The following sections of this BookRags Literature Study Guide is offprint from Gale's For Students Series: Presenting Analysis, Context, and Criticism on Commonly Studied Works: Introduction, Author Biography, Plot Summary, Characters, Themes, Style, Historical Context, Critical Overview, Criticism and Critical Essays, Media Adaptations, Topics for Further Study, Compare & Contrast, What Do I Read Next?, For Further Study, and Sources.
(c)1998-2002; (c)2002 by Gale. Gale is an imprint of The Gale Group, Inc., a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. Gale and Design and Thomson Learning are trademarks used herein under license.
The following sections, if they exist, are offprint from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction: "Social Concerns", "Thematic Overview", "Techniques", "Literary Precedents", "Key Questions", "Related Titles", "Adaptations", "Related Web Sites". (c)1994-2005, by Walton Beacham.
The following sections, if they exist, are offprint from Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults: "About the Author", "Overview", "Setting", "Literary Qualities", "Social Sensitivity", "Topics for Discussion", "Ideas for Reports and Papers". (c)1994-2005, by Walton Beacham.
All other sections in this Literature Study Guide are owned and copyrighted by BookRags, Inc.
|Table of Contents|
|Start of eBook||1|
|To th’ Swallow||1|
|Plenty o’ Brass||2|
|Th’ Little Stranger||3|
|That’s a Fact||5|
|Stop at Hooam||6|
|Th’ First o’th Sooart||8|
|The New Year’s Resolve||10|
|The Old Bachelor’s Story||11|
|Aght o’ Wark||12|
|Th’ Little Black Hand||14|
|My Native Twang||16|
|Shoo’s thi Sister||16|
|To a Roadside Flower||18|
|Force of Example||25|
|Th’ Last Month||26|
|New Year’s Parties||28|
|Cleenin’ Daan Month||34|
|End o’ th’ Year||39|
As aw hurried throo th’ taan to mi wark,
(Aw wur lat, for all th’ whistles had gooan,)
Aw happen’d to hear a remark,
‘At ud fotch tears throo th’ heart ov a stooan—
It wur raanin, an’ snawin, and cowd,
An’ th’ flagstoans wur covered wi’ muck,
An’ th’ east wind booath whistled an’ howl’d,
It saanded like nowt but ill luck;
When two little lads, donn’d i’ rags,
Baght stockins or shoes o’ ther feet,
Coom trapesin away ower th’ flags,
Booath on ’em sodden’d wi th’ weet.—
Th’ owdest mud happen be ten,
Th’ young en be hauf on’t,—noa moor;
As aw luk’d on, aw sed to misen,
God help fowk this weather ’at’s poor!
Th’ big en sam’d summat off th’ graand,
An’ aw luk’d just to see what ’t could be;
’Twur a few wizend flaars he’d faand,
An’ they seem’d to ha fill’d him wi glee:
An’ he sed, “Come on, Billy, may be
We shall find summat else by an by,
An’ if net, tha mun share thease wi me
When we get to some spot where its dry.”
Leet-hearted they trotted away,
An’ aw follow’d, coss ‘twur i’ mi rooad;
But aw thowt awd nee’er seen sich a day—
It worn’t fit ta be aght for a tooad.
Sooin th’ big en agean slipt away,
An’ sam’d summat else aght o’th’ muck,
An’ he cried aght, “Luk here, Bill! to-day
Arn’t we blest wi’ a seet o’ gooid luck?
Here’s a apple! an’ th’ mooast on it’s saand:
What’s rotten aw’ll throw into th’ street—
Worn’t it gooid to ligg thear to be faand?
Nah booath on us con have a treat.”
Soa he wiped it, an’ rubb’d it, an’ then
Sed, Billy, “thee bite off a bit;
If tha hasn’t been lucky thisen
Tha shall share wi’ me sich as aw get.”
Soa th’ little en bate off a touch,
T’other’s face beamed wi’ pleasur all throo,
An’ he said, “Nay, tha hasn’t taen much,
Bite agean, an’ bite bigger; nah do!”
Aw waited to hear nowt noa moor,—
Thinks aw, thear’s a lesson for me!
Tha’s a heart i’ thi breast, if tha’rt poor:
Th’ world wur richer wi’ moor sich as thee!
Tuppince wur all th’ brass aw had,
An’ awd ment it for ale when coom nooin,
But aw thowt aw’ll goa give it yond lad,
He desarves it for what he’s been dooin;
Soa aw sed, “Lad, here’s tuppince for thee,
For thi sen,”—an’ they stared like two geese,
But he sed, woll th’ tear stood in his e’e,
“Nah, it’ll just be a penny a piece.”
“God bless thi! do just as tha will,
An’ may better days speedily come;
Tho’ clam’d, an’ hauf donn’d, mi lad, still
Tha’rt a deal nearer Heaven nur some.”
Bonny burd! aw’m fain to see thee,
For tha tells ov breeter weather;
But aw connot quite forgi thee,
Connot love thee altogether.
’Tisn’t thee aw fondly welcome—
’Tis the cheerin news tha brings,
Tellin us fine weather will come,
When we see thi dappled wings.
But aw’d rayther have a sparrow,
Rayther hear a robin twitter;
Tho’ they may net be thi marrow,
May net fly wi’ sich a glitter;
But they niver leeav us, niver—
Storms may come, but still they stay;
But th’ first wind ’at ma’s thee shiver,
Up tha mounts an’ flies away.
Ther’s too mony like thee, swallow,
’At when fortun’s sun shines breet,
Like a silly buzzard follow,
Doncin raand a bit o’ leet.
But ther’s few like Robin redbreast,
Cling throo days o’ gloom an’ care;
Soa aw love mi old tried friends best—
Fickle hearts aw’ll freely spare.
A’a! it’s grand to ha’ plenty o’
It’s grand to be able to spend
A trifle sometimes on a glass
For yorsen, or sometimes for a friend
To be able to bury yor neive
Up to th’ shackle i’ silver an’ gowd
An’, ‘baght pinchin’, be able to save
A wee bit for th’ time when yor owd.
A’a! it’s grand to ha’, plenty o’
To be able to set daan yor fooit
Withaght ivver thinkin’—bith’ mass!
‘At yor wearin’ soa mitch off yor booit;
To be able to walk along th’ street,
An’ stand at shop windows to stare,
An’ net ha’ to beat a retreat
If yo’ scent a “bum bailey” i’ th’ air.
A’a I it’s grand to ha’ plenty o’
To be able to goa hoam at neet,
An’ sit i’th’ arm-cheer bith’ owd lass,
An’ want nawther foir nor leet;
To tak’ th’ childer a paper o’ spice,
Or a pictur’ to hing up o’ th’ wall;
Or a taste ov a summat ’at’s nice
For yor friends, if they happen to call.
A’a! it’s grand to ha’ plenty o’
Then th’ parsons’ll know where yo’ live:
If yo’r’ poor, it’s mooast likely they’ll pass,
An’ call where fowk’s summat to give.
Yo’ may have a trifle o’ sense,
An’ yo’ may be both upright an’ true
But that’s nowt, if yo’ can’t stand th’ expense
Ov a hoal or a pairt ov a pew.
A’a! it’s grand to ha’ plenty o’
An’ to them fowk at’s getten a hoard,
This world seems as smooth as a glass,
An’ ther’s flaars o’ boath sides o’th’ road;
But him ’at’s as poor as a maase,
Or, happen, a little i’ debt,
He mun point his noas up to th’ big haase,
An’ be thankful for what he can get.
A’a! it’s grand to ha’ plenty o’
But doan’t let it harden yor heart:
Yo’ ‘at’s blessed wi’ abundance should think
An’ try ta do gooid wi’ a part!
An’ then, as yor totterin’ daan,
An’ th’ last grains o’ sand are i’th glass,
Yo’ may find ’at yo’ve purchased a craan
Wi’ makkin gooid use o’ yor brass.
Little bonny, bonny babby,
How tha stares, an’ weel tha may,
For its but an haar, or hardly,
Sin’ tha furst saw th’ leet o’ day.
A’a! tha little knows, young moppet,
Ha aw’st have to tew for thee;
May be when aw’m forced to drop it,
’At tha’ll do a bit for me.
Are ta maddled, mun, amang it?
Does ta wonder what aw mean?
Aw should think tha does, but dang it!
Where’s ta been to leearn to scream?
That’s noa sooart o’ mewsic, bless thee!
Dunnot peawt thi lip like that!
Mun, aw hardly dar to nurse thee,
Feared awst hurt thee, little brat.
Come, aw’ll tak thee to thi mother;
Shoo’s moor used to sich nor me:
Hands like mine worn’t made to bother
Wi sich ginger-breead as thee.
Innocent an’ helpless craytur,
All soa pure an’ undefiled!
If ther’s ought belangs to heaven
Lives o’th’ eearth, it is a child.
An its hard to think, ’at some day,
If tha’rt spared to weather throo,
‘At tha’ll be a man, an’ someway
Have to feight life’s battles too.
Kings an’ Queens, an’ lords an’
Once wor nowt noa moor to see;
An’ th’ warst wretch ‘at hung o’th’ gallows,
Once wor born as pure as thee.
An’ what tha at last may come to,
God aboon us all can tell;
But aw hope ’at tha’ll be lucky,
Even tho aw fail mysel.
Do aw ooin thee? its a pity!
Hush! nah prathi dunnot freat!
Goa an’ snoozle to thi titty
Tha’rt too young for trouble yet.
Aw wander’d aght one summer’s morn,
Across a meadow newly shorn;
Th’ sun wor shinin’ breet and clear,
An’ fragrant scents rose up i’th’ air,
An’ all wor still.
When, as my steps wor idly rovin,
Aw coom upon a seet soa lovin!
It fill’d mi heart wi’ tender feelin,
As daan aw sank beside it, kneelin
O’th’ edge o’th’ hill.
It wor a little skylark’s nest,
An’ two young babby burds, undrest,
Wor gapin wi’ ther beaks soa wide,
Callin’ for mammy to provide
Ther mornin’s meal;
An’ high aboon ther little hooam,
Th’ saand o’ daddy’s warblin coom,
Ringin’ soa sweetly o’ mi ear,
Like breathins thro’ a purer sphere,
He sang soa weel.
Ther mammy, a few yards away,
Wor hoppin’ on a bit o’ hay,
Too feard to come, too bold to flee;
An’ watchin me wi’ troubled e’e,
Shoo seem’d to say:
“Dooant touch my bonny babs, young man!
Ther daddy does the best he can
To cheer yo with his sweetest song;
An’ thoase ’ll sing as weel, ere long,
Soa let ’em stay.”
“Tha needn’t think aw’d do ’em
Come shelter ’em and keep ’em warm!
For aw’ve a little nest misel,
An’ two young babs, aw’m praad to tell,
’At’s precious too;
An’ they’ve a mammy watching thear,
’At howds them little ens as dear,
An’ dearer still, if that can be,
Nor what thease youngens are to thee,
Soa come,—nah do!
“A’a well!—tha’rt shy,
tha hops away,—
Tha doesn’t trust a word aw say;
Tha thinks aw’m here to rob an’ plunder,
An’ aw confess aw dunnot wonder—
But tha’s noa need;
Aw’ll leave yo to yorsels,—gooid bye!
For nah aw see yor daddy’s nigh;
He’s dropt that strain soa sweet and strong;
He loves yo better nor his song—
He does indeed.”
Aw walk’d away, and sooin mi ear
Caught up the saand o’ warblin clear;
Thinks aw, they’re happy once agean;
Aw’m glad aw didn’t prove so mean
To rob that nest;
For they’re contented wi ther lot,
Nor envied me mi little cot;
An’ in this world, as we goa throo,
It is’nt mich gooid we can do,
An’ do awr best.
Then let us do as little wrong
To ony as we pass along,
An’ never seek a joy to gain
At’s purchased wi another’s pain,
It isn’t reet.
Aw shall goa hooam wi’ leeter heart,
To mend awr Johnny’s little cart:
(He allus finds me wark enough
To piecen up his brocken stuff,
For every neet.)
An’ Sally—a’a! if yo could
When aw sit daan to get mi teah,
Shoo puts her dolly o’ mi knee,
An’ maks me sing it “Hush a bee,”
I’th’ rocking chear;
Then begs some sugar for it too;
What it can’t ait shoo tries to do;
An’ turnin up her cunnin e’e,,
Shoo rubs th’ doll maath, an says, “yo see,
It gets its share.”,
Sometimes aw’m rayther cross? aw fear!
Then starts a little tremblin tear,
‘At, like a drop o’ glitt’rin dew
Swimmin within a wild flaar blue,
Falls fro ther e’e;
But as the sun in April shaars
Revives the little droopin flaars,
A kind word brings ther sweet smile back:
Aw raylee think mi brain ud crack
If they’d ta dee.
Then if aw love my bairns soa weel,
May net a skylark’s bosom feel
As mich consarn for th’ little things
‘At snooze i’th’ shelter which her wings
Soa weel affoards?
If fowk wod nobbut bear i’ mind
How mich is gained by bein’ kind,
Ther’s fewer breasts wi’ grief ud swell,
An’ fewer fowk ud thoughtless mell
Even o’th’ burds.
Ther’s mewsic i’th’ shuttle, i’th’
loom, an i’th frame,
Ther’s melody mingled i’th’ noise,
For th’ active ther’s praises, for th’ idle ther’s blame,
If they’d hearken to th’ saand of its voice;
An’ when flaggin a bit, ha refreshin to feel
As yo pause an luk raand on the throng,
At the clank o’ the tappet, the hum o’ the wheel,
Sing this plain unmistakable song:—
Nick a ting, nock a ting;
Wages keep pocketing;
Workin for little is better nor laiking;
Twist an’ twine, reel an’ wind;
Keep a contented mind;
Troubles are oft ov a body’s own making.
To see workin fowk wi’ a smile o’ ther
As they labor thear day after day;
An’ hear ’th women’s voices float sweetly throo ’th place,
As they join i’ some favorite lay;
It saands amang th’ din, as the violet seems
‘At peeps aght th’ green dockens among,
An’ spreading a charm over th’ rest by its means,
Thus it blends i’ that steady old song;
Nick a ting, nock a ting;
Wages keep pocketing;
Workin for little is better nor laiking;
Twist an’ twine, reel an’ wind;
Keep a contented mind;
Troubles are oft ov a body’s own making.
An’ then see what lessons are laid out anent
As pick after pick follows time after time,
An’ warns us tho’ silent, to let nowt prevent us
From strivin by little endeavours to climb;
Th’ world’s made o’ trifles! its dust forms a mountain!
Then niver despair as you’re trudgin along;
If troubles will come an’ yor spirits dishearten,
Yo’ll find ther’s relief i’ that steady old song;
Nick a ting, nock a ting;
Wages keep pocketing;
Working for little is better nor laiking;
Twist an’ twine, reel an’ wind;
Keep a contented mind;
Troubles are oft ov a body’s own making.
Life’s warp comes throo Heaven, th’ weft’s
fun bi us sen;
To finish a piece we’re compell’d to ha booath.
Th’ warp’s reight, but if th’ weft should be faulty—ha then?
Noa wayver i’ th’ world can produce a gooid clooath;
Then let us endeavour, bi working and striving,
To finish awr piece soa’s noa fault can be fun;
An’ then i’ return for awr pains an contriving,
Th’ takker in ‘ll reward us an’ whisper’ well done.’
Clink a clank, clink a clank,
Workin withaat a thank,
May be awr fortun—if soa never mind it!
Striving to do awr best,
We shall be reight at last,
If we lack comfort nah, then shall we find it.
A’a Mary aw’m glad ’at that’s
Aw need thy advice, lass, aw’m sure;
Aw’m all ov a mooild tha can see,
Aw wor never i’ this way afoor,
Aw’ve net slept a wink all th’ neet throo;
Aw’ve been twirling abaght like a worm,
An’ th’ blankets gate felter’d, lass, too—
Tha niver saw cloas i’ sich form.
Aw’ll tell thee what ’t all wor abaght—
But promise tha’ll keep it reight squat,
For aw wodn’t for th’ world let it aght;
But aw can’t keep it in—tha knows that.
We’d a meetin at the schooil yesterneet,
An’ Jimmy wor thear,—tha’s seen Jim?
An’ he hutch’d cloise to me in a bit,
To ax me for th’ number o’th’ hymn;
Aw thowt ’t wor a gaumless trick,
For he heeard it geen aght th’ same as me;
An’ he just did th’ same thing tother wick,—
It made fowk tak noatice, dos’t see.
An’ when aw wor gooin towards hooam
Aw heeard som’dy comin behund:
‘Twor pitch dark, an’ aw thowt if they
“Tha wodn’t goa an leave me, Jim,
All lonely by mysel?
My een at th’ varry thowts grow dim—
Aw connot say farewell.
Tha vow’d tha couldn’t live unless
Tha saw me every day,
An’ said tha knew noa happiness
When aw wor foorced a way.
An th’ tales tha towld, I know full weel,
Wor true as gospel then;
What is it, lad, ’at ma’s thee feel
Soa strange—unlike thisen?
Ther’s raam enuff, aw think tha’ll find,
I’th taan whear tha wor born,
To mak a livin, if tha’ll mind
To ha’ faith i’ to-morn.
Aw’ve mony a time goan to mi wark
Throo claads o’ rain and sleet;
All’s seem’d soa dull, soa drear, an’ dark,
It ommust mud be neet.
But then, when braikfast time’s come raand,
Aw’ve seen th’ sun’s cheerin ray,
An’ th’ heavy lukkin claads have slunk
Like skulkin lads away.
An’ then bi nooin it’s shooan soa breet
Aw’ve sowt some shade to rest,
An’ as aw’ve paddled hooam at neet,
Glorious it’s sunk i’th west.
An’ tho’ a claad hangs ovver thee,
(An’ trouble’s hard to bide),
Have patience, lad, an’ wait an’ see
What’s hid o’th’ tother side.
If aw wor free to please mi mind,
Aw’st niver mak this stur;
But aw’ve a mother ommust blind,
What mud become o’ her?
Tha knows shoo cared for me, when waik
An’ helpless ivery limb,
Aw’m feeard her poor owd heart ud braik
If aw’d to leave her, Jim.
Aw like to hear thee talk o’ th’ trees
‘At tower up to th’ sky,
An’ th’ burds ‘at flutterin i’th’ breeze,
Lie glitterin’ jewels fly.
Woll th’ music of a shepherd’s reed
May gently float along,
Lendin its tender notes to lead
Some fair maid’s simple song;
An’ flaars ‘at grow o’ ivery side,
Such as we niver see;
But here at hooam, at ivery stride,
There’s flaars for thee an’ me.
Aw care net for ther suns soa breet,
Nor warblin melody;
Th’ clink o’ thi clogs o’ th’ flags at neet
Saands sweeter, lad, to me.
An’ tho’ aw wear a gingham gaan,
A claat is noa disgrace;
Tha’ll niver find a heart moor warm
Beat under silk or lace.
Then settle daan, tak my advice,
Give up this wish to rooam!
An’ if tha luks, tha’ll find lots nice
Worth stoppin’ for at hooam.”
“God bless thee, Jenny! dry that e’e,
An’ gi’e us howd thi hand!
For words like thoase, throo sich as thee,
What mortal could withstand!
It isn’t mich o’th’ world aw know,
But aw con truly say,
A faithful heart’s too rich to throw
Withaat a thowt away.
So here aw’ll stay, and should fate fraan,
Aw’ll tew for thine and thee,
An’ seek for comfort when cast daan,
I’th’ sunleet o’ thi e’e.”
Some poets sing o’ gipsy queens,
An’ some o’ ladies fine;
Aw’ll sing a song o’ other scenes,
A humbler muse is mine:
Jewels, an’ gold, an’ silken frills,
Are things too heigh for me,
But woll mi harp wi’ vigour thrills,
Aw’ll strike a chord for thee.
Poor lassie wan,
Do th’ best tha can,
Although thi fate be hard;
A time ther’ll be
When sich as thee
Shall have yor full reward.
At hauf-past five tha leaves thi bed,
An’ off tha goes to wark;
An’ gropes thi way to mill or shed,
Six months o’th’ year i’th’ dark.
Tha gets but little for thi pains,
But that’s noa fault o’ thine;
Thi maister reckons up his gains,
An’ ligs i’ bed till nine.
Poor lassie wan, &c.
He’s little childer ov his own
’At’s quite as old as thee;
They ride i’ cushioned carriages
’At’s beautiful to see;
They’d fear to spoil ther little hand,
To touch thy greasy brat:
It’s wark like thine ’as maks ’em grand
They niver think o’ that.
Poor lassie wan, &c.
I’ summer time they romp an’ play
Where flowers grow wild and sweet;
Ther bodies strong, ther spirits gay,
They thrive throo morn to neet.
But tha’s a cough, aw hear tha has;
An’ oft aw’ve known thee sick;
But tha mun work, poor little lass,
For hauf-a-craan a wick.
Poor lassie wan, &c.
Aw envy net fowks’ better lot—
Aw should’nt like to swap.
Aw’m quite contented wi’mi cot;
Aw’m but a warkin chap.
But if aw had a lot o’ brass
Aw’d think o’ them ’at’s poor;
Aw’d have yo’ childer workin’ less,
An’ mak yor wages moor.
Poor lassie wan, &c.
“There is a land of pure delight,
Where saints immortal reign,
Infinite day excludes the night,
And pleasures banish pain.”
Noa fact’ry bell shall greet thi ear,
I’ that sweet home ov love;
An’ those ’at scorn thi sufferins here
May envy thee above.
Poor lassie wan, &c.
Aw heeard a funny tale last neet—
Aw could’nt howd fro’ laffin—
‘Twor at th’ Bull’s Heead we chonced to meet,
An’ spent an haar i’ chaffin.
Some sang a song, some cracked a joak,
An’ all seem’d full o’ larkin;
An’ th’ raam war blue wi’ bacca smook,
An’ ivery e’e’d a spark in.
Long Joa ‘at comes thro th’ Jumples cluff,
Wor gettin rayther mazy;
An’ Warkus Ned had supped enuff
To turn they’re Betty crazy;—
An Bob at lives at th’ Bogeggs farm,
Wi’ Nan throo th’ Buttress Bottom,
Wor treating her to summat wanm,
(It’s just his way,—“odd drot em!”)
An’ Jack o’th’ Slade wor theear
An’ Joa o’ Abe’s throo Waerley;
An’ Lijah off o’th’ Lavver Hill,
Wor passing th’ ale raand rarely.—
Throo raand and square they seem’d to meet,
To hear or tell a stoory;
But th’ gem o’ all aw heard last neet
Wor one bi Dooad o’th’ gloory.
He bet his booits ’at it wor true,
An’ all seem’d to believe him;
Tho’ if he’d lost he need’nt rue—
But ’t wodn’t ha done to grieve him
His uncle lived i’ Pudsey taan,
An’ practised local praichin;
An’ if he ’re lucky, he wor baan
To start a schooil for taichin.
But he wor takken varry ill;
He felt his time wor comin:
(They say he brought it on hissel
Wi’ studdyin his summin.)
He call’d his wife an’ neighbors in
To hear his deein sarmon,
An’ tell’d ’em if they liv’d i’ sin
Ther lot ud be a warm en.
Then turin raand unto his wife,
Said—“Mal, tha knows, owd craytur,
If awd been bless’d wi’ longer life,
Aw might ha’ left things straighter.
Joa Sooitill owes me eighteen pence—
Aw lent it him last lovefeast.”
Says Mal—“He has’nt lost his sense—
Thank God for that at least!”
“An Ben o’th’ top o’th’
bank tha knows,
We owe him one paand ten.".—
“Just hark!” says Mally, “there he goas!
He’s ramellin agean!
Dooant tak a bit o’ noatice, fowk!
Yo see, poor thing, he’s ravin!
It cuts me up to hear sich talk—
He spent his life i’ savin!
“An, Mally, lass,” he said agean,
“Tak heed o’ my direction:
Th’ schooil owes us hauf a craan—aw mean
My share o’th’ last collection.—
Tha’ll see to that, an have what’s fair
When my poor life is past.”—
Says Mally, “listen, aw declare,
He’s sensible to th’ last.”
He shut his een an’ sank to rest—
Deeath seldom claimed a better:
They put him by,—but what wor th’ best,
He sent ’em back a letter,
To tell ’em all ha he’d gooan on;
An’ ha he gate to enter;
An’ gave ’em rules to act upon
If ever they should ventur.
Theear Peter stood wi’ keys i’ hand:
Says he, “What do you want, sir?
If to goa in—yo understand
Unknown to me yo can’t sir.—
Pray what’s your name? where are yo throo?
Just make your business clear.”
Says he, “They call me Parson Drew,
Aw’ve come throo Pudsey here.”
“You’ve come throo Pudsey, do you say?
Doant try sich jokes o’ me, sir;
Aw’ve kept thease doors too long a day,
Aw can’t be fooiled bi thee, sir.”
Says Drew, “aw wodn’t tell a lie,
For th’ sake o’ all ther’s in it:
If yo’ve a map o’ England by,
Aw’ll show yo in a minit.”
Soa Peter gate a time-table—
They gloored o’er th’ map together:
Drew did all at he wor able,
But could’nt find a stiver.
At last says he, “Thear’s Leeds Taan Hall,
An thear stands Braforth mission:
It’s just between them two—that’s all:
Your map’s an old edition.
But thear it is, aw’ll lay a craan,
An’ if yo’ve niver known it,
Yo’ve miss’d a bonny Yorksher taan,
Tho mony be ’at scorn it.”
He oppen’d th’ gate,—says he, “It’s time
Some body coom—aw’ll trust thee.
Tha’ll find inside noa friends o’ thine—
Tha’rt th’ furst ’at’s come throo Pudsey.”
Lines, on finding a butterfly in a weaving shed.
Nay surelee tha’s made a mistak;
Tha’rt aght o’ thi element here;
Tha may weel goa an’ peark up oth’ thack,
Thi bonny wings shakin wi fear.
Aw should think ’at theease rattlin looms
Saand queer sooart o’ music to thee;
An’ tha’ll hardly quite relish th’ perfumes
O’ miln-grease,—what th’ quality be.
Maybe’ tha’rt disgusted wi’ us,
An’ thinks we’re a low offald set
But tha’rt sadly mistaen if tha does,
For ther’s hooap an’ ther’s pride in us yet.
Tha wor nobbut a worm once thisen,
An’ as humble as humble could be;
An’ tho we nah are like tha wor then,
We may yet be as nobby as thee.
Tha’d to see thi own livin when young,
An’ when tha grew up tha’d to spin;
An’ if labor like that worn’t wrong,
Tha con hardly call wayvin ‘a sin.’
But tha longs to be off aw con tell;
For tha shows ’at tha ar’nt content:
Soa aw’ll oppen thee th’ window—farewell!
Off tha goas, bonny fly!—An’ it went.
A gradely chap wor uncle Ben
As iver lived ith’ fowd:
He made a fortun for hissen,
An’ lived on’t when he’r owd.
His yed wor like a snow drift,
An’ his face wor red an’ breet,
An’ his heart wor like a feather,
For he did the thing ’at’s reet.
He wore th’ same suit o’ fustian clooas
He’d worn sin aw wor bred;
An’ th’ same owd booits, wi’ cappel’d tooas,
An’ th’ same hat for his yed;
His cot wor lowly, yet he’d sing
Throo braik o’ day till neet;
His conscience niver felt a sting,
For he did the thing ’at’s reet.
He wod’nt swap his humble state
Wi’ th’ grandest fowk i’ th’ land;
He niver wanted silver plate,
Nor owt ’at’s rich and grand;
He did’nt sleep wi’ curtained silk
Drawn raand him ov a neet,
But he slept noa war for th’ want o’ that,
For he’d done the thing ’at’s reet.
Owd fowk called him “awr Benny,”
Young fowk, “mi uncle Ben,”—
An’ th’ childer, “gronfather,” or “dad,”
Or what best pleased thersen.
A gleam o’ joy coom o’er his face
When he heeard ther patterin feet,
For he loved to laik wi’ th’ little bairns
An’ he did the thing ’at’s reet.
He niver turned poor fowk away
Uncared for throo his door;
He ne’er forgate ther wor a day
When he hissen wor poor;
An’ mony a face has turned to Heaven,
All glistenin wi’ weet,
An’ prayed for blessins on owd Ben,
For he did th’ thing ’at’s reet.
He knew his lease wor ommost spent,
He’d sooin be called away;
Yet he wor happy an’ content,
An’ waited th’ comin day;
But one dark neet he shut his e’en,
An’ slept soa calm an’ sweet,
when mornin coom, th’ world held one less,
’At did the thing ’at’s reet.
Says Dick, “ther’s a’ notion sprung
up i’ mi yed,
For th’ furst time i’ th’ whole coorse o’ mi life,
An’ aw’ve takken a fancy aw’st like to be wed,
If aw knew who to get for a wife.
Aw dooant want a woman wi’ beauty, nor brass,
For aw’ve nawther to booast on misel;
What aw want is a warm-hearted, hard-workin’ lass,
An’ ther’s lots to be fun, aw’ve heeard tell.
To be single is all weel enuf nah an’ then,
But it’s awk’ard when th’ weshin’ day comes;
For aw nivver think sooapsuds agree weel wi’ men;
They turn all mi ten fingers to thumbs.
An’ awm sure it’s a fact, long afoor aw
Aw’m slopt throo mi waist to mi fit;
An’ th’ floor’s in’ a pond, as if th’ peggy-tub run,
An’ mi back warks as if it ’ud split.
Aw fancied aw’st manage at breead-bakin’
Soa one day aw bethowt me to try,
But aw gate soa flustered, aw ne’er thowt o’th’ yeast,
Soa aw mud as weel offered to fly.
Aw did mak a dumplin’, but a’a! dear a
Abaght that lot aw hardly dar think;
Aw ne’er fan th’ mistak’ till aw missed th’ sooap, yo see,
An’ saw th’ suet i’th’ sooap-box o’th’ sink.
But a new-year’s just startin’, an’
soa aw declare
Aw’ll be wed if a wife’s to be had;
For mi clooas is soa ragg’d woll aw’m ommost hauf bare,
An’ thease mullucks, they’re drivin’ me mad.
Soa, if yo should know, or should chonce to hear tell,
Ov a lass ’at to wed is inclined,
Talegraft me at once, an’ aw’ll see her misel
Afoor shoo can alter her mind.”
It was an humble cottage,
Snug in a rustic lane,
Geraniums and fuschias peep’d
From every window-pane;
The dark-leaved ivy dressed its walls,
Houseleek adorned the thatch;
The door was standing open wide,
They had no need of latch.
And close besides the corner
There stood an old stone well,
Which caught a mimic waterfall,
That warbled as it fell.
The cat, crouched on the well-worn steps,
Was blinking in the sun;
The birds sang out a welcome
To the morning just begun.
An air of peace and happiness
Pervaded all the scene;
The tall trees formed a back ground
Of rich and varied green;
And all was steeped in quietness,
Save nature’s music wild,
When all at once, methought I heard
The sobbing of a child.—
I listened, and the sound again
Smote clearly on my ear:
“Can there,”—I wondering asked myself—
“Can there be sorrow here?”—
I looked within, and on the floor
Was sat a little boy,
Striving to soothe his sister’s grief
By giving her a toy.
“Why weeps your sister thus?” I asked;
“What is her cause of grief?
Come tell me, little man,” I said,
“Come tell me, and be brief.”
Clasping his sister closer still,
He kissed her tear-stained face,
And thus, in homely Yorkshire phrase,
He told their mournful case.
“Mi mammy, sir, shoos liggin thear,
I’ th’ shut-up bed i’ th’ nook;
An’ tho aw’ve tried to wakken her,
Shoo’ll nawther spaik nor look.
Mi sissy wants her poridge,
An’ its time shoo had em too,
But th’ foir’s gooan aght an’ th’ mail’s all done—
Aw dooant know what to do.
An’ O, my mammy’s varry cold—
Just come an’ touch her arm:
Aw’ve done mi best to hap her up,
But connot mak her warm.
Mi daddy he once fell asleep,
An’ niver wakken’d moor:
Aw saw ’em put him in a box,
An’ tak him aght o’ th’ door.
He niver comes to see us nah,
As once he used to do,
An’ let’mi ride upon his back—
Me, an’ mi sissy too.
An’ if they know mi mammy sleeps,
Soa cold, an’ white, an’ still,
Aw’m feeard they’ll come an’ fotch her, sir;
O, sir, aw’m feard they will!
Aw happen could get on misen,
For aw con work a bit,
But little sissy, sir, yo see,
Shoo’s’ varra young as yet.
Oh! dunnot let fowk tak mi mam!
Help me to rouse her up!
An’ if shoo wants her physic,
See,—it’s in this little cup.
Aw know her heead war bad last neet,
When putting us to bed;
Shoo said, ‘God bless yo, little things!’
An’ that wor all shoo said.
Aw saw a tear wor in her e’e—
In fact, it’s seldom dry:
Sin daddy went shoo allus cries,
But niver tells us why.
Aw think it’s coss he isn’t here,
’At maks her e’en soa dim;
Shoo says, he’ll niver come to us,
But we may goa to him.
But if shoo’s gooan an’ left us here,
What mun we do or say?—
We cannot follow her unless,
Somebody ‘ll show us th’ way.”
My heart was full to bursting,
When I heard the woeful tale;
I gazed a moment on the face
Which death had left so pale;
Then clasping to my heaving breast
The little orphan pair,
I sank upon my bended knees,
And offered up a prayer,
That God would give me power to aid
Those children in distress,
That I might as a father be
Unto the fatherless.
Then coaxingly I led them forth;
And as the road was long,
I bore them in my arms by turns—
Their tears had made me strong.
I took them to my humble home,
Where now they may be seen,
The lad,—a noble-minded youth,—
His “sissy,”—beauty’s queen.
And now if you should chance to see,
Far from the bustling throng,
An old man, whom a youth and maid
Lead tenderly along;—
And if you, wondering, long to know
The history of the three,—
They are the little orphan pair—
The poor old man is me:
And on the little grassy mound
’Neath which their parents sleep,
They bend the knee, and pray for me;
I pray for them and weep.
Aw’ve been laikin for ommost eight wick,
An’ aw can’t get a day’s wark to do!
Aw’ve trailed abaght th’ streets wol awm sick
An’ aw’ve worn mi clog-soils ommost through.
Aw’ve a wife an’ three childer at hooam,
An’ aw know they’re all lukkin at th’ clock,
For they think it’s high time aw should come,
An’ bring ’em a morsel ’o jock.
A’a dear! it’s a pitiful case
When th’ cubbord is empty an’ bare;
When want’s stamped o’ ivery face,
An’ yo hav’nt a meal yo can share.
Today as aw walked into th’ street,
Th’ squire’s carriage went rattlin past;
An’ aw thout ’at it hardly luk’d reet,
For aw had’nt brokken mi fast.
Them horses, aw knew varry weel,
Wi’ ther trappins all shinin i’ gold,
Had nivver known th’ want of a meal,
Or a shelter to keep ’em thro’ th’ cold.
Even th’ dogs have enuff an’ to spare,
Tho’ they ne’er worked a day i’ ther life;
But ther maisters forget they should care
For a chap ‘at’s three bairns an’ a wife.
They give dinners at th’ hall ivery neet,
An’ ther’s carriages stand in bi’th scoor,
An’ all th’ windows are blazin wi leet,
But they seldom give dinners to th’ poor.
I’ mi pocket aw hav’nt a rap,
Nor a crust, nor a handful o’ mail;
An’ unless we can get it o’th strap,
We mun pine, or mun beg, or else stail.
But hoamwards aw’ll point mi owd clogs
To them three little lambs an’ ther dam;—
Aw wish they wor horses or dogs,
For its nobbut poor fowk ’at’s to clam.
But they say ther is One ’at can see,
An’ has promised to guide us safe through;
Soa aw’ll live on i’hopes, an’ surelee,
He’ll find a chap summat to do.
Another!—well, my bonny lad,
A’w wodn’t send thee back;
Altho’ we thowt we hadn’t raam,
Tha’s fun some in a crack.
It maks me feel as pleased as punch
To see thi pratty face;
Ther’s net another child i’th bunch
Moor welcome to a place
Aw’st ha’ to fit a peark for thee,
I’ some nook o’ mi cage;
But if another comes, raylee!
Aw’st want a bigger wage.
But aw’m noan feard tha’ll ha’ to
We’ll try to pool thee throo,
For Him who has mi laddie sent,
He’ll send his baggin too.
He hears the little sparrows chirp,
An’ answers th’ raven’s call;
He’ll never see one want for owt,
’At’s worth aboon ’em all.
But if one on us mun goa short,
(Although it’s hard to pine,)
Thy little belly shall be fill’d
Whativer comes o’ mine.
A chap con nobbut do his best,
An’ that aw’ll do for thee,
Leavin to providence all th’ rest,
An’ we’st get help’d, tha’ll see.
An’ if thi lot’s as bright an’ fair
As aw could wish it, lad,
Tha’ll come in for a better share
Nor iver blessed thi dad.
Aw think aw’st net ha’ lived for nowt,
If, when deeath comes, aw find
Aw leave some virtuous lasses
An’ some honest lads behind.
An’ tho’ noa coat ov arms may grace
For me, a sculptor’d stooan,
Aw hope to leave a noble race,
Wi arms o’ flesh an’ booan.
Then cheer up, lad, tho’ things luk black,
Wi’ health, we’ll persevere,
An’ try to find a brighter track—
We’ll conquer, niver fear!
An may God shield thee wi’ his wing,
Along life’s stormy way,
An’ keep thi heart as free throo sin,
As what it is to-day.
Ther’s a spark just o’th tip o’
An’ it may be poetical fire;
An’ suppoase ’at it is’nt—what then?
Wod yo bawk a chap ov his desire?
Aw’m detarmined to scribble away—
Soa’s them ’at’s a fancy con read;
An’ tho aw turn neet into day,
If aw’m suitin an odd en, neer heed!
Aw own ther’s mich pleasure i’ life;
But then ther’s abundance o’ care,
An’ them ‘at’s contented wi’ strife
May allus mak sure o’ ther share.
But aw’ll laff woll mi galluses braik,
Tho mi bed’s net as soft as spun silk;
An’ if butter be aght o’ mi raik,
Aw’ll ma’ th’ best ov a drop o’ churn milk.
It’s nooan them ‘at’s getten all
‘At’s getten all th’ pleasure, net it!
When aw’m smookin a pipe wi’ th’ owd lass,
Aw con thoil ’em whativer they get.
But sometimes when aw’m walkin throo th’
An’ aw see fowk hauf-clam’d, an’ i’ rags,
Wi noa bed to lig daan on at neet
But i’th’ warkus, or th’ cold-lukkin flags;
Then aw think, if rich fowk nobbut’ knew
What ther brothers i’ poverty feel,
They’d a trifle moor charity show,
An’ help ’em sometimes to a meal.
But we’re all far too fond of ussen,
To bother wi’ things aght o’th’ seet;
An’ we leeav to ther fate sich as them
‘At’s noa bed nor noa supper’ at neet.
But ther’s mony a honest heart throbs,
Tho’ it throbs under rags an’ i’ pains,
‘At wod’nt disgrace one o’th’ nobs,
’At booasts better blooid in his veins.
See that child thear! ’at’s working away,
An’ sweepin that crossin i’th’ street:
He’s been thear iver sin it coom day,
An’ yo’ll find him thear far into th’ neet.
See what hundreds goa thowtlessly by,
An’ ne’er think o’ that child wi’ his broom!
What care they tho’ he smothered a sigh,
Or wiped off a tear as they coom.
But luk! thear’s a man wi’ a heart!
He’s gien th’ poor child summat at last:
Ha his een seem to twinkle an’ start,
As he watches th’ kind gentleman past!
An’ thear in his little black hand
He sees a gold sovereign shine!
He thinks he ne’er saw owt soa grand,
An’ he says, “Sure it connot be mine!”
An’ all th’ lads cluther raand him i’
An’ tell him to cut aght o’th seet;
But he clutches it fast,—an’ nah see
Ha he’s threedin his way along th’ street,
Till he comes to that varry same man,
An’ he touches him gently o’th’ back,
An’ he tells him as weel as he can,
’At he fancies he’s made a mistak.
An’ th’ chap luks at that poor honest
With his little naked feet, as he stands,
An’ his heart oppens wide—he’s soa glad
Woll he taks one o’th little black hands,
An’ he begs him to tell him his name:
But th’ child glances timidly raand—
Poor craytur! he connot forshame
To lift up his een off o’th graand.
But at last he finds courage to spaik,
An’ he tells him they call him poor Joa;
‘At his mother is sickly an’ waik;
An’ his father went deead long ago;
An’ he’s th’ only one able to work
Aght o’ four; an’ he does what he can,
Thro’ early at morn till it’s dark:
An’ he hopes ’at he’ll sooin be a man.
An’ he tells him his mother’s last word,
As he starts for his labour for th’ day,
Is to put ’all his trust in the Lord,
An’ He’ll net send him empty away.—
See that man! nah he’s wipin his een,
An’ he gives him that bright piece o’ gowd;
An’ th’ lad sees i’ that image o’th Queen
What ‘ll keep his poor mother thro’ th’ cowd.
An’ mony a time too, after then,
Did that gentleman tak up his stand
At that crossing an’ watch for hissen
The work ov that little black hand.
An’ when-years had gone by, he expressed
‘At i’th’ spite ov all th’ taichin he’d had,
An’ all th’ lessons he’d leearn’d, that wor th’ best
’At wor towt by that poor little lad.
Tho’ the proud an’ the wealthy may prate,
An’ booast o’ ther riches and land,
Some o’th’ laadest ul sink second-rate
To that lad with his little black hand.
“Well, Robert! what’s th’ matter!
Aw see ’at ther’s summat nooan sweet;
Thi een luk as red as a sun—
Aw saw that across th’ width of a street;
Aw hope ’at yor Lily’s noa war—
Surelee—th’ little thing is’nt deead?
Tha wod roor, aw think, if tha dar—
What means ta bi shakin thi heead?
Well, aw see bi thi sorrowful e’e
At shoo’s gooan, an’ aw’m soory, but yet,
When youngens like her hap ta dee,
They miss troubles as some live to hit.
Tha mun try an’ put up wi’ thi loss,
Tha’s been praad o’ that child, aw mun say,
But give over freatin, becoss
It’s for th’ best if shoo’s been taen away.”
“A’a! Daniel, it’s easy for thee
To talk soa, becoss th’ loss is’nt thine;
But its ommost deeath-blow to me,
Shoo wor prized moor nor owt else ’at’s mine;
An’ when aw bethink me shoo’s gooan,
Mi feelins noa mortal can tell;
Mi heart sinks wi’ th’ weight ov a stooan,
An’ aw’m capped ’at aw’m livin mysel.
Aw shall think on it wor aw to live
To be th’ age o’ Methusla or moor;
Tho’ shoo said ’at aw had’nt to grieve,
We should booath meet agean, shoo wor sure:
An’ when shoo’d been dreamin one day,
Shoo said shoo could hear th’ angels call;
But shoo could’nt for th’ life goa away
Till they call’d for her daddy an’ all.
An’ as sooin as aw coom thro’ my wark,
Shoo’d ha’ me to sit bi her bed;
An’ thear aw’ve watched haars i’th’ dark,
An’ listened to all ’at shoo’s said;
Shoo’s repeated all th’ pieces shoo’s learnt,
When shoo’s been ov a Sundy to th’ schooil,
An ax’d me what dift’rent things meant,
They tell me aw’m a vulgar chap,
An owt to goa to th’ schooil
To leearn to talk like other fowk,
An’ net be sich a fooil;
But aw’ve a noashun, do yo see,
Although it may be wrang,
The sweetest music is to me,
Mi own, mi native twang.
An’ when away throo all mi friends,
I’ other taans aw rooam,
Aw find ther’s nowt con mak amends
For what aw’ve left at hooam;
But as aw hurry throo ther streets
Noa matter tho aw’m thrang,
Ha welcome if mi ear but greets
Mi own, mi native twang.
Why some despise it, aw can’t tell,
It’s plain to understand;
An’ sure aw am it saands as weel,
Tho happen net soa grand.
Tell fowk they’re courtin, they’re enraged,
They call that vulgar slang;
But if aw tell ’em they’re engaged,
That’s net mi native twang.
Mi father, tho’ he may be poor,
Aw’m net ashamed o’ him;
Aw love mi mother tho’ shoo’s deeaf,
An tho’ her een are dim;
Aw love th’ owd taan; aw love to walk
Its crucken’d streets amang;
For thear it is aw hear fooak tawk
Mi own, mi native twang.
Aw like to hear hard-workin’ fowk
Say boldly what they meean;
For tho’ ther hands are smeared wi’ muck,
May be ther hearts are cleean,
An’ them ’at country fowk despise,
Aw say, “Why, let’ em hang;”
They’ll niver rob mi sympathies
Throo thee, mi native twang,
Aw like to see grand ladies,
When they’re donn’d i’ silks soa fine;
Aw like to see ther dazzlin’ e’en
Throo th’ carriage winders shine:
Mi mother wor a woman,
An’ tho’ it may be wrang,
Aw love ’em all, but mooastly them
’At tawk mi native twang.
Aw wish gooid luck to ivery one;
Gooid luck to them ’ats brass;
Gooid luck an’ better times to come
To them ’ats poor—alas!
An’ may health, wealth, an’ sweet content
For iver dwell amang
True, honest-hearted, Yorkshire fowk,
At tawk mi native twang.
(Written on seeing a wealthy townsman rudely push a poor little girl off the pavement.)
Gently, gently, shoo’s thi sister,
Tho’ her clooas are nowt but rags;
On her feet ther’s monny a blister:
See ha painfully shoo drags
Her tired limbs to some quiet corner:
Shoo’s thi sister—dunnot scorn her.
Daan her cheeks noa tears are runnin,
Shoo’s been shov’d aside befoor;
Used to scoffs, an’ sneers, an’shunnin—
Shoo expects it, coss shoo’s poor;
Schooil’d for years her grief to smother,
Still shoos human—tha’rt her brother.
Tho’ tha’rt donn’d i’ fine
A kid glove o’ awther hand,
Dunnot touch her roughly, loathin—
Shoo’s thi sister, understand:
Th’ wind maks merry wi’ her tatters,
Poor lost pilgrim!—but what matters?
Lulk ha sharp her elbow’s growin,
An’ ha pale her little face,
An’ her hair neglected, showin
Her’s has been a sorry case;
O, mi heart felt sad at th’ seet,
When tha shov’d her into th’ street
Ther wor once a “Man,” mich greater
Nor thisen wi’ all thi brass,
Him, awr blessed Mediator,—
Wod He scorn that little lass?
Noa, He called ’em, an’ He blessed ’em,
An’ His hands divine caress’d ’em.
Goa thi ways I an’ if tha bears net
Some regret for what tha’s done,
If tha con pass on, an’ cares net
For that sufferin’ little one;
Then ha’iver poor shoo be,
Yet shoos rich compared wi’ thee.
Oh! ’at this breet gold should blind us,
To awr duties here below!
For we’re forced to leave behind us
All awr pomp, an’ all awr show:
Why then should we slight another?
Shoo’s thi sister, unkind brother.
What tho’ th’ claads aboon luk dark,
Th’ sun’s just waitin to peep throo,
Let us buckle to awr wark,
For ther’s lots o’ jobs to do:
Tho’ all th’ world luks dark an’ drear,
Let’s ha’ faith, an’ persevere.
He’s a fooil ‘at sits an’ mumps
’Coss some troubles hem him raand!
Man mud allus be i’th dumps,
If he sulk’d coss fortun fraand;
Th’ time ‘ll come for th’ sky to clear:—
Let’s ha’ faith, an’ persevere.
If we think awr lot is hard,
Niver let us mak a fuss;
Lukkin raand, at ivery yard,
We’st find others war nor us;
We have still noa cause to fear!
Let’s ha’ faith, an’ persevere.
A faint heart, aw’ve heeard ’em say,
Niver won a lady fair:
Have a will! yo’ll find a way!
Honest men ne’er need despair.
Better days are drawin’ near:—
Then ha’ faith, an’ persevere.
Workin men,—nah we’ve a voice,
An’ con help to mak new laws;
Let us iver show awr choice
Lains to strengthen virtue’s cause,
Wrangs to reighten,—griefs to cheer;
This awr motto—’persevere.’
Let us show to foreign empires
Loyalty’s noa empty booast;
We can scorn the thirsty vampires
If they dar molest awr cooast:
To awr Queen an’ country dear
Still we’ll cling an’ persevere.
But as on throo life we hurry,
By whativer path we rooam,
Let us ne’er forget i’th’ worry,
True reform begins at hooam:
Then, to prove yorsens sincere,
Start at once; an’ persevere.
Hard wark, happen yo may find it,
Some dear folly to forsake,
Be detarmined ne’er to mind it!
Think, yor honor’s nah at stake.
Th’ gooid time’s drawin varry near!
Then ha’ faith, an’ persevere.
Tha bonny little pooasy! aw’m inclined
To tak thee wi’ me:
But yet aw think if tha could spaik thi mind,
Tha’d ne’er forgie me;
For I’ mi jacket button-hoil tha’d quickly dee,
An’ life is short enough, boath for mi-sen an’ thee.
Here, if aw leeave thee bi th’ rooadside to
Whear scoors may pass thee,
Some heart ’at has few other joys to cherish
May stop an’ bless thee:
Then bloom, mi little pooasy! Tha’rt a beauty,
Sent here to bless: Smile on—tha does thi duty.
Aw wodn’t rob another of a joy
Sich as tha’s gien me;
For aw felt varry sad, mi little doy
Until aw’d seen thee.
An’ may each passin’, careworn, lowly brother,
Feel cheered like me, an’ leave thee for another.
Prose. Hartley’s Cream of Wit and Humour
The New Year
What a charm ther is abaat owt new; whether it’s a new year or a new waist-coit. Aw sometimes try to fancy what sooart ov a world ther’d be if ther wor nowt new.
Solomon sed ther wor nowt new under th’ sun; an’ he owt to know if onybody did. Maybe he wor reight if we luk at it i’ some ways, but aw think it’s possible to see it in another leet. If ther wor nowt new, ther’d be nowt to hooap for—nowt to live for but to dee; an’ we should lang for that time to come just for th’ sake ov a change. Ha anxiously a little child looks forrard to th’ time when he’s to have a new toy, an’ ha he prizes it at furst when he’s getten it: but in a while he throws it o’ one side an’ cries fur summat new. Ha he langs to be as big as his brother, soa’s he can have a new bat an’ ball; an’ his brother langs for th’ time when he can leeave schooil an’ goa work for his livin’; an’ varry likely his fayther’s langin’ for th’ time when he can live withaat workin’—all on ’em langin for summat new. Langill’ for things new doesn’t prevent us lovin’ things at’s owd. Who isn’t praad ov ther owd fayther, as he sits i’ tharm-cheer an’ tells long tales abaat what he can remember bein’ new? An’ who doesn’t feel a soothin’ kind ov a feelin’ come ovver him when his mother’s kindly warnin’ falls on his ear, as shoo tells him “what-iver he does, net to be soa fond ov ivery thing new?” What a love fowk get for “th’ owd haase;” but ther’s moor o’th’ past nor o’th’ futur’ i’ these feelin’s, they’re not hopeful, an’ its hopeful feelin’s at keeps th’ world a goin’, its hooap at maks us keep o’th’ look aat for summat fresh.
Aw’ve heeard fowk wish for things to keep just as they are, they say they dooant want owt new. What a mistak’ they mak! They’re wishin’ for what ud be th’ mooast of a novelty. Things willn’t stop as they are, an’ it wodn’t be reight if they did. It’s all weel enuff for them at’s feathered ther nest to feel moderate contented, but them at’s sufferin’ for want ov a meal’s mait are all hopin’ for a change for th’ better. Owd hats an’ owd slippers are generally more comfortable nor new ens, an’ fowk “wish they’d niver be done,”—“they hate owt new”—as if it wodn’t be summat new if they could wear ’em withaat ’em bein’ done. Young fowk are allus moor anxious for changes nor owd fowk, its likely enuff; like a child wi’ a pictur book, watch him turn ovver two or three leaves at th’ beginnin’, see ha delighted he is; but in a while he turns ovver moor carelessly, an’ befoor he gets to th’ end he leaves it, wearied with its variety, or falls hard asleep opposite one at wod have fascinated him when he began. Life’s nobbut a pictur’ book ov another sooart, at th’ beginnin’ we’re delighted wi’ ivery fresh leeaf, an’ we keep turnin’ ovver till at last we get wearied, an’ had rayther sit quietly looking at one. But we cannot stop, we ha’ to goo throo th’ book whether we like it or net, until at last we shut us een an’ fall asleep over summat new.
Ha monny young folk are langin for th’ fourteenth o’ February! An ha mony old pooastmen wish it ud niver come? Sawr owd maids an’ crusty owd bachelors wonder ’at fowk should have noa moor sense nor to waste ther brass on sich like nonsense. But it’s noa use them talkin’, for young fowk have done it befoor time, an’ as long as it’s i’th’ natur on ’em to love one another an’ get wed, soa long will valentine makers have plenty to do at this time o’th’ year. Ther’s monny a daycent sooart of a young chap at thinks he could like to mak up to a young lass at he’s met at th’ chapel or some other place, but as sooin as he gets at th’ side on her, he caant screw his courage up to th’ stickin’ place, an’ he axes her some sooart ov a gaumless question, sich as “ha’s your mother,” or summat he cares noa moor abaat. An’ as sooin as he gets to hissell he’s fit to pail his heead agean th’ jaumstooan for bien sich a fooil. Well, nah, what can sich a chap do? Why, send her a valentine ov coorse. Soa he gooas an’ buys her one wi’ a grand piece ov poetry like this:—
is red, the violet’s blue,
The pink is sweet, and so are you.”
It isn’t to be expected ’at shoo can tell whear it’s come throo; but shoo could guess at twice, an guess puddin’ once, that’s the beauty on it. Then th’ way’s oppen’d aat at once, he’s gein her to understand what ten to one shoo understood long afoor he did. Next time they meet shoo’s sure to ax him if he gate ony valentines, an’ then he’ll smile an’ say, “What for, did
Be hanged to th’ Grumblers, goa a head Valentine Makkers!!!
These winds blow rayther strong—stronger sometimes nor what feels pleasant. Ther’s monny a chap has a race wi’ his hat, an’ it luks a sheepish sooart ov a trick, an’ iverybody can affooard to laff at him just becoss it isn’t them. But for all that aw alus think at th’ year’s niver getten a reight start till after March. It’s like as if it comes blusterin’ an’ rooarin’, just o’ purpose to put things into reight trim. It fotches daan th’ owd watter spaats, an’ lets fowk know whear ther’s a slate at’s shakey. It gives th’ trees a bit ov a whisk raand an’ wuthers abaat as if it wor detarmined to clear all th’ maase nooks aat, an’ give us a fair start for th’ fine weather. But that isn’t all it does; it finds aat if yo’ve ony owd teeth ’at’s rayther tender, (an’ if ther’s owt i’th’ world at ’ll wear aat a chap’s patience its th’ tooith wark. Its bad enuff, but what maks it war to bide is, iverybody can tell yo ha to cure it, an’ for all that they wor as fast what to do wi’ it when they had it as onybody else.) But what does it matter if it does find aat bits o’ waik spots, there’s nowt like knowin whear they are, for then yo do stand a chonce o’ bein’ able to tak care on ’em. But it does summat else beside—it brings a fine day or two—an’ th’ grass begins to luk a trifle greener, an’ here an’ thear i’ bits o’ shady nooks an’ corners sometimes yo can find a daisy or two; an’ what is ther luks bonnier nor th’ first daisy yo find peepin up? It may be a bit ov a pindered lookin thing, but its a daisy; an’ aw dooant think at th’ grandest yo’ll find all th’ year ’ll please yo hauf as weel as this. Little children clap ther hands when they see it, becoss it tells ’em ther’s some fine weather comin’ bye an’ bye; an’ they pluck
Niver try to mak a fooil ov onybody this month; ther’s fooils enuff i’th world already. It’s oft struck me what a varry slight difference ther is between a wise man and a fooil; one aims at summat an’ hits it—tother aims at summat an’ misses it; an’ aw have known th’ time when th’ chap ’at’s missed has been worth a dozen sich like as him ‘at’s hit. But th’ world generally sets ’em daan to be wise men ’at happen to be lucky men, an’ get hold o’ lots o’ brass. An’ ha monny brains a chap has, if he can’t spooart a pair o’ kid gloves an’ a daycent hat, he mun niver hope for owt better nor to tak his place amang th’ fooils. Aw’ve monny a time thowt when aw’ve heared fowk settin a chap daan as a fooil;—talk prattley—may be if he wor weighed up he’s a better man nor yo this minit; yo connot tell all ’at he may have had to struggle wi’—
Th’ same as nooases alter faces.
An’ it’s as weel to exercise a bit ov charity towards them ’at’s set daan to be fooils. “Young fowk think old fowk fooils, an’ old fowk’s sure young uns is.” An aw believe th’ old fowk are oft varry near th’ mark,—for th’ experience of a life time is little moor nor livin to know what fooils we’ve been; an’ if iver aw meet wi’ a chap ’at can’t remember iver makkin a fooil ov hissen, aw shall expect to hear tell on’ him bein ta’en to th’ blue slates directly. Poor Richard says, “Experience is a dear schooil, but fooils will leearn i’ noa other;” an’ who is ther ‘at hasn’t had to leearn i’ that schooil? Its a hard maister, an’ we’re apt to think, when we’re under him, ’at he’s war wi’ us nor onybody else; but when we’ve getten th’ lessen off by heart we find th’ advantage on it. But ov all th’ fooils it has been my luck to meet wi,’ them chaps ‘at knows all are th’ biggest. There’s some fowk think they’re born wi’ all th’ wit i’th world, an’ noabody can taich
Tawkin abaat policemen reminds me ov a mess one on ’em gate into a while sin. Aw shalln’t tell awther his name or his number, becoss it’s net my wish to get ony body into trouble. It’s enuff for me to say he’s a gooid-lukkin chap, an’ if he isn’t wed his wife is. He wor on neet duty, an’ at one o’ th’ haases he had to pass, lived a fine buxom sarvent. Policemen have allus been nooated for havin a fancy for sarvents, an’ this wor like th’ rest, an’ befoor long they grew soa friendly ‘at shoo used to invite him in after th’ maister an’ th’ mistress had gooan to bed. One neet he’d crept in, an’ they wor whisperin varry lovinly together, when shoo tell’d him ther wor noa cold mait o’ ony sooart. “Awm glad on it,” he sed, “for awm stoled o’ cold stuff. That luks a bit o’ nice bacon at’s hung up, does ta think tha could do me a bit anent th’ fire, aw think ther’s as mich heeat as’ll cook it?”
“Well, Robert,” shoo sed, “if yo’ll sit daan an’ wait awl try.”
Soa he put his lantern onto th’ table an’ sat daan wol shoo gate a little dutch oven an hooked two nice collops in; but shoo fancied shoo could enjoy one hersen, soa shoo stept up into a cheer to cut off another, an’ as shoo’d th’ knife i’ one hand an’ cannel i’ th’ tother shoo ovverbalanced hersen, and fell onto th’ floor, settin up sich a skrike as yo niver heeard. Th’ ’cannel went aat when it fell an all wor as dark as pitch, and Robert hearin th’ maister skutterin daan th’ stairs thowt his best plan wor to hook it; soa he grab’d up his lantern for owt he knew an buckled it on as he wor hurryin up th’ steps. He’d hardly left when th’ maister runs aat in his shirt, callin aat, “Police! police!” Robert comes fussin on as if he knew nowt abaat it, an’ went back wi’ th’ maister, who wor soa freetened wol he darn’t spaik.
When they went in th’ sarvent had sam’d hersen up, an lit th’ cannel agean; but th’ lass forgate her fall an’ th’ maister his fright, when they lukd at th’ policeman an’ saw he’d getten th’ dutch oven i’ th’ front on him astead ov his lantern, an’ two bacon collops swingin in it.
They settled th’ matter amang thersens, but it towt that policeman niver to tak off his lantern until he’d done wi’ it.
Divine Service was held in the Temperance Hall, when the celebrated Dr. Foaming Drinkwater preached from the text Exodus 16 ch. 33 v., “And Moses said unto Aaron, take a pot,” and in an eloquent sermon of 1h. 55m. the Revd. lecturer clearly showed that a pot of beer was not alluded to in the text. Collections were made at the close of the service.
July is th’ month to gooa a spawin’; an’ fowk luk forrard to it just th’ same as if they conldn’t do withaat it. Th’ fact is aw hardly dar say owt agean it, for awm fond ov a bit ov a off mysen; but then ther’s different ways o’ dooin it. A chap at gethers horsemuck at hooam needn’t want to mak’ fowk believe he’s th’ Lord Mayor o’ London abrooad. Aw remember once when aw wur at a watterin’ place, aw followed some fine young ladies an’ wished ’em “gooid day;” aw wornt exactly sure whether one on ’em mightn’t be th’ Princess o’ Wales or net, but haasumiver, they curled up ther nooas th’ same as if they’d passed a fooamet. But in abaat a wick at after, aw met one on ’em gooin ovver th’ North Brigg wi’ a slice o’ traitle cake in her hand, varry near like th’ door ov a mahogany shut-up-bed, an’ up to th’ elbows i’ Miln greease too. Aw thowt if ony body wanted to pick a lass for a wife they shouldn’t goa to a spawin’ spot. For all that, awve nowt to say agean it—one body’s as mich reight to goa an get sunburnt as another; but they mud as weel spaik truth, an’ not allus say it’s for th’ gooid o’ ther health, when all th’ time it’s just for a bit ov a spree. Aw could give some gooid advice to ony body at thinks o’ gooin. Tak varry little brass, an’ let it be i’ your pocket, net i’ yor face. Th’ less yo have an’ th’ less yo’ll spend. Dooant buy patent booits to walk o’ th’ sand in. If you’re anxious to ride in a cock booat, dooant be particler to wear white trowsers. If yo want a horse to ride, tak one wi yo—it ‘ll save yo a deeal o’ disappointment; if yo want a donkey, settle ha mony legs yo could like it to have, an’ yo’ll find plenty. Be careful noabody taks a fancy to yo th’ same way. Ther’s as mony donkeys wi’ two legs as four, an’ a bonny seet mooar. Talkin’ abaat th’ number o’ legs maks me think ov a chap at considered hissen rayther a sharp en; he’d a bit ov a garden an’ some cherry trees in it, an’ one mornin’ when he gate aat o’ bed he fan somdy had saved him th’ trouble o’ getherin’ th’ fruit; they’d done it for him woll he wor asleep. He coom an’ tell’d th’ tale to me. “A’a,” he said, “if he could nobbut find aat who’d done it, he’d stransport ’em over th’ seah’ that he wod!” “Why,” aw says, “tha knows burds is varry fond o’ cherries, an’ its happen th’ burds.” “Burds!” he said, an’ he winked at me varry knowingly. “Burds! happen they wor burds—but they wor two-legged ens aw’ll bet.” Aw niver thowt him quite so sharp after that.
Nah just a word bi way of a caution. A chap ‘at’s two paand i’ debt an’ goas an’ spends three paand at a watterin’ place, maks hiss en five paand behund; whereas if he’d paid what he owed he’d still ha had one paand to spend, an’ that ud goa as far o’ th’ top o’ Blackstonedge as three paand at Blackpool. It’s worth a thowt.
When ther’s a flaar show, clooas show at th’ same time. Aw hear fowk tawk abaat “floral gems,” and sich like stuff, but aw understand varry little abaat it. But aw’ve a few gems ov another sooart at sich times—aw call ’em gems o’ thowt. Aw’m allus wonderin. Aw wonder a deal aw’ve noa business to wonder. When aw see a lot o’ nice young lasses i’ muslin dresses, all spankin clean, an ommost makkin a chap wish he worn’t wed—aw wonder if ther petticoits an’ stockins is as cleean. An when aw see a lot o’ white faced lads, ’a’ts hardly getten ther hippins off, smokin cigars, an’ spittin o’th’ floor ivery two or three yards,—aw wonder if they dooant wish they wor finished, an’ aw wonder what ther mothers is dooin to let ’em aat by thersen. An’ when aw hear tell ha mich brass they get at th’ doors, aw wonder ha mich on it wor borrow’d to goa wi’—an’ sometimes aw wonder what they do wi’ it after they’ve getten it—but that’s noa business o’ mine;—its a hungary job, aw know. Aw mony a time wonder, when aw hear th’ bands o’ music strike up, what Lord Byron ment when he said, “When music arose with its voluptuous swell;” for aw’ve booath seen an’ heeard monny a voluptuous swell at a flaar show. An’ aw wonder sometimes ha it is ’at fowk ‘at goa wi a shawl o’ ther heead to pick aat a sheep heead i’th’ market, can’t be content unless they’re donned i’ silks an’ satins to goa see a twoathree marrygolds an’ fushias. An’ sometimes aw wonder ‘what i’th’ name o’ fortun aw’m dooin thear mysen, an’ if anybody axes me, aw wonder what business it is o’ their’s;—an’ its just a case o’ wonderin throo beginnin to th’ endin’, an’ aw wonder when fowk ‘ll leearn a bit o’ wit. Aw wonder if fowk think th’ same abaat me. Aw wonder if they do. Aw shouldn’t wonder if they did.
They reckon to brew a gooid sup o’ ale in October, an’ they call it “Prime owd October.” Ther’s monny a war thing i’th’ world nor a sup o’ gooid drink. Landlords an’ teetotal-lecturers manage to get a livin’ aat on it some way;—but it’s th’ same wi’ ale as wi’ iverything else nah days,—it’s nowt made on unless it’s sharp. It’s a sharp age we live in;—hand-loom waivin’ an’ stage coaches are all too slow; iverybody an’ iverything keeps growin’ sharper. But we arn’t as sharp as what they are i’ ’Merica yet—they’re too sharp. They tell me they ha’ to lapp thersen up i’ haybands afoor they goa to bed, for fear o’ cuttin’ th’ sheets. Aw heeard tell o’ one chap runnin’ a race wi’ a flash o’ leetnin’, an’
Last May Mr. Goosequill, attorney-at-law, liberally forgave a poor widow the expenses of a trial in which he had been engaged. It is a singular fact that a tom-cat, which had been for years in the gentleman’s family, having caught a mouse, let it go for pity’s sake the following day.
Squibs an’ crackers! Starleets an’ catterin wheels! Bunfires an’ traikle parkin! This is th’ time for a bit ov a jollification. Guy Fawkes did a gooid turn, after all, when he tried to blow th’ Parliament haase up; for we should ha’ had one spree less i’ the’ year but for him. Ax twenty fowk this question o’ th’ fourth o’ November, “Are yo gooin to buy ony fireworks this year?” an aw dar be bun to say yo willn’t find one i’th’ lot but what’ll say “Aw’ve summat else to do wi’ my brass nor to waste it o’ sich like fooilery as that.” An’ still, aw’ll wager at nineteen on ’em buy some after all. Ther’s a deal o’
Th’ last month o’ th’ year; an’ ther’s summat rayther sorrowful abaat th’ last o’ owt, exceptin’ trouble; an’ still to me ther’s allus summat varry interestin’ abaat owt at’s “th’ last.” Aw’ve watched men when they’ve been buildin’ a long chimley, but aw’ve niver felt mich interest till it’s come th’ time for ’em to put on th’ last stooan; they’ve labored day by day, riskin boath life an’ limb, an’ still aw’ve felt varry little anxiety; but it’s just th’ fact on it bein’ th’ last stooan; an’ aw’ve hardly been able to tak my een off it till it’s been finished an’ th’ last man’s come safe daan. But still it’s a sorrowful saandin’ word is “last.” Th’ last farewell—th’ last look—th’ last breath—an’ th’ last restin, place; it sets fowk thinkin what there’ll be after “th’ last.”
At a meeting of the tax-collectors of the W—– R—–g of —–shire, held in one of the cells beneath the Town Hall it was proposed, “That we, the tax gatherers and rate collectors of the W—– R—–g of —–shire do intend to throw up our offices, unless our wages are reduced or our labours increased, for being like unto other men, possessed of consciences, we are frequently tormented with the thought, that we are receiving more than what is our
Its net oft at aw have mich to do wi’ parties. Th’ fact is aw’m wed, an’ young fowk dooant want me, becoss they say aw’ve made my markets, an’ wed fowk dooant oft ax me becoss aw suppose aw dooant oft ax them. But this month last year aw did get a invite to a doo, an’ aw went. Aw’st net forget in a hurry what a fidget my owd woman gate into. Shoo brushed me daan aboon a duzzen times, an’ turned me raand like a rooastin jack to see ha aw luk’d, woll aw wor as mazy as a wheel heead, an’ th’ childer luk’d up i’ my face two or three times afoor they could believe it wor me. Aw heeard awr Abram telling Betty ’at “he believed his fayther wor gooin to get kursen’d or summat.” “Ho eeah! why what are they baan to call him?” shoo says. “Nay, aw dooant know, but my mother’s been callin’ him ‘gaumless,’ happen that’s it.”
Gaumless enuff aw thowt, an’ after rubbin’ my hat raand wi’ a weet sponge (woll th’ wife declared it wor as hansum as a Japan tea caddy), aw set off. Aw seized howd o’th’ nob when aw gate to th’ door, an’ aw gave a gooid pawse, same as aw do at hooam, A fine young gentleman oppen’d it, an’ after starin’ at me for two or three minits, he said, “Walk in, sur.” Aw doff’d my hat an’ did soa; an’ he! what a smell! “By gow, lad,” aw said, “its enuff to mak my maath watter is this, ther’s nowt awm fonder on nor onions, an’ aw con smell ther’s some cookin’—they’ll be frying some liver, aw dar say. Are ta th’ maister’s lad?” aw axed. “Noa, sur,” he said; “a’wm th’ waiter.” “Why tha needn’t wait o’ me,” aw said, “aw’ll luk after mysel.” “Come this way, sur.” he said, “aw’ll introduce yo’. What name shall aw say, sur?” “Does ta think aw am not known?” aw says; “nah aw’ll tell thi what it is: if tha keeps diddlin after me like tha has done sin’ aw come in, as if tha thowt aw wanted to stail summat, awst just twist thi neck raand.” Th’ maister heeard me tawkin, an’ coom to shake hands wi’ me, smilin’ all ovver his face delightedly. He hook’d his arm i’ mine, an’ walked me into a grand raam full o’ ladies an’ waiters (aw made ’em aat to be waiters coss they wor dressed like him ‘at stood at th’ door.) “This is my old friend, the Almenack maker,” he said, an’ they all gate up an’ sat daan agean. When aw luk’d raand aw thowt, “Aw’m in for it this time,” for aw could mak it aat to be nowt but a meetin’ to kursen a lot o’ childer’, an’ varry likely they wanted me to stand godfayther for ’em. Aw saw
When we’d all etten woll we’ wor om most brussen they browt a lot o’ black bottles wi’ silver necks in, an’ we’d all a glass o’ some sooart o’ pop. By th’ heart an’ it wor pop too. “Dun yo mak this yoursen, mistress?” aw axed. “By gingo, this licks awr traitle drink into fits, yo mun give me th’ resait, if yo have it.” “This is shampane, sur,” shoo said. “Aw dooant care whether it’s sham or not, it’s as gooid as owt o’th’ sooart aw’ve tasted, aw’ll thank you for another drop,” “Help yourself, my friend,” said th’ maister, an aw did, aboon a bit, but ha long aw wor at it or ha monny bottles aw emptied aw niver knew, for some ha aw fell asleep, an’ when aw wakken’d aw wor at hooam, an’ my owd wornan wor callin aat, “Are ta baan’ta get up, yond’s th’ last whew.”
Smiles, Tears, Getting on.
Smiles are things aw like to see, an’. they’re noa less acceptable becoss sometimes ther’s a tear or two. A chap at’s a heart ov a reight sooart under his waistcoit cannot allus be smilin’. Awve met a deal o’ sooarts o’ fowk i’ my bit o’ time, an’ th’ best aw iver met had a tear i’ ther ee nah an’ then. If ther’s owt aw hate to see, its a chap at’s allus smilin’; an’ if iver yo meet sich a one set him daan to be awther a haufthick or a hypocrite—yo’ll be sure to be reight. It’ll be time enuff to be allus grinnin’ when all th’ warkhaases an’ th’ prisons are to let—when lawyers have to turn farmers, an’ bumbaileys have to emigrate—when yo connot find a soldier’s or a policeman’s suit ov clooas, except in a museum—when ther’s noa chllder fun frozen to th’ deeath o’ London Brig—an’ when poor fowk get more beef an’ less bullyin’. If iver sich a time comes woll aw live, aw’ll laff wi’ th’ best on em, but till then a claad sometimes will settle on mi here,—an awm glad ’at it is soa.
Aw niver see a chap ’at’s tryin to get on but what he reminds me ov once gooin to a Baptist chapel to see a lot o’ fowk kursened. Everybody wor feightin’ for th’ front pews, an’ them ’at gate ’em had to haddle e’m an’ net be perticular abaat ther shirt collar—an’ when a chap starts aat for a front place i’ this life he has to rough it, an’ if he succeeds aw wonder sometimes if he’s ony better off nor them ‘at gate th’ front seeats i’th’ chapel, for all ’at wor behund ’em seem’d to be tryin’ to shove ’em ovver into th’ bottom, an’ nah an’ then aw noaticed odd uns ‘at could bide noa longer, an’ gave up th’ spot they’d fowt soa hard to get, an’ sombdy behund, ’at had hardly tewd a bit dropt into th’ seat. And sich is life: it isn’t allus th’ workers ‘at succeed, net it marry! its th’ skeeamers! it’s them ’at keeps ther een oppen. But aw con allus thoil ’em owt they get, if, when they’re climbin’ up th’ stee, they niver put ther heel on another chap’s neck, by traidin’ on his fingers, to mak him lawse his hold. It’s a wrang nooation ’at some fowk have getten, to “get brass honestly if yo can, an’ if yo cannot, try to keep a easy conscience, an’ do baat it.” Some chaps ‘ll niver get on; they’re allus gooin’ to mend, but they niver start. Sich like should tak a pattern throo th’ Almenack makkers—they’ve lost eighteen haars this last three years, an’ if they didn’t mind they’d loise six mooar this time, but they tak care net to do soa,—they shove a day extra into February to mak it up, and they call it “leap year,” and it ud be a rare gooid job if fowk wod tak a few laups this year;—laup aat o’th’ alehouse on to th’ hearthstun at home—laup aat o’ bed i’ time for th’ church ov a Sunday momin’—laup aat o’ th’ clutches o’ th’ strap shop—laup aat o’ th’ gate o’ bad company—laup up to yo’re wark wi’ a smile, an’ laup back hooam wi’ it, an’ yo’ll find th’ wife’s heart ul laup wi joy to see yo comin’ back cheerful, an’ th’ childer ul laup on to yo’r knee, an’ yo’ll
A short time ago Mr. Fitzivitz, of Rank end, was seen to be swimming at a great rate and making a most extensive spread in the river plate. Several friends cautioned him not to go so far out of his depth, but he was utterly heedless of advice, he dived still deeper, and was observed to sink over head and ears in debt, leaving a large circle of friends to bewail his loss. His body has since been recovered, but all that could have comforted his anxious friends had fled, alas for ever.
Sam it up.
Ther’s a deal o’ things scattered raand, at if fowk ud tak th’ trouble to pick up might do ’em a paar o’ gooid, an’ my advice is, if yo meet wi’ owt i’ yor way ’at’s likely to mak life better or happier, sam it up, but first mak sure yo’ve a reight to it. Nah, aw once knew a chap at fan a topcoit, an’ he came to me, an’ says—“A’a lad! awve fun one o’ th’ grandest topcoits to-day at iver tha clapt thi’ een on.” “Why, where did ta find it?” aw says. “Reight o’ th’ top o’ Skurcoit moor.” “Well, tha’rt a lucky chap,” aw says, “what has ta done wi’ it?” “Aw niver touched it; ’aw left it just whear it wor.” “Well, tha art a faoil; tha should ha’ brout it hooam.”
“What does ta say?” shoo says; “is it draanded?”
“E’es, it’s draanded, lass; but it ud ha’ done thi e’en gooid to ha’ seen it, aw wor capt,—mun it wur a topper to swim, an’ that’s a comfort; tha knows we could niver ha’ known that if it had niver been tried.”
Lets hooap ’at when they’ve another to build they’ll do better. Its niver too late to mend, an’ we’re niver too owd to learn; but its hard wark to taich some. Aw remember once a chap tellin’ me hah they made sooap, an’ he said “three-thirds o’ sooap wor tollow, an’ tother summat else.” Aw tried to show him ’at it couldn’t be soa, for if three-thirds wor tollow it must be all tollow; but he said, aw “needn’t start o’ taichin’ him; when he’d been a sooap boiler twenty year he owt to know.” Aw saw it wor noa use me talkin’, for as Wordsworth says (or else he doesn’t)
“Twor throwing words away,
The soap-boiler wod have his will,
And said, “Three-thirds wor tollow.’
But who is ther ‘at niver does wrang? net th’ odd en! Them ’at live i’ glass haases shouldn’t throw stooans; soa we’ll drop it. We’re all fooils at times.
Ther’s some born fooils, an’ ther’s some mak thersen fooils, an’. ther’s some get made fooils on. When we hear fowk tell tales abaat sein’ boggards, an gettin’ ther planets ruled, we think it saands fooilish. Nah an’ then one turns up rayther simple, an’ a body con hardly help laffin’. It’s net long sin’ aw heeard tell of a owd woman goin’ to th’ Pooast Office i’ Bolton, an’ axin to see th’ maister, an, when he coom shoo said shoo wanted to know hah monny stamps it ’ud tak’ to send a mangle to Yeaworth. He couldn’t tell her, an’ shoo went away thinkin’ what a fooil he wor net to know his business better nor that, an’ he thowt what a fooil shoo wor for ax in sich a question. An’ soa it is;—we’re apt to think iverybody fooils but ussen, an’ them ’at belangs to us. Yo doant oft find a mother or fayther ’at thinks ther lad’s a fooil (unless he gets wed, an then they allus say soa.) Iverybody’s’child is th’ grandest an’ th’ cliverest i’th world. But aw couldn’t help laffin’ one day when I heeard a chap braggin’ abaat his lad. “Aa,” he said, “he’s cliverest lad of his age aw iver met; he’s nobbut thirteen year owd an’ he con do owt.” Just as he wor sayin’ soa th’ lad coom into th’ raam, aitin’ a raw turnip, an’ his fayther thowt he’d show him off a bit, soa he said, “Jack a want thee to go an’ messur th’ length o’ that piece o’ timber ’at’s i’th yard, an come tell me.” Soa he gave him his two-fooit rule, an’ th’ lad went. Aw thowt he wor a long time abaat it, but in a bit he coom back. “Well Jack,” said his fayther, “ha long is it? spaik up, that’s a fine lad.” “Why,” he says, “it’s th’ length o’ yo’r rule, an’ my pocket comb, an’ this piece o’ band.” “That’s reight,” said his fayther, “tha con goa hoam,” put aw nooaticed ’at be did’nt brag abaat him quite so mitch at after.
If a chap doesn’t want to be thowt a fooil he should niver start o’ showin’ off befoor fowk till he knows what he’s abaat, an’ ther’s noan on us knows iverything. Aw remember once go in’ to th’ sale ov a horse, an’ th’ auctioneer knew varry little abaat cattle, an’ he began praisin’ it up as he thowt. “Gentlemen,” he said, “will you be kind enough to look at this splendid animal! examine him, gentlemen; look at his head; why, gentlemen, it’s as big as a churn! an’ talk about points—why, it’s all points; you can hang yo’r hat on any part of him!” He’d just getten soa far, when th’ chap ‘at belang’d th’ horse could bide it noa longer, soa be laup’d up an’ pooled th’ auctioneer daan bith’ hair o’th’ heead. “Tha may be an auctioneer,” he said, “but tha’rt noa ostler.” But it isn’t long sin’ aw wor at a sale o’ picturs, i’th’ Teetotal Hall at Halifax, an’ th’ chap ‘at wor sellin’ put up one lot an’ made this speech:—“Ladies
May is abaat th’ warst pairt o’th’ year for a wed chap, for he connot walk aat, an’ he cannot be comfortable at hooam, becoss it’s th’ cleeanin’ daan time. Talk abaat weshin’ days! they’re fooils to cleeanin’ days. Buckstun lime an’ whitewesh, bees-wax an’ turpitine— black-leead an’ idleback, stare a chap i’ th’ face ivery where. Pots an’ pans—weshin’ bowls an’ peggy tubs, winteredges an’ clooas lines— brooms an’ besoms—dish claots an’ map claots, block up ivery nook an’ corner; an’ if iver ther is a time when a chap darn’t spaik it’s then. If he thinks th’ haase is cleean enuff, an’ doesn’t want owt dooin’ at, his wife’s sure to call him a mucky haand, an’ say ’at he wodn’t care if he wor up to th’ shoo tops i’ filth; an’ if he says he thinks it wants a cleean, shoo’ll varry sooin ax him if he can tell her whear ther’s another haase as cleean, for shoo doesn’t know one, an’ if he does, he’s welcome to goa. But it all ends i’ th’ same thing—its th’ time o’ th’ year for a reight upset, an’ it ’ll ha to have it, whether it wants it or net. Ther’s noa way to suit a woman at sich times, but to be as quiet as yo can. If yo say, “Come, lass, con aw help thi a bit,” shoo’s sure to snap at yo, as if shoo’d bite yor heead off, an’ tell yo to get aat ov her gate, for yor allus under her nooas, woll shoo
I hope my readers will regard that varry gooid advice, when they see th’ grass cut—“Mak hay woll th ’sun shines.” There’s nowt aw like better nor to spend a day or two in a hay field. Tawk abaat “Ho de Colong!” It doesn’t smell hauf as weel to me as a wisp o’ new made hay. An’ them ‘at niver knew th’ luxury a’ gooin’ to bed wi’ tired booans, should work i’th’ hay-field for a wick. It’ll do onnybody gooid; an’ if some o’ them idle laewts ’at stand bi a duzzen together at th’ loin ends laikin at pitch an’ toss, wod goa an’ work at pitch an’ toss, they’d be better booath i’ mind an’ body an’ pocket. Tossin’ th’ hay is booath healthful an’ lawfur but tossin’ hawpneys (especially them wi’ heeads o’ booath sides) is nawther. Hay makkin’ is a honest callin’, an’ when a chap is gettin’ his livin’ honestly (noa matter what he does), he feels independent,—an’ when a chap feels soa, he can affooard to spaik what he thinks. Aw remember once callin’ at th’ “Calder an’ Hebble” public haase, an’ sittin’ in a raam wi’ a lot o’ young swells ‘at coom throo Sowerby Brigg; an’ in a bit, a trampified lukkin’ chap coom in, an’ called for a glass o’ ale. This didn’t suit th’ young gentlemen, soa one on ’em says to him, “Fellow, you are an intruder.” “Tha’rt a liar,” th’ chap says, “awm nowt at sooart, awm a cheer-bottom mender an’ aw’ve sarved mi time to it.” “You don’t understand me, sir; what I mean is that you have no business here.” “Noa, lad; aw niver come to theeas shops when aw’ve ony business, aw allus do that furst.” This rayther puzzled th’ young swell an’ his face went as red as a hep, cos aw laff’d at him; an’ he struck his naive o’th’ table; “Sir,” said he, “will you take your departure?” “Noa,” he said, “aw’ll tak nowt ’at doesn’t belang to me if aw know on it.” “You’re an insolent scoundrel, and I leave you with contempt.” “Yo can leeav me wi’ who yo like,” he said, “awst mislest noabody if they behave therlsen”. They all went an’ left him, an’ as sooin as they’d getten aat o’th’ seet he set up a gurt laff, an’ called for another glass; an’ aw nooatised at he gave th’ landlord a Sovereign to tak pay aat on, an’ when he brout him his change back, he said, “Thank you, sir,” an’ bow’d to him as if he’d been one o’th’ gentry. This happened o’th’ same day as aw’d been at Briggus, an’ awst net forget that in a hurry:—aw’ll tell yo abaat it. It wor a varry hot day, an’ aw’d walked throo Halifax, an’ wor beginin’ to get rayther dry, an’ when aw’d getten ommost thear, aw saw a booard shoved aat ov a chamer winder, wi’ th’ words painted on, “Prime Ginger Beer Sold here,” soa aw went into th’ haase an’ ax’d for a bottle. He browt me a old hair oil bottle filled wi’ summat, an a varry mucky-lukkin glass to sup aat on. “Cannot yo let me have a cleean glass, maister?” aw axed. “That’s clean,” he says, “for aw bowt it aboon twelve months sin, an’it’s niver been used for owt but pop.” Aw emptied th’ bottle into it, an it lukk’d ommost
Th’ mooast remarkable thing ‘at aw’ con recollect abaat this time last year, wor a trip to Hollinworth Lake. Ther’d been a collection made at the Longloin Sunday Schooil for a new gas meeter; an after they’d getten th’ brass, they bethought ’em ‘at th’ old en could be made do, an’ soa th’ taichers agreed to have a trip wi’ th’ funds. They argued a gooid deeal abaat ha to spend it, an’ at last it wor decided they should walk all th’ rooad, an’ spend it as they went on. They started aat at four o’clock one Setterday mornin’ i’ furst rate fettle. Ther wor six men an’ seven women; but as th’ superintendent wor as big as two, they considered thersen weel paired. They trudged nicely on till they gate to Bolton Brow, an’ then two or three began to feel faint, an’ Swallow (that’s th’ superintendent’s name) propooased ’at they should have a drop o’ drink to revive ’em. Noabdy had owt to say agean that, soa as th’ public haase wor just oppened, one on ’em went in an’ browt aat a quart pitcher full an’ handed it to Swallow to sup th’ furst. An’ he did sup—for when he left lause ther wor nowt left but th’ froth on his upper lip to tell at ther’d iver bin ony. “Well” said Lijah, “aw’ve heeared swallows called burds of passage, but if they’d all a passage like thee, they’d sup th’ sea dry.” “Tha sees, Lijah,” he said, “awm unfortunate, for aw’ve a thirst on me ’at aw cannot quench, an’ aw darn’t sup watter for fear o’ havin’ th’ dropsy.” All th’ women agreed’ at he wor reight, an’ soa after another quart amang em they went on.
What wi’ laffin, an’ talkin,’ an’ smookin, they gate to Blackstone Edge Moor, an’ some of the women thowt it time for a rest, soa Swallow stop’d all at once an’ said, “Do yo all see that stooan post ’at’s standin’ thear? That’s the stooan at devides Yorksher an’ Lankysher, an’ aw think this a ’varry fit time to say a few words woll yo ease yor legs a bit.” Soa up he climb’d onto th’ pooast, an’ began praichin away, an’ kept at it woll they wor all hauf pined to deeath. At last Lijah said, “Hang it up, ha long are ta baan to talk? aw wonder thi conscience doesn’t prick thee!” “Prick me!” he said, “Aw defy owt to prick me when awm laborin’ for a gooid cause.” Just then he ovver balanced hissel an’ fell slap into th’ middle ov a whin bush; but he wor up in a crack, an’ one o’ th’ lasses said, “if his conscience hadn’t getten prick’d summat else had,” an’ they went forrard, but Swallow kept his hand under his coit lap for a mile or two. They gate to th’ lake at last, an’ after enjayin’ what they call th’ seea breeze, they started off to see some o’ th’ places ov interest. One o’ th’ furst they steer’d to wor th’ birthplace o’ Tim Bobbin. “An’ who wor Tim Bobbin?” said one o’ th’ lasses. This puzzled ’em, for ther worn’t one i’th’ lot ‘at knew; but one o’ th’ chaps said he thowt, if he worn’t mistakken, he war th’ inventor o’ th’ spinnin’ mule. Th’ superintendent said that wor varry likely, for he’d oft nooatised when readin’ history books, ’at chaps gate ther names throo summat they’d done, an’ soa varry likely he gate called Tim Bobbin for that reason. After that they went back an’ had a ride in a booat, an’ as nooan on em knew ha to row, th’ watter were varry sooin ankle deep inside; some on ’em began to grummel at this. “Oh, niver heed,” said Swallow, “yo’ll niver catch cold wi’ salt watter.” It worn’t long afoor they wanted ther tea, soa they went into th’ haase an’ ordered a gooid feed. Aw’ve heeard cunjurors say, “Quick, Jack, fly,” when they’ve been puttin’ summat aat o’th’ seet; but ther worn’t time to say that wi’ them, for th’ breead and butter went like leetnin’. One plate full after another kept comin’ in, till at last th’ mistress said, “Aw think yo must ha’ been hungry?” “E’ea, it’s change o’ climate ’at does it,” they said. Soa shoo browt in a fresh lot, but it made noa difference; away it went after tother. “Do yo’ know,”. shoo says, when shoo coom in agean, “at yo’ve etten two pund o’ breead apiece?” “Why what’s two pund when its cut thin,” they said? An’ at it they went agean. When they couldn’t find room for ony moor, they paid ther shot an’ started off hooam, whear they landed safely. Th’ next Sunday neet, when th’ gas wor lit at schooil iverybody wor capt to see what an’ improvement th’ new meter wor. Soa after passin’ a vote o’ thanks to th’ superintendent an’ th’ taichers for th’ trouble they’ been put to, th’ matter dropt.
A lecture on this subject was delivered on Tuesday evening, to the members of the Ladies’ Needle and Thimble Association, by the Rev. James Sleek, curate of St. Enock’s-in-the-Mist. After adverting to the plagues of Egypt, the learned lecturer dwelt at length upon the plagues of the present day, which he classed under the following heads: —Servants, poor relations, borrowers, teetotallars, tobacco-smokers, and children in arms. To counteract these evils were such associations as the one he had the honor to address, select tea meetings, fancy bazaars, and perambulators. The lecture gave great satisfaction.
It’s a long loin ‘at’s niver a turn, an’ th’ longest loin ends somewhear. Ther’s a end to mooast things, an’ this is th’ end o’ the year. When a chap gets turned o’ forty, years dooant seem as long as once they did—he begins to be feeared o’ time rolling on—but it’s fooilish, for it nawther gooas faster nor slower nor iver it did. But he’s a happy chap ‘at, when th’ year ends, can luk back an’ think ha mich gooid he’s done, for it isn’t what a chap will do for th’ futer, its what he has done i’th’ past ’at fowk mun judge by. Its net wise for onybody to booast o’ what they mean to do in a month’s time, becoss we cannot tell what a month’s time may do for us. We can hardly help havin’ a gloomy thowt or two at this part o’th’ year, but Kursmiss comes to cheer us up a bit, an’ he’s nooan ov a gooid sooart ‘at can’t be jolly once i’th’ year. As an owd friend o’ mine has cliverly said:—
Come let us choose the better part,
And sing whilst life is given;
A cheerful and contented heart
Gives no offence to Heaven.
’Tis Christmas time, then
fill the horn,
Away with melancholy,
If there’s no leaves upon the thorn,
There is upon the holly.
Hi! varry true! When ther’s no leaves upon th’ thorn, they’re green upon the holly. Ther’s allus summat to be thankful for if we seek it aat—ther’s sure to be a bit o’ sunshine somewhere—an’ its a varry bad case if a chap can’t find consolation aat o’ summat.
Aw remember a case ov a woman deein’ ‘at aw knew, an’ aw met th’ husband lukkin’ varry glum a bit at after. “Well Joa,” aw said, “tha’s had a heavy loss, lad.” “Eea, aw have,” an’ then after studdyin’ a bit, he said, “but aw should ha had to ha bowt a new suit afoor long, an’ aw mud as weel buy black as any other color; it wod ha been awkerd if aw’d just getten a white hat, as aw thowt on—but Providence! orders all things for th’ best.”
Ther’s noa daat a gooid lot on us find consolation aat o’th’ Kursmiss jollification—its just a bit ov a sweetener afoor all th’ nooats begin o’ commin’ in; aw dooant mean five paand nooats, ther’s nooan monny o’ them stirrin’. It’s th’ coil nooats, an’ gas nooats, an’ tax papers, them’s th’ sooart at’s stirrin abaat this time.
God bless ivery one raand yor table
Wi’ plenty to ait an’ to spare;
God bless yo an’ mak yo all able
To enjoy what may fall to yor share.
God bless yo wi health an’ wi riches,
God bless yo wi hearts ’at can feel
For the poor, when cold poverty twitches.
God bless them sometimes wi’ a meal.
God bless them ‘at’s climbin’ life’s mountain,
Full ov hooaps ’at they niver may craan,
An’ refresh from Thy cool soothin’ fountain,
Those who paddle resignedly daan.
An’ tho’ in death’s mist-shrouded valley
Our friends we may lose for a while,
God grant that at last all may rally
Where sunleet shall fade in His smile.
After the annual excursion of the Lowly Dale Scientific Society, the members were addressed by Mr. Evertrot Gagthorp. New specimens, the product of their recent journey, now enrich the Museum: viz. In Geology—Limestone, pumice stone, soft stone, white stone, plum stone, and cherry stone. Conchology—Egg shell Tortoise shell nut shell and satchel. Botany—Corn flour, grog blossom, and many leaves from the book of nature. Entomology—a swallow tail had been obtained, but the president going to a dress party, had got the loan of it.
“On Valentine’s day, will a gooid gooise lay,” is a varry old sayin’, an’ aw dare say a varry gooid en; an’ if all th’ geese wod nobbut lay o’ that day ther’d be moor chonce o’ eggs bein’ cheap. But it isn’t th’ geese we think on at th’ fourteenth o’ this month i’ts th’ little ducks, an’ th’ billy dux. A’a aw wish aw’d all th’ brass ’at’s spent o’ valentines for one year; aw wodn’t thank th’ queen to be mi aunt. Ther’s nobdy sends me valentines nah. Aw’ve known th’ time when they did, but aw’m like a old stage cooach, aw’m aat o’ date. Aw’st niver forget th’ furst valentine aw had sent. Th’ pooastman browt it afoor aw’d getten aat o’ bed, an’ it happen’d to be Sunday mornin’. Aw read it ovver an’ ovver agean, an’ aw luk’d at th’ directions an’ th’ pooast mark, but aw cudn’t make aat for mi life who’d sent it; but whoiver it war aw wor detarmined to fall i’ love wi’ her as soain as aw