which were collected by their author under the title of The
Chimney Corner were first published as a volume in 1874.
Many of them had appeared in a Manchester journal, called The
Critic. They are briefer and less elaborate, both in
conception and execution, than most of Waugh's other productions.
They may be said to be based on anecdotes rather than stories; and
are just such simple and humorous narrations—rough and free-spoken
sometimes—as may still be heard on winter nights in the "inglenook"
of the old Lancashire farmhouse, and in the kitchen of the country
inn. Many of them are clearly autobiographical, and furnish
reminiscences of Waugh's own childhood, of his short school-days,
and his early companions. The dialect is pithy, and full of
odd, ancient, and interesting words, of which "ailo," meaning "shy;"
and "chylt-little" for "young," or "small," may serve as instances.
The nervous strength of the dialect is illustrated in such sentences
as the following:—"He'll be a greight, stark, strung-backed,
wutherin' Englishman, o' th' owd breed, if he's luck."
Two of the stories—"The Nomination" and "The Swallowed
Sixpence"—have been often separately printed, and have been much
used for public reading; but the finest piece in the volume is the
one entitled, "A Berrin' Posy," which gives an inimitable picture of
the sufferings of the honest poor.