Saturday, August 13, 2016
Adding Something New.....Or Maybe You Might Say It's Old
I've been thinking about this for quite awhile: I have a curious old book, a bound volume of magazines printed in 1887 in broadside style, and I'd like to share because it's full of stories.....This where it all begins:
Stories. They inform the world around us. They tell us of our past. They help us to envision our future.
One important page in the story of my family's past was written at Newgate Prison in London in the mid-1700's. No, none of my ancestors were inmates. My many-greats grandfather was chaplain there. His first wife had died, so he married again. It was the common lot in that day and age to need a help-meet to carry the heavy and busy burden of family life; and it was not unusual for people, especially those with children, to re-marry quickly as possible when widowed.
But the second wife was a hard woman, and she was cruel to her stepson whom, it appears, she beat frequently. The child was expected to do all manner of chores and errands. One day when the second wife ran short of yeast for bread-making, she sent the boy with a small pottery vessel to fetch more yeast. No matter what the reason for his clumsiness (perhaps he was hurrying or tired or both), he fell on the way home and the yeast pot shattered.
The boy was weeping and distraught, too terrified to go home to face his stepmother, when a miracle opened up for him: his uncle (brother of his late mother), home on a visit from the American Colonies, came riding by on a horse. He recognized the child immediately, and he asked what grieved him so. The boy unburdened his heart to his uncle, whereupon he was swept up onto the horse with him and they rode away. The uncle, without ever seeing his brother-in-law or explaining what he was doing, took the boy back across the ocean with him. The family never learned what had happened to the boy. And the connection to the Old World was severed with the breaking of the yeast pot.....
If you want to read the rest of this true tale and if you'd like to follow along as I share stories from The Golden Argosy, please check out my brand-new second blog: