POP AN' COCKLES.
Owd Pinder wur a rackless foo'
An' spent his days i' spreein';
At th' end of every drinkin'-do,
He're sure to crack o' deein!
arto for, at sich a pelt? Arto runnin' thi country?"
"I'm gooin' down to Posy Bill's for a canful o' traycle, an' a burn
(burden) o' Payshen Docks 'at I left last neet."
"Well,—if thou'll stop an' rosin hauve a minute, I'll goo witho. . .
. Is yon Rondle o' Crumper's marlockin about th' fowd again?"
"It's nought else. Th' owd lad's brokken out in a fresh place; an
he's as peeort as a pynot."
"It's never true, belike. Why, by th' mass, I lippent o' yerrin' his
passin'-bell every day."
"Ay; an' so did I. He's had a tight run wi' th' owd mower this whet;
but he is yon, again, thou sees,—as cant as a kittlin!"
"Ay; he's yon, for sure. I'll tell tho what,—some folk takken a
deeol o' killin'."
"Ay; they done—an' owd Rondle's as hard as brazzil. But it's bin a
rough poo through for th' owd dog this time."
"So they say'n. Why they tell'n me that he wur clen off at th' side
for a while."
"Ay; an' it's true enough, too. He weren't his own person for mony a
week; an' he wander't an' maunder't in his talk; an' they could get
nought into him nobbut suction."
"An' they tell me he yammer't for rum,—neet an' day."
"An' so he did; an' th' doctor towd Betty that hoo weren't to let
him ha' noan upo' no 'ceawnt. But it seems that while her back wur
turn't one day, th' owdest lad fot him some, an' leet him have a poo
at it,—for quietness. Well, when th' doctor coom, he sniffed about a
bit, an' he said, 'Hello, Betty; yo'n bin givin' him rum again!' but
Betty said mich an' moor that hoo'd never gan him noan. 'Well,
then,' said th' doctor, lookin' round among 'em, 'somebry else has!' Well,—th' owd'st lad happen't to be
theer at th' time, an' he said,
'It's me 'at did it! I couldn't help it! He went on so, 'at I
couldn't bide to yer it; so I fot (fetched) him a saup, an' leet him
sup a time or two, while my mother wur out.' 'Well, but,' said the
doctor, 'I tell yo again,—yo munnot do it! Yo'n kill him if yo
letten him ha' rum!' 'Well,' said th' lad, wipin' his een, 'I
couldn't bide to yer him.' 'But it'll kill him, I tell tho!' 'Well,
an' if it does kill him,' said th' lad, 'he couldn't dee o' nought
'at he likes better!'
"Well, thou knows, th' lad wur reet as far as it went. But they had
to give o'er givin' him rum, an' sich like stuff as that; an', in a
bit, he began o' pickin' up his crumbs, an he coom to his-sel'
again. . . . Didto never yer about 'em changin' his diet?"
"Nawe; I don't know 'at I have."
"Well, then, gi's a reech o' 'bacco, an' I'll tell tho. . . . This
is how it let. . . . Th' doctor went in one day, th' same as usual,
an' he said, 'Well, Betty, how's th' owd lad gettin on?' 'Eh,'
said Betty, 'he's very ill,—he is for sure. I don't know what I mun
do. But yo'd better goo up, an' look at him.' So he went up stairs;
an' when he coom, down again, Betty said, 'Well,—what thinken yo?'
'Well,' said th' doctor, 'he's ill enough, God knows,—but it's no
use givin' him physic,—physic's no use,—keep him warm, an' keep him quiet, an' let
him have a saup o' broth, now an' then, an' happen natur' may help
him to poo through.' 'Is there nought that one could do for him,
then?' said Betty. 'Well,—sartinly,' said th' doctor; 'there is
one thing that would give him a chance,—if yo' could get it for him,
an' it's th' only thing I can think on that's likely.' 'Eh,
whatever is it?' said Betty; 'whatever is it? he's have it,—if I
sell up, dish an' spoon!' 'Well,' said th' doctor, 'a change o'
diet's what I should recommend.' 'Eh, bless yo,' said Betty, 'he's
have it,—as what it is!' 'Well, then, Betty,' said th' doctor, 'if
yo can get him some good champagne,—an' some fresh native oysters,
an' let him have his fill at his will, it's about the best thing for
him that I can think on.' 'Eh, bless yo,—he's have it!' cried
Betty, 'if I pop th' clock!' 'That'll do!' said th' doctor, an' away
he went . . . In a twothre days he coom again. 'Well, Betty,' said
he, 'how is th' owd craiter, bi now?' 'I think yo'n find him a bit
better,' said Betty, 'I left him about two minutes sin' up-ended i'
bed, yon,—croodlin' a bit of a tune.' 'That favvours mendin,' said
th' doctor. 'It does, for sure,' said Betty; 'up wi' yo,—an' look
at him.' Well,—when th' doctor coom down stairs again, Betty
said, 'Well, doctor, what thinken yo? Is he upo th' turn?' 'Ay, ay,'
said th' doctor. 'He's getten th' warst o'er. He isn't like th'
same mon. I thought a change o' diet would bring him to,—if aught
would. Of course, yo' geet him what I towd yo?'
"'What wur that?'
"'I towd yo to get him some champagne an' oysters; an yo geet it, I
"'Well,—nay, doctor,—I didn't justly get him that; but I geet him th'
next best thing to't, 'at I could think on.'
"'What wur that?'
"'Well; I geet him some pop [lemonade] an' cockles. It's very nee th' same, yo
known,—an' it comes in chepper!'"
"SEND TUMMUS UP!"
"Thou'll come to mi berrin', Jone," hoo
An' I said I should be glad.
leaning against the village horse-trough, with a dog in a bant.
BUMPER coming down the lane, with a sprig
o' thorn blossom in his hat, singing—
Then swap yor hats round, lads, to keep
yor yeds warm;
An' a saup o' good ale it'll do us no harm.
my lad! What, fuddle't bi noon! Bi lady, owd brid,
thou's let o' thi feet; mindto doesn't leet o' thi back afore neet."
"Me fuddle't, Billy! me fuddle't,—nought o' th' sort, owd
buck-stick,—I can see a hole through a ladder, yet."
"Well, well,—we'n say cheepin'-merry, then. By the good
Katty, thou's bin having haliday deed, bi th' look on tho', for thou
cocks thi neb primely."
"Eh, Billy, Billy,—I wish thou'd bin wi' me! 'Lilters for
ever!' cried Thunge. Eh, Billy! I've been wheer there's roast
and boiled,—an' a lopperin' stew, that it would make a men's yure
curl to smell at,—free to o' comers; ay, an' as brisk a tap o' brown
ale as ever damped a mortal lip! It sang like a brid as it
"Ay, ay; what, thou's bin amung it, then. 'Heigho,
jolly tinker!' Thou may weel twinkle and twitter so.
Some folk leeten on strangely. Come, keawer the down a bit,
an' cool thisel', for thou reeches like a lime-kill."
"Hast ony bacco? "
"Here; help thisel'; an' pipe up."
"Who's yon 'at's off through th' fowd at sich a scutch?"
"Nay; I know not; but, by the hectum, he's switchin along
like an uncarted stag, as hoe he is."
"Ay; he's cuttin' th' woint, for sure, is th' lad.
What's up, I wonder?"
"A labbor or summat, I dar say."
"More likker a weddin', bi th' look on him; for he's donned
like a mountebank's foo."
"Ay; an' he thinks he's bonny, too. He's worn some
brass o' horse-gowd, has yon lad. Look at his waistcut; by
guy, it glitters like th' front of a rush-cart. Who is he,
"Nay; I connot make him out, yet. I wish he'd come a
bit nar. He favvours a ale-taster about th' nose. I
wonder if he'll turn in at th' Seven Stars? If he does, I'se
have a like aim who it is. But there's no tellin'. He's
noan use't to yon suit o' clooas,—I can tell that bi his walk.
He looks as if he'd a tin singlet on."
"I've sin yon mon wheelin' slutch, somewheer."
"Well; I like as if I should know his wobble."
"Wobble or no wobble, he's a kenspeckle mak of a face, as far
as I can judge. I could tell him better if he'd his own clooas
"Ay, ay; but he'll need a deeol o' donnin', will yon lad,—to
make him pratty,—for as fur as I can see, he's as feaw as a fried
"Softly, Bill, softly; th' lad didn't make his-sel', thou
"Nawe; but he's marred his-sel' primely, bi th' look on him;
for his chops are o' in a blaze wi' ale-blossom,—an' they're a
troublesome mak' o' posies, are thoose. . . . Keep thi een on him,
an' see where he holes."
"Howd! . . . He's kennel't!"
"Th' Seven Stars."
"Bi th' maskins, I know him,—to a yure!"
"Who is it?"
"It's Tummy o' Galker's, 'at played Bowd Slasher when we went
a-pace-eggin' last year."
"Thou's hit it! What's he after, thinksto?"
"He's off to th' 'Hirin's,' like a hunted red-shank."
"Why; has he laft th' owd shop?"
"Ay; bi th' ounters; an' I wonder 'at he's stopt as lung as
he has. Owd Mall's bad to bide,—for boo's as crammed as a
"Hoo's a nattle, ill-contrive't camplin' fuzzock,—if ever
there wur one."
"Bill, thou'rt in a terrible way for co'in' folk to-day."
"Well, I connot bide her men; hoo'll do no reet, nor hoo'll
say no wrang; an' hoo's no feelin' for nobry nobbut hersel'; an'
that's th' top an' tail on't. . . . But Tummy use't to match her
meeterly weel . . . . One day Owd Sam an' Tummy wur busy wortchin'
i'th garden; and Sam had getten a lung ladder rear't again th'
gable-end o'th house; an' he wur gooin' up a-doin' summat at th'
spout, when in comes Mall to th' garden, gosterin', an' hectorin',
an' yeawlin' up an' down, reet and lift, th' same as usual.
'Come down that ladder this minute, doesto yer!' cried hoo; 'come
down, I tell tho—thou gawmless leather-yed,—for thou hasn't cat-wit!
Doesto know that ladder's as rotten as a brunt rag? Thou'll
breighk thi neck! Come down, I tell tho,—an' send Tummus
up!' 'Noan so, Mally,' said Tummus; 'noan so! I've a
neck as weel as yor Sam,—an mine's worth more brass to me nor yor
Sam's is. If its noan fit for him, it's noan fit for me.
If yo'n goo up, I'll howd th' ladder for yo; but I'm beawn to stop
o'th floor, this time,—if yo pleasen.'"
"Well done, Tummy; he just sarve't her reet!"
"Oh, Tummus wur too mony for her. Hoo couldn't bant him
at o'. Never a day passed but they'd a bit of a scog o' some
mak. . . . One day, when th' rain wur peltin' down, at full bat, i'
gill drops, Tummy coom runnin' into th' kitchen, out o'th garden,
sipein' weet; an' he began a-shakin' th' rain off him.
Well,—owd Mall wur helpin' th' sarvant wi' summat, an' as soon as
Tummy coom in, hoo lays howd of a greight tin can 'at stood upo' th'
sink stone, an' hoo says, 'Here, Tummus,—thou art weet, an' thou
con nobbut be weet,—fotch us a can-full o' soft wayter fro th'
well, yon.' Th' well wur about a quarter of a mile off.
Well,—Tummy wur noan so weel suited wi' that, thou may depend, so he
looked at her for a minute, an' then he said, 'Here, gi' me howd o'
that can!' an' away he went for th' wayter, through th' heavy rain.
In a bit he comes in again, weeter than ever,—wi' th' can on his yed,—an'
he said, 'Now then, Mally, wheer are yo?' 'Here, Tummus,' said
Mally; 'set it down upo' th' sink.' But, i'sted o' settin' it
upo' th' sink, he tips th' whole can-ful o' wayter slap on to owd
Mall; an' flingin' th' can upo' th' floor, he said, 'Now
then,—thou art weet, an' thou con nobbut be weet,—fot th' next for
"Well done, Tummy! Bi th' ounters, he just sarve't her
reet. Hoo wants sleckin' a bit,—for hoo's a prodigal pouse."
"Oh, th' owd lad could fit her up nicely, when he're reet
side out. Th' first time I let on him, at after he gan th' owd
lass sich a swilkin', I took him into th' Seven Stars, an' I said,
'Here, Tummy; co' for aught there is i' this house, an' thou's have
it, for what thou did at owd Mall!' . . . He's noan so breet i' some
things, noather. I remember him an' me gooin' to Southport,
an' it wur o' new to him, for it wur th' first time 'at ever he'd
sin th' say. Well, thou knows, when th' tide gwos out at
Southport, yo' can hardly see th' saut wayter, it's so fur off th'
town. Well, one day, when Tummy an' me were walkin' bi th'
shore, we coom to some fishin'-boats, 'at were laft dry upo' th'
sond. Well,—Tummy looked at these boats a bit, an' then he
said to a chap 'at wur gooin' past, 'Maister, how dun they get these
boats down to th' wayter?' An' th' chap said, 'They dunnot
tak' 'em down to th' wayter,—th' wayter coms a fottin'
(fetching) 'em!' 'Here, here,' said Tummy, 'thou
munnot tell me that tale,—I COME FRO' OWDHAM!'"
"OH, MY NOSE!"
"I don't know how yo' feel,
But I feel quite queer."
[Two Friends on 'Change.]
"No more fires?"
"Trade must be mending, then."
"Oh, wait till the Evening News comes out."
"What was that wild burst of merriment about as I came in?"
"A railway accident,—that's all."
"Oh—'that's all,' eh? Ay,—well,—'There's olez a summat
to keep one's spirits up!' as Kempy said when he roll't off th'
kitchen slate into th' duck-poand. But, I don't exactly see
where the fun comes in with a railway accident, my friend."
"Ay; you should have heard Doctor Bateson tell the story."
"I thought he was in London."
"He came back last night; and he was in the collision."
"And yet, it doesn't seem like a laughing matter,—to me."
"Oh, it wasn't a very serious affair. The
passengers were all, more or less, frightened and shaken; and one
fine old Roman nose was broken,—but that seems to have been the
"Ay; I see. 'When Greek meets Greek, then comes the'—what's
his name? The owner of the nose wouldn't laugh, I suppose?"
"Well,—I believe not,—according to the Doctor's account."
"But what's the story, my friend, what's the story?"
"Well,—it seems that Bateson had finished his business in
London early in the afternoon yesterday; and he hurried down from
his hotel to catch the 5-15 train to Manchester. He was just
in time; and he got comfortably seated in a first-class carriage by
himself. The tickets had been examined, and the porters were
closing the doors, when a fat old man, with an enormous gold
watch-chain, came waddling up to the door puffing and perspiring
like a hot Scotch haggis. The porters pushed him in, the
whistle screamed; away went the train; and Bateson and the new
comer, sitting opposite each other, had the carriage to themselves.
For the first few miles hardly a word passed between the two, for it
took the old man some time to recover his breath. At last he
came to; and he began to squirt out a little jet of neighbourly
chat, now and then, as they rolled along. The old man had a
pleasant countenance, the most remarkable feature of which was a
fine aquiline nose; and every sentence he uttered revealed that he
was a native of Lancashire. He was evidently well off, and a
good-natured man, but very illiterate; and, as Bateson said, 'his
clumsy attempts at politeness said a great deal for the goodness of
his heart, but very little for his education.' But, in spite
of the old man's strained efforts at 'parlour talk,' Bateson was
delighted with him, and they travelled on, mile after mile, chatting
genially together, and well pleased with one another. 'Are you
going far!' said he to Bateson. 'I'm going to Manchester,'
replied the doctor. 'So am I said the old man, rubbing his
hands; 'So am I! Come, that's good! We shall be company!
. . . You're not teetotal, are yo'?' 'Well,—not quite.'
'Ay, well come, that's reet! All right, sir. We shall
get on in a bit!' And so, pleasantly they hob-nobbed together,
for an hour or more, sitting opposite each other,—the old man with
his huge paunch, and his fine old aquiline nose, and Bateson, with
his bald, bullet-shaped head, as white and as hard as a billiard
ball. They had reached the green plains of middle England, and
the old man was drawing the attention of his companion to the beauty
of the landscape, when a sudden shock of the train brought Bateson's
bald head bang against the old man's nose,—like a cannon ball.
In an instant, the old man's politeness disappeared; and his
language suddenly changed to the broad, strong, idiomatic dialect of
Lancashire. Seizing his nose with both hands, he cried
out,—'Oh, by! Eh,—h! What the — hasto done that for?'
And eke he groaned, and eke he swore, in strong set phrase. As
soon as the doctor had recovered from his astonishment, he said to
the old man, 'Allow me to examine it.'
"'Keep off, yo scamp!' cried the old man; 'keep off!
Allow thee, eh? By th' mass; I wish I had never set een on tho!
Here; keep off! Thou's done enough at me! They use't to
co' this a Roman nose; but, by —, thou's awter't it!'
"'Well, but I'm a doctor,' said Bateson.
"'Eh, my nose!' continued the old man; 'it'll never be reet
again! Oh—! . . . . So, thou'rt a doctor, arto? Oh!
hearken that; he says he's a doctor! Ay; an' I guess thou'rt
gooin' up an' down th' country makin' jobs for thisel', arto?
Keep off me, I tell tho,—or I'll warm th' shins for tho! Oh,
my nose! A doctor, eh? By th' mon, I'se want a parson in
a bit if I'm to be knocked about o' this shap!'
"'But I'm a surgeon, I tell you,' said Bateson.
"'Surgeon, be —! Thou's surge't me nicely! Keep
off! Go to yon tother end! I'll be noan surge't wi'
thee, no moor!'
"'Well, sir,' said Bateson, 'I'm very sorry for it.'
"'Soory for it, arto? Thou lies,—thou'rt nought o' th'
sort,—I can tell bi thi een! I'll ha' thee ta'en up at th'
next station! Soory for it, eh? Thou met kill a body,
an' then say, "I'm soory for it;" but th' law shall have its course,
"'My dear sir,' said Bateson, 'I assure you that it was quite
"'Dear sir, eh?' replied the old man; 'dear sir, he says.
I will be a "dear sir" to thee, afore I've done witho!
Thou thought o' makin' some brass out o' my nose, didto? I'll
mak' thee fork out, when we getten to th' fur end,—see if I dunnot!'
"'I can put it all right for you.'
"'Thou can put it "all right," conto? What the didto
put it wrang for? Tell me that? Keep off! Thou'll
ha' to sit up for this job? Keep off me; an' go to tother
"And so he went on, groaning, and swearing, and mopping his
broken nose, to the end of the journey. Bateson's efforts at
reconciliation were all useless; and he is now hourly expecting to
be summoned before the magistrates for an assault."
"Poor old fellow! I hope he got his bowsprit handsomely
repaired. That story reminds me of another. . . . You remember
an accident that happened in a tunnel, during the Chester race week,
a few years ago?
"Ay, that was a shocking affair."
"It was a fearful business. An old friend of mine was
in the same unfortunate train. He was a fine, portly old man,
more than six feet high, and as straight as a 'pickin'-rod.' I
saw him the day after the accident; and he assured me that the
carriage he was in was smashed into splinters, and he was shot
bodily out of one compartment into, another,—and yet he escaped
unhurt. It must have been a terrible scene. The dark
tunnel was filled with steam, and crushed carriages, and screams and
groans of the wounded passengers. My friend crept out of the
ruins of his carriage in the dark; and, stepping over the dead and
the dying, he reached the side of the tunnel, and then he groped his
way slowly by the wall towards the open air. He had not gone
far before he was aware of a voice that was following him along the
tunnel. It was some poor Lancashire chap who had been at the
races; and he was crawling along the wall, on his hands and knees,
through the horrible wreck, towards the mouth of the tunnel; and as
he crept along, he muttered in terrified tones,—'O Lord, shall I
ever get out o' this hole alive! Eh, that's another deeod un!
Eh, good God! yo'n never catch me at th' races again! Oh, by
th' mon! "Our Father, which art in Heaven." Hello, that's
another kilt! Eh, I wish I wur a-whoam! "Give us this
day our daily bread!" Eh, if ever I get out o' this I'll live
a different life!' And so he went on, creeping in the wake of
my friend, till he came out at the end of the tunnel; but, as soon
as he reached the open air, he sprang to his feet, and, clapping his
hands, he cried out, 'Thank God, I'm noan kilt!' There
happened to be a low stone wall near the mouth of the tunnel, and
the revulsion of the poor fellow's feelings was so strong on finding
himself safe that he cried out, 'Ston fur! Here goes!' and
then, as an expression of gratitude for his deliverance, he sprang
right over the wall. Unfortunately there was a deep reservoir
on the other side, and down he went overhead like a stone.
Again and again he rose to the top, spluttering and splashing, and
crying for help. Just in time, he was fished out by the crowd
at the mouth of the tunnel; and then, with downcast head, he
silently slunk away through the crowd, in his wet clothes, and was
no more seen.'"
A BERRIN' POSY.
There's rosemary—that's for remembrance; pray you love,
remember; and there is pansies—that's for thoughts.
document in madness; thoughts and remembrance fitted.
fennel for you, and columbines; there's rue for you; and
here's some for me: we may call it herb o' grace o'
Sundays:—you may wear your rue with a difference.
There's a daisy; I would give you some violets, but they
withered all when my father died. They say he made a
good end. (Sings.)
For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy.
[Winter afternoon; snow falling. Two countrywomen on the
a good mon's case, Betty, when o's said an' done,—it's a good mon's
"I doubt it is, Matty; for o' 'at there's so mich feaw talk
"It's nought else, Betty. I tak no notice o' sich
creepin' saints as yon. They known nought what folk han to go
through,—an' they care'n less; an' that's what makes 'em so ready
"Talk's chep sometimes, Matty, for sure, wi' folk 'at's
noather sense nor feelin'."
"A lot o'camplin', concayted wickstarts, 'at hannot had time
to reckon their limbs up gradely. Th' less they known an' th'
moore they talken; an' they're never within a lie or two. Sich
like are noon fit to be trusted with a tung. . . . An' then, what
can yo' expect fro' folk 'at never had a finger-ache or a fret,—folk
'at han bin shaded fro' th' sun, an' happed fro' th' cowd o' their
days,—folk 'at han bin fatten't, an' filled, an' coozle't, an'
foozle't, an' pamper't o' ends up, till they dunnot know whose legs
they're walkin' wi',—folk 'at never did a hond's-turn for theirsels
sin they wur born into th' world,—folk 'at never missed a meal, an'
never knew what i' wur to addle one,—mon, they'n no moore notion o'
life nor a midge 'at's born into th' morning sunshine, an' dees
afore it sets."
"They dunnot know 'at they're wick, Matty,—they dun not, for
sure. They mun be harrish't, an' parish't (perished) an'
hamper't, an' pincer't, an' powler't about th' cowd world fro'
window to wole a while,—an' they mun be druvven to their wits'-end,
now an' then, for a bit of a thin livin', to keep soul an' body
together,—an' they mun lie hour after hour, an' neet after neet,
tossin' an' frettin' i'th' dark, an' longin' for mornin', yet
freeten't o' th' comin' day,—they mun do this, an' then they'n larn
summit 'at'll last their time."
"Ay, ay, Betty, lass; an' they wouldn't be as flayed o' deein'
as they are; I know it bi mysel'. . . . Well, an' what mak o' stuff
han yo bin takin', say'n yo, Betty? "
"Well, yo known, I've bin havin' baumtay, sweeten't wi'
traycle, for a while; but Nanny o' Grout-yed's sent me some dried
sage tother day, an' I'm tryin' that now."
"Ay; an' it's as fine a yarb as ever grew upo' God's ground!
. . . Here, Betty, let's tee this hankitcher round yor yed. Yo
marmot get cowd into that face. . . . Let's look at that lump
"Ay; just look at it, win yo? . . . . Oh,—mind, Matty!
It's as sore as a boil! . . . If yo'n believe me, I didn't get a
wink o' sleep last neet."
"Sleep! Bless us an' save us, lass, how ever hasto
bidden this? Sleep; nay, marry; thou'll sleep noan while
that's agate! Thou mun have a poultice on,—an' keep thisel'
warm. Thou're noan fit to be areawt (outside) sich a day as
this. Lap thisel' up, lass; pritho, lap thisel' up! How
does it feel now?"
"Feel! Why, it steawnges an' lutches to that degree
that I sometimes wish my yed would fly straight off,—an' sattle it
"I'm sure it's bad to bide, lass. How are yo off for
"Well, we're olez pincht for coverin', thou knows, when
winter comes on; an' th' warst on't is that, ever since our John
deed (died), I've had th' young'st lass sleepin' wi' mo, an' th'
little thing potes clooas off i'th' neet-time; an' theer I am i'th
cowd, thou knows, as bare as a robin."
"Eh, that'll do noan, lass. . . . Here; let's look at that
thing again. I'll tell tho what, Betty, I think it'll gether!
"Our Sally says so."
"Ay an' it'll be a good deeol easier when it comes to a yed."
"I wish it'd come to a yed, then, for I've a feaw life on't
as it is."
"I'm sure thou has, lass. There's olez a summit i' this
world. If we hannot one great ailment we'n a lot o' little uns;
an' it isn't to tell how a bit of a thing like th' tooth warche can
potter a body. It reminds me o' Tummy Glen an' his lad.
Th' lad had been wring in his inside a while, an' one day he says to
his faither, 'Eh, faither, I do like th' bally-warche!' 'Thou
likes it? Why, what for?' 'Becose it's so nice when
it gi's o'er!'"
"Eh, Matty, dunnot make me laugh, pritho. My heart's
good enough, thou knows, but my face is terriby out o' gear."
"It'll do tho no harm, lass, for thou doesn't get mich to
"Eh dear, nawe. . . . An' now then, Matty, I mun part wi' yo.
I'se be like to turn off up this lone. Yon childer'll be
wonderin' what's become'n on me."
"Well thou'll be like to go, lass—God help tho! . . .
Here,—put that i' thi pocket."
"Raylee o' me, Matty, I dunnot like takkin' it—I dunnot, for
sure. I could do wi' it weel enough, yo known,—but—"
"Put it i' thi pocket, I tell tho,—an' dunnot be a foo'!
Bless mi life; wi' a lot o' little childer yammerin' round tho' an'
nobry to feight an' fend for 'em nobbut thisel'; I wonder how thou
poos through,—that I do!"
"Well, thou knows, our James sends me a bit o' firin', an,
sich like, now an' then."
"He's as poor as a crow his-sel'."
"Well, he's nought mich to stir on, for sure; but he helps me
as weel as he con. An' as for a bit o' meight, if thou'll
believe me, Matty, I thank God, sometimes, that He's takken mi
appetite away; for it levs raither moore for th' childer."
"God help tho, lass!"
"Well, now then, Matty; I'll bid yo good day; an' thank yo!"
"Good day, Betty; an' God bless tho! Now, rap thisel'
(BETTY goes away slowly up the lane,
through the falling snow. MATTY
stands for a
minute or two, watching her, with tears in her eyes; then she
turns away with a sigh, and taps at a cottage window by the
"Now then, Sarah, are yo ready?"
(The door opens, and SARAH comes
forth, with her bonnet and shawl on.)
"I wur just waitin' for yo, Matty. Eh, what a wild day
it is! Sha'n we be i' time, thinken yo?"
"We's be about reet,—an' nought to spare. I promised th'
owd woman that I'd be theer at four o'clock; an' hoo'll be lookin'
out for me; for though her wits are gwon, as a body may say, yet, yo
known, Sarah, hoo's very nice, poor soul, an' hoo's very
"Poor owd craiter! . . . . But, yo said yo'd tell me about
"So I did, Sarah. . . . Well, yo see'n,—owd Mary'll be turn't
threescore; an' I think her husban' would be raither of oather th'
owder o'th two; an' a honsomer, sweeter-lookin', better-dispose't
owd couple never stept shoe-leather. They'd no childer o'
their own; but o' th' childer i'th county met (might) ha' belunged
to 'em, for everything 'at they let on seemed to tak to 'em, as if
they were'n ever so sib (akin). Owd John wur a kind-hearted
owd chap; he wur like a grey-yure't chylt, in his ways. He wur
a mak of a yed-beetler amung th' porters, up at th' railway-station;
an' he'd bin there a lung while; an' he wur a great favourite amung
th' men. He use to goo away in a mornin' an' tak his dinner
with him; an' then th' owd woman used to send him his baggin' bi a
lad, about four i'th afternoon. At last he wur takken ill; an'
he lee i' bed about three months; an' then he deed. He went
out as quiet as th' snuff o' a candle. Owd Mary took it very
ill th' first day; but hoo change't o' at once; an' hoo began o'
gooin' up an' down th' house just as if nought had happen't.
Hoo watched 'em carry him away to his grave; an' hoo looked after th'
coffin, an' hoo said, 'He'll not be long;' an' th' very same
afternoon hoo cut his bread an' butter, an' geet his baggin' ready,
an' sent it off,—just as if he'd bin alive. An' then we knew
that th' poor craiter's wits were gone. Owd John wur in a
berrin' club when he deed; an' when they brought her th' club money,
hoo thought it wur his wages; an' hoo went out an' bought him two
pairs o' woollen stockin's. At last hoo began a-gooin' so
helplessly about her bits o' house affairs that we had to give her
house up, an' sell her bits o' furnitur', an tak two rooms for her,
in a house where there were folk that would be kind to her.
An', if yo'n believe me, Sarah, th' poor craiter never notice't th'
change; but just leet us do what we'd a mind wi' her, like a child.
An' we never tried to undeceive her; for hoo wur quite comfortable;
an' it seemed like a merciful thing. The house where hoo
lodge't wur next to ours, an' I use't to go in nearly every day, an'
chat with her; an' whatever I said, all her talk ended i' John.
I tried, sometimes, to draw her away to other things; but before
we'd said many words hoo wur sure to come back to John again; and
hoo olez spoke on him as if hoo expected him comin' in a few
minutes. An' if hoo yerd a foot passin' th' house, hoo geet
up, an' looked through th' window; an' then hoo'd goo to th' door,
an' look at th' weather; an' hoo'd say, 'Eh, dear; it's beginnin' to
rain, an' he's noather umbrell nor overcoat wi him.' Sometimes
hoo'd bring his shirts out, an' turn 'em o'er, one after another, to
see if th' buttons were reet; an' hoo'd hang one o'er a cheer i'th
front o'th fire; an' then sit down to her knittin', rockin', an'
waitin' till four o'clock drew near; an' then hoo'd get up an' cut
his bread an' butter, an' get his tay ready,—th' same as ever.
An' then, when neet coom, an' hoo geet tire't, hoo'd goo quietly off
to bed bi hersel', and say, 'I think he'll not be long, now,' an' th'
next mornin', hoo'd come down th' stairs, smilin', as comfortable as
could be, an' hoo'd say, 'John was here last night; he was tellin'
me this, an' that, an' tother.' An' thus, day after day has
gone by wi' her for this two year back. An', eh, Sarah! mony a
time as I've sat theer watchin' her sweet owd face, as hoo cut his
bread an' butter, an' talked about his comin' in, I could hardly
help for cryin', when I thought on him lyin' o' th' while in his
quiet grave, safe kept away fro' wind and weather, an' th' aches an'
pains o' life; an' I've prayed mony a time that hoo met (might)
never come to hersel' again, but just keep airin' his clooas, an'
gettin' his baggin' ready, till th' day comes that hoo has to be
laid down quietly beside him."
"This is tn' house, isn't it, Matty?"
"Yigh. We're just i' time. Let's see!"
(MATTY peeps in at the window.)
"Hoo's cuttin' his bread an' butter! Come in,—quietly."
"Howd, Sam; yo'r Margit's up i'th town;
I yerd her ax for thee at th' Crown;
An' just meet now I've scamper't down,
It's true as ought i'th Bible!
I know yo'r Margit well of owd:
Her sung,—it makes me fair go cowd,
Sin' th' day hoo broke mi nose it'h fowd,
With end o'th porritch-thible."
[Scene: Kitchen of the Brid an' Bantling. BILL
O' SNICKET'S an'
OWD TRINEL seated
in a dark nook by the fire-side.]
"ARE we to sit
dry-mouth, Bill, or how?"
"Nawe. Here, Betty, bring us a quart an' a quiftin'-pot."
"Ay; be sharp, Betty; I'm as dry as soot."
(BETTY brings the drink.)
"Chalk it up, Betty; I haven't a hawp'ny about mi rags. . . .
Trinel; buttle, an' let's sup."
"I will, my lad. . . . An' I say, Betty, put that dur to, an'
let's ha' th' hole to ersels. Theer! Now then, Bill,
wipe thi face, and tak howd! We're as reet as a ribbin."
(To the Landlady.)—"Has our Bill bin here?"
"Go forrud. Yo'n find him i'th nook, yon."
(BILL to OWD
TRINEL.)—"By th' hectum, Trinel; hoo's ta'en
us! Sit tho still; an' plog thi ears up!"
"Oh, thou'rt theer, I see, arto?"
"Ay; I'm here, thou sees."
"Ay; an' thou may weel cruttle into a nook. I'd keep
out o'th seet if I're thee!"
"Well; I am keepin' out o'th seet."
"Thou darn't show thi face i'th dayleet. I'd stop theer
if I're thee,—for thou'rt likker a corn-boggart than a Christian.
I wish thou could see thisel'!"
"Well; fot (fetch) a seemin'-glass, an' let's have a look!"
"Let's have a look! Thou'rt feaw enough to breighk ony
seemin'-glass i'th world! I wonder how thou can for shame o'
thi face sit keawerin' theer, hutch't of a lump, like a garden-twod!
Ay; thou may weel snigger and laugh! I see nought to laugh at,
mysel'. Arto for comin' whoam, or what?"
"I think I'll bide here a bit,—till th' wynt sattles."
"'Bide here a bit,'—thou hawmplin' cauve! I'd bide here
o'together, if I wur thee. They'n find tho some mak of a bed
i'th brew-house, I dar say. I'd stop till dark, as how
'tis,—for thou'rt noan fit to turn out i'th dayleet. A bonny
pattern for yon bits o' childer, thou art! Thou greight
slaverin' hag-a-knowe! If I wur thee, I'd ha' mi pickter
takken, just now,—it'd do for a ale-house sign, —for thou'rt as like
a wild Indian as ought I can think on."
"Well,—tak mi pickter, then; and sell it. Let's make a
bit a brass, while there's a chance."
"Make a bit o' brass! If thou wur in a show thou'd fot
summat! Thou'rt too idle to make ony brass for thisel',—thou
loungin' rack-an'-hook,—an' if onybody else con make ony, thou'll
make it away for 'em. I wish I'd never clapt een on tho!"
"Well; tak' thi een away, then. What doesto ston starin'
"Starin' theer! Thou'd make a lapstone stare! A
drunken slotch, as thou art,—keawerin' i'th chimbley barkle't wi'
"Wipe thi mouth, owd lass,—an' start again."
"Wipe mi mouth! Thou's getten thy mouth wipe't this
time, to some tune. It never wur a pratty un—but it gwos
feawer. A bonny hal thou's bin makin' thisel' again, I yer."
"Howd te din."
"Howd mi din! Thou may weel say 'howd mi din!
Thou'rt a town's talk, mon! Th' childer putten their tungs out
at tho, as thou gwos through th' fowd!"
"Well; let 'em put 'em out. I'm moore bother't wi'
thine than theirs."
"Thou greight, starin', sunbrunt foo! To goo an' come
straight out o' thi looms, an' walk three mile, i'th leet-lookin'
day to feight a battle! Sich seely wark! an' to feight wi'
Jone o' Woggy's, too, of o' th' folk it'h world! A mon owd
enough to be thi faither,—a poor tatter-clout, 'at's nought noather
in him nor on him,—a clemmed craiter 'at doesn't get a gradely
bally-full o' meight in a week's time. Thou met as weel ha'
foughten wi' an owd seck. A poor hobblin' cratchinly felly, wi'
one fuut i'th grave. I wonder how thou can for shame o' thi
face; thou greight, o'er-groon, idle, lollopin' hount! Never
thee brag o' thi feightin' no moore. I could ha' lickt him
mysel',—wi' one hond teed beheend me! Thee, an' thi feightin'!
Thou may weel win,—feightin' owd folk an' childer! But, as
poor a thing as he is, he's laft a twothre bits o' notches upo' that
pratty face o' thine. Thee feight! Thou can feight noan,
wheer a men comes! If I did feight, I'd have a bit o' credit
o' mi feightin', if I wur thee. It'll cost thrippence or
fourpence for Solomon's Seal to get thi een reet!"
"Give o'er; thou makes mi yed warche."
"Thi yed may weel warche. Two foos,—stonnin' up, an'
penkin' at one another's faces, like a couple o' nailmakers. A
bonny trade thou's getten' bi th' hond! A feighter! Sore
bwons, an' ragged clooas! Thou'll be havin' another arran' to
th' Whit'oth Doctor's,—I lippen o' nought else."
"Thou's no 'casion to talk about feightin': it's noan so lung
sin' thou hit Mall o' Stutter's o' th' yed wi' thi clog patten."
"Ay; an' I'll hit her again, if hoo'll say hauve as mich to
me again! If hoo'll just boke her finger at me once't, I'll
have a penk at her piggin', if I have to pay for th' garthin' on't."
"Thou'rt too rough, lass."
"Rough or smooth, I'll chine her to th' floor if ever hoo
meddles o' me again,—a camplin' snicker as hoo is! . . . Who's that
feaw-lookin' twod, at th' side on tho theer, i'th, corner?"
"It's owd Trinel."
"Owd Trinel! That's another racketty slotch! A
bigger waistrel never bote of a cake! If I had any company,
I'd pike somebry 'at wur some bit like daycent; I wouldn't tak up wi'
every drunken berm-yed 'at I could rake out o' a gutter! But
yo'r brids of a fither! Yo'r too fat an' too full! Yo
wanten takkin' down a peg or two!"
"Well, tak mo down, then."
"Tak tho down! Thou'll need noan in a bit.
Thou'rt gooin' th' reet gate to tak down both thisel' and everybody
at belungs tho. Eh, dear o' me; whatever mun I do? Eh, I
wish to the Lord thou would have a bit o' sense, Bill,—an' think
what's to become on us a'!"
"Here; wipe thi een, lass; I'll go witho."
What hempen home-spans have we swaggering
So near the cradle of the fairy queen?
[ROBIN O' BANTER'S
and BILLY COCKTOE
coming from the market.]
a good yarb, Bill."
"I believe it is. But there's nought 'at groos 'at
isn't good for some'at or another."
"I guess not,— if they can nobbut find out wheer it fits. . .
. How's th' market? Hasto bought aught?"
"I've both bought an' sowd,—but nought o' no weight."
"Hasto getten rid o' th' two-year-owd cowt, yet?"
"Nawe. I'll part noan, till I can leet on better nor
aught at's turn't up, yet."
"It's worth brass, is that cowt."
"It's as prime a bit o' stuff, Robin, as ever went upo' legs;
an' thoose 'at gets it 'll ha' to pay for't though it looks a bit
rough wi' lyin' out thoose raggy neets."
"It's as pratty a limber-legged craiter as ever I clapped een,
on, Bill. Thou hasn't had it down at th' market, then?"
"Nawe; it needs no hawkin'. Thoose 'at wanten it mun
come to't. . . . I geet a fairish price for two cauves; an' I bought
two new shuttles, an' a couple o' pickin'-sticks; an' I geet a good
oak lung-sattle, an' a prial o'looms chep, at Owd Kempy sale; an' I
bought a twothre oddments 'at we wanten a-whoam. Thou knows
our Betty's at th' down-lyin', or else hoo'd ha' bin here hersel'.
Th' looms an' things are comin up i' Jone o' Kitter's cart. . . .
Oh, an' I bought a bit o' fustian for a suit o' clooas for th'
"That's yo'r Antony, isn't it?"
"Yigh; it's Antony."
"He's a little scopperil!"
"He's nobbut just turn't nine; but he's th' roughest cowt at
ever we had at our house. We'n fourteen on 'em round th' table
when they're 'o theer; an' he'll side as mich beef at an odd sittin'
as ony lusty felly upo' Wardle moorside."
"He'll be a greight, stark, strung backed, wutherin,
Englishman, o' th' owd breed, if he's luck!"
"He's offerin' very weel,—so far."
"He taks of his uncle Joe."
"He does; an' his uncle Joe never wur quiet but when he're
"Ay; he're a regilar kempie. . . . What hasto getten i'th
"Ay; an' a fine un, too. Hello; there's summat i'th
inside on't here!"
"Ay; it's a pound o' stokin'-yorn, for th' knitters."
"By Guy, Bill; thou mun mind they dunnot boil th' yed an' th'
"Well, an' if they did they'd never find it out till it wur
"I dar say. . . . An' is yo'r Antony nobbut nine, saysto?"
"He're nine th' last thar-cake time."
"What trade arto beawn to make him?"
"He says, mich an' moor, 'at he'll oather be a sailor or a
"Let him go for a sailor! By th' mon! Owd Englan'
for ever! Mi uncle Joe wur a sailor! He kilt mony a
score o' folk i'th owd war! Let him go for a sailor!"
"Well; I've nought much again it, 'at I know on. He'll
do summat, as what he is. Beside, folk connot expect to live
for ever. An' he's the best hond at swarmin' a pow 'at ever I
claps een on!"
"He gwos to schoo' yet, doesn't he?"
"Bill o' Mi Lady's."
"What, Owd Flutterslutch?"
"Ay; but he's gettin' rather too mony for his maister.
I think this last do they'n had has about played th' upstroke."
"Well; it's nobbut about a week sin' his mother set him off
to schoo' one mornin', at nine o'clock, wi' a butter-cake in his
hond as big as a churn-lid,—an' off he went. Well,—what does
he do, but he gwos down th' bruck-side yon, an' sits down, up to th'
een amung posies, finishin' his butter-cake. An' then,—schoo'
or no schoo', an' sich like, he didn't care a hep for nought i'th
wide world,—so he doffed his shoon an' stockin's, an' down he went
into th' wayter; an' theer he flasker't about i'th bruck after
jack-sharps. An' o' th' time, th' day ran by, thou knows, but
th' lad kep' powlerin' about among th' wayter, as if o' th' world
wur hist own, an' that wur a favourite bit on't. Schoo', an'
everything else, had slipt his mind, an',—lad-like,—he're as free as
a new-fisher's linnet, flutterin' an' twitterin' amung th' summer's
"Eh, by th' mass, Bill, I wish I're a lad again!"
"Ay; but thou'rt too far gone, now, mon. Never mind;
we's happen have another do some day. . . . Well,—as I wur tellin'
tho. . . . About th' middle o' th' forenoon, his mother had to go
down th' fowd, after some'at or other, an' when hoo coom to th'
bruck, th' first thing hoo clapt een on wur Antony, up to th' middle
i'th wayter, as thrung as Throp wife. 'Hello!' cried hoo; 'how
leets thou artn't at schoo'? What arto doin' their?'
'I'm catchin' jack-sharps.' 'Ay; an' thou'll catch some'at
else,' said his mother, 'if thou doesn't be off to schoo'!' 'I
darn't go now,' said Antony. 'What for?' 'Becose he'll
hit me!' 'Will he? Just thee tell mo,—an' if he lays a
finger on tho, I'll kom his yure for him!' 'Well,—but I darn't
go bi mysel',' said Antony. 'Here; I'll go witho',' said hoo;
'an' thee go reet in, an', I'll stop o' th' outside; an' if he does
aught at tho, thee skrike out,—an' I'll come.'"
"I think hoo mars him a bit, Bill."
"Mars him! By th' mon, there's no goin' between em,—they're
so thick! Well, but,—as I wur tellin' tho, his mother took him
up to th' schoo'-dur, an' in he went,—an' hoo waited o'th outside,
wi' a greight burn-can in her hond. 'Now, Antony,' hoo said,
as he went in, 'thee skrike;—if aught happens!' Well,—in he
went,—an' shut th' dur beheend him,—an' hoo stood under th' window,
prickin' her ears. 'Hello,' said th' maister, as soon as he
clapt his een upo' th' lad; 'Hello, wheer has thou bin till now?'
'I've bin catchin' jack-sharps,' said Antony,—as, peeort as a pynot.
'Oh, ay,' said th' maister, 'well, then come up here,—an' be
rubbed!' So Antony went up,—for he's noan fleyed o' nought i'
this world. 'So thou's bin catchin' jack-sharps, hasto?' said
th' maister; an' he leet fly at Antony, wi' a greight strap 'at he
had,' an' he said,—'Hasto catched that?' 'Come, give o'er,'
said Antony, 'give o'er; yo'r to lungous! Now yo'd better give
o'er, Flutterslutch,' said Antony, 'or else yo'n drop in for't,—so
I've towd yo!' 'Doesto co me Flutterslutch, thou ill-made whelp!'
said th' maister; an' at him he went, an' started o' givin' him a
gradely good towellin'. Then Antony geet to wark, an' he set
his clogs upo' th' swing, an' o' th' time he kept skrikin' out,
'Mother, mother, murder! Mother, murder!' Well, th'
minute hoo yerd that, bang coom th' burn-can slap through th'
window, full o' some mak' of an ill-savour't mixin'. I know
nought what it wur, but it alter't that hole to some tune,—an' every
livin' craitur geet a swatch on't. I believe some on 'em's
never bin sweet sin'. Well,—hoo're noan content wi' that, but
hoo sent th' dur in wi' her fuut an' hoo flounce't reet in among 'em.
Well,—thou knows what a greight strung Jezabil hoo is,—an' hoo coom
pounce again' th' schoo'maister, like a broody hen,—an' hoo geet her
claws weel set amung his yure; an' hoo rove him about fro' window to
wole, till he skrike't like a witchel't cat; an' while th' cammed
daffock, an' this kestrilt of a schoo'maister wur agate o' feightin',
th' childer cruttle't o' of a rook, for they thought there were
beawn to be murder i'th hole. An' they co'de one another,—too
ill to brun. He co'de her a mismanner't daggle-tail,—an' a
mawkin',—an' a daffockin', sloppety sliven,—an' an ill-contrive't
snicketty fussock,—an' sich like. An' hoo laft him nought
short, I'll uphowd to; for hoo're i' full wark, o't time, hommer an'
tungs,—an' hoo awter't th' colour of his face afore hoo'd done wi'
"It's bin a bonny bit of a flirt, ow'd lad."
"It wur nought else; but th' end on't wur that hoo brought
our Antony away, an' th' better hauve o'th schoo maister's yure
(hair) at th' same time."
BAUM-TAY AND PONCAKES.
Like an old tale still; which will have matter to
rehearse though credit be asleep, and not an ear open.—SHAKESPEARE.
[ADAM O' RAPPER'S
an' RONDLE O' BONNY
MOUTH'S coming home
in the dark.]
"I'LL tell tho
what, Adam,—Owd Bill wur gettin' raither to warm under saddle,
"Ay; he comes of a fast-gaited breed; an' he's a good deeol
o' slack about his jaw."
"To my thinkin', Adam, he's o' fluzzins' an' beggar-berm."
"Time 'll tell. We's see what it winds to in a bit."
"I'll tell tho what, Adam,—some folk would sarve hell wi'
brimstone, if they could make ony brass by it."
"There is o' that mak, for sure, Rondle."
"Ay, is there; an' if it were to burn their father wi, they'd
"I think ten per cent would fot (fetch) 'em. An', as
for talk,—it'd weary a grooin' tree to yer a chap like yon talk."
"Talk's chep, Adam! I could larn moore wi' watchin' two
kitlin's marlock upo' th' hearthstone nor ony mak o' talk 'at ever
wur slatter't off th' edge o' a mortal lip!"
"Thou'rt about hauve reet, Rondle. Th' big'st part 'o
th talk at's gooin's fit for nought nobbut shooin' hens wi'."
"Ay; an' there's some hens 'at would give o'er layin' if they
yerd owd Bill talk."
"Well,—they'd oather drop it, or lay away."
"I know I would, if I wur a hen. . . An', then,
as for fine houses, an' sich like, Adam,—there isn't hauve as mich
in it as folk thinken. . . . Talk about houses! By th' mass,
there isn't a house i' this world 'at's as grand as Lobden Moorside,
about th' back-end o' th' year! An' as for ceilin's,—wheer is
there a ceilin' like th' sky? But if thou'll notice, Adam,
folk getten so use't to't, while (until) they clen forgetter 'at
it's o'er th' top on 'em! By th hectum,—it's full o' flyin'
pickters, an' o' maks o' grand glitterment! Ceilin's!—There
isn't a ceilin' between here an' Jerusalem at's fit to howd th'
candle to th' oppen sky!—An' then, doesn't thou see,—if a chap wur a
king, an' he own't a hundred an' fifty houses, o' different maks, he
could nobbut be i' one on 'em at once."
"I guess not."
"Not he! An' he could nobbut be i' one nook at once.
An' then, if he'd five hundred suits o' clooas, made o' silk, an'
satin, an' three-pile velvet,—an' o' covert wi' horse-gowd, an'
haliday ribbins, an' sich like,—he could nobbut wear one suit at
"Yigh,—he could if he'd a mind."
"Well,—ay,—but he'd look like a foo' if he did."
"Agreed on; but there's some on 'em thinken nought or that."
"Well,—as thou says, Adam, about that. Beside,—look
here! If a chap wur th' owner of o' th' heightin'-stuff
(eating-stuff) i' this world he could nobbut do wi' one meal at a
time, could he?"
"Howd, Rondle, howd! I know a chap 'at can put as mich
out o' seet at one sittin' as would fit thee an' me for hauve a
"Well, then, he's a gradely pile driver, Adam, as who he
is,—for thou's a twist like Robin Hood, thisel'! . . . But, let that
leet as it will, there isn't a mon i' this wide world 'at's more fun
nor I have! A king can nobbut be i' one spot at once,—an' he
can nobbut wear one suit o' clooas at once,—an' he can nobbut height
one dinner at once,—an' if he's a better stomach nor me, it's a
crumper, that's o',—an I've as big a farm i'th sky as ony londtort 'at's
under it,—an',—I'll wrostle th' best king i' this country-side for a
quart, just this minute. . . . Hello; what ban we here?"
(FIDDLER BILL, coming
down the hill, in the dark, singing.)
"Then to't they fell, an' fought full
I con both sing an' say;
An' they laid on mony a lusty bang,
In good owd English play."
"Rondle; that's oather Fiddler Bill, or the dule his-sel!"
"'Yung Chirrup, thou'rt a gallant lad;
I'll feight till set o' sun;
But, at every throw, yung Chirrup's foe
Wur th' topmost mon—but one.'"
"Fiddler Bill for a theausan' peawnd, Adam! Husht!
He's startin' again."
"'Sneck up, sneck up; I'm done; sneck up;
Yung Chirrup wins!' cried he;
'Thou art the starkest, swipper'st lad
That ever I did see;
I'd liefer than a hundred pound
That I could feight like thee!'"
"It's Fiddler Bill, again, I say! Gi' mouth, Rondle!"
"Hello! Who's theer?"
"Who's here? An Ancient Briton; wi' kest-iron shins;
an' yure like pin-wire! Who art thou? Oppen thi chops;
or I'se be a-top on tho!"
"Mi name's Fiddler Bill,—"
"Thou'rt oather lyin', or I'm swapped. But, get forrud
witho, an' let's yer! What trade arto?"
"I'm a foo bi trade, an' my faither wur a foo afore mo."
(BILL) aside.—"Bi lakin, it's
somebry 'at knows summat about me. Come a bit nar, an' let's
have a penk at thi nob. . . . Eh, is it thee, Rondle?"
"It's nought else."
"By th' mass, lads, I'm fain to leet on yo!"
"Th' same here, owd brid!"
"Oh, give o'er, Rondle! Dunnot shake me! I'm noan
"What's to do?"
"I've bin havin' berm-bo' an' traycle to mi dinner; an' I
feel as swelled as a new-blown bleddher."
"Come on wi' thi berm-bo! Thou'rt olez amung berm, i'
some shap or another! Come on; I'll see thee safe londed,
afore we parten!"
Said our guidman to our guidwife,
"Get up, and bar the door, oh."
[BILLY POTYARB an'
CALEB O' CAUVE-LICKED
ABRAM'S on the road.]
"BILL, owd towel;
what mak o' pousement hasto bin rootin' amung? Thou's a smudgy
mak of a look; an' thou'rt out o' gear, fro' top to toe."
"Well; if thou'll believe me, I're i' sich a feight to get
out o'th house this mornin' that I hadn't time to wesh mysel'
gradely; so I just ga' my face a lick an' a promise, an' donned
mysel' at the readi'st; an' then I crope off as nicely as I
could,—for our Nan wur agate; full bat."
"Thou'rt a weary pictur', as how 'tis. Thou's deeted
thi face primely with some'at; an' thi clooas looken as if they'd
bin thrut on wi a pike-fork. Here; tak howd o' this horn, an'
ready thi yure a bit,—for thou'rt moore likker a corn boggart nor
aught belungin' this world. Arto for gooin' off it o'together,
"Thou'd ha' bin off it lung sin' i' thou'd gone through as
mich as me. Eh, I have sich a hoast! My throttle's as
reawsty as a bone-house-dur lock,—an' I'm as stiff as a rubbin'-stoop,
fro yed to foot."
"What hasto bin agate on?"
"Well; I'd a pummer of a day on't, yesterday, wi' one thing
an' another. The first go to I geet catched i' that thunner-shower,
i'th forenoon,—an' I had it o' to mysel'."
"Nay, thou hadn't it o', owd craiter; for I geet a saup on't,
mysel'. I're comin' o'er 'Th' Thistley Feelt' when it started;
an' I took to my heels, like 'Owd Stump' wi' th' 'Pie Lad' beheend
him; but afore I could get into Th Brid an' Bantlin' dur-hole, I
hadn't a dry threed on me. Eh, how it did come down!
Drops as big as marbles!"
"Drops! Nay, bi th' heart; I thought th' welkin' had
gan way! It coom again my face i' quart lumps; an', in about
two minutes, I're as weel soaked as if I'd bin steepin' three week
in a well-trough; an' at after that, I went whistlin' through it,
an' leet it do as it liked,—for I're getten wayter-proof."
"How leets thou didn't hole?"
"Hole! wheer mut I hole, at th' top o' Rooly Moor, where o's
as bare as a bakstone for five mile round? There isn't a
slifter, nor a ginnel, nor a gorse-bush 'at 'ud house aught bigger
than a modiwarp."
"Why, thou'd be witchod (wet-shod) afore tho geet whoam."
"Witchod! Ay,—I're witchod ole o'er. Talk about
walkin' through th' Red Say! I'd wade fro' here to Jerusalem
for a bowl o' stew!"
"Thou'd catch it upo' that moor-top."
"Catch it! I geet it o', I tell tho,—full measur'. . .
. An' it wur a grand seet, too! Thou knows I'm noan yezzy
fleyed; but it made my yure stir a bit, now an' then,—for it sounded
as if they were'n agate o' crashin' worlds together,—an' every time
it leeten't it let up Brown Wardle Hill like a greight flash o'
melted silver! . . . But I walked through it, like a wayter-dog, for
about three mile; an' then I popt into th' Greenbooth ale-house, an'
dropt asleep in a nook, sipein' weet. Afore lung my clooas
began o' reechin' like a lime-kil'; an' when they rooze't me up I're
as mazy as a goose wi' a brass nail in it yed; an' they had to dad
me whoam; for I couldn't see a hole through a ladder; an' I
maunder't an talked o' maks o' bull-scutter."
"Thou's bin ill, owd lad."
"Ill! I shan't be reet again as month."
"Doesto tak nought for it?"
"Nawe; but I will do, as soon as I come to a pictur' shop."
"Well, cheer up, owd brid,—thou'rt noan bi thisel'. I
dropt in for't, honsomely, last neet,—wi' one thing an' another.
Smell at mi jacket! "
"Ay,—is it tar? I've bin wonderin' what that wur, a
good while. I thought there an ill savvour about, somewheer.
If my nose is aught to go by, Bill,—thou's bin amung some'at 'at's
not so nice!"
"Thou's guessed to a hay-seed."
"Well,—go fur off,—thou'rt war nor a pow-cat!
"Here; feel at my yed, first. Well; hasto fund aught?"
"A twothre lumps."
"Ay; seventeen on 'em. Thoose wur o' done last neet."
"Thou's bin i'th wars, Caleb?"
"What were there agate?"
"Bide, till I leet mi pipe; an' I'll tell tho. . . . Well,
thou knows, it wur 'Mischief Neet' last neet an' th' lads i'th fowd
an' me agreed to turn out at th' edge o' dark, an' have a bit of a
marlock amung th' neighbours. Well,—when o' wur sattlin'
nicely down, an' th' most o' folk had croppen off to bed, Twitchel
Tummy whisper't in at our back-dur, 'Now then, Caleb,—arto ready!'
So I nipt up, an' off we set; an' as soon as we'd turn't th'
house-end, Dan o' Swapper's said, 'Now then, Caleb,—we'n made it for
thee to carry th' pow',—an' he ga' me howd of a greight stang, about
twelve fuut lung, 'at they had hud (hidden) in a nook. So I
said, 'What mun I do wi' this?' 'Well,' said Dan, 'we're beawn
to knock at folk's durs, wheer they're gone to bed, an' when they
looken out at th' chamber-window, thou mun fot 'em a crack o' th'
yed wi' th' pow, and then run,—that's o' 'at thou has to do,— we'n
manage tother amung us. So I said, 'O' reet!' an' away we
went; an' we'd some rare gam for a while, for I played my pow
primely; an' every time 'at they looked out aboon, I kept droppin'
em a notch or two, an' we left 'em rubbin' their yeds i'th inside.
Well,—at last, Dan said, 'Now then, lads; afore we gwon whoam, let's
give owd Fullocker a bit of a touch, for a finisher.'
Well,—that just tickle't me up; so I ga' my pow a bit of a shake,
and I said, 'Go it lads! He borrowed tuppence o' me th' last
Winter Fair day, an' he's ne'er gan't me back, so I'll just raise a
couple o' nobs on his yed,—an' tak it out that road.' Agreed
on; an' off we set; an' they thunged at owd Fullocker's dur.
In a bit, up went th' window, an' I leet fl wi! mi' pow, but, afore
I could tak aim again, there wur some'at coom fluskin' down fro' th'
window, an' in hauve a second I wur fair smoor't wi' an ill mixtur'
at I think i' my heart they'd bin savin' up for me. Well, I'd
hardly getten my breath, afore owd Fullocker an' his two lads popt
off at th' house-end; an' they took mi stang o' me, an' they
raddle't my bwons to some tune, I can tell tho'; and that's how I
geet these lumps upo' my yed."
"I guess thou'd be fain to drop it, at after that?"
"Howd, stop; I haven't done yet. . . . Well,—we o' took to
o'r heels, thou knows; an' when we coom to a quiet nook, I rested
mysel' again a wole a bit, an' groped at my lumps. Dan an'
tother lads did nought nobbut laugh; an' they wouldn't come within
three yards on me,—for I stank like a foomart. So Dan said,
'Goo an' wesh thisel' i'th' bruck a bit,—an' let's go whoam.'
So I went in, up to th' middle, an' did as weel as I could; but o'
th' wayter i'th' world wouldn't sweeten me now. At last I coom
out,—sipein' weet, an' as down as a hommer,—for I wur fleyed o'
gooin' whoam. Well, as I crope off, down th' fowd, after these
tother chaps,—for they would't walk beheend me,—a woman thrut a
chamber-window up, an' started o' coin' out, "Help, help!
Somebry's plogged th' dur-lock-hole up; an' I want to go to mi
weshin'!' 'By th' mass,' said Dan, 'it's Mall o' Bedflock's!
Run for a ladther!' So they went an' geet a ladther, an' Dan
said, 'Up witho, Caleb; an' let her out!' So, without givin'
it a thought, thou knows, I bowted up; but I'd no sooner getten into
th' chamber than they nipt th' ladther away; an' theer I wur, fast
i'th house with owd, Mall; an' I did what I could to oppen th' dur,
but it war no use. . . . Well, owd Bedflock happen't to be drinkin',
with a rook o' th' same mak, at th' Bull's Yed; an' somebry ran an'
towd him to be sharp, for there war a chap i'th house wi' his wife.
Well,—Bedflock come off, tickle-but, wi' a cleaver in his hond; an'
th' owd fowd wur up i' no time; an' th' women cried out, 'Crash th'
dur in, Bedflock, an' give him a good towellin';' but, just as th'
dur began to gi' way, I lope slap through a window at the back, an'
I let solsh up to the middle 'i some slutch; and theer I stuck, till
Dan an' these tother come an' pood me out wi' a rope. . . . Well,
thou knows, I're war wus nor ever; but I did no moore weshin'.
I crope off whoam, just as I wur,—for I wur about three-quarters
deeod. . . . Hello; what comes here?"
(AMOS O' COCKTOE'S
comin' up the road, with a door on his back, singing.)
"We're neighbours, an' very weel met;
We're o' merry lads, o' good mettle;
Here's Kester,—wur never licked yet;
An' Nathan's i' rattlin' fettle;
Wi' a pipe, an' a tot, an' a crack,
An' a crony, I'm just i' my glory;
I'll tipple the world fro' my back,
An' brass off wi' a bit of a story.
Tother day, when I're rovin' areawt,
I let of owd—
Hello; who's theer?"
"What, Amos! owd lad; is that thee? What arto for wi'
"Eh, lad; I'm fain to see yo! Howd a minute till I put
this dur down; an' I'll tell yo o' about it. . . . When I coom out
o' th' house to-neet, my wife says, 'Wheerto for?' an' I said, 'I'm
gooin' to have a gill.' An' hoo says, 'Well, if thou stops out
after ten o'clock thou'll ha' to stop out o' neet, for I'll lock th'
dur on tho.' So I says, 'Here, owd lass; I'll save thee th'
trouble o' lockin' th' dur on me,—I'll tak it wi' me;' an' then I
hove it oft th' hinges, an' browt it wi' me."
"Why; thou'rt keepin' oppen house, then?"
"Ay; an' it shall be oppen house for me; as lung as I ha'
THE WIND STORM.
Cease, rude Boreas, blust'ring railer!
[Scene, the kitchen of the Brid an' Bantlin'.—Time, a windy
evening, in December.
Persons, FLOP, BLOTCH,
TWITTER, LOBSCOUSE, and
"OWD SAM," the
landlord, gathered about the hearthstone.]
"BETTY, lass, put
that dur to, or thou'll have us blown away! There's some'at
flown up th' chimbley, just now. What wur it, lads?"
"It wur th' cat," said Twitter; "I just geet a wap o' th'
tail as it wur gooin' out o' seet."
"Nay," said the landlord; "th' cat's theer, i'th inside o' th'
"Well, then," replied Twitter, "it wur oather a pair o'
sithors (scissors), or a brid-cage. I'll swear it wur some'at,
for I see'd it."
"By th' mon," cried the landlord, glancing round, "it's mi
Sunday singlet! Put that dur to, Betty; or thou'll ha th' hole
emptied in a minute! Lads; if yo'n ony lose (loose) teeth,
keep yo'r mouths shut! It's as much as I can do to howd mi
yure (hair) on! Put that dur to!"
"Stop a minute, there's a woman comin'!"
(Enter MALL O' PUMMER'S,
rolling and puffing like a porpoise.)
"Oh, I'm done up!"
"Eh, Mally, is it yo? How ever dar yo ventur' out i'
sich a storm as this?"
"Eh, what a breeze! My bonnet's gone!"
"It's a wonder yo aren't blown away o'together."
"Well,—I'm sich a size, yo see'n, or else. Eh, I've had
sich wark to keep my feet! Put that dur to! Here; I'll
help yo! . . . Now then! Stop till I get my breath! I'm
so fat, yo see'n."
"Sit yo down, Mally. Win yo hav a saup o' some'at?"
"Wait a bit. . . . (In a whisper.) Is our Judd
"Has he bin here to-day?"
"When wur he here?"
"About a fortnit sin' (since)."
"Wur he here o' Thursday neet?"
"Nawe; I think he's taen th' sulk about some'at."
"Oh, then; he's noan here?"
"Oh! . . . . Betty; I think I'll try a saup o' gin.
I've sich a pain, just here, wi' comin' up yon broo."
"I dar say. See yo, Mally; come into this room; an' yon
"Hello, Sam," said Lobscouse, "I've knocked my ale o'er."
"That's reet, my lad," said Sam; "one good sheeder's
(spiller) worth two fuddlers, ony day! . . . Never mind, owd brid
our Betty 'll wipe it up, an' bring tho another, directly."
"O' reet! Eh, Sam; yo should ha' bin i'th town to-day!
Slate-stones an' chimbley-pots were flying about like brids; an' th'
factory chimbleys wur wavin' an' wobblin' about like willow trees.
We's yer o' some lumber when this gale's o'er."
"Ah, but," said Billy Twitter, "it's noan o'er yet. By
th' mon, when I wur i'th town, I couldn't ha' walked up th' street
if I hadn't borrowed two fifty-sixes of owd Jem, th' cheesemonger,
to carry i' my bonds. . . . Husht! There's somebry at th' dur!"
"Ay, there is," said the landlord. "I dar say Betty's
fasten't it. Go thi ways, an' let 'em in, as who they are."
The minute Twitter opened the door, in shot a short,
thick-set fellow, with a great round face, and a hard, bullet head.
"By th' mon," cried he, "I'm fain to get into this cote!"
"Ay," said Twitter, as he thrust the door to, "it's a blowy
day, isn't it?"
"Blowy! It's a gradely sneezer, is this! I've had
to walk o' mi honds an' knees part o' th' gate; an' then I've had to
howd on bi th' woles (walls); an', just as I wur comin' up th' broo,
there wur some'at about th' size of a tombstone coom wuzzin' past,
upo' th' wynt, within about three-quarters of an inch o' my left
ear. . . . Hutch up, lads!"
"Ay; sit tho down. . . . How fur hasto come'd?"
"I like as I should know thee, owd brid. Wheer doesto
"An' what arto code (called)?"
"I'm th' best known bi 'Blackwayter Ben.'"
"An' where's th' 'Blackwayter'?"
"Hasto ony relations?"
"What are they?"
"Is thi faither alive?"
"What is he?"
"He's a Rachda' chap."
"What trade arto?"
"An' wheer arto gooin' to?"
"By th' mon, thou'rt Rachda' fro' top to toe, owd brid! . . .
. Well, an' how's this bit o'th breeze yo'r gate on?"
"Breeze! I're in a ale-house, at top o' Wardleo'th Broo,
this mornin', an' it blew th' window out; but, in a minute or two
after, it blew another in, that just fitted."
"That'll do, owd brid! . . . Poo together, lads; an' keep yon
THE LOST DONKEY.
[Scene, kitchen of the old inn.—Time, winter evening.
Persons, FLOP, SLOTCH,
TWITTER, OWD SAM,
and the RACHDA' CHAP.]
"WELL, an' how
arto, owd dog?" said the landlord to 'Rachda' Ben.'
"I'm nobbut thus an' so."
"Well. I've sprain't my anclif (ankle), an' my elbow
warches, an' I've a singin' i' my lift (left) ear, an' some'at ails
my neck, an' I've an ill cowd, an' my ribs are sore,—an' I'm noan
reet i' my inside, an' I've had a twothre (two or three) fresh knobs
set on at th' top here—"
"Thou'rt rarely out o' flunters, owd mon."
"Ay, rayther. . . . An' I've had two teeth knocked out, an'
I've had my shins punce't, an my yure wants powin' (cutting), an'
I'm hungry, an' I'm dry, an' my yed feels like a mug-ful o' slutch,—an'
I'm beginnin' o' skennin',—an' I'm wrang o' gates (all ways)."
"Ay; an' thou's two black een. . . .Thou's bin i'th wars, owd
"Well,—ay. I had a bit of a dust wi' Ab o' Pinders,—but
we sattle't it."
"Come, that's better. How did yo sattle it?"
"He sattle't it his-sel'."
"He tanned my hide for me."
"Yigh; an' it's third time, too."
"Well, come; that's done wi'."
"Ay,—till we leeten o' one another again."
"Thou'rt for havin' another twell (twirl), then?"
"Ay; I'll mak up th' hauve dozen afore I give in."
"Well,—amung yo be it. . . . Trade's bad yo'r gate on, isn't
"Yigh, it is. I've bin out o' wark nine week."
"Never mind, owd craiter. It's a lung lone 'at's never
a turn. Fear not, but trust i' Providence, owd brid."
"Oh, I've tried it. But it's my opinion 'at Providence
intends every mon to do a bit o' some'at for his-sel'."
"An' nought nobbut reet, noather. But, there's moore in
it than that."
"I guess there is. . . . I could manage weel enough, but it
makes th' wife so nattle."
"That makes ill war (worse)."
"I tell her so; but hoo'll have her own road."
"They're o' alike for that."
"Ay, they are. . . . But our Nan's war than the dule."
"Nay, nay; noan so, sure."
"Yigh, hoo is,—an' I can prove it out o'th Bible."
"Well; doesn't it say, 'Resist the devil and he'll flee from
"It does, I believe."
"Well; if I resist our Nan hoo flies at me."
"Well, an' then I have to give in,—that's what it comes to
"I dar say. Well, an' I guess thou'rt lookin' out for a
"Nay; to-day I've been powlerin' about th' country side,
seechin' a jackass 'at belungs a relation o' mine,—I dar say yo know
him,—'Lobden Ben,'—he sells besoms."
"Know him! Sure I know him! 'Besom
Ben,'—as daycent a chap as ever stept shoe-leather. Ay,
ay,—an' has he lost his jackass, then?"
"Ay, it's bin lost a week, now; an' he's some put about o'er
it, too. I'm quite soory for th' lad. He cannot sleep at
neet; an' he does nought but maunder up an' down axin' folk if
they'n sin Dimple,—an' he runs at every jackass 'at comes into th'
seet; an' when he finds it's wrang un, he brasts out a-cryin'.
I'm flayed th' lad'll goo off it o'together."
"It's a pity for him."
"He'll never look o'er it if it doesn't turn up."
"Then thou's had no tidin's on't, hasto?"
"Nawe; I can noather yer top nor tail on't."
"Sam," said Lobscouse, "thou remembers that great flood 'at
coom down th' cloof about four year sin'?"
"What, when Owd Neckhole Mill wur weshed down?"
"Th' same dooment, owd lad,—little Flitter wur nearly drown't
in't,—but he cotched howd o'th bough of a tree."
"Well, when th' flood war at th' height I stoode i'th middle
o' th' fowd, watchin' th' wayter go roarin' by, when, o' at once owd
Mall o' Flazer's coom runnin' up, an' hoo cried, 'Eh, lads, do help
us! Our jackass is gooin' down th' wayter!' Well, off we
set, tickle-butt, an' down th' cloof we went, about hauve-a-dozen on
us, wi' owd Mall an' th lads after us as hard as they could pelt,
till we coom to th' 'Fairy Nook,' when there's a bit of a bend i'th
bruck,—an' theer we catch't th' jackass. But it wur as deeod
as a nit. . . . Well, they began o' cryin' an' skrikin', as if it
had bin a gradely Christian istid of a down-craiter; an' nought
would sarve owd Mall but th' jackass mut (must) be carried into th'
house. 'Bring it whoam!' hoo kept sayin', 'bring it to it's
own whoam!' Well, I felt soory for th' owd lass; so we geet
howd, an' we carried it up into th' house; an' then,—I never seed
sich a seet sin I're born,—they cried o'er this jackass, an' they
stroked it, an' they talked to it, an' they cried again, till, by th'
mass, I coul hardly help for cryin' mysel'. Well, in a bit, th'
owd chap geet up, i'th nook, an' he said, 'Well, thou's bin a good
jackass to me, Jenny, an' I hope we's meet again in another world!'
An' th' next day they had it buried i'th garden,—an' they flang bits
o' rosemary, an' sich like, into th' grave."
(Enter JUDD O' SIMON'S.)
"Capital races, lad!" cried Judd.
"'Th' hunt's up! Our Mally's after me! I've just
"Thou hasn't slipt her so mich," said the landlord; "hoo's i'
tother reawm, yon, wi' my wife, so sing low!"
"Then I'm off again!"
"Here, here; thou doesn't need to goo! Hoo'll be off
directly! Hoo doesn't know thou'rt here! Hud (hide)
thisel' i'th buttery, theer, till hoo's gone!"
"O' reet!" said Judd, creeping into the buttery.
"An', doesto yer?" whispered the landlord, as he closed the
buttery-door, "keep still, an' help thisel' to what there is while
thou art theer! I'll bring tho a gill!"
THE WORM DOCTOR.
We have been rambling all the night,
And nearly all the day;
And now we've rambled back again,
With a bloomy branch of May.
[Haytime.—JONE O' RUMBLE'S,
leading the mowers in a nine-acre meadow.—DAN O'
with a tuft of wild roses in his hat, comes down the lane, singing]—
Oh, the merry month of June,
It's the jewel of the year;
And down in yonder meadows
There runs a river clear;
And in its pleasant waters
The little fish do play,
While the lads and bonny lasses
Are tumbling in the hay.
[He stops, and leans upon the gate, looking into the meadow.]
"WELL, Jone, owd
lad; thou'rt switchin' it down, I see."
"Hellow, Dan; is that thee? Ay; we're fot'in'
(fetching) it down. It's a swelter of a job, too."
"I'll tell tho what, Jone; it doesn't look amiss."
"Oh, naw; it's a grand yarb this time! I could fair lie
me down an' height (eat) it!"
"He'll have a rare crop, too,—if it's weel-getten."
"Never better. But we're raither leet-honded. I
guess thou couldn't lend us a mon or two, couldto?"
"Nawe, by Guy! We're up to th' een in it ersel's.
I've just bin seechin' help, but I can leet o' noan."
"I dar say. They're snapt up of o' sides. We geet
ours in last week, or else I shouldn't ha' bin here, mysel'. . . .
Here wait a minute; what's o' thi hurry?"
(JONE, to the mowers.)
"Stop, an' rosin, lads; while I have a word wi' Dan."
"Ay; let's whet! . . . Where's that lad? . . . Here, Billy;
bustle out; and let Dan sup."
"That's reet. Here, Dan; thou'll do wi' an odd tot."
"Oh, ay. Well, come; here's lucks a-piece."
"Th' same to thee, owd brid!"
"Well, Jone; an' how's th' owd lad gettin' on wi' this
slobbery bit o' lond of his?"
"Oh, primely! Well, th' corn'll be raither leet this
time, I doubt; but, tak' it o'together, he's done very weel.
Mon, he knows what he's about. He's noan like Jerry o' th'
Knowe, 'at muck's wi' sond, an' drain't wi' cinders. Oh,
there's worse lond than this upo' th' moor-ends. Beside, it
lies weel; an' th' owd lad knows how to hondle it; an' he behaves
weel to't, an' keeps it i' good heart."
"I'll tell tho what, Jone; I wish I'd about forty acre o' th'
"Why, yon o' thine's as good, every bit. . . . But some folk
are never content; if they'd o' th' world gin to 'em they'd yammer
for th' lower shop, to put their rubbish in. . . . What thou's bin
down to th' 'Rushbearin',' I yer."
"Ay; I've had a bit of a flirt amung 'em."
"Well; an' how didto get on?"
"Well; to tell tho truth, Jone, I hardly know, for I haven't
quite getten o'er it yet."
"Th' owder an' th' madder!"
"Thou may weel say that. . . . I know one thing, Jone; I laft
whoam upo' th' owd mare, an' I coom back, th' neet after in a cauve
cart, wi' th' tone lap riven off, an' seven or eight fresh notches
upo' mi shins."
"Yo'n had lively doin's, then?"
"Didto leet o' Bull Robin, or somebry?"
"Oh, nawe, it were a fresh do o'together. But, I'll
tell tho. . . . I hadn't bin i'th town hauve-an-hour afore th'
Marlin' Rushcart an' the Smo'bridge Rushcart met, down i'th 'Butts,'
an' they geet agate o' feightin'. Th' first go to, th'
Smo'bridge lads poo'd their stangs out o' th' ropes, an th' Marlin
lads did th' same, an' to't they went hommer an' tungs; an', o'
somehow, I geet mixed up amung th' rook, an' I wur force't to do a
bit for mysel'. Thou'd ha' done th' same if thou'd bin theer.
Well,—at th' end of o', th' Smo'bridge lads wauted (upset) th'
Marlin' cart into th' river, an' then they set to an' clear't th'
feelt wi' their pows; an' when things geet sattle't down a bit, I
piked off, out o' th dust, an' went up to 'Th' Hare an' Hounds,' to
weet my whistle.
"Well; I geet croppen into th kitchen, amung a rook o' chaps
fro' th' moor-end, an' theer I sit. Well; when it gees near th'
edge o' dark, an' we'rn o' gettin' th' mettlesome side out, there
coom in a rough-lookin' chap, wi' a hairy cap on, an' he began o'
camplin' about warts, an' doctor's stuff, an' sich like. I
hearken't his talk a good while; but I could make noather top nor
tail on him. He sed he wur born a bit aboon 'Keb Coit,' but he
laft theer when he wur a lad; an' I can believe it, too, for they'n
never let yon mon stop lung together i' one spot. He looked to
me a sort of a hauve-breed between a gipsy an' a rantin'
parson,—mixed with a bit o' bull-an'-tarrier. I axed him what
trade he wur; an' he said his father was a yarb-doctor, an' did a
bit at butchers' skewer makin'; his mother rule't planets, an' towd
fortin', an' sich as that; an' he'd bin brought up to pills, his-sel',
but he're agate o' worms at present. It seems he'd had a stall
i'th market, but he'd sowd up o' his powder's an' stuff, nobbut some
oddments 'at he had in his pockets, an' he'd let us have 'em chep,
as he'd a good way to go.
"Th' best stuff 'at ever wur, for aught i'th
inside—particular worms. There never wur a worm i' this world
'at could ston it. Well; we'd some rare gam wi' him, for he
wur about as quare a cowt as ever I set een on; an' he goster't up
an' down th' hole, an' talked sich keaw-slaver 'at I could hardly
howd fro' flingin' a pot at him. But th' owd lad began o'
takkin' his drink raither too fast, till, at th' end of o', he dropt
sound asleep in a cheer i'th nook, an' began o' snorin', like a
reawsty coffee-mill i' full wark. But what capt everybody i'th
hole wur that though he're sound asleep, wi' one e'e shut, as close
as pasted papper, tother e'e wur laft wide oppen, starin' straight
at a ham 'at hung upo' th' ceilin'. At first I thought he're
winkin', but I soon fund out 'at it weren't a gradely wink: an' it
made a cowd crill run through me, fro' yed to fuut, for, by th' mon,
he did look flaysome!
"Th' folk i'th kitchen wur th' same; one o' two sups up, an'
crope out; an' tother began o' sattlin' down, an' whisperin' to one
another. Some said he're nobbut makin' gam on us, an'
othersome said 'at he'd forgetter to shut his left e'e when he fell
asleep. At last one on 'em jumped up, an' he said, 'Ston fur;
I'll sattle this job, o' somehow! An' then he went an' shaked
him, an' said, 'Now then, owd lad! Doesto yer! Wakken a
minute! If thou wants to have a bit of a snoore, do it gradely—an'
put o' the shuts up! Doesto yer; thou's laft thi left e'e
oppen!' Wi' that he wakken't up a bit, an oppen't his tother
e'e, an' he grunted out, 'O' reet!'—an' then he thrut (threw) his
yed back, an' dropt asleep again, wi' his mouth wide oppen, an' th'
odd e'e starin' straight up at th' ham, th' same as before.
"Well; by th' mon, I began o' feelin' ill. Bill o' th'
Husted Nook, sit th' next to me, an' he whisper't i' my ear, 'Dan;
I'm off! That chap's some'at to do wi' th' owd lad!' An'
off he went. An' we o' sit theer, staring at this chap, an'
talkin' together in a low keigh. An' one said to th' landlort,
'If I wur thee, Joe, I'd shift that ham;' an' another said, 'I'll
tell yo what lads, I don't know what to make o' this chap; but it's
my belief 'at he's one o' thoose 'at never dar shut both een at
"At last, I could ston it no lunger; so I went quietly up to
him, an' boked my finger at this oppen e'e,—but it noather winked
nor stirred. Wi' that I touched it. It wur as hard as
brazzil! An' I shouted out, 'By Guy, lads, it's made o'
glass!' An' as I wur givin' a bit of a caper, I happen't to
come slap down upo' this chap's toe wi' my shoon. An' then,—by
the hectum, Jone,—thou should ha' sin what a dust there wur kick't
up i' that hole, in about hauve a minute! I never see'd nobry
better wakken't than that chap wur! He sprang out o' th' cheer
as if he'd bin fire't out of a gun; an' he coom at me, tickle-butt,
th' yed first, rambazz, again th' bottom end o' mi waistcoat, like a
cannon bo'. It took mi breath a bit—but I coom to; an' then we
were up an' down that hole, out o' one nook into another, o' mixed
up together, pots, an' ale' an' cinders, an' folk,—thou never see'd
sich a row sin' thou're born!
"Well; I'd some'at to do to bant him for he're as swipper as
a kitlin', an' as strung as a lion; but, I leet him taste o' mi
shoon, now an' then,—an' I began o' 'liverin' bits o' parcels, one
after another, about th' end of his nose,—carriage paid;—an, in a
bit, I brought him round to my way o' thinkin',—an' he seem't to
awter his mind about things o' at once,—for he started o' givin'
o'er an' he looked at me wi' his odd e'e,—tother e'e had gan o'er
lookin' for that day,—he looked at me, an' he said, 'Drop it!'
Well, thou knows, Jone, some folk takken a deeol o' convartin'; an'
if yo connot get at their consciences, there's nought for it but
warmin' their shins. But I can tell tho one thing,—that lad
wur quite a change't character when I'd done with him."
"An' how did he goo on wi' his wormpowders?"
"Nay; I yerd no moore about that. I left him sit i'th
nook, as quiet as a mouse, feelin' up an' down his clooas for brass
for another pint. . . . But, I think thou's had enough for one do.
I'll tell tho moore when we meeten again, I mun be off to th'
hayfeelt; so I'll bid tho good day!"
"Good day to tho, Dan!"
(Away goes DAN, singing)
"In come the jolly mowers,
To mow the meadows down;
With budgets, and with bottles
Of ale, so stout an' brown;
All hearty lads, of courage bold,
They come their strength to try;
They sweat, an' blow, an' cut, an' mow,
For the grass is very dry."
THE GOBLIN LOVERS.
And many another goblin tale
May, perhaps, be just as true.
IT was a
wild-looking November night. The clock of Rochdale old church
struck nine, and the chimes began to play "Sandy o'er the lea,"—
wheezing a little here, and stammering a little there,—like an old
man struggling with a song. Straggled masses of white cloud
were scudding wildly across the sky, into the south-east, between
which the moon threw checkered fits of pensive light upon the old
church, and the worn gravestones around. There was something
unusually sombre about the night, which seemed to subdue all
ordinary sounds of life. The wind came through the vicarage
trees with mournful sough, and the fallen leaves whirled audibly
about the dwellings of the dead. In a shady nook of the
churchyard, two lovers stood shivering by the side of an old
"Eh, Jem," said Mary, tucking her shawl under her chin, "it's
very cowd. I mun be gooin'. If my mother knowed I wur
here hoo'd be as mad as a wasp. Besides, it's gettin' late,
an' I've some things to iron afore I go to bed. Hoo said mich
an' moore tother day that if ever hoo yerd o' thee an' me meetin'
again hoo'd brun mi clooas."
"Well, let her brun 'em," said Jem; "let her brun em,—if
hoo's short o' firin'. I care nought for thi clooas.
Onybody may ha' th' shell, Mary,—if they'n lev me th' krindle
(kernel.) An' if hoo does brun thi clooas, come thi ways to
me, an' I'll find tho summat to put on, thou'll see."
"Eh, Jem," said Mary, "don't talk sich stuff! Our folk
are so quare wi' me that I cannot sleep at neet for thinkin' about
it; and yo'r folk are just as ill. Tother day I met thi mother
down i'th fowd, and hoo shaked her fist at me, and hoo said, 'Thou
doesn't need to set thi cap at yon lad o' mine, thou little snicket!
We'n bin hag-ridden lung enough wi' one an' another on yo'!
Thou's never have him! We wanten nought to do wi' folk o' a
boggart-breed!' An' then hoo towd me i'th oppen street about
my great-gronmother bein' hanged for a witch."
"Never mind her, Mary," said Jem; "never mind her. Hoo
is my mother, sure enough; but hoo desarv't throttlin' for
sayin' sich a thing. But never mind her. I'd ha' tho,
sitho, Mary, ay, if 'Th' Owd Lad' wur thi faither! . . . But, yo'r
folk are just th' same wi' me. I let o' yo'r Sam i'th 'White
Hart' dur-hole tother day, an' he said, 'Keep thi een off me!
I want no truck wi nought belungin' th' lower shop! Thi
faither rule't planets, an' towd fortin', —an' thi mother's noan o'
theer; an' yore o' of a dark mixtur' together, seed, breed and
generation; so keep o' thi own side; an' if ever I catch thee talkin'
to our Mary again, it'll ha' to be thee an' me for it!' Well,
thou knows, Mary, if he hadn't bin thi own brother I'd ha' had a bit
of a do wi' him as soon as look at it; but as it wur him, I kept my
tung between my teeth, an' leet him have it to his-sel'. It
wur hard wark, too, I can tell tho. If it had bin onybody else
I'd ha' warm't his ear-hole."
"Eh, Jem, we're quarely fixed o' both sides. It looks
very hard that folk should ha' to suffer for what's bin done bi
thoose 'at went afore 'em. . . . I'm sure my life's quite miserable.
. . . But, let's not talk about it. It makes me o'
"Well," said Jem, "thou'll come to-morn at neet, then?"
"Ay," said Mary, tucking her shawl about her, "I'll be here
at eight o'clock."
"Well, come on then," said Jem. "I'll go down th'
church-steps; thou'd better go through th' gates,—an' then nobody'll
And away they sauntered across the grave stones.
Before they were well out of sight, two heads popped up from
behind the wall, near where they had been standing.
"Are they gone?" said one.
"Keep still a minute," said the other. "They're off.
Now, we'n have a bit of a prank wi' yon two, if thou's a mind."
And the thoughtless mischief-makers laid their heads
together, and chuckled with delight as they walked away, considering
how they could most effectually defeat the intended meeting, and
trouble the troubled hearts of the simple pair, whose love for each
other was already painfully mingled with superstitious fears; which
were constantly fed by the bitter prejudices and unfeeling ignorance
of their friends on each side.
The two conspirators were well acquainted with the girl's
brother, who was the deadly foe of the unhappy swain; and he entered
into the plot they had laid with malicious delight. With him
they arranged that she should be carefully imprisoned in the house
on the night of the promised meeting. Through him also, they
obtained a dress, and a shawl of hers, in which they disguised one
of themselves whose face they painted with blue rings round the
eyes, and with such a generally hideous and ghastly effect that the
rude artist suddenly flung down his brush, and said, "By th' mon'
I'll do no moore at thee! I'm gettin freeten't mysel'! "
On the following night, as the old church clock struck "the
trysted hour," the disguised conspirator was at his post, leaning
against a tombstone, in the shady corner of the churchyard, with his
face muffled in Mary's shawl. Before the last stroke had
boomed from the church tower, poor Jem made his appearance on the
other side of the churchyard. With a mind full of unhappy
forebodings, and naturally inclined to unearthly fancies, he trod
the gravestones as if he was afraid to waken the dead. With
fluttering heart he quickened his step when he saw the figure
leaning upon the tombstone in the corner; and, as he drew near, he
whispered, "Mary, I'm just i' time!" "Just i' time!" replied
the other, uncovering his hideous face to the pale moonlight, and
advancing to meet the: approaching swain.
In one wild flush, the latent superstitions and smouldering
fears which had haunted him so long, overwhelmed the unhappy lover's
mind; and, with a fearful cry, he turned and fled,—across the
churchyard, and down the steps, and through the town, until he
reached his mother's cottage. Rushing in, with his pale face
bathed in cold sweat, he hastily barred the door behind him, and
dropping into a chair, he cried,
"Mother, it's o' true! Thank God we are not wed!"
And they never were wed.
The poor fellow was seized with brain fever. After his
recovery, he took ship for America, and was never again seen in his
native land; and Mary lived and died in forlorn loneliness, the
unhappy victim of wanton mischief and ignorant superstition.
DEET NO PAPPER.
[Autumn evening—JONE O' WOGGY'S
and BILLY MINTCAKE
coming down the
"I'LL tell tho
what, Bill; there's some foos laft i'th world, yet."
"Well,—ay,—there's thee an' me, for a start."
"Speighk for thisel', Bill."
"I have spokken for misel',—an' for thee, too. To th'
best o' my thinkin', Jone,—wherever yo finden folk, yo'n find foos."
"Well; it's th' likeliest shop to seech for 'em in, as how 'tis."
"It is, owd lad; an' if yo leeten of anybody at o', yo connot
go wrang; for I believe there isn't a wick soul i' this world 'at
hasn't a foo-side."
"I doubt it is so, Bill."
"Ay, marry is't. Thou'rt noan o'er-breet thisel', Jone;
or else thou'd ne'er ha' bin trodden on as thou has bin."
"Thou'rt noan quite up to concert-pitch, my lad."
"I dar say."
"I tell tho, thou'rt a slate or two short, owd brid."
"I shouldn't wonder, Bill. But thou con happen lend me
one or two o' thine."
"I've noan to spare, Jone; an' if I had thou wouldn't know
what to do wi' 'em."
"Why, then, I'm just as weel without. But, I'll tell
tho what,—I wish thou'd let mi slates alone. They bother'n
thee moore nor they bother'n me."
"I know that. Thou'll keep hawmplin' an' slutterin'
through it, onyhow,—till thou comes to th' shuntin'-spot,— an' then
we's yer no moore about tho."
"It matters nought if one's content, does it?"
"Happen not; but folk say'n they're content sometimes, when
they are not quite content."
"Well,—it goes again th' grain to be ta'en in, as thou says,
for sure; but do what yo wi'n, mon, yo connot tent o' sides at once,
in a world like this."
"Nawe, yo connot, Jone. It's like livin' in a
whisket-ful o ferrets, sometimes. Tak it o'together it's noan
sich a feaw world at o',—but, here an' theer, there's a quare bit of
a nook in't,—an' folk that rooten amung varmin are sure to get
bitten titter or later (sooner or later). . . . So thou didn't get
sattle't wi' owd Fullocker, didto?"
"Not I, marry; nor no signs on't."
"I'll tell tho what, Jone; thou mun keep thi een upo' th'
fugle-man while thou't agate wi' him, for he's as slippy as a snig,
an' as keen as a clemmed foomart. He wouldn't make two bites
of a chap like thee."
"Oh, I could ha' sattle't wi' him in a minute if I'd ha
letten him have his own road."
"Ay, marry; thou may sattle wi' the dule his-sel' upo' that
"Well; I're i' twenty minds to let him have his fling; for I'
make no 'count o' sich like shammockin' wark an' I wanted to get rid
on him, an' go mi own gate."
"Well; an' it would ha' bin happen as well. But, my
advice to thee is this,—deer no papper."
"Bi th' heart, Bill; I connot do that, except I fling th'
ink-bottle at it,—for I con noather read nor write."
"Thou connot read! By th' mon, that had clen slipt my
mind. Thou'rt in a bonny pickle, owd craiter. But I'd
like to bin th' same misel'; for, when I're a lad, we'd no books;
an' we'd nought to spare for schoo'-wage, for it wur hardpeighlin'
for us o' to raise as mich as would keep body an' soul together.
That wur i' 'barley times,' thou knows. Ay,—we'd noather books
nor brass to spare; so, when we'd had an hour or two to spare, mi
faither use't to tak me up an' down th' streets, an' larn me to read
off th' alehouse signs. That's wheer I geet my larnin'.
Thou met do th' same. I'll goo wi' tho ony time, an' gi' tho a
bit of a lesson. I geet on very weel at first,—for I wur olez
a good un at takkin' things in; but, at th' latter end, there wur a
lung spell of weet weather coom on; an' every time a shower o' rain
started, mi faither gav o'er readin' th' sign, an' he popped inside
to get a gill; an' that put an end to o' mi schooin', as far as mi
faither wur concarn't. But after that I took it up o' misel',—an'
I powler't up an' down readin' everything 'at I coom at,—an' what wi'
th' signs, an' tomb stones, an' bits o' readin' upo' th' carts, an'
sich like, I geet quite a dab hond at last; an' now I've a twothre
books o' mi own,—an' I root into 'em now and then, for a bit of a
leetenin'. . . . So, thou connot read! Bi th' ounters, Jone,
thou'rt as ill-shackle't as Dody o' Snicker's! I pept in at
his dur-hole tother day to ax if he'd had ony word o' their Jack;
an' he said, 'Ay; we'n had a letter from him;' an' he code o' their
Sam to bring him th' letter. So Sam brought him th' letter;
an' Dody spread it out, an' he said, 'Now then, Bill, I'll read it
to tho'. Well, that capt me, thou knows, for I knew very weel
that he didn't know th' difference between a B an' a bull's
fuut. But I soon fund him out. Thou sees, he'd had this
letter up an' down th' fowd o' day, gettin' first one and then
another to read it for him, till at last he'd gettin it off bi
heart. Well; when Sam brought him th' letter, he sprad it out,
an' began 'o pretendin' to read it; but I pept o'er his shoolder,
an' bi th' mass, he'd getten it th' wrang side up. So I said
to him, 'Howd, Dody, howd; thou's getten it th' wrang side up, mon!'
Well; he wapt it round in a minute, an' he said, 'It's noan o' my
faut; I have it as our Sam gav' it mo; thou sees he's left-honded!'
. . .But that's noather here nor theer. We wur talkin' about
this bit o' th' scog 'at thou has agate wi' owd Fullocker; an' my
advice to thee, again, Jone, is this: deet (mark, soil) no papper
about nought at o'. Mi faither wur about as fause a chap as
ever I let on; an' when I coome to be groon up to a lusty chap, he
said to me, 'Bill; mind what I'm beawn to tell tho. Whatever
else thou does, deet thee no papper, an' then thou'll be o' th' reet
side for runnin'. Let other folk deet as mich as they'n a
mind; but deet thee noan!' That's what mi faither towd me.
Eh, mon; I've sin sich pranks played wi' bits o' papper 'at a cowd
shiver comes o'er me every time 'at I look at a sheet; so, once for
o' I tell tho again, Jone,—deet thee no papper!"
"Now, then, here we are at th' 'Moor Cock,' thou sees.
Are we to co', or how?"
"I could do wi' an odd tot."
"Come in, then."