely
necessary to return the Somebody's call, no matter
how late the hour, or how tired the victims of the
social law. And it bored the ladies of the Some-
body household as much as it bored the father and
The Boy.
The Boy was always getting lost. The very first
time he went out alone he got lost! Told not to go
off the block, he walked as far as the corner of
Leonard Street, put his arm around the lamp-post,




swung himself in a circle, had his head turned the
wrong way, and marched off, at a right angle, along
the side street, with no home visible anywhere, and
not a familiar sign in sight. A ship at sea without
a rudder, a solitary wanderer in the Great American
Desert without a compass, could not have been more
utterly astray. The Boy was so demoralized that
he forgot his name and address; and when a kindly
policeman picked him up, and carried him over the
way, to the Leonard Street station-house for identifi-
cation, he felt as if the end of everything had come.
It was bad enough to be arrested, but how was he
to satisfy his own conscience, and explain matters to
his mother, when it was discovered that he had
broken his solemn promise, and crossed the street?
He had no pocket-handkerchief; and he remembers
that he spoiled the long silk streamers of his Glen-
garry bonnet by wiping his eyes upon them. He was
recognized by his Forty-second-plaid gingham frock,
a familiar object in the neighborhood, and he was
carried back to his parents, who had not had time to
miss him, and who, consequently, were not distracted.
He lost nothing by the adventure but himself, his
self-respect, a pint of tears-and one shoe.
He was afterwards lost in Greenwich Street, having
gone there on the back step of an ice-cart; and once
he was conveyed as far as the Hudson River Railroad
Depot, at Chambers Street, on his sled, which he had


hitched to the milkman's wagon, and could not untie.
This was very serious, indeed; for The Boy realized
that he had not only lost himself but his sleigh, too.
Aunt Henrietta found The Boy sitting disconsolately
in front of Wall's bake-shop; but the sleigh did not
turn up for several days. It was finally discovered,
badly scratched, in the possession of "The Head of
the Rovers."
"The Hounds" and "The Rovers" were rival
bands of boys, not in The Boy's set, who for many
years made out-door life miserable to The Boy and
to his friends. They threw stones and mud at each
other, and at everybody else; and The Boy was not
infrequently blamed for the windows they broke.
They punched all the little boys who were better
dressed than they were, and they were even depraved
enough, and mean enough, to tell the driver every
time The Boy or Johnny Robertson attempted to
cut behind."
There was also a band of unattached guerillas
who aspired to be, and often pretended to be, either
"Hounds" or "Rovers "-they did not care which.
They always hunted in couples, and if they met The
Boy alone they asked him to which of the organi-
zations he himself belonged. If he said he was a
" Rover," they claimed to be Hounds," and pounded
him. If he declared himself in sympathy with the
"Hounds," they hoisted the "Rovers'" colors, and



punched him again. If he disclaimed both associa-
tions, they punched him anyway, on general princi-
ples. "The Head of the Rovers" was subsequently
killed, in front of Tom Riley's liberty-pole in Frank-
lin Street, in a fireman's riot, and "The Chief of the
Hounds," who had a club-foot, became a respectable
egg-merchant, with a stand in Washington Market,
near the Root-beer Woman's place of business, on the
south side. The Boy met two of the gang near the
Desbrosses Street Ferry only the other day; but they
did not recognize The Boy.
The only spot where The Boy felt really safe from
the interference of The Hounds" and" The Rovers "
was in St. John's Square, that delightful oasis in the
desert of brick and mortar and cobble-stones which
was known as the Fifth Ward. It was a private
enclosure, bounded on the north by Laight Street,
on the south by Beach Street, on the east by Varick
Street, and on the west by Hudson Street; and its
site is now occupied by the great freight-warehouses
of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad
In the Fifties," and long before, it was a private
park, to which only the property owners in its imme-
diate neighborhood had access. It possessed fine old
trees, winding gravel-walks, and meadows of grass.
In the centre was a fountain, whereupon, in the proper
season, the children were allowed to skate on both


feet, which was a great improvement over the one-
foot gutter-slides outside. The Park was surrounded
by a high iron railing, broken here and there by
massive gates, to which The Boy had a key. But he
always climbed over. It was a point of etiquette, in
The Boy's set, to climb over on all occasions, whether
the gates were unlocked or not. And The Boy, many
a time, has been known to climb over a gate, although
it stood wide open! He not infrequently tore his
clothes on the sharp spikes by which the gates were
surmounted; but that made no difference to The
Boy-until he went home!
The Boy once had a fight in the Park, with Bill
Rice, about a certain lignum-vitse peg-top, of which
The Boy was very fond, and which Bill Rice kicked
into the fountain. The Boy got mad, which was
wrong and foolish of The Boy; and The Boy, also,
got licked. And The Boy never could make his
mother understand why he was silly and careless
enough to cut his under-lip by knocking it against
Bill Rice's knuckles. Bill subsequently apologized
by saying that he did not mean to kick the top into
the fountain. He merely meant to kick the top.
And it was all made up.
The Boy did not fight much. His nose was too
long. It seemed that he could not reach the end of
it with his fists when he fought; and that the other
fellows could always reach it with theirs, no matter



how far out, or how scientifically, his left arm was
extended. It was One, two, three-and recover "-
on The Boy's nose! The Boy was a good runner.
His legs were the only part of his anatomy which
seemed to him as long as his nose. And his legs
saved his nose in many a fierce encounter.
The Boy first had daily admission to St. John's
Park after the family moved to Hubert Street, when
The Boy was about ten years old; and for half a
decade or more it was his happy hunting-ground-
when he was not kept in school! It was a particu-
larly pleasant place in the autumn and winter months;
for he could then gather "smoking-beans and horse-
chestnuts; and he could roam at will all over the
grounds without any hateful warning to "Keep Off
the Grass."
The old gardener, generally a savage defender of
the place, who had no sense of humor as it was ex-
hibited in boy nature, sometimes let the boys rake
the dead leaves into great heaps and make bonfires
of them, if the wind happened to be in the right di-
rection. And then what larks! The bonfire was a
house on fire, and the great garden-roller, a very
heavy affair, was Engine No. 42," with which the
boys ran to put the fire out. They all shouted as
loudly and as unnecessarily as real firemen did, in
those days; the foreman gave his orders through a
real trumpet, and one boy had a real fireman's hat


with "Engine No. 42" on it. He was chief en-
gineer, but he did not run with the machine: not
because he was chief engineer, but because while in
active motion he could not keep his hat on. It was
his father's hat, and its extraordinary weight was
considerably increased by the wads of newspaper
packed in the lining to make it fit. The chief en-
gineer held the position for life on the strength of
the hat, which he would not lend to anybody else.
The rest of the officers of the company were elected,
viva voce, every time there was a fire.
This entertainment came to an end, like everything
else, when the gardener chained the roller to the
tool-house, after Bob Stuart fell under the machine
and was rolled so flat that he had to be carried home
on a stretcher, made of overcoats tied together by
the sleeves. That is the only recorded instance in
which the boys, particularly Bob, left the Park with-
out climbing over. And the bells sounded a "gen-
eral alarm." The dent made in the path by Bob's
body was on exhibition until the next snow-storm.
The favorite amusements in the Park were shinny,
baseball, one-old-cat, and fires. The Columbia Base-
ball Club was organized in 1853 or 1854. It had
nine members, and The Boy was secretary and treas-
urer. The uniform consisted chiefly of a black leath-
er belt with the initials 0 B 8 C in white letters,
hand-painted, and generally turned the wrong way.

vr -"



,, r


The first base was an ailantus-tree; the second base
was another ailantus-tree; the third base was a but-
ton-ball-tree; the home base was a marble head-
stone, brought for that purpose from an old bury-
ing-ground not far away; and over the fence" was
a home-run. A player was caught out on the second
bounce, and he was out" if hit by a ball thrown
at him as he ran. The Boy was put out once by
a crack on the ear, which put The Boy out very
"The Hounds" and "The Rovers" challenged
"The Columbias repeatedly. But that was looked
upon simply as an excuse to get into the Park, and
the challenges were never accepted. The challeng-
ers were forced to content themselves with running
off with the balls which went over the fence; an ac-
tion on their part which made home-runs through
that medium very unpopular and very expensive.
In the whole history of "The Hounds" and "The
Rovers," nothing that they pirated was ever returned
but The Boy's sled.
Contemporary with the Columbia Baseball Club
was a so-called "Mind-cultivating Society," organ-
ized by the undergraduates of McElligott's School,
in Greene Street. The Boy, as usual, was secretary
when he was not treasurer. The object was De-
bates," but all the debating was done at the business
meetings, and no mind ever became sufficiently cul-


tivated to master the intricacies of parliamentary
law. The members called it a Secret Society, and
on their jackets they wore, as conspicuously as pos-
sible, a badge-pin consisting of a blue enamelled circlet
containing Greek letters in gold. In a very short
time the badge-pin was all that was left of the So-
ciety; but to this day the secret of the Society has
never been disclosed. No one ever knew, or will
ever know, what the Greek letters stood for-not
even the members themselves.
The Boy was never a regular member of any fire-
company, but almost as long as the old Volunteer
Fire Department existed, he was what was known
as a "Runner." He was attached, in a sort of bre-
vet way, to Pearl Hose No. 28," and, later, to "11
Hook and Ladder." He knew all the fire districts
into which the city was then divided; his ear was
always alert, even in the St. John's Park days, for
the sound of the alarm-bell, and he ran to every fire
at any hour of the day or night, up to ten o'clock
P.M. He did not do much when he got to the fire
but stand around and holler." But once-a proud
moment-he helped steer the hook-and-ladder truck
to a false alarm in Macdougal Street-and once-a
very proud moment, indeed-he went into a tene-
ment-house, near Dr. Thompson's church, in Grand
Street, and carried two negro babies down-stairs in
his arms. There was no earthly reason why the





babies should not have been left in their beds; and
the colored family did not like it, because the babies
caught cold! But The Boy, for once in his life,
tasted the delights of self-conscious heroism.
When The Boy, as a bigger boy, was not running
to fires he was going to theatres, the greater part of
his allowance being spent in the box-offices of Bur-
ton's Chambers Street house, of Brougham's Ly-
ceum, corner of Broome Street and Broadway, of
Niblo's, and of Castle Garden. There were no after-
noon performances in those days, except now and
then when the Ravels were at Castle Garden; and
the admission to pit and galleries was usually two
shillings otherwise, twenty- five cents. His first
play, so far as he remembers, was The Stranger,"
a play dismal enough to destroy any taste for the
drama, one would suppose, in any juvenile mind. He
never cared very much to see The'Stranger" again,
but nothing that was a play was too deep or too
heavy for him. He never saw the end of any of the
more elaborate productions, unless his father took
him to the theatre (as once in a while he did), for it
was a strict rule of the house, until The Boy was
well up in his teens, that he must be in by ten
o'clock. His father did not ask him where he was
going, or where he had been; but the curfew in Hu-
bert Street tolled at ten. The Boy calculate~ care-
fully and exactly how many minutes it took him to


run to Hubert Street from Brougham's or from Bur-
ton's; and by the middle of the second act his watch
-a small silver affair with a hunting-case, in which
he could not keep an uncracked crystal-was always
in his hand. He never disobeyed his father, and for
years he never knew what became of Claude Mel-
notte after he went to the wars; or if Damon got
back in time to save Pythias before the curtain fell.
The Boy, naturally, had a most meagre notion as to
what all these plays were about, but he enjoyed his
fragments of them as he rarely enjoys plays now.
Sometimes, in these days, when the air is bad, and
plays are worse, and big hats are worse than either,
he wishes that he were forced to leave the modern
play-house at nine-forty-five, on pain of no supper
that night, or twenty lines of "Virgil" the next
On very stormy afternoons the boys played thea-
tre in the large garret of The Boy's Hubert Street
house; a convenient closet, with a door and a win-
dow, serving for the Castle of Elsinore in Hamlet,"
for the gunroom of the ship in "Black-eyed Susan,"
or for the studio of Phidias in The Marble Heart,"
as the case might be. "The Brazilian Ape," as re-
quiring more action than words, was a favorite en-
tertainment, only they all wanted to play Jocko the
Ape; and they would have made no little success
out of the "Lady of Lyons" if any of them had





been willing to play Pauline. Their costumes and
properties were slight and not always accurate, but
they could "launch the curse of Rome," and describe
"two hearts beating as one," in a manner rarely
equalled on the regular stage. The only thing they
really lacked was an audience, neither Lizzie Gustin
nor Ann Hughes ever being able to sit through more
than one act at a time. When The Boy, as Virgin-
ius, with his uncle Aleck's sword-cane, stabbed all
the feathers out of the pillow which represented the
martyred Virginia; and when Joe Stuart, as Fal-
staff, broke the bottom out of Ann Hughes's clothes-
basket, the license was revoked, and the season came
to an untimely end.
Until the beginning of the weekly, or the fort-
nightly, sailings of the Collins line of steamers from
the foot of Canal Street (a spectacle which they never
missed in any weather), Joe Stuart, Johnny Rob-
ertson, and The Boy played The Deerslayer every
Saturday in the back-yard of The Boy's house. The
area-way was Glimmer-glass, in which they fished,
and on which they canoed; the back-stoop was Musk-
rat Castle; the rabbits were all the wild beasts of the
Forest; Johnny was Hawk-Eye, The Boy was Hurry
Harry, and Joe Stuart was Chingachgook. Their
only food was half-baked potatoes-sweet potatoes if
possible-which they cooked themselves and ate rav-
enously, with butter and salt, if Ann Hughes was


amiable, and entirely unseasoned if Ann was dis-
posed to be disobliging.
They talked what they fondly believed was the
dialect of the Delaware tribe, and they were con-
stantly on the lookout for the approaches of Riven-
oak, or the Panther, who were represented by any
member of the family who chanced to stray into the
enclosure. They carefully turned their toes in when
they walked, making so much effort in this matter
that it took a great deal of dancing-school to get
their feet back to the "first position" again; and
they even painted their faces when they were on the
war-path. The rabbits had the worst of it!
The campaign came to a sudden and disastrous
conclusion when the hostile tribes, headed by Mrs.
Robertson, descended in force upon the devoted
band, because Chingachgook broke one of Hawk-
Eye's front teeth with an arrow, aimed at the biggest
of the rabbits, which was crouching by the side of
the roots of the grape-vine, and playing that he was
a panther of enormous size.
Johnny Robertson and The Boy had one great
superstition-to wit, Cracks! For some now inex-
plicable reason they thought it unlucky to step on
cracks; and they made daily and hourly spectacles
of themselves in the streets by the eccentric irregu-
larity of their gait. Now they would take long
strides, like a pair of ostriches, and now short, quick



steps, like a couple of robins; now they would hop
on both feet, like a brace of sparrows; now they
would walk on their heels, now on their toes; now
with their toes turned in, now with their toes turned
out-at right angles, in a splay-footed way; now
they would walk with their feet crossed, after the
manner of the hands of very fancy, old-fashioned
piano-players, skipping from base to treble--over
cracks. The whole performance would have driven
a sensitive drill-sergeant or ballet-master to distrac-
tion. And when they came to a brick sidewalk they
would go all around the block to avoid it. They
could cross Hudson Street on the cobblestones with
great effort, and in great danger of being run over;
but they could not possibly travel upon a brick pave-
ment, and avoid the cracks. What would have hap-
pened to them if they did step on a crack they did
not exactly know. But, for all that, they never
stepped on cracks-of their own free will!
The Boy's earliest attempts at versification were
found, the other day, in an old desk, and at the end
of almost half a century. The copy is in his own
boyish, ill-spelled print; and it bears no date. The
present owner, his aunt Henrietta, well remembers
the circumstances and the occasion, however, having
been an active participant in the acts the poem de-
scribes, although she avers that she had no hand in
its composition. The original, it seems, was tran-


scribed by The Boy upon the cover of a soap-box,
which served as a head-stone to one of the graves in
his family burying-ground, situated in the back-yard
of the Hudson Street house, from which he was taken
before he was nine years of age. The monument
stood against the fence, and this is the legend it
bore-rhyme, rhythm, metre, and orthography being
carefully preserved:

"Three little kitens of our old cat
Were berrid this day in this
They came to there deth in
an old slop pale,
And after loosing their breth
They were pulled out by
the tale.
These three little kitens have
returned to their maker,
And were put in the grave by
The Boy,

At about this period The Boy officiated at the
funeral of another cat, but in a somewhat more
exalted capacity. It was the Cranes' cat, at Red
Hook-a Maltese lady, who always had yellow kit-
tens. The Boy does not remember the cause of the
cat's death, but he thinks that Uncle Andrew Knox
ran over her, with the dyspepsia-wagon "-so called
because it had no springs. Anyway, the cat died,



and had to be buried. The grave was dug in the
garden of the tavern, near the swinging-gate to the
stable, and the whole family attended the services.
Jane Purdy, in a deep crape veil, was the chief
mourner; The Boy's aunts were pall-bearers, in
white scarves; The Boy was the clergyman; while
the kittens-who did not look at all like their moth-
er-were on hand in a funeral basket, with black
shoestrings tied around their necks.
Jane was supposed to be the disconsolate widow.
She certainly looked the part to perfection; and it
never occurred to any of them that a cat, with kit-
tens, could not possibly have left a widow behind
The ceremony was most impressive; the bereaved
kittens were loud in their grief; when, suddenly, the
village-bell tolled for the death of an old gentleman
whom everybody loved, and the comedy became a
tragedy. The older children were conscience-stricken
at the mummery, and they ran, demoralized and
shocked, into the house, leaving The Boy and the
kittens behind them. Jane Purdy tripped over her
veil, and one of the kittens was stepped on in the
crush. But The Boy proceeded with the funeral.
When The Boy got as far as a room of his own,
papered with scenes from circus-posters, and peopled
by tin soldiers, he used to play that his bed was the
barge Mayflower, running from Barrytown to the


foot of Jay Street, North River, and that he was her
captain and crew. She made nightly trips between
the two ports; and by day, when she was not tied
up to the door-knob-which was Barrytown--she
was moored to the handle of the wash-stand drawer
-which was the dock at New York. She never
was wrecked, and she never ran aground; but great
was the excitement of The Boy when, as not infre-
quently was the case, on occasions of sweeping, Han-
nah, the up-stairs girl, set her adrift.
The Mayflower was seriously damaged by fire
once, owing to the careless use, by a deck-hand, of a
piece of punk on the night before the Fourth of
July; this same deck-hand being nearly blown up
early the very next morning by a bunch of fire-
crackers which went off-by themselves-in his lap.
He did not know, for a second or two, whether the
barge had burst her boiler or had been struck by
Barrytown is the river port of Red Hook--a
charming Dutchess County hamlet in which The Boy
spent the first summer of his life, and in which he
spent the better part of every succeeding summer for
a quarter of a century; and he sometimes goes there
yet, although many of the names he knows were
carved, in the long-agoes, on the tomb. He always
went up and down, in those days, on the Mayflower,
the real boat of that name, which was hardly more




real to him than was the trundle-bed of his vivid,
nightly imagination. They sailed from New York
at five o'clock P.M., an hour looked for, and longed
for, by The Boy, as the very beginning of summer,
with all its delightful young charms; and they ar-
rived at their destination about five of the clock the
next morning, by which time The Boy was wide
awake, and on the lookout for Lasher's Stage, in
which he was to travel the intervening three miles.
And eagerly he recognized, and loved, every land-
mark on the road. Barringer's Corner; the half-
way tree; the road to the creek and to Madame
Knox's; and, at last, the village itself, and the tav-
ern, and the tobacco-factory, and Massoneau's store,
over the way; and then, when Jane Purdy had
shown him the new kittens and the little chickens,
and he had talked to Fido and Fanny," or to
Fido alone after Fanny was stolen by gypsies-
Fanny was Fido's wife, and a poodle-he rushed off
to see Bob Hendricks, who was just his own age,
barring a week, and who has been his warm friend
for more than half a century ; and then what good
times The Boy had!
Bob was possessed of a grandfather who could
make kites, and swings, and parallel-bars, and things
which The Boy liked; and Bob had a mother-and
he has her yet, happy Bob!-who made the most
wonderful of cookies, perfectly round, with sparkling


globules of sugar on them, and little round holes in
the middle; and Bob and The Boy for days, and
weeks, and months together hen's-egged, and rode in
the hay-carts, and went for the mail every noon, and
boosted each other up into the best pound-sweet-tree
in the neighborhood; and pelted each other with
little green apples, which weighed about a pound to
the peck; and gathered currants and chestnuts in
season; and with long straws they sucked new cider
out of bung-holes; and learned to swim; and caught
their first fish; and did all the pleasant things that
all boys do.
At Red Hook they smoked their first cigar-
half a cigar, left by uncle Phil-and they wished
they hadn't! And at Red Hook they disobeyed
their mothers once, and were found out. They were
told not to go wading in the creek upon pain of not
going to the creek at all; and for weeks they were
deprived of the delights of the society of the Faure
boys, through whose domain the creek ran, because,
when they went to bed on that disastrous night, it
was discovered that Bob had on The Boy's stockings,
and that The Boy was wearing Bob's socks; a piece
of circumstantial evidence which convicted them
both. When the embargo was raised and they next
went to the creek, it is remembered that Bob tore
his trousers in climbing over a log, and that The
Boy fell in altogether.



The Boy usually kept his promises, however, and
he was known even to keep a candy-cane-twenty-
eight inches long, red and white striped like a bar-
ber's pole-for a fortnight, because his mother limit-
ed him to the consumption of two inches a day.
But he could not keep any knees to his trousers;
and when The Boy's mother threatened to sew but-
tons-brass buttons, with sharp and penetrating
eyes-on to that particular portion of the garment
in question, he wanted to know, in all innocence,
how they expected him to say his prayers!
One of Bob's earliest recollections of The Boy is
connected with a toy express-wagon on four wheels,
which could almost turn around on its own axis.
The Boy imported this vehicle into Red Hook one
summer, and they used it for the transportation of
their chestnuts and their currants and their apples,
green and ripe, and the mail, and most of the dust of
the road ; and Bob thinks, to this day, that nothing in
all these after years has given him so much profound
satisfaction and enjoyment as did that little cart.
Bob remembers, too-what The Boy tries to for-
get-The Boy's daily practice of half an hour on the
piano borrowed by The Boy's mother from Mrs.
Bates for that dire purpose. Mrs. Bates's piano is
almost the only unpleasant thing associated with
Red Hook in all The Boy's experience of that happy
village. It was pretty hard on The Boy, because, in


The Boy's mind, Red Hook should have been a
place of unbroken delights. But The Boy's mother
wanted to make an all-round man of him, and when
his mother said so, of course it had to be done or
tried. Bob used to go with The Boy as far as Dr.
Bates's house, and then hang about on the gate until
The Boy was released; and he asserts that the music
which came out of the window in response to The
Boy's inharmonic touch had no power whatever to
soothe his own savage young breast. He attributes
all his later disinclination to music to those dreary
thirty minutes of impatient waiting.
The piano and its effect upon The Boy's uncertain
temper may have been the innocent cause of the
first, and only, approach to a quarrel which The
Boy and Bob ever had. The prime cause, however,
was, of course, a girl! They were playing, that af-
ternoon, at Cholwell Knox's, when Cholwell said
something about Julia Booth which Bob resented,
and there was a fight, The Boy taking Cholwell's
part; why, he cannot say, unless it was because of
his jealousy of Bob's affection and admiration for
that charming young teacher, who won all hearts in
the village, The Boy's among the number. Anyway,
Bob was driven from the field by the hard little
green apples of the Knox orchard; more hurt, he
declares, by the desertion of his ally than by all the
blows he received.






It never happened again, dear Bob, and, please
God, it never will!
Another trouble The Boy had in Red Hook was
Dr. McNamee, a resident dentist, who operated upon
The Boy, now and then. He was a little more gentle
than was The Boy's city dentist, Dr. Castle; but he
hurt, for all that. Dr. Castle lived in Fourth Street,
opposite Washington Parade Ground, and on the
same block with Clarke and Fanning's school. And
to this day The Boy would go miles out of his way
rather than pass Dr. Castle's house. Personally Dr.
Castle was a delightful man, who told The Boy
amusing stories, which The Boy could not laugh at
while his mouth was wide open. But professionally
Dr. Castle was to The Boy an awful horror, of whom
he always dreamed when his dreams were particu-
larly bad. As he looks back upon his boyhood, with
its frequent toothache and its long hours in the den-
tists' chairs, The Boy sometimes thinks that if he had
his life to live over again, and could not go through
it without teeth, he would prefer not to be born at
It has rather amused The Boy, in his middle age,
to learn of the impressions he made upon Red Hook
in his extreme youth. Bob, as has been shown,
associates him with a little cart, and with a good
deal of the concord of sweet sounds. One old friend
remembers nothing but his phenomenal capacity for


the consumption of chicken pot-pie. Another old
friend can recall the scrupulously clean white duck
suits which he wore of afternoons, and also the blue-
checked long apron which he was forced to wear in
the mornings; both of them exceedingly distasteful
to The Boy, because the apron was a girl's garment,
and because the duck suit meant dress-up," and only
the mildest of genteel play; while Bob's sister dwells
chiefly now upon the wonderful valentine The Boy
sent once to Zillah Crane. It was so large that it
had to have an especial envelope made to fit it; and
it was so magnificent, and so delicate, that, notwith-
standing the envelope, it came in a box of its own.
It had actual lace, and pinkish Cupids reclining on
light-blue clouds; and in the centre of all was a com-
pressible bird-cage, which, when it was pulled out,
like an accordion, displayed not a dove merely, but
a plain gold ring-a real ring, made of real gold.
Nothing like it had ever been seen before in all
Dutchess County; and it was seen and envied by
every girl of Zillah's age between Rhinebeck and
Tivoli, between Barrytown and Pine Plains.
The Boy did an extensive business in the valentine
line, in the days when February Fourteenth meant
much more to boys than it does now. He sent
sentimental valentines to Phoebe Hawkins and comic
valentines to Ann Hughes, both of them written
anonymously, and both directed in a disguised hand.


But both recipients always knew from whom they
came; and, in all probability, neither of them was
much affected by the receipt. The Boy, as he has
put on record elsewhere, never really, in his inmost
heart, thought that comic valentines were so very
comic, because those that came to him usually re-
flected upon his nose, or were illuminated with por-
traits of gentlemen of all ages adorned with super-
naturally red hair.
In later years, when Bob and The Boy could swim-
a little-and had learned to take care of themselves
in water over their heads, the mill-pond at Red Hook
played an important part in their daily life there.
They sailed it, and fished it, and camped out on its
banks, with Ed Curtis before Ed went to West
Point --and with Dick Hawley, Josie Briggs, and
Frank Rodgers, all first rate fellows. But that is
another story.
The Boy was asked, a year or two ago, to write
a paper upon "The Books of his Boyhood." And
when he came to think the matter over he discov-
ered, to his surprise, that the Books of his Boyhood
consisted of but one book! It was bound in two
twelvemo green cloth volumes; it bore the date of
1850, and it was filled with pictorial illustrations of
"The Personal History and Experiences of David
Copperfield, the Younger." It was the first book
The Boy ever read, and he thought then, and some-

times he thinks now, that it was the greatest book
ever written. The traditional books of the childhood
of other children came later to The Boy: "Robinson
Crusoe," and the celebrated "Swiss Family" of the
same name; "The Desert Home," of Mayne Reid;
Marryat's "Peter Simple"; "The Leather Stocking
Tales "; Rob Roy "; and The Three Guardsmen "
were well thumbed and well liked; but they were
not The Boy's first love in fiction, and they never
usurped, in his affections, the place of the true ac-
count of David'Copperfield. It was a queer book
to have absorbed the time and attention of a boy of
eight or nine, who had to skip the big words, who
did not understand it all, but who cried, as he has
cried but once since, whenever he came to that
dreadful chapter which tells the story of the taking
away of David's mother, and of David's utter, hope-
less desolation over his loss.
How the book came into The Boy's possession he
cannot now remember, nor is he sure that his parents
realized how much, or how often, he was engrossed
in its contents. It cheered him in the measles, it
comforted him in the mumps. He took it to school
with him, and he took it to bed with him; and he
read it, over and over again, especially the early
chapters; for he did not care so much for David
after David became Trotwood, and fell in love.
When, in 1852, after his grandfather's death, The


Boy first saw London, it was not the London of the
Romans, the Saxons, or the Normans, or the London
of the Plantagenets or the Tudors, but the London
of the Micawbers and the Traddleses, the London of
Murdstone and Grinby, the London of Dora's Aunt
and of Jip. On his arrival at Euston Station the
first object upon which his eyes fell was a donkey-
cart, a large wooden tray on wheels, driven, at a
rapid pace, by a long-legged young man, and fol-
lowed, at a pace hardly so rapid, by a boy of about
his own age, who seemed in great mental distress.
This was the opening scene. And London, from
that moment, became to him, and still remains, a
great moving panorama of David Copperfield.
He saw the Orfling, that first evening, snorting
along Tottenham Court Road; he saw Mealy Pota-
toes, in a ragged aprofi and a paper cap, lounging
along Broad Street; he saw Martha disappear swiftly
and silently into one of the dirty streets leading from
Seven Dials; he saw innumerable public-houses-the
Lion, or the Lion and something else-in any one of
which David might have consumed that memorable
glass of Genuine Stunning ale with a good head on
it. As they drove through St. Martin's Lane, and
past a court at the back of the church, he even got
a glimpse of the exterior of the shop where was sold
a special pudding, made of currants, but dear; a two-
pennyworth being no larger than a pennyworth of


more ordinary pudding at any other establishment
in the neighborhood. And, to crown all, when he
looked out of his back bedroom window, at Morley's
Hotel, he discovered that he was looking at the
actual bedroom windows of the Golden Cross on
the Strand, in which Steerforth and little Copper-
field had that disastrous meeting which indirectly
brought so much sorrow to so many innocent men
and women.
This was but the beginning of countless similar
experiences, and the beginning of a love for Land-
marks of a more important but hardly of a more de-
lightful character. Hungerford Market and Hunger-
ford Stairs, with the blacking warehouse abutting
on the water when the tide was in, and on the mud
when the tide was out, still stood near Morley's in
1852; and very close to them stood then, and still
stands to-day, the old house in Buckingham Street,
Adelphi, where, with Mrs. Crupp, Trotwood Copper-
field found his lodgings when he began his new life
with Spenlow and Jorkins. These chambers, once
the home of Clarkson Stanfield, and since of Mr.
William Black and of Dr. B. E. Martin, became, in
later days, very familiar to The Boy, and still are
haunted by the great crowd of the ghosts of the
past. The Boy has seen there, within a few years,
and with his eyes wide open, the spirits of Traddles,
of Micawber, of Steerforth, of Mr. Dick, of Clara


Peggotty and Daniel, of Uriah Heep-the last slept
one evening on the sofa pillows before the fire, you
may remember-and of Aunt Betsy herself. But in
1852 he could only look at the outside of the house,
and, now and then, when the door was open, get a
glimpse of the stairs down which some one fell and
rolled, one evening, when somebody else said it was
The Boy never walked along the streets of Lon-
don by his father's side during that memorable
summer without meeting, in fancy, some friend of
David's, without passing some spot that David knew,
and loved, or hated. And he recognized St. Paul's
Cathedral at the first glance, because it had figured
as an illustration on the cover of Peggotty's work-
Perhaps the event which gave him the greatest
pleasure was a casual meeting with little Miss
Moucher in a green omnibus coming from the top of
Baker Street to Trafalgar Square. It could not pos-
sibly have been anybody else. There were the same
large head and face, the same short arms. Throat
she had none; waist she had none; legs she had
none, worth mentioning." The Boy can still hear the
pattering of the rain on the rattly windows of that
lumbering green omnibus; he can remember every
detail of the impressive drive; and Miss Moucher, and
the fact of her existence in the flesh, and there present,


wiped from his mind every trace of Mme. Tussaud's
famous gallery, and the waxworks it contained.
This was the Book of The Boy's Boyhood. He,
does not recommend it as the exclusive literature of
their boyhood to other boys; but out of it The Boy
knows that he got nothing but what was healthful
and helping. It taught him to abominate selfish
brutality and sneaking falsehood, as they were ex-
hibited in the Murdstones and the Heeps; it taught
him to keep Charles I., and other fads, out of his
" Memorials" ; it taught him to avoid rash expendi-
ture as it was practised by the Micawbers; it showed
him that a man like Steerforth might be the best of
good fellows and at the same time the worst and
most dangerous of companions; it showed, on the
other hand, that true friends like Traddles are worth
having and worth keeping; it introduced him to the
devoted, sisterly affection of a woman like Agnes;
and it proved to him that the rough pea-jacket of a
man like Ham Peggotty might cover the simple
heart of as honest a gentleman as ever lived.
The Boy, in his time, has been brought in contact
with many famous men and women; but upon noth-
ing in his whole experience does he look back now
with greater satisfaction than upon his slight inter-
course with the first great man he ever knew. Quite
a little lad, he was staying at the Pulaski House in
Savannah, in 1853-perhaps it was in 1855-when


-7 *



his father told him to observe particularly the old
gentleman with the spectacles, who occupied a seat
at their table in the public dining-room; for, he said,
the time would come when The Boy would be very
proud to say that he had breakfasted, and dined, and
supped with Mr. Thackeray. He had no idea who,
or what, Mr. Thackeray was; but his father con-
sidered him a great man, and that was enough for
The Boy. He did pay particular attention to Mr.
Thackeray, with his eyes and his ears; and one
morning Mr. Thackeray paid a little attention to
him, of which he is proud, indeed. Mr. Thackeray
took The Boy between his knees, and asked his
name, and what he intended to be when he grew up.
He replied, "A farmer, sir." Why, he cannot im-
agine, for he never had the slightest inclination
towards a farmer's life. And then Mr. Thackeray
put his gentle hand upon The Boy's little red head,
and said: "Whatever you are, try to be a good one."
To have been blessed by Thackeray is a distinction
The Boy would not exchange for any niche in the
Temple of Literary Fame; no laurel crown he could
ever receive would be able to obliterate, or to equal,
the sense of Thackeray's touch; and if there be any
virtue in the laying on of hands The Boy can only
hope that a little of it has descended upon him.
And whatever The Boy is, he has tried, for Thack-
eray's sake, to be a good one I"




In doggerel lines, Whiskie my dog I sing.
These lines are after Virgil, Pope, or some one.
His very voice has got a Whiskie Ring.
I call him Whiskie, 'cause he's such a rum one.

His is a high-whine, and his nip has power,
Hot-Scotch his temper, but no Punch is merrier
Not Rye, not Schnappish, he's no Whiskie-Sour.
I call him Whiskie-he's a Whis-Skye terrier.


IT was Dr. John Brown, of Edinboro', who once
spoke in sincere sympathy of the man who "led
a dog-less life." It was Mr. "Josh Billings" who
said that in the whole history of the world there is
but one thing that money cannot buy, to wit: the
wag of a dog's tail. And it was Professor John C.
Van Dyke who declared the other day, in reviewing
the artistic career of Landseer, that he made his dogs
too human. It was the Great Creator himself who
made dogs too human--so human that sometimes
they put humanity to shame.
The Boy has been the friend and confidant of
Four Dogs who have helped to humanize him for a
quarter of a century and more, and who have souls
to be saved, he is sure. And when he crosses the
Stygian River he expects to find, on the other shore,
a trio of dogs wagging their tails almost off, in their
joy at his coming, and with honest tongues hanging
out to lick his hands and his feet. And then he is


going, with these faithful, devoted dogs at his heels,
to talk about dogs with Dr. John Brown, Sir Edwin
Landseer, and Mr. "Josh Billings."
The first dog, Whiskie, was an alleged Skye ter-
rier, coming, alas! from a clouded, not a clear, sky.
He had the most beautiful and the most perfect head
ever seen on a dog, but his legs were altogether too
long; and the rest of him was-just dog. He came
into the family in 1867 or 1868. He was, at the be-
ginning, not popular with the seniors; but he was
so honest, so ingenuous, so "square," that he made
himself irresistible, and he soon became even dearer
to the father and to the mother than he was to The
Boy. Whiskie was not an amiable character, except
to his own people. He hated everybody else, he
barked at everybody else, and sometimes he bit
everybody else-friends of the household as well as
the butcher-boys, the baker-boys, and the borrowers
of money who came to the door. He had no dis-
crimination in his likes and dislikes, and, naturally,
he was not popular, except among his own people.
He hated all cats but his own cat, by whom he was
bullied in a most outrageous way. Whiskie had the
sense of shame and the sense of humor.
One warm summer evening, the family was sitting
on the front steps, after a refreshing shower of rain,
when Whiskie saw a cat in the street, picking its
dainty way among the little puddles of water. With



a muttered curse he dashed after the cat without
discovering, until within a few feet of it, that it was
the cat who belonged to him. He tried to stop him-
self in his impetuous career, he put on all his brakes,
literally skimming along the street railway-track as
if he were out simply for a slide, passing the cat, who
gave him a half-contemptuous, half-pitying look; and
then, after inspecting the sky to see if the rain was
really over and how the wind was, he came back to
his place between the father and The Boy as if it
were all a matter of course and of every-day occur-
rence. But he knew they were laughing at him;
and if ever a dog felt sheepish, and looked sheepish
-if ever a dog said, What an idiot I've made of
myself!" Whiskie was that dog.
The cat was a martinet in her way, and she de-
manded all the privileges of her sex. Whiskie al-
ways gave her precedence, and once when he, for a
moment, forgot himself and started to go out of the
dining-room door before her, she deliberately slapped
him in the face; whereupon he drew back instantly,
like the gentleman he was, and waited for her to
Whiskie was fourteen or fifteen years of age in
188, when the mother went to join the father, and
The Boy was taken to Spain by a good aunt and
cousins. Whiskie was left at home to keep house
with the two old servants who had known him all his

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs