Lancashire Idylls (1898) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 226 pages of information about Lancashire Idylls (1898).

Mr. Penrose remained silent.

‘Well, if ever yo’ did, then yo’ know haa aw felt when hoo axed me where th’ flaar were as aw wanted.  Aw couldn’t for shame to tell her.  Then hoo turned on me an’ said: 

’"If thaa’ll tell me where the flaar is I’ll give it thee, but don’t stand grinnin’ theer.”

‘Then aw plucked up like.  Aw said:  “Aw think thaa knows where th’ flaar is, Betty.  An’ as thaa said I mun hev it, I’ll tak’ it.”  And I gave her a kuss on th’ cheek ‘at were nearest to me.’

‘And did she strike you as she struck the tackler?’ asked Mr. Penrose.

’Did hoo strike me—?  Nowe; hoo turned t’other cheek and geet a better and longer kuss nor th’ first.’

’So that is how Malachi won you, is it, Betty?  The story is worth a chapter in a novel.’

’Nay, aw wernd so easily won as that, Mr. Penrose.  There were summat else i’ th’ way, and aw welly thought once he’d ha’ lost me.’

‘And what was that?’

‘Well, yo’ see,’ said Malachi, ‘Betty were a dipper, an’ I were a sprinkler.  And when I axed th’ old mon for Betty he said as dippin’ and sprinklin’ wouldn’t piece up.  And then hoo were a Calvin an’ I were a Methody, and that were wur and wur.

‘Th’ owd mon stood to his gun, and wouldn’t say “Yez” till I gave in; an’ aw stood to mi gun, and to Betty an’ o’, an’ towd her faither ’at aw were as good as ony on ’em.  One day th’ lass come to me wi’ tears in her een, and said: 

’"Malachi, didsto ever read Solomon’s Song?”

’"Yi, forsure aw did.  Why doesto ax me that question?”

‘"Doesto remember th’ seventh verse o’ th’ last chapter?” hoo said.

’"Aw cannot say as ’ow I do.  What is it?”

‘"It’s that,” said hoo, puttin’ her little Bible i’ my hand.

’And when I tuk it aw read, “Many waters cannot quench love.”

’"Well,” aw sez, “what abaat that?”

‘"Why,” hoo cried, “thaa’rt lettin’ Rehoboth waters quench thine.”

’"Haa doesto mean?” aw axed.

‘"Why, thaa willn’t be dipped for me."’

Here Mr. Penrose broke into a hearty laugh, and complimented Betty, telling her she was the sort of woman to make ’converts to the cause.’  Then old Malachi put on his wisest look, and continued: 

‘Mr. Penrose, aw mut as weel tell yo’ afore yo’ get wed, that it’s no use feightin’ agen a woman.  They’re like Bill o’ th’ Goit’s donkey, they’ll goa their own gate, an’ th’ more yo’ bother wi’ ‘em th’ wur they are.  A mon’s wife mak’s him.  Hoo shap’s everythin’ for him, his clooas, his gate, and his religion an’ o’.  Talk abaat clay i’ th’ honds o’ th’ potter, why it’s naught to a man i’ th’ honds o’ his missus.’

‘So you were baptized for the love of Betty, were you, Malachi?’

’Yi; bud I were no hypocrite abaat it, for aw told her aw should never be a Calvin, an’ aw never have bin.  Doesto remember what thaa said, Betty, when aw tell’d thee aw should never be a Calvin?’

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Lancashire Idylls (1898) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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