Project Gutenberg's Yorkshire Ditties, First Series, by John Hartley This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: Yorkshire Ditties, First Series To Which Is Added The Cream Of Wit And Humour From His Popular Writings Author: John Hartley Release Date: February 10, 2006 [EBook #17472] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK YORKSHIRE DITTIES, FIRST SERIES *** Produced by David Fawthrop
London W. Nicholson & Sons, Limited, 26, Paternoster Square, E.C and Albion Works, Wakefield. [entered at stationers' hall]
As the First Volume of the Yorkshire Ditties has been for some time out of print, and as there is a great demand for the very humorous productions of Mr. Hartley's pen, it has been decided to reprint that Volume, and also a Second One; both to be considerably enlarged and enriched by Selections from Mr. Hartley's other humorous writings.
The Publishers would also intimate that for this purpose they have purchased of Mr. Hartley the copyright of the DITTIES, and other Pieces appended to each Volume.
The Publishers presume that both Volumes will, on account of their great humour, be favourably received by the Public.
"Well, Robert! what's th' matter! nah mun,
Aw see 'at ther's summat nooan sweet;
Thi een luk as red as a sun—
Aw saw that across th' width of a street;
Aw hope 'at yor Lily's noa war—
Surelee—th' little thing is'nt deead?
Tha wod roor, aw think, if tha dar—
What means ta bi shakin thi heead?
Well, aw see bi thi sorrowful e'e
At shoo's gooan, an' aw'm soory, but yet,
When youngens like her hap ta dee,
They miss troubles as some live to hit.
Tha mun try an' put up wi' thi loss,
Tha's been praad o' that child, aw mun say,
But give over freatin, becoss
It's for th' best if shoo's been taen away."
"A'a! Daniel, it's easy for thee
To talk soa, becoss th' loss is'nt thine;
But its ommost deeath-blow to me,
Shoo wor prized moor nor owt else 'at's mine;
An' when aw bethink me shoo's gooan,
Mi feelins noa mortal can tell;
Mi heart sinks wi' th' weight ov a stooan,
An' aw'm capped 'at aw'm livin mysel.
Aw shall think on it wor aw to live
To be th' age o' Methusla or moor;
Tho' shoo said 'at aw had'nt to grieve,
We should booath meet agean, shoo wor sure:
An' when shoo'd been dreamin one day,
Shoo said shoo could hear th' angels call;
But shoo could'nt for th' life goa away
Till they call'd for her daddy an' all.
An' as sooin as aw coom thro' my wark,
Shoo'd ha' me to sit bi her bed;
An' thear aw've watched haars i'th' dark,
An' listened to all 'at shoo's said;
Shoo's repeated all th' pieces shoo's learnt,
When shoo's been ov a Sundy to th' schooil,
An ax'd me what dift'rent things meant,
Woll aw felt aw wor nobbut a fooill
An' when aw've been gloomy an' sad,
Shoo's smiled an' taen hold o' mi hand,
An whispered, 'yo munnot freat, dad;
Aw'm gooin to a happier land;
An' aw'll tell Jesus when aw get thear,
'At aw've left yo here waitin his call;
An' He'll find yo a place, niver fear,
For ther's room up i' heaven for all.
An' this mornin, when watchin th' sun rise,
Shoo said, 'daddy, come nearer to me,
Thers a mist comin ovver mi eyes,
An' aw find at aw hardly can see.—
Gooid bye!—kiss yor Lily agean,—
Let me pillow mi heead o' yor breast!
Aw feel now aw'm freed thro' mi pain;
Then Lily shoo went to her rest."
They tell me aw'm a vulgar chap,
An owt to goa to th' schooil
To leearn to talk like other fowk,
An' net be sich a fooil;
But aw've a noashun, do yo see,
Although it may be wrang,
The sweetest music is to me,
Mi own, mi native twang.
An' when away throo all mi friends,
I' other taans aw rooam,
Aw find ther's nowt con mak amends
For what aw've left at hooam;
But as aw hurry throo ther streets
Noa matter tho aw'm thrang,
Ha welcome if mi ear but greets
Mi own, mi native twang.
Why some despise it, aw can't tell,
It's plain to understand;
An' sure aw am it saands as weel,
Tho happen net soa grand.
Tell fowk they're courtin, they're enraged,
They call that vulgar slang;
But if aw tell 'em they're engaged,
That's net mi native twang.
Mi father, tho' he may be poor,
Aw'm net ashamed o' him;
Aw love mi mother tho' shoo's deeaf,
An tho' her een are dim;
Aw love th' owd taan; aw love to walk
Its crucken'd streets amang;
For thear it is aw hear fooak tawk
Mi own, mi native twang.
Aw like to hear hard-workin' fowk
Say boldly what they meean;
For tho' ther hands are smeared wi' muck,
May be ther hearts are cleean,
An' them 'at country fowk despise,
Aw say, "Why, let' em hang;"
They'll niver rob mi sympathies
Throo thee, mi native twang,
Aw like to see grand ladies,
When they're donn'd i' silks soa fine;
Aw like to see ther dazzlin' e'en
Throo th' carriage winders shine:
Mi mother wor a woman,
An' tho' it may be wrang,
Aw love 'em all, but mooastly them
'At tawk mi native twang.
Aw wish gooid luck to ivery one;
Gooid luck to them 'ats brass;
Gooid luck an' better times to come
To them 'ats poor—alas!
An' may health, wealth, an' sweet content
For iver dwell amang
True, honest-hearted, Yorkshire fowk,
At tawk mi native twang.
(Written on seeing a wealthy townsman rudely push a poor little girl off the pavement.)Gently, gently, shoo's thi sister,
What a charm ther is abaat owt new; whether it's a new year or a new waist-coit. Aw sometimes try to fancy what sooart ov a world ther'd be if ther wor nowt new.
Solomon sed ther wor nowt new under th' sun; an' he owt to know if onybody did. Maybe he wor reight if we luk at it i' some ways, but aw think it's possible to see it in another leet. If ther wor nowt new, ther'd be nowt to hooap for—nowt to live for but to dee; an' we should lang for that time to come just for th' sake ov a change. Ha anxiously a little child looks forrard to th' time when he's to have a new toy, an' ha he prizes it at furst when he's getten it: but in a while he throws it o' one side an' cries fur summat new. Ha he langs to be as big as his brother, soa's he can have a new bat an' ball; an' his brother langs for th' time when he can leeave schooil an' goa work for his livin'; an' varry likely his fayther's langin' for th' time when he can live withaat workin'—all on 'em langin for summat new. Langill' for things new doesn't prevent us lovin' things at's owd. Who isn't praad ov ther owd fayther, as he sits i' tharm-cheer an' tells long tales abaat what he can remember bein' new? An' who doesn't feel a soothin' kind ov a feelin' come ovver him when his mother's kindly warnin' falls on his ear, as shoo tells him "what-iver he does, net to be soa fond ov ivery thing new?" What a love fowk get for "th' owd haase;" but ther's moor o'th' past nor o'th' futur' i' these feelin's, they're not hopeful, an' its hopeful feelin's at keeps th' world a goin', its hooap at maks us keep o'th' look aat for summat fresh.
Aw've heeard fowk wish for things to keep just as they are, they say they dooant want owt new. What a mistak' they mak! They're wishin' for what ud be th' mooast of a novelty. Things willn't stop as they are, an' it wodn't be reight if they did. It's all weel enuff for them at's feathered ther nest to feel moderate contented, but them at's sufferin' for want ov a meal's mait are all hopin' for a change for th' better. Owd hats an' owd slippers are generally more comfortable nor new ens, an' fowk "wish they'd niver be done,"—"they hate owt new"—as if it wodn't be summat new if they could wear 'em withaat 'em bein' done. Young fowk are allus moor anxious for changes nor owd fowk, its likely enuff; like a child wi' a pictur book, watch him turn ovver two or three leaves at th' beginnin', see ha delighted he is; but in a while he turns ovver moor carelessly, an' befoor he gets to th' end he leaves it, wearied with its variety, or falls hard asleep opposite one at wod have fascinated him when he began. Life's nobbut a pictur' book ov another sooart, at th' beginnin' we're delighted wi' ivery fresh leeaf, an' we keep turnin' ovver till at last we get wearied, an' had rayther sit quietly looking at one. But we cannot stop, we ha' to goo throo th' book whether we like it or net, until at last we shut us een an' fall asleep over summat new.
Ha monny young folk are langin for th' fourteenth o' February! An ha mony old pooastmen wish it ud niver come? Sawr owd maids an' crusty owd bachelors wonder 'at fowk should have noa moor sense nor to waste ther brass on sich like nonsense. But it's noa use them talkin', for young fowk have done it befoor time, an' as long as it's i'th' natur on 'em to love one another an' get wed, soa long will valentine makers have plenty to do at this time o'th' year. Ther's monny a daycent sooart of a young chap at thinks he could like to mak up to a young lass at he's met at th' chapel or some other place, but as sooin as he gets at th' side on her, he caant screw his courage up to th' stickin' place, an' he axes her some sooart ov a gaumless question, sich as "ha's your mother," or summat he cares noa moor abaat. An' as sooin as he gets to hissell he's fit to pail his heead agean th' jaumstooan for bien sich a fooil. Well, nah, what can sich a chap do? Why, send her a valentine ov coorse. Soa he gooas an' buys her one wi' a grand piece ov poetry like this:—"The rose is red, the violet's blue,
It isn't to be expected 'at shoo can tell whear it's come throo; but shoo could guess at twice, an guess puddin' once, that's the beauty on it. Then th' way's oppen'd aat at once, he's gein her to understand what ten to one shoo understood long afoor he did. Next time they meet shoo's sure to ax him if he gate ony valentines, an' then he'll smile an' say, "What for, did yo?" An' shoo'll show him th' direction, an' ax him if he knows who's writing that is? An' he'll luk at it as sackless as if he didn't know it wor his own— ther heeads get cloise together, an' shoo sighs an' he sighs, an' then, if ther's noabody abaat he'll give hur a smack with his lips an' lawp back as if he'd burned th' skin off 'em, an' shooo axes him ha he con fashion to goa on like that, he owt to be ashamed ov his face? An' all th' time shoo's wonderin' why he niver did it afoor. Then, if ther's owt abaat him, it isn't long befoor ther's a weddin', an' then he's begun life. He's settled into his nook i'th' world, an' he feels he's a man. Troubles come, but then ther's a pleasure i' bein able to maister 'em. He's summat to wark for besides his own belly an' back. He's a heart-expandin' responsibility put on him. His country benefits by him, for a man does moor for his country 'at leaves ten weel-trained sons an' dowters nor him 'at leaves ten thaasand paand. Then if sich a little simple thing as a valentine can help a chap on his rooad in lite, aw say.
Be hanged to th' Grumblers, goa a head Valentine Makkers!!!
These winds blow rayther strong—stronger sometimes nor what feels pleasant. Ther's monny a chap has a race wi' his hat, an' it luks a sheepish sooart ov a trick, an' iverybody can affooard to laff at him just becoss it isn't them. But for all that aw alus think at th' year's niver getten a reight start till after March. It's like as if it comes blusterin' an' rooarin', just o' purpose to put things into reight trim. It fotches daan th' owd watter spaats, an' lets fowk know whear ther's a slate at's shakey. It gives th' trees a bit ov a whisk raand an' wuthers abaat as if it wor detarmined to clear all th' maase nooks aat, an' give us a fair start for th' fine weather. But that isn't all it does; it finds aat if yo've ony owd teeth 'at's rayther tender, (an' if ther's owt i'th' world at 'll wear aat a chap's patience its th' tooith wark. Its bad enuff, but what maks it war to bide is, iverybody can tell yo ha to cure it, an' for all that they wor as fast what to do wi' it when they had it as onybody else.) But what does it matter if it does find aat bits o' waik spots, there's nowt like knowin whear they are, for then yo do stand a chonce o' bein' able to tak care on 'em. But it does summat else beside—it brings a fine day or two—an' th' grass begins to luk a trifle greener, an' here an' thear i' bits o' shady nooks an' corners sometimes yo can find a daisy or two; an' what is ther luks bonnier nor th' first daisy yo find peepin up? It may be a bit ov a pindered lookin thing, but its a daisy; an' aw dooant think at th' grandest yo'll find all th' year 'll please yo hauf as weel as this. Little children clap ther hands when they see it, becoss it tells 'em ther's some fine weather comin' bye an' bye; an' they pluck it to tak hooam wi' em' to show ther mother; an' ther grandfayther smiles when he sees it, for it whispers a bit o' comfort to him, an' tells him to cheer up! for th' time o'th' year's comin' when he'll be able to goa aat o'th' door an' sit o'th green grass, an' hear th' burds sing, an' let th' sun shine on his face, an' he willn't be feeard o' bringin' th' rhumatic back wi' him; an' takkin it altogether it's one o' th' mooast pleasin' things i' th' year is findin' a daisy i' March. It's strange ha folk alter in a few years time. Luk at a child when its abaat five or six years owd—see ha delighted it is wi' a gurt bunch ov innocent lukkin' buttercups an' daisies. Noatice th' same child when he's getten fourteen or fifteen years owd. He couldn't fashion to be seen carryin' a bunch. See him agean when he's a man. He's noa time for daisies then. What's th' reason? Daisies are as bonny nah as iver they wor. Ther is a difference somewhear, but it isn't i'th' daisies.
Niver try to mak a fooil ov onybody this month; ther's fooils enuff i'th world already. It's oft struck me what a varry slight difference ther is between a wise man and a fooil; one aims at summat an' hits it—tother aims at summat an' misses it; an' aw have known th' time when th' chap 'at's missed has been worth a dozen sich like as him 'at's hit. But th' world generally sets 'em daan to be wise men 'at happen to be lucky men, an' get hold o' lots o' brass. An' ha monny brains a chap has, if he can't spooart a pair o' kid gloves an' a daycent hat, he mun niver hope for owt better nor to tak his place amang th' fooils. Aw've monny a time thowt when aw've heared fowk settin a chap daan as a fooil;—talk prattley—may be if he wor weighed up he's a better man nor yo this minit; yo connot tell all 'at he may have had to struggle wi'—Circumstances alter cases,
An' it's as weel to exercise a bit ov charity towards them 'at's set daan to be fooils. "Young fowk think old fowk fooils, an' old fowk's sure young uns is." An aw believe th' old fowk are oft varry near th' mark,—for th' experience of a life time is little moor nor livin to know what fooils we've been; an' if iver aw meet wi' a chap 'at can't remember iver makkin a fooil ov hissen, aw shall expect to hear tell on' him bein ta'en to th' blue slates directly. Poor Richard says, "Experience is a dear schooil, but fooils will leearn i' noa other;" an' who is ther 'at hasn't had to leearn i' that schooil? Its a hard maister, an' we're apt to think, when we're under him, 'at he's war wi' us nor onybody else; but when we've getten th' lessen off by heart we find th' advantage on it. But ov all th' fooils it has been my luck to meet wi,' them chaps 'at knows all are th' biggest. There's some fowk think they're born wi' all th' wit i'th world, an' noabody can taich 'em owt; whativer yo tell' em, they've allus "known that long enuff sin'," or else they've "just been think in soa." Aw once knew one o' that Sooart—one 'at had allus been thinkin soa. One day some mates o' mine an' me thowt we cud like a marlock wi' him, an soa we gooas up to him an says, "A'a Jooanas! whativer does ta think?" "Nay," he says, "whativer will yo say? What's up?" "Why," aw says, "Jim Hyn's dunkey's swallow'd th' grinelstooan." "Well, if aw hadn't just been thinkin soa," says Jooanas. "Well, but tha thowt wrang, owd boy, this time," aw says, "for it hasn't." "Why," he said, "aw hardly thowt it had." Soa he had us at booath ends. They say it taks a wise man to mak a fooil, but aw think ther's enuff withaat makkin ony moor, an aw niver knew a fooil i' my life at didn't think ivery body else a little bit war cracked nor hissen.
Tawkin abaat policemen reminds me ov a mess one on 'em gate into a while sin. Aw shalln't tell awther his name or his number, becoss it's net my wish to get ony body into trouble. It's enuff for me to say he's a gooid-lukkin chap, an' if he isn't wed his wife is. He wor on neet duty, an' at one o' th' haases he had to pass, lived a fine buxom sarvent. Policemen have allus been nooated for havin a fancy for sarvents, an' this wor like th' rest, an' befoor long they grew soa friendly 'at shoo used to invite him in after th' maister an' th' mistress had gooan to bed. One neet he'd crept in, an' they wor whisperin varry lovinly together, when shoo tell'd him ther wor noa cold mait o' ony sooart. "Awm glad on it," he sed, "for awm stoled o' cold stuff. That luks a bit o' nice bacon at's hung up, does ta think tha could do me a bit anent th' fire, aw think ther's as mich heeat as'll cook it?"
"Well, Robert," shoo sed, "if yo'll sit daan an' wait awl try."
Soa he put his lantern onto th' table an' sat daan wol shoo gate a little dutch oven an hooked two nice collops in; but shoo fancied shoo could enjoy one hersen, soa shoo stept up into a cheer to cut off another, an' as shoo'd th' knife i' one hand an' cannel i' th' tother shoo ovverbalanced hersen, and fell onto th' floor, settin up sich a skrike as yo niver heeard. Th' 'cannel went aat when it fell an all wor as dark as pitch, and Robert hearin th' maister skutterin daan th' stairs thowt his best plan wor to hook it; soa he grab'd up his lantern for owt he knew an buckled it on as he wor hurryin up th' steps. He'd hardly left when th' maister runs aat in his shirt, callin aat, "Police! police!" Robert comes fussin on as if he knew nowt abaat it, an' went back wi' th' maister, who wor soa freetened wol he darn't spaik.
When they went in th' sarvent had sam'd hersen up, an lit th' cannel agean; but th' lass forgate her fall an' th' maister his fright, when they lukd at th' policeman an' saw he'd getten th' dutch oven i' th' front on him astead ov his lantern, an' two bacon collops swingin in it.
They settled th' matter amang thersens, but it towt that policeman niver to tak off his lantern until he'd done wi' it.
Divine Service was held in the Temperance Hall, when the celebrated Dr. Foaming Drinkwater preached from the text Exodus 16 ch. 33 v., "And Moses said unto Aaron, take a pot," and in an eloquent sermon of 1h. 55m. the Revd. lecturer clearly showed that a pot of beer was not alluded to in the text. Collections were made at the close of the service.
July is th' month to gooa a spawin'; an' fowk luk forrard to it just th' same as if they conldn't do withaat it. Th' fact is aw hardly dar say owt agean it, for awm fond ov a bit ov a off mysen; but then ther's different ways o' dooin it. A chap at gethers horsemuck at hooam needn't want to mak' fowk believe he's th' Lord Mayor o' London abrooad. Aw remember once when aw wur at a watterin' place, aw followed some fine young ladies an' wished 'em "gooid day;" aw wornt exactly sure whether one on 'em mightn't be th' Princess o' Wales or net, but haasumiver, they curled up ther nooas th' same as if they'd passed a fooamet. But in abaat a wick at after, aw met one on 'em gooin ovver th' North Brigg wi' a slice o' traitle cake in her hand, varry near like th' door ov a mahogany shut-up-bed, an' up to th' elbows i' Miln greease too. Aw thowt if ony body wanted to pick a lass for a wife they shouldn't goa to a spawin' spot. For all that, awve nowt to say agean it—one body's as mich reight to goa an get sunburnt as another; but they mud as weel spaik truth, an' not allus say it's for th' gooid o' ther health, when all th' time it's just for a bit ov a spree. Aw could give some gooid advice to ony body at thinks o' gooin. Tak varry little brass, an' let it be i' your pocket, net i' yor face. Th' less yo have an' th' less yo'll spend. Dooant buy patent booits to walk o' th' sand in. If you're anxious to ride in a cock booat, dooant be particler to wear white trowsers. If yo want a horse to ride, tak one wi yo—it 'll save yo a deeal o' disappointment; if yo want a donkey, settle ha mony legs yo could like it to have, an' yo'll find plenty. Be careful noabody taks a fancy to yo th' same way. Ther's as mony donkeys wi' two legs as four, an' a bonny seet mooar. Talkin' abaat th' number o' legs maks me think ov a chap at considered hissen rayther a sharp en; he'd a bit ov a garden an' some cherry trees in it, an' one mornin' when he gate aat o' bed he fan somdy had saved him th' trouble o' getherin' th' fruit; they'd done it for him woll he wor asleep. He coom an' tell'd th' tale to me. "A'a," he said, "if he could nobbut find aat who'd done it, he'd stransport 'em over th' seah' that he wod!" "Why," aw says, "tha knows burds is varry fond o' cherries, an' its happen th' burds." "Burds!" he said, an' he winked at me varry knowingly. "Burds! happen they wor burds—but they wor two-legged ens aw'll bet." Aw niver thowt him quite so sharp after that.
Nah just a word bi way of a caution. A chap 'at's two paand i' debt an' goas an' spends three paand at a watterin' place, maks hiss en five paand behund; whereas if he'd paid what he owed he'd still ha had one paand to spend, an' that ud goa as far o' th' top o' Blackstonedge as three paand at Blackpool. It's worth a thowt.
When ther's a flaar show, clooas show at th' same time. Aw hear fowk tawk abaat "floral gems," and sich like stuff, but aw understand varry little abaat it. But aw've a few gems ov another sooart at sich times—aw call 'em gems o' thowt. Aw'm allus wonderin. Aw wonder a deal aw've noa business to wonder. When aw see a lot o' nice young lasses i' muslin dresses, all spankin clean, an ommost makkin a chap wish he worn't wed—aw wonder if ther petticoits an' stockins is as cleean. An when aw see a lot o' white faced lads, 'a'ts hardly getten ther hippins off, smokin cigars, an' spittin o'th' floor ivery two or three yards,—aw wonder if they dooant wish they wor finished, an' aw wonder what ther mothers is dooin to let 'em aat by thersen. An' when aw hear tell ha mich brass they get at th' doors, aw wonder ha mich on it wor borrow'd to goa wi'—an' sometimes aw wonder what they do wi' it after they've getten it—but that's noa business o' mine;—its a hungary job, aw know. Aw mony a time wonder, when aw hear th' bands o' music strike up, what Lord Byron ment when he said, "When music arose with its voluptuous swell;" for aw've booath seen an' heeard monny a voluptuous swell at a flaar show. An' aw wonder sometimes ha it is 'at fowk 'at goa wi a shawl o' ther heead to pick aat a sheep heead i'th' market, can't be content unless they're donned i' silks an' satins to goa see a twoathree marrygolds an' fushias. An' sometimes aw wonder 'what i'th' name o' fortun aw'm dooin thear mysen, an' if anybody axes me, aw wonder what business it is o' their's;—an' its just a case o' wonderin throo beginnin to th' endin', an' aw wonder when fowk 'll leearn a bit o' wit. Aw wonder if fowk think th' same abaat me. Aw wonder if they do. Aw shouldn't wonder if they did.
They reckon to brew a gooid sup o' ale in October, an' they call it "Prime owd October." Ther's monny a war thing i'th' world nor a sup o' gooid drink. Landlords an' teetotal-lecturers manage to get a livin' aat on it some way;—but it's th' same wi' ale as wi' iverything else nah days,—it's nowt made on unless it's sharp. It's a sharp age we live in;—hand-loom waivin' an' stage coaches are all too slow; iverybody an' iverything keeps growin' sharper. But we arn't as sharp as what they are i' 'Merica yet—they're too sharp. They tell me they ha' to lapp thersen up i' haybands afoor they goa to bed, for fear o' cuttin' th' sheets. Aw heeard tell o' one chap runnin' a race wi' a flash o' leetnin', an' they say he'd ha' won but for one ov his gallus buttons comin' off. An' another 'at used to mak leather garters an' throw 'em ovver his heead, an' he could mak 'em soa sharp 'at he allus kept one pair flyin'. He worn't a bad hand at his job, he worn't that. One day aw axed a chap 'at had been, "if they wor raylee as sharp as what fowk gave 'em credit for?" "Why," he says, "they wor sharper nor aw liked on, or else aw shouldn't ha' come back; but aw couldn't get on noa rooad: aw tried two or three different trades, but aw made nowt aat, an' at last aw set up as tubthumper; but that wodn't do. They niver wanted ought makkin'— they wor too sharp for that; they allus brought yo summat to mend;— becoss they knew a chap couldn't charge as mich for mendin' an owd tub as for makkin' a new en; soa if they'd ony sooart ov a owd tub lagg, or a piece of a barrel bottom, they browt it to get mended into a new tub. Aw did as weel as aw could amang it; but one day a chap comes in an' says, 'Aw want yo to do a bit o' repairin' for me.' 'Varry gooid, sur,' says aw, 'an' what might yo be wantin?' 'Well,' he says, 'aw've an owd bung hoil here, do yo think yo could fit me a fresh barrel to it?' Aw niver spake for a minit, then aw says, 'wod yo be gooid enuff to lend me a hand to put theas shuts up?' 'Wi' pleasure, sur,' he said, an' he did, an' aw left th' job an' coom hooam, for aw thowt they wor rayther too sharp." Mun, a chap can be too sharp sometimes. My advice is, be as sharp as yo like, if yo're sharp in a reight way, but thers some things it's as weel to be slow abaat. Be slow to do a shabby trick, an' be sharp to help a poor body 'at needs it. Be slow to see other fowk's faults, an' be sharp to improve yor own. Be slow to scandalise yor neighbors, an' keep a sharp luk aat to steer clear ov iverybody else's business; yo'll find it 'll give yo moor time to luk after yor own.
Last May Mr. Goosequill, attorney-at-law, liberally forgave a poor widow the expenses of a trial in which he had been engaged. It is a singular fact that a tom-cat, which had been for years in the gentleman's family, having caught a mouse, let it go for pity's sake the following day.
Squibs an' crackers! Starleets an' catterin wheels! Bunfires an' traikle parkin! This is th' time for a bit ov a jollification. Guy Fawkes did a gooid turn, after all, when he tried to blow th' Parliament haase up; for we should ha' had one spree less i' the' year but for him. Ax twenty fowk this question o' th' fourth o' November, "Are yo gooin to buy ony fireworks this year?" an aw dar be bun to say yo willn't find one i'th' lot but what'll say "Aw've summat else to do wi' my brass nor to waste it o' sich like fooilery as that." An' still, aw'll wager at nineteen on 'em buy some after all. Ther's a deal o' difference i'th way they spend it. I' th' country they all sit raand th' fire wi' their parkin an' milk' or else rooasted puttaties, an' they tell tales, an' they laf an' talk till they've varry near burned ther shoo toas off, an' getten soa starved o' ther back 'at they willn't be shut ov a cold for a month; but i'th' taan there's allus th' mooast to do i'th' public haases. Aw think aw shall niver forget a marlock we had th' last plot. It wor in a public haase somewhere between "Spice Cake-loin" an' Whiskum Dandy; ther wor a raam full o' fowk, an' aw nooatised 'at iverybody's pockets wor swelled aat, an' thinks aw, aw shouldn't be capp'd if ther wor a dust here in a while. They just wanted somdy to start. In a bit one on 'em gate up to goa aat, an' th' landlord (he'd a cork leg) drop'd a cracker into his pocket. He hadn't gooan far when bang it went; he turns back an' leets abaat two dozzen an' sends 'em in to th' middle o'th' raam. "Nah, lads! for God's sake show a bit o' sense," says th' landlord, "dooant begin sich like wark as that i' this raam, nah dooant." He mud as weel ha' just whistled jigs to a mile-stoop; aat coom iverybody's stock, an' i' less nor hauf a minit ther wor sich a hullabaloo i' that shop as aw niver heeared afoor. To mak matters war, somdy had shut th' door an' fesened it, an' th' place wor full o' rick, an iverybody ommost chooak'd. Aw gate under th' seat, an' in a bit somdy smashes th' window an' bawls aat "fire! fire!" I' two or three minits ther coom a stream o' watter into th' raam as thick as my shackle, an' smash went th' chandilleer. Th' landlord wor mad ommost—lukkin glasses an' picters went one after tother, an' aw faand aat 'as aw couldn't swim, aw should ha' to shift, or else aw should be draaned. Some kind soul managed to braik th' door daan an' we gate aat, but aw could hear th' landlord yelling aat 'at sombdy had stown his cork leg. Ha' they went on aw dooant know, for aw steered straight hooam. At abaat six o'clock th' next morning, as aw went to my wark, aw saw a cork leg with a varry good booit on it, hangin' to a gas lamp, an aw wonder'd whose it wor.
Th' last month o' th' year; an' ther's summat rayther sorrowful abaat th' last o' owt, exceptin' trouble; an' still to me ther's allus summat varry interestin' abaat owt at's "th' last." Aw've watched men when they've been buildin' a long chimley, but aw've niver felt mich interest till it's come th' time for 'em to put on th' last stooan; they've labored day by day, riskin boath life an' limb, an' still aw've felt varry little anxiety; but it's just th' fact on it bein' th' last stooan; an' aw've hardly been able to tak my een off it till it's been finished an' th' last man's come safe daan. But still it's a sorrowful saandin' word is "last." Th' last farewell—th' last look—th' last breath—an' th' last restin, place; it sets fowk thinkin what there'll be after "th' last." Th' last month i'th' year isn't a bad time to luk back an' see ha we've spent th' past eleven, an' aw think ther's few but what'll be able to see monny a place where they've missed it. An' if soa we'd better mak th' best o'th' few days left to mak what amends we can. Owd Christmas comes in smilin', with his holly an' his mistletoe, an' his gooid tempered face surraanded wi' steam of plum puddin' an' roast beef—tables get tested what weight they can bear—owd fowk an' young ens exchange greetin's, punch bowls steam up; an' lemons an' nutmegs suffer theresen to be rubbed, scrubbed, sliced, an' stewed; an' iverybody at can, seems to be jolly at Christmas. Some fowk luk forrard to Christmas just for th' sake of a gooid feed, an' aw've seen odd ens, nah an' then, 'at can tuck it in i' fine style. Aw recollect one Christmas when Jooan o' Jenny's (we used to call him Jooan long stummack) went to London (he'd one o'th' best twists aw iver met wi'), an' he wor takken varry wamley for want ov a bit ov a bitin on, soa he went into a cook's shop an' ax'd 'em ha mich they'd mak him a dinner for? "Eighteenpence, sur," said th' maister, "come, sit daan an' help thisen." Soa he sat daan just at th' front ov a lump o' rooast beef, an' cut a piece off as big as a brick, an' he worn't lang i' polishin' that an' cutting another. Th' landlord wor rayther capped when he saw it goa like that, an' he says "Tha'rt hungary, lad, aw think! Will ta have, summat to sup?" "Noa thank yo, sur," says Jooan, "not just yet." He varry sooin put th' second lot where it could keep th' furst company, an' began cuttin' a third; this made th' maister seem varry uneasy, an' he says, "Tha'd better have summat to sup, lad! Mun aw fotch thi a pint o' drink?" "Noa, thank yo," said Jooan, "aw mak a practice niver to sup till aw've hauf, done." "Why, lad," says th' landlord, "haitch will ta tak' to drop it?" "Well" said Jooan, "if yo dooant like my company aw'm sooary aw've come, but aw shouldn't like to leave this table for less nor hauf a craan, if aw do aw shall be a loiser." Th' old chap pooled awt hauf a craan an' banged it on to th' table, an' says, "Tak' it, an' tak' thisen away, an' niver put thi fooit i' my haase agean as long as tha's a day to live; tha'd ruin me in a wick." "Why, maister," he says, "yo cap me sayin' soa, for aw can't ait as mich bi a caah head as once aw cud. Aw'll tak' th' hauf crawn; gooid day, maister; you've made a shillin 'at me."
At a meeting of the tax-collectors of the W— R—g of —shire, held in one of the cells beneath the Town Hall it was proposed, "That we, the tax gatherers and rate collectors of the W— R—g of —shire do intend to throw up our offices, unless our wages are reduced or our labours increased, for being like unto other men, possessed of consciences, we are frequently tormented with the thought, that we are receiving more than what is our due, and by that means wronging the public." Mr. Christopher Delphian moved as an amendment, "that they should dispose of their consciences, that being a readier way of getting over the difficulty." The chairman put the amendment which was carried, and the consciences were sold in one lot, for 7 3/4 d., which was carried to the fund for the entertainment of Mr. Calcraft, the president, whenever he should visit the district on a professional tour.
Its net oft at aw have mich to do wi' parties. Th' fact is aw'm wed, an' young fowk dooant want me, becoss they say aw've made my markets, an' wed fowk dooant oft ax me becoss aw suppose aw dooant oft ax them. But this month last year aw did get a invite to a doo, an' aw went. Aw'st net forget in a hurry what a fidget my owd woman gate into. Shoo brushed me daan aboon a duzzen times, an' turned me raand like a rooastin jack to see ha aw luk'd, woll aw wor as mazy as a wheel heead, an' th' childer luk'd up i' my face two or three times afoor they could believe it wor me. Aw heeard awr Abram telling Betty 'at "he believed his fayther wor gooin to get kursen'd or summat." "Ho eeah! why what are they baan to call him?" shoo says. "Nay, aw dooant know, but my mother's been callin' him 'gaumless,' happen that's it."
Gaumless enuff aw thowt, an' after rubbin' my hat raand wi' a weet sponge (woll th' wife declared it wor as hansum as a Japan tea caddy), aw set off. Aw seized howd o'th' nob when aw gate to th' door, an' aw gave a gooid pawse, same as aw do at hooam, A fine young gentleman oppen'd it, an' after starin' at me for two or three minits, he said, "Walk in, sur." Aw doff'd my hat an' did soa; an' he! what a smell! "By gow, lad," aw said, "its enuff to mak my maath watter is this, ther's nowt awm fonder on nor onions, an' aw con smell ther's some cookin'—they'll be frying some liver, aw dar say. Are ta th' maister's lad?" aw axed. "Noa, sur," he said; "a'wm th' waiter." "Why tha needn't wait o' me," aw said, "aw'll luk after mysel." "Come this way, sur." he said, "aw'll introduce yo'. What name shall aw say, sur?" "Does ta think aw am not known?" aw says; "nah aw'll tell thi what it is: if tha keeps diddlin after me like tha has done sin' aw come in, as if tha thowt aw wanted to stail summat, awst just twist thi neck raand." Th' maister heeard me tawkin, an' coom to shake hands wi' me, smilin' all ovver his face delightedly. He hook'd his arm i' mine, an' walked me into a grand raam full o' ladies an' waiters (aw made 'em aat to be waiters coss they wor dressed like him 'at stood at th' door.) "This is my old friend, the Almenack maker," he said, an' they all gate up an' sat daan agean. When aw luk'd raand aw thowt, "Aw'm in for it this time," for aw could mak it aat to be nowt but a meetin' to kursen a lot o' childer', an' varry likely they wanted me to stand godfayther for 'em. Aw saw noa babbies ony-where, but then aw'd heeard fowk tell abaat th' quality havin' weet nurses for ther bairns, an' aw made it aat 'at thease must be um, on accaant o'th' way they wor dressed, for they wor all i' white, an' ther's nowt easier weshed, an' aw thowt to mysen, "Aw'll tell my owd woman to have her gaon made i' th' same pattern when shoo's ony more to suckle, for it must save a deal o' trouble, an' be for ivver better nor havin' a lot o' hooks an' eyes botherin' abaat th' child's face." But thear aw sat, an' as noabody said owt to me, aw said nowt to noabody. In a bit ivery body began pairin' off, an' th' maister says, "Come, my friend, you must take a lady to dinner," an' a reight grand young woman coom an' tuk howd o' mi arm, an' we follow'd aat i' prussesshun, like they do at a burrin. When we gate into th' next raam aw fan aat mi mistak abaat all th' chaps being waiters, for they sat daan to th' table same as th' maister an' me, soa aw thowt varry likely they wor locals, or summat i'th' missionary line. Aw niver saw as mich stuff to ait i' all my life, except in a cook shop. "Shall I pass you a little soup," said th' maister? "Noa, thank yo," aw said, "aw weshed me afoor aw coom." "Not soap, my good friend, I mean soup," he said. "Oh! broth, is it? Aw did'nt know what yo ment. Eeah, aw'll tak a soop o' broth, if yo please, an' a bit o' suet dumplin,' if yo have a bit." When aw said soa, a lot began a cough in', the same as if they'd a boan i' ther throit, an' th' maister oppened sich a shop 'at aw thowt th' top ov his heead had come off, but aw reckoned to tak noa noatice an' aw worked away wi my gapin' stick woll th' maister axed me ha aw liked my ox tail soup. "Dun yo call this ox tail soup," aw said, an' aw beld up a caah tooith ommust big enuff to mak a knife heft. Aw thowt it war a gooid joak, but noabody else seem'd to see it, an' th' mistress ordered th' waiter to tak it away instantum.
When we'd all etten woll we' wor om most brussen they browt a lot o' black bottles wi' silver necks in, an' we'd all a glass o' some sooart o' pop. By th' heart an' it wor pop too. "Dun yo mak this yoursen, mistress?" aw axed. "By gingo, this licks awr traitle drink into fits, yo mun give me th' resait, if yo have it." "This is shampane, sur," shoo said. "Aw dooant care whether it's sham or not, it's as gooid as owt o'th' sooart aw've tasted, aw'll thank you for another drop," "Help yourself, my friend," said th' maister, an aw did, aboon a bit, but ha long aw wor at it or ha monny bottles aw emptied aw niver knew, for some ha aw fell asleep, an' when aw wakken'd aw wor at hooam, an' my owd wornan wor callin aat, "Are ta baan'ta get up, yond's th' last whew."
Smiles are things aw like to see, an'. they're noa less acceptable becoss sometimes ther's a tear or two. A chap at's a heart ov a reight sooart under his waistcoit cannot allus be smilin'. Awve met a deal o' sooarts o' fowk i' my bit o' time, an' th' best aw iver met had a tear i' ther ee nah an' then. If ther's owt aw hate to see, its a chap at's allus smilin'; an' if iver yo meet sich a one set him daan to be awther a haufthick or a hypocrite—yo'll be sure to be reight. It'll be time enuff to be allus grinnin' when all th' warkhaases an' th' prisons are to let—when lawyers have to turn farmers, an' bumbaileys have to emigrate—when yo connot find a soldier's or a policeman's suit ov clooas, except in a museum—when ther's noa chllder fun frozen to th' deeath o' London Brig—an' when poor fowk get more beef an' less bullyin'. If iver sich a time comes woll aw live, aw'll laff wi' th' best on em, but till then a claad sometimes will settle on mi here,—an awm glad 'at it is soa.
Aw niver see a chap 'at's tryin to get on but what he reminds me ov once gooin to a Baptist chapel to see a lot o' fowk kursened. Everybody wor feightin' for th' front pews, an' them 'at gate 'em had to haddle e'm an' net be perticular abaat ther shirt collar—an' when a chap starts aat for a front place i' this life he has to rough it, an' if he succeeds aw wonder sometimes if he's ony better off nor them 'at gate th' front seeats i'th' chapel, for all 'at wor behund 'em seem'd to be tryin' to shove 'em ovver into th' bottom, an' nah an' then aw noaticed odd uns 'at could bide noa longer, an' gave up th' spot they'd fowt soa hard to get, an' sombdy behund, 'at had hardly tewd a bit dropt into th' seat. And sich is life: it isn't allus th' workers 'at succeed, net it marry! its th' skeeamers! it's them 'at keeps ther een oppen. But aw con allus thoil 'em owt they get, if, when they're climbin' up th' stee, they niver put ther heel on another chap's neck, by traidin' on his fingers, to mak him lawse his hold. It's a wrang nooation 'at some fowk have getten, to "get brass honestly if yo can, an' if yo cannot, try to keep a easy conscience, an' do baat it." Some chaps 'll niver get on; they're allus gooin' to mend, but they niver start. Sich like should tak a pattern throo th' Almenack makkers—they've lost eighteen haars this last three years, an' if they didn't mind they'd loise six mooar this time, but they tak care net to do soa,—they shove a day extra into February to mak it up, and they call it "leap year," and it ud be a rare gooid job if fowk wod tak a few laups this year;—laup aat o'th' alehouse on to th' hearthstun at home—laup aat o' bed i' time for th' church ov a Sunday momin'—laup aat o' th' clutches o' th' strap shop—laup aat o' th' gate o' bad company—laup up to yo're wark wi' a smile, an' laup back hooam wi' it, an' yo'll find th' wife's heart ul laup wi joy to see yo comin' back cheerful, an' th' childer ul laup on to yo'r knee, an' yo'll be capt ha easy it'll be to laup over ony bits o' trouble 'at yo' meet wi'. But alus laup forrard if it's possible; for if yo try to laup backards yo'll run th' risk o' braikin yo'r neck, an' noabody pities them 'at laups aat o' th' fryin' pan into th' fire, an' it's a easy matter to miss it.—Aa dear o' me! aw think it is!—and yo'd think soa if yo'd seen what aw saw once. A mate o' mine courted a lass, an' he'd monny a miss afore he gat throo wi it. He used to go an' tawk to her throo a brokken window 'at ther wor i' th' weshhaase, an' one neet shoo'd promised to meet him thear, an' he wanted to kuss her as usual, but he started back. "Nay, Lucy," he said, "aw'm sure thar't nooan reight. Has ta been growin' a mustash?" Mew! mew! it went; an' he fan aat he'd kuss'd th' owd Tom cat. When th' neighbours gate to know, they kursened him "Kusscat," an' they call him soa yet. But that worn't all; for when he went to get wed he wor soa flustered woll he stood i' th' wrang place, an' when th' time coom for him to put th' ring on, he put it on th' woman next to him—he thowt it didn't mean, for he cud get it swap'd after, but when it wor ovver they all began to find aat ther'd been a mistak. "Why, Kusscat," said one, "what's ta been doin'? Tha' s getten wed to thi mother." Th' parson look'd glum, but he said, "It's noa use botherin' nah, its too lat, you should ha' spokken afoor—an' aw think he's fittest to be wi' his mother." But he roar'd like a bull, an' begged th' parson to do it ovver, an' do it reight; but Lucy said, "He'd noa cashion, for shoo'd live an' dee an owd maid for iver afoor shoo'd have ony chap second hand." But her heart worn't as hard as shoo thowt, soa, shoo gave in, an' th' next time they managed better.
A short time ago Mr. Fitzivitz, of Rank end, was seen to be swimming at a great rate and making a most extensive spread in the river plate. Several friends cautioned him not to go so far out of his depth, but he was utterly heedless of advice, he dived still deeper, and was observed to sink over head and ears in debt, leaving a large circle of friends to bewail his loss. His body has since been recovered, but all that could have comforted his anxious friends had fled, alas for ever.
Ther's a deal o' things scattered raand, at if fowk ud tak th' trouble to pick up might do 'em a paar o' gooid, an' my advice is, if yo meet wi' owt i' yor way 'at's likely to mak life better or happier, sam it up, but first mak sure yo've a reight to it. Nah, aw once knew a chap at fan a topcoit, an' he came to me, an' says—"A'a lad! awve fun one o' th' grandest topcoits to-day at iver tha clapt thi' een on." "Why, where did ta find it?" aw says. "Reight o' th' top o' Skurcoit moor." "Well, tha'rt a lucky chap," aw says, "what has ta done wi' it?" "Aw niver touched it; 'aw left it just whear it wor." "Well, tha art a faoil; tha should ha' brout it hooam." "E'ea! an' aw should ha' done, but does ta see ther wor a chap in it." Aw tell'd him he'd made a fooil on me, an' aw consider'd mysen dropt on, but noa moor nor he wor wi' havin' to leave th' coit. "Neer heed," he said "fowk can allus do baat what they can't get," an' aw thowt ther wor a bit o' wisdom i' what he said. But what caps me th' mooast is at fowk tug an' tew for a thing as if ther life depended on it, an' as sooin as they find they cannot get it, they turn raand an' say they care nowt abaat it. We've all heeard tell abaat th' "fox an' grapes," an' ther's a deal o' that sooart o' thing. This world's full o' disappointments, an' we've all a share. Th' Bradford Exchange wor oppened this month, 1867, an' aw luk on it, that wor a sad disappointment to some. "Exchange is noa robbery," they say, but if some fowk knew what it had cost, they might think it had been a dear swap. Ther are fowk at call it "a grand success"—but then awve heeard some call th' Halifax Taan Hall "a grand success," but they haven't made me believe it. It may do a deal o' gooid, aw'll not deny that; it may taich fowk to let things alooan at they dooan't understand—let's hooap soa. Ovver th' door-hoil they've put "Act Wisely," an' it's time they did. Its summat like telling a chap to be honest, at the same time yo'r picking his pocket. But we've noa business to grummel, its awr duty to "submit to th' powers that be" (if they're little ens); but a chap cannot help langin' for th' time when brains an' net brass shall fit a man for a Taan Caancillor. But fowk mun get consolation aat o' summat, soa they try to fancy th' Taan Hall luks handsome. Its like th' chap 'at saw his horse fall into th' beck;—he tugg'd an' pool'd, and shaated an' bawl'd, but th' horse went flooatin' on, plungin' its legs abaat, makkin' th' watter fly i' all direckshuns but it wur noa use, for it wur draanded at th' last. When he went hooam he tell'd th' wife abaat it
"What does ta say?" shoo says; "is it draanded?"
"E'es, it's draanded, lass; but it ud ha' done thi e'en gooid to ha' seen it, aw wor capt,—mun it wur a topper to swim, an' that's a comfort; tha knows we could niver ha' known that if it had niver been tried."
Lets hooap 'at when they've another to build they'll do better. Its niver too late to mend, an' we're niver too owd to learn; but its hard wark to taich some. Aw remember once a chap tellin' me hah they made sooap, an' he said "three-thirds o' sooap wor tollow, an' tother summat else." Aw tried to show him 'at it couldn't be soa, for if three-thirds wor tollow it must be all tollow; but he said, aw "needn't start o' taichin' him; when he'd been a sooap boiler twenty year he owt to know." Aw saw it wor noa use me talkin', for as Wordsworth says (or else he doesn't)"Twor throwing words away, for still,
But who is ther 'at niver does wrang? net th' odd en! Them 'at live i' glass haases shouldn't throw stooans; soa we'll drop it. We're all fooils at times.
Ther's some born fooils, an' ther's some mak thersen fooils, an'. ther's some get made fooils on. When we hear fowk tell tales abaat sein' boggards, an gettin' ther planets ruled, we think it saands fooilish. Nah an' then one turns up rayther simple, an' a body con hardly help laffin'. It's net long sin' aw heeard tell of a owd woman goin' to th' Pooast Office i' Bolton, an' axin to see th' maister, an, when he coom shoo said shoo wanted to know hah monny stamps it 'ud tak' to send a mangle to Yeaworth. He couldn't tell her, an' shoo went away thinkin' what a fooil he wor net to know his business better nor that, an' he thowt what a fooil shoo wor for ax in sich a question. An' soa it is;—we're apt to think iverybody fooils but ussen, an' them 'at belangs to us. Yo doant oft find a mother or fayther 'at thinks ther lad's a fooil (unless he gets wed, an then they allus say soa.) Iverybody's'child is th' grandest an' th' cliverest i'th world. But aw couldn't help laffin' one day when I heeard a chap braggin' abaat his lad. "Aa," he said, "he's cliverest lad of his age aw iver met; he's nobbut thirteen year owd an' he con do owt." Just as he wor sayin' soa th' lad coom into th' raam, aitin' a raw turnip, an' his fayther thowt he'd show him off a bit, soa he said, "Jack a want thee to go an' messur th' length o' that piece o' timber 'at's i'th yard, an come tell me." Soa he gave him his two-fooit rule, an' th' lad went. Aw thowt he wor a long time abaat it, but in a bit he coom back. "Well Jack," said his fayther, "ha long is it? spaik up, that's a fine lad." "Why," he says, "it's th' length o' yo'r rule, an' my pocket comb, an' this piece o' band." "That's reight," said his fayther, "tha con goa hoam," put aw nooaticed 'at be did'nt brag abaat him quite so mitch at after.
If a chap doesn't want to be thowt a fooil he should niver start o' showin' off befoor fowk till he knows what he's abaat, an' ther's noan on us knows iverything. Aw remember once go in' to th' sale ov a horse, an' th' auctioneer knew varry little abaat cattle, an' he began praisin' it up as he thowt. "Gentlemen," he said, "will you be kind enough to look at this splendid animal! examine him, gentlemen; look at his head; why, gentlemen, it's as big as a churn! an' talk about points—why, it's all points; you can hang yo'r hat on any part of him!" He'd just getten soa far, when th' chap 'at belang'd th' horse could bide it noa longer, soa be laup'd up an' pooled th' auctioneer daan bith' hair o'th' heead. "Tha may be an auctioneer," he said, "but tha'rt noa ostler." But it isn't long sin' aw wor at a sale o' picturs, i'th' Teetotal Hall at Halifax, an' th' chap 'at wor sellin' put up one lot an' made this speech:—"Ladies and Gentlemen,—The next lot I have the pleasure to offer you are three picturs of 'Joan of Arch' a French lady of distinction, who fought at the Battle of Waterloo against the Duke of Wellington, and was afterwards burnt at the siege of Moscow. How much shall I say for this lot?" Aw walk'd aat when awd heeard that, for aw thowt he might happen be a ostler, but blow me if he wor fit for an auctioneer. But we con forgi' a chap lukkin fooilish sometimes, if he doesn't mak' other fowk luk soa; but when that chap at Saathawarm put bills up to call a meeting o'th' committee to consider what color to whitewash th' schooil, they all felt fooilish. A young chap 'at's just popp'd th' question to a young woman feels rayther fooilish if shoo says "Noa." An' if shoo says "Yes," he may live to think he wor fooilish. A chap feels fooilish when he's been runnin aboon a mile to catch th' train, an' just gets thear i' time to see it move off an' leave him. A chap feels fooilish when he goas to th' chapel when ther's a collection, an' finds he's left th' hawpenny at hooam he thowt o' givin', an's nowt noa less nor hauf a craan. A chap feels fooilish if he's been rakein' aat all th' neet, an' when he gets hooam his wife finds a woman's neet-cap hung to his coit button. A chap luks fooilish when he's tellin' a tale an' forgets hah it finishes. A woman luks fooilish when shoo's lost her hair pins, an' her false bob's hingin' daan her back. An' ther are times when we're all fooilish, an' awm feeard if aw doant stop yo may begin to think me fooilish, soa aw'll drop it.
May is abaat th' warst pairt o'th' year for a wed chap, for he connot walk aat, an' he cannot be comfortable at hooam, becoss it's th' cleeanin' daan time. Talk abaat weshin' days! they're fooils to cleeanin' days. Buckstun lime an' whitewesh, bees-wax an' turpitine— black-leead an' idleback, stare a chap i' th' face ivery where. Pots an' pans—weshin' bowls an' peggy tubs, winteredges an' clooas lines— brooms an' besoms—dish claots an' map claots, block up ivery nook an' corner; an' if iver ther is a time when a chap darn't spaik it's then. If he thinks th' haase is cleean enuff, an' doesn't want owt dooin' at, his wife's sure to call him a mucky haand, an' say 'at he wodn't care if he wor up to th' shoo tops i' filth; an' if he says he thinks it wants a cleean, shoo'll varry sooin ax him if he can tell her whear ther's another haase as cleean, for shoo doesn't know one, an' if he does, he's welcome to goa. But it all ends i' th' same thing—its th' time o' th' year for a reight upset, an' it 'll ha to have it, whether it wants it or net. Ther's noa way to suit a woman at sich times, but to be as quiet as yo can. If yo say, "Come, lass, con aw help thi a bit," shoo's sure to snap at yo, as if shoo'd bite yor heead off, an' tell yo to get aat ov her gate, for yor allus under her nooas, woll shoo can do nowt. An' if yo goa aat o'th' gate, shoo'll ax yo as sooin as yo come in, ha yo can fashion to spend' yor time gaddin abaat when yo know ha things is at hooam, an' you dooant care th' toss ov a button for her, but just mak her into a slave, an' niver think o' sich a thing as liggin' on a helpin' hand. Ther's noa way to do but to bide it as weel as yo can, an' say little, for it doesn't last long. But even when its ovver, yo mun be careful what yo say, for if yo tell her yo think it luks better for th' labor, shoo's sure to say at "shoo sees varry little difference, an' shoo wor fare capt, for ivery thing wor as cleean as a pin." An' if yo say yo can see noa difference, shoo'll say, "Tha can see nowtt,"—but shoo knows whether its different or net, for shoo's taen aboon a barra' looad o' muck aat o' that haase that wick. Soa my advice is, to say nowt at sich times till yo're axed, an then say as they say. Aw once heeard ov a young couple at wor baan to get wed, an' they made it up allus to say an' think alike, an' then they'd be sure net to fall aat; soa they went to th' church an' gate made man an wife, an' as they wor walkin' hooam he said, "Aw think this is th' happiest day o' awr lives." "E'ea," shoo says, "aw think it is." "Aw think we shall have some rain afoor long," he said. "E'ea," shoo says, "aw think it luks likely for weet." "A'a did ta iver see a faaler bonnet nor that lass has on," shoo said? "Noa lass, aw think aw niver did," he replied; "but what a bonny lass shoo is, isn't shoo?" "Nay, nobbut middlin'," shoo says. "Well aw think her a beauty." "Aw wonder where tha luks," shoo said, "but if tha'rt soa taen wi' her, tha con have her astead o' me." "Nay, lass," he said, "tha knows we've agreed allus to think an' say alike, an' awm sure shoo's a varry bonny lass." "Well an' awm sure shoo's as plain a stick as iver aw saw i' all my life, an' if aw agree to say an' think what tha does, it wor cos aw thowt tha wor reight i' thi heead." Soa they walk'd hooam lukkin varry glum, an' differ'd for th' futer same as other fowk. When a chap gets wed he should be ready for th' warst. Aw once knew a chap at fell i' love wi a woman 'at he met in a railway train, an' as they lived a long way apart, they did ther coortin i' writin' an' at last th' day wor fixed for 'em to get wed. Joa went to fotch her an' walk her to th' church, an' as they wor gooin' he thowt shoo walked rayther queer, soa he says, "Susy, does ta limp?" "Limp!" shoo says, "net aw, aw limp noan." Soa they went on, an' just as they wor gooin' into th' church, he said, "Susy, awm sure tha seems to limp." "A'a, Joa," shoo says, "aw wonder what tha'll say next." Soa Joa an' Susy gate wed. When they wor gooin hooam he said, "Susy, awm sure tha limps." "Aw know aw limp," shoo says, "aw allus limp'd; is a woman ony war for limpin'?"
I hope my readers will regard that varry gooid advice, when they see th' grass cut—"Mak hay woll th 'sun shines." There's nowt aw like better nor to spend a day or two in a hay field. Tawk abaat "Ho de Colong!" It doesn't smell hauf as weel to me as a wisp o' new made hay. An' them 'at niver knew th' luxury a' gooin' to bed wi' tired booans, should work i'th' hay-field for a wick. It'll do onnybody gooid; an' if some o' them idle laewts 'at stand bi a duzzen together at th' loin ends _laikin_ at pitch an' toss, wod goa an' _work_ at pitch an' toss, they'd be better booath i' mind an' body an' pocket. Tossin' th' hay is booath healthful an' lawfur but tossin' hawpneys (especially them wi' heeads o' booath sides) is nawther. Hay makkin' is a honest callin', an' when a chap is gettin' his livin' honestly (noa matter what he does), he feels independent,—an' when a chap feels soa, he can affooard to spaik what he thinks. Aw remember once callin' at th' "Calder an' Hebble" public haase, an' sittin' in a raam wi' a lot o' young swells 'at coom throo Sowerby Brigg; an' in a bit, a trampified lukkin' chap coom in, an' called for a glass o' ale. This didn't suit th' young gentlemen, soa one on 'em says to him, "Fellow, you are an intruder." "Tha'rt a liar," th' chap says, "awm nowt at sooart, awm a cheer-bottom mender an' aw've sarved mi time to it." "You don't understand me, sir; what I mean is that you have no business here." "Noa, lad; aw niver come to theeas shops when aw've ony business, aw allus do that furst." This rayther puzzled th' young swell an' his face went as red as a hep, cos aw laff'd at him; an' he struck his naive o'th' table; "Sir," said he, "will you take your departure?" "Noa," he said, "aw'll tak nowt 'at doesn't belang to me if aw know on it." "You're an insolent scoundrel, and I leave you with contempt." "Yo can leeav me wi' who yo like," he said, "awst mislest noabody if they behave therlsen". They all went an' left him, an' as sooin as they'd getten aat o'th' seet he set up a gurt laff, an' called for another glass; an' aw nooatised at he gave th' landlord a Sovereign to tak pay aat on, an' when he brout him his change back, he said, "Thank you, sir," an' bow'd to him as if he'd been one o'th' gentry. This happened o'th' same day as aw'd been at Briggus, an' awst net forget that in a hurry:—aw'll tell yo abaat it. It wor a varry hot day, an' aw'd walked throo Halifax, an' wor beginin' to get rayther dry, an' when aw'd getten ommost thear, aw saw a booard shoved aat ov a chamer winder, wi' th' words painted on, "Prime Ginger Beer Sold here," soa aw went into th' haase an' ax'd for a bottle. He browt me a old hair oil bottle filled wi' summat, an a varry mucky-lukkin glass to sup aat on. "Cannot yo let me have a cleean glass, maister?" aw axed. "That's clean," he says, "for aw bowt it aboon twelve months sin, an'it's niver been used for owt but pop." Aw emptied th' bottle into it, an it lukk'd ommost like milk sops. "What do yo call all thease things at's swimmin' abaat?" aw says. "O, that's yeast, young man; it's a varry gooid thing for ther inside; aw'd a doctor once call'd for a bottle, an' he wodn't let me tak a bit aat: it does fowk gooid." "Well but wodn't he let yo tak some o' theas pieces o' cork aat?" aw axed. "Net a bit! for he said they acted tother rooad, an' it wor th' best to sup th' lot." "Do yo sell a gooid deal o' this, maister?" "A'a bless yo! aw do that. Ther wor a real lady coom here o' Sunday afternooin, an' shoo supp'd seven bottles, an' shoo said shoo'd ha supped seventeen but her stumack wor varry kittle, an' shoo wor feear'd e' upsettin it." "An' wor ther as mich yeast in 'em as ther is i' this?" aw said. "E'ea! an' moor i' some." "Why, then," aw said, "aw should think shoo'd rise early i'th mornin'." "Ther's nowt noa better for gooin' to bed on, nor for gettin' up on, nor that pop." Just then somdy coom in for a hawporth o' mustard, an' woll he turn'd raand aw emptied it daan th' sink, paid mi penny, an' hook'd it. Soa mich for Briggus, aw thowt. Aw've oft heeard it spokken on as a risin' place, an noa wonder if they swallow yeast at that rate. But aw dooant see what all this has to do wi' haymakkin', soa aw'll rake up noa moar sich like things, for fear yo pitch into me.
Th' mooast remarkable thing 'at aw' con recollect abaat this time last year, wor a trip to Hollinworth Lake. Ther'd been a collection made at the Longloin Sunday Schooil for a new gas meeter; an after they'd getten th' brass, they bethought 'em 'at th' old en could be made do, an' soa th' taichers agreed to have a trip wi' th' funds. They argued a gooid deeal abaat ha to spend it, an' at last it wor decided they should walk all th' rooad, an' spend it as they went on. They started aat at four o'clock one Setterday mornin' i' furst rate fettle. Ther wor six men an' seven women; but as th' superintendent wor as big as two, they considered thersen weel paired. They trudged nicely on till they gate to Bolton Brow, an' then two or three began to feel faint, an' Swallow (that's th' superintendent's name) propooased 'at they should have a drop o' drink to revive 'em. Noabdy had owt to say agean that, soa as th' public haase wor just oppened, one on 'em went in an' browt aat a quart pitcher full an' handed it to Swallow to sup th' furst. An' he did sup—for when he left lause ther wor nowt left but th' froth on his upper lip to tell at ther'd iver bin ony. "Well" said Lijah, "aw've heeared swallows called burds of passage, but if they'd all a passage like thee, they'd sup th' sea dry." "Tha sees, Lijah," he said, "awm unfortunate, for aw've a thirst on me 'at aw cannot quench, an' aw darn't sup watter for fear o' havin' th' dropsy." All th' women agreed' at he wor reight, an' soa after another quart amang em they went on.
What wi' laffin, an' talkin,' an' smookin, they gate to Blackstone Edge Moor, an' some of the women thowt it time for a rest, soa Swallow stop'd all at once an' said, "Do yo all see that stooan post 'at's standin' thear? That's the stooan at devides Yorksher an' Lankysher, an' aw think this a 'varry fit time to say a few words woll yo ease yor legs a bit." Soa up he climb'd onto th' pooast, an' began praichin away, an' kept at it woll they wor all hauf pined to deeath. At last Lijah said, "Hang it up, ha long are ta baan to talk? aw wonder thi conscience doesn't prick thee!" "Prick me!" he said, "Aw defy owt to prick me when awm laborin' for a gooid cause." Just then he ovver balanced hissel an' fell slap into th' middle ov a whin bush; but he wor up in a crack, an' one o' th' lasses said, "if his conscience hadn't getten prick'd summat else had," an' they went forrard, but Swallow kept his hand under his coit lap for a mile or two. They gate to th' lake at last, an' after enjayin' what they call th' seea breeze, they started off to see some o' th' places ov interest. One o' th' furst they steer'd to wor th' birthplace o' Tim Bobbin. "An' who wor Tim Bobbin?" said one o' th' lasses. This puzzled 'em, for ther worn't one i'th' lot 'at knew; but one o' th' chaps said he thowt, if he worn't mistakken, he war th' inventor o' th' spinnin' mule. Th' superintendent said that wor varry likely, for he'd oft nooatised when readin' history books, 'at chaps gate ther names throo summat they'd done, an' soa varry likely he gate called Tim Bobbin for that reason. After that they went back an' had a ride in a booat, an' as nooan on em knew ha to row, th' watter were varry sooin ankle deep inside; some on 'em began to grummel at this. "Oh, niver heed," said Swallow, "yo'll niver catch cold wi' salt watter." It worn't long afoor they wanted ther tea, soa they went into th' haase an' ordered a gooid feed. Aw've heeard cunjurors say, "Quick, Jack, fly," when they've been puttin' summat aat o'th' seet; but ther worn't time to say that wi' them, for th' breead and butter went like leetnin'. One plate full after another kept comin' in, till at last th' mistress said, "Aw think yo must ha' been hungry?" "E'ea, it's change o' climate 'at does it," they said. Soa shoo browt in a fresh lot, but it made noa difference; away it went after tother. "Do yo' know,". shoo says, when shoo coom in agean, "at yo've etten two pund o' breead apiece?" "Why what's two pund when its cut thin," they said? An' at it they went agean. When they couldn't find room for ony moor, they paid ther shot an' started off hooam, whear they landed safely. Th' next Sunday neet, when th' gas wor lit at schooil iverybody wor capt to see what an' improvement th' new meter wor. Soa after passin' a vote o' thanks to th' superintendent an' th' taichers for th' trouble they' been put to, th' matter dropt.
A lecture on this subject was delivered on Tuesday evening, to the members of the Ladies' Needle and Thimble Association, by the Rev. James Sleek, curate of St. Enock's-in-the-Mist. After adverting to the plagues of Egypt, the learned lecturer dwelt at length upon the plagues of the present day, which he classed under the following heads: —Servants, poor relations, borrowers, teetotallars, tobacco-smokers, and children in arms. To counteract these evils were such associations as the one he had the honor to address, select tea meetings, fancy bazaars, and perambulators. The lecture gave great satisfaction.
It's a long loin 'at's niver a turn, an' th' longest loin ends somewhear. Ther's a end to mooast things, an' this is th' end o' the year. When a chap gets turned o' forty, years dooant seem as long as once they did—he begins to be feeared o' time rolling on—but it's fooilish, for it nawther gooas faster nor slower nor iver it did. But he's a happy chap 'at, when th' year ends, can luk back an' think ha mich gooid he's done, for it isn't what a chap will do for th' futer, its what he has done i'th' past 'at fowk mun judge by. Its net wise for onybody to booast o' what they mean to do in a month's time, becoss we cannot tell what a month's time may do for us. We can hardly help havin' a gloomy thowt or two at this part o'th' year, but Kursmiss comes to cheer us up a bit, an' he's nooan ov a gooid sooart 'at can't be jolly once i'th' year. As an owd friend o' mine has cliverly said:—Come let us choose the better part,
Hi! varry true! When ther's no leaves upon th' thorn, they're green upon the holly. Ther's allus summat to be thankful for if we seek it aat—ther's sure to be a bit o' sunshine somewhere—an' its a varry bad case if a chap can't find consolation aat o' summat.
Aw remember a case ov a woman deein' 'at aw knew, an' aw met th' husband lukkin' varry glum a bit at after. "Well Joa," aw said, "tha's had a heavy loss, lad." "Eea, aw have," an' then after studdyin' a bit, he said, "but aw should ha had to ha bowt a new suit afoor long, an' aw mud as weel buy black as any other color; it wod ha been awkerd if aw'd just getten a white hat, as aw thowt on—but Providence! orders all things for th' best."
Ther's noa daat a gooid lot on us find consolation aat o'th' Kursmiss jollification—its just a bit ov a sweetener afoor all th' nooats begin o' commin' in; aw dooant mean five paand nooats, ther's nooan monny o' them stirrin'. It's th' coil nooats, an' gas nooats, an' tax papers, them's th' sooart at's stirrin abaat this time. Wheniver ther's a knock at th' door, yo may ventur to put yor hand i' yor pocket; an' happy he must feel 'at can allus find as mich thear as'll do. But its time enuff to think abaat that sooart o' thing when it comes; we've plenty to do nah to think abaat plum pudding an' rooast beef—an' aw hooap at iverybody 'at reads this may have enuff an' to spare. If aw could do owt to help yo to enjoy yorsen, awm sure aw wod, but as that's aat o' mi paar, just afoor aw leave for another twelve months aw'll gie yo a tooast, an' aw hooap yo'll all drink a bumper to it. Here gooas! Fill up to th' brim! Are yo ready? Here's off!God bless ivery one raand yor table
After the annual excursion of the Lowly Dale Scientific Society, the members were addressed by Mr. Evertrot Gagthorp. New specimens, the product of their recent journey, now enrich the Museum: viz. In Geology—Limestone, pumice stone, soft stone, white stone, plum stone, and cherry stone. Conchology—Egg shell Tortoise shell nut shell and satchel. Botany—Corn flour, grog blossom, and many leaves from the book of nature. Entomology—a swallow tail had been obtained, but the president going to a dress party, had got the loan of it.
"On Valentine's day, will a gooid gooise lay," is a varry old sayin', an' aw dare say a varry gooid en; an' if all th' geese wod nobbut lay o' that day ther'd be moor chonce o' eggs bein' cheap. But it isn't th' geese we think on at th' fourteenth o' this month i'ts th' little ducks, an' th' billy dux. A'a aw wish aw'd all th' brass 'at's spent o' valentines for one year; aw wodn't thank th' queen to be mi aunt. Ther's nobdy sends me valentines nah. Aw've known th' time when they did, but aw'm like a old stage cooach, aw'm aat o' date. Aw'st niver forget th' furst valentine aw had sent. Th' pooastman browt it afoor aw'd getten aat o' bed, an' it happen'd to be Sunday mornin'. Aw read it ovver an' ovver agean, an' aw luk'd at th' directions an' th' pooast mark, but aw cudn't make aat for mi life who'd sent it; but whoiver it war aw wor detarmined to fall i' love wi' her as soain as aw gate to know. Then aw shov'd it under th' piller an' shut mi een an' tried to fancy what sooart ov a lass shoo must be, an' someha aw fell asleep, an' aw dremt, but aw willn't tell yo what aw dremt for fear yo'll laff. But when aw wakken'd, aw sowt up an' daan, but nowhere could aw find th' valentine. Aw wor ommost heartbrokken, an' aw pool'd all th' cloas off th' bed, an' aw luk'd under it, an' ovver it, but net a bit on it could aw see, an' at last aw began to fancy 'at aw must ha dremt all th' lot, an' 'at aw'd niver had one sent at all; but when aw wor gettin' mi breeches on, blow me! if it worn' t stuck fast wi a wafer to mi shirt lap. What her 'at sent it ud a sed if shoo'd seen it, aw can't tell an' aw wodn't if aw could; but aw know one thing, aw wor niver i' sich a muck sweeat afoor sin aw wor born, an' when aw went to mi braikfast aw 'wor soa maddled, wol aw couldn't tell which wor th' reight end o'th' porridge spooin, but aw comforted misen at last wi' thinkin' 'at aw worn't th' furst 'at had turned ther back ov a valentine.