It sets me thinkin’, sometimes, when aw tak a rammel abaat th’ hills an’ valleys o’ mi own neighborhood, what i’ th’ name o’ fortun’ maks ivvery body lang to get as far away throo hooam as they can to enjoy thersens. Change o’ air may be gooid nah an’ then; but as aw’ve travelled a bit misen, an’ visited all them spots ‘at they favour mooast, an’ seen ha fowk conduct thersens ‘at goa for th’ benefit o’ ther health, it strikes me ‘at change o’ air is a varry poor excuse, for it’s just a spree ’at they goa for, an’ nowt else, nine times aght o’ ten.
Last June, aw had two or three days to call mi own (an’, by gow! if yo nivver worked in a miln, yo dooant knaw what a blessing that is), an’ aw tuk a walk as far as Pellon, an’ then dahn throo Birks Hall an’ ovver th’ Shrogs to Ovenden, then throo Illingworth to Keighley, an’ on as far as Steeton. (Ony body ’at thinks that isn’t fur enuff for one day can try it thersen, an’ see ha they like it.)
When aw gets to th’ Gooat’s Heead, aw wor fain to sit daan an’ rest a bit. A pint o’ ale ran daan mi throit just like teemin it daan a sink pipe, an’ when aw set daan to th’ cold roast beef an’ pickled cabbage; well, yo’ may think aw did it justice, but aw didn’t, for that mait had nivver done me ony harm, an’ th’ way aw punished it was disgraceful, tho’ I say it misen; an’ when th’ landlady coom in to tak away th’ bit ther wor left (an’ it worn’t mich), aw saw her luk raand to mak sure ’at ther wor nobbut one ‘at had been pickin’ off that. Aw felt soa shamed ‘at aw wor ivver so long befor’ aw dar ax her ha much aw owed, an’ when shoo said eightpence, aw blushed like a pyannet, and paid it, but aw knew varry weel ‘at aw wor a shillin’ i’ debt then if ivverybody had ther own. Hasumivver shoo were satisfied; in fact, shoos allus satisfied, shoo’d nivver ha’ been as big as shoo is if shoo let little things bother her (an shoo has lots o’ bonny little things running abaat). Well, aw went to bed, an’ slept till mornin’. Aw can’t say whether all were quiet or not, for nowt could ha’ disturbed me, aw believe aw should ha’ slept saandly if ther’d been Sowerby Brig Local Booard o’ one side, an’ th’ Stainland School Booard o’ t’other, an’ th’ Haley Hill bell ringers playin’ “Hail, smilin’ morn.” at th’ bed feet. But all this has nowt to do wi what aw intended tell in’ yo abaat.
Next mornin aw gate up, an’ after braikfast (sich a braikfast! aw nivver felt soa stuck up i’ all mi life as aw felt after gettin’ that braikfast, aw couldn’t even bend to see if mi shoes were blackened) aw set aght agean, an’ went as far as Silsden. Nah, for th’ information o’ fowk at wor nivver thear, aw may as weel tell yo a thing or two. Silsden wor nivver planned, it grew, just like th’ brackens i’ th’ woods, throwin’ aght a branch one way or another, as it thowt fit. Thers one or two fact’rys, a nail shop or two, two or three brigs, some nice chapels, an’ th’ rummest owd pile for a church’ at yo’ll meet in a day’s march; a lot o’ nice, clean cottages, tenanted wi strong men an’ hearty lukkin women, wi hearts i’ ther breasts as big as bullocks, an’ as monny childer raand th’ doors as if they wor all infant schooils; an’ a varry fair sprinklin’ o’ public haases.