The Letters Of
The Letters Of "Norah" On Her Tour Through Ireland By Margaret Dixon Mcdougall - Page 170 of 404 - First - Home

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The Absence Of Anything Of The Kind Struck Me Forcibly In Manor Hamilton.

The children in this workhouse were pretty numerous.

They demanded 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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