The Narrative of Gordon Sellar Who Emigrated to Canada in 1825

Gordon Sellar
The Narrative of Gordon Sellar
Who Emigrated to Canada in

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Title: The Narrative of Gordon Sellar Who Emigrated to Canada in
Author: Gordon Sellar
Release Date: March 9, 2005 [EBook #15307]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

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[Illustration: Frontispiece.]

The Narrative

+Gordon Sellar+
Emigrated to Canada in 1825

_Copyright, Canada, by Robert Sellar, 1915._


While my mother was a servant in Glasgow she married a soldier. I
have only a faint remembrance of my father, of a tall man in a red coat
coming to see us in the afternoons and tossing me up and down to the
ceiling. I was in my fourth year when his regiment was hurried to
Belgium to fight Bonaparte. One day there rose a shouting in the streets,
it was news of a great victory, the battle of Waterloo. At night mother
took me to Argyle street to see the illuminations, and I never forgot the
blaze of lights and the great crowd, cheering. At the Cross there were
men with bottles, drinking the health of Wellington. When my mother
caught me up to get past the drunken men she was shivering. Long
afterwards, when I was able to put two and two together I understood it
was her fear of what had happened father. She went often to the
barracks to ask if any word had come, but except that the regiment was
in the thick of the fight they could tell nothing. It might be three weeks
after the battle that a sergeant came to our room. Mother was out
working He left a paper on the table and went away. When mother
came home late, she snatched the paper up, gave a cry that I hear yet,
and taking me in her arms fell on the bed and sobbed as if her heart
would break. I must have asked her what had happened, for I recall her
squeezing me tighter to her bosom and saying My fatherless boy. Long
after, I met a comrade of my father, who told me he acted bravely all

day and was cut down by a dragoon when the French charged on the
infantry squares at the close of the battle. My mother got nothing from
the government, except the pay that was coming to him, which she told
me was 17s 6d.
Mother kept on working, mostly out of door jobs, washing or
house-cleaning, a neighbor being asked to look after me. When I got
old enough, she would tell me, while I was in bed, where she was going,
and in the evening I would go and meet her. Sometimes, not often, she
got sewing to do at home and these were bright days. We talked all the
time and she taught me much; not simply to read and write and cast
little sums, but about everything she knew. My reading book was the
gospel of John, which she said was fullest of comfort, and it was then
my faith in Christ took root. There could not be a more contented or
cheerful mother, and her common expression was that when we did our
duty everything was for the best. She had a sweet voice, and when she
sang one of Burns' songs neighbors opened their doors to hear her. I
was nearly ten when a bad time came. Mills closed, the streets were full
of idle workmen, and provisions got dear. Mother got little to do, and I
know she often went hungry that I might be fed. She might have got
her share of the relief fund, but would not think of it. She told me time
and again, to be independent. That hard winter made all the families in
our close draw nearer to one another, and every hour there was some
deed of helpfulness. The best friends of the poor are the poor. We were
struggling on, hopeful and unmurmuring, when the word passed from
landing to landing one morning that the boy who was sick in the first
flat had been visited by a doctor, who said he had typhus. Mother took
her turn in sitting up with him at night
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