Abraham-men

(redirected from poor Toms)

Abraham-men

A class of beggars who claimed to have been discharged from the “Abraham ward” at Bedlam (now the Bethlem Royal Hospital) Hospital for lunatics during the Stuart and Tudor periods in England.
References in classic literature ?
An episode of humour or kindness touches and amuses him here and there--a pretty child looking at a gingerbread stall; a pretty girl blushing whilst her lover talks to her and chooses her fairing; poor Tom Fool, yonder behind the waggon, mumbling his bone with the honest family which lives by his tumbling; but the general impression is one more melancholy than mirthful.
It is too bad; but you ought to do it because it 's right, and never mind being paid," began Polly, trying to be moral, but secretly sympathizing heartily with poor Tom.
Here was a chance to prove that she was n't; besides, poor Tom had no one else to help him; so she came up to the sofa where he lay, and nodded reassuringly, as she put a soft little hand on either side of the damaged head.
It struck poor Tom, point foremost, and with stunning violence, right between the shoulders in the middle of his back.
But, to poor Tom, there it lay, just what he needed, so evidently true and divine that the possibility of a question never entered his simple head.
Please sir, the chimney wants sweeping," said poor Tom Kitten.
Thus poor Tom, though he saw very clearly through Maggie's illusions, was not without illusions of his own, which were to be cruelly dissipated by his enlarged experience at King's Lorton.
He was jocose with Tom at table, and corrected his provincialisms and his deportment in the most playful manner; but poor Tom was only the more cowed and confused by this double novelty, for he had never been used to jokes at all like Mr.
Talking of poor Tom and Maggie Tulliver brings to my mind a saying of George Eliot's in connection with this subject of melancholy.
This one was Harry's own particular invention and pet; he scarcely ever used it except when hard pressed, but then out it came, and as sure as it did, over went poor Tom.
Poor Tom took the wax in silence and sealed his letter, with a huge lump rising in his throat during the process, and then ran away to a quiet corner of the playground, and burst into an agony of tears.