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DR. BARNARDO : THE FATHER OF “NOBODY'S CHILDREN.”
PART 1. GENESIS.
but he was only known as Jim. He was born when
all England rang with the fool frenzy of the CriI. JIM.
mean war, but he did not emerge into the light of HE world knows little of messengers of God. history until nearly ten years later, just after the
roar of the cannon in the war with Denmark ansummer Day by a brilliant and imposing audience.
nounced the opening of the great world-drama of The heir to the throne of the British Empire was the unification of Germany. there with the Princess of Wales to do honor to the
No one knows where he was born, nor exactly work of the father of “Nobody's Children. The
when; nor has any one been able to trace his family Duke of Sutherland was in the chair, and the belongings. He never knew his father. His mother Duchess, the uncrowned queen of North Britain, was a Roman Catholic who was always sick, and presented the prizes. The picked flower of English who died in a workhouse infirmary, Jim looking on society, philanthropic and imperial, crowded the with wonder at the black coated priest whose appari. splendid hall. Everything that rank and beauty, art tion at the deathbed of his mother was the immediand music, discipline and enthusiasm, cɔuld effect
ate precursor of her disappearance from the world. was done, and done admirably, to insure the success When about five years old, Jim, being alone in the of an appeal made for one of the worthiest causes world and not liking the restraint of the workever submitted to the British public. It was a mag house school, made a bolt for liberty, and, succeednificent tribute to a magnificent work, one of the ing, began independent existence as a free Arab of most distinctive of the glories of modern England. the streets. From that point his history is pretty
And yet in the whole of that brilliant assemblage, clear, and may be read in an autobiographical inof all those cheering thousands, was there more than terview which is not without a certain historic inone who, in the moment of assured triumph, re terest. For Jim, little Jim, may yet be found to membered the humble messenger of God by whom have played a more important part in the history of the seed of the Word was brought as the fertilizing our epoch than nine-tenths of the personages who pollen is brought by the insect to the flower, from figure in “Debrett,” or even than most of the which the imposing congeries of benevolent institu chosen few who are selected for immortality by tions associated with the name of Dr. Barnardo have Leslie Stephen ard the editors of “ The Dictionary sprung g? Dr. Barnardo, no doubt, remembered him of National Biography.” Here, then, is his life well. But to the multitude he was as if he had story from five to ten, as told to an interviewer never been. The very fact of his existence has thirty years ago after coffee had loosened his tongue perished from the memory of man. But the work, and kindly words had won his confidence: in the foundation of which he played so momentous
“I got along o' a lot of boys, sir, down near Wapping a part, looms ever larger and larger before the eye
way; an' there wor an ole lady lived there as wunst of all.
knowed mother, an' she let me lie in a shed at the back; But who was he, this messenger of the Lord ? an' while I wor there I got on werry well. She wor His name was Jim James Jervis he said it was, werry kind, an' gev' me nice bits o' broken wittals.
Arter this I did odd jobs with a lighterman, to nelp him room, and with a timorous glance into the darker corners aboard a barge. He treated me werry bad-knocked where the shadows fell, then sinking his voice into a me about frightful. He used to trash me for nothin', an' whisper, added, “ HE'S THE POPE O’ROME." I didn't sometimes have anything to eat; an' sometimes he'd go away for days, an' leave me alone with the
II. THE DOCTOR. boat."
So much for Jim. At the time when this inter“ Why did you not run away, then, and leave him?"
view took place Jim was ragged, dirty, pinched I asked. “So I would, sir, but Dick-that's his name, they
with hunger. He was one of the most disreputable called him 'Swearin' Dick'-one day arter be trashed
little imps Providence ever employed to carry its me awful, swore if I ever runned away he'd catch me message. But he did the work, and very effectively an' take my life ; an' he'd got a dog aboard as he made too, as will speedily appear. smell me, an' he telled me, if I tried to leave the barge The other party to that interview was a young the dog 'ud be arter me ; an', sir, he were such a big,
man who had but just attained his majority, whose fierce un. Sometimes, when Dick were drunk, he'd put
name was entered in the student books of the Lonthe dog on me, out of fun,' as he called it ; an' look
don Hospital as Thomas John Barnardo. He was a 'ere, sir, that's what he did wunst.” And the poor little fellow pulled aside some of his rags, and showed me the
serious young man, about as unlike the typical Bob scarred marks, as of teeth, right down his leg. “Well
, Sawyer as it is possible to imagine. And yet persir, I stopped a long while with Dick. I dunno how long haps not so unlike. For Bob suffered chiefly from it wor; I'd have runned away often, but I wor afeared, an absurdly wasteful method of working off excess till one day a man came aboard, and said as how Dick
of vitality. There are French physicians who mainwas gone-listed for a soldier when he wor drunk. So
tain that girls at certain periods in their developI says to him, “Mister,' says I, will yer 'old that dog a
ment display tendency which, if it is not diverted minit ?' So he goes down the 'atchway with him, an'
to mysticism or religion, will find satisfaction in I shuts down the 'atch tight on 'em both ; and I cries, " 'Ooray!' an' off I jumps ashore an' runs for my werry
vice ; so there is some possibility that the two stu. life, an' never stops till I gets up near the meat market ;
dents, variously known as Sawyer and Barnard , are an' all that day I wor afeared old Dick's dog 'ud be arter
both object lessons as to the excess of energy, in
one case operating to the waste of tissue by intem“Oh, sir,” continued the boy, his eyes now lit up with perate excessive indulgence, in the other to the excitement, “it wor foine, not to get no trashing, an' waste of nervous energy by excessive sacrifice in not to be afeared of nobody ; I thought I wor going to be using every moment for the helping of others. In 'appy now, 'specially as most people took pity on me, an'
both cases there is relief, but there is this differgev' me a penny now an' then; an' one ole lady, as kep'
ence: relief à la Sawyer is relief by suicide, relief a tripe an' trotter stall, gev' me a bit now an' then,
à la Barnardo is relief by salvation. when I 'elped her at night to put her things on her barrer, an' gov' it a shove 'ome. The big chaps on the
Dr. Barnardo is a singular instance of the benefits streets wouldn't let me go with 'em, so I took up by
which result from a judicious cross. His father myself. But lor, sir, the perlice wor the wust; ther was born in Germany, of Spanish descent. His wor no getting no rest from 'em. They always kept a mother was born in Ireland, of English blood. He movin' me on. Sometimes, when I 'ad a good stroke of himself is thus a curious hybrid of German, Spanluck, I got a thrippeny doss, but it wor awful in the ish, English and Irish. He was born in Ireland, a lodging-houses o' summer nights. What with the bitin'
Protestant of the Protestants. He is not an Orangeand the scratchin', I couldn't get no sleep ; so in summer
man, but William of Ballykilbeg himself is not I mostly slep' out on the wharf or anywheres. Twice I wor up before the beak for sleepin' out. When the
more valiant in the faith of the Reformation than
Dr. Barnardo. Ireland may or may not be a fragbobbies catched me, sometimes, they'd let me off with a kick, or a good knock on the side of the 'ead. But one
ment of the lost Atlantis, but it does undoubtedly night an awful cross fellow caught me on a doorstep, possess an extraordinary faculty of intensifying huan’ locked me up. Then I got six days at the workus, inan sentiment and human passion. If Dr. Barnardo an' arterwards runned away ; an' ever since I've bin in had been born in England he would probably have an' out, an' up an' down, where I could ; but since the been much more lukewarm in his hostility to Rome cold kem on this year it's been werry bad. I ain't 'ad He would also in all probability have been less pasno luck at all, an' its been sleepin' out on an empty
sionate in his devotion to the children. stomick most every night.” “ Have you ever been to school ?" I asked.
When quite a youth he came under deep convic“ Yes, sir. At the workus they made me go to school,
tion of sin, experienced the change called conver an’ I've been into one on a Sunday in Whitechapel ;
sion, and in the first ardor of his zeal he resolved to there's a kind benelman there as used to give us toke dedicate himself to the cause of Chinese missions. arterwards."
Desiring to attain medical knowledge as well as “Now, Jim, have you ever heard of Jesus?"
theological training, he went to London, and enA quick nod of assent was the response. The boy tered himself as student at the London Hospital. seemed quite pleased at knowing something of what I
He had hardly commenced working when the was talking about.
cholera broke out. A wild stampede took place, “Yes, sir,” he added ; “I knows about Him." Well, who is He? What do you know about
leaving ample room for volunteers. Dr. Barnardo, Him?"
althongh then only a raw student, volunteered for “Oh, sir,” he said, and he looked sharply about the cholera service. His offer was eagerly accepted,
less and unseen, toiled o'er his types one poor un- must be admitted, with the slightest suspicion of learned young man. That place was dark, unfur- the importance of the message with which he was nished and mean, yet there the freedom of a race be charged. Neither had he come from any desire to gan. Barnardo's ragged-school was worse than be taught, as he frankly admitted. Another lad Garrison's printing office:
had told him of the school, or, as Jim put it," He
tellid me to come up 'ere to the school to get a Boards had been placed over the rough earth. The
warm, an' he sed p'raps you'd let me lie nigh the rafters had been whitered, and so had the walls ; but
fire all night." It was a raw winter night and a much use of gas, together with the accumulated dirt deposits of three or four years, had changed the color to a
keen east wind was shivering through the dimly dingier hue. Yet I and my student friends who helped lighted streets, when, all the scholars having left the me thought it an admirable room, for was it not water- room, little Jim still lingered, casting a longing look
at the fire. He had neither shirt, shoes nor stock His incredulity was natural. How often I rememings. Small sharp eyes, restless and bright as a ber that marvelous tale of what could be seen rat's, gleamed out of the careworn features of an here and there dissipated into thin air when I asked old man which surmounted the spare stunted fraine to be taken to see them. Jim, however, knew his of a child of ten. It was the child, not so much of facts, and could produce his vouchers. the slum, which is the fætid lair of the savage of After drinking as much coffee as he could swalcivilization, as of the street-the desert of the city low he imparted to his teacher—who was now the Arab.
taught, learning a far greater lesson than he had The doctor having finished his teaching, and ever given—the reasons why he was sure that Jesus weary enough with the nervous exhaustion of keep Christ was in very deed the Pope of Rome, for ing the attention of a pack of young rowdies, some hadn't his mother crossed herself when she named what peremptorily ordered the boy home.
the Pope, and the black dressed man who came Then Jim pleaded piteously to stay. * Please, when she died crossed himself when he said Jesus, sir, do let me stop. I won't do no 'arm.”
and was that not enough proof to satisfy any one ? Stop in the schoolroom! The idea seemed absurd Now, although from his youth up the Pope of Rome to Barnardo.
has been Antichrist in Barnardo's eyes, at that What would your mother think ?"
moment it was absolutely nothing to him whether “ Ain't got no mother.”
the boy was a Roman Catholic or a Jew or a But your father ?"
Mohammedan. He was moved by one fact only“ Ain't got no father."
the poor little chap's utter friendlessness.
His "Stuff and nonsense, boy ; don't tell me such touching confidence in the strange teacher when he stories ! You say you have not got a father or a found he was likely to be his friend fairly took Barmother. Where are your friends, then ? Where do nardo's heart captive. So let the Don't-Live-Noyou live?”
wheres sleep where they inight, Jim must at once " Ain't got no friends. Don't live nowhere." without losing a moment be rescued from that
And when little Jim had thus delivered his ines. heathen darkness. So he turned to and told little sage, the man to whom it was delivered was sure he Jiin as graphically as he knew how the story of the was lying. For the young medico, with all his ex Passion of our Lord. The lad was interested, for perience of Stepney, had at that time never heard the tale was new, and to him it might have been the of the great Bedouin tribe of the Don't-Live-No. story of a poor bloke in the next alley. But when it wheres.
came to the crucifixion, little Jim fairly broke down,
and said, amid his tears, “ Oh, sir, that wor wuss II. WHERE THE DON'T-LIVE-NOWHERES SLEEP. nor Swearin' Dick sarved me !"
At last, half an hour after midnight, they sallied Assuming his most inquisitorial air, the young
forth on their quest for the sleeping quarters of the doctor proceeded to cross-examine Jim in order to
Don't Live-Nowheres. Jim trotted along leading convict him of scandalous falsehoods. But Jim was
his new made friend to Houndsditch, and then a witness of truth, and not to be confounded. He
diving down the shed like alley to the 'Change that told his simple story and stuck to it, begging
leads by many passages from Petticoat Lane. Here lustily to be allowed to sleep all night by the fire,
they were at last, but where were the Don't-Livewhich seemed--no wonder-so fascinating in its
Nowheres ? Barnardo thought that he had caught light and warmth.
Jim out. There was not a soul to be seen.
He And as he was speaking a sense of the meaning struck matches and peered about under barrows of his message suddenly smote the young medico to
and into dark corners, but never a boy could he disthe heart. For the first time in his life there rushed
They durstn't lay about 'ere,” said Jim upon him with overwhelming force this thought:
* cos' the p’licemen keep such a werry · Is it possible that in this great city there are others
sharp lookout all along on these 'ere shops. But also homeless and destitute, who are as young as
we're there now, sir. You'll see lots on 'em if we this boy, as helpless, and as ill prepared as he to
don't wake 'em up." withstand the trials of cold, hunger and exposure ?"
But Barnardo could see nothing. A high dead Is it possible ? He must promptly put it to the
wall stood in front and never a lad was to be seen. proof.
“Where are the boys, Jim ?” he asked, much ** Tell me, my lad, are there other poor boys like
puzzled. you in London without a home or friends ?”
"Up there, sir,” replied Jim, pointing to the iron He replied promptly : “Oh! yes, sir, lots—’eaps
roof of the shed of which the wall was the bounon 'em ; more'n I could count."
dary. Now the young Barnardo did not like to be hoaxed. So being of a practical turn of mind he
How to get up was the next question, but Jim made bribed Jim with a place to sleep in, and as much
light work of this. His sharp eyes detected the well
worn marks by which the lads ascended and descendedhot coffee as he could drink, if he would take him
little interstices between the bricks, whence the mortar there and then-or at least after the coffee had been
had fallen or had been picked away. Jim rapidly drunk-to where the Don't-Live-Nowheres sleep. climbed up first, and then by the aid of a stick which he