The Absence Of Anything Of The Kind Struck
Me Forcibly In Manor Hamilton.
The children in this workhouse were pretty numerous.
something from me with the air of little footpads. The women were little
better. I was told, pretty imperatively, to look in my pockets. One
woman rushed after me half way up stairs as if she would compel a gift.
Coming back with my throat full of feelings, I was directed to a little
desk behind the door, where lay the book for visitors: I was shown the
place where remarks were to be entered. I wrote my name standing, as
there was no other way provided. I was hardly fit to write cool remarks.
The locked doors, the nurses conspicuous by their absence, the
importunate beggars, the absent matron, the whole establishment was far
below anything of the kind I had yet seen in Ireland. One woman had made
her appearance from some unexpected place, and explained to me with
floury hands, that if she were not baking she would herself show me
through the house.
I think it is hard for struggling poverty to go down so far as to take
shelter in the workhouse. It must be like the bitterness of death. I
cannot imagine the feeling of any human beings when the big door clashes
on them, the key turns, and they find themselves an inmate of the
workhouse at Manor Hamilton. I do not wonder that the creatures starving
outside preferred to suffer rather than go in.
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