Lancashire life as it is so often erroneously pictured, and the
actual reality of the life itself — especially in the case of the
humbler classes — an exceedingly wide gulf exists; and were it for
no other purpose than that of attempting to remove the false
impressions of the County Palatine thereby created, the author feels
that the publication of this work would be fully justified.
Alexander Pope, in his great metrical essay, tells us that
"The proper study of mankind is man!"
and as one who steadfastly believes in this axiom, and, also, in
faithfully "holding the mirror up to nature," the author has allowed
nothing to find a place herein which is not the direct outcome of
practical philosophy, or of actual observation. True, his
fancy may at times have soared above the world of fact; but it has
never roamed beyond the realm of probability.
In the pages of this volume he has endeavoured to describe,
in the homely tongue of his native county, the virtues and failings,
the hopes and ambitions, and the joys and sorrows of his fellows;
but, in so doing, he has neither attempted to gloss over their
faults, nor to magnify or unduly extol their better qualities.
His object has been to depict the toilers of Lancashire as they
ARE, and he hopes to be looked upon as having
accomplished his task successfully.
To the many friends whose kindly assistance and co-operation
has rendered it possible for him to publish, in its present form,
this collection of his poems, the author tenders his heartiest and
deepest thanks; and, in conclusion, he begs to state that should
this volume meet with the same cordial reception at the hands of the
public as did its predecessor — "Bits o' Broad Lancashire" —
fourteen years ago, he will be more than satisfied with the result
of his labours.
Rochdale, Christmas, 1902.