Far Away And Long Ago A History Of My Early Life By W. H. Hudson








































































 - FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO

A HISTORY OF MY EARLY LIFE

BY W. H. HUDSON

Author of Idle Days In - Page 1
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FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO

A HISTORY OF MY EARLY LIFE

BY W. H. HUDSON

Author of "Idle Days In Patagonia," "The Purple Land," "A Crystal Age," "Adventures Among Birds," Etc.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I EARLIEST MEMORIES

Preamble - The house where I was born - The singular ombu tree - A tree without a name - The plain - The ghost of a murdered slave - Our playmate, the old sheep-dog - A first riding-lesson - The cattle: an evening scene - My mother - Captain Scott - The hermit and his awful penance

CHAPTER II MY NEW HOME

We quit our old home - A winter day journey - Aspect of the country - Our new home - A prisoner in the barn - The plantation - A paradise of rats - An evening scene - The people of the house - A beggar on horseback - Mr. Trigg our schoolmaster - His double nature - Impersonates an old woman - Reading Dickens - Mr. Trigg degenerates - Once more a homeless wanderer on the great plain

CHAPTER III DEATH OF AN OLD DOG

The old dog Caesar - His powerful personality - Last days and end - The old dog's burial - The fact of death is brought home to me - A child's mental anguish - My mother comforts me - Limitations of the child's mind - Fear of death - Witnessing the slaughter of cattle - A man in the moat - Margarita, the nursery-maid - Her beauty and lovableness - Her death - I refuse to see her dead

CHAPTER IV THE PLANTATION

Living with trees - Winter violets - The house is made habitable - Red willow - Scizzor-tail and carrion-hawk - Lombardy poplars - Black acacia - Other trees - The fosse or moat - Rats - A trial of strength with an armadillo - Opossums living with a snake - Alfalfa field and butterflies - Cane brake - Weeds and fennel - Peach trees in blossom - Paroquets - Singing of a field finch - Concert-singing in birds - Old John - Cow-birds' singing - Arrival of summer migrants

CHAPTER V ASPECTS OF THE PLAIN

Appearance of a green level land - Cardoon and giant thistles - Villages of the _vizcacha_, a large burrowing rodent - Groves and plantations seen like islands on the wide level plains - Trees planted by the early colonists - Decline of the colonists from an agricultural to a pastoral people - Houses as part of the landscape - Flesh diet of the gauchos - Summer change in the aspect of the plain - The water-like mirage - The giant thistle and a "thistle year" - Fear of fires - An incident at a fire - The _pampero_, or south-west wind, and the fall of the thistles - Thistle-down and thistle-seed as food for animals - A great pampero storm - Big hailstones - Damage caused by hail - Zango, an old horse, killed - Zango and his master

CHAPTER VI SOME BIRD ADVENTURES

Visit to a river on the pampas - A first long walk - Water-fowl - My first sight of flamingoes - A great dove visitation - Strange tameness of the birds - Vain attempts at putting salt on their tails - An ethical question: When is a lie not a lie? - The _carancho_, a vulture-eagle - Our pair of _caranchos_ - Their nest in a peach tree - I am ambitious to take their eggs - The birds' crimes - I am driven off by the birds - The nest pulled down

CHAPTER VII MY FIRST VISIT TO BUENOS AYRES

Happiest time - First visit to the capital - Old and New Buenos Ayres - Vivid impressions - Solitary walk - How I learnt to go alone - Lost - The house we stayed at and the sea-like river - Rough and narrow streets - Rows of posts - Carts and noise - A great church festival - Young men in black and scarlet - River scenes - Washerwomen and their language - Their word-fights with young fashionables - Night watchmen - A young gentleman's pastime - A fishing dog - A fine gentleman seen stoning little birds - A glimpse of Don Eusebio, the Dictator's fool

CHAPTER VIII THE TYRANT'S FALL AND WHAT FOLLOWED

The portraits in our drawing-room - The Dictator Rosas who was like an Englishman - The strange face of his wife, Encarnacion - The traitor Urquiza - The Minister of War, his peacocks and his son - Home again from the city - The war deprives us of our playmate - Natalia, our shepherd's wife - Her son, Medardo - The Alcalde, our grand old man - Battle of Monte Caseros - The defeated army - Demands for fresh horses - In peril - My father's shining defects - His pleasure in a thunderstorm - A childlike trust in his fellow-men - Soldiers turn upon their officer - A refugee given up and murdered - Our Alcalde again - On cutting throats - Ferocity and cynicism - Native blood-lust and its effects on a boy's mind - Feeling about Rosas - A bird poem or tale - Vain search for lost poem and story of its authorship - The Dictator's daughter - Time, the old god

CHAPTER IX OUR NEIGHBOURS AT THE POPLARS

Homes on the great green plain - Making the acquaintance of our neighbours - The attraction of birds - Los Alamos and the old lady of the house - Her treatment of St. Anthony - The strange Barboza family - The man of blood - Great fighters - Barboza as a singer - A great quarrel but no fight - A cattle-marking - Dona Lucia del Ombu - A feast - Barboza sings and is insulted by El Rengo - Refuses to fight - The two kinds of fighters - A poor little angel on horseback - My feeling for Anjelita - Boys unable to express sympathy - A quarrel with a friend - Enduring image of a little girl

CHAPTER X OUR NEAREST ENGLISH NEIGHBOUR

Casa Antigua, our nearest English neighbour's house - Old Lombardy poplars - Cardoon thistle or wild artichoke - Mr. Royd, an English sheep-farmer - Making sheep's-milk cheeses under difficulties - Mr. Hoyd's native wife - The negro servants - The two daughters:

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