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republished by Father Meehan in his edition of the “Poets and Poetry of Munster", are familiar with all the poet has written of his many grievances while in the scriveners' and solicitors' offices. In a second and much shorter autobiography, first given by James Price, editor of the Evening Packet, in that journal, September 25, 1849, and republished by Sir Charles Gavan Duffy in the Nation of the following Saturday, September 29, 1849, (though not much brought under observation since that date), Mangan somewhat varies the dismal tale. The catalogue of his miseries while in these offices has since been so often quoted that we do not think it necessary to reproduce it here.
On the appearance of the smaller autobiography, in the Nation, an indignant scrivener, in defence of his maligned calling, indited the subjoined reply, which appeared in the Nation, October 13,
CLARENCE MANGAN. To the Editor of the Nation.-October 8, 1849. “Sir, I have waited till now in hope that some more intelligent individual would have taken up the cudgels in defence of a much maligned set of men, termed Scriveners' clerks. As I find, however 110 one disposed to refute the slanders published in your paper of September 29, under the head of Clarence Mangan, and purporting to have been written by Mangan himself, I deem it necessary to attempt to set you and your readers right upon the subject. And first--I quote from his alleged account of himself : ‘I was obliged to work for seven years of the ten, from five in the morning, winter and summier to eleven at night, for the seven years I was in a scrivener's office.'
“Now it is a matter of notoriety that no scrivener has, or ever had, sufficient business to keep his clerks employed for more than eight months in the year. In fact, the vacations, as they are termed, are every year, by far too much to please either the clerks or the employers. In proof of this I will show the length of the vacations as they occur. The Easter recess which extends over one month. The Midsummer
vacation, commonly called the Long vacation, which lasts from the end of Trinity Term until the middle of October, a period of over three months, and the Michaelmas vacation of about three weeks.
“If Clarence Mangan worked as he is alleged to state, from five in the morning until eleven at night, he must have been employed eighteen hours each day, which taken from the above period of eight months, gives an average of three hundred and twelve working days of twelve hours each. Now at that period, the lowest average price paid by a scrivener to his clerk, was at the rate of nine pence an hour, which would give an income of £140 8s per annum. In this calculation I have omitted to allow for any business done during the vacations, which taken at an average, would at least make up the full yearly sum of £150. With such an income and such leisure time, I really cannot see the peculiar hardship of Mr. Mangan's life while in the scrivener's office.
"Secondly—' The disgusting obscenities and horrible blasphemies of those associated with methe persecutions I was compelled to endure, and which I never returned but by acts of kindness ; which acts were always taken as evidence of weakness on my part, and only provoked further aggressionsin seeking to escape from this misery I had laid the foundation of that evil habit which has since proved so ruinous to me.'
“The only scrivener's office Mangan ever wrote in, was Kenrick's of York Street, where he served his apprenticeship. Two of young men with whom he was associated, in fact writing at the same desk with him, are now Roman Catholic Bishops in America; and a third was the late Reverend Father Kenrick of Francis Street chapel.* Let me ask, is it within the bounds of probability that the 'disgusting obscenities and horrible blasphemies' alluded to, would form the current conversation of such men as these even in their youthful days ? His career in an attorney's office, as a scrivener, I have nothing to say to, but will shortly state where he went, and when lie first acquired a relish for spirituous liquors. On
*"D. C." imight have added, that the fourth was the inoffensive James Tighe.
leaving Kenricks, he went to a highly respectable solicitor, Mr. Franks, of Merion Square, with whom he remained some time. From thence he went to Mr. Leland of Fitzwillia:n Square, and remained with him and his successor, Mr. Murphy until 1836.
He left this gentleman for a situation in the Ordinance Office, and subsequently was employed in Trinity College Library. From his childhood until he entered the College, he never was known to take spirituous liquors of any description ; and it was there, and not in a scrivener's office where he first fell under its evil influence. I am acquainted with many creditable people who can vouch for the accuracy of this statement. To conclude, I have too much respect for the memory of Clarence Mangan as a literary man, to wish wantonly to cast a slur upon his character; and I wish to state that it is my firm conviction that this 'undoubtedly genuine autobiographical confession' is a forgery upon the man, and I know it to be a lie in itself.
“I am, Sir, your obedient servant, D. C.”
In Father Meehan's preface to the “Poets and Poetry of Munster,” he thoroughly exposes the utter untruthfulness of the greater portion of Mangan's so-called autobiographies ; but the reverend gentleman, in confirmation of his statement, should have added, that in an office conducted by the Pastor of St. Nicholas, and with two such pen-associates as the latter's youthful nephew, and Tighe, it would be utterly impossible that such disreputable conduct would for one moment be tolerated. Tighe, it is well known, was an abstemious man, and an advocate of temperance all his lifetime.
Then as to Mangan's supposed drudgery hours in the office, “ from five in the morning, winter and summer, to eleven at night,” as Father Meehan remarks, this is all purely imaginary. The poet on some special occasions might have been employed these long hours, for which he was paid extra ; but in refutation of such being generally the case, the context of Jones' Diaries show that when released from their daily toil Tighe and Mangan, these two exuberant spirits, not dull souls, were in the habit of spending the evenings with other puzzling
ation is a
folk in the neighborhood of Bride Street, occasionally vary-
James Mangan, as is well known, was born in 1803. In
In a memoir of the saintly Archbishop of Saint Louis, in one of the newspapers, it was mentioned that two years before he entered Maynooth, which took place in 1827, he removed from the old family abode to some temporary lodgings in the neighborhood of New Street ; which date fully coincides with that given by the poet himself of the final closing of the scrivenery offices in 6 York Street in 1825.
The two inseparable friends, Tighe and Mangan, were now obliged to part. Mangan soon afterwards obtained employment in the offices of Mr. Franks, Solicitor, Merion Square ; but the name of Mr. Tiglie's new employer is not recorded. Perhaps, shortly after the breaking up of the scrivenery establishment in York Street, he drifted into the old bookselling trade, his usual employment afterwards while life and health were spared him,
SELECTIONS FROM THE CORRESPONDENCE
OF THE DECEASED
WRITER, PRINTER, PUBLISHER.
REV. F. MATIGNON TO MATHEW CAREY.
Boston, September 2, '97. SIR :-I beg you to send me by the first safe opportunity 4 Douay-Bibles & 3 dozen Garden of the Soul. If you have any of the poor man's Catechism, be pleased to send also 2 sets of it, & draw at the same time upon me, for payment. My respectful compliments to R' Messrs. O'Neale & Eunice. I am with the greatest consideration, Sir, Your most obedient Servant,
Rev. F. MATIGNON TO MATHEW CAREY.
BOSTON, Sept. 28, '97. SIR :-Not being sure whether my last letter reached you, I repeat you by this, my request for sending me, by the Schooner John Holmes, Waso, Master, or any other safe & expeditious way:
4 dozens Garden of the Soul, & 3 or 4 bibles. When you print again the Vade-Mecum, I would be glad to get half a hundred of them, if at the former price. You