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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Yorksher Puddin', by John Hartley

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Title: Yorksher Puddin'
       A Collection of the Most Popular Dialect Stories from the
       Pen of John Hartley

Author: John Hartley

Release Date: May 8, 2006 [EBook #18175]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK YORKSHER PUDDIN' ***




Produced by David Fawthrop and Alison Bush







Yorksher Puddin'

A collection of the most popular dialect stories
From the pen of John Hartley. Born 1839 Died 1915.

Author of "Yorkshire ditties," "Clock Almanack," "Seets i' london," etc.

"This life, sae far's I understand,
is an enchanted fairy land,
where pleasure is the magic wand, that weilded right,
maks hours like minutes, hand in hand dance by fir' light."
Burns.

The Copyright of this Book is entirely the property of W. Nicholson and Sons, and no one will be allowed to print any portion of it without their permission.

Preface

The numerous applications for the productions of Mr. Hartley's pen, the majority of which have been out of print for many years, warrants us in believing that this collection of Yorkshire Stories, will be welcomed to a large circle of his admirers.

Dedication

To my Dear Sister Hannah, to whose love and motherly care I owe more than I can ever repay, I dedicate this little book as a token of sincere affection. John Hartley Christmas 1876.


Contents


Frozen to Death
Pill Jim's Progress Wi' Johns Bunion.
Moravian Knight's Entertainment.
Sperrit Rappin.
Ther's a Mule I' th' Garden.
A Neet at "Widup's Rest."
Tinklin' Tom.
Th' New Schooil Booard.
Tha Caps me Nah!
Nay Fer Sewer!
Th' Battle o' Tawkin.
"Owd Tommy."
It Mud ha' been War.
Ha a Dead Donkey Towt a Lesson.
One, Two, Three.
Sammy Bewitched.
Hard to Pleeas.
Ratcatchin'.
Owd Moorcock.
Peace Makkin.
Awr Emma—A False Alarm.
Niver Judge by Appearances.
Mi First Testimonial.
Five Paand Nooat.
Silly Billy.
Put up wi' it.
A Queer Dream.
The Mystery of Burt's Babby
Mak th' best on't.
Mrs Spaiktruth's Pairty.
Why Tommy isn't a Deacon.
One Amang th' Rest.
What's yor Hurry?
Ha Owd Stooansnatch's Dowter gate Wed.
Th' New Railrooad.
Mose Hart's Twelvth Mess.
Th' Hoil-i'th'-Hill Statty.
Owd Dawdles.
Property Huntin'.
Abraham's Sparrib.
A Run ovver th' Year.


Frozen to Death

Or the Cottage on the Hill.

A Christmas Story.

CHAPTER I.

The last strain of the grand old Christmas hymn had just been warbled forth from the throats and hearts of a number of happy folks, who were seated around the blazing log one Christmas eve; and on the face of each one of that family circle the cheering light revealed the look of happiness; the young—happy in the present, and indulging in hopeful anticipations for the future; the old,—equally happy as the young, and revelling in many a darling memory of the past.

"Come, Uncle John!" said a bright-eyed, flaxen-haired beauty, over whose head not more than ten Christmas days had passed,—"Come, uncle, do tell us a story; you know that we always expect one from you."

"Well, my pretty little niece," he replied, "I fear that I have exhausted all my store of ghosts and hobgoblins, and if I tell you a story now, it must be from the cold, stern world of fact, which, I fear, will be less interesting to you than the romantic fictions I have rehearsed on former occasions."

"Oh dear, no! tell us a story, a true story—we shall be all the more delighted to know that we are listening to an account of what has really occurred. Do begin at once, please".

Knocking the ashes from the bowl of his pipe, and having carefully reared it against the hob, he commenced:—

"The factory bells had just ceased ringing, and the whistles had given out their last shrieks, like the expiring yells of some agonized demon, as the old church clock drowsily tolled the hour of six, on one of the most miserable of December mornings. High on a bleak hill stood a little whitewashed cottage, from the door of which issued two children, apparently about ten years of age. As they stept into the cold morning air they shuddered, and drew their scanty garments closer around them.

"Nah, yo'll ha' to luk sharp! yond's th' last whew!—yo've nobbut fifteen minutes," cried a voice from within.

It was with great difficulty that the little couple succeeded in reaching the high road, for the ground was covered with ice, on which a continual sleet fell, and the wind, in fitful blasts, howled about them, threatening at almost every step to overthrow them. But they had no time to think of these things; slipping and running, giving each other all the aid in their power, they pressed on in the direction of the factory—the fear of being too late over-whelming every other consideration.

"Come on, Susy!" said the little lad, whom we should take to be the older of the two. "Come on, we shall niver be thear i' time; come on! stand up! tha hasn't hurt thi, has ta?" he said, as she fell for the third time upon the slippery pavement.

Tenderly he helped her to rise, but poor Susy had hurt herself, and although she strove to keep back her tears and smother her sobs, Tom saw that she had sustained a severe injury.

"Whisht!" he said, "tha munnot cry; whear ar ta hurt? Come, lain o' me, an' aw'l hug thi basket."

"O, Tom, aw've hurt mi leg—aw cannot bide to goa any farther; tha'd better leave me, for aw'm sure we'st be too lat."

"Happen net—tha'll be better in a bit,—put thi arm raand mi shoulder, tha'rt nobbut leet; aw could ommost hug thi if it worn't soa slippy. Sup o' this tea, si thee, it's warm yet, an' then tha'll feel better: an' if we are a bit too lat, aw should think they'll let us in this mornin'."

Susy drank of the tea, and, revived by its warmth, she made another attempt to pursue her way. But it was slow work; Tom did his best to help her, and tried to cheer her as well as he could, though now an' then a tear fell silently from his eyes, for his little fingers were numbed with cold, and he felt the rain had already penetrated to his skin, and the dreadful prospect of being late, and having to remain in the cold for two hours, was in itself sufficient to strike dread into the heart of one older and stronger than he. Even the watchman as he passed, turned his light upon them for a moment, and sighed. It was no business of his,—but under his waterproof cape there beat a father's heart, and he murmured as he paced the solitary street, "Thank God, they arn't mine."

But we must leave them to pursue as best they can, their miserable way, whilst we return to have a glance at the occupants of the cottage from which we saw them start. It is a one storied building, with but one room and a small out-kitchen; in one corner is a bed, on which is laid a pale, emaciated young man, to all appearance not yet thirty years of age: he is asleep, but from the quick short breath, it is not difficult to infer that his best days are over. In another corner, a number of boxes are arranged so as to extemporize a bed, now unoccupied, but from which the two little factory-workers have but lately arisen. A jug of herb tea is on the table. The fire is very low, and the light from it is only sufficient to render all indistinctly visible. In a chair opposite is a young woman with such a mournful, careworn face, that a glance inspires you with sorrow; and from a bundle of clothes on her knee issues the fretful wail of a restless child. The monotonous tick of an old clock is the only sound, saving the longdrawn sigh of that young mother, or the quick, hollow breathing of the sleeping man. Now and then the wind whistles more shrilly through the crevices of the door, and the rain beats with greater force against the little window. The mother draws still nearer to the few red embers, and turns a timid glance to the window and then to the bed: another sigh, and then the overburdened heart overflows at her eyes, and the large bright drops fall quickly on that dearly loved infant.

The church clock chimes a quarter after six—this rouses the mother once more to set aside her own griefs; the wind still howls, and the rain beats with unabated fury against the glass: her thoughts are of those little ones, and a tremor passes over her as she fears lest they should be shut out. The man moves wearily in his bed, and opening his eyes, he looks towards his wife. She is at his side in an instant.

"Have they gooan, Bessy?" he asks.

"Eea, they've gooan, an' aw hooap ther thear before nah."

"It saands vary wild. We ne'er thowt it ud come to this twelve year sin, Bess,—an' it's all along o' me!"

"Nay, Jim, tha munnot say soa—tha knows we can nooan on us help bein poorly sometimes, but when spring comes tha'll pick up thi crumbs agean, an' things 'll be different."

"That's true, lass,—aw feel that's true—things will be different when spring comes, an' afoor it comes, aw'm feeard. Has ta iver been i' bed to-neet?"

"Nay, aw couldn't come to bed, 'coss th' child wor cross, but aw've slept a bit i' th' cheer: dooant thee bother, aw'l look after mi sen. Will ta have a sup o' this teah?"

"Whisht!" he said, "that's awr Susy callin, aw'm sure it is! Oppen th' door!"

She flew to oppen th' door, and the storm rushed in with fury; the snow had begun to fall thickly: she strained her eyes and called, "Susy! Susy!" but she heard no response: yet her heart misgave her, for the thoughts of her darlings being exposed to such a storm made her shudder; but necessity knows no law, and on the slender earnings of these two children depended the subsistence of herself and husband.

"Aw think tha wor mistakken, Jim: aw con see nowt," she said, as she returned and closed the door.

"Well, happen aw wor; but it's a sorry mornin to turn aght two little lambs like them. Bessy," he said, lowering his voice to a whisper, "aw know aw'm i'th' gate,—aw con do nowt but lig i' bed, an' aw know 'at thee an' th' childer have to goa short mony a time for what aw get, but it willn't be for long. Dooant rooar! tha knows it's summat 'at we've nowt to do wi; an' tha heeard what th' parson said, 'Ther's One aboon at 'll work all things together for gooid,' an' aw feel my time's commin' varry near; but aw'm nooan freetened like aw used to be; aw think it's gooin to be a change for th' better—an' He'll luk after thee an' th' little ens."

"O! Jim! tha munnot talk abaght leavin us yet; tha'll be better in a bit."

"Niver i' this world, Bessy! Come, put thi heead o' th' pillow here beside me, aw think aw want to rest."

She placed the little babe upon the coverlet, laid her head upon the pillow, and worn out with watching, she wept herself asleep.

The church clock had chimed the half-hour before Tom and his little sister landed at the mill yard, and it was closed. The storm was still raging, but to his repeated entreaties for admission the same answer was returned, "Tha'rt too lat! tha connot come in afoor th' braikfast." Experience had taught him how vain his endeavours would be to obtain admission; and had it been himself alone that was shut out, he would have gone quietly away and spent the time as best he might; but he felt emboldened by the responsibility that was upon him on his sister's account, and he redoubled his efforts, but the timekeeper was inexorable:—"My orders iz, az nubdy mun come in after a quarter past, an' if tha doesn't goa away aw'l warm thi Jacket for thi; tha should ha come i' time same as other fowk." Poor Tom! there had still lingered some little faith in the goodness of human nature in his breast, but as he turned away, the last spark died out. To attempt to go home he knew would be useless, and therefore he sought as the only alternative, some place where he might find shelter. At a short distance from the gate, but within the sound of the whirling wheels, he sat down with his uncomplaining sister upon his knee. The snow began to fall gently at first, and he watched it as the feathery flakes grew larger and larger. He did not feel cold now; he wrapped his little scarf around his sister's neck. The snow fell still thicker: he felt so weary, so very weary; his little sister too had fallen asleep on his breast;—he laid his head against the cold stone wall, and the snow still fell, so softly, so very gently, that he dozed away and dreamed of sunny lands where all was bright and warm: and in a short time the passer-by could not have told that a brother and sister lay quietly slumbering there, wrapped in their shroud of snow.

The hum of wheels has ceased; the crowd of labourers hurry out to their morning's meal; a few short minutes, and the discordant whistles again shriek out their call to work. Tom and Susy, where are they? The gates will soon be closed again!

Well, let them close! other gates have opened for those little suffering ones. The gates of pearl have swung upon their golden hinges; no harsh voice of unkind taskmaster greets them on their entrance, but that glorious welcome.

"Come, ye blessed!" and their unloosed tongues join in the loud "Hosannah."

But those pearly gates are not for ever open. The time may come when those shall stand before them unto whom the words, "Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me," shall sound the death-knell of all hopes throughout an inconceivable eternity.

CHAPTER II.

It is night, and the wind is sighing itself away. The snow has ceased to fall, and the moon looks down upon the hills in their spotless covering, shedding her soft, mild light upon all. The little cottage on the hill side would be imperceptible, were it not for the light that streams through the window and the open door. The church clock has just struck eight, and for nearly an hour a woman has stood looking towards the town, her anxiety increasing every moment. She listens to the sound of feet on the crisp snow—they come nearer—they are opposite the turn that leads to the cottage: but they pass on. Again and again she listens:—once or twice she fancies she sees two children in the distance—but they come not. Passersby become less frequent; again the church clock chimes, and all is still. Her husband and her babe are asleep. Quickly putting on her bonnet and shawl, she runs to her nearest rleighbour to ask if she will sit with them until she returns, for she must go and learn how it is that her children have not come home. She fears no denial, and she meets with none; as soon as she has stated her case, the good woman replies, "Sit wi' 'em lass! aw'm sure aw will! an' thee," she said, turning to her husband, "put on thi hat an' coit an' goa wi' her."

"O, they're nobbut laikin at snowball, or else slurrin a bit," he said;—at the same time he put on his hat and coat, and showed as much alacrity to join in the search as the mother herself.

Owd Becca thrust into her capacious pocket a tea cake and two eggs, and taking the teapot into which she put a good supply of tea, she prepared for starting off; but suddenly recollecting herself, she returned and called in loud tones to her daughter: "Sarah I get that sucking bottle, an' fill it wi' milk for th' little en, an' nah, if yo two 'll nobbut bring th' childer back, aw'l see 'at all gooas on reight at hooam."

Bessy began to express her thanks, but Becca was determined not to hear her, and drowned all she said in exhorting her husband to "luk sharp." Bessy and Old Abe directed their steps to the factory, but often paused to ask passers-by if they had seen the two lost ones, but as there had so many children passed whose outward appearance corresponded with theirs of whom they were in search, they thought it best to go at once to the works and ascertain at what time they left.

Bessy's heart misgave her as she knocked at the gatekeeper's house; an indefinable dread came over her, and she scarce knew how to state her case. Little did she think that within sound of her voice lay the dear objects of her search; hundreds of feet had passed them during the day, but none had disturbed them; the whistles had screamed for them in vain, for they had gone to that lasting "rest prepared for the weary and heavy laden." From the gatekeeper they learned that the two had arrived too late in the morning and gone away somewhere, but had not returned or been seen afterwards. Bessy stood transfixed for a moment, scarce knowing what to do, but Old Abe could look at the case more calmly; and taking hold of her hand, he led her gently away, and proceeded forthwith to the police station, where he gave as full an account and as correct a description of the missing ones as he was able. It took but a short time to accomplish this much, but the journey homewards was not so speedily performed. Every dark corner was explored, and every alley and by-lane had to be traversed, and the morning was far advanced when they reached home after their unsuccessful search.

The husband and babe were still sleeping, for Becca had ministered to all their wants. She had buoyed herself with the hope that they would be successful: but when she saw them return alone, her spirits sank as low as those of the mother, and although she was silent, yet the frequent application of the apron to her eyes showed that she felt as a mother for one so sorrowfully placed.

Promising to "luk in i' th' morn'," they left the disconsolate Bessy to her grief.

Who shall attempt to describe the anguish of that bereaved parent? Statuelike she sat, nursing a sorrow too deep for tears. Hours passed, and the first faint streak of dawn found her still sitting, with her eyes intently fixed on vacancy. Her husband's voice was the first thing that roused her from the state of despondency into which she had sunk. He spoke with difficulty, and his voice was feeble as a child's. "Bessy," he gasped, "tha munnot leave me ony moor. It's drawin varry near. Awr little Tom an' Susy have been here wol tha's been off; aw heeard 'em calling for me, but aw could'nt goa until aw'd had a word wi' thee. Aw'm feeard tha'll tak it hard, lass, but if tha finds tha cannot bide it, ax th' parson to tell thee what he tell'd to me, an' it'll comfort thee." Bessy was unable to reply. Sorrows had been heaped upon her so heavily that her feelings were benumbed; she scarcely comprehended what was said, but in the bitterness of her soul she fell upon her knees and sobbed—"Lord, help me!"

Her husband feebly took her hand and drew her towards him. "He will help thee, lassie, niver fear. One kiss, Bessy; gooid bye! Tom! Susy!—It's varry dark.—Aw think aw want to sleep."—

"And ere that hour departed.
All death reveals, he knew."

CHAPTER III.

A change had taken place in the atmosphere since Bessy and Abe had returned. Here and there green patches could be seen on the hill side, and the distant town presented a view of smoke-blackened roofs that shone, dripping with wet as the sickly' sun glanced over them. Little or no snow was to be found in the streets, and all the hideous sights stood out once more rejoicing in their naked deformities.

The giant engine—the factory's heart—was ceasing to beat once more, in order to allow the workers time to swallow the food necessary to enable them to bear up until noon. The gates were opened, and the crowd swarmed forth, but all seemed instinctively directed to a group at a short distance, whose pallid faces reflected the ghastly sight before them. The group soon swelled to a vast crowd. Enquiries were made on every hand by those in the outer circle—"What is it? what is it?" "Frozen to death." Tenderly those rough handed, rough-spoken men raised the death-frozen little ones. Some there were who knew them and had heard of their loss. It was to them an easy task to account for their deaths, and curses low but deep were cast on them, at whose doors the blood of those innocents must lie.

The bodies were taken to the nearest inn to wait an inquest. Those in authority were quickly on the alert; whilst some who were acquainted with the parents prepared to carry them the sorrowful tidings.—Poor Bessy! thy cup of bitterness is nearly full!

Old Becca had come according to promise, and found Bessy laid partially upon the bed in a swoon, her arm around the neck of him who had been her faithful partner for a dozen years. She raised her, bathed her forehead, and used all means in her power to promote her recovery. After a short time she was successful; and having prepared the other bed and placed Bessy upon it, she hastily left to get some assistance.

The poor have but the poor on whom they can depend in an emergency; and it is a blessing that the request for help to each other is rarely if ever made in vain.

She soon returned with plenty of willing hands—one took the babe, and others remained to perform the last sad offices to the remains of him who had gone "a little while before." Soon the men arrived with the mournful account of the discovery of the children, but Bessy knew it not. God had had compassion upon her, and to save her heart from breaking, had thrown a cloud over her reason.

Silently they stood for a moment in that house of death; and as they turned to go, one after another placed what money each had, noiselessly upon the table: the whole perhaps did not amount to much, but who shall say that it was not a welcome loan to the Lord—an investment in heaven that should in after time yield to them an interest outweighing the wealth of the whole world?

As the day advanced, numbers gathered round the inn where the coroner and jury were assembled. The usual form of viewing the bodies was gone through; and, with the exception of the girl's ancle, which was found to be dislocated, there appeared nothing to account for death save exposure to the cold.

The coroner quickly summed up, and addressing the jury said—"he did not see how they could bring in any other verdict than 'died from natural causes.'" With one exception all acquiesced, and this one refused to agree to such a verdict, saying that death had been caused by unnatural causes! At last the verdict was altered to "Found frozen to death." To this a juryman wished to add something about arbitrary laws and inhumanity, but he was overruled.

It needed nothing now but to put them in the earth, and cover them up.

The following morning the whistles shrieked as fiercely, the wheels went round as merrily as ever; two other children were in the places of the lost ones, and it was as if they had never been.

The day for the funeral arrived—the father and children were to be interred together. There was a large gathering of sympathising friends. Poor Bessy! had partially recovered, but seemed like one just waking from a dream; the mournful cortege gained the church yard. The coffins were slowly lowered into the grave. The grey-haired pastor's voice was at times almost inaudible—every heart was touched, for all took the case home to themselves, and asked the question, "How if they were mine?" "Dust to dust, and ashes to ashes," and the ceremony was completed.

Few of them had failed to remark the presence of a strange mourner—one whose dress bespoke him to be a gentleman; and as the widow turned to leave the grave, he stept up to her and offered her his arm for support. She took it mechanically, and wended her way to her desolate home. He was the only one, with the exception of Old Becca, who entered with Bessy.

He looked around the forlorn room, gazing now here, now there, to hide his emotion. He seemed about to speak when a knock at the door interrupted him.

Becca opened it, and returned with a letter stating that the bearer required an answer. The stranger took it with an air of authority and broke the seal; as he did so, a five pound note fluttered to the ground. While he read the letter his eyes flashed with a strange fire, and his quivering nostril showed the strength of the passion raging within.

Turning to the boy, he thrust the letter into his hand, and bade him pick up the note. "Take this answer to your master, boy," he said; "we return the letter and his money with disdain, and tell him that Bessy Green is not so desolate and friendless that she needs accept five pounds as the price of two innocent lives. The debt is one that no man can cancel: but the reckoning day is sure to come! tell him that, boy, from the brother of Bessy Green, from the uncle of Tom and Susy."

The boy hurried away with the message; and Bessy, who had been aroused by the stranger's vehemence, at the word "brother," threw herself upon his neck, crying—"It is George!" What follows is quickly told: Bessy's grief was deep, and it took long long months before she was fitted to engage in the ordinary occupations of life; but change of scene and cheerful company, together with the daily expanding beauties of her only child, partially healed her lacerated heart. Her generous brother, who had returned from a distant land,—where fortune had smiled upon his labours—took her to live with him, and adopted her child as his son. Becca and Abe became also installed in the house as helpers; and now, far away from the regions of factory whews, they are all living amicably together.

"That is my story for this; Christmas. How do you like it?"

It is very sorrowful, uncle John, but we are much obliged to you for telling it us, but it is surely wrong for children so young to be compelled to go to work at such an early hour?

"It may not be wrong to require them so to do, but it would at least show a desire on the part of the employers to ameliorate the hardness of their lot if, while endeavouring to enforce strict punctuality, they would provide some shelter for those who, having come from a distance, fail to arrive in time for admission."

"Hark, the village Waits!"


Pill Jim's Progress Wi' Johns Bunion.

It wor a varry wild day when John set off to see Pill Jim, as he wor called, but as it wor varry particklar business, he didn't let th' weather stop him.

Nah, Pill Jim wor a varry nooated chap i' some pairts o' Yorkshire. He wor an old chap, an' lived in a little haase to hissen, an' gate a livin' wi' quack-docterin' a bit; an' whativer anybody ailed, he'd some pills at wor sure to cure 'em; soa, as John had been sufferin' a long' time, he thought he'd goa an' have a bit o' tawk wi' him, an' see if he could get any gooid done.

It chonced, as luck let, at Jim wor at hooam, an' he invited him in, but as he'd nobbut one cheer, John had to sit o'th' edge o'th' long table.

"Well, John," he sed, "an' what's browt thee here this mornin'?"

"Nay, nowt 'at means mich, Jim; but aw've heeard a gooid deal o' tawk abaght thy pills, an' aw thowt they'd happen do me a bit o' gooid; but aw wanted to have a bit o' tawk to thee th' first abaght it, for tha knows one sooart o' physic doesn't do for iverybody."

"Tha'rt just mistakken abaght that, John, for my pills cure owt; they're oppenin' pills, an' although aw'm a chap 'at doesn't like to crack abaght misen, aw con just tell thee a thing or two 'at'll mak thee stare."

"Well, that's what aw want, Jim, s'oa get on wi' thy tellin'."

"Aw hardly know whear to begin, but, hasumiver, aw'll tell thee one thing: ther's lots o' fowk livin' raand abaght here 'at's been oppen'd by em, an' to some tune too; an' although aw consider physic an evil at all times, still my pills must be regarded as a necessary evil. A chap once coom to see me, an' browt a lot o' oysters, but he wor fast ha to get into 'em; aw made noa moor to do but just put two or three pills amang 'em, an' they wor oppen'd in a minit. He sed he'd niver seen sich a thing afoor. An' if tha con keep a secret, aw'll tell thi summat else but tha munnot split. One neet just at th' end o' last summer, a queer-lukkin' chap coom an' sed he didn't feel vary weel, an' he'd come to me becoss he didn't want tother doctors to know; soa aw axed him who he wor. He didn't like to tell me for a bit, but at last he sed' he wor th' Clerk o'th' Weather Office, an' he'd just getten a day off, bi th' way ov a leetnin'.' 'Well,' aw says, 'aw'll gie yo a box o' pills, an' yo mun tak two ivery neet.' He thanked me an' went away, an' aw've niver seen a wink on him sin, but tha may be sure it's them pills 'at we have to thank for sich a oppen winter as we've had, for as aw sed befoor, they'll oppen owt."

"Well, Jim, tha fair caps me! Aw wonder tha hasn't made a fortun befoor nah! But aw dooant think aw want ony pills, tho' aw'm badly enough."

"Why, what does ta ail? Has ta getten th' backwark, or th' heeadwark, or does ta feel wamly sometimes an' cannot ait?"

"Nawther, John; it's summat else nor that."

"Why, is it summat 'at tha has o' thi mind!"

"Noa, it isn't mi mind, it's mi understandin' 'at's 'sufferin'. Th' fact is, Jim, aw'm troubled wi' a bunion."

"Let's luk at it," says Jim, "ther's nowt easier to cure nor a bunion."

John took off his shoe an' stockin', an' when Jim saw it he sed, "Oh, aw see what it wants; it wants bringin' to a heead."

"Well, aw think bi th' rate it's growin', it'll be a heead afoor long, for it's as big as mi neive already."

"Nah, aw'll tell thee what tha mun do. Tak five or six o' thease pills ivery neet till tha feels a bit ov a difference, an' when tha gooas to bed tha mun put thi fooit into a pooltice, an' tha'll find it'll get better as it mends."

"Well, aw think ther's some sense i' what tha says, soa aw think aw'll try some; ha does ta sell 'em?"

"If tha buys a box they're a penny, but they corne in cheaper to buy 'em bi weight, an' as its thee aw'll let thi have a pund for a shillin'; if it wor onybody else, they'd be sixteen pence."

"Well, aw'll tak a pund, onyway. An' if aw can't tak 'em all misen, they'll happen be useful to somdy else."

"Tha mun tak 'em all thisen, an' then tha'll feel th' benefit on em," sed Jim.

"Well," sed John, when he'd getten 'em teed up in his hankerchy, "aw wish yo gooid day, an aw'll come an' see yo in a bit to repoort progress."

John limped hooam as weel as he could, an' after puttin' th' pills into a pint basin i'th' cubbard, he went to bed. His wife axed him what he could like to his supper, but he sed he worn't particklar, soa shoo went daanstairs, an' when shoo luk'd i'th' cubbard, shoo saw this basin o' pills, but shoo thowt they wor pays; soa shoo gate a bit o' mutton an' made a sup o' broth an' put 'em in; an' when they'd been boilin' awhile shoo couldn't find 'em hardly. "Why," shoo sed, "aw niver saw sich pays as theease i' all mi life; they've all boiled to smush." Shoo tuk him a basinful upstairs, an' after a spooinful or two, he sed he thowt they tasted rayther queer. "Oh! it's thi maath at's aght o' order, mun," shoo sed; "get 'em into thee, they're sure to do thee gooid."

John tew'd hard wi' 'em an' at last he finished 'em. "Niver buy ony moor pays at that shop," he sed, "for aw'm sure they're nooan reight.

"Aw didn't buy 'em," shoo sed, "they're what wor i'th' cubbard; aw thowt tha'd put 'em thear thisen."

When John heeard that, he knew in a minit what shoo'd done, an' he stared at her.

"What are ta staring at, wi' thi een an' thi maath wide oppen like that?" sed his wife.

"Tha'd ha' thi een an' thi maath oppen if tha'd swallowed what aw have," he said, "for they'll oppen ewt."

John gate up an' dressed an' went aght, an' as he didn't offer to come back, his wife an' two or three ov his mates went to seek him; an' a few yards off th' door they fan his clooas an' hat an' a pair o' booits, an' in one o'th' booits they fan a bunion,—an' that wor all ther wor left o' John.

It wor rayther a awkard thing to swear to, but his wife sed shoo couldn't be mistakken, for shoo knew it soa weel wol shoo'd be bun to be able to pick it aght ov a looad o' new puttates. Ov cooarse, they'd a inquest, but as ther wor noa evidence, an' sich a case had niver been known befoor, they returned a oppen verdict.

A few days after, as Pill Jim wor gooin' past th' church yard, he saw a chap oppenin' a grave, an' axed him who he wor oppenin' it for; an' when he heeard it wor for th' remains o' poor John, he muttered to hissen, "Noa wonder! noa wonder! them pills, they'll oppen owt. Aw wor sure they'd awther drive th' bunion away throo John, or John away throo th' bunion, which wor for th' best aw connot tell; its an oppen question— them pills leeave ivery—thing oppen."


Moravian Knight's Entertainment.

If yo want to know owt abaght me, let me tell yo 'at they called mi father Knight, an' when aw wor born he had me kursend Moravian; but noa sooiner did aw begin to laik wi' th' lads abaght ner aw began to be called Morry Neet. Soa mich abaght misen.

Aw oft think 'at fowk mak a sad mistak, i' spendin all ther time leearnin. Aw think if them 'at know soa mich had to spend part o' ther time taichin other fowk what they know, th' world mud ha' fewer philosophers, but it 'ud have fewer fooils. As that's my nooation, awve detarmined to let yo know ha aw gate on th' furst time aw went to a penny readin, an' may be somdy 'll leearn summat bi that.

Awd seen a lot o' bills stuck up for mony a day, statin' at th' 16th select penny readin' wor to tak place i'th' Jimmy Loin National Schooil, an' aw thowt awd goa. Soa when th' neet coom aw went to th' door aw clap daan mi penny like a mon, an' wor walkin in—

"Stop! Stop!" shaated aght th' brass takker, "Tha mun come back, tha's nobbut gien me a penny."

"Aw know aw've nobbut gien thee a penny," aw says; "Ha mich moor does ta want? Its a penny readin, isn't it?"

"Eea, its a penny readin, but its thrippince to goa in," he sed.

"Well, if that's it," aw says, "here's tother tuppince, but awm blowed if aw see it." But aw went in, an' a rare hoilful ther wor. In a bit Alderman Nonowt wor vooated into th' cheer, an' then he made a speech—

"Ladies and Gentlemen—(then he coughed two or three times, an' supt o' watter),—I can assure you 'at nothink gives me greater pleasure, or greater enjoyment, or I might say greater satisfaction, (a varry deal o' clappin i'th' front seeats—supt twice), when I look around me, ladies and gentlemen, and see so many old and familiar faces that I have never seen before, and when I see so many strangers that I have passed long years of social intercourse amongst, I feel, ladies and gentlemen, I feel moved, very much moved, and when I gaze again I begin to feel removed. Our object which we have in view, in keeping agate of giving these here readings, are to throw open the doors of knowledge, so that all may come and drink from the inexhaustible bottle, so to speak, ladies and gentleman, which says 'drink and thirst no more' (great cheering—women wi' cleean pocket hankerchies blow ther nooases). These meetings have also another himportant object, a nobject noble and great, which is namely, to draw people out of the public houses, and create a thirst in them for wisdom. How many men, after a hard day's work, go and sit in the public house, or what is still worse, often spend their time at some thripny concert room until nine or ten o'clock, whereas now they can come here and sit until 10 or 11 o'clock, where they are not only hentertained, but hedicated and hedified. With thease few remarks, I call upon the first reader for a solo on the German concertina."

An' it wor a solo! It reminded me o' being in a bazaar at Fair time, an' abaght a thaasand childer blowin penny trumpets; an' he whewd his arms abaght like a windmill; an' aw wor nooan sooary when he'd done. But fowk clapt an' stamped wol he coom back agean; an' he bow'd an' sed he'd give 'em an immitation o'th' backpipe, an' awve noa daat it wor varry like it, for awm sure noa frontpipe iver made as faal a din. After that th' cheerman made a few remarks an' sed, music had charms to soothe the savage beast, an' he'd no doubt we all felt soothed with what we had heard. He had now the pleasure to call for something of a more elevating nature still. The next reading would be a comic song. "Up in a balloon boys."

Th' chap 'at gave that wor varry wise, for as sooin as he'd begun singin' he shut his een an' niver oppened 'em agean till he'd done, an' if he'd kept his maath shut aw should ha' been better suited still. Ov coorse he wor honcored, an' he coom back an' sang "Be—e—eutifool oil of the Se—e—e—he! wol he fair fooamd at th' maath, but awl wave mi opinion o' that. Then coom th' gem o'th' evening, an' th' chap wor a gem 'at sang it. Th' cheerman sed he was always proud to be able to sit an' listen to such like, for it show'd what a deal better world ther might be if we all did our best for one another.

Th' peanner struck up, an' a chap in a big white hat an' longlapp'd coit sang "What aw did for Hannah," an' afoor he'd finished aw thowt if he'd done hauf as mich for Hannah as he'd done for us he owt to be shot. But when a chap's i' favor he con do owt, an' when he'd done an' been called back three times, th' cheerman sed it wor now his duty to introduce the Rev'd Dowell to read a selection from Heenuck Harden.

As sooin as he'd sed this ivery body began to walk aght, an' soa as aw thowt they must be gooin into another raam to hear it, aw went aght too. But when awd getten aghtside aw saw they wor all awther leetin ther pipes or laikin at soddin one another. Aw axed one on 'em if it wor all over. "Net it," he sed, "we've nobbut come aght wol yond dry old stick has done talking. Th' best pairt o'th' entertainment has to come off yet! Ther's three single step doncers gooin to contest for a copy ov 'Baxter's Saint's Rest,' bun up wi' gilt edges."

When aw heeard that aw ihowt, well, awm nooa saint misel, but if awm a sinner awl have a bit o' rest, whether it's Baxter's or net. Soa aw walked quitely off hooam, thinkin ha thankful we owt to be at fowk 'll labor as they do to improve an elevate poor workin' fowk. That wor th' end o' my entertainment.


Sperrit Rappin.

Did yo iver goa to a sperrit rappin' doo? Aw did once, but aw can't say it wor mich i' my line.

It happen'd one Setterdy neet 'at aw'd been to have a pint at th' "Rompin Kittlin," an' aw heeard some chaps say 'at ther wor baan to be a meetin i'th' owd wayvin shop o'th' Sundy afternooin, an' iver so mony mediums wor commin to tell all 'at wor gooin on i'th' tother world, soa as awd nowt else to do, aw went, an' after a bit o' thrustin aw managed to get into a front seat: but they wor varry particlar who they let in. As aw wor set, waitin for th' performance to begin, aw thowt it luk'd varry mich like a inquest, for ther wor one chap set o'th' end o't' table, an' six daan each side; an' they wor a lot o'th' rummest lukkin fowk aw'd seen for a long time. They all seem'd as if they wanted sendin aght to grass, for ther faces wor th' color ov a lot o' tallow craps. In a bit they started, an' we all sang a hymn, an' varry weel it wor sung too, considerin 'at that radical gravestoan letterer joined in it; for if ther is ony body 'at can throw a whole congregation aght o' tune, its owd Cinnamon, for he owt niver to oppen his maath onywhear unless all th' fowk is booath deeaf an' blind, for th' seet o' his chowl is enuff to drive all th' harmony aght ov a meetin. Aw dar wager a trifle 'at he'd be able to spoil th' Jubilee. But as aw wor sayin, we did varry weel considerin, an' then th' cheerman gate up an' addressed a few words to us. He sed he'd noa daat 'at ther wor a goaid many amang us 'at didn't believe i' sperrits, but he could assure us 'at ther wor moor i' sperrits sometimes nor what we imagined. He sed he knew one man 'at had been under th' influence ov a sperit, 'at went hooam an' tell'd his wife sich things 'at made her hair stand ov an end, an' when he gate up next mornin he knew nowt abaat it till he saw his wife wor i'th' sulks, an' he ax'd her "what ther wor to do." "Ther's plenty to do, aw think," shoo says; "ha can ta fashion to put thi heead aght o'th' door? But tha can have yond nasty gooid-for-nawt as soain as tha likes, for awst leeave thi if aw live wol awm an haar older! It's a bonny come off, 'at me at's barn ommoss a duzzen children to thi should be shoved o' one side far a thing like yond!" "Why, lass, aw doant know what tha'rt talking abaat," he sed, "tell me what tha meeans!" "Aw've noa need to tell thi," shoo sed, "tha knows weel enuff, an' aw believe ivery word 'at tha sed, for they say 'at druffen chaps an' childer allus spaik th' truth, an' awve suspicioned yond Betty for a long time! What reight has shoo to be dawdlin abaat other fowks husbands for? If shoo wants a felly, let her get one ov her own! But tha may tak her an' welcome, an' mich gooid may shoo do thi, an' may yo allus be as happy together as aw wish vo—an' noa happier! drot her!" "Why, did aw say owt abaat Betty? Tha mun tak noa nooatice o' owt aw say when aw come hooam throo a meetin, tha sees, sin aw wor made a medium, aw ammot allus just i' mi reight senses, an' it isn't me 'at spaiks, it's what's in me." "Eea, an' it wor what wor in thi 'at spaik last neet! Tha's noa need to tell me 'at tha worn't i' thi reight wit, for tha hasn't been that for a long time but aw can tell thi one thing—if tha'rt a medium, awm net gooin to be made one! aw'll awther be one thing or tother, soa if tha'd rayther have yond mucky trolly, tak her; an' may yo booath have a seed i' yor tooith an' corns o' yor tooas, an' be fooarsed to walk daan th' hill, all th' days o' yor lives; that's what aw wish." He talked to her for a long time, but it wor noa use, for yo see shoo'd niver been enlightened, an' all he could say didn't convince her 'at he worn't answerable for all he'd sed an' done; but ov cooarse it's weel known 'at mediums arn't responsible for owt. After a few moor remarks, an' relatin a few moor incidents, he sed "it wor abaat time to begin the serious business 'at had called us together, an' he sed he hooap'd 'at if ony had came to scoff, they'd remain to pay, for they wor sadly i' need o' funds, an' he hooap'd 'at iverybody wod respond liberally, for sperits sich as they dealt in could not be getten o' trust, although they had to be takken that way." Then he knock'd th' table three times wi' his knuckles, an' two o'th' fiddle-faced chaps 'at wor set one o' each side on him, began to wriggle abaat as if they'd getten th' murly grubs. "Stop! stop!" he sed, "one at once, if yo pleease! Brother Sawny had better give his sperit backward for a few minutes, wol we've done wi' Brother Titus's." Soa Sawny gave ovver shakkin hissen, exceptin his heead, an' jumpin onto his feet, he sed, "If awve allus to give way to Titus, awm blow'd if awl come to edify yor lot ony longer." "Husht, husht!" says th' cheerman, "the sperit has takken possession o' Titus already. Will ony o'th' unbelievers ax it a few questions?" Soa aw thowt aw mud as weel be forrad as onybody else, soa aw stood up an' ax'd it furst—

"What did they use to call thi?"

"Mary Jane Wittering."

"Ha long is it since tha deed?"

(Noa answer; soa th' cheerman sed it wor a varry frivolous an' improper question, an' aw mud ax summat else.)

"Wor ta iver wed?"

"Nobbut three times."

"Wor ta allus true to 'em when tha had 'em?"

(No answer; th' cheerman shook his neive at me.)

"Are they livin or deead?"

"One's deead, one's livin, an' one's a medium."

"Has ta met anybody tha knows up i' yor pairts?"

"Monny a scoor."

"Are they happy or miserable?"

"Some one way an' some another."

"Has ta seen onybody at's come latly?"

"Nubdy but a chap they call 'Profit."

"What did they call him 'Profit' for?"

"Aw doant know, unless it's becoss he did soa weel aght o' collectin th' rates afoor he coom here."

"Is he happy?"

"Nut exactly, he's undergooin his punishment, poor chap."

"What is it?"

"He's shut up i'th dark for as monny year as he's charged fowk for feet o' gas 'at they've niver burned; an' bi what awve heeard some o'th older end o'th sperits say, it seems varry likely 'at eternity will ha getten farish in, befoor he sees leet agean."

"Is he tormented wi' owt?"

"Nowt but his conscience."

"Ha's that?"

"He hadn't one when he coom, soa he's had to tak one at's been left bi somdy else, an' it pricks him sadly."

"Then it seems his brass willn't save him?"

"Noa, for yo know, 'Wi whatsoever metre yo measure, to yo it'll be measured agean."

"Is ther owt to ait an' drink i' yor quarter?"

"Noa, they've shut all th' shops up, an' it's time they shut thine up, for aw'm stall'd o' tawkin to thi?"

Aw wor baan to ax him summat else, but he began to wriggle agean, an' th' cheerman sed th' sperit wor takkin its departure, an' in a minute he oppened his een, an luk'd raand as sackless as if he had nobbut just wakken'd. "Nah, my dear friend," sed th' cheerman, turnin an' spaikin to me, "aw hooap yo're satisfied. Does ta believe i' what this sperit has communicated?"

"Well," aw says, "to tell the th' truth, aw can't say 'at aw awther believe in it or net, for aw've noa proof, but if aw sed owt aw should be inclined to say 'net'—but still it saands varry likely what one might expect, an' that's all aw can say abaat it at present."

"Be sure tha comes to awr meetin next Sundy," he sed, "an' aw can see 'at tha'll sooin be one on us." An' for that reason aw niver went agean, for aw couldn't help thinkin 'at if aw wanted to be a medium for sperits, 'at awd rayther get a owd licensed haase an' start reight.

Wol this had been gooin on, awd heeard a chap an' his wife, 'at sat cloise to me, talkin a gooid deal, an' aw varry sooin fan aght 'at shoo wor tryin to mak him believe as mich i' sperits as shoo did, an' ivery time th' medium answered one o' my questions shoo nudged him, an' sed "Does ta hear that? Its ivery word as true as gospel? Does ta believe it nah?" After shoo'd axed him two or three times, he sed, "Well, its varry wonderful, an' aw do begin to think 'at there's summat in it." "A'a!" shoo sed, "aw knew tha'd believe if aw could get thi to come." It wor Sawney's turn next to be entranced, as they call it, an' as sooin as th' sperit had takken possession on him (which seemed to be a varry hard task, an' aw dooant know wether it went in at his maath or whear), this woman 'at set aside o' me jumped up an' axed if shoo mud be allowed to put a few questions.

Th' cheerman sed shoo mud an' welcome, soa shoo began—

"Ha old am aw?"—"Fifty-two."

"Am aw married or single?"—"Married."

"Ha monny childer have aw?"—"Four."

"Nah," shoo says, turning to her husband, "isn't it true?"

"Yos, its true enuff," he sed, "aw believe there's summat in it, but aw should like to ax a question or two misen."

"Why, jump up, then, an' luk sharp an' start," shoo sed.

So he started—

"Ha old am aw?"—"Fifty-three."

"Nah then! didn't aw tell thi! does ta believe it nah?" shoo sed.

"Am aw married or single?"—"Married."

"True agean, tha sees," sed his wife.

"Ha monny childer have aw?"—"Two."

"Two! Then if my wife's four whose, is tother two?"

As sooin as shoo heeard that, an' befoor th' medium had time to spaik, shoo seized hold ov her umbrella, an'lauped off her seat towards whear th' medium wor set, an' aw fancy if th' umbrella nop had made acquaintance wi' his heead i'th' way shoo'd intended, 'at it wodn't ha taen long to untrance that chap. But th' cheerman saw her comin, an' managed to stop it, but it wor noa easy job to quieten her. "A'a, tha lyin gooid-for- nowt!" shoo sed, "has ta come here slanderin daycent wimmin? Aw defy awther onybody i' this world or onybody i'th' tother to say owt agean my karractur! Yor a lot o' himposters, ivery one on yo, that's what yo are! Come on, Jim," shoo sed to her husband, as shoo seized hold ov his arm, "let us goa, its nooan a fit place for gradely fowk."

"Dooant be i' sich a hurry," he sed, "aw begin to think ther's summat in it."

"Summat in it! Has ta noa moor sense nor to believe in a lot o' lyin vagabones like thease? Let's get hooam, they're nooan fit spots for daycent fowk, an' aw hooap awst niver catch thi i' one agean! Come on!"

"Why, tha browt me, didn't ta? an' tha seemd to believe in it."

"Eea, aw believed' em soa long as aw knew what they tell'd me wor true, but as sooin as they start lyin, aw can't believe 'em then; but aw wish awd hold o' that chap's toppin, an' awd shake th' truth aght on him, or else awd rive his heead off—nasty low-lived sneak as he is! But come on hooam, an if tha waits wol aw bring thi agean, tha'll wait wol tha'rt a thaasand year old, an moor ner that."

They went aght, an in a bit quietness wor restored.

After a few moor remarks, th' cheerman sed 'at it wor too far on i'th' day for ony moor sperits to be sent for, for th' mediums had another meeting to attend that neet, soa he read aght another hymn, an' we tried to sing it to th' tune ov "Sweet spirit, hear mi prayer," but we couldn't, for Cinnamon wor too mich for us all—he wor a deal better brayer nor prayer, an' after one or two moor tries, th' cheerman sed "'at unless that gentleman (lukkin at Cinnamon) wod awther swallow a scaarin—stooan an' a pund o' sweet sooap to clear his voice, or else keep his maath shut, we should have to leave singin aght o'th' question altogether." But Cinnamon worn't to be put daan; an' he tell'd th' cheerman 'at if he didn't know what singin wor he did, an' when he wor in Horstraly (A voice—"What does ta know abaat Horstraly, tupheead, tha niver went noa farther ner Burtonheead i' all thi life"). This ryled Cim, an' he up wi' a stooil an' whew'd it slap at th' cheerman. Aw saw ther wor likely to be a row, for whativer other sperit wor thear, aw could see plain enuff 'at th' sperit o' mischief wor i' some on 'em, soa aw crept up beside th' door an' pop'd aght, an' left 'em to settle it as they could.

Aw met Cinnamon th' next mornin, an' aw saw 'at he'd a gurt plaister ov his nooas, an' aw couldn't help thinkin what a blessin it wod ha been to some fowk if it had been stuck ovver his maath asteead.


Ther's a Mule I' th' Garden.

(This expression is one that I have often heard used in Yorkshire to some unpleasantness being afoot.)

A Christmas Story.

Hark thi lass, what a wind! it's a long time sin we had sich a storm. Folk ought to be thankful 'at's getten a warm hearthstooan to put ther feet on, sich weather as this:—unless it alters it'll be a dree Kursmiss-day. If ony poor body has to cross this moor to neet, they'll be lost, as sure as sure con be.

It's a fearful neet reight enuff, lad, an' it maks me creep cloiser to th' range,—but it's th' sooart o' weather we mun expect at this time o' th' year. It's a rare gooid job tha gate them peats in, for we stand i' need ov a bit o' fire nah. Does ta mean to sit up all th' neet same as usual?

Eea, aw think ther's nowt like keep in up th' owd customs, an' we've niver missed watchin Kursmiss in sin we wor wed, an' that'll be nearly forty year sin; weant it? Shift that canel, sithee' ha it sweals! Does'nt to think tha'd better ligg summat to th' dooar bottom? Hark thi what a wind! Aw niver heeard th' likes; it maks th' winders fair gender agean. Soa, soa; lend me owd o' that pooaker, aw shall niver be able to taich thee ha to mend a fire aw do think. Tha should never bray it in at th' top;—use it kindly mun, tha'll find it'll thrive better; it's th' same wi' a fire as it is wi' a child—if you're allus brayin' at it you'll mak it a sad un at th' last, an' niver get nowt but black luks. But its net mich use talkin' to thee aw con see, for tha'rt ommost asleep; aw believe if th' thack ud to be blown off tha couldn't keep thi e'en oppen after ten o'clock; but use is second natur ommost, an' aw feel rayther sleepy mysen, aw allus do when ther's a wind."

*        *        *        *        *        *        *

In two or three minutes they wor booath hard asleep, but they had't to sleep long, for ther coom a knock at th' door laad enuff to wakken deeaf Debra (an shoo couldn't hear thunner). Th' owd man started up an flew to oppen th' door, an' in stawped a walkin' snow-drift.

"Aw wish yo a merry Kursmiss," he said.

"Thank thi lad; come a bit nearer th' leet. If tha's browt noa better luk nor tha's browt weather, tha'd better ha stopped at hooam. Who art ta?"

"Well, its a bonny come off," said th' chap, "when my own uncle connot own me."

"Its nooan Ezra, is it?" said th' owd woman.

"That's my name, aw believe, aunt," he said.

"Waw, do come an' sit thi daan. Set that kettle on lad, and mak him a drop o' summat warm; he'll do wi' it."

It worn't long afoor th' new comer wor sat i'th' front o'th' fire, smookin' a long pipe an' weetin' his whistle ivery nah an then wi' a drop o' whiskey an' watter.

"Nah lad," said th' owd man, "what news has ta browt? Tha's generally summut new."

"Aw've nowt mich uts likely to be fresh, aw dooant think," said Ezra. "Yo'd hear tell abaght that do o' Slinger's aw reckon?"

"Niver a word, lad; what's th' chuffin heead been doin?"

"Well, aw'd better start at th' beginnin' o' my tale, an' as it's rayther a longish en, you mun draw up to th' fire and mak up yor mind to harken a bit."

"Yo happen niver knew Molly Momooin? Shoo lived at Coldedge, an' used to keep one o' them sooart o' spots known i' thease pairts as a whist shop; yo'll know what that is? Shoo worn't a bad-like woman, considerin' her age (for shoo wor aboon fifty, an' had been a widdy for a dozen year), an iver sin her felly deed, shoo'd sell'd small drink o'th sly (they dooant think its wrang up i' them pairts), an ther wor at said it wor nooan of a bad sooart, tho shoo used to booast at ther wor niver a chap gate druffen i' her haas, tho ther'd been one or two brussen. Like monny a widdy beside, at's getten a bit o' brass together, shoo wor pestered wi' chaps at wanted to hing ther hats up, an put ther feet o' th' hearthstooan, an' call thersen th' maister o' what they'd niver helped to haddle. But shoo wornt a waik-minded en, wornt Molly:—an shoo tell'd em all at th' chap at gate her ud have to have a willin' hand as well as a warm heart, for shoo'd enuff to do to keep hersen, withaat workin' her fingers to th' booan for a lump o' lumber ith' nook.

Soa one after another they all left off botherin' her except one, an that wor Jim o' long Joan's, throo Wadsworth, an he seemed detarmined to get her to change her mind if he could. As sooin as iver shoo oppened th' shuts in a mornin', he used to laumer in an' call for a quart (that cost him three-awpence, an used to fit him varry weel woll nooin). Well, things nother seemed to get farther nor nearer, for a long time, but one day summat happened at made a change ith' matter. It wor just abaght th' time at th' new police wor put on, an Slinger wor made into one. Nah Slinger thowt he ought to be made into a sargent, an he said "he wor determined to extinguish hissen i' sich a way woll they couldn't be off promotionin' him, an if they didn't he'd nobscond." Soa th' furst thing he did wor to goa an ligg information agen owd Molly sellin' ale baght license. Th' excise chaps sooin had him an two or three moor off to cop th' owd lass ith' act, for they said, "unless they could see it thersen they could mak nowt aght." It wor a varry nice day, an' off they set o' ther eearand.

Nah it just soa happened at Jim o' long Joans (they used to call him Jimmy-long for short), wor lukin' aght oth' winder, an' saw em comin'; ther wor noabody ith' haas drinkin' but hissen, soa emptyin' his quart daan th' sink, he tell'd Molly to be aware, for ther wor mischief brewin'; an then he bob'd under th' seat. In abaght a minit three on em coom in,—not i' ther blue clooas an silver buttons, but i' ther reglar warty duds.

"Nah, owd lass," said one, "let's have hauf-a-gallon o' stiff-shackle, an luk sharp."

"What do yo want, maister? I think yo've come to th' rang haase; do yo tak this to be a jerry-hoil; or ha?" said Molly. (They'd ta'en care to leave Slinger aghtside, cos they knew he'd be owned.)

"Nay, nah come," they said, "its all reight mun, here's th' brass, sithee, fotch a soop up, for we're all three as dry as a assmidden."

"Why, if yo are reight dry," shoo says (an bith' mass they wor, for they'd been walkin' a bit o' ther best), ther's lots o' watter ith' pot under th' table, but be as careful as yo con, for it bides a deal o' fotchin'—but aw wodn't advise yo to fill yor bellies o' cold watter when yo're sweatin', its nooan a gooid thing mun. Have yo come fur? Yo luk as if yo'd been runnin' aght oth' gate o' summut, but aw hope yo've been i' noa sooart o' mischief: hasumever, sit yo daan an cooil a bit."

They set em daan, for they wor fessened what to do, an at last one on em whispered, "aw believe Slinger's been havin' us on, seekin' th' fiddle, but if he has, we'll repoort him an get him discharged like a shot."

"Why," said another, "ha is it he isn't here? Where's he gooan?"

"He's hid hissen ith' pigcoit just aghtside. Aw expect he'll be ommost stoled o' waitin' bi this, but let him wait, he desarves it for bringin' folk o' sich eearands as theease, We'st nobbut get laft at when we get back, soa what think yo if we goa an say nowt abaght it? He'll nooan stop long aw'll warrant."

"Well, nowt but reight," they said; soa biddin' th' owd woman gooid day, they set off back. When they went aght, Jimmy crope throo under th' langsettle, an' lukin' at Molly, he said, "Nah, have aw done thi a gooid turn this time owd craytur?"

"Tha has, Jim, an aw'm varry mich obleeged to thi, lad," shoo says, "an tha shall have another quart at my expense."

"Net yet, thank thi, Molly. Aw havn't done wi this—ther's a bit ov a spree to be had aght on it yet mun, aw heeard ivery word at they said, an what does ta think! They've left Slinger ith' pigcoit waitin', an aw meean to keep him theear for a bit." Soa sayin,' he quietly crept aght, an went raand to th' back o' th' pigcoit.

"Slinger! are ta thear?"

"All reight, lad; have yo fun ought?"

"Nut yet, but we're just gooin to do; tha munnat stir, whativer tha does. Its a rare do is this. It'll be th' makin' on us, mun."

"Does ta think we shall get made into sargents?" axed Slinger.

"I lad, an corporals too, aw'll be bun; but bowd thi whisht, whatever tha does—we'll come for thi as sooin as we want thi; does ta think tha could sup a drop o' summat if tha had it?"

"Aw wish aw'd chonce, that's all.'"

"Well, bide thi time, an aw'll send thi some."

Jim then walked away, an leavin' Slinger screwed up like a dishclaat, he went into th' haase, and call'd for a quart.

"Well, what's come o' Slinger?" said Molly.

"Oh, he's all reight—he's gooin through his degrees to get made into a sargent or a corporal or some other sort ov a ral, but aw'll bet he'll wish it wor his funeral afoor aw've done wi' him."

Jimmy sat comfortably suppin' his stiffshackle an smokin' a bit o' bacca, an tried by all th' means in his power to wheedle th' owd woman into his way o' thinkin'.

"Tha mud do wor nor ha' me mun" he said, "aw'm nut ovver handsome aw know, but ther's nowt abaght me to flay onybody."

"Ther'll nubby be freetened o' thee lad, tha need'nt think," shoo says, "for tha reminds me ov a walkin' cloaas peg—if tha'd been split a bit heigher up tha'd ha' done for a pair o' cart shafts."

"Well tha knows beauty's i'th eye o'th beholder," says Jim.

"They'd be able to put all thy beauty i' ther e'e an see noa war for it," shoo says.

"Well, aw'm willin' to work an keep thi a lady as far as th' brass 'll gaa."

"What mack ov a lady aw should like to know? Th' same as aw am nah aw reckon, up to th' elbows i' soap suds. But once for all aw want thi to understand at aw'm nooan i'th weddin' vein at present."

"Well tha'rt a hard-hearted woman, that's what tha art—an nooan as gooid ith' bottom as tha mud be, or else tha'd niver live here chaitin' th' excise for a livin', astead o' being th' wife ov a daycent chap. Aw ommost wish aw'd letten them chaps catch thi; it ud nobbut ha sarved thi reight."

"Sarved me reight, wod it? Well tha con goa an fotch Slinger aght o' th' pigcoit (for aw reckon he's thear yet), but ha mich better ar ta, at sits thear suppin' it? But whether aw'm as gooid as aw should be or net, aw'm sure tha'rt a gooid-for-nowt, an th' sooiner tha taks thi hook aght o' this haase an' th' better, for aw've studden thy nonsense woll aw'm fair staled. Are ta baan? For if tha doesn't tha'll get this poaker abaght thi heead."

"Nay! Nay! tha doesn't mean it?" said Jim, jumpin' aght o'th gate, "tha wodn't hurt me surelee?"

"Hurt thi! drabbit thi up, tha's spun me to th' length—ger aght o' that door."

Jimmy kept backin' aght step by step, an' Molly wor flourishin' th' poaker, but nother on em saw at th' peggy-tub wor fair i'th gate woll Jim backed slap into it. Splash went th' watter o' ivery side, an' Molly skriked, "A'a dear! sarved thi reight, as if tha could'nt see a whole tub! What are ta splashin' like that for?"

But poor Jimmy couldn't spaik, for he wor wedged as fast as a thief in a miln, an' nowt but his legs an' his arms could be seen. Molly catched howd on his legs an' tried to pool him aght, but th' heigher shoo lifted his feet an' th' lower sank his heead, soa ther wor noa way to do but to roll it over an' teem him aght.

"This beats all," says Molly, as shoo helped him up, "couldn't ta see it?"

"Does ta think aw've a e'e i' th' back o' my heead?" he said, "it's all long o' thee, an' dang it that watters whoot."

"It's like to be whoot," shoo says, "did ta iver know folk wesh i' cold watter, tha lumphead?"

"Well, what shall aw have to do? Aw'm as weet as a sop, to say nowt ov a blister or two.

"Tha mun goa thi ways to bed an' throw thi clooas daan th' stairs an, aw'll see if aw connot dry 'em off for thi."

Soa up stairs he went an' flang his weet things daan, sayin' at th' same time, "If tha finds any buttons off tha can suit thisen whether tha puts 'em on or net."

"Aw've summat else to do nor sew for thee, tha's made we wark enuff," shoo said.

It did'nt tak long for Molly to dry th' cloas an' shoo raylee felt sooary for him after all, soa shoo set too an' stitched him a button or two on, an' as shoo said, "mensened him up a bit for he wor somebody's poor lad."

He wor sooin drest nice an' comfortable agean an' then he thowt it wor time to goa an' see what had come o' Slinger.

As sooin as he coom near th' coit he could hear him snoaring away ommost as laad as a trombone. "Well tha'rt a bonny en" he said "to be paid aght o'th rates for keeping a sharp luk aght. Aw did think to bring thi summat to sup but its a pity to disturb thi. Aw'll try another dodge an see ha' that'll act."

Away he went an' in a minit or two coom back wi a huggin o' strea, an' quietly oppenin th' door he shoved it in,—he then walked off mutterin "tha'll be capp'd when tha wackens owd lad."

As th' day began to grow shorter a few owd faces began to peep in to see ha Molly wor gettin on an' to taste ov her drink. When ther'd getten abaght a hauf a duzzen on em Jim slipped aght an' sammed up all he could find i'th' shape o' buckets an' had em filled wi watter an' not o' th' cleanest sooart,—then he lit a wisp o' strea just aghtside o'th' pighoil door an' waited wall th' smook had begun to curl nicely up:— then he darted into th' haase an' bawled aght "Heigh lads! do come,— somdy's set th' pighoil o' fire."

Aght they flew an' sure enuff thear it wor reekin away' like a brick kiln.

"Sleck th' inside first," says Jim, an' in a twinklin one pailful after another wor splashed in. Slinger sooin wacken'd but he wor fast what to mak on it,—he thowt he must be dreamin ov a storm at sea or summat.

"Howd on! Howd on!" he yell'd aght "what have yo agate?"

"Do luk sharp lads," says Jim, "ther's somdy inside they'll be burnt to th' deeath. Bring some watter some on yo."

"Ther is noan," they says, "its all done."

"Why mucky watter 'll sleck as weel as clean, give us howd of a pailful o' swill. We munnot have th' poor body burnt to th' deeath."

Just as Slinger was rushin aght o'th' door he gate a reglar dooas 'at ommost floor'd him.

"Nah lads, lets stop a bit, says Jim, aw think th' dangers ommost ovver,—lets see who this chap is. It's happen somdy at wanted to burn owd Molly aght o' haase an' harbor."

Slinger brast aght o'th' door like a roarin lion,—but he wor sooin collard, an' he wor soa bedisend with soft cake an' puttaty pillins at his own mother could'nt ha owned him.

"Dooant yo know who aw am," he sputtered aght, "Awm Slinger, yo know me."

"Bith mass it is Slinger," said Jim,—"its noabdy else," whativer has ta been dooin to get into a mess like this? Tha may thank thy stars tha worn't burnt to th' deeath."

"Well aw dooant know 'at it means mich whether a chap's burnt or draand, but awther on 'em befoor being smoord,—did iver ony body see sich a seet as aw am?"

"Why tha luks like a sheep heead wi brain sauce tem'd over it, said one."

"He needn't carry a scent bottle wi' him, they'll be able to smell him withaat," said another.

"Ha shall aw have to get clean," says Slinger. "Aw can't goa hooam this pictur?"

"Tha'll have to get sombdy to scrape thi daan, unless tha thinks tha's getten enuff o'th' scrape tha'rt in already;—but aw think tha'd better goa hooam to th' wife an' tell her tha's comed."

"He's noa need to do that, if shoo's ought of a nooas sho'll find it aght.

"Well if this is what comes o' being a bobby aw'll drop it, but for gooidness sake lads, niver split for aw'st niver hear th' last o' this do."

At last they persuaded Slinger to goa hooam. What he said to th' wife or what shoo said to him folk niver knew, but certain it is 'at shoo went an' left him an' lived wi her mother for aboon a wick at after.

When he turned aght next mornin to goa see th' superintendent, he luked like a gate-post 'at's studden in a rookery for six months. He'd to wait a bit afoor he could see him, but when he did he said "Maister!" aw've comed to get turned off for awm sick o' this job—no moor cunstublin for me, aw've had enuff."

"Why my good man," he said, "what's up? Have yo dropt in for summat yo dooant like?"

"Aw have,—an' summat's been dropt onto me at aw dooant like, an aw've made up my mind to throw up th' drumsticks an' tak to honest hard wark for a livin."

"Well young man, yo seem dissatisfied, but yo should remember 'at we're like soldiers in a war, we're feightin agean things 'at isn't reight, its nut allus straight forrard, it seems yors has'nt been this time, but its one o'th chances o' war' at yo mun expect."

"It may be a chance o' war, but it'll be a chance o' better afoor yo catch me at it agean, so gooid mornin."

When he'd getten into th' street he langed to goa up to owd Molly's agean, but thowts o'th' neet afoor kept him back, and varry weel it wor soa, for Jim o' Long wor dooin his best to flay th' owd woman woll shoo'd be glad to have him and shut up th' wisht shop,—an' be shot he managed, for shoo promised shoo'd wed him in a month, an' shoo wor as gooid as her word.

Jimmy settled daan to his cobblin (for he reckoned to do a bit at that when he did ought), an' he worked away varry weel for a bit, an' Molly took a pride i'th' garden aghtside an' th' haase inside, an' they were varry comfortable. But ther wor just an odd booan somewhear abaght Jim 'at did'nt like wark, an' aw think it must 'ha' been a wopper, for it used to stop all t'other ivery nah and then for two or three days together. He liked to goa an' sit i'th' beershop opposite, an' have a pint or two, an' Molly knew it wor her bit o' brass at wor gooin, for shoo said "he hardly haddled as mich sometimes as he cost i' wax."

One day he'd been rayther longer nor usual, an' shoo wor just ready for him.

"Aw thowt tha used to tell me at it wornt th' ale tha wanted, It wor me; but na it is'nt me ta wants, it's the ale."

"Why, woll a chap lives he con alter his mind, connot he?" said Jim.

"Oh! soa tha's altered thi mind, has ta? Tha's noa need to tell me that, aw can see it, an' aw've altered mine too, an' aw've a gooid mind to pail my heead agean th' jawm when aw think on it."

"Why, lass, it's a pity to spoil a gooid mind, but aw'st advise thi to tak thi cap off for fear o' crushin it."

"An' if aw did crush it, whose brass wor it at bought it, aw should like to know? Tha's taen moor brass across th' rooad this wick nor what ud ha bought booath a cap an a bonnet, an' tha'rt staring across nah as if tha langed to be gooin agean. What are ta starin at?"

"Nay nowt, but aw think ther's a mule i'th' garden," said Jim.

"He'd hardly getten th' words aght ov his maath, when Molly seizes th' besom, an' flies aght, saying, "It's just what yo mun expect when folk come hooam hauf druffen, an' leeav th' gate oppen."

"Whativer has th' owd craytur up," says Jim. "Shoo surely doesn't think aw mean ther wor a mule i'th' garden? Aw nobbut meant ther wor a bit ov a row i'th' hoil; but aw'll niver be trusted if shoo is'nt lukkin under th' rhubub leaves, as if shoo thowt a mule could get thear, but shoo'll be war mad at ther isn't one nor what shoo wod ha been if shoo'd fun hauf a duzzen."

Molly coom back in a awful temper. "Soa tha thowt tha couldn't do enuff to aggravate me but tha mun mak a fooil on me?"

"Why, wornt ther one?"

"Noa, ther worn't, an' tha knew that."

"Ther wor summat 'at luk'd as faal as one, daatless, when tha wor thear."

"Come, tha's noa room to talk. Aw think aw'm as handsom as thee, ony end up. Folk may weel wonder what aw could see i' thee, and aw niver should ha had thee if aw had'nt been varry cloise seeted."

"Tha'rt booath cloise seeted and cloise fisted, aw think, and if tha wor cloiser maathed sometimes ther'd be less din."

"Thear tha goaas agean. Aw've spakken, have aw. Aw'll tell thi what it is, tha can't bide to be tell'd o' thi faults, but aw'm nooan gooin to be muzzled to suit thee."

"Why, lass, it isn't oft tha oppens thi maath for nowt, tha generally lets summat aght."

"Well, an' when tha oppens thine, tha generally lets summat in, soa we're abaght straight."

"Aw wish we wor, lass, for aw'm stoled o' this bother, an' if ther isn't a mule i'th' garden nah, ther's summat else, for if that isn't Slinger, aw wor niver soa capt i' my life. Why, he looks as fat as a pig. Oppen th' door, an' ax him in, for it's th' first time aw've seen him sin he'd his heead in a pooltice."

"Gooid day, Slinger; ha ta gettin on?"

"Oh, meeterly just. Aw thowt a callin when aw went past afoor, but ther wor sich a din, aw thowt ther mud be a mule i' th'"—

"What does ta say," says Molly. "Has ta come here to taunt me? "Aw've been tell'd abaght that mule afoor this afternooin."

"Molly," said Jim, "tha caps me. Doesn't ta know what folk mean when they say there's a mule i' th' garden? They mean there's a bit of a dust i' th' hoil, that's all mun."

"Oh! is that it!" says Molly. "Aw see nah. Yo know aw'm to be excused if aw dooant understand iverything, for aw'm not mich of a scholard; ther worn't schooils like there is nah when aw wor a lass; but aw'd a brother once 'at wor as cliver as onybody—he used to be able to rule th' planets; but he wor draaned at last, an' aw declare aw've niver been able to bide th' seet o' watter sin'. Aw believe that wor what made me start o' brewin."

"Why yo happen have a sup left, said Slinger?"

"Ea lad, ther's some i' that pewter sithee—tak howd an sup."

"Thank thi' "he said, an' here's wishing at ther may niver be a 'mule i' th' garden' but what 'll be as easy getten shut on as this has been this afternooin."

"Gooid lad Slinger! Tha talks like a book. Aw believe if tha'd had a better bringin up tha'd ha' made a philosipher says Molly."

"Tha had a fancy once to be a police ossifer hadn't ta said Jim? But aw think tha's getten that nooation purged aght on thi nah?"

"Well, aw gate it swill'd aght on me ony way. But aw think some times' at it towt me a bit o' sense, an' whoiver he is 'at wants to raise hissen up, by poolin somdy else daan, aw hope he'll get sarved ith' same way; for when a chap shuts his een to ivery body's interests but his own he desarves to be dropt on—but if we'd all to strive to lend one another a hand, things ud go on a deal smoother, an' as nooan on us is perfect, we ought to try by kindness an' gooid natur an by practisin a bit o' patience to mak one another's rooad as pleasant as we con, an if we stuck to that we should find fewer mules i' th' garden."

*        *        *        *        *        *        *

"O! an' soa that's th' tale abaght Slinger, is it Ezra?"

"That's it uncle, its done nah."

"Its abaght time it wor, an' th' next time tha comes here an' brings a tale wi' thi mak it hauf as long an' it'll be twice as welcome.'


A Neet at "Widup's Rest."

We've mooast on us, at one 'time or another, accidentally dropt amang company withaat havin ony idea o' spendin mich time wi' em, an' yet we've kept stoppin an' stoppin, feelin as happy as con be, an' niver thinkin for a minit what a blowin-up we should get when we landed hooam. An' aw've mony a time thowt 'at a body enjoys a bit ov a doo o' that sooart a deal better nor a grand set affair, becoss when a body expects nowt it's hardly likely he'll be disappointed. Well, it wor one day last winter 'at aw'd walked monny a weary mile, an' it wor commin dark, when aw called at "Widdup's Rest," to see if aw could get owt to comfort me old inside, for aw wor feelin varry wamley. As sooin as th' lonlady saw me shoo ax'd me to step forrads into another raam, which aw did, an' fan a few chaps set raand a fire fit to rooast a bull, an' lukkin varry jolly. As sooin as they saw me they made raam for me at th' hob end, an' began talkin to me as friendly as if they'd known me all ther life. Aw sooin began to feel varry mich at hooam wi' em, an' as th' lonlady browt in some basins o' hot stew 'at shoo wodn't be paid for, (an old trick to get fowk to spend twice as mich another rooad) an' as another chap wod pay for all we had to sup an' smook, aw thowt aw mud ha gone farther an' fared worse. It worn't long befoor some moor coom droppin in (ha that happens aw dooant know, but aw darsay you'll ha nooaticed it monny a time yorsen, 'at if ther's owt stirrin 'at's cheap ther's allus a certain class o' fowk 'at drop in accidentally).

After a bit, we mustered a varry nice pairty ov abaat a dozen, an' as iverybody wor tawkin at once we managed to mak a fairish din. But at last one o'th' chaps proposed 'at we should have a cheerman, an' see if we couldn't conduct business in a moor sensible manner. Ivery body sed, "hear, hear!" an' ov cooarse th' chap 'at wor standin sam wor voated in, which seemed to give him mich satisfaction, an aw couldn't help thinking 'at he worn't th' furst chap 'at had getten put i' sich a position for his brass an' net his brains.

After "order" had been called two or three times bi every body i'th' place, th' cheerman stood up an' sed, "Gentlemen, aw feel varry praad to okkipy this cheer, an' aw'll do mi best to discharge the duties that disolves upon me at this important crikus, an' aw think if ony body wants to order owt they'd better do it at once, soas we shalln't have ony interruptions." We all shaated, "hear, hear!" agean, an' th' lonlady wor i'th' raam befoor we'd time to ring th' bell. When we'd all getten supplied th' cheerman stood up agean, an' knockin th' table wi' a empty ale bottle, sed, "silence!"

We ivery one shaated "silence!" an' luk'd daggers at one another for makkin sich a din, an' then he went on to say, "Gentlemen, as aw'm a stranger amang yo, ov coorse aw dooant know mich abaat yo, but aw should be varry mich pleeased if one on yo wod oblige bi singing a song."

"Nah ther's a chonce for thee, Cocky," sed one.

"Tha knows aw connot sing," sed Cocky, "aw think Ike ud do better nor me."

"Nay, aw can sing nooan," sed Ike, "aw niver sang owt i' mi life but' Rock-a-boo-babby,' an' it's soa long sin aw've forgetten that, but ther's old Mosslump thear, happen he'll give us one, we all know he can sing." "Dooant thee pitch onto me," sed Mosslump, "it'll be time enuf for thee to start o' orderin when we mak thi into th' cheerman, what can't yo start wi' Standhen for, we know he can sing?"

"O, Standhen!" they sed, "we'd forgetten Standhen! He can give us a owd Tory touch we know."

Up jumpt th' cheerman, an befoor Standhen had time to spaik he called aght, "Mr. Standhen! We're all waitin for thy song, an as cheerman o' this assembly aw expect thee to do what tha con to entertain this compny, or otherwise aw shall vacate this cheer."

As all th' glasses wor beginnin to get low, they felt this to be an appeal to ther inmost sowl, soa they all began, perswadin Standhen, an' after a deeal to do he promised to try. "Aw know awst braik daan befoor aw start," he sed. "Nay, tha'll have to start furst," sed one, "but we'll excuse thi if tha does; if tha tries it'll show willin." After coughin once an' suppin twice, he shut his e'en an' oppened his maath, an' this is what coom aght:—

Thou grand old Church of England!
Though others raise their voice,
And try to stain thy spotless name,
Thou still shall be my choice;
Just as thou art, I love thee thus,
And freely I confess,
I'd have thee not one jot the more,
Nor yet one tittle less.
Those who would rob thee of thy rights,
And urge with specious tongue,
That theft by Act of Parliament
Can surely not be wrong.
I'd have them leave thy sheltering wing,
And nevermore to dare
To stand within thy courts of praise,
Or taint thy house of prayer.
Oh! dear old Church of England,
That points the way to Heaven!
Amid a sad, sad world of sin
The truly, only leaven.
We leave thee to our Father's care,
Who knows thy needs the best,
Convinced that He, by aid of thee,
Will leaven all the rest.

When he'd finished they all knocked ther glasses on th' table bi way ov applaudin, which th' lonlady hearin, at once coom in an' ax'd if they wor "callin?" an' as all wor empty, shoo luk'd varry hard at th' cheerman, an' he nodded "as befoor," soa shoo gethered up th' empties, an' called for Liza "to bring in them glasses," which wor at once done, an' showd a gooid deal o' foreseet on her part i' havin 'em ready.

When all had getten sarved wi' hot watter, an' given ovver crushin sugar, th' cheerman announced 'at it wor Mr. Standhen's call, soa up jumped Standhen, an' said "he couldn't do better nor call owd Mosslump for a song." Some moor applause followed this, but they didn't knock th' tables wi' ther glasses this time, becoss they wor too full. Mosslump stood up, wiped his maath wi' th' corners ov his necktie, turned up his e'en as if he wor gooin to depart this life i' peace, an' in a voice, time, an' manner peculiarly his own he sung—

Mistress Moore is Johnny's wife,
An' Johnny is a druffen sot;
He spends th' best portion ov his life
I'th beershop wi' a pipe an' pot.
At schooil together John an' me
Set side by side like trusty chums,
An' niver did we disagree
Till furst we met sweet Lizzy Lumbs.
At John shoo smiled,
An' aw wor riled;
Shoo showed shoo loved him moor nor me
Her bonny e'en
Aw've seldom seen
Sin' that sad day shoo slighted me.
Aw've heeard fowk say shoo has to want,
For Johnny ofttimes gets o'th spree;
He spends his wages in a rant,
An' leeaves his wife to pine or dee.
An' monny a time aw've ligged i' bed,
An' cursed my fate for bein poor,
An' monny a bitter tear aw've shed,
When thinkin ov sweet Mistress Moore.
For shoo's mi life
Is Johnny's wife,
An' tho' to love her isn't reet,
What con aw do,
When all th' neet throo
Aw'm dreeamin ov her e'en soa breet.
Aw'll goa away an' leeave this spot,
For fear 'at we should iver meet,
For if we did, as sure as shot
Awst throw me daan anent her feet.
Aw know shoo'd think aw wor a fooil,
To love a woman when shoo's wed,
But sin' aw saw her furst at schooil,
It's been a wretched life aw've led.
But th' time has come
To leeave mi hooam,
An' th' sea between us sooin shall roar,
Yet still mi heart
Will niver part
Wi' th' image ov sweet Mistress Moore.

Long befoor he'd done th' chaps had begun tawkin, some abaat politics an some abaat Knursticks, an' when he sat daan th' cheerman wor th' only quiet chap i' th' lot, an' he wor ommost asleep; but Mosslump comforted hissen wi' whisperin to me 'at classical mewsic wor varry little thowt on, an' after a sigh, a sup, a shake ov his head, an' another leet for his pipe, he sat daan evidently detarmined not to be suited wi' owt i' th' singin way that neet. After th' cheerman had wakken'd up, two or three called for "Cocky," an' this time he gate up withaat ony excuses, an' although he did rock backards an' forrads like a clock pendlum th' wrang end up, yet aw must say he entered life an' soul into what he had to do, an' in a voice 'at seemed three times too big for the size ov his carcass he sang—

Lord John and John Lord were both born on a day,
But their fortunes were different quite;
Lord John was decked out in most gorgeous array,
As soon as he first saw the light.
But poor Johnny Lord, it's true on my word,
He'd no clothes to step into at all;
He'd no flannel to wrap, he'd no nightgown or cap,
But was rolled in his poor mother's shawl.
Now, it seems very strange, yet it's true what I say
And I hope you're not doubting my word;
And I'll tell what took place in a general way,
With Lord John and with poor Johnny Lord
The nurse took Lord John, and the doctors stood round,
And examined the child and his clothes;
Whilst a fussy physician, with looks most profound,
Wiped his aristocratical nose.
"It is, I declare, most uncommonly fair,
And its voice, oh! how sweet when it cries;
It really would seem like the child of a dream,
Or an angel just dropt from the skies."
Now, it seems very strange, &c.
Now, poor Johnny Lord and his mother were laid,
Both fainting and cold on the straw;
No doctors would come there unless they were paid,
Or compelled to be there by the law.
No comforting word heard poor Mistress Lord,
As o'er her babe bending she sat,
And each one who saw it cried with one accord,
"What a little detestable brat."
Now, it seems very strange, &c.
The two babes became men as the years rolled away.
And Lord John sported carriage and pair,
Whilst poor Johnny Lord working hard for poor pay,
Was content with what fell to his share.
Lord John went to races, to balls and to routs,
And squandered his wealth with the gay,
Till at last came the reaper, and sought them both out,
And took Lord John and John Lord away.
Now, it seems very strange, &c.
Very soon a grand monument stood o'er Lord John,
To show where the great man was laid,
But over John Lord was no mark and no stone,
It was left as when left by the spade.
But the time yet shall come when John Lord and Lord John
Shall meet in the realms far away,
When the riches and titles of earth are all gone,
Then which will be greatest, friends, say?
Then, though it seems strange, yet it's true what you've heard,
And a lesson throughout it is cast,
Which should comfort the poor working men like John Lord,
For we all shall be equal at last.

As sooin as he'd finished quaverin on th' last noat but one, ther wor sich a knockin o' glasses an' thump in o' fists, wol th' lonlady coom in agean, an' th' cheerman felt it his duty to order "as befoor," which order th' lonlady worn't long i' executin. "Gooid lad! Cocky!" sed Ike, "if aw'd a voice like thee aw'd travel! Tawk abaat Sims Reeves! He niver sang a song like that sin he wor creddled! Nah Maister Cheerman, keep up th' harmony, we're mendin on it aw'm sure. 'Gow, aw'll have another pipe o' bacca o' th' heead on it' nay, raylee, aw niver did hear sich a song," savin which he sat daan an' hid his astonishment behund a claad o' reek.

"Well," sed th' cheerman, "as Ike seems soa anxious, aw think he'd better try an' let's see what he con do." "Hear, hear!" on all sides, an' two or three pulled him up whether he wod or net, an' after a gooid deal o' sidelin abaat, he axed if he mud have his cap on, for he could niver sing withaat cap. "That's to keep th' mewsic throo flyin aght o'th' top ov his heead," sed one. "Order!" sed th' cheerman, "if Ike wants his cap on let him have it, may be he'll loise th' air withaat it."

Ike luk'd very solid for a minit, an' then he struck a lively tune in a voice abaat as musical as a saw sharpener.

Let us have a jolly spree,
An' wi' joy an' harmonie,
Let the merry moments flee,
For mi love's come back.
O, the days did slowly pass,
When aw'd lost mi little lass,
But nah we'll have a glass,
For mi love's come back.
O, shoo left me in a hig,
An' shoo didn't care a fig,
But nah aw'll donce a jig,
For mi love's come back.
An' aw know though far away,
'At her heart neer went astray,
An' awst iver bless the day,
For mi love's come back.
When shoo ax'd me yesterneet
What made mi heart so leet,
Aw says, "why can't ta see it's
'Coss mi love's come back."
Then aw gave her just a kiss,
An' shoo tuk it noan amiss
An' aw'm feear'd aw'st brust wi' bliss,
For mi love's come back.
Nah aw'm gooin to buy a ring,
An' a creddle an' a swing,
Ther's noa tellin what may spring,
For mi' love's come back.
O, aw niver thowt befoor
'At sich joy could be i' stoor,
But nah aw'l grieve noa moor,
For mi love's come back.

As mud ha been expected, they applauded Ike famously, but th' cheerman wor hard asleep agean, an' it tuk a gooid shakkin to wakken him, an' then he didn't seem to be altogether thear, an' as sooin as they left him aloan he dropt on agean.

"Aw think th' cheerman's ommost sewed up," sed Ike. "Net he! he's noan sewed up," sed Mosslump, "it's that song o' thine 'at's sent him to sleep! who the shames does ta think could keep wakken for sich a song as that? aw knew tha'd do it as sooin as aw heeard thi begin." "Come, aw'll sing thee for a quairt any day," sed Ike, "tha fancies coss tha'd once a uncle 'at could sing a bit, 'at ther's some mewsic born i' thee; but if aw'd a public haase aw wodn't let thee sing in it for a paand, for aw'll bet tha'd turn all th' ale saar." "Tha am't worth tawkin to, Ike, an' as for thee havin a voice, Why! tha arn't fit to hawk cockles an' mussels." "Well, an if aw did hawk 'em aw'd tak gooid care aw didn't sell thee ony unless aw gate th' brass befoorhand, soa tha can crack that nut." "Does ta mean to say 'at aw dooant pay mi way? aw've moor brass commin in ivery day nor tha can addle in a wick." Aw saw it luk'd likely for a row brewin, soa aw sed, "nah chaps, we've had a verry nice evening soa far, an' aw shouldn't like ony unpleasantness, for yo see th' cheerman's had a drop too much, an' aw think we owt to try to get him hooam if ony body knows wheear he lives." "Eea!" sed one chap 'at had been varry quite all th' neet, "aw dooant think he'll pay for owt ony moor, soa we mud as weel get shut on him." "Ther's Frank standin' at th' corner," sed another "aw dar say he'll tak him." "Who's Frank, aw asked." "O, it's a donkey 'at they call Frank," sed Ike, "th' chap 'at bowt him had him kursened Frank i' honor o' Frank Crossley bein made a member o' parliment." "Varry weel," aw sed, "then let's get him onto it." One or two came to give a lift, an' wi' a bit o' trouble we gate him aghtside. Th' donkey wor thear, but as ther wor a gurt milk can o' each side on it, aw couldn't see exactly ha to put this chap on. "O," sed Ike, "he'll ride nicely between' em," soa we hoisted him up, an' gave th' chap 'at belang'd donkey a shilling to see him safe hooam. Off they went at a jog trot, an' aw fancy if he'd niver known owt abaat th' can can befoor, 'at he'd have a varry lively noation o' what it meant befoor he'd gooan two mile daan th' hill. When we'd getten him away, some o'th chaps went back into th' haase, but aw thowt my wisest plan wor to steer straight for hooam, which aw did, an' although aw believe my old woman had prepared a dish o' tongue for mi supper, as aw went straight to bed an' fell asleep, aw'm net exactly sure whether aw gate it or net. When aw wakken'd next mornin, aw began thinking abaat th' neet befoor, an' aw coom to th' conclusion, 'at "Widdop's Rest" might be all varry weel once in a way, but if a chap had weary booans, he'd be able to rest a deal better in a comfortable bed at hooam".


Tinklin' Tom.

Some time ago I was accidentally thrown into the im company of a number of workmen, who were just wondering how to pass the remainder of the dinner hour agreeably; and, as they were all indulging in the favourite after dinner pipe, with one exception, it was proposed that this one, whom they called Amos, should tell them one of his stories. Amos, nothing loth, and, evidently accustomed to occupy the position of a story teller, without any apology commenced:—

"Nah, aw dooan't think for a minit, 'at yo all knew this tinklin' Tommy, 'at aw'm gooin to tell yo abaght. Nowt o'th' soort! Its net to be expected! But aw dar say yo've all known a tinklin chap o' some sooart—one o' them 'ats allus boddin an' doin jobs they niver sarved ther time to—a sooart o' jack-o'-all-trades, one 'at con turn his hand to owt ommost. Nah, aw like a chap o' that sooart, if he doesn't carry things too far: but when he begins to say 'at he con build a haase as weel as a mason, an' mak a kist o' drawers as weel as a joiner, or praich a sarmon as weel as th' parson—or playa bazzoon, or spetch a pair o' clogs better nor ony man breathin—then, aw say, tak care an' ha' nowt to do wi' him. It isn't i'th' natur ov ony body to be able to do ivery thing, an' yo 'll oft find 'at them 'at con do all bi ther tawk, con varry seldom do owt reight.

This Tinklin Tom, 'at aw knew, lived at Northaaram, an' he'd managed to mak fowk believe 'at he wor a varry cliver chap, an' whoiver wanted owt doin they wor sure to send for Tom; an' varry oft he did better nor like, to say 'at he had to do it aght ov his own heead; an' if iver he made a mess o' owt, it wor sure to be th' fault o' th' stuff, or else them 'at held th' leet: it wor niver Tommy's.

It happened one time 'at Tom had a bit o' spare time ov his hands, soa he went up to th' aleus to get a pint o' drink, singing as he went, "Ye lads an' lasses so blithe an' gay, come to the 'Woodlands,' come away." "Hallo, Tom," said th' landlord, "tha'rt just th' chicken aw wor wantin! Tha mun gi' us a lift, wi' ta?"

"A lift! What does ta mean? What is it tha wants liftin? Aw dar say aw con do mi share, for aw've seen th' time when ther worn't a chap i' Awrram 'at could lift as mich as me."

Why, Tom! aw'm capt tha hasn't heeard! Doesn't ta knaw 'at we're goin to have a grand tea-drinkin up stairs to neet, an' a grand ball ta finish off wi'?"

"Noa, ther's niver noabdy tells me owt," says Tom.

"Well, aw thowt tha knew all abaght it—its to be a furst rate doo; tickets to be a shillin a piece, an' them 'at taks two con have' em for one an' ninepence; an' we're gooin to have a peanner, for tha knaws noa beershop's thowt respectable nah, unless ther's a peanner i' th' chamer an' an ale pump i'th' bar, soa as aw dooan't want to be behund other fowk, aw've borrowed one ov a musichener 'at keeps a shop, an' a grand un it is as iver tha clapt thi een on."

"What is it made on?" says Tom.

"Aw dooan't knaw reightly, but aw think its awther mogny or wallmuck—aw forget whether; but there it is. Luk! Sithee!" he sed, runnin to th' winder, "come help us to get it in."

They booath ran aght to help th' lads at bad browt it, to get it off th' spring cart, an' they varry sooin had it inside. As sooin as Tom an' th' landlord wor left to thersen, they began to try to get it upstairs; but they'd a job; they gat it up a step or two, an' thear it stuck.

"Nah, then!" sed Tom, for he wor at th' top side, "nab then, lift! howd on! lift! lift! howd on! lift! What th' shames are ta dooin?"

"Aw'm liftin," sed th' landlord, "what should aw be dooin, thinks ta?"

"Well, try agean," says Tom, "nah then, lift! lift! Oh-h-h! Howd on! what the hangmit are ta doin?"

"What's up?" says th' landlord.

"Can't ta see, lumpheead! tha's ommost brokken mi fingers ageean that step!"

"Tha should keep thi fingers aght o'th' gate, an' then they willn't get brokken."

"If tha doesn't mind what tha'rt saying, aw 'll pitch booath thee an' it to th' botham; an' it will ha' to goa thear yet, for it'll niver come up this way. They must be fooils 'at mak stuff ta big ta get up th' steps. Aw once made a mangel 'at aw could tak up steps hauf this width."

"Well, its net gooin up, that's plain enuff, Tom, soa what mun we do nah?"

"We mun get it back, an' try to pull it in 'at th' charner winder, but we shall want a stee."

"Oh, we can sooin get that," says th' landlord, "just thee stop an' see 'at noabdy touches it, an' aw'll goa borrow one."

Off he went, an' wor sooin back wi' th' stee; an' they reared it up agean th' charner winder an' teed a roap raand th' middle o'th' peanner, an' wol th' landlord went up th' stairs to pool, Tom stopt daan to put it on an' shove, an' it began to goa up varry nicely, an' Tom followed to steady it. When it had getten abaght hauf way, th' stee began to bend a gooid bit. "Steady fair," says th' landlord, "tha munnot come ony farther, Tom: if tha does, it'll smash! Aw think awst be able to manage nah." Soa Tom went back, an' th' landlord kept poolin it up a bit at a time. As it kept gooin up an' up, it kept gettin a bit moor to one side. "Ha is it nah, Tom?"

"Oh, its all serene—th' centre o' gravitum's all reight up to nah," says Tom.

Up it went—little an' little—an' ivery time it stirr'd it gat a bit moor off th' edge, an' just as he'd getten it to th' winder bottom, ovver it went an' daan it fell wi' a crash an' a buzz, like a volley o' donce music shot aght ov a cannon, an' aght coom all th' neighbors to see what wor up.

An' it did luk a seet, reight enuff. Th' top had flown off, an' one leg stuck aght one way an tother stuck aght another. It wodn't ha' luk'd hauf as ill if it had been an owd deal box o' some sooart; but a grand mogny peanner—it luk'd just awful, Its like a druffen chap 'ats dressed i' black cloath—he allus luks war nor one 'ats dress'd i' fushten.

"Well, what's to be done nah?" says th' landlord, when he'd getten daan ta Tom agean, "tha reckons to knaw a bit o' summat abaght music, doesn't ta? What mun wi' do wi' this lot?"

"Well," says Tom, "aw've put a hanel or two on to a box organ an' polished a flute or two i' mi time, soa aw owt to knaw summat, but aw've niver had owt to do wi' peanners; but aw dar say if we had it inside, aw could do a bit o' summat wi' it."

"We can easy manage that," said th' landlord, "for we can tak it up i' numbers!"

In a short time they had it carried up an' put together, but what bothered Tom wor, all th' strings wor in a lump, for th' wood 'at they wor screw'd to had brokken lawse an' tumelled into th' bottom.

"Nah, if we could nobbut get this wood wi' all thease pegs in, an' all thease wires fesend to it, lifted up into th' reight spot, aw think ther'd be a chonce o' gettin some mewsic aght on it—soa seize hold an' lift," said Tom. An' they did lift I for they lifted th' peanner clean off th' floor.

"A'a dear! this'll never do," says Tom, "aw niver saw ony body frame wor i' mi life; we mun ha' somdy to sit on it to hold it daan. Connot th' mistress spare time, thinks ta? Shoo's a tidy weight.

"Sally, come here!" shaated aght th' landlord, an' shoo wor up in a minit. "Nah, we want thee to sit daan o' this article wol we lift."

"What, sit me daan o'th' kays, does ta mean? Tha doesn't think at aw con play, does ta lad?"

"Sit thee daan! says th' landlord, varry cross; tha's noa need to be feeard o' been blown up—its nooan a wind instrument."

Shoo set daan, tho' shoo didn't seem mich to like it, an after a gooid deal o' tuggin an' poolin, th' chaps managed to get it up within abaght an inch o' whear it had been befoor.

"Thear!" said Tom, "that begins to luk moor like summat." "Eea, it does," says th' landlord, "aw shouldn't be daan abaght makin a peanner after this; but if aw did mak one, aw'd mak one 'at wodn't braik wi' fallin an odd stoory. Aw dooant think him aw borrowed it on 'll be able to find owt aght."

"Well, aw dooant knaw," says Tom, "aw'm th' fastest what to do wi' thease thingams 'at waggles abaght soa; tha sees they owt to hit thease wires, but they're all too long someha."

"Why, doesn't ta think 'at tha could shorten 'em a bit? It luks to me as if it 'll do if them gets shortened, Sally! get up! Are ta baan to sit thear all th' day? Go an' borrow yond butcher's saig, an' then Tom can cut thease foldedols."

Sally went an' left' em booath starin at th' music box, as shoo called it, an' when shoo'd gooan th' landlord walked raand it two or three times, an' then stoppin i' front o' Tom, he said, "Well, Tom, aw allus thowt 'at tha wor fond o' tinklin at all sooarts o' jobs, but aw didn't gie thee credit for being able to do owt like this."

"Why, yo' see, maister, its born i' some fowk,' replied Tom. "Nah when aw wor a lad aw once made a tin whistle aght ov a brass canel-stick, an' they could ha' played on it too, but it tuk sich a deal o' wind, but ther wor a chap 'at used to come to awr haase 'at blew it mony a time."

"Tha doesn't say soa! A'a, what a thing it is to be born wi' sich a heead as thine; aw wonder tha doesn't crack thi brain wi' studdyin soa mich abaght things. Aw've thowt mony a time when aw've heeard fowk tawk abaght thee 'at its a thaasand pities thi mother hadn't twins."

"Why," said Tom, "aw think sometimes 'at if aw'd been edicated aw should happen a capt somdy; but that's Sally's fooit, aw think."

Sally browt th' saig, an' after a gooid deal o' squarin abaght, Tom said "Aw think th' best plan 'll be to cut th' lot off to start wi', an' then we can mak 'em what length we want 'em."

"Suit thi sen, tha owt to knaw," said th' landlord, an' Tom began to saig away. He'd getten th' hauf on 'em cut, when up comes th' chap at they'd borrowed it on. "I understand you've had an accident," he said, "but I hope its not much worse?"

"Well, it has getten a bit ov a shake," says Tom, "but aw think we'll be able to mak it all square agean in a bit."

"Why, my dear fellow, what are you doing? You are destroying the whole affair—you are cutting the action!"

"Action! What action? What does ta mean?" says Tom.

"Why, you are cutting the working part all to pieces!"

"Warkin pairt! Aw'm dooin nowt o' th' sooart—its th' playing pairt 'at aw'm cuttin; but if aw ammot dooin reight, tak th' saig an' lets see ha tha'll do it."

"No, indeed—I shall have nothing to do with it—the whole thing is ruined; and the landlord will have to pay me for it, so I wish you a very good day."

Tom an' th' landlord watched him aght o'th' seet, an' for a minit or two nawther on 'em spake, but 'at th' last th' landlord says, "What's to be done, Tom? what's to be done?"

Tom seemed as dumb as th' peanner an' dived his hands into his britches pockets varry near up to th' elbows.

"If aw wor yo maister," he said, "aw wodn't bother ony moor wi' this to day, for ther's a deal o' tinklin wark to be done at it afoor its fit for mich; aw'd shove it into a corner an' say nowt abaght it for fear it might stop th' tickets for sellin, an' when fowk have getten ther tea an' want to donce, ther's sure some music to turn up throo somewhear."

Th' landlord seemed convinced ther wor some truth i' what he said, soa they lifted it carefully into a corner an' left it.

Ther wor a rare sale o' tickets that day, an' when tea time coom they wor as mony as three sittins daan, but th' pots were noa sooiner sided nor they began to ax abaght th' mewsic. Tom had set varry still wol he saw all ready—then standing up wi' his cap i' his hand, he coff'd an' began, "Ladies an' gents—its a vary unfortunate affair, is this; but yo see troubles are niver to seek: th' landlord said he'd have a peanner to neet, an' he's getten one, but its aght o' tune; but rayther nor yo should be disappointed aw'll whistle a tune for yo misen, an' aw think ther's two or three moor at '11 be able to help me a bit."

Withaat moor adoo he struck up a tune: th' lasses giggled an th' lads luk'd soft; but in a bit one or two gate up, an' began turnin raand, an' it worn't long afoor they wor all whirlin away like a lot o' scopperils, an' as happy as happy could be. Tom sooin fun two or three moor to help him at whistling, an' afoor it wor ovver they all agreed 'at they'd niver enjoyed thersen hauf as weel at ony ball they'd iver been at afoor, as they had that neet; but th' best o' friends mun pairt, an' th' time coom when they mud goa hooam, soa just bith' way ov a wind up, Tom stood ov a bench an' then made a varry nice soort ov a speech, an' ended bi sayin "ha sorry he felt for th' landlord: for he'd have a deal o' brass to pay to mak up for th' accident 'at's happened, an' as they'd all enjoy'd thersen soa weel, he thowt they wodn't object to mak a collection ov a trifle to help him, an' he should have mich pleasure i' gooin raand wi' th' hat."

After this speech they all began fumlin i' ther pockets an' declaring they'd do what they could for him; an' when th' hat went raand they worn't one but what gave summat an' as ther wor twenty-three on 'em, it coom to eleven-pence-hawpny. Tom handed it ovver to th' landlord, who thanked' em in a varry neat an affectin way, an' begged on 'em to have a shillin oth' o' warm ale at his expense, which they had. After that they separated, thankful to think' at they'd been able to do a trifle towards helpin a chap aght ov his troubles.

Th' landlord had to pay for th' peanner at last, an' as they couldn't mak it play, Tinklin Tom an' a plumber turned it into a ale pump, an' it stands i'th' bar to this day, an' they say its th' handsomest machine o'th' sooart i' Northaaram. Th' landlord's studied music a bit sin' then, an' as sooin as he hears th' kay nooat ov a chap's voice, he can tell whether to draw him flat ale or sharp ale, as natural as con be. An' they're gooin to kursen th' haase a "music ale haase;" an soa mony fowk goa to see it, 'at th' landlord says he "fell i' luck for th' furst time in his life when th' peanner fell aght o'th' winder."

"Ha! ha! ha! Well, that's a stunner, Amos! Tha's done that a gooid en, but yond's th' whew, soa we mun goa an' do another bit for th' maister. Ha! ha! ha!"


Th' New Schooil Booard.

In a village not very far from where I am now sitting, and in the principal street, (for it was the only one,) was situated an old-fashioned hostelry where nightly all the Solomons of the district used to congregate. The room they occupied was a large kitchen, the floor of which was scoured and sanded; and all the furniture, which was immovable, was brushed as white as it was possible to be. Here they held their political discussions, and showed how Gladstone had missed it, and clearly demonstrated that had their advice been acted upon, the world would very soon have become so regenerated that soldiers, sailors, parliaments, and policemen, would be things altogether useless, and we should soon be in such a position that pleasure would be the only business of life. On the night of which I write, the conversation turned upon the question of School Boards. Old Michael, who was a great authority on the question of education, owing to his daughter being a pupil teacher, was at once appealed to for his opinion.

"Well," he said, "awve net gooan soa deeply into this matter as some things, but aw should think 'at they'res gooin to be a mistak all th' way through. If aw understand it reight, iverybody's to be eddicated to sich a pitch, wol they'll be able to tak a sitiwation awther as a clark at a bank or a clark at a chapel, an' yo know as weel as aw do 'at ther's some fowk yo connot eddicate. My dowter has tell'd me monny a time, 'at ther's a deeal o' fowk 'at's born withaat heeads. Yo may think it saands strange but aw believe it's true—they've nobbut getten lumps, an' they're like blind boils, yo may pooltice 'em as long as yo like, an' yo can niver draw 'em to a heead, an' that bein th' case aw think 'at Forster's made a mess on it. Nah if he'd ha takken my advice, he'd ha letten it alooan until sich times as fowk had getten sense enuff to understand things."

"But Michael," said Dick Dardust, "aw must say at aw dooant agree exactly wi' all tha says, an' aw connot help thinkin 'at thy dowter may happen be mistakken abaat fowks' heeads."

"Nah, if tha'rt gooin to set thisen up as superior to my dowter, ov coorse aw've done at once. If somdy 'at's spent soa monny year i' improvin ther intellectul an' morbid sensibleness is to be questioned bi a ninkumpoop like thee, it's time to drop it."

"Aw dooant want to set misen up at all, Michael, all aw have to say is 'at th' best on us may be mistakken, an' aw've heeard a chap say, an' yo may tak his word for it, for he comes throo London, 'at this Schooil Booard an' this technical eddication is baan to revolutionize this country."

"God forbid! 'at we should iver have ony revolution i' this country as long as aw live," said Simon o' th' Lee, who had been listening, 'for ther's been blooid enuff shed latly.'

"Nay," said Michael, "tha doesn't understand what he meeans, he doesn't meean wars, he meeans 'at things will ha to be turned raand. Nah my dowter tells me 'at th' world's in a revolution allus, that is, it keeps turnin raand ov its own axle tree throo morn to neet an' niver stops."

"A'a Michael,' said Simon, 'aw think thy dowter is tryin to cram thi a bit; nah did ta iver catch th' world th' wrang side up, for aw niver did, an' aw've lived a year or two?"

"Well, awm net able to argify it, all aw know is 'at awm tell'd soa. But to come back to th' old point, abaat this Schooil Booard, and technical eddication? nah what do yo call technical eddication? Come, aat wi' it some o' yo 'at reckon to be soa weel up."

"Wel," said Dick, "technical eddication is, aw suppooas, summat 'at fowk leearns to do 'em some gooid, an' if aw understand it reight, it's summat 'at fowk leearns withaat ony books or owt o' that sooart."

"Nay," said Simon, "tha'rt wrang this time,—if aw understand it, technical eddication meeans leearnin th' names o' things sich as stars an' plants an' joints o' mait, an' iverything o' that sooart; isn't that it, Michael?"

"Aw dooant think it is, aw think Dick's nearer th' mark nor thee, for aw believe it's as he says, yo leearn it withaat ony books; in fact it's that sooart o' eddication at fowk have 'at niver went to th' schooil, it's a sooart o' common sense view o' things,—a sooart o' beein able to invent a way to do owt yo want ommost. Nah, aw'll gie yo a sample o' what aw call technical eddication. My gronfayther wor booath deeaf an' dumb an' laim, aw can just recollect him, tho he deed when aw wor a lad; he wor born deeaf an' dumb but he wornt born laim, that happened after he gate to be a man. Well, he niver went to th' schooil, but yet he wor one o' th' mooast genius chaps 'at iver yo met i' yor life; he'd a way ov his own o' dooin iverything. Aw've heeard mi fayther tell 'at when he wor a lad, ther wor a family o' five on 'em, an' they all worked at th' factory, an' as lads will, they sometimes stopt aat soa lat ov a neet 'at they fan it varry hard wark to get up next mornin; an' they had to be up at five o'clock 'coss they'd a long way to walk. Nah, mi gronfayther could nawther get up nor call aat, but ha do yo think he managed to get' 'em aat o' bed? He used to allus keep abaat a barro looad o' brokken bricks at his bedside, an' th' lads used to know as sooin as they felt 'em flyin abaat ther heeads 'at it wor time to be stirrin: one used to be enuff in a general way, but th' second wor sure to do it, even if he wor a hard sleeper, an' if th' third didn't wakken him, yo could book him for a tombstooan ony minit. Nah that's what aw call technical eddication."

"Well, if throwin bricks at a chaps heead is technical eddication, aw dooant see 'at we want a Schooil Booard to taich us that," said Jabez, "for ther's lots 'at can manage that job withaat. Nah awl tell yo what technical eddication is as yo all seem fast amang it."

"Well, if tha can lawse us, we desarve putting in a pooak an' shakkin up," said Michael, low down, but just loud enough to be heard.

"Aw heeard thi what tha sed Michael, but technical eddication is that sooart 'at taiches 'em a trade, an aw think its a varry sensible thing, 'an aw for one am i' favor ov a Schooil Board, 'an if we dooant get one up, ther's sure to be some o' them local board chaps at will, an' aw consider this to be a varry gooid time to consider th' subject, 'an depend on it, them 'at start it will have th' best chonce o' being vooated in members; an' as nooan on us but Michael has ony public office, aw beg to propooas 'at we form ussen into a quorum an mak application for a Schooil Booard, an' aw beg also to propooas 'at Michael is th' cheerman."

This last proposition was a varry good hit, for he knew that if Michael had the chance to be chairman, that he would not care a farthing what the object might be,—and there are a many like Michael in that particular.

Michael hum'd and ha'd a few times, but at last he overcame his scruples and said, "he didn't know but what it wor for th' best, and if it wornt, if it had to be done they might as weel have th' honor o' doin it as onybody else."

They held a meeting, but it would be useless for me to attempt to make you understand their arguments, for I did not, and I am pretty well convinced that they were similarly situated; but at last it was unanimously resolved that they should have a School Board, and Simon called for pen, ink, and paper to draw up a petition, and he began in a very promising manner, and proceeded very well until he came to the word technical, then he scratched his head.

"What's to do nah?" said Michael.

"Ha do yo spell technical?" said Simon, "is there a K in it?"

"Ho eea! ther must be a K in it," said Dick, "let's see, teck, neck, peck, reck, check, deck, leck;—hi! ther must be a K in it, ther's a K i' all words o' that sooart."

"Well, but aw believe ther isn't a K in it for all that," said Simon, "but whear's ther an old newspaper, we can happen find it mentioned thear."

So he got an old paper, and whilst he was running down the columns, the rest of the members were arranging when they could have th' furst feed at th' heead o' th' Booard.

"Nah," he said, "awve fun it."

"An' ther's a K in it ov coarse," sed Michael.

"As it happens tha'rt wrang for once," said Simon, "for ther isn't."

"Then ther owt to be, that's all, but aw dooant put ony faith i' newspapers, for when aw wor wed, they put in my name Michael withaat a K."

"Well, that wor reight enough, ther isnt a K i' Michael."

"Oh, isnt ther?—varry gooid,—aw know 'at my dowter spells it wi' a K an' shoo's a pupil taicher, soa shoo owt to know," said Michael.

"Thy dowter be blowed! tha wants to ram thy dowter daan ivery body's throit."

"Do aw?—Awd be looath to ram her daan thy throit anyway, tho it wodnt be sich a varry hard job, for thi maath's ommost big enuff."

"If its ony bigger accordingly nor thy nooas awl be smoored; but tha con tak th' Schooil Board an thi dowter too for what aw care, an' mich gooid may shoo do thi, for awl niver be under a cheerman at spells Michael wi' a K.

"Nah chaps," said Dick Dardust, "dont yo fratch."

"Simon does reight to fratch," said another, "Michael has noa business allus to be draggin in his dowter if shoo is a schooil mistress. My wife's sister-i'-law had a hont 'at wor a schooil mistress, an' aw dooant keep reapin it up."

As each of them had had their pints replenished a number of times during the discussion, the old saying that "when drink's in wit is out," began to be illustrated; and there was such an uproar in the place that the landlord was compelled to send for some policemen to assist him in turning them out, and when they had gone he muttered to himself, as he picked up the broken pints, "Schooil Booards! its time they'd summat. What do they want wi' Schooil Booards? Aw niver went to th' schooil an' luk at me! why aw could sup a 18 gallon to mi own cheek an net mak soa mich bother."

Whilst all this had been going on, a few of the quiet and unassuming people of the village had met at the school room for the purpose of considering the same subject. The clergyman was in the chair, and as might be expected, the business was carried on in a very different manner, and they decided to hold a public meeting, and give all an opportunity to express their opinions. Judge the dismay of the pot house Solomons, when they saw the village placarded with announcements on which the words "School Board," were in very large letters. They at once set about raising some opposition, for they felt themselves aggrieved.

Michael and Simon o'th' Lee happened to meet as they were going to work. "Nah Simon, tha sees what a mess thy stupid wark's getten us into. If tha hadn't sed ther wornt a K i' technical it ud niver ha' come to this."

"If tha hadn't sed 'at ther wor a K i' Michael it would niver ha happened, an' ther isnt a K i' technical."

"Well, happen net, but ther is a K i' Michael, becoss my dowter says—"

"Thy dowter's a fooil! shoo taks after her faither!" said Simon, as he walked away.

"Ha ha, ha! Well shoo hasnt lived to thy age withaat leearnin to know at ther's a K i' Michael," he shouted after him.

But the public meeting was held, and there was some very strong opposition, and Michael made a very long speech against School Boards, for he said that "his dowter wor a pupil taicher, an' shoo sed 'at Schooil Booards wor nobbut necessary i' them places whear they required 'em, an' he should propooas 'at this meetin wor ov opinion 'at this question should stand ovver until his dowter wor old enuff to have a schooil ov her own, an' if shoo couldn't eddicate fowk up to th' mark, it wod be time enuff to have a Schooil Booard then."

"Gooid lad, Michael!" said one.

"Michael wi' a K!" said another.

"Goa home to thi dowter, an' tell her to give thi brains a soap lather!" shouted a voice that was verry like unto Simon's.

There was a good deal of uproar for a time, but the meeting at length decided by a vote of ten to one in favour of a school board, so the opposition did no good after all, and Michael's daughter will have to take her chance.


Tha Caps me Nah!

"Has ta heeard th' news?"

"Niver a word! What's up?"

"Old Duke's getten wed."

"Nay, tha caps me nah! An' who's th' gurt maddlin getten wed to? Awst ha thowt he'd gettin to old to do that."

"He's wed Mary o' Nathan's o'th' Sludge Hoil."

"Well, tha does cap me nah! Why, he's old enuff to be her gronfayther ommost. A'a dear, A'a dear! Whativer wor shoo thinkin on? But I reckon shoo mud have a felly o' some sooart; but awd ha waited a bit longer if awd been her befoor awd ha' taen up wi' old Duke; besides he's a peg leg."

"Well shoo may'nt like him ony war for that, an' tha sees it'll save her a bit o' trouble, for shoo'll nobbut have one booit to black. But shoo's a trimmer, an' if he doesn't live to rue his bargain, awst be chaited. Shoo play'd him one o'th' nicest tricks, th' day after they gate wed 'at awve heeard tell on for a long time."

"Ha wor that?"

"Well, tha sees he gate rayther fresh o'th' weddin day, an' he wor varry dry when he wakken'd next mornin, soa he sed he'd get up an' goa as far as 'Th' Quiet Corner,' for a leck on; but shoo tell'd him he'd ha to do nowt o'th' sooart, for it wor ill enough to have a druffen chap at neet withaat havin one 'at started as sooin as he gate up. But he sed he should goa, an' shoo said he should'nt, an' they started o' threapin, but what does shoo do when he worn't lukkin, but shoves his peg leg up th' flue, an' he sowt it all ovver but couldn't find it?"

"That wor a cunnin trick onyway, but what sed Duke?"

"He had to stop at hooam ov cooarse, for shoo wod'nt tell him whear it wor until he promised net to goa near th' alehouse that day, an it had getten towards neet when he promised and as shoo'd kept a gooid fire all th' time it had getten a fairish warmin, and' old Duke noa sooiner gate it on an' wor walkin abaat a bit, nor it mashed like a pot, an' he fell his whoallength on to th' floor with his heead i'th' coilskep."

"Nay, tha does cap me nah! Ther'd be a bonny rumpus awl bet. Did ta hear?"

"Aw heeard nowt noa farther, nobbut some ov his chums gate to know, an soa they made a subscription, an' bowt him another, an' they had it painted red, white and blue, an' sent it lapt up i' silk paper. Old Duke wor ommost malancholy when he saw it, but Mary nobbut laft, an started on an' blackleeaded it, an' in a varry little time he wor set i'th' 'Quiet Corner,' wi as handsome a peg leg as tha'd wish to see. They chaff him a gooid bit abaat weddin Mary, but he taks it all i' gooid part, an' they've sent all sooarts o' presents to him. One day last week they sent him a creddle, an' Mary wor soa mad wol shoo gate th' blocker an' wor baan to chop it into chips, and wol shoo wor stormin on, a little lad coom to th' door an' sed, 'please aw've browt a pair o' specteckels for old Duke to rock th' creddle in.' An' shoo catched him a drive at side o'th' heead, wol his een fair blazed, an th' specteckels flew into th' middle o'th' rooad."

"Well, but it wor hardly reight on her to claat th' lad, coss he knew nowt abaat it."

"Why tha sees shoo didn't just think abaat it, but shoo made it all reight at after an gave him a butter cake, an' old Duke sam'd up th' specs, an' after saigin th' heead off, he turned th' creddle into a manger for his donkey."

"Well, tha caps me! But has ta heeard abaat that barrel o' ale runnin away throo old Nipsomes tother wick?"

"Noa, ha wor that? Aw hardly thowt he'd ony ale 'at had strength to run away."

"O but he has, for th' last gill awe gate fit three on us, an' we left some then. But it wor sellable stuff, awve had war:—net mich. But awl tell thi abaat this barrel. Th' brewery cart wor liverin some, an' tha knows their ale-cellar door is just at th' top o'th' old hill, an th' cartdriver let a barrel slip, an' away it roll'd daan th' hill slap agean th' gas lamp, an' it braik th' pooast i' two, an off it went till it coom to th' wall at th' bottom, when th' barrel end brast aat an' all th' ale wor wasted. Soa tha sees ther must ha been some strength in it if it could braik a iron lamp pooast; an' it wor nobbut common ale."

"Well th' loss wodn't be soa varry mich after all, they'll get ovver it. But has ta heeard they're gooin to turn Bill Summerscales' tripe shop into a limited liability company?"

"Nay, it's niver true, is it?"

"Its true enuff, for aw've been tell'd all abaat it bi a chap 'ats had it throo Bill hissen, but its a saycret tha knows, soa tha munnot tell onybody; but what does ta think on it?"

"Well aw hardly know what to think, but it seems to me 'at ther'll be noa limit to th' limited's in a bit. But what's th' shares to be, has ta heeard?"

"Ho e'ea! Ther's to be two hundred shares at a shillin a piece; nineteen twentieths he's baan to keep for hissen, an' his relations are to have th' furst chonce o'th' other, so as it'll be as mich a family affair as possible. Does ta see, that's done soa as if ivery thing doesn't work as it should, or ther should be ony fallin off i'th' quality o'th' tripe, they'll keep it quiet for ther own sakes."

"Well, aw cannot see what iver he's turnin it into a company consarn for?"

"Does ta see, he's rayther fast for that stuff fowk buys pigs wi, an' he's niver been able to pay for yon shuts painting yet, an' tha sees if theas shares are all taen up, it'll put him into a bit o' ready brass; an' th' dividend is to be declared once a year, an' th' shareholders can have ther choice whether they tak it aat i' tripe or trotters; an if th' first years' profit doesn't run to as mich as'll be a meal a piece, it'll be carried to a presarve fund, though what presarved tripe 'll be like aw cant tell."

"Well, tha caps me nah! Does ta think o' takkin up a share or two?"

"Aw hardly know yet. If aw tummel ovver as mich on mi way hooam as'll pay th' deposit, aw happen shall, but net else."

"Well, they'll net be mich i' my line. Who does ta think aw met to-day? Try to guess."

"Net aw marry! Awm noa hand at guessin."

"It wor Jim Wilkins, don'd up like a gentleman. It licks me whear he gets his brass; if ther isn't a smash up thear some day awst be capt. But he ows me nowt."

"Aw suppose his wife's a varry highty tighty sooart ov a body. Shoo's been browt up at th' boardin schooil."

"Why then, shoo'll be a poor dowdy in a haase. It's a queer thing, but eddication seems to mar as mony as it maks. Aw dooant know what Foster's bill may do."

"Is he baan to get wed?"

"Who?"

"Bill Foster."

"Aw ne'er sed owt abaat Bill Foster, aw mean Foster, M. P. for Bradforth. He's browt in a bill to eddicate fowks childer."

"Ho has he, aw niver heeard on it."

"Why tha'rt awfully behund hand."

"Aw may be i' mi politics, but net i' me payments, an' that's what monny a thaasand connot say. Aw wonder sometimes ha it wod ha been if iverybody 'at owed owt had been foorced to put it o'th' census paper. But what does ta think abaat old Strap puttin daan all his five childer musicianers?"

"Nay aw dooant know, but he wor allus a foxy sooart ov a chap an' he'd have some reason for it. But ha does ta mak it aat 'at they are all musicians?"

"Why, ther's two bellringers, two drummers, an' one drum hugger, an they all play off nooats, an' a varry long way off 'em sometimes. Did ta hear tell abaat them two lads o' his havin that do i'th' church steeple?"

"Noa, indeed aw! Let's have it."

"Well tha knows it happened to be practice neet an' as Ike wor gooin to th' church he bowt a sheep's pluck an' tuk it wi him, intendin to tak it hooam an have it cooked for ther supper. He happened to be th' furst 'at gate into th' bell chamer, soa he hung th' sheep pluck up agean th' wall, an' then went daan agean, leavin a little lamp burnin i'th' steeple. He'd hardly getten off th' step when his brother coom, an' findin th' door oppen he went up; but befoor he gate thear, a gust o' wind blew aat th' leet an' all wor as dark as pitch. He thowt it wor varry strange for he knew Ike had come before him, soa he bawled aat 'Ike!' but nobody spaik. 'Aw know tha'rt up here,' he sed, 'soa let's ha nooan o' thi tricks. Spaik, wi' ta?" but nowt spaik. Sid felt rayther freetened, but he began to grope all raand th' walls, bein sure his brother wor thear i'th' dark. All at once his hand coom agean a piece o' liver, an' it felt soa cold, an' soa mich like a face, 'at he started back, an' as sooin as he could find th' step, he ran daan as fast as he could, an' when he gate to th' bottom he luk'd at his hand an' it wor all blooidy. 'Awr Ike's cut his throit,' he sed, 'Whativer mun aw do?' An he wor just gooin to yell aat 'Police!' when who should come up but his brother. Th' seet on him tuk a gurt looard off Sid's mind, but yet he wor varry freetened. 'What's th' matter, Sid,' sed his brother, 'tha luks ill; Isn't th' pluck all reight?' 'Th' pluck's gooan,' sed Sid, shakkin his heead an' puttin his hand on his heart. 'Gooan!—Aw'll niver goa into that bell-chamer ageean as long as aw live! Aw've allus sed, if a chap 'll rob another ov his livin, he'll rob him ov his life if he's a chonce.'"

"'Well aw wor just thinkin a gooin for th' police,' sed Sid, 'but we dooant know who it is.' Its one o'th' ringers as sure as we're here.' 'Hi, its one o'th' ringers noa daat, but aw hooap he hasn't a wife an' a lot o' childer.' 'Well,' sed Ike, 'if he has, an taks it hooam for 'em to ait, aw hooap it'll chooak th' lot on 'em.' Just as he sed this, all th' rest o'th' ringers coom up, an' were capt to find Ike an' Sid soa excited, soa pairt cluthered raand one an' pairt raand tother, an' Sid tell'd one lot 'at a chap had cut his throit i'th' bell chamer, an' Ike tell'd tother 'at somdy'd stown his sheep's pluck. 'Well we mun goa an see,' sed some on 'em, an they gate some leets an away they went up. Ike wor th' first an' Sid th' last. When they gate into th' chamer, Ike saw th' pluck hung up just whear he'd left it, an' he turned raand an' saw Sid peepin off th' corner o'th' door. 'This is one o' thy tricks, Sid,' sed Ike, but th' words wor hardly aat ov his maath befoor Sid wor on his knees declaring, 'at he'd niver harmed onybody i' all his life. 'Tha's noa need to goa onto thi knees abaat it onyway,' sed Ike, 'haiver, hear it is, soa all's reight, tha con hug it up hooam for me; an' he gave it him. Sid wor soa taen, wol he put up his hands to mak sure 'at he worn't asleep; an' th' chaps 'at he'd been tellin his tale to, began to smell a rat, an' at last it wor all explained, an' niver mind if ther worn't some laffin an' chaffin. Poor Sid gets plagued abaat it yet, for ommost ivery body's getten to know, an' if onnybody, livin abaat that church, wants a sheep's heead an' a pluck, they order th' butcher to send 'em a New-Taan Boggard."

"Well tha caps me nah!"

"Gooid neet.—Awr Mally 'll think aw'm niver comin."

"Gooid neet.—But is it true?"

"True!—It's just as true as all sich like."

"A'a, well,—tha caps me nah!"


Nay Fer Sewer!

Nay fer sewer!" sed Betty Longtongue, as Sally Jibjab had finished tellin her 'at one o' th' neighbor's husband's had getten turned off. "Well, awm capt he didn't get seck'd long sin, for they tell me he wor niver liked amang th' work fowk, an' awm sure aw've seen him go in to his wark monny a time a full clock haar after awr lot's had to be thear. But aw thawt he'd find his level at last, an' awm net oft mistakken, far aw can see a hoil in a stee as weel as th' maaast."

"Why but it has'nt been owt abaat his wark 'at he's been seck'd for, but him an' two or three moor have been playin a trick o' Jane Sucksmith's husband, an' its getten to th' maister's ears, an' soa they seck'd him thear an' then."

"Nay fer sewer! whatever will ta say! Why what has he been dooin? Same mak o' pousement aw'll be bun for't."

"Well, aw can nobbut tell th' tale as it wor tell'd to me tha knows; but her 'at tell'd me, had it tell'd bi somdy 'at had heeard it throo one 'at owt to know, soa its true enuff. It seems old Sucksmith had been drinkin tother day, an' he must ha getten moor nor he could carry, an' tha knows as weel as me 'at he can sup moor nor what ud mak some fowk druffen, an' walk as steady as if he'd swallow'd a church, steeple an' all; an' he ligg'd him daan o' some sheets o' wool 'at wor bi th' rooad side, an' as Musty wor goain past he saw him, an' soa he thowt he'd have a marlock, an' he went an' fun up some ov his chums an' they gate sooit an' daub'd his face wol he luk'd war nor old Scrat hissen."

"Nay fer sewer! Why they mud easily do that aw believe, for he's nooan a gooid favvor'd chap at th' best hand."

"Noa he isn't, but they worn't content wi' that but Musty went an' gate some sooart o' paader 'at they use to dye red worset an' sich like stuff wi', an he tuk off his cap an' sprinkled it all amang his toppin, an then they left him, an' in a bit he wakken'd up, for all th' childer ith district wor gethered raand him, starin at him. Just then Musty, 'at had been waiting abaat, reckoned to come past in a great hurry, an' as sooin as he saw Sucksmith, he set up a gurt shaat o' laffin, an says, "Whativer has ta been doain, aw niver saw sich a freet i' mi life." Sucksmith wor reight gaumless for a while, but he says, "What is ther to laff at? Did ta niver see me befoor thinks ta?" "Well aw niver saw thi luk like that affoar onnyway. Whoiver is it 'at's been playin thee this trick?"

"What trick does ta meean?" he sed.

"Why doesn't ta know at thi face is all daubed wi sooit?"

Sucksmith put up his hand to feel, an' when he saw his fingers all grimed, he sed, "Aw wish aw knew who'd done this, Musty; awd be straight wi' him, an sooin too. To think 'at a chap connot fall asleep in a Kristine country withaat havin his face painted war nor a paysayger, but awst find it aght someday."

"Well, aw think its th' best plan to goa wi' me to th' "Blue Dunnock," sed Musty, an' gie thisen a gooid wesh."

Soa they went an' all Musty's mates wor set waitin in another raam.

Th' landlady wor varry gooid i' findin him some sooap an' watter, o'th' sinkstooan, an' he started to give hissen a reight gooid swill, an as sooin as th' watter gate to this stuff 'at they'd put ov his heead, it began to roll daan th' color o' blooid, an' as sooin as he oppen'd his e'en he saw it, an' he thowt at first it must be his nooas 'at wor bleedin, an' as th' landlady worn't abaat, he blew his nooase oth towel to see, but it worn't, then he put up his hand to his heead an' thear it wor sure enuff. He ommost fell sick when he saw it, an' he called for Musty as laad as he could, to see what wor to do. "Whativer's th' matter wi me thinks ta, Musty? Just Iuk, awm bleedin like a pig."

"A'a, dear, A'a dear! Why tha must ha brokken a blooid vessel."

"Aw think awve brokken two or three," sed Sucksmith "but what mun aw do?"

"Sewse thi heead wi cold watter; ther's nowt stops bleedin like cold watter. Why, if tha gooas on tha'll bleed to th' deeath."

"Aw begin to feel faint already," sed Sucksmith, as he started o' throwin moor watter on his heead; but th' moor he put on an' th' moor blooid seemed to come, an' he sed, "Oh, dear! aw believe awm done for this time, Musty; doesn't ta think tha'd better send for a doctor?"

When he lifted up his heead, Musty wor foorced to turn away for a minit to get a straight face, for Sucksmith's wor dyed th' color ov a raw beef steak, an' his heead luk'd like one o' them red door mats 'at tha's seen. But Musty advised him to goa on wi' th' watter, an' he did, an' in a while it begun to have less colour in it, an' Sucksmith's mind began to feel a bit easier.

"Aw think its ommost gien ovver nah," he sed, but luk at mi hands! why they're like a piece o' scarlet cloath."

"Eea, an thi face is th' same; tha luks to me as if tha'd getten th' scarlet-fayvor, an' awm sure ther's summat nooan reight wi' thi; but wipe thisen an' come into tother hoil, ther's some o' thi mates thear, an' we'll see what they say."

Sucksmith did as he wor tell'd, an' went into tother raam with Musty, but ther wor sich a crack o' laffin as sooin as he showed his heead, wol they mud ha fell'd him wi' a bean. "Nah lads," sed Musty, "yo shouldn't laff at a chap's misfortunes, an' awm sure ther's Summat matter wi awr friend Sucksmith, aw tell him it must be th' scarlet fayvor.'

"Well aw niver saw sich a heead i' mi life," sed another, "but its nooan th' scarlet fayvor; my belief is its th' cattle plague, an if it is, an' th' police gets to know they'll have him shot, bi th' heart will they, for they've orders to destroy ivery livin thing 'at shows ony signs o' havin it. But whear has ta been to get it thinks ta?"

"Nay, awve been nowhere 'at aw know on," sed Sucksmith, "aw felt all reight a bit sin, an' aw ligg'd daan o' some sheets o' wool an' fell asleep, an' aw niver knew aw ail'd owt wol aw coom in here to wesh me."

"Why then it will be th' cattle plague, its nowt else, ther's a deal o' sheep had it lately; an' varry likely that's some o' ther wool 'at tha's been sleepin on. But ha does ta feel?"

"Oh, aw feel varry mich alike all ovver,—awm feeared its up we me ommost, an' this has come for a warnin, for aw havn't behaved misen reight latly. But if awm spared to get ovver this awl alter."

"Why tha luks as if tha'd awther getten a warnin or a warmin, bith color o' thi face," sed one, "but aw think tha'd do wi' a glass o' summat to cooil thi daan a bit,—a red Indian's a fooil to thi."

"It must be summat serious," sed another, "are ta th' same color all ovver?"

"Aw dooant know awm sure, an'. aw havn't strength to luk," he sed.

But one o'th' chaps roll'd up his briches slop to see; "Nay, thi leg is all reight." "Well," sed Musty, "tha knows it may be soa, for we've heeard tell o' th' fooit and maath desease, an' this may be th' heead an' hand complaint. But what do yo think it'll be th' best for him to do?"

"I shuild advise him to goa hooam at once, but if ony body should see him they'll varry likely tak him for a literary chap becoss he's so deeply red." "Well, whether they tak him for a little-hairy chap or net, he'll pass for a red hairy chap an' noa mistak," sed Hiram.

But Sucksmith fancied he felt soa waik wol he didn't think he'd be able to walk hooam, soa after all biddin him "gooid bye," for fear they mud niver see him agean an one chap axin him to be sure an' tell his first wife if he met her up aboon, 'at he'd getten wed to her sister, they sent him hooam in a cab.

"Nay fer sewer! Whativer wi ta say? An' whativer did their Margit say when shoo saw him? He must ha luk'd a pictur."

"Nay, aw dooant know what shoo sed, but ther wor a rare racket ith' hoil awl a-warrant thi. But th' gurt softheead stuck in it, 'at he wor poorly, an' as shoo saw he wornt sober shoo humoured him wi lettin him goa to bed. Next mornin he'd come to his senses a bit, soa shoo let him have sich a bit o' tongue as he hadn't had latly, for tha knows shoo's a glaid when shoo starts, for if awd to say quarter as mich to my felly as shoo says to him sometimes, he'd niver darken th' door agean. He began to see what a fooil they'd been makkin on him, an' he gate up intendin to goa to his wark, but when he saw hissen ith' seamin glass, he couldn't fashion, an' soa he began o' weshin hissen first i' cold watter an' then i' hot; but it wor what they call a fast color, an' he couldn't get it to stir do what he wod.

"What mun aw do, Margit?" he sed, when he'd swill'd his heead wi' hot watter wol it wor hauf boiled; "th' moor aw wesh it an' th' breeter it seems to get. If iver aw get all reight agean ther's somdy'll want a new suit o' clooas, but it'll be a wooden en."

"Hold thi noise, lumpheead," shoo sed, "an' get thi braikfast an awl see if aw connot do summat for thi. Aw expect it'll have to be scaar'd off."

Soa after th' braikfast shoo made him ligg daan o' th' hearthstooan, an' shoo gate some wire scale an' started o' scrubbin one side ov his head, as if shoo'd been polishin th' fender; but he couldn't stand that, an' he laup'd up, an' donced up an' daan th' hoil, sayin all sooarts o' awkward things.

"What the dickens are ta thinkin on," he sed, "does ta fancy awm made o' cast-iron?"

"Aw dooan't know what tha'rt made on, but aw know tha artn't made o'th' reight sooart o' stuff for a fayther ov a family to be made on; but if tha connot get it off thisen, an' tha weant let me, tha'll be forced to stop as tha art, that's all." An' away shoo flew aat o' th' haase and left him.

"Nay fer sewer! An' whativer did he do?"

Well, he set daan and studied a bit, then he sent for a doctor, net becoss he felt poorly, but becoss he wanted to know what to do to get it off. Soa th' doctor coom, an' they say he couldn't spaik for iver soa long, for laffin at him; an' he tell'd him he'd be monny a week befoor he gate reight, an' it wod have to wear off by degrees; but his hair, he sed, wod niver be reight, soa he mud as weel have it shaved off sooin as lat. Soa he sent for Timmy, th' barber, an' had it done, an' when his wife coom back, thear he wor set, lukkin for all th' world like a lot o' old clooas wi' a ball o' red seealin wax stuck at th' top; an' thear he is i'th' haase nah, whear he'll ha to stop wol his hair grows agean.

"Nay fer sewer! An does he niver goa aat?"

"Niver,—he did goa to th' door one day when Hiram's little lass went to borrow th' looaf tins, but shoo wor soa freetened, wol shoo ran hooam, an' her mother says shoo believes shoo's gooin to have soor een; mun, he's flaysome to luk at, an' th' child has niver been like hersen sin, an' shoo connot sleep ov a neet for dreamin abaat it."

"Nay fer sewer! An what says Musty?"

"Awve niver heeard what he's sed sin he lost his shop, but Sucksmith says he's noan gooin to let it rest, for he'll send 'em some law if it costs him a paand—An' Musty says he doesn't care ha sooin for he wod be sure ov a bit o' summat to ait if he wor sent daan th' rails—but aw think it'll get made up agean. But awve left yond child ith' creddle bi hersen, soa aw mun be off." Away shoo went an' Sally watched her aat o'th seet, an' then sank into a cheer, roll'd up her arms in her appron, stared into th' fire, an' sed, "Nay fer sewer! Well ov all!—Nay fer sewer!"


Th' Battle o' Tawkin.

"Tha'rt a liar if iver ther wor one! An' that's a hard thing to say, but aw wodn't hang a cat o' thi word! It's as sure yor Alick 'at's brokken awr winder, as awm standin here, an' tha knows it too!"

"Aw say it isn't awr Alick, for he's niver been aat 'oth' haase this blessed day! Tha's awther brokken it thisen or' else one o' thi own's done it,—an' they are a lot 'oth' warst little imps 'at iver lived; an' if aw mud ha' mi mind on 'em, awd thresh' em to within an inch o' ther lives! But yo can expect nowt noa better when yo know what a bringin up they've had."

"They've had a different bringin up to what ony o' thine's likely to have, but whativer comes o' ther bringin up, yo'll have to pay for that winder, for it isn't th' first he's brokken, an' if yo dooant, next time I catch him, awl have it aat ov his booans.'

"Let me catch thee ligging a finger o' one o' mine, an' awl mak this fold too little for thee, an' sharply too; ha can ta fashion! A gurt strappin woman like thee, to mell ov a child? Tha owt to be 'shamed o' thi face! But tha has noa shame an' niver had."

"Well if tha's ony its nobbut latly come to thi! Awve too much shame to come hooam druffen of a neet after th' neighbors has getten to bed."

"Whoas come hooam druffen? Does ta mean to say 'at aw wor iver druffen? Aw'll mak thee prove thi words if ther's a law 'ith land 'at can do it! Aw'll let thee see 'at my keracter is as gooid as onybody's, an' a deal better nor sich as thine."

"Aw niver sed who it wor 'at coom hooam druffen, but aw dar say tha can guess."

"If its onnybody its thisen! gurt brussen thing 'at tha art! Who is it 'at sends ther poor husband to his wark wi' a sup o' teah an' dry cake, an' then cooks a beefsteak to ther own breakfast? Can ta tell me that?"

"If aw connot, tha can, an' that isn't all;—can ta tell me who it is 'at invites th' neighbors to rum and teah 'ith' after nooin, when they know th' husband's gooin to work ovver? Can ta tell me that?"

"Well, if ther's been onny rum an' teah stirrin, tha's allus takken gooid care to have thi share on it, but they've allus been wimmen 'ats' come to awr haase when th' maister's been aat, that's one blessin."

"Does ta meean to say 'at ther's onny fellies been to awr haase when th' husband's been off? Tha'd better mind what tha says or else that cap o' thine ul suffer!"

"Aw dooant say onny fellies has been;—tha should know th' best, but awm nawther blind nor gaumless. But aw'll tell th' what tha art;—Tha'rt a nasty, ill contrived gooid-for-nowt, an' all th' neighbors say soa, an' they wish to gooidness tha'd flit, an' all at belangs to thi, for ther's niver onny peace whear tha ar't."

"Noa, an' ther niver will be onny peace wol tha pays for yond winder! Does ta think fowk's nowt else to do wi' ther brass, but to put in winders for yor Alick to mash?"

"Aw tell thi he hasn't mash'd it, for he's niver cross'd th' doorstun sin he gate up. Th' fact is he's niver getten up yet, for he isn't at hooam, for he's aboon twenty miles off, at his gronmothers."

"Dooant tell me that! Ther's awr Vaynus comin, he knows who mash'd it. Vaynus! Who wor it 'at mash'd yond winder? Nah tell a lie at thi peril,—did ta see it brokken?"

"Eea, aw saw Topsy jump up at th' birdcage, an' it missed it click an' tumbled throo th' winder."

"A'a I drabbit that cat! Aw'll as sure screw its neck raand as awm livin!"

"Nah tha sees, aw tell'd thi it worn't awr Aleck!"

"Noa, it couldn't ha been! Are ta sure tha saw yond cat do it, Vaynus?"

"Eea awm sure aw saw it."

"Why then it wornt yor Alick! An aw hardly thowt it wor, for he's abaat as quiet a lad an' as daycent a one as ther is abaat here. Aw oft tell awrs to tak a lesson throo him."

"Ther's noa better lad iver breathed nor awr Alick;—aw dooant say'at he's better nor onnybody's else, but he's as gooid. An' awm sure tha's a lot ov as fine childer as onnybody need set e'en on, an' if they are a bit wild, what can yo expect when ther's soa monny on 'em. But aw mun get these clooas dried wol ther's a bit o' druft. Wi' ta leean me that clooas prop o' thine agean?"

"Vaynus! What are ta dooin? Goa fetch that prop this minit, an' see 'at tha allus brings it when tha sees her weshin, withaat lettin her allus have to ax for it."

"Well, awm soa glad it worn't awr Alick 'at mashed that winder,"

"Soa am aw, awd rayther it had been one o' mi own bi th' hauf. What time does ta think tha'll ha done weshin?"

"Abaat four o'clock if awm lucky."

"Well, wi ta step across an' have a cup o' teah wi us?"

"Eea, aw dooant mind if aw do."


"Owd Tommy."

(A Yorkshire Sketch.)

Of all the seasons of the year,—that portion when winter treads upon the skirts of the retiring autumn, always seems to me to be most deeply fraught with sorrowful associations. A few short weeks before, one has beheld the year in stately pride, loaded with blessings, and adorned in nature's most luxurious garb, waters in silvery streams have lightly leaped and bounded in the shadow of the waving ferns,—and little flowers have nodded on the brink and peered into the crystal depths, as though in love with their reflected loveliness;—the little hills have decked their verdant breasts with floral gems, and the frowning crags have seemed to smile, and from their time-worn crevices have thrust some wandering weed, whose emerald tints have lent a soothing softness to the hard outline of their rugged fronts. The feathered songsters on untiring wing, have flitted in the sunny sky, pouring forth melodious sounds in thankfulness and joy, as though their little hearts were filled too full of happiness and overflowed in drops of harmony.

Light fleecy cloud's like floating heaps of down have sailed along the azure sky, casting their changing shadows on the earth, whilst sighing winds have whispered soothing songs amongst the rustling leaves, and ripened fruits have hung in tempting show their sun-burnt fronts, courting the thirsty lip, to tell us in their silent eloquence that the year has gained its prime.

Even when the ice-king reigns, and howlling storms drive with remorseless fury o'er the plains, or wreck their vengeance on the sturdy woods,—roaring amongst the pliant branches, and entwining around the knarled trunks, uprooting some as though in sport to show its giant strength. And the cascade which formerly leaped forth from sylvan nooks where the wild flowers half hid its source, and bathed themselves in the ascending mist,—now roaring down in sullied swollen force, bearing along the wrecks of summer beauties,—tumbling and hissing through its frost bordered bed,—growling in foaming rage around the rocks which here and there protrude their sullen face to check its mad career;—even this has much of majesty and beauty, and claims our admiration. But when some glories of the autumn yet remain, and e'er stern winter has usurped the sway,—one wide-wide field of death and desolation is all that's left for man to ponder over;—fading flowers, trembling and shrinking in the raw cold blast;—half naked trees, that day by day present a more weird aspect—fields still green, but stripped of every gem;—whilst still some russet warbler may be heard chirping in sorrow and distress, and heavy looking clouds anxious to screen the cheering ray, which now and then bursts forth with sickly smile, that seems like ill-timed mirth amongst the dead.

On such a time as this, and in the early Sabbath morning, might be seen a stalwart farmer strolling o'er the hills which command a view of the little but interesting village of Luddenden.

I do not think that the dreary look of decaying beauties had much effect upon him,—the pale blue smoke that issued from his mouth, in measured time, seemed to afford him every consolation. He evidently saw some one approaching in whom he was interested. Having satisfied himself that he was not mistaken, he began talking aloud:—

"Oi! that's him sure enough; nah whativer can owd Tommy want laumering over thease hills at this time o'th' morning? He's a queer chap, takkin him all i' all; an' still if ought should happen him aw doant know where they'd find his marrow; he's been th' same owd Tommy iver sin aw wor a lad, an' aw'm noa chicken nah—he said—stroking a few grey hairs, which, like a tuft of frosted grass, adorned his ruddy cheeks. Aw sud think he's saved a bit o' brass bi this time, for he wor allus a nipper; but he wor allus honest, an' it isn't ivery man yo meet i'th world 'at's honest; but aw doant think Tommy ud wrang ony body aght o'th' vally o' that;"—saying which, he snapped his finger and thumb together to denote its worthlessness.

A few minutes more and Tommy might be plainly seen slowly ascending the somewhat rugged road toward the spot where stood the farmer leaning against the wall awaiting him. I could not better occupy the time that intervenes than endeavour to picture the approaching traveller. His age I would not dare to guess, he might be 60, or he might be 90. He was a short thick-set man, and rather bent, but evidently more from habit than from weight of years. He wore a long blue coat which plainly spoke of years gone by, and bore in many places unmistakable evidence that Tommy was no friend to tailors; beneath this an old crimson plush waistcoat, that had long since done its duty, some drab knee-breeches, and a pair of dark grey stockings which hid their lower extremities in a pair of shoes about large enough to make two leather cradles; on his head a hat that scorned to shine, and in his hand he carried an oaken staff; his small grey eyes glistened with a spark of latent wit, whilst on his face was stamped in unequivocal characters some quaint originality.

"Gooid morning, Tommy," said the farmer.

"Gooid morning Dick," replied Tommy, "it's a nice day ower th' head but fearful heavy under th' fooit."

"You're reight," said Dick, "but where are yo trapesing to this morning?"

"Waw, aw'm gooin as far as Dick's o' Tom's at th' Durham, to get my tooa nails cut," said Tommy.

"Well, yo'll happen bait a bit and ha a wiff o' bacca wi' me, for its a long time sin aw saw yo afoor," said Dick.

"Waw, aw dooant mind if aw have a rick or two, but aw munnot stop long, for it luks rayther owercussen up i'th' element; but ha's that lad o' thine getting on sin he wed quiet Hannah lass? Aw've wondered sometimes if he wod'nt rue his bargain,—is shoo as fat as sho wor?"

"Eea, shoo keeps i' varry gooid order, shoo puts her mait into a better skin nor th' mooast; they didn't hit it soa well at th' furst, for shoo wor varry waspish, an' tha knows awr Joa's as queer as Dick's hatband, when he's put aght a bit. One morning, abaght a wick after they wor wed, Joa woran't varry weel, an' had to ligg i' bed a bit,—shoo gate up to muck th' beeas,—(for shoo can do a job like that, tha knows, when shoo's a mind.)"

"Eea! eea!" said Tommy, "noabody better,—shoo's a pair o' gooid end,—shoo's nooan afeared o' dipping her finger i' water, nut shoo."

"Well, aw tell thi, shoo gate up, an' in a while shoo call'd aght 'at his porridge wor ready when he liked to come daan, an' then shoo went aght. Soa in a bit, he gate up, an' th' pan wor stood o' th' rib flopping away rarely. Well, he gate a plate, an' thowt he'd tern' em aght to cooil, when asteead o' porrige, aght come th' dish claat slap on to his fooit;—talk abaght single step doncing!—tha should just ha seen him; he ommost lauped clean ower th' breead flaik;—an' thear shoo stood grinning at him throo th' winder, an' he wor soa mad—he wuthered th' pan fair at her head;—he miss'd his aim an' knock'd th' canary cage to smithereens, th' cat gate th' burd, an' th' pan fell into th' churn. Nah, what wod ta think ov a thing like that?"

"Waw, its just loike one ov her tricks;-tha knows shoo wor allus a trimmer o' one, Dick."

"Shoo wor, Tommy, an shoo allus will be to her deeing day. It put awr Joa into a awful passhian, but shoo didn't care a pin, shoo said shoo'd lived too long near a wood' to be fear'd ov a hullet,—but they're as reight as Dick and Liddy nah. Aw'll tell thi ha that happens. Tha knows, awr Joa allus thowt a deeal ov his mother, an he wanted th' wife to do i'th' same way; an one morning shoo' wor neighding th' dooaf, when Joa says, 'Mally', that isn't th' way to neighd, my mother allus 'used to do soa;'—an' he wor baan to show' haa; Shoo made noa mooar to do, but lauped into th' middle o'th' bowl wi' her clogs on, an' started o' traiding it wi' her feet, an' shoo says, 'does thi mother do soa?' After that, he let her have it mooastly to her own way, an' they seem to get on varry weel amang it nah—an' if he keeps steady they're putting it together nicely. An' what have yo fresh, Tommy?"

"Nay, nowt 'at means ought aw think, Dick—but aw'd like to been pooisened t'other wick, but as luck let, aw wor noa war."

"Pooisened! Tommy, nay, surelee nut."

"Yos, but aw had—tha sees aw live at th' Ee'Gurnard, an' aw'd just been into th' mistal wi' young maister William, an' he'd been holding th' canel for me whol aw siled th' milk, an' he wor full ov his marlocks an' bluzzed th' canel up mi nooas an' put it aght,—he's a shocker."

"Waw, Tommy, yo wodn't be pooisened wi' a canel, aw'll niver believe?"

"Noa, but as aw wor telling thi, aw'd been i'th' mistal, an' aw went into th' kitchen for a bit o' summat to ait. Aw saw some fat o'th' ooven top in a pot, soa aw gate some breead an' ait it up. Aw thowt it wor fearful gooid an' savored summat aw'd niver had afoor; but just when aw'd finished it, one o'th' young mistresses come daan an' axed me what aw'd done wi' what wor i'th' pot? Soa aw tell'd her aw'd etten it. Etten it!!' shoo skriked. 'Etten it!! Why,' shoo says, 'yo'll be pooisened, Tommy, its pumatum!' Well, aw says, 'pumatum or net, aw've etten it,'—an' away shoo ran an' browt th' maister an' th' mistress, an' all t'other fowk i'th' haase, an' rarely they laffed tha minds; but maister made me a glass o' rum to settle it, an' aw felt noa mooar on it."

"Well," said Dick, "tha mayn't feel it nah, but aw shouldn't be capped if thi inside wor to grow full o' ringlets."

"Niver heed that, they'll keep mi belly warm," said Tommy, "but th' bacca's done, soa aw mun be making mi way shorter. Gooid day, Dick."

"Gooid day, Tommy. Aw hope tha'll have a fine day for thi walk."

"Eea, eea, aw hope aw shall, but if it rains aw sholl'n't melt."

"Nooah, but its rayther coolish."

"It'll be warmer as it gets ooater, Dick. Gooid day."

And thus the two friends parted; each smiling at the quaint humor of the other;—the one to climb seven miles of rough and heavy road to get his toe nails cut, and the other to pay an early visit to his son, and rest his limbs, which by six days of willing toil had earned a Sabbath's rest. He walked slowly, musing as he went, and every now and again making audible the current of his thoughts.

"Its monny a long year sin aw saw owd Tommy before, an' it may be monny a long year before aw see his face agean; aw think owd Time must use him wi' a gentler hand nor he uses me. Aw remember th' first time aw saw him, he wor coming past th' churn milk Joan, wi' a lump o' parkin in his hand as big as awr ooven top; an' that wor th' day 'at Jenny an' me wor wed. It seems like a dream to me nah. Poor Jenny!—if there's a better place, tha'rt nooan soa far off thear!" And then he paused to wipe the heavy drops from off his cheeks. "Aw thowt aw'd getten ower this sooart o' thing, nah he sed, but aw believe aw niver shall. Its just five year come Easter sin aw laid her low, an awve niver been able to aford a grave stooan for her yet, but aw can find that bit o' rising graand withaat a mark, an prize it nooan the less. But its noa gooid freating abaght things we cannot help. Aw'll have another reek or two an' goa an' see awr Joa." So filling his little black clay pipe with the fragrant weed (which for convenience he carried loose in his waistcoat pocket), he puffed his cloud of incense in the air and hastened on to gain his journey's end. A walk of a few minutes brought him to the door of a low whitewashed farm-house, around which the cans were reared, ready to be filled with the morning's milk. He ventured in, (first carefully removing all the mire from his shoes, lest he should soil the nicely sanded floor,) and drawing up the old arm chair which shone like polished ebony,—he looked around the strange apartment. "Its a queer fancy (he said at last) at Mally should be soa fond o' pots,—what ther's mooar here nor what ud start a shop; it saves th' expense of slapdashing onyway." And he was right, for, from floor, to ceiling, and along the old oak beams, appeared one medley of crockery—pots of all sizes—cups and plates of all shapes and patterns were hung or reared against the wall until it was impossible to find another place where one might be displayed; and on the mantle shelf, a long array of china images of fortune-telling gipsies, guarded at each end by what was supposed to represent a dog—they might resemble dogs, but surely such a breed exists not now, for if there was a point about them to recommend, it was what Mally often said, "They ait nowt." In a short time both Joe and Mally made their apperance—health bloom on their cheeks, and with a hearty welcome prepared the morning's meal. A clean white cloth spread on as clean a table, the requisite pots, the fresh churned butter, and the wheaten bread was all that was displayed to tempt them to the meal; but it was all that was required, for appetite gave relish to the plain repast, and many a wealthy man in stately rooms, with every luxury around, might well have envied them their simple fare, sweetened by labor, and so well enjoyed—whilst savory meats, of which they never knew, in vain invited him whose satiated tastes loathed every dish. But the old farmer did not seem at ease, and when the meal was over—after a short conversation, he bade them both good day, and turned his steps towards his lonely home. Perhaps it was the son who called up in the old man's mind some thoughts of former days—or perhaps the train of thought he had indulged in previously might have laid a load of gloom upon him; but, be it as it may, he seemed inclined to spend the day under his own roof tree.

The winter came and spread its spotless snows o'er hills and dales; the wild winds wailed; the woodman's axe echoed amidst the woods; the song birds fled; the dauntless redbreast twittered on the window sills; the cawing rooks wended their weary way in solemn flight. The spring again, like a young bashful maid, came smiling upon old Winter's track; the field's looked gay again; and trees seemed vieing which could first be drest in verdant green. The Summer followed on, the sun shone o'er the fields of ripening grass; the mowers scythe was dipped in fragrant dews, and Flora bounteously bestowed her favorite flowers. Autumn succeeded, and once more the' eye was gladdened with the bearded grain, waving in golden splendour in the breeze;—again the luscious fruits are tempting one to pluck; and soon again the year,—weary with its labors, prepares to sleep, and desolation reigns.

'Tis Sunday morning, and the sun looks down through murky mists;—the ground is slightly hardened with the nipping frost; here and there some hardy flower endeavours to look gay:—the tolling bell rings out its morning call, and straggling groups wend their way to worship in the village church. But on the hill, which rises high above, was stood a man in deep and earnest thought. One could scarcely have believed that the pale, aged looking man, who dressed in sombre black was standing and looking over the quiet scene, was the stalwart farmer, who just one year before was holding converse with old Tommy;—but he begins to speak.

"Its just twelve months to day," he said, "sin aw wor talking to him o' this varry spot, an nah he's gooan, an awm left to attend his funeral: ther's nowt to feel sorry for 'at aw know on, but when an owd face is noa mooar, 'at one's been used to see—it tells a tale 'at's easy understood;—it leaves a gap i'th' world 'at's never shut—it bids us to prepare an reckon up awr life to see if all's as we could like it to be,—an' use what time's left to square accounts,—soa's when we're called to 'liver up, we may be ready. Jenny wor ready, an soa wor Tommy. It isn't ivery man yo meet i'th world 'at's honest."


It Mud ha' been War.

If iver onybody had th' luck to get off th' wrang side o'th' bed ivery mornin, an' to allus be gettin into scrapes all th' day long, it 'wor Jack throo' th' Jumpels. It seemed as if some evil genius wor allus abaat makkin spooart on him. If he gate mezzured for a suit o' clooas, th' tailor wor sure to tak th' length ov his coit sleeves for his britches slops, or else mak 'em after another mezzur altogether; awther soa mich too big wol he luk'd like a wanderin bedtick seekin th' flocks, or else soa mich too little wol he used to send his arm's an' legs soa far throo, till yo'd fancy he'd niver be able to get 'em back. But wi' all his bad luck, an' i' spite o' all th' scrapes he gate into, he wor a varry gooid-hearted chap, an' iverybody 'at knew him gave him a gooid word. He went to see a hont o' his one day, an' he'd donned his best duds, an' he couldn't help thinkin as he wor gooin whether be should be able to keep aght ov a mess or net, an' as he knew his hont wor a varry particlar body, he detarmined to do his varry best. When he gate to th' door he saw' at shoo'd nobbut just scarr'd th' steps, an' he luk'd at his feet an' thowt it wod be a pity to put sich mucky booits on to sich nice wark, soa he went raand to th' back yard; but when he gate thear th' door wor fesand, soa he thowt th' best plan wod be to climb over th' wall, for as it wor th' middle o'th' day, an' all th' fowk i'th' tother haases could see what wor gooin' on, he knew shoo'd niver forgive him for callin her aght if shoo didn't happen to be weshed an' tidied; soa up he climbed, an' as it wor twice as deep o'th' tother side he worn't disappointed to see a big tub just standin nicely ready to step on to; soa ovver he jumpt, an' as might be expected, th' top gave way, an' he varry sooin fan hissen up to th' middle i' pig-mait. But he nawther stamped nor sware nor made a din like mooast fowk wod ha' done—for he'd getten soa use to messes o' one sooart an' another wol he'd begun to tak 'em as a matter o' cooarse.

"Well, here's another bit o' my luk," he sed; "this is another mullock aw've getten into, soa aw mun get aght on it someway; it's noa use freeatin' abaat what cannot be helped, an' ther's one consolation, it mud ha' been war." Just as he wor scramlin' aght, his hont coom to see what wor to do, but shoo didn't fly into a pashon as yo might fancy. "Hallo, Jack!" shoo says, "aw thowt it must be thee; tha's dropt in for it another time, has ta?"

"Eea, aw reckon aw have, but if aw havn't spoilt th' swill aw dooant care."

"Oh, aw'll forgie thi that, lad; tha's'made a nice pictur o' thisen, reight enuff; aw could just like thi fottagraff takkin nah, but come thi ways in."

"Nay, hont aw'll nooan come in i' this state; aw'll call agean some other day, for awst mak nowt but muck."

"Niver heed th' muck; come thi ways in, for tha lukes like a hauf-draand ratten; tha'll catch thi deeath o' cold if tha hasn't summat warm. Come in an doff them clooas, an' aw'll see if aw connot find some o' thi uncles 'at'll fit thi wol thine's fit to put on agean. Aw niver did see sich a mess i' all my life. Th' idea ov a chap fallin' up to' th' middle in a swill-tub!"

"Why, its net varry nice, reight enuff, but it mud ha' been war, hont."

"Aw wonder ha," shoo sed.

"Why, if aw'd gooan ovver th' heead."

"Well, that wodn't ha' made, things ony better, truly; but th' next time 'at tha'rt comin' ovver that way just let me know, an' aw'll have that tub aght o'th' gate. Goa thi ways into th' chamer an' change them stinkin' things, an' then come an' sit thi daan an' let's tawk to thi a bit, an' see if aw can get ony sense aght on thi, for aw'm sure nubdy can put ony in."

"All serene," sed Jack, an he went an' changed his clooas, an' when he'd getten donned afresh he coom daan stairs an' sat daan i'th' arm-cheer beside th' fire. "Yea-a-aw! yea-a-aw!" went summat, an' up he sprang as if th' cheer-bottom wor redwoot. "A'a, tha gurt gaumless fooil!" sed his hont, "couldn't ta see a cat an' three kittens? Aw do believe tha's killed 'em ivery one! Poor little things!" Nay, nay, aw niver did see sich a thing i' all my life! tha's killed 'em all three, an' it's a wonder tha hasn't killed th' old cat an' all. Dear-a-me, aw did intend draandin 'em to-morn, an' to think 'at they should be squeezed to deeath this way, Aw shalln't get ovver it for monny a day."

"Well, aw'm varry sooary, hont; but aw niver saw' em, iw'm sure. Whoiver expected to find a cat an' three kittens in a arm-cheer? But let's be thankful, for it mud ha' been war."

"Nay, net it! it couldn't ha' been war nor it is: tha's killed em, an' tha couldn't do ony moor if tha'd to try." "Well, but aw mud ha' killed th' old cat as weel, yo know."

"What does ta say? Killed awr Tibby? Tha'd better keep thi heels this rooad as long as iver tha lives nor think o' sich a thing, for aw browt her up wi a spooin throo being blind, an' aw wodn't swap her for all th' cats i'th' world. An' if it had been anybody else nor thee 'at had done this, they'd ha' heeard a bit o' my tongue, aw con tell thi; but, haiver, it is as it is, soa sit thi daan. Tha's noa need to luk soa jaylus, mun, ther's nowt under thi nah but a wish in; tha luks as white as a gooast; aw expect tha's getten thi deeath o' cold, but aw'll get thi a sup o' whiskey, an' see if that'll warm thi a bit."

Shoo went to th' cubbard an' browt aght a bottle, an' put it onto th' table, teld him to help hissen. "Tha's noa need to be flaid on it," shoo sed, "it's some o'th' reight sooart; it's what thi uncle allus taks when he ails owt, an' aw believe if th' time iver comes when a sup o' that willn't cure him, it'll be a case o' curran cake an slow walkin: for aw believe its saved his life manny a scoor times already, an' it's a deeal cheeaper nor doctor's physic."

Jack tem'd some into a glass an gate a gooid swig; an' if yo could ha' seen his face yo'd niver ha' done ony moor gooid. If it had been stricknine he couldn't ha' pooled a faaler mug. "What's th' matter," shoo says, "is it to strong?"

"Aw dooant know whether it's to strong or net," he said, "but it's aght ov a different tap to what aw'm used to; just yo taste, an' lets see ha yo like it."

"It's thi maath 'at's aght o' order, mun; it's a drop o' old Slicer's best, an' aw'm sure ther's noa better to be getten abaat this quarter. Aw dooant reckon to tak owt to sup misen," shoo sed, "but aw'll just taste wi' thi."

"Eea, do, sup it up, aw'm sure tha'rt welcome, for aw've had enuff."

Shoo gate a drop into her maath, but it coom aght agean sharper nor it went in; aw thowt her heart ud come up. "A'a dear! a'a dear!" shoo says, "it's Harryget watter! it's Harryget watter! aw've made a t'mistak!' aw've made a mistak! but it's just thi luck."

"Eea, aw expected yo'd say soa; it's allus put daan to my luck, whether it's my mistak or somdy else's; but it mud ha' been war."

"Thear, tha'rt at it agean; aw believe if it h'ad been pooisen tha'd say soa; but, here, sithee, try this bottle; aw fancy tha'll find this'll run daan better nor th' last." Soa he made hissen a drop, an' after tawkin' a bit abaat ha things wor gooin on in a reglar way, he axed if his uncle wor varry weel.

"Yos, he's varry weel, aw think; at ony rate, he wor all, reight when he left here at braikfast time. Aw'm just gettin his dinner ready, an' tha con tak it him if tha's a mind; tha'll find him up i'th' brickfield yonder, doom summat at th' old well."

Jack sed he'd be glad to goa, for he wanted to see him befoor he went back, soa as sooin as all wor ready he set off an' went towards th' well, but befoor he gate up to it he 'heeard his uncle shaatin an' bawlin an' gooin on as it he wor mad. "What's to do, uncle?" he sed as sooin as he gate up to him, "whativer's to do?"

"Do! it's enuff to drive me cracked, aw do declare! Here have aw had a lot o' chaps leadin watter to this old well for monny an' monnya day, so as we can pump it as we want it into that long field, an' aw'm blowed if summat hasn't getten to th' valve or summat, an' ther willn't a drop come."

"Why what will yo have to do nah!" sed Jack.

"Do I what can aw do? Ther's nowt for it nah but for somdy to goa daan an' set it reight, an' aw'm far to old for sich a job'."

"If that's all," sed Jack, "aw think aw con scrammel daan that pipe; ha deep is is it?"

"It's nobbut abaat fifty feet, an' ther's a gooid flange to rest on at ivery two yards, but aw hardly dar let thi try, for tha maks si'ch a mess o' iverything."

"Dooant yo freeat abaat that; aw'll goa daan, just see."

"Well, mind what tha'rt dooin', for ther's a gooid deeal o' watter in nah." Jack began to slide daan, one length at a time, an in a bit he called aght "all reight."

"C'an ta raik th' valve," sed his uncle.

"Eea, but aw cannot stir it unless yo send me a hammer daan."

"Well, stop thear wol aw fotch one, an' aw'll lower it daan wi' a bit o' band." An' away he ran to th' bottom o'th' next held for a hammer. He'd getten abaaf hauf way daan, when up comes another looad o' watter, drawn bi two horses, an' two men wi' em.

"This'll be my last looad to-day, Jeffry," sed one to his mate.

"An' aw'm glad on it," sed Jeffry; "aw wonder if th' gaffer's getten th' valve altered yet; he wor sayin' summat abaat it when aw coom wi' th' last barrel."

"Aw can't say, aw'm sure; but another barrelful can't mak soa mich difference, whether he has or net, soa here goas." As sooin as he sed that, he knocked a gurt bung aght o'th' back o'th' barrel, an a stream as thick as mi leg began paarin daan th' well. It wor a gooid job for Jack 'at he happened to be claspin his arms raand th' pipe, for if he hadn't he'd ha' been swum ovver th' heead, an' noa mistak; an' as it wor, he could hardly get a bit o' breeath, for th' watter seemed to spreead aght like a sheet, an drive all th' air aght. He did try to shaat once or twice, but it wor noa use, for th' watter made sich a din wol nubdy could hear him.

It didn't tak th' uncle aboon three or four minits to fotch th' hammer, an' as he war comin with it he saw this wattercart bein emptied into th' well, an' his heart gave ovver beeatin for abaat a minit; then he set up sich a shaat, an' ran at sich a speed, wol th' chaps wondered what could be to do. "Hold on!" he sed, "for goodness sake, hold on! Didn't yo know 'at my neffy wor i'th' well?" "Noa bi th' heart did we!" an' th' barrel wor bunged up in a crack, an' th' uncle bawled daan th' well as laad as he could, "Jack, if tha'rt draanded spaik! He's deead sure enuff," he said; "one on yo goa daan an' see if yo con bring up his body." Just then coom a saand o' summat knockin th' pipe at th' bottom, an' th' uncle called aght, "Jack, whear are ta?"

"Aw should think yo've a gooid nooation whear aw am," sed Jack, "aw've managed th' job, soa nah aw'm comin up; luk aght an' give me a lift." As sooin as his heead wor within th' raich ov his uncle's fist, he collared hold ov his toppin, an niver let goa agean wol he stood o' safe graand. "By gow, Jack, tha's given me a shock; awst be some time afoor aw get ovver this; tha owt to manage better nor soa; it's like as if ivery thing tha touches tha maks a mess on it."

"That's reight, uncle, lig it o' me! But aw wonder whether yo or me gate th' mooast ov a shock. Aw should fancy it wor me."

"Well, reight enuff, lad, it wor'nt a nice place to be in, an' that suit o' clooas 'll niver be fit to be seen agean."

"Noa, aw dooant think they will," sed Jack; "but it mud ha' been war, for they arn't mine."

"Why, whoa's are they? aw thowt as tha coom up 'at tha luk'd varry respectable."

"Aw dooant know whoa's ther reightful owner, uncle, but mi hont has lent 'em me to put on wol mine gate dried, for, yo know, aw've been i'th' swill-tub once today."

"Why, then, that's my best Sundy suit 'at tha's gooan an spoiled! aw wonder 'at thi hont had noa moor sense nor to leean 'em to thee."

"Aw wonder aw'd noa moor sense nor to goa daan that well to spoil 'em, for it's nooan a nice hoil to be in, an' when aw've a shaar-bath, aw'd rayther have it withaat onybody's clooas."

"Well, let's lig away, an' get hooam as fast as we can, for thi hont'll mak a noise aw'll bet, soa we mud as weel get it ovver as sooin as possible."

They went hooam an' tuk th' uncle's dinner back wi 'em, an' as sooin as shoo saw Jack shoo rested her neives on her huggens, an lukkin at him throo heead to fooit sed, "What's ta been doin nah; can't ta stur withaat gettin into a scrape?"

"Well it seems net, for if aw dooant get into a mess misen, ther's somdy gets me into one."

"Tha'll keep me dryin cloas for thee, aw can see that; but goa upstairs an' put on thi own duds, an' awl see if aw can fettle them up at tha has on."

"Awm sooary to give yo soa mich trouble, but then it mud ha been war, if awd gooan daan an' niver come up."

"Tha'd ha been noa loss, lad, tha needn't think; but luk as sharp as tha con, for aw've begun to get th' teah ready."

"Awl net be long," he sed, an' wol he wor changin his clooas th' uncle tell'd her all 'at had happen'd, on shoo laff'd wol her face wor as red as a turkey cock.

When Jack coom daan th' table wor set an' all ready for th' teah, an' th' uncle an' hont had takken ther places at th' table.

"Come sit thi daan," sed his hont; "but before tha does, just hand me th' tea pot off th' rib; an' mind, for th' hanel's hot."

"Awl mind," he sed; an' as he began to think he'd had mishaps enuff for one day, he thowt he'd steer clear ov ony moor, an' soa as he'd been wan'd th' hanel wor hot, he tuk hold o'th' spaat, an' he'd hardly getten a yard away throo th' fire wi' it, when a streeam o' boilin teah began to run daan th' inside ov his jacket sleeve; but he held on like a man, an' he wor detarmined he'd land it on to th' table, soa he ran wi' it an' bang'd it into th' middle o'th' tea things, smashin cups an' saucers an' upsettin th' sugar basin an' th; creeam jug, an' makkin sich a mash as yo niver saw.

Up jumpt booath hont and uncle. "Just luk at my yollo satin dress," sed his hont; "it'll niver be fit to be seen agean!"

"If tha doesn't tak thysen aght o' this haase," sed his uncle, "awl pawse thi aght, for tha's made moor bother sin tha coom in nor enuff."

But poor Jack wor sufferin badly, which his hont (woman like) noa sooiner saw nor shoo forgave him all th' damage he'd done, an' went to sympathise with him. His arm wor varry badly scalded, an' soa shoo put some traitle an' flaar on it, an' lapp'd it up, an' then he sed he thowt it wor time he trudged hooam. "Aw wish tha'd trudged long sin," sed his uncle, "an' if tha doesn't come here agean wol aw send for thi, tha willn't come yet a bit."

Jack gate his hat an' wor just gooin aght, when they discovered 'at it wor rainin varry fast. "Awl leean thi a umberella," said his hont, "but aw dooant think awst iver see it agean, but as tha's been wet throo twice to-day aw think tha's had baat enuff."

He took th' umberella an' went to th' door, an' they follow'd him to bid him gooid day.

He shoved th' umbrella under his arm, an' held aght his hand, "Gooid bye hont, wol aw see yo agean." "Confaand thy stupid heead!" shaated aght th' uncle.

"What's up nah?" sed Jack.

"Can't ta see? Tha's shoved th' end o' that umberella stick reight into mi e'e."

"Why, awm varry sooary," sed Jack, "but it mud ha' been war!"

"Ha could it ha' been war, softheead?"

"Why if awd shoved it into' em booath," sed Jack as he hooked it, for he thowt he'd better be goin.

Whether he landed hooam withaat ony moor mishaps or net aw cannot say; but varry likely net. But aw think, we've follow'd him far enuff for once, an' yo can form yor own opinion ov what sooart ov a chap he wor, but altho we're inclined to laugh at sich a chap, yet they've happen as mich wisdom as some 'at think they've moor; an' a chap's moor to be envied nor pitied 'at can console hissen wi' thinkin 'at haiver bad things are, 'at they mud hai been war.


Ha a Dead Donkey Towt a Lesson.

Respectfully dedicated to my ill-used long-eared friend,

Neddy Bray

Some fowk choose one thing, some another,
To grace ther prose or rhyme;
Some sneerin say 'at tha'lot my brother,
Maks me choose thee for mine;
Well, let 'em sneer owd Neddy lad,
Or laff at my selection,
Who fail to see ther type i' thee
Are void o' mich perception.—
Ther's things more stupid nor an ass,
An things more badly treated,
Tho' we ait beef, an' tha aits grass,
May be we're just related.
Throo toil an' trouble on tha jogs,
An' then like ony sinner,
Tha dees, an' finds a meal for th' dogs;—
We furnish th' worms ther dinner.

Deemas an' 'Becka used to keep th "Cock an' Bottle," i' awr street. They'd lived thear iver sin th' haase wor built, an' won iverybody's gooid word, at worn't particlar abaght a sup o' drink. One day they sent aght invitashuns to all ther neighbors an' friends to come to a tea drinkin. Niver mind if ther wornt a rumpus i' that district! Th' chaps winked when they met one another, an' said "Aw reckon tha'll be at yond doo?" "Aw mean to be nowt else," they'd reply; an' away they'd trudge i' joyful anticipation of a reight spree!

But th' women! Hi! that's it! It's th' women 'ats th' life an' soul ov a jollificashun yet. They wor buzzin aght o' one door into another just like a lot o' bees, to see what soa an soa wor gooin in. "What sooart ov a bonnet art ta baan in Zantippa?" said Susan Stooanthrow; (or rayther aw should, say, Miss Stooanthrow, for shoo reckoned hersen th' lady o'th ginnel).

"Well, aw've nut made up mi mind yet," shoo says; "but aw have thowt aw should goa, aw hardly know ha'; but what does ta think o' gooin in?"

"Well, aw suppooas it's ta be a varry spicy affair, soa aw have thowt aw should goa i' full dress. Yo' see, being a single woman, an' rayther a stylish shape, aw think it 'ud just suit me. What do yo' think?"

"Just the varry ticket, lass! Tha' couldn't do better! For, as aw've mony a time said to Betty Wagstang, ther's noabody con mak up a moor lady-liker appearance nor what tha con, when tha's a mind! But talkin' abaght Betty, has ta seen that new cap o' hers?"

"Do yo' mean that shoo bowt up th' street t'other wick?"

"Th' same! Did ta iver see onybody luk sich a flaycrow i' all thi life? Her heead reminds me ov a gurt pickled cabbage. Shoo doesn't keep up her colour wi' nowt, tha may depend on't. Awther shoo can mak brass goa farther nor other fowk, or else summat else; but they tell me 'at thers nut mony shopkeepers abaght here but what has her name daan ofter nor they like. But that's noa business o' mine."

"Aw shouldn't be at all apprised at that, for aw've heeard fowk say 'at her family wor allus fond o' summat to sup afoor shoo wor born, an' they niver had a gooid word at th' shops. Is she gooin' ta be at this swarry?

"At this what does ta say, Susy?"

"Aw said swarry, some fowk call it sooary. It means a pairty like yo' know; it's th' French for a sooart ov a dooment, that's all."

"Oh, well, awm sooary to say 'at booath her an' her felly gate a invite, but tha knows we've noa need ta mix up wi' sich like unless we've a mind. Aw'm capt whativer made Becka ax her, for ther's hardly a woman i'th ginnel but what had leever goa a' mile another rooad nor meet her; but aw declare shoo's comin' sailin' daan like a fifty-gun ship! Talk abaght owd Nick, an' he'll show his horns."

"Well, Zantippa I aw do declare shoo is! Soa we mun stand it aght, but aw shall be varry reverse i' my talk, yo'll see."

"Gooid morning, lasses!" said Betty, burstin' in. "Aw thowt awd just come daan to see what yo' thowt o' doing abaght this doo at th' Cock." "Are ta baan Susy?"

"Yes, aw expect soa, for aw received a 'billy duck' the t'other day, a askin' ov me to be present, if nothing didn't interspect my 'rangements no otherwise."

"Why, Susy! hang it up! sin' tha began o' dressmakin' an' wearin' thi hair like th' Empress Uginny, wi' all them twists an' twines, aw con hardly tell what tha means. Are ta studdyin' for a skooilmistress?"

"Nut exactualy, but yo' see aw' begun to talk a bit moor propperer; for when aw've to do wi' th' quality fowk, gooid talk an' a gooid redress is one o'th requirations 'at yo' connot disperse wi'; but aw mun goa mi departure, for aw've soa mich to execute afoor neet, woll awm fair consternationed when aw think on it,—for aw've noabody to help me nah, for my 'prentice has to stop at hooam wi' her fayther."

"Ho, eea! Why, what's th' matter wi' him, is he badly?"

"He is; for he hurt his leg a month or two sin', an' he's had to goa to th' infirmary to get it anticipated."

"Why, whativer's that, Susy?"

"To get it cut off, yo' know. But aw munnot stop, soa, gooid day."

An away Susy flew daan th' ginnel, famously suited wi' th' way shoo'd capt 'em wi' her scholarship.

"Well, if iver aw saw sich a flybysky as yond Susy i' all my life, aw'll niver be trusted. Guy, hang it! shoo mud be as handsome as wax work, shoo thinks soa mich ov her' sen! But aw fancy shoo'll ha' to dee an owd maid, for its nooan her sooarts 'at fellies wants. It's all varry weel to sit nigglin' away wi' a needle an' threed, stickin' bits o' poasies into cap screeds, an' stich in' mooinshine, but when a chap wants a wife, he wants somdy 'at con brew, an' bake, an' scaar th' floor. Why, aw could whip raand hauf a duzzen sich like to my thinkin'! An' when aw see her screwin' up her maath an' dutchin, an' settin' her cap at ivery chap shoo sees, it maks mi blooid fair boil in me; an' awm sure, if ther is a young chap abaght, shoo's wor nor a worm ov a whoot bakstull. Odd drott it! it caps me 'at fowk should have noa moor sense nor ax sich like to a party. But ha are ta off for clooas Zantippa? Con ta leean me a under coit? Aw've all else ready."

"Nay lass, aw connot; for th' last doo 'at aw wor at aw had to borrow one o' Susy. Aw've getten one nah, but aw'st want it.'

"Aw wonder if Susy 'ud leean it me," said Betty, "Aw hardly like to ax her, for tha sees aw didn't give her the job o' makin' yond cap Tha's seen mi new cap, hasn't ta?"

"Eea! aw saw thi have it on t'other day."

"Well, it's what aw call a nobby un; but awd better net waste ony time, soa aw'll goa an' see if Susy 'll leean me yond coit. Shoo can nobbut say noa." An' away went Betty.

'An' it's to be hooapt shoo will say' Noa, 'for if tha gets it, shoo'll ha' to luk sharp if iver shoo sees th' edge on it agean,' said Zantippa "Aw'd leean thee nowt unless awd made up mi mind to pairt wi' it. Aw dooan't mak' mich o' Susy, but shoo's worth a barrow-looad sich like as thee. Bith heart! tha'd ma' a daycent looad for a barrow thisen! An' if all's true aw've heeard, it's nut long sin' tha' wor one, an' had a bobby for a cooachman. But that's nowt ta me He! gow! it's turned o' twelve o'clock, an' my chap an' th' childer ul be here to ther dinner! Consarn it! Aw hate to live amang a lot o' gossippin' fowk sich as ther is abaght here, noabody con get to do owt. Be hanged, if th' fire isn't aght! an' aw expect it'll tak' me as long ageean to leet it, coss a'wm in a hurry. There's niver nowt done reight when a body's in a fullock. Aw wish ther tea drinkins wor far enuff. Aw'd rayther sail across th' salt seea nor be put i' sich a mooild as this. Yond's th' bell! An' they'll be here in a minnit! A'a dear! A woman's wark is niver done!"

"Aw think it niver is done, bi'th luk on it!" said Dick, as he stept into th' haase. "Ha' is it thers noa dinner ready? It's as ill as th' weshin' day, or else war!"

"Dinner! tha may weel ax abaght th' dinner," said Zantippa, "doesn't ta see 'at th' place is ful o' reik? Aw dooan't know what tha means to do, but if we connot have that chimley altered aw know one 'ats baan to flit."

"Why, aw niver knew it smook'd afoor; but this fire's nobbut just lit."

"What's ta been dooin' baght fire?"

"Fire? does ta want me to be smoord? It's grand for yo' 'at con walk aght to yo're wark as sooin as yo' get up, an' just come in to yo're meals an' aght ageean, but yo' niver think o' what's to come o' me 'ats ta tew amang it throo morn ta neet."

"Why lass, ha' is it 'at it niver smooks ov a Sunday?"

"Ha con I tell? tha mun ax it! Can't one o' yo' childer get th' bellus an' blow a bit, or are yo' baan to stand thear wi' yo're fingers i' yo're maath woll aw fair drop? But it'll nut allus be soa, yo'll get me ligg'd low some day, an' then yo'll have ta shift for yoursen."

After a gooid deal o' botherin' an' grummelin', an' a varry deal o' wangin' th' cubbord doors, an' clatterin' th' pots abaght, Zantippa managed to mak' a sup o' coffee an' butter a bit o' bread. Dick didn't like this, but as he saw his wife wor th' wrang side aght, he thowt, for th' sake o' peace, he'd say nowt; soa he swallow'd his coffee an' cake (if nut wi' thankfulness, at least i' quietness), an' then him an' th' childer budged off.

"Thear!" said Zantippa, as shoo watched 'em aght o'th seet, "Aw've managed that varry weel. Aw wod'nt ha' let him know for all th' brass i'th bank 'at aw'd been talkin' woll aw'd letten th' fire goa aght. Aw do hooap 'at ther'll nut a wick soul come an' bother me agean to-day, for aw've niver had time to tak' th' cowks up yet, an' aw've all th' stockins ta mend' at should ha' been done last wick, an' aw know Dick hasn't a button left on his halliday shirt, it's time somdy stirred thersen. Aw dooant know ha' fowk manage 'ats allus gaddin' abaght, aw declare if aw ammut' allus slavin' at it, aw connot keep things nowt-bit-like straight. Drabbit it! ('at aw should say sich a word) ther's Betty comin' agean! Aw'd rayther be stranspoorted to Botny Bay nor be as aw am. Ther's hardly a minnit but what ther's somdy o' th' doorstun!"

Betty coom in smilin' all over her face. "Nah!" shoo says, "aw've managed, an' aw've come ta see if tha'll goa wi' us, for Susy's baan up th' street to buy a staylace, an' aw thowt aw'd just goa an' get th' stink blown off, for aw've cawered i' this yard woll aw'm feear'd awst grow maald. Put thi bonnet on, an' goa wi' us, we'st be back i' gooid time."

"Aw could like to goa, but aw've soa mich to do woll aw hardly dar, for woll aw wor talkin' to thee an' Susy this fornooin, th' fire went aght, an' when Dick an' th' childer coom hooam ther wornt a bit o' dinner for 'em."

"Well, awm capt, 'at tha'll bother wi' cookin' 'em dinners. Aw allus let awrs tak' ther jock wi' em, it saves a deal o' trouble, an' aw say a woman's wark enuff, shoo haddles owt shoo gets, an' if we dunnot luk aght for ussen noabody else will for us. But please thisen, if tha doesn't tha darn't."

"Oh! as to that, aw dar goa, but aw've nowt to goa for, an' lots o' wark at hooam. Aw think aw'd rayther nut."

"Well, tha'll get noa better on for cawering ith' haase like a moldwarp. But aw mun goa, for Susy's waitin'." Away went Betty, an' Zantippa ommost rued 'at shoo hadn't goan too: but it wor nobbut for a minit, for shoo teed her apron string a bit tighter, tuck'd up her sleeves, pooled in a long breath, an' as shoo said, "began ta make a sidashun."

Nah, if iver yo' want a chap to study a bit, an' resolve to mend his ways, let him be quiet; but if iver yo' want a woman to start o' thinkin' an' resolvin', let her have summat to do. If a woman sits quiet shoo begins to mump. Aw niver hardly met a woman 'at could sit daan quietly for five minits withaat sighin' two or three times; they think an' think, an' sigh, an' shake ther heeads, an' if they're let alooan they manage to wark thersen inta a bad temper abaght summat, but what that is, aw've never met one 'at could tell. Zantippa didn't sit daan an' mump, but up stairs shoo went an' made th' beds, an' a rare shakin' they gat, for shoo wor just ful o' summat an' shoo mud vent her feelins someway.

Women have a deal better way o'managin' that sooart o' thing nor what men have. Ther are times when we're all brimful o' summat, th' steam's up, an' if we connot find a safety valve we shall brust. Nah, a woman drives up to th' elbows i'th' weshin' tub, or rives all th' carpets up, or pools all th' pots aght o'th' cubboard an' puts 'em back agean. Shoo lets her tongue have full liberty, an' what wi' talkin', an' sweatin', an' scrub bin', an' brushin', shoo finds hersen reight daan tired, an' after a bit ov a wesh an' snoddenin' her toppin', shoo sits daan to her knittin' or sewin', as cooil as a cucumber, an' as ful o' gooid natur as an egg's ful o' mait, an' her een sparkle wi' pleasure, like dewdrops sparkle on a rose in a summer's mornin'. But wi' a chap it's different, nine times aght o' ten he flies to th' ale pot, or else he begins growlin' at hooam. "Th' tea's hot," or "th' muffin's cold," or "th' butter's wor nor cart grease." "Th' childer's noisy," or "th' wife's quiet," an' noa matter what's done for him it's all wrang. Sometimes bi th' way ov a change, he'll pawse th' table ower, an' braik as mony pots as it'll tak a gooid part ov a week's wage to replace, an' at last, after makin' iverybody abaght him miserable, he'll goa to bed lukin' as black as a mule an' sleep woll mornin', when (unless he's ova bad sooart) he'll feel reight daan shamed ov hissel, an' set to wark to put things reight agean. Nah, Zantippa wor just i' one o' these moods; an' shoo made th' beds, coom daan stairs, an' weshed all th' pots, scaled th' fire an' took the ass aght, gave th' hearthstun another dooas o' idleback, scattered a bit ov fresh sand o' th' floor, an' after weshin' hersen, an' donin' a clean print dress, shoo laid th' table ready for th' teah, gate th' kettle onto th' rib, an' sat daan wi' her bag ful o' worset an' a heap o' stockins, an', as shoo luk'd raand shoo felt as pleased as Punch to see what a difference shoo'd been able ta mak in an haar or two. "Aw'm nooan sooary 'at aw stopt at hooam," shoo said to hersen. "Aw know Dick'll be suited when he sees all fettled up, an' if aw get theas stockins done ta neet the'll be aght o'th gate. Aw wonder ha it wor 'at he tuk things sooa quietly this nooin; aw dooant think it's reight when a chap's been work in' iver sin six o'clock ov a mornin' for him to come hooam an' find noa dinner ready. Reight enuff, a woman's plenty to do to follow her haase, an' cook, an' mend, but if ther wor noa wage comin' in, ther'd be less cookin' an' moor mendin', aw've a noation. Aw've made up mi mind woll aw've been sidin' up 'at aw'll nut waste mi time as aw have done, talkin' an' gossippin', for ther's noa gooid comes on it, an' altho' aw want to keep thick wi' mi neighbors, aw'm determined aw'll chop that sooart o' thing off at once; for my mother used to tell me, 'If ther were noa listeners, ther'd be noa taletellers;' an' th' time 'at one spends is war nor wasted, for it oft leads ta 'fendin' an' provin', for them 'at come an' tell yo summat abaght somdy else will just as sooin tell somdy else summat abaght yo. An' luk what scrapes one gets into wi' it. Nah, aw made Dick believe 'at th' chimley smookd, that wor a lie to say th' least on it, an' he'll be sure ta noatice 'at it doesn't smook ta-neet, but if he names it aw'll tell th' truth, for, aw'm sure noa gooid comes o' lying."

When Zantippa had just made this resolve, th' door opened, an' Dick au' three childer coom in throo th' miln. He saw th' difference in a minnit. "Wipe them clogs," he said as th' childer wor walkin' in. "Tha's been fettlin' a bit, lass, aw think. Are ta baan to ax some o'th' neighbors to ther drinkin'?"

"Noa!" shoo says, "aw'm baan to ax noabody but thee an' th' childer. Does ta want me to ax somdy?"

"Nay, nooan soa! Aw'd as gooid as promised to goa as far as 'Th' Cock' ta neet, to talk ovver this bit ov a doo, but aw think aw'll stop at hooam, what says ta?" Zantippa smiled, nay even blushed, shoo knew what he ment an' shoo felt pleased. It wor a bit ov a compliment, an' paid her for all her trouble.

"Please thisen," shoo said, as shoo poured aght a cup o' teah for him, an' lifted a pile o' tooast aght o' th' oven, "but aw think th'rt as weel at hooam."

"Well, an' aw think aw'm better," he said, as he luk'd raand, "aw think th' chimley doesn't smook as ill as it did, does it?"

Shoo hung her heead, an' stooped ta pick a pin off th' floor, but shoo couldn't find one, an' when shoo luk'd up ther een met. Shoo didn't spaik, nor moor did he; it worn't needed. It wor a long time sin they'd sich a comfortable teah, an' when they'd done they sat some time at th' table i' silence. Ha' long they might have sat aw connot tell, hadn't th' door oppened, an' Betty come runnin' in wi' a pot to beg a sup o' hot watter, for shoo said "Her chap had coom hooam, an' shoo'd been rayther longer nor shoo expected, an' he wor playin' th' varry hangment for his drinkin'."

Shoo gate her hot water, an' went away. Dick luk'd at his wife, an' takkin' howd ov her hand, said, "Aw'm glad 'at tha hasn't to goa seekin' hot water, an' aw hooap tha niver may have."

"Aw hooap nut," shoo said, an' sat daan evidently varry ill set ta see her stockins. Nah, what a little con make fowk happy or miserable. Dick wor as content as a king, becoss all th' haas wor tidy. He saw at somdy had been tryin' to mak' him comfortable; an shoo wor as delighted as if shoo'd getten a fortin left, becoss what shoo'd done had suited him.

When th' childer had getten all put ta bed, Dick said, "Lass, aw've been thinkin' 'at aw dooant care soa mich abaght gooin to this teadrinkin' for aw've a noation 'at we connot goa ta th' tea withaat stoppin' an' spendin' a lot o' brass at after, an' aw've heeard thee say as thar't fast for some flannel. Nah, if we stop at hooam an' spend th' brass o' what it is tha wants, it'll do us moor gooid nor th' ale, what says ta?"

"Just thee please thisen, Dick. Aw had thowt o' gooin, but as tha says it's sure to cost summat, an' awr Billy wants some new clogs, for yond tak watter varry ill, an' aw dooant know what we could do better wi' th' brass, an' aw think we con have as comfortable a teah at hooam."

"Aw'm sure, an' moor soa, an' as tha's decided nut to goa, aw'll tell thi ov a marlock some o'th' chaps has been playin' but tha munnat split, for it hasn't to get aght woll after th' pairty. Tha knows Hungary at works wi' us?"

"Does ta meean him 'at once ait a pailful o' draff?"

"Th' same chap! An' he declared 'at if he gate aside o'th steaks at this doo, he'd polish th' lot (an' aw believe he can ait owt less nor a bullock), soa some o'th chaps made it up 'at he should have a dish to his own cheek; but they'd ta be donkey steaks—for owd Labon ('at hawks cockles an' mussels) had let his donkey catch cold or summat, at ony rate it dee'd, an' soa they thowt if they could get some steaks off that they'd just come in, but they knew 'at owd Labon had rayther part wi' his heead nor let onybody mell o'th donkey, for he thowt as mich on it as if it wor a Christian. But they determined to scheme some way to get it, soa Joe Longfooit offered to go into th' yard where it wor, an' cut off one hinder leg an' tak it hooam ta cook, if Sam Sniggle 'ud watch aght to see 'at noabody coom. Labon kept his donkey, tha knows, in a place at th' top o'th long stepses, an' used ta goa raand th' back rooad wi' it, soa one dinner time they'd watch'd Labon aght o'th' yard, (where he'd been standin' rubbin' his een, an' strokin' his owd favourite,) an' when he'd getten nicely off they ventured to try ther luck. Joe Longfooit went up wi' a gurt carvin' knife, an' left Sam at th' bottom to whistle if he saw onnybody comin', an' he stood thear for a while, but he wanted a bit o' bacca, an' ther wor sich a wind i'th' steps 'at he couldn't get a leet, soa he went across the rooad into a doorhoil for shelter. He worn't aboon a minnit or two away, but when he coom back what should he see but owd Labon within a few steps o'th' top. He hardly knew what ta do, but he managed as mich wind as made a whistle, an' stood watchin' for th' next move. Joa heeard the signal, but it wor too lat, for he couldn't get aght withaat th' owd chap seein' him, an' he'd getten th' leg cut off ready for huggin' away, soa seizin' hold o'th' shank, he watched for owd Labon's hat showin' aboon th' wall top, when he gave it sich a clencher wi' th' thick end o'th' leg, woll he forced th' brewards reight onto his sholder, then he laup'd ovver th' wall an' ran hooam wi' his prize as fast as his legs could carry him, leavin' Laban to find his way into dayleet ageean as weel as he could. Sam met him at th' haase an' they worn't long i' cutting some grand lukkin' steaks off, an' puttin' 'em ov a dish i'th cubboard, an' bith' time they'd done that, th' bell rang an' they'd ta goa back ta ther wark. When Labon gate his hat, once more onto th' top ov his heead, he went ta see his owd deead friend, an' when he saw it ligged thear wi' nobbut three legs, he vow'd vengeance agean them 'at had done it, an' declared 'at if iver he fan it aght, he'd mak 'em pay for it, for it wor nowt noa less nor robbin' th' deead, an' he'd have' em tried for assasination. Joa's wife wor aght when they took th' leg hooam, an' after they cut th' steaks off they'd hid t' other part under th' coils. But they hadn't been gooan soa varry long when shoo coom in, an' as shoo wor gettin' th' pots aght o'th cubbord, shoo saw this dish' ful o' steaks. "A'a!" shoo says, "it's just like yond chap to put thease in here an' say nowt abaght it, but aw con just relish one o' thease to my drinkin', an' aw dar say he'll want one, an' awm sure th' childer 'll do wi' a bit. We hav'nt had as mich fleshmait i' awr haase afoor for many a wick. Fotch that gridiron, Polly! We'st ha to do it o'th' top o'th' coil, for ther isn't fat enuff to fry it."

Shoo worn't long afoor shoo had it nicely cooked, an' the tea made, an' a thowt struck her' at shoo'd ax Sam's wife to her tea, for shoo knew 'at they didn't oft get steak at their haase, so Polly went an' browt Mistress Sniggle an' all th' childer to ther tea, an' as ther wor eight on' em, they varry sooin put thersen o'th' aghtside o'th' steak. They set to wark then to get some clean pots ready for Joa, an' sent one o'th' childer ta watch th' miln loise, ta tell Sam ta come wi' him. When they come all wor nicely ready for' em, but ther minds worn't easy, for ther'd been a policeman axing abaght 'em at ther wark, for Labon had seen Sam at th' bottom o'th' steps, an' he thowt he knew summat abaght it, soa they declared they'd niver own to it to a wick soul. As sooin as they gate in they smell'd what wor up, for Joa knew ther wor noa mait i' th' haase else, an' his wife had no brass to buy ony. He looked at Sam, an' thear they stooid i' th' middle o' th' floor as white as two ghosts, staring at one another, but they darn't spaik, an' booath waited to see what t'other did.

"Come on to your drinkin'," said th' women.

"A'a! tha'rt a grand un, Joa," said his wife, "to put them steaks i' th' cubbord an' niver say a word abaght it, an' tha knows ha fond aw am ov a bit o' steak, an' it's a bit o' nice mait too, tho' it isn't as tender as some. We've savvor'd it, aw con tell thi, for considerin' th' price o' mait nah, a gooid steak's hardly within th' raich o' workin' fowk."

Joa wor dumb struck, he stirred his tea, but he couldn't tak his een off th' steak. Sam rested his head on his hand an' complained abaght bein' poorly.

"It's for want o' some gooid support, mun," said his wife, "get some o' that mait into thi. It's made me feel a different body, awm as frisky as a young foil, an' luk at th' childer, they're wrastlin' thear like young bullocks. Mun, it puts a bit o'th' natur o'th' beast into 'em."

But Sam declared he felt poorly, an' couldn't touch mait; but Joa couldn't spaik at all. As he sat starin' at th' dish, old Laban went past th' door, wi' a basket o' awther arm shaatin' aght "Cockles alive! Mussels alive, oh!" As sooin as Joa heard that he seized a fork, an' stuck it into th' mait wi' sich a force, 'at he smashed th' dish an' pinned it fast to th' table top. "Woa, up!" he said, "stop thee thear!"

"A'a! gaumless! tha's been having summat to sup this afternooin, aw can see," said his wife. "Tha mud ha' thowt owd Labon wor callin o'th' steak to goa wi' him!" But poor Joa couldn't get a word off. Drops o' sweat stood ov his foreheead as big as pays, an' he couldn't tak his een off th' mait. "Is ther summat th' matter wi' that steak, makes thi 'at tha connot touch it?" said his wife; "awm sure it's nicely enuff; what is ther to do wi' thi?"

"Oh, th' steak's reight enuff," said Joa, raisin' courage to spaik, "th' steaks all reight, but aw'm nut i'th' knife an' fork line to-neet. What's that noise i'th' cellar?" he said, starting aght ov his chear, wi' his hair ommost studden ov an end, an' his een starin', an' his teeth girnin', like a. sheepheead between a pair o' tangs!

"What noise! Does ta mean that rawtin' daan i'th' cellar?"

"Eea!"

"Oh, it's nobbut th' childer 'at's laikin, some on 'em's recknin' to be donkeys an' t'other's drivin' 'em; they've been at it iver sin they'd ther drinkin'; it's that mait 'at's suited 'em soa, mun, woll they dunnot know what to do."

"Aw mun goa hooam," said Sam, "aw can't bide, aw'm varry poorly."

"Why yo booath luk awther poorly or summat," said his wife. "An' aw think th' sooner yo get to bed an' th' better."

Sam an' his wife and childer went hooam, an' it wornt long afoor Joa wor burrying his heead under th' blankets, an' tryin' to fall asleep; but he couldn't, for as sooin as he began to dooaz off, he began dreamin' 'at he wor tryin 'to swallow a donkey an' wakkened wi' it stickin' in his throit.

Th' next mornin' when they met ther faces luk'd moor like two dazed cakes nor owt, for they'd hardly a mite o' color left. "We're reight in for it this time, Sam," said Joa. "Aw believe this job 'll tell ov itsel'. Does ta think 'at it makes ony difference wi' fowk aiting donkey beef?"

"Well, aw dooant know; but aw did once know a chap 'at wor a reglar cauf heead, an' he hardly iver ait owt but veal, an' tha knows th' bass singer at awr church gets bacon to ommost ivery meal, an' he grunts as ill as a pig, bi'th' heart does he;—an', awm sure, my childer's ears luk'd longer to me this mornin', or else aw thowt soa!"

"Well, an aw'm sure my wife snoor'd i'th neet moor like a donkey rawtin nor owt else, an' th' fust thing awr Isaac axed me this marnin' wor to buy him some panniers so as he could be a mule. But what are we to do wi' yond t'other pairt o'th' leg?"

"Oh, we mun burry that, we'll ha' noa moor truck wi' that, an' aw think we'd better ax some advice abaght some o' them 'at's etten th' other; for it wod be a doo if they'd to start o' growin' tails or summat! ther's noa tellin'."

They were boath soa terrified woll they left their wark, an' they went to see an owd chap 'at's varry skilful o' heearbs, an' they tell'd him all abaght it, an' axed him "if he thowt it 'ud mak ony difference to them 'at had etten it?"

"Well," he said, "considerin' what sooart o' fathers they have aw dooant think it will mak mich difference to th' childer, it hardly con, an' if th' wives get rayther unruly, yo mun try an' bridle 'em a bit. But if yo'll tak my advice for't future, yo'll let that alooan 'at doesn't belang to yo, for yo'll allus find ought dishonestly getten, will breed moor trouble to yo nor what th' loss 'll mak to them yo've ta'en it throo,—soa goa hooam, an' bear i' mind 'at "Honesty is th' best policy," an' if 'owd Labon's donkey has towt yo that lesson, it hasn't dee'd for nowt."

They went back to their wark, but someha' or other it's getten wind, an' aw fancy 'at th' doctor's tell'd, but be that as it may, aw consider they wor reight sarved, an' aw dooant think they'll show up at this tea-drinkin'.

"Well, aw niver heard sich a tale i' my life," said Zantippa. "An' aw should think they'll never see a donkey withaght thinkin' on it, an' if soa it'll noa daat be for th' best. Noabody owt to be aboon learnin' when they've a chonce, an' aw think aw've lent a lesson to-day."

"Does ta lass, an' what is it?"

"Why, 'at to mak hooam comfortable owt to be a woman's furst duty, for a clean hearth an' a cheerful fire do a deal towards makin' a cheerful heart; for when a haase is upset a chap's temper gets upset, an' it's a deal better to prevent a few cross words nor to try an' mak things up agean."

"Tha'rt a gooid lass, Zantippa! God bless thi! Let's goa to bed!"


One, Two, Three.

Nah number one is onybody an' iverybody; for we're all number one to ussen. Ther's an old sayin, an' it must be true, for ommost iverybody seems to believe it, 'at we should all remember number one—that is, it's set daan to be iverybody's duty to do th' best they can for thersen, an' it's becoss this doctrine is soa well acted up to, 'at maks me think 'at ther may be a bit ov amusement an' profit i' studying abaat it at this time—yo can tak th' amusement an' let me have th' profit. Nah, if you act up to my advice, aw think yo may be happen better nor yo are, an' if yo dooant aw dooant think yo'l be ony war, an' that's one comfort. Ther's nowt like startin at th' faandation ov a subject, if yo want to deal wi' it in a reight way, an' aw intend to goa to th' rooit, an' as money is th' rooit ov all evil, an' th' number one doctrine is i' my opinion an evil, aw shall start wi' brass. We mun awther believe money to be th' rooit ov all evil, or else we daat th' wisdom o' him at sed it, but at th' same time my experience taiches me at it's a varry useful thing to have i' yor pocket when yo goa to market, an' it's a wonderful thing for stiffenin a chap's back booan. Allus remember this, at th' heigher yo hold yor heead an' lower other fowk 'll bow theirs. Ther are exceptions to this rule, for ther are 'at think a honest man has as mich reight to hold up his heead, even if he hasn't a penny in his pocket, as one 'at's thaasands o' paands. Ov coorse, yo know better nor that; for a empty heead an' a full purse can pass muster even i'th' Parliament. Then, whativer yo do, yo mun get hold o' this brass, an' niver heed, if becoss your gettin moor nor yo want causes some others to goa short—that's nowt to yo—yor number one an' luk to that. If yo can nobbut get a fortune, yo'll find friends come withaat seekin. But mind whativer yo do to get yor brass honestly-that is, get it i' some way 'at th' law cannot touch yo. Dooant knock a chap daan an' tak it throo him, but start some sooart ov a society wi' a long name, get some offices in a garret in a grand street, get some chap wi' a hannel to his name to be president, an' a lot o' directors 'at nawther yo nor onybody else iver knew, pay a poor begger fourteen shillin a week to be scratchetary, mak yorsen into th' treasurer, an' then advertise. Somdy'll be sure to tak shares, an' as sooin as ther's ony brass to goa on wi,' vooat yor sen a salary ov two thaasand a year,—mak sure to get it—an' then, if ther's ony claims at yo connot meet wind up th' business. Fowk'll be sure to sympathise wi' yo, and yo'll have as mich as 'll keep yo respectable for a bit, an' then yo can luk aght for another chonce o' turnin a honest penny. Yor belly'll be full an' your back weel clooathed, your conscience—well, tak noa noatice o' that,—an' if yo can get a front seeat in a chapel yo'll stand a gooid chonce o' been made a taan caancillor or a member o'th schooil booard. This number one doctrine has another advantage, a chap 'at follows it aght has nubdy's else interests to bother abaat; he doesn't care who dees soa long as he lives, nor who sinks soa long as he can swim. But allus tak care net to let other fowk know 'at yo live up to this system; for although iverybody thinks a gooid deeal o' ther own number one, nubdy seems fond ov another's. Some even goa soa far as to call a number one chap selfish. Well, worn't we born into th' world to be selfish? What have we nails for if we munnot scrat? What have we teeth for but to bite? What have we een for but to look after awr own interests? What have we ears for but to listen for iverything to us own advantage? What have we bodies for but to serve? This is number one doctrine. Its varry popular, an' does varry weel for this world; ther's a deal o' hansom gravestooans stand ovver once successful number ones. What ther number is i'th' next world is moor nor aw can tell, but aw know they'll have to start afresh, for all they iver gained they've left behund.

Fowk 'at niver loise seet o' 'number one,' are a hard workin set as a rule, but even they have to amuse thersen a bit sometimes, an' they find it a nice change to luk after 'number two.' To a chap o' this sooart, iverybody's 'number two,' 'at's a bit better awther i' luks, position, or pocket. Nah if yo want ony fun o' this sooart aw'll tell yo ha to get it. Furst ov all, find aght sombdy 'at yo fancy yore mates think moor on nor they think o' yo—watch him ivery time yo get a chonce, an' see if yo connot pick aght a hoil in his coit. Dooant be disheartened if yo have to luk a long time before yo can find a fault—be sure ther is one somewhear, an' if yo can't see it at a distance, hutch cloiser up, mak a gurt fuss on him, niver say owt contrary to what he says; if he says summat funny, laff fit to split yor sides, an' if he says owt serious, luk solemn an' shak yor heead. Watch him carefully, an' it's a thaasand to one but some day yo'll catch him trippin. If, when yo've fun a hoil, it's soa little as to be hardly worth noaticing, dooant despair, wol yor clappin him on his back an' smilin in his face, yo can happen get yor finger in, an then rive it a bit bigger. Do it gently at furst, just a little bit at a time, and then when yo've getten a chonce, rip it as far as yo can. But be sure yo have nowt ony moor to do with him after that. If yo see him comin, cross on t'other side o' th' rooad, niver let on 'at yo've seen him, but as sooin as he's getten past, shak yor heead sorrowfully an' sigh; if yo happen to have a clean hankerchy i' yor pocket, yo may tak it aght and mak believe to wipe off a tear—niver heed if ther isn't one, fowk'll think better o' yo, an' all the war o' him. If onybody should come an' ask yo if yo've heeard that sad tale abaat him, say. 'God forbid at yo should hear owt war nor what yo've heeard before.' Dooant seem inclined to listen, but when they've done, say, 'Well, well it's a thaasand pities, but if that wor th' warst it wodn't matter mich.' He's sure to go away wi' th' noation 'at yo know summot abaat th' same chap 'at's ten times war nor owt he's heeard, but yo've too mich gooid natur to tell it. Nah this is all varry gooid fun for' number one;' an when yo see poor' number two' loise his shop, or shunned, or luked shyly at wi' them at wor once his admirers, an' yo know 'at it's allowing to yo, then yo can goa hooam an' shut yorsen up all bi yorsen, an' laff, an rejoice to yor heart's content. But dooant be surprised if, when yo chuckle, yo should hear another chuckle cloise to yor elbow, for haiver yo lock an' bolt th' door, yo connot keep th' devil aght. He enjoys a bit o' fun o' this sooart as weel as yo, an' he's nobbut come to show yo ha pleased he is. If yo dooant like his compny sarve him th' same way —remember yo're 'number one,' an he's nobbut 'number two' to yo. Pool as long a face, an' luk as sanctimonious as yo can, an' wheniver yo've a chonce, tell fowk to shun him an' all his works, tell 'em 'at he's prowlin raand like a lion seekin who to make a meal on th' next. Yo needn't be mailly-maathed abaat him, becoss he's net suppooased to have ony friends. He willn't care a button what yo say, 'coss he knows yo cannot injure his character, an' he laffs to hissen as he sees yo sighin, an lyin, an scheamin, all for 'number one,' an he puts a mark opposite yor name to show 'at he's noa need to luk after yo ony moor—yo're all safe—an' then he turns his attention to some 'number twos.' It's gooid spooart, isn't it? May be yo think it's a spooart 'at's niver entered onybody's heead but mine, but yor mistakken. It's a varry common spoart. Mind yo dooant catch yorsen indulging in it some day.

Number three reminds a body ov a deeal o' things, but nowt as mitch as a pop shop. Them three gold balls 'at hing aght to show whear th' poor fowk's bankers live, if they could nobbot spaik, could tell a tale 'at wod cap some o' them wiseacres 'at reckon to know all poor fowk's troubles, an' th' way to cure' em. Nah, it's a puzzle to me to accaant for one o' these things, an' that is, 'at fowk's actions should be regarded through a different standpoint to owt else i' th' world. A little tree is a tree, an' it's nobbut a tree ha big it is—a puttate is nobbut a puttate if it grows as big as a churn-an' a man considers hissen a man whether he's a Goliah or a Tom Thumb. But actions are different altogether. Whether they're to be considered gooid or bad depends entirely o' th' bugth on 'em. A chap 'at can chait somdy aght ov twenty thaasand paands is considered smart: but a poor begger 'at stails a looaf is a thief. A chap 'at walks into th' joint stock bank, an'. leaves th' title deeds ov his property for th' loan ov five or six hundred paands, is an honerable tradesman, 'an it's considered a business—like act; but a poor woman' at taks her fiat-iron to th' pop shop, an' borrows sixpence on it, commits a sin—it's a disgrace. Aw wonder what th' mooast o' th' banks are but pop shops. What difference is ther between a pop ticket an' a check book? Varry little nobbut th' bugth. I' my opinion it's noa moor a disgrace for a chap to pop a paper coller nor for another to morgage a property. Ther's a gooid deal o' speculation sometimes i' booath cases. Nah, aw once knew a chap at popt a haufacraan for two-an-four-pence, an then sell'd th' ticket for a shillin: soa he didn't loise owt. They're useful places i' ther way, though aw dooant mean to say at ther's noa evils connected wi' 'em. Nah, aw once knew a woman 'at popt her husband's Sunday clooas so as shoo could buy a new dress for hersen, 'an when he fan it aght he gave her a lickin an' had to goa befoor th' magistrates, an' they fined him ten shillin or to goa to quad for a month, soa his wife popt her dress to' pay th' fine. Nah, it isn't ivery evil 'at can reighten itsen like that; an' varry likely bith time they've getten 'em aght agean they'll have lernt moor wit.

Ther's summat else 'at number three reminds me on, an' that's th' three things at we all owt to have—Faith, Hope, an' Charity. As to Faith, ther's awther a gooid deeal on it i' th' world, or else fowk dooant spaik truth. Hope we've all enuff on, an' some fowk moor nor what does' em ony gooid, for they're ofter hopin nor strivin. But when it comes to Charity, then aw'm a sooart o' fast amang it. It's a nice word, a bonny word aw think; it luks nice in a church or a bazaar. It's a nice word to tak for a text, it saands nice onytime unless it's at a meetin o' th' poor law guardians, then it saands harder an' harsher someway. For mi own part, aw've niver been able to understand exactly what it meeans. I have an opinion o' mi own; but then aw know it must be wrong, becoss it's so different to other fowk's. Aw wor once walkin aght wi' a chap 'at wor chock full o' charity. He wor soa full on it 'at it used to roll aght ov his maath ivery two or three minutes, and we hadn't gone far when we met a little lad, wi' hardly a bit o' clooas on him, an' he luk'd as if he'd been livin o' th' smell ov a cook shop for a wick, an' he coom beggin a hawpney. Well, to tell th' truth aw wor gooin to pass him, for aw hadn't a fardin, but my charitable friend did stop, an' he patted him on his heead, and axed if he he'd a father an' mother, an' if he went to th' Sunday schooil, an if he knew his Catichism, an' then he sed, Well, be a good boy, an' sometime when aw've a hawpny aw'l give it thi,' an' we went away. When we'd gooan a two or three yards he sed, 'Let's have a glass o' ale, for aw'm dry—aw feel sooary for yond lad, but yo connot allus be givin.


Sammy Bewitched.

Aw shall niver forget Sammy Sawney. He's deead nah an' it's a pity at owt like him iver should dee, for he wor net only t' first but aw believe t'last o' 'tsooart. Aw niver remember him as a lad, for he wor a gooid age when aw wor born, but aw've heeard enuff abaat him to mak me feel as if aw'd known him at that time, an' judgin' bi what aw knew on him as an old man aw can believe it ivery word true.

Sammy's mother wor a widdy, an' he wor her only child. Shoo wor worth a little bit o' brass, an' his fayther had been considered varry weel to do, for he'd abaat twenty hand-loom weyvers workin for him, an' his bumbazines wor allus considered t'best i' t'market. When Sammy wor four year old shoo detarmined to send him to t'schooil an' have him eddicated for a banker's clerk, for to be handlin brass all t'day long wor to her t'happiest condition i' life.

It wor easy enough to send Sammy to t'schooil but to get him eddicated wor another matter, an' whether it wor as t'schooil-maister sed, 'at his heead wor too thick iver to drive owt into it, or, as his mother said, 'at t'schooilmaister knew nowt an' soa he could taich nowt, aw dooant pretend to say.

Little Sammy hadn't a varry easy time on it, for he wor shifted abaat throo one schooil to another, wol he hadn't mich o' a chonce o' leearnin' even if he had some brains, an' ther' wor at sed he hadn't.

But his mother had faith ther wor summat in him, an' varry likely ther wor, for nowt iver coom aght, an' what some fowk called wrangheeadedness, shoo considered to be genius badly directed.

One day he wor at t'beckside, an' shoo went to see what he wor dooin', an' as shoo saw he'd nobbut one clog, shoo axed him what he'd done wi' tother, an' he sed he'd made it into a booat, an' it had sailed away down t'beck, soa shoo tawked nicely, an' tell'd him he shouldn't do soa, for it wor lost, an' he mud allus remember 'at if he put owt into t'beck, he'd niver see it ony moor, for t'watter ran daan at sich a rate; but he sed he'd fun aght a better way o' dooin' it next time, for he'd put t'furst in wi' t'toa pointin daan t'hill, but when he put t'next in, he'd point t'toa up t'hill, an' it wouldn't find it quite soa easy gooin.

"A'a, Sammy lad," sed his mother, as shoo stroked his heead, "tha's a deal moor i' this nop nor ivver thi fayther had, or me awther, for aw should niver ha' thowt o' that." Sammy put tother in, takkin care to point t'toe t'contrary way to what t'watter wor runnin, but as sooin as he left lawse it turned raand an' foller'd tother, an' wor sooin aght o' seet.

"Nah, then!" he sed "didn't aw tell yo? If it hadn't turned raand, it 'ud ha' been goin' up t'hill, but t'chap 'at made them clogs didn't mak' 'em reights an' lefts. Yo see they're booath left, an' aw believe that's the reason aw've allus been lat to t'schooil."

"Niver heed, Sammy, tha shalln't go to t'school ony moor, for aw believe tha'rt better able to taich t'maisters nor they are to taich thee."

"Awm sewer on it mother; for t'last maister aw had sed awd towt him patience, an' awm sartin he niver towt me owt."

"Come thi ways, lad, an' awl buy thee some new clogs at another shop, but dooant put any moor into that beck, unless tha tees a string to 'em, if tha does awst ha' to give thee a lickin, soa tha knows; for even knowledge can be bowt too dear."

After gettin his new clogs, shoo tuk him into a spice shop to buy a penorth o' owt he liked, soa he ax'd t'old woman for a penorth o' humbugs; but as sooin as he'd getten 'em, he altered his mind an' thowt he'd have acid drops, soa shoo changed em'; but he'd hardly getten 'em when he changed his mind, an' said he'd rayther have a rockstick, an' when he'd gate that, he wor walkin' aght, an' shoo sang aght after him 'at he'd niver paid her for it.

"Why, aw gave yo t'acid drops for it."

"Eea, but tha niver paid for t'acid drops."

"A'a, what a tale I didn't aw give yo t'humbugs?"

"But tha niver paid for t'humbugs."

"Why, aw havn't etten t'humbugs, have aw? Didn't aw give' em yo agean? Yo dooant want payin' twice, sewerlee?",

"Well aw dooant know hah it is, what tha says saands reight enuff; but what aw do know is, at tha's getten a rockstick, an' aw havn't getten a penny."

"You see what it is to be a scholar," sed his mother; "but yo'st loise nowt bi a child o' mine," soa shoo gave her t'penny an' coom away.

As they wor walkin on, Sammy put t'last bit into his maath an' sed, "mother, can yo tell me why is old Sally like that rockstick?"

"Nay lad, awm sewer aw cannot."

"Becoss they've booath getten suckt."

"A'a, lad, dooant study soa mich, awm feeard strainin thi brain, but can ta spell brain?"

"Brane."

"Nay, lad, ther's a I in it."

"Then aw must have three, if aw've two i' mi heead an' one i' mi brain."

"Aw niver thowt o' that, but tha'rt far too clivver for me, an' awst nivver rest until aw get thi into a bank."

Now it soa happened 'at ther wor a man 'at had done business wi' Sammy's fayther i' former days, an' after a bit o' persuadin he consented to tak' him into his office, an' t'lad wor soa praad ov his place, 'at, strange as it seems, he did begin to leearn a bit o' summate T'chap tuk a deeal o' pains wi him, an' his mother's heart wor oft made glad wi' hearin a gooid accaant of his gooins on. When he used to goa to his dinner wi' a pen stuck behind his ear, an' his finger daubed wi' ink, as if he'd been cleeanin' aght t'ink bottles, shoo could hardly keep her arms off his neck, an' monny a time shoo'd sit watchin him as he put t'puddin aght o' t'seet, wi' tears in her een, an' wish his farther wor thear to see him. But his face grew whiter an' he didn't seem to have as mich life in him as he used to have, an' this caused her a deeal ov uneasiness, an' at last shoo decided to goa an' have a word wi' his maister. Shoo went to t'office, an' they made a gurt fuss o' t'old woman an' ax'd her into a private raam to sit daan.

"Aw've come," shoo sed, "to have a word or two abaat ahr Sammy; aw should like to know hah yo think he gets on?"

"Better than we expected," he said; "he runs errands very well and his writing is better than it was, but his spelling wants improving, yet we think we shall be able to make a man of him."

"Well, if that's all aw think he'll get better on it, an' as for spellin a word wrang nah an' then aw dooant see 'at that maks mich difference soa long as yo know what it meeans. But what do yo think troubles him t'mooast?"

"Well at the present time it's with the which's, but you must excuse me just now for a very important customer has called and I must see him." Soa he jumpt up an' left her. It didn't tak her long to get hooam, an' as shoo'd allus been ov a superstitious way o' thinkin, her mind wor filled wi' anxiety abaat her lad.

"Just to think," shoo sed, as shoo trudged along, "'at he should be bewitched! A grand lad like him-but it's somdy at's done it just aght o' spite, an' aw've a varry gooid noation who's done it. It's that nasty gooid-for-nowt 'at lives at t'back o' awr haase,—shoo's niver been able to bide t'seet on him sin' he cut her cat tail off, an' shoo knew well enuff he nobbut did it for fun. But awl see if aw connot braik t'spell." As shoo had to pass a smithy on her way hooam shoo went in, an' axed if they'd an old horseshoe to give her, for shoo knew that wor a thing 'at witches couldn't bide t'seet on.

"Why, Meary, what dun yo want it for. Are yo freetened o' t'boggards?"

"Awst nooan be freetened o' thee if tha wor a boggard," shoo sed, "but has ta getten one?"

"Well, aw dooant know, but aw've a pair o' donkey shooin here, if tha thinks they'll fit yor Sammy tha can have' em an' welcome."

"Aw think they'd be a deeal moor likely to fit thee, judgin bi t'length o' thi ears," shoo sed; "but aw want a horseshoe if tha's getten one, an' if tha hasn't say soa, an' dooant keep me waitin here."

He hunted abaat till he rooited one aght, an' he gave it her, an' shoo put it in her pocket an' went off withaat iver stoppin to thank him for it. When Sammy had getten his supper shoo sent him to bed, an' tell'd him to leave her his waistcoit, as shoo wanted to do summat at it. As sooin as shoo wor bi hersen shoo pool'd t'horseshoe aght ov her pocket an' began to plan hah shoo could fasten it to t'back ov his waistcoit, for shoo thowt that wod be t'best place for it, an' although it wor a nasty thing to hug up an daan, yet it wor a deeal better nor havin to live under t'influence ov a evil eye. It tuk her a bit o' seheamin befoor shoo gate it stitched on to her fancy, but patience won t'battle, an' when shoo went to bed she felt easier in her mind.

T'next mornin shoo'd a deal o' trouble to get Sammy to put it on, for he couldn't tell t'meanin on it, but his mother lukt soa serious abaat it 'at he didn't like to say he wodn't wear it.

He went to his wark, but his jacket didn't fit quite as well as usual, an' as for keep in his waistcoat i' ony-bit-like shape, he couldn't do it, for t'weight behind wor soa heavy wol it pool'd t'buttons ommost up to his chin, an' when he sat on his stooil i' t'front o' t'desk, he felt as if somdy wor tryin' to upset him backards. When he went to his dinner, he felt as if he wor huggin a pack, an' he begged hard ov his mother to let him goa withaat it, but shoo sed shoo darn't trust him aght ov her seet if he hadn't it on, for it wor to shield him. "It's a queer place for a shield," he sed, "but awl try it this afternooin, an' if it doesn't feel easier awst niver put it on agean."

When he coom hooam at neet, he wor booath tired an' cross; an' after his Supper he gat a slate an' pencil an' sat daan to write, lukkin' varry glum. His mother watched him varry anxiously for a while, an' then shoo sed quietly, "Tha doesn't look varry weel to-neet, Sammy, does ta think tha'rt goin' to have a spell o' sickness?" "Noa, but awm sick o' spellin', for t'gaffer's allus agate on me becoss aw connot spell 'which.' Aw've spell'd it wich-whitch-witch-an' which-du' awl goa to hummer if aw can tell which is which even nah. Aw wish ther worn't a which."

"Which witch does ta mean, Sammy?"

"Aw can't tell which which, aw wish aw could."

"A'a Sammy," shoo sed, an shoo threw her arms raand his neck, "tha's taen a load offmy mind!"

"Well, you've putten me one on to mi waistcoit."

"Tak it off, lad, for tha doesn't need it! Tha doesn't know hah thankful aw am, for when aw wor tawkin' to thi maister yesterday he sed tha wor troubled wi' witches, an' aw sewed t'horseshoe on to scare 'em."

"Which whiches did he mean?"

"Which witches witch?"

"Aw can't tell which is which."

"Nivver heed which it is, Sammy, soa long as it isn't a witch. If it's nobbut a difference ov a letter or two aw can't see 'at it means owt. Goa thi ways to bed, an' dooant let me have to call on thee for a clock haar before tha frames to get up."


Hard to Pleeas.

"Aa, well! Wonders'll nivver cease! Come thi ways in! Whativver's browt thee here ov a day like this? It isn't fit to turn a dog aght ot door."

"Noa lass, an' if awd been a dog aw dooant think awst ha turned aght, but bein' a poor widdy woman my life's war nor a dog's life onny day ith wick."

"Tak thi bonnet an shawl off an creep up to th' range. Awm sure awm fain tha's com'd, for aw wor gettin' reight looansum, for my felly an booath oth lads have gooan to th' taan, an they'll nooan be back afoor neet. But what is it 'at's made thee turn aght ov a day like this?"

"Tha may weel ax, but aw hardly dar tell thee Nanny, for aw knaw varry weel 'at them 'at goa a borrowin' goa a sorrowin', an to mak a long stooary short, awve come to see if tha can leean me ten shillin' wol awr Harriet Ann's next draw day, for awm behund hand wi mi rent, an tha knows what sooart ov a chap awr landlord is, for although we've lived i' yond haase aboon twenty year, he'd think noa moor abaat puttin' th' bums in, if we were an haar behund wi th' rent, nor he wod o' spittin' aght."

"Why, Jenny, tha knows hah awm fixed, Aw've nooan too mich to stir on, for yond lads' bellies tak moor fillin' nor onnybody'd believe, an' that felly o' mine smooks moor bacca nor aw do believe ud fill a seck. He's nivver th' pipe aght ov his maath nobbut when he's aitin or else asleep, an not allus then, an as times is it's ommost a wonder to see a shillin' or two, an' aw've nivver had a new cap sin last Mikelmas, an ther's noa signs 'at aw see on, for awr Alick's naggin' at me ivvery day for a new this or a new that, wol mi life's a looad to me; but awl see what aw can do for thee, but goodness knaws awm poor enuff."

Soa Nanny went to th' little corner cubbord, an after clatterin' th' cups an plates abaat, shoo managed to find ten shillin', an shoo caanted 'em aght one bi one, an' then wi a sigh 'at wor ommost a sob, shoo sed, "Thear it is, an aw hooap tha'll net forget to let me have it back as sooin as tha can. But hah is it tha's managed to run short?"

"A'a, lass! It's th' same old tale. It matters little what yo do for a child at this day, yo're niver onny better thowt on, and when they've takken th' bit aght o' yer maath, they'd have yor teeth if they could mak onny use on 'em. Aw think awr Harriet Ann 'll bring mi grey hairs wi sorrow to th' grave."

"Why, awm capt to hear thee say soa abaat her, for aw allus thowt 'at yor Harriet Ann wor one oth nicest lasses awd iver met. But what's th' matter? Shoo hasn't started o' gooin to th' doncin' classes or owt o' that sooart, surelee?"

"Nay, nowt o' that sooart; it's war nor that. Shoo's net to be called a ill en, but shoo's sich a fooil, an if shoo sets her mind o' owt shoo'll do it if shoo has to wade throo fire and watter. But it maks me fair poorly to think on it, to say nowt abaat tellin' it."

"Why, tak hold o' that teah pot an sup aght oth spaat, it'll cheer thee up a bit; for if there is owt 'at's heartsluftin, it is what mothers have to put up wi throo undutiful bairns."

"A'a, aw want noa teah, lass; awd mi braikfast just afoor aw started aght."

"Thee taste o' that an tha'll find it'll do thee gooid."

"Eea, an it is gooid too! That warms me reight daan to mi tooas. Ther's nivver nowt seems to settle my stummock like a drop o' gin an watter. But whativer maks thee keep it ith teapot?"

"Why, tha sees, it doesn't allus do to have a bottle an a glass oth table, for yo niver know who may pop in, an aw dooant like to set it befoor th' childer for fear it mud tempt 'em to tak it befoor they've getten sense to know hah to use it, an awm sewer aw should nivver think o' lukkin t'side it wor on throo one year's end to another if it worn't for theas pains i' mi inside, for it's phisick to me an noa mistak."

"Aw can believe thee weel enuff, for ther's nowt seems to do as weel for me."

"Well, tha hasn't tell'd me thi trubble yet, an awd like to know, an may be aw can help thee a bit, for two heeads is better nor one, if one is nobbut—tha knows what."

"Tha sees, awr Harriet Ann wor as gooid a lass as iver stept till shoo began o' coortin', an th' furst warnin' aw had wor th' last draw day, for asteead o' givin' me two paand ten, shoo nobbut gave me thirty shillin', an when aw axed her hah it wor shoo sed aw mud try an mak it do, for shoo wanted to buy a two-o'-three bits o' things, for shoo'd made up her mind to get wed. Tha could ha fell'd me wi a bean when shoo sed that, for if ther wor owt i' this world 'at aw wor anxious abaat it wor 'at shoo'd ha moor sense nor to get wed, soa aw axed her who it wor, but shoo nobbut laft an sed aw should varry likely know him when aw saw him. Nah, tha knows, Nanny, it wor nivver my way to goa abaat pryin' into other fowks' consarns, but aw couldn't do but ax one or two ov her comrades an try to get to know who he wor, but all awve fun aght soa far is 'at he's a young gooid-fer-nowt, 'at nawther is owt nor nivver will be, an he wants her for nowt i' this world but to work to keep him, wol he spends his days drinkin' an dog feightin an pidgeon flyin', an' after all th' trouble 'at aw've been at to bring her up in a respectable way, awm sewer it's enuff to braik th' heart ov a stooan. Shove that teah pot on here agean, for awm reight daan faint."

"Sup lass, for aw can sympathise wi thee, an if it 'ad been a paand tha'd wanted to borra tha should ha had it. But tha hasn't all th' trouble to thisen, for aw've getten a share as weel as thee. Awl tak a drop o' that if tha'll hand th' teah pot this way. But mine's a deeal war nor thine, for awr Alick (a better lad nivver wor born—aw used to say when he wor a babby 'at he'd nivver live, for when he wor varry near doubled up wi th' ballywark he'd ligg in his creddle an hardly mak a muff) he's gooin to mak a fooil ov hissen an all, for he's pickt up some idle trolly, an he's savin' up his brass to ware it o' her, an he's aght two or three neets ith wick, an if aw ax him owt he says, "Yo'll find it aght in a bit," an if he doesn't find it aght it'll cap me, for his fayther tell'd me 'at he saw him walkin' abaat last Horton Tide wi a woman hook'd ov his arm, an what maks it war is aw've heeard at shoo's nooan to gooid, an he's as simple as a cauf, an shoo can just twist him raand her little finger. When aw wor puttin' his Sunday clooas away last wick aw fan a thimmel an a hairpin, an a mintdrop 'at had been hauf suckt (an aw know awr Alick niver aits spice) in his britches pocket, an when he coom hooam he wor ommost ranty wol he knew what had come on 'em, an when aw gave 'em him he lapt 'em up i' paper an lukt as suited as if he'd fun a fortun."

"Th' teah-pot's empty if it means owt, but aw wor just gooin to say 'at tha knows we can nivver put old heeads onto young shoolders, an awm sooary to hear 'at yor Alick's noa moor wit, but still it isn't as bad a case as mine, for tha sees if a chap gets wed he's th' maister, but a lass has to do as shoo can."

"Nay, net it! It's th' wimmen 'at's th' maisters oth men, aw know that mysen. Whear wod that felly o' mine ha been if it hadn't been for me? Why he'd ha been ith warkus long sin, if he hadn't been in his grave. Try this, sithee, it's sweeter nor th' last."

"Eea, it's sweeter, but it 'ud do wi a drop moor gin in it if it's all th' same to thee."

"It is rayther waik, but as aw wor sayin', tha sees awr Alick's allus lived at hooam, an he's nivver known what it's been to want for owt, even to his booits bein' blackened for Sunday, an if he gets hold o' that nasty powse (for shoo's nowt else who shoo is), whativver mun come on him."

"Eea, an whativer mun come o' awr Harriet Ann? Did ta put owt into th' teah-pot, Nanny?"

"Aw filled it nobbut a minnit sin, an if it's empty tha must ha supt it."

"Nay, awve nobbut tasted abaat twice. Happen it runs."

"Awm sure it runs, but it's aght oth spaat. Put it aght oth seet. Ther's awr Alick comin' up th' gate, an yor Harriet Ann follerin' him. It's reight fair wearisome. If a body gets set daan for a bit ov a talk ther's sure somebdy to come. What's browt yo two here at this time aw should like to know?" "Whear's ta left thi fayther, Alick?"

"He's gooan to luk at some pigs aw believe. He said he'd be hooam i' gooid time, an yo hadn't to get him onny drinkin' ready, for he'd have some o' that cold broth."

"Then he's baan drinkin'! Aw know as weel as can be, for he allus taks some wrang-heeaded noation when he's baan to get a bellyful o' ale. A'a! It caps me what fowk can see i' gooin an makkin a swill tub o' ther guts! If aw mud ha my mind ther shouldn't be a drop for onybody unless they wor poorly! But whear's ta been, Harriet Ann? Aw thowt tha wor at thi wark?"

"Shoo wod ha been but for me," sed Alick; "but aw chonced to meet her, an as we'd a bit o' bizness we gate that done, an then we went on to Jenny's, but th' door wor lockt, soa aw sed varry likely shoo'd be up here, an it seems aw wor abaat reight, an aw persuaded Harriet Ann to come up wi me, for it isn't fit weather for noa Christian to be aght in."

"Come on an sit thee daan, Alick. Awm sooary to hear sich a bad accaant on thee, but tha art better nor awr Harriet Ann, for shoo knows awm behund wi mi rent, an shoo couldn't do but waste another day."

"Dooant yo bother yersen, Jenny, we've just com'd to keep yo company a bit. Aw say, mother! dooant yo think yo've a drop o' summat short, 'at yo could mak Harriet Ann a sup to keep her throo catchin' cowld?"

"Tha knows ther's nowt 'short' i' this haase nobbut a drop o' gin 'at's kept o' purpose for thi fayther when he's th' backwark, but as it's Harriet Ann awl mak her a little drop."

"A'a, aw cannot sup all that, Nanny, aw nobbut want a tooithful," sed Harriet.

"Ther's happen somdy else wants th' cold keepin' aght as weel as thee," sed Jenny.

"Awve been hearin' some sad tales abaat thee Harriet Ann," sed Nanny. "Awve allus thowt as mich o' thee as if tha wor one o' mi own, an' thi mother's been tellin' me abaat some sad gooins on; but aw hooap 'at tha'll allus remember 'at tha's coine ov a daycent stock, an awm sewer yon gooid-for-nowt 'at's allus hankerin' after thee meeans thee noa gooid. Bi all aw can hear he's a low-lived offal'd scamp, an' if tha gets wed to him tha'll have to sup sorrow bi spooinsful."

"Dooant keep that gin all to thisen. Basta noa manners?" sed Jenny.

"Aw dooant know what yo're tawkin abaat," sed Harriet.

"Yi tha does; aw meean that chap 'at's reckonin' to cooart thee! When aw wor thy age awd moor sense nor to believe ivvery lyin' lumpheead 'at coom i' mi way, but lasses dooant seem to care who get's 'em nah. If it's owt ith shape ov a felly it'll do."

"Why, awm sewer yo must be mistakken, Nanny, for ther's nubdy cooartin' me."

"Nah it's noa gooid denyin' it 'coss awr Alick's here, for yo're both ith same box! He's as big a fooil as thee! Net 'at awve owt ageean him gettin' wed, net aw! Aw shall be rare an' glad to be shut on him, but aw did think he'd have gumshun enuff to luk aght for somdy 'at wodn't disgrace booath him an' all 'at belangs to him. But he Wor allus a strackle brain, an' he will be till he's bowt his wit, an' it'll be varry weel for him if he doesn't buy it too dear. But if he does wed a trolly like her, he mun keep her, an' aw hooap he'll nivver let me see her, that's all; for shoo shall nivver enter my door nor have a bite nor a sup in a haase o' mine! Here, Harriet Ann, lass, taste o' this for awm Sure tha luks as if tha'd do wi' summat."

"Aw dooant know what yo meean, mother," said Alick, "for awm sewer my cooartin days is ovver."

"If aw thowt they wor aw should be th' happiest woman under th' sun, but tha must ha dropt it varry suddenly."

"Well, it's true, an awl promise yo 'at awl nivver start agean till ther's a death ith family."

"What wor aw tellin' thee, Jenny, before he come in? Isn't he a gooid lad thinks ta? He'll nivver get wed wol his old mother's alive, he's too mich sense."

"He's a lad to be praad on, Nanny; aw wish awr Harriet Ann could say like him."

"Awl promise yo 'at awl nivver cooart agean whether ther's a deeath ith family or net."

"You've booath turned varry gooid all ov a sudden, aw should like to know what it all meeans?"

"It means nowt, mother, nobbut this-'at Harriet Ann an me thowt we could be varry comfortable together, an soa we've getten wed this mornin'."

"Yo desarve to be horsewipt! Awm in a gooid mind to thresh thee Alick as long as aw can bide to stand ovver thee! Had ta noa more sense nor' to throw thisen away after a thing like Harriet Ann."

"Does ta meean ta tell me 'at tha'd noa more respect for thisen nor to wed a haufthick like Alick. A'a, Harriet Ann, what wod thi fayther ha sed if he'd been here?"

"Awr Alick's noa fooil Jenny I dooant thee say that. Yor Harriet Ann knew what shoo wor dooin."

"Awr Harriet Ann's as gooid as yor Alick!"

"Well, awr Alick's as gooid as yor Harriet Ann!"

"Noa daat we're one as gooid as t'other, an as we're satisfied aw think yo owt to be, an' here's yor varry gooid health," sed Alick, seizin hold oth teah-pot to sup.

"Put that daan! Tha doesn't want onny teah!" sed Nanny.

"It's geoid teah is this; aw've monny a time ta'en a gooid swig aght o' that teah-pot before to-day."

"O, soa that's where thi fayther's physic go as is it. Tha's allus been a bad lad Alick, an' awve had to put up wi' thee, but dooant say owt abaat th' teah-pot to thi fayther."

"It's ommost time mi fayther wor here, isn't it?"

"Well, aw dooant know ha yo can fashion to luk him ith face when he does come, but it's done nah, so we shall have to mak th' best on it, but awst niver forgie Harriet Ann for deceivin' me. Here's thi fayther! Nah for it! Aw wish aw wor a thaasand mile away throo here this minit."

"Hallo! Are yo havin' a teah-drinkin'. What's to do, Jenny?"

"Nay, yo mun ax yor Nanny."

"What's up, Nanny lass?"

"Can't ta see what's up? Tha must be blind aw think or else druffen! Aw could see what wor to do as sooin as aw dapt mi een on 'em! Awr Alick an' Harriet Ann's gooan an getten wed, that's what's to do!"

"Why, an' a gradely pair they mak! Aw nivver thowt tha wor hawf sich a judge ov a lass as tha's proved thisen. Aw allus sed aw thowt Harriet Ann wor th' bonniest lass i' Yorksher. Awm soa suited wol awd ommost forgetten awd th' backwark. Is there a drop o' gin i' that bottle, Nanny?"

"Tha gets a deal more gin than does thee onny gooid, an aw think that backwark is oft an excuse."

"Dooant lets have onny grumlin' o'th' weddin' day, for Alick's suited me to nowt, an awm sewer shoo's th' lass awve heeard thee say tha could like him to have."

"Awve nowt agean th' match 'at aw know on, nobbut they should ha been content to wait a year or two. They're both on 'em sadly to young."

"Why, thee an' me started when we wor monny a year younger nor them. Awr Alick wor born before tha wor as old as Harriet Ann. Awve wondered monny a time if Alick wor iver baan to start.'

"Has ta noa moor sense nor to talk like that afoor bits o' childer. If shoo's as mich bother wi' him as awve had wi' thee, shoo'l wish shoo'd nivver set een on him."

"But whear do yo meean to live? Yo'll want a haase somewhear."

"We've takken yond little cottage 'at yo can see o'th' hill-side yonder, an' we've getten a bit o' furniture into it for a start."

"Why, that's the varry haase aw allus sed aw should like to live in if ivver awd to flit," sed Jenny.

"Well, yo can come as sooin as yo like an' keep for Harriet Ann company, an' if yo'll nobbut behave yorsen awl buy yo a teah-pot like that o' mi mother's, an' yo can have it oth hob end throo morn to neet."

"That's reight enuff Alick, but aw should ha been better satisfied if—

"That's what aw say Jenny, aw should ha been better satisfied if—

"Caar ye daan, an' let th' young ens alooan, for for like all old wimmen, for hard to pleeas."


Ratcatchin'.

Ther's roguery i' ivvery trade but awrs, awve' heeard fowk say, an "ivverybody's honest till they're fun aght." That white hen at' nivver lays away hasn't been hatched yet. It taks all sooarts to mak a world an aw suppooas if they wornt ratcatchers ther'd be summat short. Sam Sniffle wor a karacter in his way, he seemed to have a bit ov a smatterin' o' iverything, but what he professed to know th' mooast abaat wor dogs an rats. Noa daat he had a bit o' knowledge, but what wor far more sarviceable to him nor owt else wor a simple luk 'at he could put on, an' a bit ov a lisp 'at he had, made him seem soa harmless an simple 'at yo wodn't believe it possible for him to do owt wrang. He worn't varry big, but he wor varry wiry, an as full o' pluck as a gamcock.

Aw remember one neet as he wor gooin hooam (net becoss he thowt it wor time, but becoss his brass wor done), he happened to hear a bobby comin' as he turned th' street corner. It wor varry dark, soa he just stept back an waited for him comin', an as sooin as his heead popt past th' corner, he gave him what he called a cauf-knock an sent him sprawlin' his whoal length ith middle oth rooad. He wor hardly daan befoor Sam ran to help him up. "A'a! whativver's to do mister poleeceman?" he sed. "Are yo hurt? Do tell me," an he helpt him up an began to wipe th' muck off his clooas wi' his pocket hankerchy. Th' poleeceman turned his bull's-eye onto his face, but nubdy could suspect Sam. "Did ta see it done?" he axd. "Eea, aw saw it as fair as could be. It's a burnin' shame 'at sich like fowk cannot be stransported! it is act'ly. Awm sewer aw could ommost roar mi een up when aw see onnybody ill used like that." "Does ta think tha'd know him if tha'd to see him agean?" axd th' bobby. "Awm sewer aw' could, an' th' furst time he passes me awl bring him up to th' poleece office if aw have to wheel him in a barro." "Well, here's a shillin' for helpin' me up, an be sewer an keep thi een oppen." "Nay, nay, keep yor brass," sed Sam, "awm naoan one a' that sooart 'at wants payin' for dooin a kindness 'at costs me nowt, but awl tak it, tho' awst nivver have th' heart to spend it, but awm mich obleeged to yo, an aw wish yo gooid neet, an hooap yo'll meet wi noa moor misfortunes." "Aw hooap net, an' if they wor all like thee th' poleece ud have a easy time on it." "Why, maister, if they wor all like me ther wodn't be onny poleece, for aw havn't a heart i' mi belly big enuff for sich a job." Sam left him, an th' furst public haase he coome to he went in an had a rare spree wi' th' shillin', but when he coom aght, if onnybody'd met him they'd ha been just as likely to think he'd been to a teetotal meetin' an' signed th' pledge.

But if yo'd wanted to see him when he put on his varry simple smile, yo should ha seen him when a lady browt him a pet dog 'at wor poorly. He wor noated far an wide as a dog doctor, an ladies used to come throo all pairts wi ther pet's to ax Sam's advice. Hahivver ugly a little brute chonced to be brawt, Sam had his nomony ready. "A'a, that is a little beauty, mum, aw havn't seen one like that, mum, aw can't say when, mum. Aw dooant think yo'd like to pairt wi' it mum?"

"Oh, no! I would not part with it for its weight in gold I It's such a faithful little dear!"

"Awm sewer on it, mum, yo can see it in it. It's the varry picture o' faithfulishness. If yo leeav it wi' me it'll be weel takken care on, mum. An what name might yo call it, mum?"

"We call it Lion."

"That's just th' name for a little pet like this, it is fer sewer."

"What do you think is the matter with the little darling?"

Then Sam ud tak it in his hands, an after strokin' it an smellin' at its breath, he'd give it a nip 'at ud mak it yelp aght ten thaasand murders, then he'd shake his heead an say, "Aw thowt what wor th' matter as sooin as aw saw it, mum; yo see it's soa varry tender it can hardly bide touchin'. It's sufferin wi' enflimashun ov its liver. It's a strange thing, but it's a disease 'at's gooin abaat amang dogs just at present. Ther's monny a scoor dee ivvery wick, for yo see ther's net monny 'at know hah to doctor 'em for it. It's a pratty little thing. It'll have to have some castor hoil an a paather, mum. Aw think aw can cure it in a wick, mum."

"Well, then, I must leave it with you, and be sure to treat the little thing kindly."

"Kindly! Why, mum, awd give it th' bit aght o' mi maath. It owt to have some warm milk an a paather th' furst thing, but aw dooant happen to have onny ith haase, an my lad willn't be hooam befoor dark, an it's been awr rent day to-day, but as sooin: as ivver he comes wi his wage awl get it some, tho' it's a pity, poor thing, 'at it connot have it nah, but yo see aw didn't know 'at it wor comin'."

After this speech he wor sewer to get a shillin', an sometimes hauf-a-craan, an as he nivver reckoned owt off his doctor's bill, he called that "extra bunce."

As sooin as shoo'd getten nicely aght oth gate he'd give it a claat oth side oth heead, to let it know at th' beginnin' what it might expect if it didn't behave, an then he'd tak it into th' cellar an tee some band raand it neck an festen it to th' wall, an throw it a bit o' strea to lig on, an after chuckin' it a crust o' breead an' givin' it some watter, he'd leeav it tellin' it 'at as sooin as it had browt its stummack daan to that it ud noa daat feel better. It ud be pratty sewer to freat a bit but Sam ud tak noa noatice wol th' next day, an when he went to luk at it, if he fan th' breead an waiter untouched he'd leeav it agean. Abaht th' third day he says they generally begin to nibble a bit, an as sooin as he saw that he used to give 'em a bit o' sop or summat, but he took gooid care net to give 'em too mich. Bi th' end oth wick they wor cured, an' he used to wesh 'em an cooam 'em, an tee a bit a blue ribbon raand ther neck, an' tak 'em hooam, an' when ther mistresses saw 'em jumpin' an' caperin' abaat, an ommost fit to ait th' fire iron's, they paid him what he charged withaat a word, an gave him credit for being th' best dog doctor ith country.

He made a gooid deal o' brass i' that way, but that didn't pay him as weel as ratcatchin'. Ther wor nivver onnybody could equal Sam at catch in' a rat, for he wor nivver known to fail. At all th' big haases ith district he wor as weel known! as th' pooastman. He's gien up th' trade nah, or else aw wodn't let yo into th' saycret. This is th' way he used to do. Th' cooachman or th' buttler throo Some hall wod come to tell Sam 'at he wor wanted as sooin as ivver he could spare time, to goa up to th' hall to catch a rat 'at one oth sarvents had seen ith pantry, for they wor all soa freetened 'at they darn't goa in.

Sam wod promise to be up directly, an he'd put a net into his coit pocket, an a two-o-three breead crumbs in a bit o' paper, an a rat, ommost as big as a kittlin, but withaat a tooith in its heead, into his inside brast pocket, an then he'd set off. When he gate thear all th' sarvent lasses ud cluther raand him an tell him whear th' rat had been seen an all particulars. "Well, they're a nasty thing to have abaat a haase, an a varry dangerous thing; but awl do mi best to catch it if yo'll give me a sup o' ale if yo have it, an if net, pooarter'll do. Aw want it to mix up summat to tice it aght." They seldom browt less nor a quairt, an after takkin abaat a thimbleful to mix up his breead crumbs, he swallow'd t'other for fear on it bein wasted. Then he'd tak a cannel an goa to whear th' rat had been last seen, an all th' lasses followin at a distance. After puttin his bait on th' floor an th' cannel ith far corner, he'd begin chirpin an huntin under th' barrels an all abaat to see if ther wor a rat, but as he seldom fan one, when he thowt he'd carried it on long enuff, he'd set up a gurt shaat, "It's here! it's here!" an pawse th' cannel ovver with his fooit, an as they couldn't tell where it might be they all flew off skrikin, leavin' Sam to quietly pool his "owd forrester," as he called him, aght ov his pocket an lap it up ith net an come aght holdin' it at arms' length. Then away went th' haasekeeper to tell th' mistress, an th' mistress to tell th' maister, an in a varry few minits ivverybody abaat th' place wor ith kitchen, standin in a ring wi Sam an th' rat ith middle. Sam wor a hero just then, but to luk at his face yo'd fancy he hadn't sense enuff to know it. Ov coorse ther wor nowt to gooid for Sam after that, an he'd allus as mich to ait an drink as he could tuck into him an a hauf-a-craan beside. Aw dooant know hah monny times he catched that rat, but aw do know 'at he catched it three times i' one haase, an he tell'd me he made as mich brass on it as monnya chap could mak wi a horse an cart. He'd a deeal more queer tricks, but as he gate older he gave it up, for he said it wor all vanity; an as he wanted to settle daan an leead a quiet life, he tuk a beershop, an nah he amuses hiss en an his customers wi sittin' at th' end oth langsettle an tellin' his experience, an if one hawf o' what he says is true, when he dees he owt to be put under a glass shade an stuck ith Halifax museum.


Owd Moorcock.

It's monny a long year sin what awm gooin to tell tuk place, but aw remember it as weel as if it wor yesterday. He wor a queer sooart ov a chap, wor owd Drake, an although some laft at him, an considered him an oddity, ther wor a gooid deeal moor 'at believed him to be a born genius. He wor a cobbler bi trade, an a varry gooid cobbler too, tho' he'd nivver sarved his time to it; an altho' he'd had two or three gooid chonces o' startin' business ith' taan, yet he allus shook his heead, an sed he'd rayther goa on as he wor a bit longer. Th' fact wor he loved his liberty, an he'd getten a noashun 'at if he left his little hooam i' th' country, he'd leeav his freedom wi it. An it's hardly to be wondered at, for his snug cot lukt th' pictur' o' comfort. It wor a one-stooary buildin' wi a straw thack, an all th' walls wor covered wi honeysuckle an' jessamine, an th' windows could hardly be seen for th' green leaves 'at hung as a veil i' th' front on 'em. Stooan-crop an haaseleek had takken up a hooam i' th' gutter, an th' chimley wor ommost hid wi ivy. It wor a queer-shaped place altogether—all nucks an corners—But it wor just what suited David. They called him David Drake, tho' he wor known best as Owd Moorcock. I' th' front wor a nice bit o' garden, allus kept trim, an seldom withaat a show o' bloom o' one sooart or another; an away to one side wor what he called his farm—a bit o' land abaat ten yards wide, an twenty long—whear he grew his cabbages an puttates an sich like; an all araand for miles wor moorland covered wi heather, an stockt wi game, except at th' back ov his cot, whear a bluff-lukkin hill sprang ommost straight up, makkin' a stranger feel afeeard lest it should tak a fancy to topple over an' bury booath th' cot an all in it. But if th' aghtside wor curious, th' inside wor a deal moor soa; an it wornt to be wondered at if a gooid monny fowk paid David a visit when they'd hauf a day to spare. He'd a wife—geniuses generally manage to get a wife if they get nowt else, an it isn't allus 'at they mak th' wisest choice; but David mud ha done war, for Dolly-o'-Dick's-o'-th'- Dike, as shoo wor called, wor as queer a customer as her husband, an if we're to believe what shoo says, if it hadn't ha been for her, Dave wod ha been a poor lost craytur. Shoo didn't appreciate his genius that's true, but wives as a rule niver do; but shoo let him have his own way, an sometimes, when her wark wor done, shoo'd even help him wi some of his fooilery. Aw'd heeard a gooid deal abaat 'em, soa one day aw detarmined aw'd pay 'em a visit, soa, after gettin' off at th' Copley Station, aw started to climb a rough, steep loin, moor like th' bed of a beck nor owt else, but trees o' awther side hung over wol they met at th' top, an made a cooil shade 'at wor varry welcome, for aw wor ommost sweltered. After a long scramel aw fan misen o Norland Moor—an it wor a seet worth tewing for, for th' heather wor i' bloom, an it lukt as if a purple carpet had been laid for th' buzzards an bees to frolic on; an ther wor sich a hum raand wol it saanded as if they wor playin' bass to th' skylarks 'at wor warblin' up aboon. Aw struck aght in as straight a line as aw could for David's, an havin come to th' garden gate, aw stopt a minnit to admire th' flaars 'at covered th' graand an th' walls, an even stretched far onto th' thack. Aw hadn't stood long when a voice claise to my ear sed—

"Might yo be lukkin' for somdy?"

"Are yo Mistress Drake?" aw axed.

"Eea, aw believe aw am; but what might yo be wantin'? If yo've owt to sell yo've comed to th' wrang shop, for brass is varry scarce here?"

"Aw've nobbut comed to see yor maister," aw sed; "is he in?"

"Nay, he isn't, an aw dooant know whear yo'll find him, for aw've niver met him yet; but if it's awr Dave yo meean, he's inside, soa yo can walk forrad, an if it's onny shoes yo want mendin', aw can see to that as weel as him, for he's reckonin' to be thrang this afternoon?"

"Aw've nobbut come to have a bit o' tawk," aw sed.

"Oh, if that's all yo can come in; there's a deeal moor fowk come to tawk to him nor what brings him any wark; but it's happen as weel, for if it worn't for me bein' allus naggin' at him, he'd nivver get done th' bit he does; an as it is, he's hammerin' away when he owt to be i' bed, an' keepin' ivverybody else wakken; but aw've tried to taich him sense wol aw'm fair stall'd, soa he mun goa his own gate an tak th' consequences. Come yor ways; we's find him i' th' far raam makkin marks an' spoilin' cleean paper."

We went up a narrow passage, an as th' door wor oppen aw'd a gooid luk at David an his raam befoor he saw me. It wor a varry little place, wi a varry little winder, an hardly heigh enuff for a chap to stand up in, and all th' walls wor covered wi picturs, an he wor set cloise to th' winder hard at wark at another. He wor a short, fat gooid-tempered-lukkin chap, wi a bald heead an just a bit o' white hair hingin' daan like a fringe all raand, an his cheeks wor as red as a ripe apple, an his hands, brooad an braan, show'd they'd had to face booath wark an weather. As Dolly went in he lukt up an saw me.

"Come in," he sed, "come in do, it's varry whut, sit yo daan. Whativer browt ye up here to-day? Why, yo'll be ommost melted. Can yo sup some buttermilk?" An he filled a glass 'at stood o' th' table, an handed it to me. Aw swollered it, an then aw sed, "Aw thowt as aw'd a bit o' spare time awd just come up an mak yor acquaintance, for awve heeard a gooid deeal abaat yo, an happen yo'll nooan think onny war o' me for comin' bi misel'."

"Tha's done reight to come, lad; aw'm allus glad to see anybody pop in. Aw wor just thrang makkin marks, as awr Dolly calls it, but, as awd nivver onybody to taich me, awm feeared aw havn't getten th' reight way o' gooin abaat it yet. Yo see all theeas picturs? Well, yo'll not think mich on 'em, but sich as they are, they please me, an they niver ait owt."

"An what are ta shappin at nah?" sed Dolly.

"This is to be th' erupshun o' Maant Vesuvius."

"Why, what is it eruptin' for?" sed Dolly. "Aw guess it's like thee, it's nowt better to do? Is that th' reason tha's put so mich brimston' colour abaat it? Ther's nowt better nor brimston' an traitle for curin' erupshuns."

"Dolly, aw've tell'd thee for aboon twenty year 'at tha's noa taste nobbut for summut to ait, an yond lad tak's after thee. Aw'd allus a fancy for my lad to be an artist," he sed, turnin' to me, "but he seems to care moor abaat hawkin' bits o' garden stuff; but then we am't all born alike, an aw made up mi mind nivver to try to foorce him to owt 'at he'd noa hankerin' after, for if aw'd had two trades to pick aght on, an one on 'em had been cobblin, awst ha takken t'other whativver it had been; but aw could ha liked mi lad to ha been summut better, for aw gave him a gooid name when he wor kursened; but yo cannot order theeas things as yo wod."

"Noa; an it's a gooid job yo cannot, for aw've quite enuff to put up wi to have thee messin' abaat as tha does; but aw know varry weel that lad wod ha been a painter if tha'd had patience to taich him. But whear's that pictur' he did paint? Tha'rt fond enuff o' shewin' thi own wark; let's luk at somdy's else."

"He nivver tried his hand but once, an it wor this," he sed, as he' pooled one aght o' th' corner, "an when he showed it me aw'd to luk at it for a long time befoor aw could tell what to mak on it, but at last aw decided it wor a camel; but he wor soa mad 'at he sed he'd nivver paint another so long as he lived, for it wor a drake. Soa, to prevent onybody else makkin sich another mistak, aw've written on th' bottom' This is a drake."

"Tha can say what tha likes, David, but hawf a bad en, an if yo can nobbut catch leets, aw'm sewer ther's monny a thing less like a drake nor that. Dooant yo think soa?" shoo sed, turnin' to me.

Aw sed aw thowt soa, too: an then David axed me to goa into his study, "For yo mun know," he sed, "aw've a study, an a studio, an a museum, an a wild beast show i, this haase, as little as it is."

He led the way into another raam abaat as big as that we'd left, an showed me a row o' shelves filled wi books, an a little table covered wi papers; an aw tell'd him aw thowt he wor quite a literary sooart ov a chap.

"Why," he sed, "aw've allus been fond o' readin' sin aw wor a bit ov a lad, an sometimes aw string a line or two together 'at jingles varry nicely, an two or three times aw've had some printed i'th' papers. Mun, it's varry nice to be able to sit daan an eease yor mind wi writin' a bit, even if nubdy reads it. That lad o' mine cares nowt abaat it; aw wish he did, for aw believe if he'd takken to study he'd ha been a wonder, for he's a rare heead—it tak's a hat ommost as big as a coil-skep to fit it. Aw gate him to try one time, an he wor a whole day i' gettin' theeas four lines, aw allus keep 'em by me, for aw know he'll nivver write ony moor.":—

'Aw once wor lost on Norland Moor,
An' if aw'd ne'er been fun,
Mooast likely aw'st a been thear yet,
An nah mi tale is done.'

"Tha'rt varry fond o' runnin daan them 'at belangs to thee," sed Dolly, "an to hear thee tawk fowk ud think he could nivver do owt reight; but if that isn't poetry, aw should like to know what is, for awm sewer ther's a deeal more common sense in it nor ther is i' lots o' thine. But thear he is gooin past th' winder, an he knows ther isn't a drop o' watter i' th' haase, an aw can't bide to fotch ony. If he's like his fayther i' nowt else he is i' leavin' ivverything for me to do; but aw'll let him see different!" an throwing th' winder oppen, shoo yell'd aght, "Rubensrembrandtvandyke Drake! Tha'll come in this minit, or else aw'll warm thee!" An away shoo flew aght.

"Whativver made yo call him sich a name as that?" aw axed.

"Why, aw'd a fancy he'd be a cliver chap if he lived, an soa aw gave him a cliver name; but if aw had it to do nah, aw think summat less wad ha to fit him. But let's have a luk at th' museum."

"Aw should like to hear one o' yor pieces," aw sed, "if yo'd be soa gooid as to reead one."

If that'll suit thee, aw'll reead one, an welcome. Ther's one here 'at aw wor felterin' mi brain wi' last neet:

'Aw'm havin' a smook bi misel',
Net a soul here to spaik a word to,
Aw've noa gossip to hear nor to tell,
An ther's nowt I feel anxious to do.
Aw've noa noashun o' writin' a line,
Tho' aw've jist dipt mi pen into th' ink,
Towards wor kin aw don't mich incline,
An aw'm ommost to lazy to think.
Aw've noa riches to mak me feel vain,
An yet aw've as mich as aw need;
Aw've noa sickness to cause me a pain,
An noa troubles to mak mi heart bleed,
Awr Dolly's crept off to her bed,
An aw hear shoo's beginnin' to snoor;
(That upset me when furst we wor wed,
But nah it disturbs me noa moor.)
Like me, shoo taks things as they come,
Makkin th' best o' what falls to her lot,
Shoo's content wi her own humble hooam,
For her world's i' this snug little cot.
We know 'at we're both growin' old,
But Time's traces we hardly can see;
An tho' fifty years o'er us have roll'd,
Shoo's still th same young Dolly to me.
Her face may be wrinkled an grey,
An her een may be losin' ther shine,
But her heart's just as leetsum to-day
As it wor when aw first made her mine.
Aw've mi hobbies to keep mi i' toit,
Aw've noa whistle nor bell to obey,
Aw've mi wark when aw like to goa to it,
An mi time's all mi own, neet an day.
An tho' some pass mi by wi a sneer,
An some pity mi lowly estate,
Aw think aw've a deealless to fear
Nor them 'at's soa wealthy an great.
When th' sky stretches aght blue an breet,
An th' heather's i' blossom all raand,
Makkin th' mornin's cooi! breezes smell sweet,
As they rustle along ovver th' graand.
When aw listen to th' lark as he sings
Far aboon, ommost lost to mi view,
Aw lang for a pair ov his wings,
To fly wi him, an sing like him, too.
When aw sit under th' shade ov a tree,
Wi mi book, or mi pipe, or mi pen,
Aw think them 'at's sooary for me
Had far better pitty thersen.
When wintry storms howl ovver th' moor,
An snow covers all, far an wide,
Aw carefully festen mi door,
An creep claise up to th' fire inside.
A basin o' porridge may be,
To some a despisable dish,
But it allus comes welcome to me,
If aw've nobbut as mich as aw wish
Mi cloas are old-fashioned, they say,
An aw havn't a daat but it's true;
Yet they answer ther purpose to-day
Just as weel as if th' fashion wor new.
Let them 'at think joys nobbut dwell
Wheear riches are piled up i' stoor,
Try to get a gooid share for thersel',
But leave me mi snug cot up o' th' moor
Mi 'bacca's all done, soa aw'll creep
Off to bed, just as quiet as a maase
For if Dolly's disturbed ov her sleep,
Ther'n be a fine racket i' th' haase.
Aw mun keep th' band i' th' nick if aw can,
For if shoo gets her temper once crost,
All comforts an joys aw may plan
Is just soa mich labour 'at's lost.

"Weel, aw call that a varry nice piece; an if yo're aullus soa contented, yo must have a happy time on it."

"Awm happy enuff as things goa, an aw dar say aw'm as contented as th' mooast; but it isn't allus safe to judge ov a chap bi what he writes, for fowk often pen what they'd like things to be nor what they find 'em to be."

He led th' way into another raam 'at wor filled wi boxes full o' butterflies, an buzzards, an twitch clocks, an rare an praad he wor on 'em; an then he showed me what he called his wild beeasts, but they wor tame enuff, for they wor nowt but catterpillers, but aw believe ther wor thaasands on 'em, all alive an feedin o' one sooart o' stuff or another; an he tell'd me they ait a barraload o' greens ivvery day. He said he kept 'em till they come into butterflies, an then he cured 'em an sent 'em away to London an sometimes to Paris. Th' year befoor he sent 15,000 to one man. "Soa, yo see, awm a butterfly merchant as weel as a cobbler," he sed.

As we wor lukkin at 'em Dolly coom up to tell us we'd better goa to us drinkin' if we wanted ony, for, as Rubensrembrantvandyke had started, ther'd varry sooin be nooan left. We tuk her advice, an awm thankful to say ther wor plenty for us all, an when we'd finished we went an sat ith garden, an David filled his pipe an sed if awd noa objections he'd tell me hah it happened 'at he coom to live oth moor, an th' reason fowk called him Owd Moorcock. Aw sed nowt could suit me better, soa he began.

"Yo mun know," sed David, "'at befoor aw gate wed an coom to live here, aw lived in a little haase in a fold cloise to Halifax Parish Church,—it isn't thear nah, for it's been pool'd daan to mak way for improvements o' differernt sooarts,—an awd an idea at that time 'at aw should like to live thear all mi life, an awd noa thowts aw should iver get wed."

"Its a pity tha ivver altered thi mind," said Dolly.

"Well, happen soa,—but let me tell mi tale i' mi awn way an it'll be finished soa mich sooiner. One Setterdy aw donn'd misen up i' mi Sundy clooas an went for a walk throo th' market, an when aw coom to th' butter-cross aw saw a chap 'at had a cock an two hens in a basket for sale, an he offered 'em to me for ten shillin'. 'Ten fiddlesticks!' aw sed, 'awl gie thee five,' an he put on a luk as if awd stab'd him to th' heart, an begun tellin' me hah mich they'd cost him, an 'at he'd nivver ha tried to sell 'em but he wor behund wi his rent, an wor foorced to pairt wi 'em to keep th' bums aght, an he assured me they wor layin' ivvery day. But th' fact wor, aw didn't want 'em at onny price, for aw'd noa place to put 'em, an aw tell'd him soa. 'Well,' he sed, 'gie me three hawf craans an tha shall have 'em, for aw think tha'll luk weel after 'em an aw wodn't like 'em to be ooined.' 'Nay,' aw sed, 'aw weant gie aboon five shillin', for awm nooan i' want on 'em.' 'If tha weant, tha weant,' he sed, soa that settles it, but awd rayther let th' bums tak away nearly ivvery stick aght o'th' haase nor awd take a farden less nor seven shillin'; that's th' lowest aw ivver will tak, an if tha doesn't buy'em at that price tha'll rue, for tha'll niver have sich a chonce ageean.' 'Well, then, awst be like to rue,' aw sed, 'for aw weant gie thee a hawpny moor nor five shilin'.' 'Tha'rt a hard un,' he sed, 'but If tha'll promise me tha'll treat 'em weel, an at tha'll nivver tell anybody what tha's gien for 'em, tha shall have 'em for six shillin'; nah, tha cannot say noa to that. Two hens an' a cock! Why it's nobbut two shillin' a-piece, an they're as cheap as muck at hawf a sovrin' aw think tha doesn't understand th' hen trade. Awm fair sham'd to offer' em at sich a price, an awm sewer aw hardly dar goa hooam wi th' brass." 'Nay,' aw sed, 'one word's just as gooid as a thaasand wi me, an awl stick to what aw sed, an if yo like to tak five shillin' awl buy' em, an if net yo can keep' em.' 'Tak' em wi thee,' he sed; soa aw pottered aght five shillin', an he began bawlin' 'Sowld agean' an aw had 'em under mi arms ommost afoor aw knew what aw wor dooin, an as aw wor walkin' away he pool'd me to one side to luk at another basketful. 'Nah,' he sed, 'yo'd better buy theeas, yo can have 'em at th' same price, an they're better nor them. Wod yo like a two-or-three ducks or a couple o' pigeons?' 'Aw want noa moor to-day,' aw sed, 'but awst like to know if all theeas belang to yo?' 'All tha sees i' this row belangs to me,' he sed, 'an if tha wants onny tha'll finnd me here ivery Setterdy, an awl sell thee owt aw have at thi own price,' 'Well aw should think yo'll be able to keep th' bums off if yo sell all them,' aw sed, an aw started for hooam, but somehah aw didn't feel just as weel suited wi mi bargain as aw thowt aw should, an aw wor bothered aboon a bit wi wonderin' whear to put 'em, for awd noa room for 'em nobbut ith cellar, an that wor as dark as a booit, but, hahivver, aw thowt they'd be a bit o' company for me, for aw wor oft varry looansome, an aw should be able to have a fresh egg for mi braikfast whenivver aw liked. As sooin as aw gate hooam aw lit a cannel an went into th' cellar, takkin care to shut th' door after me, an then aw unteed ther legs an set 'em at liberty. They worn't a varry prime lot, but aw didn't care for that, for it wor th' eggs aw wanted. Th' cock gave hissen a shak, an set up sich a cock-a-doodle-doo wol aw wor ommost deeafened—aw nivver heeard sich a voice i' mi life—if he'd been trained he'd ha been a rare leeader for a rorytory—an wol aw wor wonderin' if it ud be safe to leeav 'em as they wor wol aw went to fotch 'em some screenins, one oth hens flew onto th' shelf whear aw kept all mi jock an stuff. 'That'll niver do,' aw thowt, soa aw went towards it to tak it off, when th' cock tried to foller, an wafted th' cannel aght wi his wings an let fair at th' top o' my heead, so aw grabbed at th' shelf to steady misen, when daan it coom wi all th' plates an pots, an sich a clatter an crash yo'd ha thowt th' haase had tummeld. Th' milk wor all spilt, an th' breead an cheese wor rollin' amang th' coils, an a bowl o' broth had emptied itsen onto th' front o' mi clean shirt, an aw wor sylin weet throo mi neck to mi feet. Th' hens wor chuckin' i' different corners, an th' cock started crowin' laader bi th' hawff, an aw tried mi best to groap mi way up th' steps into th' haase. Aw managed at last, an if yo could ha seen me as' aw lukt just then, yo'd ha believed aw should niver be able 'to get cleean agean. Mi heead wor covered wi mail, an mi clooas wor sooaked wi broth an ornamented wi bits o' chopt carrots, an turnips, an onion skins, an hawf a pund o' butter wor stickin' to one booit heel an pairt ov a suet dumplin' to t'other, an as aw wor standin' wonderin' which end to begin at to set things straight, a young woman 'at lived next door coom in to ax me if awd been buyin' some hens, for shoo'd heeard th' cock crowin', an when shoo saw me i' sich a pickle shoo held up her hands an skriked as if awd getten mi throit cut. 'Whativver has ta been dooin?' shoo sed. 'Tha'rt fair flaysum to luk at.', Shut th' door, Dorothy,' aw sed, 'an come in an see if yo can help me aght o' this mess;' soa she put th' door to, an aw tell'd her all hah it had happened. 'Why,' shoo sed, 'tha mun tak all thi clooase off, for they'll have to goa into th' tub-ther'll nowt ivver get that greeas off but bailin' watter an weshin licker; goa upstairs an get 'em all off an fling 'em daan to me, an awl see if aw can do owt wi 'em.' 'Awl pay yo whativver yo charge,' aw sed, 'an if aw dooant screw yond cock an hens' necks raand it'll be becoss awve changed mi mind!' 'O tha'll manage weel enuff wi 'em after this,' shoo sed, 'tha knows th' hen trade is like ivverything else, it wants sombdy 'at understands it; but that cock's a rare voice; is it a young un? Sithee, th' childer's standin' ith middle oth yard wonderin' wheal th' noise comes throo.'

Aw went up stairs an tuk off all mi clooas an threw' em daan to Dorothy, an a grand lot they lukt, an awd just pool'd on mi warty britches when shoo called aght, 'David, David! I come this minnit! Th' childer's oppend th' cellar winder an letten th' cock aght!' Daan stairs aw flew withaat stoppin' to festen mi gallowses or put mi booits on, an as sooin as aw went aght th' lads set up a shaat an th' cock flew into a chamber winder at t'other side o' th' yard. Th' naybors all coom runnin' aght, an Dorothy foller'd me wi mi clooas tukt under her arm, an a shirt sleeve an a britches slop trailin' behund her. Aw ran into th' haase after th' cock, an' withaat spaikin a word to Sam or his dowter, 'at wor just at ther dinner, aw baanced upstairs and shut th' winder to mak sure 'at it couldn't get aght, an then aw called aght, 'It's nobbut me, Sam, my new cock's flown into your window, an awve coom'd for it, wi ta help me to catch it?' 'Why, has ta nobbut just getten aght o' bed? Aw think it ud seem thee better to put thi clooas on befoor tha cooms runnin' into a body's haase this fashion, scarin' ivverybbody aght o' ther wits.'

'Yo mun excuse me this time,' aw sed, 'its noa fault o' mine. Come an help me to catch this chap.' Soa they booath coom up, but that cock had made up his mind net to be catched, an he'd peearkt up fair at top oth bed heead, an he set up another crow wi as mich impudence as if he'd been on his own middin. Sam made a grab at it, an it flew to th' winder-bottom, upsettin two plant-pots, an we all made a rush for it, but it slipt past an swept all th' chany ornaments off th' mantel-shelf an made a dive at th' chimley, an away it went aght oth seet. Th' lass skrikt wi all her might, an Sam shaated, an aw made as mich din as aw could tryin' to keep 'em quiet, an th' cock screamed ith chimley wor nor a railway whistle. Bi this time ther wor a craad o' thirty or forty fowk aghtside, an they wor callin aght for th' police, for they seemed to think ther wor one or two gettin' murdered at least, an things began to luk serious. 'Tha'll have a bonny penny to pay for this,' sed Sam. 'Ha can ta feshun? Just luk at all them ornaments brokken to bits, an th' plants an stuff destroyed! Tak that cock aght oth chimley an get aght o' here as sharp as tha can, an nivver let me see thee nor owt belangin to thee agean!' Aw sed nowt, for aw saw he wor riled, an aw didn't wonder at it, soa aw put mi hand up th' flue, an aw could feel its legs, but it seemed to be wedged fast. 'It's here,' aw sed, 'but awm feeard aw can't get it withaat hurtin' it.'

'Ger aght oth gate,' he sed, 'aw care nowt abaat hurtin' it! Awl stir it, or else awl rive it's legs off!' an he shov'd his arm up, an daan it coom an browt all th' sooit wi it, an flapt it into us faces wol we wor ommost smoored.

Aw seized hoid oth burd an made th' best o' my way aghtside, an as sooin as aw showed mi face ther wor a reglar yell, an they all squandered to let me pass. Th' chaps had getten pooakers an tangs, an th' wimmen wor armed wi umbrellas an tooastin forks, an then aw turned raand an axed 'em whot ther wor to do. Just then Sam an his dowter coom aght, an when they saw me ommost undrest, wi mi face grimed wi sooit an mi heead whitened wi mail, an Sam an his lass lukkin varry little better, it set some oth chaps laffin, an aw went inside an festened th' door, an puffin' an blowin' like a brokken-winded horse, aw sat daan convinced 'at that chap wor reight when he sed aw knew nowt abaat th' hen trade.

But th' noise aghtslde gate laader, an th' wimmen's voices wor raised to th' screamin' pitch, soa aw ventured to luk aght, an' thear wor poor Dorothy ith middle ov a duzzen wimmen 'at wor shakkin ther umbrellas an tooastin forks ovver her heead, wol one on em wor holdin' up mi Sundy shirt, an other two wor tryin' to divide mi breeches between 'em, an ther wor sich a hullaballoo as yo nivver heeard. 'Tha's war nor him bi th' hawf!' sed one. 'What business as shoo wi his dooas under her arm, aw should like to know. It's a disgrace to ivvery woman ith fold, that's what it is!' sed another; an aw began to see 'at that cock had been th' meeans o' gettin' her into trouble as well as me.

Aw thowt th' best thing aw could do wor to leeave 'em to settle it amang thersen, soa aw went an gate weshed an donned, an it seems bi th' time aw wor ready to goa aght they'd managed to get hold oth reight end oth tale, an aw wor met wi a shaat o' laffin throo th' men, an even th' wimmen smiled, tho' some on 'em shook ther heeads in a mysterious sooart ov a way, as mich as to gie me to understand 'at they'd let me off that once, but if awd onny desire to keep ther gooid opinion awd better net get into another scrape oth same sooart. Aw knew they threw a gooid deal o' blame onto poor Dorothy, an aw wor varry sooary it wor soa, for shoo wor a nice quiet young woman, an tewed hard to keep hersen respectable, an noabdy hed a word to say agean her, nobbut shoo kept a tom-cat 'at worn't partiklar whooas dish he put his nooas in.

Aw nivver went near them hens agean wol Mundy mornin'. Aw knew they wor in a land flowing wi broth an breead, but ther wor noa fear on me forgettin' 'em, for that cock crowed wol he wor hooarse. Ther wornt one chap i' that fold 'at worn't up i' time for his wark o' Mundy mornin', an as for misen awd hardly a wink o' sleep all th' neet.

Aw wor foorced to stop in all th' day o' Sundy, becoss o' mi clooas bein' at Dorothy's, an when Mundy coom aw went daan ith cellar an cut' em all their heeads off, an detarmined to cook 'em all three an invite th' wimmen to ther drinkin', an see if aw couldn't mak things pleasant ageean. Aw saw a nay bar hingin' up some clooas, soa aw tell'd her what aw intended to do, an awd noa need to mention it to onnybody else, for th' news hed flown to ivvery haase i' less nor five minnits.

Dorothy browt me mi clooas back o' Tuesdy, an they luk'd ommost as gooid as new, an aw invited' em all to ther drinkin' for Fridy neet, an then aw went an bowt two pot dogs an a stag for Sam's dowter, an aw wor luk'd on as th' king oth fold. It wor a varry little haase for abaat twenty fowk, but aw cleared all aght, an put tables ith middle an cheers raand th' sides, an contrived raam for 'em all. Aw dooant think yo ivver hed onny experience i' cookin' for yorsen, nivver name cookin' for other fowk, but aw considered misen a varry gooid hand, an aw can assure yo when aw stewed them hens an rooasted th' cock, an boiled some puttates, an made a pile o' tooast, an some strong teah flavored wi rum, 'at it wor a set aght net to be despised.

All wor ready an promised for a success, an aw could see th' wimmen bobbin' aght o' one door into another wi ther new caps on, an aw saw bi th' clock 'at it nobbut wanted a quarter ov an haar befoor they'd be all thear, sea aw tuk a can an went to th' pump for some clean watter, so as we could keep th' kettle filled up, an aw left th' door oppen. Aw wornt aboon a minnit away, but as aw wor comin' back, what should aw see but that tom-cat o' Dorothy's comin' aght oth door wi abaat hawf a hen in his maath. Away it ran hooam an me after it; net 'at aw cared soa mich abaat th' loss oth mait, for aw knew we should hey enuff, but aw wor mad to think 'at after all mi trouble to cook it aw should be served i' sich a way.

Dorothy wor upstairs, an away it went to her, but aw didn't foller, for awd net forgetten th' bother awd been in at Sam's; but wimmen's all alike, they can nivver keep ther maath shut, an noa sooiner did shoo see it nor shoo set up a screeam an, ov coarse, that wor th' signal for ivvery woman ith fold to fly aght, for they wor all set waitin' for th' time for ther drinkin'. 'Ger aght wi thee! Tha nasty thief!' shoo sed, an aw could hear her chasin' it raand an raand, singin' aght, 'Ha can ta fashion, tha nasty gooid-fer-nowt? Awl hey thee hung for it befoor tha'rt a day older!' Daanstairs it coom ageean, an aw oppen'd th' door an ran it aght, an as aw foller'd it th' wimmen rushed past me in a body an all cried aght at once, 'What's he been dooin to thee, Dorothy? Shame on him!' Aw went into mi awn haase, an left Dorothy to mak what explanation shoo thowt best, for aw felt sewer aw should mak matters war if aw stopt. Aw dooant know what shoo sed, but they sooin all coom in laffiin an tawkin, tho' nah an then throwin' aght a sly hint at Dorothy an me, but aw wor too thrang to tak mich noatice, an' shoo'd moor sense. As they wor all wed fowk but her an me, it wor agreed 'at shoo should sarve aght th' teah, an' awd to sarve th' mait an stuff. They made a gooid deal o' fun, an th' braan creeam helpt th' teah daan famously, th' tooast seem'd ommost to melt away, an th' stewed hens didn't last long, but th' cock didn't seem to be in as mich favor. Noabdy wanted helpin' twice, an as awd taen a deeal a' pains to cook it aw felt rayther disappointed. 'Nan get on an mak a gooid drinkin',' aw says; 'does onnybody say a bit moor o' this cock?' But it wor all noa use, aw axd 'em an axd 'em wol aw wor fair stalled, an th moor aw tried to persuade' em an th' moor they laft.

'Just thee try a bit thisen,' sed one, 'an then tha'll see hah it is we want noa moor: Soa aw tried a bit, an awl be blest if it wornt like gutty percha. Awd some varry gooid teeth, but they could do nowt wi it. Aw wor varry soary abaat it, but it couldn't be helpt, an they all sed they'd nivver had a better drinkin' i' ther life, soa one or two helpt me to side th' table an straighten up a bit, for ther husbands wor all ta coom an hey a smook an a drop o' summat short after they'd eoom throo ther wark.

'What mun aw do wi what's left o' this rooast cock?' aw sed.

'Give it to Dorothy's tom-cat!' sed Sam's dowter.

'If it gets its teeth fast it'll pull its heead off!' sed another.

'An mich matters if it did,' sed owd Sarah; 'for it's a plague i' this fold, for yo can keep nowt aght ov it's rooad.'

'Aw think th' best plan ud be,' sed Sam, as he popp'd in his heead, 'for David an Dorothy to mak it up between' em, an then we'll all join an give' em a weddin' dinner, for awm sewer ther booath looansome, an as David's hed noa luck wi his poultry, an Dorothy's cat's allus getten her i' trouble, aw think nah as yo've swallered th' poultry shoo should hang th' cat, an then they could mak a fair start ith world, an aw believe ther isn't a nayhor 'at willn't gladly give 'em a lift.'

'This seemed to fall in wi ivverybody's ideas except mine and Dorothy's, an we sed nowt. Th' chaps coom in a bit, an a reight jolly lot they wor, an when th' wimmen tell'd 'em what a toff owd customer th' cock hed turned aght, they sed it ud be a gooid name for me, soa they kursened me Moorcock, an awve been known bi that name ivver sin. Yo'd hardly think' at Dorothy wod have agreed to become Dolly Drake, but shoo did, an th' naybors wor as gooid as ther word, an when we gate wed we sat daan to as grand a dinner as ivver yo'd wish to see, an monny a little thing we have nah 'at wor gein to us then towards haasekeepin'.

"But some way or other soa monny fowk gate to know abaat her tom-cat, an they used to come ta Iuk at it, far shoo wadn't hang it, an they made sich gam abaat it wol we coom up to this quiet corner, pairtly to get aght oth gate on 'em, an pairtly becoss aw anlls liked th' country best, soa here we are, just as yo see us, an here it's varry likely we shall stop till one on us is fotched away in a black box. Th' owd tom-cat's deead, an aw stuffed it, an yo can see it at top oth clock, so nah 'Yo know th' reason awm called 'Owd Moorcock.'"

"Ther's nivver noa end to thy tongue when it gets runnin'," sed Dolly: "th' supper's been ready for long enuff, an if tha hasn't tawkt him booath hungry an dry bi this time he's able to stand it better nor me."

We knocked th' ashes aght ov us pipes an went in to supper. It did'nt last long, an after thankin' 'em for ther hospitality an information aw shook hands an bid 'em gooid neet, an it'll be a long time befoor aw forget mi visit to, "Owd Moorcock."


Peace Makkin.

"Honest confession is gooid for th' soul," they say, an aw may as weel confess at once 'at awve been a fooil. Happen yo'll say "that's nowt fresh," but beggin' for pardon this is summat fresh. Yo'll happen think 'at awve been bettin' at Donkeystir Races, or 'at awve been bun for a chap in a money club, or 'at awve bowt a share in a manufacturin' company, limited, or 'at awve started th' newspaper business, or takken a hotel, or 'at awve joined th' Mormons, or 'at awve getten into a law suit. But whichivver yo'd guessed yo'd be sewer to be 'wrang. All awve been tryin' to do has been to act as a peeace makker, an if awd carried it on for onny length o' time, aw should ha been made into sich a lot o' pieces misen 'at it wod ha takken a besom to sweep me up.

Just anent awr haase lives a old cross-grained chap 'at's getten wed to a varry nice lass, an' as he's a bit o' brass an' shoo's a lump o' beauty, yo'd think they should live together as happy as two turtle doves. But awm sooary to say 'at sich isn't th' case, for they generally get up abaat hawf-past eight an have a feight befoor nine. Awm a varry tender-hearted sooart ov a customer, an awm sewer it's monny a time made mi heart bleed to see an hear ther goins on. Somehah or other awd allus sided wi th' wife, tho' aw nivver knew what th' rows have been abaat, an ov coorse soa long as they kept 'em i' ther own haase aw couldn't interfere. But t'other day, abaat a wick sin, they wor gooin it war an war, an shoo coom runnin' into th' street wi her hair all daan an her gaon ommost riven off her back, an he rushed aght after her wi a umbrella in his hand, strikin' at her reight an left, all all shoo had to protect hersen wi wor th' rollin' pin. Thinks aw to misen, this sooart o' thing has gooan far enuff, an as awd just been readin' abaat th' "atrocities," aw fancied misen England an him Turkey an her a poor Bulgarian, an aw determined awr wodn't see a poor inoffensive young woman ill-treated bi a brute like that, soa just as he wor gettin' ready to strike her daan into th' eearth, aw stept behund him an planted mi naive at th' back ov his ear, an he rolled ovver like a skittle pin. Just as he fell awd an idea 'at awd been struck wi leetnin or else ther wor an eearthquake, for a summat dropped onto mi heead wi sich a foorce 'at aw saw some oth grandest fireworks awd ivver seen, an aw sat daan wi sich a bang 'at awm sewer aw must ha left mi impression pratty deep somewhear. When aw began to collect mi scattered thowts aw saw her standin' ovver me quaverin' th' rollin' pin aboon mi heead to prevent onnybody hittin' me ageean. When aw gate up aw began to reason wi misen as to what had been to do, an aw couldn't help thinkin' 'at that rollin' pin hed summat to do wi th' lump o' mi heead. Aw felt sooary then 'at awd been soa rash as to knock th' old chap daan, an aw went to beg his pardon an sympathise wi him.

"Shoo's a shocker," he sed, "ther's nubdy knows what aw have to put up wi. Shoo ill-uses me throo morn to neet, an awm feeard o' mi life." Just then shoo made a dash at him as if shood made up her mind to knock his heead cleean off, soa aw catched hold ov her arm an gave her a swing raand 'at landed her just abaat th' same spot 'at awd left a minit befoor. Aw dooant know whether ivver yo've been hit at top oth heead wi a old-fashioned umbrella or net, but if yo have, yo know it's nooan a varry pleasant thing, for it seems to strike you i' three or four places at once. Whether th' owd chap hit me in a mistak or he did it o' purpose awve niver had th' chance to find aght, for things seem'd to get a gooid deeal mixt just abaat that that time, an all aw know is 'at awve been i' bed for ommost a wick, an awm soa stiff yet wol aw can hardly stir. One hawf o' mi heead is covered wi stickin' plaister, an awm covered wi black an blue marks throo mi neck to mi knees. As aw sit at th' winder suppin' mi gruel, aw can hear th' rows gooin on across th' street just as usual, an if they keep at it wol aw interfere agean they willn't have to drop it just yet, for it's towt me 'at it's best to let fowk feight ther own battles, for when it's nobbut one to one they've booath a chonce, but when it's two to one it's vary oft rough for th' one.


Awr Emma—A False Alarm.

"Aw dooan't know what tha thinks abaat it, Isaac, but aw know ther's summat nooan reight. Aw went to see awr Emma last neet, an' shoo doesn't luk a bit like hersen: an' if shoo hadn't been rooarin' awl nivver trust mi een agean. It's some sooart o' bother shoo's havin' wi' yond felly o' hers, depend on't. Aw warned her enuff befoar shoo gate wed, an' tawk'd to her wol aw wor fair stall'd, but nowt 'ud do but shoo mud have him, an' if shoo hasn't getten her hands full aw'm capt."

"Why, lass, aw dooan't know what reason tha has for sayin' soa, for aw'm sewer they seem varry comfortable together, an' aw've nivver heeard her say a word agean him, an' he seems as steady as old gold. Shoo wor happen low spirited last neet, or had a bit o' th' heead wark."

"Tha needn't try to lap it up; aw can guess eggs when aw see shells, an' aw know as well as if shoo'd tell'd me wi' her own lips 'at ther's summat at's nooan reight. Shoo's far too gooid for him, an' aw all us sed soa, an' if shoo'd ha' ta'en my advice shoo'd ha' waited wol shoo'd met wi' som'dy fitter for her. But shoo's thy temper to nowt, an' if shoo sets her mind on a thing, it's noa moor use tawkin' to her nor spittin' aght. Aw'm nooan soa mich up o' theas chaps 'at's as steady as old gold: they're varry oft moor decaitful bi th' hauf, an' when aw come to think on it, aw remember he didn't behave just as aw could ha' liked him if he'd just been wed to me, th' first day they wor wed, for he'd hardly a word to say to awr Emma at dinner time, but he could gabble fast enuff to that lass o' Amos's, an' if shoo wor a child o' mine aw'd awther tak' some o' that consait aght on her or else aw'd tak' th' skin off her back."

"Tha'rt too perticlar bi hauf. Tha allus luks at th' black side o' ivverything. Tha may depend on't awr Emma knows what shoo's dooin', an' tha'd far better leave 'em to feight it aght thersen if ther's owt wrang, for tha knows it nivver does to interfere between man an' wife, tha tell'd me that monny a year sin' when mi mother sed a word to thee."

"Eea, but that wor a varry different matter, for thi mother knew tha'd getten a wife wi' a deeal moor sense nor thee, an' a deeal moor feelin' too, for aw believe tha cares noa moor for yond lass o' thine nor if shoo wor nowt related to thi': but aw'm different, an' if that gooid-fer-nowt 'at shoo's thrown hersen away on, doesn't treat her as he owt to do, aw'l mak this taan too hot for him, or my' name isn't Angelina!"

"Why, lass, tha can do as tha likes, but aw think tha'll find it best to let 'em manage ther own affairs, an' aw dooan't suppooas awr Emma 'll get throo this life withaat a bit o' trubble nah an' then same as other fowk. Aw'm sewer aw connot; an' shoo's noa better nor me."

"Isn't shoo? But if aw thowt shoo worn't, aw'd nivver own her as one o' mine! But aw'd like to know what trubble tha's ivver had except what tha's browt o' thisen wi' thi own contraryness an' fooilishness? If ivver ther wor a chap 'at went throo' this world wi' silver slippers it's thee, for tha's ivverything done to thi hand, an' aw've been a slave to thee ever sin aw gat thee, an' nivver had ony thanks for it nawther; but aw dooan't want awr Emma to be trampled into th' earth as aw've been, an' shoo shalln't be, if aw know on it, for aw'l fotch her back hooam an' sharply too."

"Aw tell thi tha can do just as tha's a mind, an' aw'm sewer aw didn't know tha had been trampled on, for tha's been booath maister and mistress i' this shop ivver sin aw knew thi."

"Eea an' aw meean to be booath maister an' mistress, an' if tha'd a heart i' thi belly as big as a beean tha wodn't sit daan quietly as tha does, when tha hears 'at one o' thi own flesh an' blooid is pining away."

"Aw didn't know shoo wor pining away, for aw'm sewwer shoo's gettin' as fat as a pig, an' aw think it'll be time enuff to interfere when shoo grummels hersen."

"Tha tawks like a fooil, Isaac, an' aw've tell'd thi so over an' over agean. Tha knows shoo isn't like thee, at cries aght befoar tha'rt hurt, but aw'l waste noa moor wind o' thee for aw'l put on mi bonnet an' shawl an' goa up to their haase this minit, an' see if aw can't find aght what's to do, an' try to put things into a reight shap'." Soa shoo put on her things an' leavin' Isaac to luk after th' stew 'at wor i' th' oven, shoo sailed off in a famous flurry to have a tawk wi' Emma. It wor'nt monny minits walk, an' as shoo put th' speed on shoo managed to get thear befoar her temper cooiled, an' oppenin' th' door shoo stept in an' sed, "Nah, Emma, lass, aw've come to see ha' tha art this mornin'?"

"Aw'm first rate, mother," sed Emma, "Aw'm rare an' glad to see yo', but what's browt yo' here this mornin'?"

"Aw know tha artn't furst rate, an' it's noa use thee tellin' me 'at tha art, for aw've com'd here to know th' truth, an' aw'm detarmined tha shall tell me, for aw've hardly been able to sleep a wink sin aw wor here last neet, an' aw've been tawkin' to thi father this mornin', but one mud just as well whistle jigs to a mile-stoop an' expect it to dance as tawk to him an' expect to get ony sense aght on him, but aw want to know what bother tha's been havin' wi' that felly o' thine an' what he'd been dooin' to thi 'at made thee soa sorrowful last neet? Nah, dooan't goa raand th' corners, but come straight to th' point. Aw've nooan been wed all theas years but what aw know what poor wives have to put up wi'. Has he been drinkin'?"

"Nay, mother, yo' munnot tawk like that, for aw'm sewer ther' wor nivver a better man tied to a woman nor my Bob, an' yo' know he's a teetotaller, soa ther's noa fear on him gooin' on th' spree."

"Aw'm nooan soa sewer abaat that, an' if he doesn't drink he varry likely does war. Mun, aw know what men are, an' tha has it to leearn yet. Tha'n screen him all tha can, aw know that, just same as aw have to do thi father, but tha connot deceive me, aw've lived to' long to be easily chaited."

"Aw dooan't want to chait yo', mother, an' aw've nought to screen Bob for, for aw dooan't know 'at he's a fault, unless it is his thinkin' soa mich o' me."

"A'a, poor fooilish 'child! He thinks nooan too mich o' thee, net he marry! He doesn't think hauf enuff, or else he'd nooan goa on as he does! Aw tak' noa noatice o' ther coaxin' an' fondlin'; it's all mak'-believe, an' as long as they can manage to get all they want for a soft word or two they'll give yo' plenty on 'em, but aw know' em, an' they can't come ovver me. Ther' isn't a pin to choose amang th' best on 'em, for they're all as full o' decait as an egg's full o' mait. But aw want to know what wor th' reason tha wor lukkin' soa cut-up and daan-trodden last neet?"

"Why, mother, you're altogether wrang this time. Aw wor raythur low spirited last neet, but it's nowt yo' can blame him for, for aw'm sewer he works hard ivvery day, an' if he doesn't haddle as mich as he did it's noa fault o' his. An' this last two or three wicks his wage has been less bi five shillin' nor it used to be, an' at th' price o' mait an' stuff nah, it's hard wark to mak' ends meet, an' what aw wor trubbled abaat last neet wor becoss aw'd nowt to set him for his supper except a basin o' porrige, an' that isn't mich for a chap 'at's been tewin' all th' day, tho' he nivver says a wrang word what ther' is."

"An' what should he grummel for, aw'st like to know? Bless mi life if he had to goa withaat for a time or two what bi that? Ther's better fowk nor him had to goa baaht supper befoor to-day! He gets as gooid stuff as thee, an' better too, aw'l be bun' for't! But aw should like to know ha' it is 'at his wage is five shillin' a wick less nor it wor, for aw've heeard nowt abaat ony on 'em bein' bated, an' aw should ha' done if they had, for ther's two or three lives i' awr street 'at works at th' same shop, an' they'd ha' been safe to tell me. But what does he say abaat it?"

"He's nivver sed nowt, an' aw've nivver ax'd him, for he allus gives me all he has ov a Friday neet, an' aw mak' it do as weel as aw can."

"Raillee! Emma! aw think tha gets less wit ivvery day! Ha' can ta' tell what he's dooin' wi that five shillin' a wick if tha nivver axes him? But tha mun ax him! It's thi duty! Depend on't he's spendin' it i' some way 'at's nooan too gooid, or else he'd let thee know. But it's thy affair, net mine; aw've nowt to do wi' it, an' aw've net com'd to interfere; but aw should like to know if tha's seen Amos's dowter lately?"

"Shoo wor here this mornin' befoor yo' coom. Shoo luks in for a minit or two nab an' then."

"Oh! Has ta' noaticed whether shoo's getten owt new latly?"

"Eea, shoo'd a new bonnet on this mornin', an' varry weel shoo luk't in it!"

"Aw wonder whear shoo gets her new bonnets an' stuff, it's cappin' to me, but aw've a nooashun shoo doesn't buy 'em wi' her own brass. Let's see. Bob used to lodge wi' Amos befoor yo' gate wed, didn't he?"

"Eea, they thowt as mich on him as one o' ther own, an aw know nowt abaat whose brass shoo buys her things wi', but aw nivver heeard 'at shoo wor i' debt for owt, an' aw can't see' at we've owt to do wi' it."

"N'oa, an' tha can see nowt! But ther' is 'at can see if tha cannot, but as tha says it's nowt to us; but if aw wor a wife aw should want to know whear my husband tuk his five shillin' a wick."

"Ther's mi father commin', he's seekin' yo' aw expect."

"Aw'l be bun' for't! If aw stir off th' doorstun he's after me! What's browt thee here?"

"Th' childer's come hooam to ther dinner an' they're all waitin'."

"Couldn't ta tell' em to get that stew aght o' th' oven?"

"Aw know nowt abaat th' stew."

"Hasn't ta stirred it up an' put some moor watter in as aw tell'd thi?"

"Aw nivver heeard thi say nowt abaat it."

"A'a tha art a lumpheead if ivver ther' wor one i' this world! Why, it'll be burnt as dry as a chip! Aw mun be off! Gooid mornin', lass, an' see' at tha taks care o' thisen whativver comes o' other fowk, an' when aw've a bit moor time aw'l slip up to comfort thee a bit agean. Tha's noa need to come for ony dinner, Isaac, for ther'll be nooan for thi."

"All reight lass, aw'm nooan langin', for aw gate that bit o' pie 'at wor i'th' cubbord."

"An' tha'd ha' etten th' cubbord too, if it had been pie! Come stir thi!"

Chapter II.

A few wicks passed by, an' Angelina couldn't find aght what became ov her son-i'-law's five shillin's, an' tho' shoo kept een an' ears wide oppen to catch a whisper agean him, shoo saw, nor heeard newt. But her mind wor ill at ease, for shoo'd managed to convince hersen 'at ther wor summat nooan reight, an' becoss shoo couldn't find owt shoo put it daan to his decait, an' shoo generally finished up wi' sayin' 'at her dowter wor a fooil an' Bob wor a deep 'en. At last th' mystery had to be unveiled an' her mind set at rest.

One neet a little lass knock'd at th' door, an' sed 'at Emma had sent her to tell her an' Isaac to go a to see her as sooin as ivver they could.

"Nah then! What did aw tell thi? It's come at last, an' aw knew it wad I But if he's raised a finger o' his to hurt a hair ov her heead aw'l fotch law on him if aw have to sell up dish an' spooin! put this stickin' plaister i' thi pocket, an' theas cammomile flaars, an' poppy heeads, an' let's be off this minit!"

"What's th' stickin' plaister an' all this stuff for?". sed Isaac.

"Tha'll see what it's for sooin enuff! A'a, aw wish sometimes aw'd flivver been born! It's a bonny come off to bring childer into th' world an' keep' em an' luk after' em till they grow up to be treated war nor dogs!"

Isaac shov'd th' stuff into his pockets an' wor off after her as sooin as he could, for shoo'd stirred him up a bit, an' he gript his walkin' stick an' pooled his hat ovver his een as mich as to say he thowt it high time to let fowk know what they wor abaat. As sooin as they gate i'th' seet o'th' haase he sed, "Ther's noa fowk abaat that's one blessin'; if ther's been a row they must ha' been varry quite abaat it."

"Shoo'd niver utter a word if shoo wor to be riven i' bits, shoo's too mich like me for that, A'a, aw little thowt aw should ivver have to come o' sich o' eearand as this!"

They didn't stop to knock, but oppen'd th' door, an' thear they saw Bob an' Emma sittin' at th' teah-table lukkin' as cheerful an' as happy as could be.

"Come in, booath on yo'," sed Emma, "Yo'r just i' time for a cup o' teah. We didn't expect yo' quite as sooin, but yo'r allus welcome."

"Why yond lass tha sent coom wi' sich a tale wol we wor sewer ther' munt be summat serious to do, an' we started off withaat wastin' a minit."

"Aw'm glad yo've com'd," sed Bob, "We've getten summat to show yo', but yo' mun have a cup o' teah furst."

"What have aw to do wi' all this stickin' plaister an' stuff?" sed Isaac.

"Can't ta keep it i' thi pocket an' say nowt apaat it, softheead! Tha wants a piece on it across thi macth."

"Whativver made yo' bring stickin' plaister, mother, yo' sewerly didn't think ther'd been ony feightin'?"

"Does fowk nivver want ony stickin' plaister nobbut when they've been feightin'? Ha could aw tell but what one o' yo' had tummel'd onto th' foire, or getten scalded or summat? Thi father browt it, it wor nooan o' me."

"Eea, aw browt it, but—"

"But—Tha can hold thi noise an' tak' it back, for if ther'd been ony use for it tha'd ha' been sewer to ha' forgetten it. But let's see what this thing is 'at tha's sent for us to luk at, for aw can get noa drinkin' unless aw know what it is."

"Well, come yo're ways into this raam," sed Emma, "Here it is, an' tell me what yo' think on it."

"Why aw'l be shot if it isn't a sewin' machine! An' a grand en it is; but ha' mich have yo' to give for it?"

"Ther's nowt to give for it, becoss it's all paid for. Bob's bowt it me aght o'th' brass he's been savin'."

"Then that's whear his five shillin' a wick has been gooin'?"

"Eea, an' moor nor that, for he'd getten a raise of hauf a craan, an' he nivver tell'd me, becoss he wanted to buy this for mi birthday."

"What did aw tell thi, Emma? Didn't aw say 'at tha could trust Bob? They can't deceive me. Aw can tell a straightforrad chap as sooin as aw see him."

"Nah, tha sees Angelina," sed Isaac, "Things isn't just as black as tha thowt they wor, an' aw tell'd thi—"

"Tha tell'd me nowt, an' aw dooan't want thi to tell me owt; goa sit thi daan to thi drinkin' an' let thi mait stop thi maath.'"


Niver Judge by Appearances.

If yo niver heeard tell o' that doo 'at Broddington an Clarkson once had, aw'll tell yo abaat it; for when aw heeard on it aw lafft wol my bally wark'd, aw did forshure. Yo mun understand at Broddington kept a butcher's shop i' Snicket loin an Clarkson kept a puttaty shop ith same row. Well, it soa happen'd 'at Broddington's shop wor too big for him, an Clarkson's wor too little for him, soa they had a bit o' tawk together, an after a deeal o' bargainin, an boath swearin 'at it ud be a loss o' monny a paand, they agreed to swap. Broddington wor a single chap an lived bi hissen, but Clarkson had a wife an some bairns, an shoo wor a wife an noa mistak! for shoo'd tongue enuff for hauf a duzzen. Ther wor a sign ovver each shop wi th' name painted on, but as one wodn't fit t' other they agreed to swap signs as weel an to get' em repainted, each wi thee own name. Well, one day they set abaat flittin, an a varry hard day they had, but at last all wor comfortably arranged an nowt moor wanted dooin but names changin.

After a hard job like that, Broddington thowt he'd give hissen a bit ov a treat, an goa off on a cheap trip to Liverpool, for as it wor varry hot weather he hadn't mich to do—butchers niver have—but as he lived bi hissen, an wor a varry hard sleeper, he couldn't tell ha to manage to get up to be ready for four o'clock, an' he didn't like th' idea o' sittin up all th' neet, coss he knew if he did 'at he'd be fit for nowt all th' day. After studdin abaat it a bit an idea struck him, an' off he set to seek th' policeman 'at wor o' that beat, an get him to wakken him.

He wornt long afoor he fan him, soa he says, "Jim, aw want thee to do me a bit ov a faver if tha will." "Well, lad," he sed, "awl do it if aw can awl promise thi; what is it tha wants me to do?" "Aw want to set off o' that cheap trip tomorn 'at leaves here at four o'clock, an as awm a varry saand sleeper, aw want thee to wakken me abaat hauf-past three." "O, if that's all, awl do that an' welcome." "But tha knows," sed Broddington, "its nooan sich a easy task as tha seems to fancy, for when awm i' bed aw sleep like a stooan, an soa if aw dooant get up at once tha mun pawse th' door wol aw do." "O, awl pawse it niver fear, awl wakken thi afoor aw leave off, tha may bet thi front teeth o' that." "Well, aw darsay tha may, an awve made up mi mind to goa, but awm sich a sleepy-head 'at if aw get up its a thaasand to one aw shall goa to bed agean as sooin as iver tha turns thi back, so tha mun stop wol aw come daan stairs, an then tha shall tell me what tha thinks abaat some whisky 'at awve getten." "Leave that to me," sed Jim, "awl bet tha'll come daan afoor aw stur; if ther's ony whisky inside awl find mi way to it." "That's all right," sed Broddington, "nah awl goa hooam an' get to bed an' have a few haars sleep afoor tha comes." Soa off he went hooam, but unfortunately he'd forgetten to tell th' policeman 'at he'd flitted.

Well, old Clarkson stuck to his puttaty shop wol abaat ten o'clock an then when he'd getten shut up, he thowt he'd just goa an' spend an' haar or two wi a friend, so a as th' wife wor aght oth seet he snig'd off, an' it seems he faand ther company soa varry agreeable wol it wor ommost three o'clock when he landed hooam. He knew what a blowin up he'd be sure to get, but as his wife liked a drop o' whisky to goa to bed on, he bowt a bottle to tak hooam as a bit ov a sweetner. He crept in as quiet as he could, for he thowt if th' wife wor asleep it wad be a shame to wakken her. He tuk his booits off an' went ov his tiptooas into th' bedroom.

"O, soa tha's landed hooam agean has ta? Couldn't ta find ony body 'at ud have thi ony longer? If awd been thee awd ha done t'other bit aght. Awm capt 'at a wed chap 'at's a wife an' childer at hooam rakin aght i' this way! But ther's one thing certain, it's noa daycent place wheer tha wor wol this time oth' mornin! Niver heed! It willn't last long, aw feel awm gettin waiker ivery day—waiker ivery day; tha'll nooan ha me soa long, an' then tha can spree an' drink thi fill. Aw do, aw feel awm gettin waiker ivery day," shoo sed agean. But old Clarkson made noa reply, for he'd heeard th' same tale monny a time befoor, an' he knew if he sed he wor sooary, shoo'd say he wor a liar, an' praich him a sarmon as long as his leg abaat what he'd do if he wor sooary; an' if he sed he didn't think shoo wor waiker, shoo'd say, "Noa, aw ail nowt; ther's nivver any sympathy for me! aw mun slave mi soul aght for owt tha cares—nasty unfeelin wretch!" Well, Jim didn't spaik for he thowt "the leeast sed an th' soonest mended." But shoo wornt to be done, shoo at it ageean in another tone—"Eea, aw feel awm gettin waiker—Waiker ivery day; does ta hear what aw say?" "Hear thi," he sed, "mi ears are hoof'd wi harkenin to thi." "Eea, an they shall be hoof'd," shoo sed, "for as long as awve breath i' my body awl tell thi o' thi faults. Ha can ta fashion; but if tha doesn't alter awl niver put legs daan i' bed wi' thee agean I Shame o' thisen! but tha has na shame; tha'rt as brazzen as brass, that's what tha art!" "Nah, hold thi noise," he sed. "Sithee, aw've browt thi a bottle o' whisky; mun, awm allus thinkin on thi." "Dooant tell me sich like tales as them, for aw dooant believe thi," shoo says, "tha thinks tha can get ovver me wi a bottle o' whisky aw daresay, but tha'rt mistakken; an' aw dooant know whear tha's getten that at this time oth' mornin."

Jim kept a still tongue in his bead an' crept quietly into bed, an' it worn't long befoor they wor booath asleep.

Nah, it wor varry near time for th' polieeman to come to wakken Broddington, an' as he knew nowt abaat th' flittin he luck'd up at th' sign, an' feelin sure at he wor at th' reight shop he gave a varry gooid rat-a-tat at Clarkson's door.

"What's that?" sed his wife, jumpin up; "go daan and see."

"Net aw," sed Clarkson, "its nobbut some druffen chaps 'at's on for a spree."

"Eea, an they know whear to come it seems! A'a, if aw wor a man aw should shame to have sich like followin me."

Another rat-a-tat followed, but Clarkson wor detarmined not to get up, an' th' policeman wor just as detarmined to pail at th' door till he did get up. Rat-a-tat! rat-a-tat! went his stick time after time, wol at last old Clarkson baanced aght o' bed an threw up his winder, an' axed what he wanted; but when he saw a blue coat an' shinin buttons, he turned raand to his wife an' sed, "It's a bobby."

"Why," shoo says, "ax him what he wants."

"What does ta want?" sed Clarkson.

"Nah, then, is noa gooid tryin' to mak it strange; tha knows aw've come here for that whisky, an' awmean to have it befoor aw goa."

"O, that's it, is it?" sed his wife. "That's thee 'at's browt me th' whisky? It's grand to bring a wife whisky an' ax a policeman to come sup it."

"Aw niver ax'd onybody to come, aw dooant know what he wants."

"That's a varry nice tale, lad, but tha willn't mak me believe it; aw know better nor a policeman comin toa haase at hauf-past three ith mornin if he hadn't been sent for."

Rat-a-tat! rat-a-tat-tat! went th' policeman's stick, an old Clarkson flew to th' winder an shaats aght, "What th' d—— does ta want?"

"Nah, it's noa gooid thee puttin on an' makkin it all strange; tha mud as weel come daan sooin as lat, for tha'll ha to goa wi me an' th' whisky an' all, soa on wi them britches an come daan stairs."

"Nah, Clarkson," sed his wife, sittin up i' bed, "tell me th' truth at once; has ta getten that whisky honestly or net? If tha hasn't say so, an then awst know what to expect. Aw allus sed 'at tha'd bring me an th' childer to some end if this rakin aght ov a neet went on. A'a 'at ivver aw should ha lived to see this day!" An then shoo began rockin hersen backards an forrads, an moppin up her tears wi th' corner oth sheet.

Yo may guess what a din th' policeman made when it wakkened Broddington 'at lived six or eight doors off, an aght o' ommust ivvery winder ith row ther wor neetcaps bobbin in an aght, an some on 'em shook ther heeads an sed, "It's nobbut what aw expected; awve thowt many a time 'at if Clarkson could afford to dress his wife 'i silks an satins, 'at it didn't all come aght o' th' puttaty trade," an after that feelin remark they went back to bed.

Broddington gate up an dressed an went daan stairs to see what wor up. All at once he bethowt him abaat th' policeman, an th' fact a' th' wrang sign being ovver th' door, an he saw at once what a mistak had been made. "Well, it can't be helped," he sed, "but poor Clarkson 'll catch it aw'll bet." Soa he went daan an oppened th' door just at th' same time at Clarkson wor comin aght. When th' policeman saw Clarkson come aght an Broddington abaat twenty yards off, he luk'd a trifle soft, an after starin furst at one an then at t'other, he gave vent to his astonishment bi sarin, "Blow me tight!" Just then Mrs. Clarkson's heead show'd aght o' th' chamber winder, "O, it's all varry fine," shoo sed, "aw see ha it is; it's a made up doo throo th' beginin to th' endin; but awl have an alteration as sure as my name's Liddy:" After sayin this shoo popt back agean an went to bed, noa daat thinkin 'at shoo wor a varry ill used woman. As matters had getten to this pitch, Broddington tuk th' policeman an' Clarkson on to his haase, an after a gooid deeal a explanation, ivery body seem'd to be satisfied, an Broddington browt aght a bottle an put it i' th' middle o' th' table an invited 'em to help thersen. They did, an readily too, for th' policeman worn't a teetotaler, (an ther's summat abaat that 'at aw could nivver understand, for teetotal lecterers tell us 'at if all th' world wor teetotal 'at we should have noa murders, noa robberies, noa rows, all wod be peace an happiness an th' millenium be ushered in, an yet aw nivver met a teetotal policeman, tho ther may be sich like things, th' same as aw've heeard on ther bein white blackburds, an we know 'at policemen are th' varry chaps 'at have to keep th' peace.)

Well, glass followed glass, an Broddington decided net to set off at all, but to spend a friendly haar wi 'em, as he'd been th' cause ov a deeal o' bother, an he thowt th' best thing he could do wod be to apologize like a man an set things straight agean. Soa they all turned aght together at about a quarter to ten to goa to Clarkson's, but when they gate aght o' th' door what should they see but a lot o' furniture aghtside, an all th' appearances ov another flittin. "What's up nah, Clarkson?" sed Broddington. "Nay, aw dooant know," he sed, "but it seems to me 'at th' wife's sellin up, an shoo's sed shoo wod do monny a time; but awl put a stop to that, an sharply too." Away he went in a reglar tiff, an wanted to know who'd fotch'd his stuff aght o' th' haase, an sed he'd let' em see who wor th' maister thear. When his wife coom shoo wor fair maddled, an wanted to know what wor up. "Who's tell'd thee to sell th' furniture," he sed. "Sell th' furniture! Who is selling th' furniture, fooil! It's nobbut me 'at had it taen aght to cleean, becoss aw thowt tha wor off for th' day, an aw thowt awd do it before tha come back, sea as tha wodn't be put abaat wi th' bustle." "O, that's all reight," he sed. "Aw see nah; aw hardly thowt tha'd do as ill as that, though tha wor awful crusty this mornin; but ther's Broddington an th' policeman aghtside 'at want to come in an explain matters a bit." "Dooant bring' em here," shoo sed, "tha's been wi them to oft; it's sich like as them 'at's leeadin thee off."

"Well, we'd better have 'em in aw think, an hear what they've to say," he sed. Soa they went in, an when they'd tell'd th' tale shoo laff'd as hard as any on 'em, for shoo worn't a bad bottom'd woman though she had a tongue; soa after makkin all things straight shoo ax'd' em to have a drop o' summat, which they had, an as shoo sed, "Drink o' ony sooart wor a thing 'at shoo seldom or iver touched, though th' doctors had ordered it for her, time after time, yet considerin 'at Broddington had missed his cheap trip, an 'at all matters had been put to reights, shoo made hersen a drop o' whisky an hot watter, an as they sat tawkin an smookin they coom to th' conclusion 'at it wor nivver safe to judge bi appearances. Clarkson wor soa pleased at his wite takkin it i' sich a philosophical way, wol he bowt her a new gaan, an when th' naybors saw her turn aght in it th' next Sunday, they nodded an smiled at her as if they could like to put her into ther pockets, but as sooin as shoo'd turned her back they curl'd ther nooas an turned up th' whites o' ther eyes, an sed, in a varry mysterious way, "It'll do woll it lasts."

A'a dear I tak my advice an nivver trust to appearances.


Mi First Testimonial.

Young Gawthorp lived at t'Cat-i-t'well; some on yo may know him, he used to come to Halifax twice i' th' wick to buy his greens and stuff to hawk, an' he allus call'd at t'Tabor to get a pint as he went hooam.

Nah Chairley (his mother had kursen'd him Chairley becoss shoo wor sittin in a chair th' furst time shoo saw him); well, Chairley worn't like some country hawbucks at fancied' coss he sell'd puttates an turnips, 'at he needed no mooar knowledge nor to be able to tell th' difference between a parsnip an' a manglewurzell. Noa, Chairley had an inquirin' mind, an' if it hadn't been at one leg wor shorter nor t'other, he'd a been a sowdger, for his heart wor as brave as any greengrocer's heart cud be expected to be.

One neet he'd been to th' taan, an' wor trudgin hooam beside owd Testy—that's his donkey's name, an' aw owt to tell yo hah it happen'd to be call'd Testy; ther's nowt like explainin' things as we goa on. Chairley used to goa to th' Sunday Skooil, an' he wor allus soa weel behaved, an' hardly ivver missed a Sunday withaat bringin' his taicher awther a apple or toffy or summat, wol th' Superintendant took sich a fancy to him, 'at he determined to get up a testimonial for him; soa one day he call'd him to one side, an' strokin' his heead as tenderley as if it wor a whin bush, he sed, "Chairley tha's been a gooid lad, an' we ar detarmin'd to get up a testimonial for thi. Aw've mentioned it to th' taichers, an' they've all agreed to subscribe, an aw want thee to say what shape it shall tak." "Well," said Chairley, "if aw'm to pick, aw should like it to be as near th' shape o' Tim Hardy's as yo can get."

"What dusta meean?" sed th' Superintendent.

"Aw mean Tim Hardy's donkey."

"Nay Chairley, that'll nivver do for a Sundy skooil to give a donkey for a testimonial; that wodn't spaik weel for th' skooil—think ageean lad."

"Ther's nowt else at aw'd like, soa if yo cannot gie me that, it matters little to me what aw get; an' as for net spaikin weel for th' skooil, aw dooan't see that; Balaam's ass spake varry weel for him, an' aw dooan't see but what one mud spaik varry weel for th' taichers."

"Well lad, that's soa, an awm glad to see at tha hasn't studied thi scriptur for nowt, soa a donkey it shall be. But ther's just one thing awd like to mention, an that is; tha sees aw'm a poor workin' chap mysen, an aw'm hardly in a position to afford to give owt towards it, but it wodn't luk weel for me net to put daan mi name for summat, soa aw'! subscribe five shillings to help to buy it, an' when tha's getten it tha can pay me back i' puttates, kidney puttates, an' noa demiked ens. If tha'll agree to that, awl work this thing up for thi sharp."

"Aw'l agree." sed Chairley, soa th' thing wor all settled, an th' next Wednesday neet after th' special prayer meeting, Chairley wor called up to th' desk, an' after listenin' to a long speech, th' donkey wor browt in an presented to him, together wi' a beautiful address, painted an' illuminated on glass, wi a tollow cannel, soa's to be useful to him when hawkin' cockles an' mussels i' winter time.

Chairley wor famosly delited wi th' donkey, an when it stretched aght one hind leg, just to feel whoa it wor at stood behind it, he fairly shed tears, an' it wor some time befooar he cud get his wind back to thank' em. He tell'd 'em at that wor th' first testimonial he'd ivver had gien, an' on that accaant he should name it "Testy"; he thanked 'em one an' all, an' thowt it wor abaaght time nah for him to goa. Th' Superintendant sed he thowt soa too, an' he should advise him net to let Testy have soa many beeans for th' future, as they made his breath smell soa bad.

Soa Chairley an' Testy went hooam, an t'next morning they started aght hawkin, but it wor th' warst days bizniss he ivver had. He gate shut a mooar stuff nor ivver he'd getten shut on afooar in a wick, but his purse wor varry little heavier at neet nor it wor i'th' morning, for as t'mooast ov his customers wor connected wi th' Sunday skoal, an' they all wanted sarvin' that day, he discovered at Testy worn't likely to prove all profit after all. If a woman wanted a penny stick a ruburb shoo'd be sure to ax for a cabbage thrown in, an shoo'd say: "Tha knows tha'd nivver ha getten that donkey but for awr Simon givin' soa mich to'ards it."

When Chairley reckon'd up at neet he stud lukkin at t'donkey for a minnit an' then he sed—"Testy owd lad, aw dooant want to hurt thi feelins, but aw mun say, at if ivvery body's testimonial cost' em as mich as tha's cost me to-day, ther isn't quite as mich profit in 'em as some fowk think; an' unless ther's a lot ov Annani-asses amang my customers, th'aft abaat th' warst bargain i'th' donkey line at aw've seen for some time, for aw cud a bowt a horse wi' th' brass at wor subscribed for thee."

After that Chairley had to leeave th' Sunday skooil, for he sed if he didn't they'd ruin booath him an' Testy. Well, as aw wor sayin' Chairley an' Testy wor gooin' hooam an' bed just getten to th' Tabor, when they booath stopt for a drink. He teed up his donkey an' then went into th' tapraam for a pint a fourpny, (yo can get varry gooid fourpny at t'Tabor, ther's some body in it an noa sperrit, hah they brew it is a saycret, an' it's noa use tryin' to see throo it.) Just anent Chairley sat an owd sowdger tellin' tales abaaght different battles he'd been in, an' Chairley lizened to ivvery word as if it wor gospel, for ov cooarse he knew at noa man 'ats been in a battle wad say owt at worn't true, an' at last he sed, "Captin' aw've oft thowt aw should like to be sowdger, but yo see mi legs isn't booath just t'same length."

"That'll mak little difference," he sed, "tha'd be all th' better for that, it wodn't be as easy to put a bullet throo thi heead when it wor bobbin' up and daan, as it wod a chap at walk'd straight; but aw should advise thee to join th' artillery, that's th' regiment for thee; horse artillery, that's the ticket, tha'd just doo for that."

"Dun yo think aw should?"

"To be sewer, tha'rt just made for it."

This set Chairley a thinkin', an after treatin' th' owd sowdger wi' a pint, he set off hooam.

As he'd noab'dy else to tawk to' he tawk'd to th' donkey.

"Well Testy, what dus ta think abaaght it? Dus ta think aw should doo for a hartillery chap? They dooant have donkeys i'th' horse hartillery, or else awd tak thee. What are ta shakin' thi heead at? Well if aw doo goa, iwl mak a present o' thee to th' Sunday skooil, for aw cudn't tell what price to put on thi if aw wanted to sell thi. Hahivver, aw think it ud be a gooid thing for me to practiss a bit, an' awve two owd muskets at hooam at can be made come in, an' awl get up it' mornin' i' gooid time an practiss for an haar or soa befooar we start for bizness. It'll doo us booath gooid."

Chairley gate hooam, an' after stablin' Testy an' makkin him cumfortable, he gave him a bit o' extra corn to mak him lively next mornin'. He left t'stable sayin, "Well Testy, aw nivver thowt a makkin a war-horse aght o' thee, tho' awve seen war horses nor thee; but to morn tha'll have to be a chairger, an' if tha'rt hauf as gooid a chairger as t'chap wor at sell'd thi to th' Superintendent, tha'll doo to practiss on."

T'next mornin' Chairley gate his two muskets, an havin' teed one on th' top o' each pannier, he maanted Testy, an' rooad him to a croft at back o' th' haase.

"Nah," he says to hissen, "hah can aw pull these triggers when aw'm set up here? It caan't be done; but if aw lig on my belly on th' top of his back, aw can raich 'em then, an that'll be a better position to escape th' enemy." Soa he ligg'd his full length o' Testy's back, an tuk hold o' booath muskets wi' his fingers on th' triggers. "Nah Testy, see tha behaves thisen' for this may be a turnin' point i' thy life as weel as mine. Tha'll ha' to get used to th' smell o' paather, same as me. Nah for it," he sed, an' he shut his een an' whisper'd, "one, two, three—off!" He pooled booath triggers, booath muskets went off, an' Chairley went off at th' same time, an' soa did one o' Testy's ears, an' when Chairley lukk'd up Testy wor stanin' on his fore legs, sparrin' away wi' his heels, as lively as yo'd wish to see. Chairley maniged to sam hissen together, an' findin' at he worn't killed, he went to mak friends ageean wi' Testy; an' if ivver ther wor two disconsolate lukkin' jackasses i' this world, it wor them two.

"Well, this is a bonny come off," he sed, "tha'rt a bigger donkey nor aw tuk thi for. Had ta noa mooar sense nor to put thi ear i'th' front ova gun. Tha cud a heeard it goa off withaat lizenin' soa clois?

"Well, aw wish tha wor nicely aght o' mi hands. What to do wi thi nah aw connot tell, unless aw cut off t'other ear to match, an' tee a bunch o' horsehair to thi tail an' see if aw connot mak a galloway aght on thi; an' if aw doo that, aw expect tha willn't be able to keep thi maath shut, an' that voice o' thine 'll let ivvery body know. But hahivver aw mun try an' bandage that heead o' thine up an' then see what aw can do, for ther'll be noa hawkin' to-day, an' noa mooar hartillery practiss."

Chairley weshed th' donkey's heead, an' put some sauve on to his ear, an' teed it up as weel as he cud, an' then turned him inta th' croft an' sat daan wonderin' hah to spend th' day.

Nah ther wor nowt Chairley wor fonder on nor kite flyin', an' as he had a kite ommost as big as hissen, he thowt he mud as weel amuse hissen a bit; soa he fotched it, an' befooar monny minnits it wor sailin' away up i'th' air. He kept givin' it mooar band wol it wor ommost aght o' seet, an' beein' a breezy day, it pooled soa hard at he cud hardly hold it.

To mak matters war, Testy wor varry restless, an' kept wanderin abaaght, an' as ther wor noa gate to th' croft, Chairley had to follow him for feeard on him gettin' away. In a while it began to be rayther hard wark, he darn't let t'kite goa, an' ther wor nowt handy to tee it too, soa he thowt his best plan 'ud be to pull it in, but just then a thowt struck him, as he saw Testy trottin' off whiskin his tail, an' he went after him. As sooin as he'd catched him, he teed his kite band to th' donkey's tail, sayin' as he did soa, "Nah aw can watch yo booath at once." But yo shud a seen that donkey! At first he ran backards for abaaght a dozzen yards, then he shot aght his heels wi' twenty donkey paar; but it wor noa use tryin' to kick that kite, he cud just as easy ha' kicked t'mooin. He tried to turn raand, but that ommost twisted his tail off, then he planted his feet firmly i' t'graand, wi his tail stickkin' straight aght like a brooish stail, an' luk'd at Chairley, as if for some explanation.

"Well, hah dusta like kite flyin', Testy? tha'd a rooar'd thi 'een up afooar tha'd thowt a that. It's plain to be seen at tha connot run away wi' that kite, an' th' kite connot flyaway wi' thee, soa awl leeave yo an' goa get a bit a dinner."

He worn't long away, but when he coom back, noa kite cud he see, but theear wor Testy stud just as he'd left him. As Chairley walked to him he nivver sturd, but, fancy his surprise when he saw at th' donkey's tail wor missin'. It had dissolved partnership wi' Testy an' gooan to realms aboon. Maybe it'll fessen it sen on to some little star an' mak a comet on't.

Chairley an Testy stud lukkin' at one another for a gooid five minnits, an' at last Chairley sed, "Well Testy, tha caan't blame me; aw dooant think thi appearance is mich improved, but still, tha must admit at tha arn't as mich of a donkey nah as tha wor when aw gate tha. It seems to me we'd better pairt, for we dooan't get on soa weel together; awl sell mi stock an't panniers, an' thee an ivverything; aw shall ha' to sell' em wholesale though, for aw cannot re-tail thee. But awl promise tha one thing, whenivver aw fly a kite ageean, awl remember mi donkey's tail."

Just then, Testy's knees begun to tremmle, his body rock'd from side to side; he luk'd at Chairley as mich as to say, "assassin," an rowled ovver brokkenhearted; an', withaght a struggle, he breathed his last sigh to th' tune of "Good bye, Chairley, when aw'm away, dunnot forget your Testimonial."


Five Paand Nooat.

Aw remember th' first time at aw iver had a five paand nooat, an' awm like as if aw can see it yet. It worn't a new en, it wor one 'at had gooan throo a gooid monny hands,—it wor soft an' silky to th' touch, an' it wor yeller wi age, an' th' edges wor riven a bit, an it had a split up th' middle, whear it had been cut i' two at some time an' stuck together agean wi a bit o' postage stamp paper. Aw remember at that time aw used to sleep up in a garret, all bi mysen, an' th' walls wor covered wi bits o' pictures, an' shelves wor stuck up here an' thear, filled wi bottles o' all maks o' stuff, an' aw'd an old box 'at aw could lock up whear aw kept some pipes an bacca, an' owt else at aw darn't let awr fowk know 'at aw had, an' carefully put away under th' bed wor another little box whear aw kept cannels. Awm just th' same as if aw can see mysen nah, as aw wor then, sat daan oth edge oth bed an' th' five paand nooat on th' table anent me, studdyin what to buy. Aw varily believe 'at aw bowt one hauf oth taan o' Halifax, i' mi mind, before aw went to sleep; an aw didn't goa to sleep soa easily that neet as usual, for after aw'd put th' cannel aght, aw bethowt me 'at skyleet mud be left unfastened, an' soa aw had to get up an see. When aw'd getten to bed agean aw felt sewer aw could hear summat stir under th' bed, an' aw listened for a long time an' then aw felt sure ther wor somdy tryin to breik into th' haase, for aw could hear' em sawin away as if to cut a pannel aght oth door. At last aw thowt awd wakken up some o' awr fowk an let 'em know, but as sooin as aw oppened th' door aw heeard it wor mi father snorin, soa a crept back to bed. Aw wor just droppin off to sleep when a thowt struck me, 'at maybe some on 'em ud be comin up stairs ith mornin before aw wakkened, an' they'd be sure to see that five paand nooat, an' then aw should have to give an' accaant on it, an' mi father'd be sure to say he'd tak care on it for me, an' aw know what that meant, soa aw jumped up age an an' put it under th' piller. Aw did fall asleep in a while, but aw wakkened i' gooid time ith mornin an' th' furst thing aw luk'd for wor that nooat, an' thear it wor, all reight. Then aw gate up an walked aght a bit wol th' braikfast wor ready. Aw hadn't gooan far when aw met a chap smokin a cigar, an' thinks aw, awl have a cigar. Soa aw went into a shop an' axed far a gaoid cigar. 'Do yo want it very mild?' he axed. 'Noa,' aw sed, 'let me have it as strong as owt yo have.' For, thinks aw, aw'l let him see at awm noa new beginner,—tho to spaik th' truth aw dooant think aw'd iver smok'd hauf a duzzen i'mi life. 'That's the best and strongest cigar you can buy,' he sed, holdin one up between his finger an thumb, but keepin a gooid distance off. 'Weel,' aw sed, 'aw'l tak that.' 'But these cigars are sixpence each.' Is that all?' aw sed, as aw threw daan mi five paand nooat. As sooin as he saw that he picked it up an' held it up to th' leet, an stroked it, and luk'd at me an' smiled; and he seemed to tak a fancy to me all at once, an' axed m'e whear aw lived, an what they call'd me, an' a lot o' things beside. Then he gave me a leet for mi cigar, an' he sed he thowt aw wor a judge ov a cigar as sooin as he saw me, an' he had just one box 'at he'd like me to give my opinion on. Weel, aw worn't gooin to say at aw didn't know th' difference between a penny cigar an' one worth a shillin, soa he showed me a box, an' aw luk'd at 'em an' smel'd at 'em, an' tried to luk wise, an then aw sed, they did seem a varry nice cigar. 'You are right, sir,' he sed, 'I see you understand them,—I wish there were a few more like you.' An then he sed in a whisper, 'at that wor th' only box he had o' that sooart, in fact ther'd niver nobbut been that an' another, a'n t'other wor sent as a present to th' Duke o' Wellington, but th' Duke, he sed wornt hauf as gooid a judge as aw wor; an' he'd sell me that box for two paand, an' it wor worth three. Aw wor beginnin to feel a bit sickly wi that aw wor smokin, an' aw didn't care to tawk mich, an' as he hadn't given me onny change, aw just nodded mi heead, and he had lapped up th' box in a crack, and handed it me, an three soverings, an' wished me gooid day an hoped aw'd call agean, and bowed me aght oth shop i' less time nor it taks to tell it. As sooin as awd getten a few yards away, aw threw mi cigar into th' street an' detarmined aw'd niver smook agean befoore braikfast. Them cigars didn't last long, for ov coarse aw allus carried a lot i' mi pocket, an' as that used to spoil' em a friend o' mine persuaded me to buy a cigar case. He sell'd it me varry cheap, nobbut ten shillin; an' then another gate me to subscribe a guinea to a cricket club, an' aw wondered ha it wor 'at aw'd niver made friends wi' some o'th' members befoor, for they wor a nice lot. At th' end of three days mi cigars wor all done, an' soa wor mi five paand nooat. All aw had wor a empty cigar box, a pastboard cigar case worth abaat sixpence, a ticket 'at entitled me to visit all th' cricket matches free,—but as th' season wor just endin it wor o' noa use,—an' had a sooart ov an inklin 'at ther wor some truth i'mi father's words 'at aw worn't old enuff to be trusted wi' brass.

Aw went to bed, an' fell asleep withaat once thinkin abaat thieves; an' ther's noa daat 'at what yo loise i' brass yo oft tinles gain i' knowledge, for aw niver forgate th' fate o mi furst five paand nooat.


Silly Billy.

He wor a queer sooart of a chap wor Billy—allus makkin a fooil ov hissen or else somedy wor makkin a fooil o' him. He wor a very quiet chap too tho ivery nah an' then he gave hissen a bit ov a leetnin' i'th' shap ov a rant, or as he used to call it, a 'gooid brust.' It woint oft he did that sooart o' thing, but when he did he carried it on for a wick or a fortnit, an' altho' his father had left a nice little farm for him an' his mother, yet it sooin dwindled to nowt, for what wi' neglectin his wark, an' spendin a bit o' brass, it wor like a cannel lit at booath ends, it sooin swealed up. Aw remember one day when he'd been drinkin till his brass wor done, he coom hooam to ax his mother to give him some moor, an' coss shoo said shoo wod'nt he declared he'd set th' lathe o' fire; but sho wodn't give him onny, soa he went into th' lathe, an' in a bit one o'th' neighbors saw him gaping at tother side o'th' street an' went up to ax him what he wor starin at?

"It'll tinkle tip in a bit," sed Billy an' in a bit it did 'tinkle up,' for he'd set th' haymoo o' fire, an' in abaght an haar, booath th' lathe an' all 'at wor in it wor burned to th' graand. "Aw tell'd her aw'd do it," he sed, "an' aw'm nooan to be licked when aw start."

Th' poor owd woman wor sadly troubled, but what could shoo do, for what could ony body expect throo Silly Billy?

Shoo used to have some queer ways did Nancy; an' one system o' her's wor allus to do iverything like clock wark. When Billy wor having one ov his bits o' sprees, an' stoped away for two or three days, shoo allus made him his porrige ivery marnin, an' if he worn't thear to ait 'em shoo put' em i'th' cupbord, all in a row, an' when he did come, he could'nt get a bite o' owt else till he'd finished' em all, soa he used to start at th' oldest furst, an' as th' owd woman kept on makkin moor ivery mornin, it wor noa easy job to ovettak 'em, an' be able to sit daan to a warm meal. But like monny a one beside, altho' he wor soa mich put abaght, it did'nt cure him; but when he'd had a doo, an' been two or three days at cold poltices; as he call'd em, he used to say, "Niver noa moor! If aw once get ovver this, yo'll niver catch me at that bat agean! It's towt me a lesson 'as this." An' noa daat it had, but he varry sooin forgate it.

Ov coarse, when th' brass wor all done, he had to work a bit, an' aw recollect when he started business ov his own hook, fowk used to plague him sadly, an' weel they mud, for he gate a donkey an panniers an' started to sell puttates an' greehs; but it soa happened, 'at one mornin he'd nobbut as monny puttates as ud fill one pannier, an' as he put' em i' one it made it side heavy, soa he gate a lot o' big stooans an' put 'em i'th' tother to balance it a bit, an' then he started off. But he hadn't gooan far when a chap met him an' sed, "what are ta sellin, Billy?" "Aw'm hawkin puttates," he sed. "Why, what's all thease stooans for, has ta started o' leeadin balder?" "Noa," he sed, (an' then gave him a sly wink as mich as to say aw'l let thee into a secret), "but does ta see, aw'd nobbut as mich brass as ud buy one pannier full, soa aw wor foorced to put stooans it th' tother to mak it balance." "Why, lumphead!" sed th' chap, "couldn't ta put one hauf into one, an' tother into tother?" Billy scratched his heead for a minit an' then sed, "e'ea! but aw see a better road nor that—aw'l put hauf o'th' stooans amang th' puttates, an' hauf o'th' puttates, amang th' stooans, an' then aw'st be sure to have it." "Why but cannot ta mak 'em balance baght stooans, tup heead?" sed th' chap. "Ov coorse aw con! aw niver thowt o' that," sed Billy, an' he started an' squared 'em aght. But he niver made mich aght o' hawkin, for he could niver leearn th' difference between six dozen dozens and hauf a dozen dozens, an fowk 'at wor sharper used to chait him mony a bit.

One queer thing abaght him wor he delighted i' singing, an' if he heeard a song 'at took his fancy he could remember it word for word. His mother says 'at he's tramped mony a scoor mile to hear a song at pleased him, an' if ony body'd sing for him he'd give' em owt he had. One day, as he wor gooin his raands he met wi a chap 'at wor hummin a bit ov a tune, an' he hearken'd to him for a bit, an' at last he sed, "Maister, aw should like to know that song, ha mich will yo taich it me for?" "Oh, it's a patent is that, lad, aw should want a gooid deal if aw towt thee that." "Why," he said, "aw'l gie thi a bunch o' turnips an' four pund o' puttates if tha'll sing it me twice ovver." "Nay," he sed, "wheniver aw engage to sing, aw allus charge double, if aw'm honcoord; but I'll sing it' once if tha'll throw a rooap o' onions into th' bargain." "Well, tha'rt rather up i' thi price," he sed, "but aw'l agree soa start off." They booath set daan o'th' rooad side, an' th' chap (he luk'd like a gipsy), began:

Aw'm as rich as a Jew, tho aw hav'nt a meg, But aw'm free as a burd, an' aw shak a loise leg; Aw've noa haase, an' noa barns, soa aw niver pay rent, But still aw feel rich, for aw'm bless'd wi content, Aw live, an' aw'm jolly, An' if it is folly, Let others be wise, but aw'l follow mi bent.

Mi kitchen aw find amang th' rocks up o'th' moor, An' at neet under th' edge ov a haystack aw snoor, An' a wide spreeadin branch keeps th' cold rain off mi nop, Wol aw listen to th' stormcock 'at pipes up o'th top; Aw live, an' aw'm jolly, &c.

Aw niver fear thieves, for aw've nowt they can tak, Unless it's thease tatters' at hing o' mi back; An' if they prig them, they'lt get suck'd do yo see, They'll be noa use to them, for they're little to me, Aw live, an' aw'm jolly, &c.

Fowk may turn up ther nooas as they pass me i'th' road, An' get aght o'th' gate as if feear'd ov a tooad, But aw laff i' mi sleeve, like a snail in its shell, For th' less room they tak up, ther's all th' moor for misel, Aw live, an' aw'm jolly, &c.

Tho philosiphers tawk, an' church parsons may praich, An' tell us true joy is far aght ov us raich; Yet aw niver tak heed o' ther cant o' ther noise, For he's nowt to be fear'd on 'at's nowt he can loise, Aw live, an' aw'm jolly, &c.

"By th' heart!" sed Billy, "aw nivver heeard sich a song as that i' all mi life! Tha mun sing it ageean for me, wi' ta?" "Nay lad, aw'm nooan soa fond o' singin as that comes to." "By gow, but tha mun!" "Well if aw do aw'st want all th' puttates tha has left an' th' donkey an' all." "Nay, Maister, that's rayther too hard, yo willn't want all th' lot aw'l niver believe, yo'l throw me summat off?" "Well, aw dooant want to be hard o' ony body, but tha knows it's net to be expected aw shall taich thee a song like that for nowt, but as tha seems to be a daycent sooart ov a chap, if tha'll gie me th' donkey an' th' puttates aw'l mak thee a present o'th' panniers." "An' is that th' lowest hawpenny tha'll tak? Aw wodn't bate a hair off th' donkey's tail at that price; tha knows if tha wants to hear some reglar classified music tha'll ha to pay." "Well, blaze into it," sed Billy, "an' aw'l hug th' panniers mysel." "They're net a gurt weight." sed th' chap, "an' aw dar say they'll luk as weel o' thee as o' it." An' wol Billy wor takkin 'em off th' donkey an' puttin 'em on to hissen, th' chap sang th' song ovver ageean, an' when he'd done he walked off wi' th' donkey an' as mony puttates as he could hug, an' Billy started off hooam wi his panniers ov his rig, singin, "Aw live, an' aw'm jolly," wi such gusto wol th' fowk coom aght to see whativer ther wor to do, an' when they saw him huggin th' panniers they guessed what wor up, an' shook ther heeads, sarin, "Silly Billy!" Ov coorse when he gate hooam he tell'd his mother abaght it, an' wad have her listen to this new song. "Song, be hanged!" shoo sed, "aw'd a deal rather hear that donkey rant nor all th' songs at iha con cram into thi empty heead." An' away shoo went to get some fowk to follow th' chap an' get th' donkey back agean.

Two or three sooin set off an' within a few yards o' where Billy sed he'd been, they fan it quietly nibblin a bit o' grass bith' side o' th' gutter, for it seems th' chap had nobbut been havin a bit ov a joak, an' left it behund. They gate it hooam agean an'after Billy's mother had given him a gooid tawkin to, th' thing dropt.

But aw think aw'st niver forget a marlock some chaps played him one day: ther wor abaat six on 'em, an' they made it up to freeten him a bit, an' mak him believe he wor baan to dee; soa just as he coom off th' corner o' one o' th' streets, a chap steps up to him.—"Gooid mornin, Billy! ha does ta feel this mornin, lad?" "Oh! Furst rate!" "Why aw'm fain to hear it," he sed, "but, by th' heart! lad! tha luk's ill'!" "Does ta think aw do?" "Eea, aw'm sure tha does!" "Why aw dooant feel to ail owt 'at aw know on,' but aw dooant think 'at this hawkin agrees wi me so weel." "Happen net, Billy! it doesn't agree wi ivery body, but tha mun tak care o' thisen, nah do!" When he'd getten a bit farther another chap met him:—"Well Billy!" he sed, "ha's trade lukkin this mornin lad?" "Things is lukkin rayther black this mornin." "Tha luks white enuff onyway, has ta been havin another wick o' 'cold porrige aitin?" "Nay aw hav'nt! but aw dooant feel quite as weel as aw do sometimes, for aw fancy this job doesn't agree wi me." "Aw dooant think it does bi' th' luk on thi, if tha gooas on tha'll be able ta tak a lodger i' that suit o' clooas, tha'll ha room enuff,—but tak care o' thisen, lad." Poor Billy wor beginnin to feel poorly already, but when another met him an' axed him if it wor h' furst time he'd been aght latly, it knock'd th' breeath reig aght on him. He tried to shaat "puttates!" but he nobbut gate hauf way throo, for when he'd sed "put!" he had'nt breeath left to say "tates." "This'll niver do," he said, "aw mun goa hooam an' to bed, its noa gooid trailin abaat th' streets this fashion, a'a, ha badly aw do feel! an' all's come on soa sudden! A'a, man! man! what are ta?—as sooin as th' organ strings get aght o' tune, tha'rt noa moor fit for nor a barrel baght bottom, nor as mich! for they could turn a barrel tother end up; but man! a'a dear a me!" "Gee up, Neddy, aw'm feeard tha'll sooin have to luk aght for a new maister."

When Billy gate hooam wi' his donkey, his mother wor fair capt. "What's up, Billy," shoo sed, "Has ta sell'd up?" "Nay, mother, aw've nooan sell'd up, but aw'm ommost done up: get that bed ready an' let me lig me daan a bit." "Why what's th' matter? Has ta hurt thi or summat?" "Noa, but aw'm varry poorly." "Where does ta feel to ail owt, lad!" "Aw dooant know, aw think it's all ovver me, dooant yo think aw luk ill, mother?" "Luk ill! why tha knows lad, aw dooant think it's allus safe to judge fowk bi ther luks, but aw mun say aw nivver saw thi lookin better i' mi life." "Why but aw must be poorly, mother, for two or three fowk has tell'd me soa this marnin." Just then three or four heeads pop'd off th' side o' th' jawm an' set up a gurt laff. Billy luk'd an' saw it wor th' same chaps 'at had been tell in him ha ill he luk'd. "A'a Billy!" sed his mother, "aw wonder when tha'll leearn a bit o' wit, tha sees they've nobbut been makkin gam on thee." "Aw see," he sed, "but they've nooan chaited me soa varry far after all, for aw'm blow'd if aw iver did believe it! Gee up, Neddy!" an' away he went to his wark.

But like monny a chap 'at's considered rayther soft, he worn't all soft, an' one bit ov a trick he did is worth tellin. He'd been aght one day tryin to sell some red yearin, but it seemed as if noabdy wanted owt o' that sooart that day, an' as he wor commin back, a lot o' chaps wor stood at th' corner o' th' fold, an' one on 'em stop'd him an says, "Ha is it tha'rt bringin thi yearin back agean?" "Coss ther's noabdy 'll buy' em," sed Billy. "Well what does ta want for em?" "Aw'l tak owt aw can get, if aw can find a customer, but aw'st net find one here aw know." "Come dooant tawk so fast, Billy!" sed th' chap, winkin at his mates, "ha mich are they worth?" "They should be worth ninepence." "Well aw'l bet thee hauf a crown 'at aw can find thee a customer, if tha'll take what he offers thee for em." "Well aw dooant oft bet," sed Billy, "but aw'l bet thee haulf a craan if tha offers me a price aw'l tak it." "Done," sed th' chap, an' th' stakes wor put into a friend's hand to hold. "Nah then!" he sed, "aw'! gie thee a penny for th' lot." "They're thine," sed Billy, an' he handed 'em ovver. "That's nooan a bad trade," he sed, "a penny an' hauf-a-craan for ninepennorth o' yearin." Th' chap sa'w 'at he wor done, an' he luk'd rayther dropt on, an' ov coarse his mates wor suited. "Niver heed," sed Billy "aw dooant like to be hard o' anybody, soa if tha doesn't want 'em aw'l buy' em back at th' same price." "By gow, Billy! tha'rt a trump," sed th' chap, "tak th' yearins an' gie me hold o'th' brass." Billy took th' yearings, an' handed him a penny. "Nay! gieme th' hauf-craan an' all," sed th' chap. "Nooan soa, sed Billy, aw've gien thee th' same price for' em as tha gave me, an' aw know aw'm net as sharp as some, but as aw've ninepenorth o' yearin left, an a hauf-a-craan moor i' mi pocket, aw fancy aw've made a profit. An' th' next time tha wants to mak a fooil ov a chap, start o' somdy 'at's less wit nor this en, an' then tha weant be dropt on."

That wornt a bad move ov a chap they call Silly Billy.


Put up wi' it.

Aw think aw could tell what day it wor th o' aw didn't know if aw could see a lot o' factry fowk gooin to ther wark. Mondy's easy to tell, becoss th' lasses have all clean approns on, an' ther hair hasn't lost its Sundy twists, an' twines ther faces luk ruddier an' ther een breeter. Tuesdy, ther's a change; they're not quite as prim lukkin! ther topping luk fruzzier, an' ther's net as monny shignons as ther wor th' day before. Wednesday,—they just luk like hard-workin fowk 'at live to wark an' wark to live. Ther's varry few faces have a smile on 'em, an' th' varry way they set daan ther clogs seems to say, "Wark-a-day, Live-a-day, Laik-a-day, Get-noa-pay; Rain-or-noa, Bun-to-goa." Thursdy.—They luk cross, an' ther heeads are abaat hauf-a-yard i' advance o' ther tooas. Ther clogs seem to ha made up ther mind net to goa unless they're made. Friday.—That's pay day. Noa matter ha full ther belly may be, ther's a hungry luk abaat ther een; an'ther's a lot on 'em huggin baskets; an' yo can see it written i' ther faces 'at if they dar leeave as sooin as they've getten ther bit o' brass they wod. Then comes Setterday —Short day—an' yo can tell th' difference as sooin as yo clap een on' em. They're all i' gooid spirits. They luk at th' church clock as they pass, an' think it'll sooin be nooin, an' then!—An' then what? Why, then they'll have a day an' a hauf for thersen—abaat one fifth o' ther life—one fifth o' ther health an' strength for thersen. That doesn't luk mich, but ther fain on it. They owt to be thankful becoss they live in a free country. They can suit thersen's whether they do that, or go to th' workhaase. Justice, they say, is blind, an' if Freedom isn't, shoo must be put to th' blush sometimes.

Who'd be a slave, when Freedom smiling stands,
To strike the gyves from of his fettered hands?
Who'd be a slave, and cringe, and bow the knee,
And kiss the hand that steals his liberty?
Behold the bird that flits from bough to bough;
What though at times the wintry blasts may blow,—
Happier it feels, half frozen in its nest,
Than caged, though fed and fondled and caressed.
'Tis said, 'on Briton's shore no slave shall dwell,'
But have you heard not the harsh clanging bell,
Or the discordant whistles' yelling voice,
That says, 'Work slave, or starve! That is your choice!'
And have you never seen the aged and grey,
Panting along its summons to obey;
Whilst little children run scarce half awake,
Sobbing as tho' ther little hearts would break
And stalwart men, with features stern and grave,
That seem to say, "I scorn to be a slave."
He is no slave;—he is a Briton free,
A noble sample of humanity.
This may be liberty,—the ass, the horse,
Wear out their lives in routine none the worse.
They only toil all day,—then eat and sleep,
They have no wife or children dear to keep.
Better, far better, is the tattered lout,
Who, tho' all so-called luxuries without,
Can stand upon the hill-side in the morn,
And watch the shadows flee as day is born.
Tho' with a frugal meal his fast he breaks,
And from the spring his crystal draught he takes,
Better, far better, seems that man to mel
For he owns Heaven's best gift,—his liberty.

Aw dooant believe i' idleness—aw hate a chap 'at's too lazy to do his share—but what aw dooant like is 'at he should have to wark just exactly when, an' whear, an' for just soa mich (or, aw owt to say, just soa little) as another chap thinks fit. They'll say, if he doesn't like it he can leave it. Happen net—may be he can't get owt else, an' he's a haase an' family to luk after. Then they'll say, 'if he can't better hissen he mun put up wi' it.' That's what he is dooin, an' it's puttin up wi' it 'at's makkin him soa raand shouldered. It's puttin up wi' it 'at's made them hollow cheeks an' dull heavy een.


A Queer Dream.

Eight haars wark, eight haars play, eight haars sleep, an' eight shillin a day.—That saands nice; but them 'at live to see it will live to see moor nor aw it expect to see. Patience is a varty, soa let's have patience. Things are better nor they wor, an' they're bun to improve. Th' thin end o' th' wedge has getten under th' faandation o' that idol 'at tyranny an' fraud set up long sin, an' although fowk bow to it yet, they dooant do it wi' th' same reverence. Give it a drive wheniver you've a chonce, an' some day yo'll see it topple ovver, an' once daan it'll crumble to bits, an' can niver be put up agean. I' th' paper t'other day, aw saw a report ov a speech whear a chap kept mentionin his three thaasand hands. He sed nowt abaat three thasand men an' wimmen—they wor his 'hands'—his three thaasand human machines, an' aw couldn't help thinkin 'at it wor a pity 'at they'd iver been born wi' heads an' hearts, they owt to ha been all hands, an' then they'd ha suited him better. An' he seemed to think bi th' way he tawk'd, 'at but for him theas three thaasand hands wad ha had to starve, but Providence had raised him up o' purpose to find 'em summat to do. He didn't throw aght a hint 'at but for his three thaasand hands he'd a niver ha been i' Parliament. He didn't think he owed' em owt, net he! What wor he born for? Why, ov coarse, he wor born to have three thaasand hands. An' what wor th' hands born for? To work for him. It's simple enuff if you can nobbut see it. Aw had a dream t'other neet, aw'l tell yo abaat it. Aw thowt ther wor a little chap, he didn't stand moor nor abaat six or seven inches heigh, but he wor dress'd like a king, an' he had a sceptre in his hand, an' he had hundreds, may be thaasands, for aw couldn't caan't 'em, ov hands (aw should call 'em men an' wimmen, but he call'd 'em hands), an' they each stood abaat six feet. Some wor daycently clooathed, an' some wor hardly clooathed at all, an' they wor all working to build him a palace; but they wor building it as big as if a thaasand giants wor to live in it, an' th' stooans an' timbers wor soa heavy wol they ommost sank under ther looads; an' at times they seemed soa worn aght 'at aw thowt they'd be foorced to give it up. But th' little king coom strutting raand wi' his sceptre, an' they lifted him up i' ther arms, one bi' one, an' he patted' em o' ther cheeks, an' then they set him daan agean an' went on wi' ther wark, an' he went back to his velvet cushions an' ligged daan an' laff'd. But ther Iooads kept gettin heavier, an' at last they wor soa worn aght 'at they detarmined to goa an' ax him to ease 'em a bit or to give 'em a rest; but when they spake to him he jumpt up an' shook his sceptre at 'em, an' as sooin as they saw that they all ran back to ther wark terrified aght o' ther wit, an' he ordered ther looads to be made heavier still, an' if one on em offered to complain he shook his sceptre, an' he ran back to his labour. Aw wondered to mysen whativer this sceptre could be made on 'at should mak it be such a terror to 'em, an' aw crept behund him wol he wor asleep, an' put it i' mi pocket, an' then aw hid behund a pillar to watch 'em. In a bit some on' em grew tired an' luk'd towards th' king, an' he jumpt up an' felt for his sceptre, but it had gooan, an' then they rubbed ther een an' luk'd at him, an' then they laff'd an' call'd all t'others to join' em. Then they picked up th' little king to luk at, an' they all laff'd, an' th' moor he stormed an' th' better it suited 'em, an' they put him on a square stooan an' made him donce a jig, an' wol he wor dancing aw tuk aght th' septre to Iuk at, an' aw saw it wor a ten paand nooat rolled up like a piece o' pipe stopper, an' a hauf a sovereign at th' end on it. Then they all set up a gurt shaat an' went off, leavin him to build his own palace, an' as they hustled past me aw wakkened.


The Mystery of Burt's Babby

Chapter I.

It sets me thinkin', sometimes, when aw tak a rammel abaat th' hills an' valleys o' mi own neighborhood, what i' th' name o' fortun' maks ivvery body lang to get as far away throo hooam as they can to enjoy thersens. Change o' air may be gooid nah an' then; but as aw've travelled a bit misen, an' visited all them spots 'at they favour mooast, an' seen ha fowk conduct thersens 'at goa for th' benefit o' ther health, it strikes me 'at change o' air is a varry poor excuse, for it's just a spree 'at they goa for, an' nowt else, nine times aght o' ten.

Last June, aw had two or three days to call mi own (an', by gow! if yo nivver worked in a miln, yo dooant knaw what a blessing that is), an' aw tuk a walk as far as Pellon, an' then dahn throo Birks Hall an' ovver th' Shrogs to Ovenden, then throo Illingworth to Keighley, an' on as far as Steeton. (Ony body 'at thinks that isn't fur enuff for one day can try it thersen, an' see ha they like it.)

When aw gets to th' Gooat's Heead, aw wor fain to sit daan an' rest a bit. A pint o' ale ran daan mi throit just like teemin it daan a sink pipe, an' when aw set daan to th' cold roast beef an' pickled cabbage; well, yo' may think aw did it justice, but aw didn't, for that mait had nivver done me ony harm, an' th' way aw punished it was disgraceful, tho' I say it misen; an' when th' landlady coom in to tak away th' bit ther wor left (an' it worn't mich), aw saw her luk raand to mak sure 'at ther wor nobbut one 'at had been pickin' off that. Aw felt soa shamed 'at aw wor ivver so long befor' aw dar ax her ha much aw owed, an' when shoo said eightpence, aw blushed like a pyannet, and paid it, but aw knew varry weel 'at aw wor a shillin' i' debt then if ivverybody had ther own. Hasumivver shoo were satisfied; in fact, shoos allus satisfied, shoo'd nivver ha' been as big as shoo is if shoo let little things bother her (an shoo has lots o' bonny little things running abaat). Well, aw went to bed, an' slept till mornin'. Aw can't say whether all were quiet or not, for nowt could ha' disturbed me, aw believe aw should ha' slept saandly if ther'd been Sowerby Brig Local Booard o' one side, an' th' Stainland School Booard o' t'other, an' th' Haley Hill bell ringers playin' "Hail, smilin' morn." at th' bed feet. But all this has nowt to do wi what aw intended tell in' yo abaat.

Next mornin aw gate up, an' after braikfast (sich a braikfast! aw nivver felt soa stuck up i' all mi life as aw felt after gettin' that braikfast, aw couldn't even bend to see if mi shoes were blackened) aw set aght agean, an' went as far as Silsden. Nah, for th' information o' fowk at wor nivver thear, aw may as weel tell yo a thing or two. Silsden wor nivver planned, it grew, just like th' brackens i' th' woods, throwin' aght a branch one way or another, as it thowt fit. Thers one or two fact'rys, a nail shop or two, two or three brigs, some nice chapels, an' th' rummest owd pile for a church' at yo'll meet in a day's march; a lot o' nice, clean cottages, tenanted wi strong men an' hearty lukkin women, wi hearts i' ther breasts as big as bullocks, an' as monny childer raand th' doors as if they wor all infant schooils; an' a varry fair sprinklin' o' public haases.

Nah monny a one would wonder ha soa monny fowks could live an' thrive i' sich a place—aw wonder misen; an' some wod wonder whear all th' fowk coom throo to fill ther chapels an' church: but aw doant wonder at that, for wheriver there's a lot o' wimmen an' lasses 'at can spooart nice Sunday clooas there's sure to be a lot 'at'll goa to places o' worship to show' em; an' whear th' lasses, are, there will th' lads be also. (Aw believe that's a quotation, but awm net sure.) An' th' publics—they tell me they niver wod ha' been able to get on at all if it hadn't been for th' Sunday closin', but as sooin as fowk see th' doors shut they begin to feel dry, an' as th' constable is a chap' at wodn't lower his dignity bi goin' to see if fowks back doors wor oppen, things wark pratty weel. It wor at th' Red Lion aw thawt aw'd stop this time (that's whear iverybody stops 'at knows what gooid grub is; an' it's worth sixpence any time to see Tommy's face when he's mad, an' a shillin to see his wife's an' hear her laff when shoo's suited). It wor here 'at this tale wor tell'd to me—its's rayther sorrowful, but then it may happen to be relished bi some 'at read it.

Sally Bray worn't a beauty, but shoo wor what yo'd call a nice lass. Her hair an' een wor black as sloes, an' her cheeks wor ommost as red as her lips, an' they wor like cherries; her teeth wor as white as a china cup, but her noas worn't mich to crack on. Shoo wor rayther short an' dumpy, but ther wor allus sich a pleasant smile abaat her face, an' shoo wor soa gooid tempered at ivvery body liked her an' had a kind word for "awr Sal," as they called her. Nah Sally worn't like other lasses in one respect, shoo nivver tawked abaat having a felly, an' if others sed owt abaat sweethearts an' trolled her for net havin' one, shoo'd luk at 'em wi her een blazin' like two fireballs, but nivver a word could they get her to say. Shoo had noa father or mother, nor any relation i' th' world, unless it wor a brother, an' shoo didn't know whether he wor livin' or net, for he'd run away to sea when a little lad, an' shoo'd nivver heeard on him agean; but it wor noaticed 'at when once a sailor happened to call at th' Lion one day, 'at shoo showed him moor favor nor shoo'd showed any body else, an' even sat beside him for an haar, to hear him tell abaat ships an' storms. Well, he wor th' only one shoo ivver had showed any fancy for, an' he wor th' last, for little moor nor a year after that Sally had gooan.

Chapter II.

One mornin', about eight or nine months after that sailor's visit, a young farmer happened to be walkin' across one o' th' fields 'at formed a part o' th' Crow Tree Farm, when he saw a little hillock wi' fresh gathered wildflowers, an' bending daan wondering at sich a thing should be i' sich a place, all lonely an' barren, he noticed some fresh soil scattered raand it. Rooting wi his fingers, he sooin com to a little bundle, an' what should he see when he oppened it, but a bonny little babby, lukkin' as sweet an' pure as th' flaars 'at had been strewed ower it.

He wor a rough sooart ov a young chap, but noabody could ha handled that little thing more tenderly nor he did. "That's noa place to bury the likes o' thee," he sed; "aw dooant know who or what tha art, but tha shall have a better burying place nor that, if aw have to pay for it misen."

He folded it up carefully, an' carried it to th' farmhouse cloise by, an' when he entered it, slowly an' solemnly, an' laid his strange bundle on th' table, th' farmer's wife and dowters gethered raand an' eagerly axed "What's to do, Burt? What has to getten thear? Thou luks as if tha'd stown summat." "Aw've stown nowt, but aw've fun summat, an' aw've browt it here to be takken care on, wol aw cun tell what to do wi' it." He unteed his kertchey, an' when they saw what were in it th' lasses shriked an' ran away, declaring they'd ha' nowt to do wi' it; but th' owd woman luked at it a minit, and then turnin' to Burt, shoo sed, "Burt, is this some o' thy work, or what is it? Tell me all abaat it, an' mind tha spaiks truth."

Burt telled all he knew, an' wol he wor repeatin' ivvery thing just as it happened, owd Mary (that's what th' farmer's wife wor allus called) wor examinin' th' little thing, an' handlin' it as noabody but an owd mother can handle sich tender things, "Why, Burt," shoo sed, "it cannot ha' been thear monny minits, for it's warm yet." "Here, lasses," shoo cried, "get me some warm water. Luk sharp, aw'm blessed if aw believe th' little thing's deead." An' th' owd woman wor reight, for it, hadn't been long i' th' warm watter when it opened its little peepers. An' if onybody can say 'at Burt cannot dance a single step, Heelan' fling, a hornpipe, an' owt else, all at once, aw say they lie, for th' way he capered raand that kitchen wor a caution.

"Aw fun it, an' it belangs to me," he sed; "get aght o' th' gate, there's noabody nowt to do wi' that but me."

"Hold thi din, tha gurt maddlin', are ta wrang i' thi head? Does ta think tha can suckle a child?" This sooart o' sobered him. "Aw nivver thowt o' that," he sed, "cannot yo' suckle it for me, Mary?" "If tha tawks sich tawk to me, aw'll mash thi head wi th' rollin' pin; my suckling days wor ower twenty years sin."

"Well, one o' th' lasses 'll happen suckle it for me," he sed. At this t'dowters flew at him like two wild cats, an' wanted to know "if he'd owt to say agen their karracters?"

"Awve nowt to say agean noboddy's karracters," he sed, "but aw know this mich, 'at if aw wor a gurt young woman like one o' yo, aw could suckle a bit o' a thing like that, Why it doesn't weigh four pund." "Burt," said owd Mary, "tha doesn't know what tha'art tawkin' abaat, aw'll luk after this if tha'll goa an' fotch a cunstable as sharp as tha con."

"What mun aw fotch a cunstable for? yo' ain't going to have it locked up, are yo'?"

"Noa, but aw want to find th' woman that belangs to it."

"Ther isn't noa woman at belangs to it," sed Burt, "it belangs to me, aw fun it. Aw'm blowed if it isn't trying to tawk, did ta hear it, Mary?"

"A'a soft-heead, that's th' wind 'at its gettin' off its stummack. Away wi thi an' fotch th' cunstable, as aw tell thi. But befoor tha gooas, bring me a drop o' new milk aght o' th' mistal, an' get me a bit o' breead, an' awl see if it'll tak some sops."

Burt hurried off, an' in a minit wor back wi a can holdin' abaat two gallons, an' a looaf ommast as big as th' faandation stooan for a church.

"Nay, Burt, what will ta do next, aw'm sure tha's gooan clean off thi side. Tha's browt moor milk nor ud feed all th' childer i' Silsden for a month."

"Doant yo' be feeared abaat th' milk," sed Burt, "awl pay for it; let it have summat to ait. Tun summat into it. Aw wonder if it ud like a drop o' hooam-brewed?" "If tha doesn't mak thisen scarce aw'll break ivvery booan i' thi skin. Haven't aw getten enuff to do wi' this brat, withaat been bothered wi' thee! Go and fetch that cunstable when aw tell thi."

"Well, if aw mun goa, aw'll goa, but mind what yo're doing with that thing, an' dooant squeeze it." After lukkin' at it once moor, an' seeing it sneeze, he started off to th' village happier nor any man within a hundred mile.

It didn't tak Burt long to find th' cunstable, for he knew th' haase where he slept most ov his time, and they wor sooin up at owd Mary's. They'd a fine time when they gat there too, for th' child wer asleep, and Mary refused to let onybody disturb it. Burt declared it wor his, an he'd a reight to see it when he liked; an'th' cunstable sed he wor armed wi law an' should tak it into custody whether it wor asleep or net. Mary's husband wor upstairs confined to bed wi rhumatics, but th' dowters had tell'd him all abaat Burt's adventure, an' as he could hear all 'at wor sed, he furst began to feel uneasy, an' then to loise his temper, soa he seized his crutch an' ran daan stairs like a lad o' sixteen, an' laid abaat him reight an' left, an' i' less nor a minit Burt, th' cunstable, an' owd Mary wor aghtside.

"Nah," he sed, as he stood i' th' doorhoil, puffin' an' blowin', wi' his crutch ovver his shoulder, like a musket, "Aw'll let yo see whose child that is! It wor fun i' my field, an' it belangs to me. What my land produces belangs to me, noa matter whether it's childer or chicken weed!" Things wor i' this state when one o' th' dowters showed her heead aght o' th' winder an' cried, "Mother, it's wakkened, an' it's suckin' it's thumb as if it wor clammed to deeath." "Mary," sed th' owd man, "does ta mean to starve that child to deeath? coss if tha cannot luk after it, aw'll luk after it mysel'." This wor th' signal for all to goa inside, an' a bonnier pictur' yo nivver saw nor that war when owd Mary sat wi' that little thing on her lap, givin' it sops, an' three big, strong, but kind-hearted fellows, sat raand, watchin' ivvery bit it tuk as if ther own livin' depended on it. Ther war a gooid deeal o' 'fendin' an' provin', but whear that child coom fra an' who wor it's mother noabody could tell. Time passed, an' as Mary sed th' child thrived like wood, an' ivverybody called it "Burt's Babby." Burt wor a decent, hard-workin' lad, an' had for a long time luk'd longin'ly at one o' Mary's dowters, an' one day ther wor a stir i' th' village, an' Burt war seen donned up like a dummy at a cloas shop, an' wi' a young woman linked to his arm as if shoo thowt he wor goin' to flyaway, an' it wanted all her weight to keep him daan, an' claise behind, wor th' owd farmer an' his wife, owd Mary Muggin, an' th' little babby.

It didn't tak th' parson monny minits to tee' em together for better an' for worse, an' then Burt took th' babby an' gave it to his bride, sayin', "Here's summat towards haase keepin' anyway.", An' shoo tuk it an' kussed it as if it had been ther own. They went to live at a nice little farm, an' th' owd fowk gave' em a gooid start. Sally Bray had allus shown a fondness for Burt's babby, 'at fowk could hardly accaant for, an' shoo went an' offered her sarvices as sarvant an' nurse, an' nivver did ony body seem soa fond of a child as Sally did o' that.

Things went on nicely for a while, an' then th' scarlet fever coom; every day saw long sorrowful processions follerin' little coffins, an' ivery body luk'd sad an' spake low.

At last, Burt's babby wor takken sick, an' all they could do couldn't save it, an' early one mornin' it shut it's een, an' went its way to join those 'at had gone before.

Burt an' his wife wor varry mich troubled, but it war Sally Bray 'at suffered mooast. They couldn't get her to leave that cold still form, soa they left her with it till her grief should be softened; an' when some time had passed, they went to call her, but it wor no use, for her spirit had goan to tend Burt's babby.

After shoo wor buried, some papers were picked aght o' one o' Sally's boxes, and it were sed' at they explained all, but what they were Burt an' his wife nivver telled, so it still remains a mystery.

At th' grave side stood a fine young chap, who dropt monny a tear as th' coffin wor lowered. He wor sed to be verry like that strange sailor 'at had once before visited th' village. When Burt passed him he gave him a purse, sayin' "for a gravestone," and went away noabody knew whear. Some sed it was Sally's brother, but noabody seems to know.

Anybody 'at likes to tak a walk an' call at that little graveyard can see a plain stoan 'at says

SALLY BRAY,  AN' BURT'S BABBY.


Mak th' best on't.

They say it taks nine tailors to mak a man. Weel, all aw have to say abaat it is, 'at aw've known some men i' mi time, 'at it ud tak nineteen to mak a tailor. Why some simpletons seem to think 'at they've a right to mak fun ova chap becoss he's a tailor, aw can't see. They're generally praad enuff o' ther clooas—then why not be praad o' th' fowk 'at mak 'em. Ther's a deal o' fowk 'at wodn't be as weel off as they are if it worn't for th' tailors. But it's noa use tawkin, for ther's some 'at couldn't live if they didn't find summat to say a word agean.

A little word 'at's easy sed,
Sometimes may heal a smart;
A cruel word or luk instead,
May help to braik a heart.
Men hang together like a chain,
Tho' varied be ther plan;
Each link hangs by another link,
Man hangs to brother man.

But a gooid word throo some is as scarce as a white crow. They're iverlastingly lukking aght for faults an' failins, an' gooid words an' gooid deeds are things they niver think are due to onnybody but thersen.

Life's pathway could oft be made pleasant,
If fowk wor to foller this plan;
Throo a prince ov the throne to a peasant,
To do a gooid turn when they can.

But they'll nawther do a gooid turn thersen nor let onybody else do one if they can help it. They seem to be born wi' soa mich eliker i' ther blooid 'at if they come i' contact wi' ony sweet milk o' human kindness, 'at it curdles it. Whether it's ther own fault or th' fault o' ther mother aitin too many saar gooisberries before they wor born aw can't tell. Aw've met some soa ill contrived 'at they wodn't let th' sun shine on onybody's puttaty patch but ther own if they could help it.

Nah this class o' fowk have generally one or two noations o' ther own 'at they think iverybody else owt to be ruled by. One'll be a strict teetotaller, an' consider 'at onybody 'at taks a drop o' drink is gooin to a place whear top coits wiln't be needed. Another belangs to some sect, an' doesn't hesitate to say 'at onybody 'at gooas to a Concert Hall has signed a contract wi' that dark complexioned owd snoozer 'at wears horns an' wags a tail. They've been at th' trouble to chalk aght a line for iverybody else to walk on, tho' they know varry weel 'at they dooant allus keep to it thersen when ther's nubdy lukkin.

Well, let them 'at relish th' saars have' em to ther hearts' content, but dooant try to prevent other fowk havin some o' th' sweets. Aw'm one o' them 'at likes th' sweets best, an' if they'll nobbut let me alooan aw'll promise niver to mell o' them.

Grooanin, mooanin, an' grummelin, is abaat th' warst way o' spendin one's time. If yo come in for a lot o' gooid things, enjoy 'em wol yo've th' chance, an' dooant pass by ivery flaar 'at smiles along yor path for fear yo may find a twitch-clock i' one. An' if things dooant turn aght just as gooid as yo'd like' em, try to mak th' best o' th' bit o' gooid ther is in 'em.

They tell me this world's full o' trouble,
An' each one comes in for a share;
An' pleasure they say is a bubble,
'At gooas floating away up in th' air.
But aw'll niver give way to repinin,
Tho' th' claads may luk gloomy an' black,
For they all have a silvery linin,
An' some day shall breeten awr track.
Let other fowk brood o'er ther sorrow,
From each day enjoyment we'll borrow,
Let to-morrow tak care ov to-morrow,
An strive to be happy to-day.


Mrs Spaiktruth's Pairty.

It ud be a gooid thing if somdy could find a remedy for backbitin an' gossipin:—for lyin an' stailin an' a lot moor things o'th' same sooart 'at's varry common. Last year aw gate an invitation to a woman's tea drinkin, an' ov coarse aw went, for aw niver miss a chonce o' enjoyin mysen if aw can do it withaat mich expense. Th' warst o' this do wor' at ther wor noa man amang, em but me, an' aw shouldn't a been thear, but Mistress Spaiktruth wanted me to repoart th' speeches, an' as shoo wor givin th' pairty shoo set at th' end o'th' table an' teem'd aght th' teah an' Mistress Snipenooas put th' rum in. After iverybody had getten supplied ther wor quietness for abaat five minutes, an' altho' nobdy wanted owt to ait, fatty cakes an' buttered muffins went aght o'th' seet like winkin. After th' second cup one or two began whisperin a bit, an' after th' third, it wor like being i' th' middle ov a lot o' geese; they wor all cacklin at once, an' judging bi th' smiles o' ther faces they felt very happy. When th' pots wor sided (an' they'd takken gooid care to leave nowt but th' pots to side), they drew up in a ring raand th' fire, an' Mrs. Spaiktruth wor put i'th' rockin chair to rule th' proceedins.

'Nah, lasses,' shoo sed, 'aw havnt mich to say nobbut to tell yo all at yor varry welcome, an' aw hooap yo've all made a gooid drinkin ('we have lass!') 'an aw hooap we shall have some gooid speeches throo some on yo', for aw know thers some gooid tawkers amang yo, but this year's meetin is to be conducted on a different plan to onny we've had befoor. Ther hasn't to be ony gossipin or backbitin, an' them 'at cannot say a few words withaat scandalizin ther neighbours, blagardin ther own husbands, or throwin aght hints likely to injure sombdy's else, munnot spaik at all.'

When Mrs. Spaiktruth had finished, th' wimmen luk'd one at another, fast what to mak on it. Two or three o'th' older end settled thersen daan for a sleep, an' th' rest luk'd as faal as a mule i' th' sulks. Aw pooled aght mi book to tak daan th' speeches, an' this is my repooart.—

1st Speech.—'Let's goa lasses.'
2nd Speech.—'Ther's nowt to stop here for.'
3rd Speech.—'Aw'll goa too, awm feard o' goin bi mysen i' th'
dark.'
4th Speech.—'Awr childer'll be waitin for me.'
5th Speech.—'It's my weshin day to morn, soa aw want to get to
bed i' daycent time.'
6th Speech.—(Five or six at once) 'Come on.'

Th' meetin braik up varry early, an' as sooin as they'd getten aght side, aw heeard 'em sayin 'at Mistress Spaiktruth wor naa better nor shoo should be, an' if shoo thowt shoo could put on airs wi' them shoo wor varry mich mistakken, an' as for gossipin, shoo wor th' longest tongued woman i' th' neighbourhood, an' they declared they'd niver enter a haase shoo kept agean. Aw saw Mrs. Spaiktruth next day, an' aw sed, 'ther worn't mich tawkin at yor teah drinkin last neet,' shoo smiled, but all shoo sed wor 'Silence is better nor slander.'


Why Tommy isn't a Deacon.

Tommy wor allus considered to be th' tip top in his trade. His worn't a common sooart ov a callin like wayvin, or spinnin, or coil leeadin. He nobbut had to deal wi'th' heeads o'th' community. Th' fact is he wor a barber; an' ther's monny a chap at awd moor o' thear gooid fortun to th' way he fixed up th' aghtside o' thear heeads, nor what they did to th' fixin i'th' inside.

Aw've monny a time thowt when aw've seen him thrang 'at his trade wor just a reight schooil for a chap to gaa to, to leearn to have contempt for wod-be gurt fowk, for aw've seen chaps come in lukkin as fierce as a pot-lion, an ommost makkin yo tremel wi' th' way they sed' gooid mornin,' but as sooin as they've getten set daan, an' a gurt print table-cloth tucked under ther chin, an' lathered up to ther een, they've sat as quiet an' luk'd as sheepish as a chap' at's just been to see his sweetheart get wed.

Well, ther wor nobbut one thing 'at Tommy aspired to, moor nor what he had, an' that wor to be a deacon. Net 'at he knew owt abaat what a deacon owt to be, or owt to do, but becoss a chap 'at used to goa to th' same schooil when they wor lads, had getten made a deacon at th' Starvhoil Baptists' Chapel, an' Tommy didn't like to be behund hand; an' then agean ther wor a woman in th' case.

Tommy had allus been a pretty regular attender at auther one chapel or another, but he'd niver stuck to one i' particular, for he liked to hear different preachers, an' he didn't feel varry anxious to pay pew rent. But just abaat this time summat happened 'at made a change in him.

Cloise to whear he lived ther wor a chap 'at kept a sausage shop, an' he wor takken sick an' deed, an' his widder sent for Tommy to come an' shave him befoor he wor burrid, an' he did it i' sich a nice an' considerate way, an' tawked soa solemn, an' pooled sich a long face, 'at he gate invited to th' funeral, an wor axed to be one o'th' bearers an' as he nobbut stood abaat four feet in his booits, he consented at once, for as t'other five chaps all stood abaat six feet, he knew he wodn't have mich to carry.

When th' funeral wor nicely ovver, an' they gate back to th' haase, they wor all invited to stop an' have a bit o' summat to ait, an' as sausage wor th' handiest o' owt to cook, shoo axed 'em if they'd have some. Nubdy'd owt to say agean it, but Tommy didn't seem satisfied, an' when th' widder saw it shoo sed, 'may be, Tommy sausage doesn't agree wi' yo,—is thear owt else yo'd like?'

"Well," he sed, "aw've nowt agean sausage, but aw think 'at black pudding wad be moor appropriate for a burrin."

"Tha'd happen like black beer to swill it daan," sed one. "Nah, yo 'at want sausage can have it, an' them 'at likes black puddin can have that," shoo sed.' An' varry sooin ther wor a dish o' booath befoor' em, but nubdy seemed to fancy th' black pudding nobbut Tommy, an aw dooant think he enjoyed' em mich, for they worn't varry fresh.

'Get some moor, Tommy,' shoo sed, 'it does me gooid to see you ait 'em, for they wor the last thing awr Jack made i' this world, an' aw like to see some respect paid to him. He little thowt when he wor makkin them 'at he'd be deead wi' th' small-pox an' burrid in a wick.' Wi' this shoo began to cry, an' as th' mourners kept leavin one bi one, ther wor sooin nubdy left but Tommy to sympathise wi' her, an' as ivery time he sed owt shoo shoved him another black puddin on his plate, he began to think it time he went hooam, for if shoo kept on at that rate it wodn't tak long to mak another burrin. In a bit he wor forced to stop, an' he sed he thowt it wor time for him to goa; but shoo put her hand on his heead an' luk'd daan at him soa sorrowful like, as shoo lifted daan a black bottle aght o'th' cubbord, wol he couldn't find in his heart to leave her, soa sittin daan they had a drop o' gin an' watter together, for shoo wanted some to draand her sorrow, an he wanted summat to settle his stummack. Then he began lukkin raand, an' he wor capt to find what a nice comfortable haase shoo had, an' all th' furniture as gooid as new; and ivery glass he tuk he fancied shoo wor better lukkin nor he'd seen her befoor, an' as he didn't offer to leave as long as th' gin lasted, bi th'time it wor done he thowt he'd niver seen a widder 'at suited him as weel, an' as he wanted a wife he couldn't help thinkin 'at he mud do wor nor try to find room thear to hing his hat up.

He knew at shoo wor varry nicely off an' could affoord to live withaat th' sausage shop, an' although shoo wor big enuff to mak two sich chaps as him, he didn't think that wor onny objection.

He niver knew exactly ha he gate hooam that neet, but he went to bed an' dreamt 'at he wor riding in a hearse to get wed to th' widder, an' th' trees on booath sides o'th' road wor hung wi' garlands o' black pudding.

Two months had passed, an' Tommy hadn't let his sympathy stop wi' th' funeral, but used to call regularly once a wick to see her, an' allus went to the same chapel ov a Sunday, an' tuk care to dress all i' black, an' had a black band raand his hat, which coom in varry weel to cover up th' grease spots; an' one neet as they wor gooin hooam together, he screwed up his courage an' ax'd her if shoo didn't think, as shoo wor soa lonely, an' he wor lonely too 'at they'd better join?

'Tha'rt to lat,' shoo sed, 'for aw joined long sin, an' wor made a member directly after aw burrid awr poor Jack.'

'But that isn't what aw mean,' sed Tommy, 'aw mean, hadn't we better join an' get wed, for awm sure we could get on varry nicely together.'

'Well, aw think we can get on varry nicely separate,' shoo sed, 'but anyway, if iver aw do get wed agean it'll have to be a member o'th' chapel; for awr Jack, deead an' gooan as he is, an' ther wor niver a better chap teed to a woman nor he wor, yet he had his faults, an' he knew a deeal moor abaat sausages an' puddins nor he knew abaat sarmons an' prayers, an' he'd rayther ha gooan to a dog feight nor a deacons' meetin ony day, an' as he left me varry nicely provided for, though aw've nubdy to thank for that but misen, aw can affoord to wait wol aw get suited.'

'Well, Hannah Maria,' he sed, 'but suppoas aw wor a deacon do yo think aw should suit?'

'That aw connot tell,' shoo sed, 'but if tha iver gets to be a deacon tha can ax me then.'

Soa Tommy bade her gooid neet; an' nah he wor detarmined to be a deacon come what wod.

Next Sunday he joined th' Sunday Schooil as a taicher, tho' he knew noa moor abaat taichin nor th' powl 'at hung o' th' aghtside ov his shop door. Then he tuk a sittin in a pew reight anent th' parson, tho' he had to pay well for it, an' when they made a collection, which wor pratty oft, an' th' chaps used to goa raand wi' th' box allus when they wor singin th' last hymn, he used to be soa takken up wi' th' singin wol th' chap had to nudge him two or three times; then he'd throw daan his book an' fidget in his pocket as if he'd forgetten all abaat it, an' bring aght sixpenoth ov hawpneys, an' put 'em in wi' sich a rattle wol ivery body'd knew 'at he'd gien summat.

He wor allus th' furst in his seeat an' one o'th' last to leeav, an' ivery Sunday he managed to have summat to say awther to th' parson or one o'th' deacon's, wol befoor he'd been thear a month he'd getten to be quite a nooated chap.

Wheniver one o'th' congregation called in to get shaved, they allus faand him readin th' Evangelical Magazine, or else repooarts o'th' Liberation Society, an' it worn't long befoor sombdy tell'd him in a saycret 'at he wor baan to be propoased for a deacon. He tried to luk as if he cared nowt abaat it, but as sooin as the chap went aght, he flang his lather brush under th' table, threw his razor an' white appron into a corner, upset his lather box on to th' Evangelical, an' ran up stairs two steps at a time, an' seized a bottle off th' shelf, an' sayin, 'Here's to th' deacon!' swallowed hauf a pint o' neat, an' what else he might ha done aw dooant know if he hadn't ommost brokken his neck wi' tryin to turn a summerset.

This browt him to his senses a bit, an' then he sat daan to reckon up ha mich a wick he'd have comin in when he'd getten wed to th' widder.

Nah aw hardly like to say it, but it's true, Tommy wor rayther fond ov a drop o' summat strong, but he niver let monny fowk see him tak it after he'd joined th' chapel. But he had just one confidential friend, an' he allus tell'd him iverything, an' ov coarse he'd let him know all abaat th' widder, an' being made a deacon; soa he sent for him, an' they'd a fine time on it that neet, for they shut up th' shop an' gate as full as they could carry, an' just as they wor gooin to pairt, a letter coom to tell Tommy 'at he'd to be voted for as a deacon after th' Thursday's meetin; an' as that day wor Tuesday they hadn't long to wait, soa they detarmined to have another glass or two on th' heead on it, an' they kept it up soa long wol at last they both fell asleep.

When they wakkened it wor broad dayleet, an' they felt rayther seedy; soa they agreed to separate, an' Tommy made his friend promise to be sure to call on him to tak him to th' meetin.

Alick promised, an' then left him. Nah Alick wor a man ov his word, soa he decided net to goa hooam for fear o' forgettin, but he hadn't been sat long i'th' 'Tattered Rag Tap,' befoor he fell asleep' 'When he wakken'd it wor cloise on six o' clock, an' th' furst thowt 'at struck him wor 'at that wor th' time for th' meetin;—for he didn't think 'at it worn't wol the day after; soa swallowin daan another stiff glass o' rum, he set off to fotch Tommy.

When he gate thear he saw Tommy sittin nursin his heead an' lukkin as sanctimonious as if he'd niver done owt wrang in his life.

'Come on!' he sed, 'if tha doesn't luk sharp tha'll be to lat!'

'What does ta mean, Alick,' he sed, 'th' meetin isn't till to morn at neet.'

'Aw tell thi it's to neet, an' it's time tha wor thear nah. Aw promised tha should be i' time an' tha'll ha to goa.'

'Aw tell th' meetin isn't wol Thursday!'

'Well, this is Thursday.'

'Tha'rt drunk, Alick; tha doesn't know what tha'rt talking abaat.'

Alick wor just drunk enuff to have his own rooad, an' wodn't listen to reason, soa he says, 'Awl let thi see who it is 'at's druffen! Awl awther ha thee made a deacon or a deead en afoor tha gooas to bed to neet!' an' sayin soa, he seized hold on him, an' tuckin him under his arm as if he'd been a umbereller he started off aght o' door. Tommy begged an' prayed, an' kicked an' fittered, but all to noa use. Alick wor three times as big as him, an' held him like a vice.

Just as they'd getten into th' street they met all th' miln fowk, an' as they wor booath weel known, fowk laffed rarely, for they thowt it a gooid spree. Th' rooads wor varry mucky an' sloppy, an' as Alick worn't varry steady on his pins they hadn't gooan far befoor they wor booath rollin i'th' sludge, but Alick niver left goa; he scramel'd up, an' off agean, an' wor varry sooin at th' chapel door. Th' only consolation 'at poor Tommy had wor thinkin 'at th' chapel wodn't be oppen, an' then Alick wod find aght his mistak; but it unfortunately happened' at ther wor a meetin that neet i'th vestry abaat establishing a Band o' Hope, soa th' chapel doors wor oppen. Alick rushed in wi' poor Tommy, moor deead nor alive. Th' noise they made sooin browt all th' fowk aght o'th' vestry, an' th' parson coom fussin to see what wor to do, an' as ther wor nobbut one or two leets i'th' chapel bottom, an' nooan up stairs, he could hardly see what it all meant. Just then Alick let goa, an' Tommy flew up stairs like a shot, hooapin 'at as it wor ommost dark he'd be able to find his way aghtside befoor he wor seen.

Alick luk'd varry solid an' tried to balance hissen by holdin to one o'th' gas fixtures.

'What's the meaning of this?' sed th' parson.

'Please yor reverence, hic,—aw've browt yo th' new deacon, hic,—an' a d—-l ov a job aw've had to mak him come, but awm a man o' mi word, an' aw promised he should bi here i' time, an' aw'd ha browt him if aw'd had to being him in his coffin. That's th' sooart ov chap aw am old cock!'

Bi this time all th' fowk wor gethered raand, an' th' parson luk'd throo one to another, to see if they could explain matters, but they wor all fast amang it.

Alick wor standin lukkin raand in a sackless sooart ov a way, when all at once he spied th' widder amang 'em, soa ponitin her aght he sed, 'Jack's widder thear can tell yo all abaat it, it's been made up between them two, an' a varry gooid pair they'll mak, an' if he cannot shave her, shoo'll be able to lather him. Tha knows awm a man o' mi word, Hannah Maria, an' aw sed aw'd bring him.'

All th' nooatice th' widder tuk wor to shak her neive in his face, an' as they all could see ha drunk Alick wor, they left him standin wol they locked all th' doors an' prepared to have a hunt for th' chap 'at had run up stairs. But Tommy wor detarmined net to be catched if he could help' it, an' a fine race he led' em, for he flew ovver th' pews like a cat, an' as th' door-keeper, an' pew oppener, an' th' parson ran after him, th' wimmen kept gettin into ther rooad, an' ovver they tummeld knockin th' cannels aght as they fell, an' of all th' skrikin an' screamin yo iver heeard, it licked all.

Alick wor bi hissen daan stairs, an' wor feelin rayther misty amahg it, but when he heard all th' noise he bethowt him 'at it must be a pairt o'th' ceremony, an' he began to feel excited.

'Keep it up owd lad! Gooid lad Tommy! Thar't a cock burd! By gow I tha niver should ha been a barber! Two hauf-craans to one on th' little en!'

But they catched him at last; an' as they didn't know who it wor, an' he wor soa covered wi' muck an dust wol it wor hard to tell, they browt him daan stairs whear ther wor a better leet.

When th' parson saw who it wor he could hardly believe his een, an' all t' others put ther hands as if they thowt th' roof worn't safe.

'Thomas,' sed th' parson solemnly, 'I'm sorry to see thou hast fallen. Thy race here is run.'

'Well, he ran weel didn't he?' sed Alick. Ther wor moor nor him fell i' that race, or else ther wor a deeal o' skrikin for nowt. But it just suits me, aw wodn't ha missed it for a shillin! aw wor niver at th' makkin ov a deacon afoor, it's three times as mich fun as makkin a free mason.'

Tommy tried to spaik, but he wor soa aght o' wind wol he couldn't say a word, an' as sooin as th' doors wor oppened he made a bolt for hooam. Alick follerd him, but fan th' door locked, soa he went hooam too.

Next mornin, nawt her on 'em could exactly tell what had happened th' neet afoor, but Alick went to pay Tommy a visit. What wor sed aw dooant know, but they tell me 'at Alick's shaved hissen iver sin, for he doesn't seem to like th' idea o' Tommy bein soa varry near him wi' a razor.

Ov course Tommy worn't made a deacon, an' what wor war nor all he lost th' widder into th' bargain.

They did try to get him to join th' Good Templars; an' Alick sed if he wanted to be a member he'd promise to see' at he wor thear i' time if he had to sit up another neet for it; 'an tha knows awm a man o' mi word, doesn't ta, Tommy?'

But someha or other Tommy seems content to stop as he is, but if yo should iver give him a call, aw wodn't advise yo to say owt abaat him bein made deacon, for th' thowts on it seems to be like th' black pudding he had at th' burrin drinkin,—varry heavy on his stummack, an' all th' gin an' watter he's been able to get has niver swilled it daan.

Hannah Maria's getten wed agean; shoo wor as gooid as her word.—shoo wed a local praicher; but as his labours didn't seem to profit him mich, he left th' connexion, an' wi' Hannah Maria's bit o' brass he bowt th' valiation o'th 'Purrin Pussycat' public haase, an' shoo tends th' bar wi' as mich red ribbon flyin raand her heead as ud mak reins for a six-horse team. Tommy called once, but when he saw th' picture frame 'at he'd taen soa mich pains wi' for Jack's funeral card hung up wi' a ticket in it sayin 'prime pop,' he supt up his rum an' walked sorrowfully aght, withaat payin for it, an' he's niver been seen thear sin.


One Amang th' Rest.

I cannot say that the birth of Sally Green was heralded with many joyful anticipations. Her father was one of those unfortunate men who have never had any trade taught to them, and his income, always small, was also very precarious. One day you might find him distributing circulars, another, acting as porter; at times he got a stray job as gardener, and was always willing to undertake almost any thing by which to earn an honest penny. His wife had for many years been a sickly woman, yet she was fruitful, as was proved by the six children who with laughter or tears, as the case might be, welcomed their father home.

"Old Tip," as he was familiarly called both at home and abroad, was sitting opposite the fire, smoking an old clay pipe, when the news was brought that little Sally was born, and both mother and babe were doing well. He answered simply, "Ho!" "An' is that all tha has to say when tha's getten another dowter, an' one o' th' grandest childer aw think' at wor iver born?"

"Well, what am aw to say? It's all reight, isn't it? Shoo'll be one amang th' rest."

Although Tip appeared to treat the event with such indifference, yet his mind was ill at ease, for he well knew that his scanty means had barely sufficed to find food for those dependent upon him before time, and an additional mouth to provide for was by no means a thing to be desired.

There is an old saying, that God never sends a mouth without sending something to put in it, and that is very true, but it is just possible that the food sent to put in it is appropriated to some other mouth, that has already got above its share. If this was not so, we should be spared the pain of reading the heartrending accounts that are so frequently brought under our notice of people being "starved to death."

It is not my intention to detail all the little incidents connected with Sally's early years; suffice it to say that she was dragged up somehow, along with her brothers and sisters, who as they got older and able to work and earn a wage sufficient to support themselves, left one by one to depend upon their own exertions, but never once giving a thought to the debt of gratitude they owed to those, who had laboured so long, and endured so many troubles for their sakes.

In time Sally was old enough to be put to some business, and as she had all along been of a weaker constitution than her sisters, it was deemed advisable to select some occupation for her of a lighter description. Accordingly she soon found herself placed with a shopkeeper in the town, to learn the mysteries of concocting bonnets, caps, &c. The money she received at the commencement was very little, but doubtless was a just equivalent for her labours; but her parents, whose income had decreased with their increasing years, had often to suffer privations, in order to dress Sally as became her position. Sally was naturally quick of apprehension, and the old folks' hearts were often cheered by the reports of her advancement.

"It maks me thankful monny a time i'th' day, Tip, to think ha Sally taks to her wark; an' tha sees shoo's soa steady an' niver braiks ony time, an' aw connot help thinkin, 'at may be, shoo'll net only be a comfort to us in old age, but a varry gurt help."

"Shoo's steady enough," said Tip, "but aw dooant think its wise to build ony castles i'th' air abaat her helpin us mich. Th' kitten seldom brings th' old cat a maase. Nooan o' th' brothers has iver done owt for us,—net 'at aw want owt, net aw; but aw know 'at we've had to do a deeal for them, an' it luks rayther hard, at they should niver think abaat payin a trifle back; an' awm feeared Sally 'll be one amang th' rest."

"Happen net. Tha wor allus fond o' lukkin o'th' dark side."

"Aw may weel be fond o' lukkin at it, for awve seen varry little o'th' breet en."

Sally continued to progress, and her employer was not slow to recognize her abilities and increase her wages in proportion. She often indulged in dreams of what she would do for her parents, as soon as she was able, but as yet her own wants were so very pressing, that it took all her money to satisfy them. She saw and admired her fellow-workers, as they entered or left the place of business, dressed in such clothes as she had never had, and such as it must be some time before she could hope to obtain. But she clung to the hope that the time would come, and she strained every nerve to hasten its approach. Though by no means vain, yet it was quite evident, Sally was aware she was as much her companions' superior, in personal attractions, as they were her superiors in point of dress, and it is to be feared, that there were times when she consulted her mirror with exultation, and painted in her imagination pictures how she could outshine them all when the time came.

By degrees almost imperceptible, crept in a dislike to her home;—not to those who owned it, far from it. To her parents she was still loving and dutiful, but she began to conceive that her own attempts to improve her appearance, her manner of speaking, and her general carriage, were strangely at variance with her humble home and its belongings. Happily, those precepts most potent to restrain any waywardness or wickedness, had been early instilled into her by her mother, whose quiet christian life had been her daily example. Her religion was pure and simple, and she never failed to impress upon Sally the happiness to be derived from an adherence to the truth, and a faith in the goodness of God.

Years rolled on, and the slightly built girl was developed into the beautiful woman. She occupied the second position in the work-room, and her love of dress she was enabled to gratify to its full extent. Many a young man lingered about the door of the shop at night, in hopes of catching a smile or some mark of encouragement, but Sally's heart was free, respectful to all, but showing partiality to none, she passed on scathless through many temptations that might have proved too strong for many older than herself.

One night a strange event occurred. As she was hurrying home, and had arrived within a few yards of the door, she stumbled over some object in her path, and it was with much difficulty she succeeded in saving herself from an awkward fall. It was too dark to see what the object was, but she ran into the house, acquainted her parents with the event, and accompanied by them bearing a light she returned to see what the obstacle was. Across the pavement was laid a young man, about her own age, in a helpless, perhaps a dying state.

"Poor thing! what's th' matter wi' him?" sed her mother; "Tip, lift him up an' hug him in th' haase, an' see what's to do! He's somebody's poor lad."

Tip was not quite so strong as he had been, but he was yet strong enough for the emergency: and lifting up the slim young man, he bore him into the house and laid him on the longsettle.

"What does ta think is th' matter wi' him?" asked the mother; "Is he hurt?"

"Noa."

"Why, has he had a fit thinks ta?"

"Aw think he has, an' it'll be some time befoor he comes aat on it, for its a druffen fit."

"A'a, tha doesn't say soa, Tip! does ta?" "Its ten thaasand pities to see him i' that state!"

Sally approached him half in fear and half in anxiety, and after scanning his features, which in spite of the dirt and the drink were yet handsome, she turned to her father and asked, "What shall we do with him?"

"We shall be like to tak care on him, lass, wol he sleeps it off aw expect, for we connot turn him aat, an' if we did th' police wod lock him up. Awve suffered a deeal i' mi lifetime wi' my lads, but awve niver seen one on 'em i' that state, an' awd rayther follow 'em to th' grave nor iver do it."

For hours they sat beside the sleeping man, and when it was far past their usual time of retiring to rest, they looked at each other, mutely asking what would be best to do.

"Father and mother," said Sally, "it is time you went to bed; I know you cannot bear to miss your accustomed rest. I will watch by this young man until he awakes, and so soon as he is fit to leave the house he shall do so, and then I can get an hour's sleep before the shop opens in the morning; I do not think he will sleep long now."

The old couple did not like to leave her sitting up, but seeing no reason why they too should watch, they left her with their blessing and retired to rest.

The light from the candle fell full on the face of the sleeper, and although Sally often tried to read one of her favourite books, yet as oft she found her eyes rivetted upon the countenance of the man before her. At times he moaned as though in pain; again he smiled a sweet, sweet smile so innocent and childlike, as if no care had ever crossed his path; then a deep, deep sigh heaved his breast, as though all hope had died within it. Sally leaned over him, and tears rolled down her cheeks as she gazed on him, and with her hand she gently parted his curly locks, exposing a brow that rivalled her own for whiteness. She was thus occupied when his eyes slowly opened, and she started back. He looked around him with a listlessness that showed the stupor had not yet worn off. Presently he aroused himself, and in a husky voice asked, "Where am I?"

"You are in the house of those who have endeavoured to befriend you," she replied; "you are quite safe, perhaps you had better try to sleep again."

"No! sleep! no! Let me have something to drink I Bring me some beer, I'm choaking."

"That I cannot do, and would not if I could; but here is some tea made nice and warm, that will do you much more good." And as she said this she handed him the jug.

He took it from her, with a half-amused, half-astonished expression on his face, and drank the contents at a draught. "There, there!" he muttered and reseated himself.

He looked for a short time at Sally, as she sat opposite him, but there was such an air of dignity, mingled with compassion, imprinted on her face, that it was only after one or two ineffectual attempts that he could articulate another word. At length he said, "Will you kindly tell me, miss, where I am and how I came here?"

"You are in my father's house in————street, and he carried you here. I stumbled over something on my way home, and on going back with my parents, we found you laid helpless on the pavement. They have gone to bed, and I am waiting until you feel able to resume your walk home."

"It must have been quite evident to you that I was in liquor, and I must have caused you great inconvenience. I did not think there was a person in the world who would have taken so much trouble on my behalf, but I am glad to say that I am in a position to pay for it, and you are at liberty to help yourself," saying which, he threw a wellfilled purse upon the table.

"I beg that you will replace the purse in your pocket, sir. To any kindness you have received you are welcome, and you would only insult my parents by offering to pay."

"Not a very enviable looking home," he muttered, "but it seems pride can dwell in a cottage." "Just pride can dwell in the cottage as well as in the mansion I hope," she replied, rising to open the door. "The morning is cold yet fine," she said, "and as you are, doubtless, expected home, it may be advisable not to delay your departure."

"I will act upon your hint," he said, "but I have one favour yet to ask, Will you grant it?"

"That depends upon the nature of it."

"It is that I may be allowed to call here again, to express the gratitude I feel for the kind manner in which you have acted towards me. At present I am not in a fit state to do so. Will you grant me that privilege?"

"We do not seek for your thanks, sir, you are a perfect stranger to us, and we have but done that, which we felt it our duty to do, but if it will afford you any pleasure, I am quite sure my father will grant your request."

With a hasty "good morning," he hurried off, passing through the quiet streets as quickly as he could, still wondering how he had got into such strange company.

Sally sought her bed, to snatch a few hours of sleep, but all desire seemed to have flown. She could think of nothing but the young man's face as she had seen him as he slept. His dress and manners bespoke the gentleman; but he had left no name, and she vainly endeavoured to discover who he was.

The next day brought the young man once more to the cottage door, but in a very different state. Sally was not at home, but the old woman invited him forward, and requested him to be seated. "Give my best thanks to your daughter," he said, as they conversed together, "and tell her I shall be for ever grateful to her, for she has proved as good as she is beautiful; and she is beautiful."

"Ther's lots o' nice young wimmen ith' world," said Tip, "an shoo's one amang th' rest."

After sitting for a few minutes whilst the old woman warned him of the danger he placed himself in by giving way to such evil habits, and having promised never again to forget himself so far, he shook hands with the worthy couple and departed, leaving behind him a handsome sum of money, unknown to them.

Not long after, Sally was returning home, when she met the same young man. The recognition was mutual, and he at once joined her and strolled along by her side, pouring forth his thanks for her kindness, and begging that she would not look upon him with disgust on account of the unfavourable circumstances under which their first meeting took place. His manners were so easy, and his conversation so entertaining, that they reached the end of the street in which she lived, almost before she was aware. He bade her "good night," and struck off in an opposite direction.

Sally's heart palpitated more quickly than usual, as she entered the house, and for some reason, unknown even to herself, she did not acquaint her parents with the interview. She endeavoured to occupy her mind by busying herself with the little household affairs, but her manner was abstracted, so feigning exhaustion she went to her room, at an earlier hour than usual. She slept, but not that deep, quiet, undisturbed slumber that wraps in oblivion all the senses. She dreamed strange dreams, in which she saw strange faces, but the one face was ever there, and in the morning she arose, feverish and unrefreshed.

CHAPTER II.

Some months had elapsed since Sally's first interview with young Arthur Grafton, (for such his name proved to be,) and during that time matters had assumed a very different character. One or two meetings seemingly accidental, led to an intimacy growing between them, which was not easily to be mistaken.

Arthur was a young man possessing great advantages, not only in personal attractions, but as the possessor of an ample fortune. His father had been dead many years and his mother resided in the neighbourhood of London. No sooner, however, did Arthur attain his majority, and find himself in such a favoured position, than he gave way to those excesses which are generally somewhat lightly styled, youthful indiscretions. His mother had done all that lay in her to prevail upon him to alter his course of conduct, but he being headstrong, yet affectionate, and not wishing to cause her pain, at the same time being disinclined to follow her advice, left home in order to be free from all restraint. Thus it happened that he was spending a porportion of his time in Y———. Sally's parents were not blind to the state of their daughter's feelings towards Arthur, but they were full of fear. Once or twice he had called at the cottage, and they had marked the unnatural sparkle of his eye, that told of a too great indulgence in drink. On one or two occasions he had openly scoffed at religion, and treated as jests, things they held to be most sacred. They often spoke to Sally and warned her, but her usual reply was a light laugh, or an assurance that she knew what she was doing.

Little by little she ceased to think there was anything very wrong in a young man becoming intoxicated, if he only did it occasionally. Her attendance at church was not so regular, and in a short time it ceased altogether, and she looked forward to the sabbath only as a day of recreation, and one on which she could spend more time with him who was day by day leading her farther from the path of duty.

Many a friend warned her of her danger, but her whole soul had become so wrapped up in him, that his very vices appeared as virtues, in her eyes. Sally had not forgotten her early teachings, and many a night when all was hushed, the still small voice of conscience whispered, 'Beware, —Beware,' But she would not listen to it, she had set her heart upon him, and although she could not but admit he had many faults, yet she strove to believe that she had the power to wean him from his evil ways.

One night the old couple and their daughter were sat by their cheerful fire. Tip, as was his wont, smoking his pipe,—the old woman bending over the oft consulted bible, and Sally with her elbow resting upon the table and her head leaned upon her hand, gazing at the kitten sleeping on the hearth, although she saw it note Arthur had failed to keep his appointment and she was sad in consequence. A loud knock at the door disturbed them,—Sally hastened to open it, and Arthur in a state of wild intoxication rushed in. Even Sally shuddered and shrank from his attempted caresses. Her mother shook her head, and looking upward seemed to implore help from Him of whose death she had just been reading:—whilst old Tip rose to his feet, took the pipe from his mouth, and angrily pointed towards the door.

Drunk as Arthur was, he comprehended his meaning, but advancing towards him with uncertain gait, he placed a hand upon each shoulder and forced him back into his seat, uttering a fearful oath.

Sally strove to quiet him, and implored her father to excuse him, at the same time begging of Arthur to leave the house. The consternation and excitement of those about him, seemed to add fuel to the fire already within him, and tearing the bible from the old woman's lap, he hurled it on the fire. Tip rushed to save it, but Arthur seized the poker and stood threatening death to any who dared to touch it. Tip, undaunted, made another effort. The dreadful weapon fell upon his unprotected head, and in another instant he was stretched upon the floor. The sight of poor Tip in such a state, together with the wailing and weeping of Sally and her mother, seemed to have the effect of sobering him a little; he threw down the poker, opened the door, and, without a word, passed out.

CHAPTER III.

A bright spring morning succeeded the night on which the commotion had taken place in Tip's usually quiet home. He was stirring about the house as was his custom, a bandage over his brow being the only indication of the recent unpleasant event. The wound was not a dangerous one, and the unceasing attention of his daughter had enabled him to rally much sooner than might have been expected. Sally and her mother were also bustling about. Not a word escaped from any of them in reference to what had taken place. Old Tip looked more than usually morose, the mother, more than usually sorrowful, and Sally's brow was contracted and her lips compressed, and her eyes spoke of fixed determination. She dressed herself with more than usual care, and lingered over many little things before she bade her usual good morning; and when she closed the door she gazed a moment at the old familiar structure, wiped the tears from her eyes, that in spite or all she could do, would come to testify that her heart was not so callous as she fain would make it appear; and then she walked rapidly away—but not to her work. No! she sought the home of him who had come like a blight on their domestic peace. She carried with her no feeling of resentment—her heart was full of love and compassion. She had undergone a dreadful struggle. The climax had arrived. She must choose between her parents and her lover. It was a hard, hard task, but it was over. House and parents, all that had been associated with her early and happy years, sacrificed for one whose past life had brought to her so much misery.

She reached the door, rang the bell, and was ushered into the room in which Arthur sat vainly endeavouring to recall the circumstances of the preceding night. He was pleased yet astonished to see her, and they were quickly engaged in an earnest and hurried conversation. In a few minutes Arthur rang the bell, and gave orders for all his boxes to be packed and conveyed to the nearest railway station. He called for his bill which he discharged with alacrity, a hired carriage was at the door, Arthur and Sally entered it and she returned home no more.

The grief of her parents was very great when they knew that she had left them, and they anxiously waited for some tidings of her whereabouts, but no tidings came. For a time remittances of money came regularly, but these suddenly stopped, and their only means of subsistence was gone.

The articles of furniture were disposed of one by one, to supply the cravings of appetite, but they were soon exhausted, and one morning saw them placed in a cart and taken to the workhouse. They had both been gradually sinking since Sally's flight, and it was but a short time after the removal from their home, that the parish hearse removed them to the last home of all flesh in this world. The fact of their ever having existed seemed to be almost forgotten, when a painful tragedy revived it in the minds of those who had known them. When newspapers gave the distressing account of a young woman having leaped from London Bridge into the river, bearing in her arms a little babe. They were taken out quite dead, and on being searched, a piece of paper with the following words written upon it was all that was found.

'Let my dreadful fate be a warning to the young. I was young and beautiful,—I became proud and ambitious,—I ceased to lend an ear to the kind counsel of my parents,—I ceased to look upon sin with abhorence,—I sought pleasure in iniquity,—the torments of hell can be no worse than those I have endured, my seducer lives to make other victims,—my babe dies with me, lest it should ever live to know its parent's shame,—I go to meet my God,—a Murderess and a Suicide. My only hope is in His unbounded mercy, and the intercession of His Son. SALLY GREEN.

Reader, does not this little story teach a moral? I think it does. Be not proud of the personal attractions with which nature has blessed you. Shun evil company,—obey your parents, and fear God always. Sally Green's case is not an isolated one. There are thousands at the present moment, who are pressing on in the same path that terminated so dreadfully for her. Watch and pray, lest it should be your unhappy lot to be described in old Tip's expressive words, as 'One amang th' rest.'


What's yor Hurry?

Ther's nowt done weel 'ud's done in a hurry, unless its catchin a flea, aw've heeard sed, but Joa Trailer wod'nt ha believed 'at that should be done in a hurry, for he hurried for nowt. It wor allus sed 'at he wor born to th' tune o'th' Deead March, an suckled wi' Slowman's Soothin Syrup. His mother declared a better child nivver lived, for he hardly ivver cried, net even for his sops, for if he showed signs o' startin, ther wor allus time enuff to get' em made befoor he'd getten fairly off. He began cuttin his teeth when he wor six months old, an' he'd nobbut getten two when his birthday coom, an' when th' old wimmen used to rub his gums wi ther fingers he used to oppen his een an' stare at 'em as if he wondered what they wor i' sich a hurry for. His mother wor forty-five year old when he wor born, an' shoo anlls sed he wor born sadly too lat, an' if that's th' case ther's noa wonder 'at he's allus behund hand, for ther's nowt can ivver mak him hurry to mak up for lost time.

They sent him to a schooil an' paid tuppince a wick for him, but they mud as weel ha saved ther brass, for if they managed to get him to start i' time, he just contrived to get thear when it wor lowsin. He nivver leearned owt but he sed he meant to do sometime, but ther wor time enuff yet: soa he grew up to be a big ovvergrown ignoramus, an' his mother could'nt tell what to do wi him. Shoo put him 'prentice to a cobbler, but his maister sent him hooam when he'd been thear a month, for he sed he'd been tryin to spetch a pair o' child's clogs ivver sin he went, an' 'at th' rate he wor gettin on wi 'em he'd have' em thrown on his hands, for th' child ud be grown up befoor they wor finished.

"What am aw to do wi' thi," sed his mother, "aw can't afford to keep thi to laik?"

"Wait a bit," he said, "'an give a chap a chonce. Yor i' sich a hurry abaat iverything. Rome worn't built in a day."

"Noa, an' if it had depended o' sich as thee it nivver wod ha been built, awm thinkin!"

One day, as he wor sittin on a stoop at th' loin end, a chap com ridin up to him, an' ax'd him if he'd hold his horse for him a minit or two. "Eea," he said, "tak for time a bit an awl hold it."

It tuk him some time to sydle up an tak hold o'th' reins, an then th' chap left him, tellin him whativver else to stand thear an' net run away wi' it.

"Awst nooan run far," he sed, an' in abaat ten minits he laft all over his face at th' idea o' sich a thing. It wor a varry quiet horse, an' Joa thowt 'at he'd getten th' reight seoart ov a job at last, an' When th' chap coom back he gave him a shillin. If he'd been slow i' other things, he had'nt been vany slow i' leearnin th' vally o' brass, an' as it wor th' furst time he'd ivver had a shillin he wor soa excited 'at he started off hooam at a jog trot, an' th' fowk 'at knew him wor soa capt wol they could'nt tell what to mak on it, but they thowt he must be havin' a race wi' some sooapsuds at wor runnin daan th' gutter; but that wornt it, for he'd getten a noashun at noa trade ud suit him as weel as fishin, for he could tak his own time wi' that, an' he felt sewer he'd be lucky, for if they wor'nt inclined to nibble he'd caar thear wol they'd be glad to bite to get shut on him; an' he'd seen a fishin rod to sell for a shillin, soa he thowt he'd goa hooam an' as sooin as he'd getten his dinner he'd buy it.

When he gate in, his mother said, "Whear's ta been, an' whativer is ther to do 'at maks thi come in puffin an' blowin like that?"

"Aw've been to th' end o'th' loin," he sed, "an' wol aw wor thear a chap coom an' ax'd me to hold his horse for him, an' he's glen me a shillin."

"Well, tha's been sharp for once, an' awm fain to see it, for its a comfort to know at owt can stir thi. Gie me' that shillin, its just come i' time, for aw wor at my wits end what to do for a bit o' dinner, an' that'll just come in to get a bit o' summat."

Joa pottered it aght, an' as shoo took' it shoo sed, "Nah, tha sees what it is to be sharp.—Tha's done rarely this' mornin."

"Eea, aw see what it is to be sharp, an' if ivver yo catch me sharp agean yo may call me sharp, for if aw had'nt run hooam 'fit to braik me neck aw should ha had that shillin.—But it sarves me reight to loise it for bein i' sich a hurry."

He wor as gooid as his word, an' he's nivver been known to hurry sin.

When he gate to be a man he fancied he wor i' love wi' a young woman 'at lived claise to his mother's,—one at wor just as queer a karacter as hissen, wi this difference, shoo could haddle her own livin wi weshin.

He tell'd his mother 'at he meant to ax her to have him somday, an' shoo sed shoo wor feeared he'd think abaat it wol they'd be booath too old; but he did'nt, for he met her one day an' he ax'd her if shoo'd nivver thowt o' sich a thing?

"Nay," shoo sed, "sich a thowt's nivver entered mi heead, an' if it had aw should nivver ha' thawt o' thee,—but awm i' noa hurry to get wed."

"Noa moor am aw," he sed, "but aw thawt awd mention it, an' tha can tak thi own time,—all aw want to know is, if tha'll have me when tha's made up thi mind?"

"Tha'd suit me weel enuff Joa, if tha'd owt to do, but aw can't wesh to keep misen an' have thee sittin o' th' harstun for a ornament, thar't hardly gooid lukkin enuff for that;—if tha'll stir thisen an' get some wark awl tawk to thi."

Soa Joa left her to consider on it, an' he determined to try if he could'nt find summat to do. As he wor creepin on a chap ovvertuk him an says, "What are ta up to nah, Joa?"

"Awm seekin wark!"

"Why, if tha keeps on at that speed awm feeard tha'll nivver find ony, for if it wur anent thi tha could'nt ovvertak it.

"Awm nooan tryin to ovvertak it,—but tha sees if ther's ony comin behund it'll have a chonce o' overtakkin me, an' if aw wor go in faster it might think aw wor tryin to get aght o'th' way on it: an' whativer fowk may say, awm net one o' them 'ats feeard o' wark, for aw nivver put misen aght oth' way to shirk owt yet."

"Noa, nor to seek owt nawther; but aw heeard ov a job this mornin at'll just suit thi."

"What wor it?"

"Old Rodger wants a chap to drive his heears, an' its just the job for thee, for th' horse knows th' way to th' Cemetary, an' tha'll have nowt to do but sit o'th box. Tha'd better see after it."

"Aw think aw will sometime this afternooin," he sed, "aw could just manage that sooart o' wark."

"Tha'd better goa nah if tha meeans to luk after it, or tha may be too lat,—but gooid mornin, aw hav'nt time to stand here ony longer."

"Aw doant know whether to believe him or net," he sed, "for aw think he's nooan reight in his heead, or he'd nivver ha' spokken abaat standin' here when we've been walkin' all th' time. But ther can be noa harm i' gooin to see after it, an' if aw get it, Abergil can have noa excuse for refusin' me."

It tuk him a long time to get to Rodger's tho' it wor'nt aboon hauf a mile, an' when he tell'd what he'd come for, Rodger lukt at him an' sed "Well, tha'll do varry weel as far as thi face an' figger's consarned, for tha luks as solid as a tombstun, but if aw gie thi th' job tha mun promise to drive as a'w tell thi, for aw seckt th' last chap aw had becoss he wod drive ta fast when he wor aght o' mi seet; an' tha knows ther's nowt luks wor nor a gallopin funeral, an' aw want somdyaw can trust."

"Yo, can trust me, an if yo'll gie me th' job aw warrant awl, drive just as slow as yo want. But what's th'wage?"

"Ten shillin a wick, an' tha'll have as mich curran cake an' warm ale as tha can teim into thi, an' thi clooas all fun for nowt."

"Awl tak it, an' yo can let me know when awm to start."

"Tha'l have to start to-day, for old. Nancy has to be buried this afternooin, soa tha can stop an' have a bit o' dinner an' wesh thi face, an' put on thi black clooas an' start off."

"Awm nooan in a hurry to start, but if yo'd rayther I did, why, ov coorse awl do as yo say." Soa he did as he wor ordered, an' in a varry short time Rodger gate him all ready an' th' heears browt aght, an' they booath gate onto th' box, an' Rodger set off to th' haase drivin varry slowly. "Nah," he said, "tha mun watch me ha aw drive, an' tha mun drive th' same way, or slower if owt. Aw know tha'rt nooan fonda' fussin thisen, an' aw dooant want thi to hurry th' horse."

"Awl hurry nowt," he sed. When they gate to th' haase Rodger waited wal he saw all ready and then he left him. Ther wor noa danger o' anybody gettin that horse to goa at maar nor three miles i'th' haar, for it wor booath laim an' blind, an' seem'd varry mich inclined to drop on its knees at ivvery step. It started off at snail pace, but even that wor too mich for Joa.

"Wo, gently!" he sed, an' it stood stock still.

"When are ta gooin to start?" sed one o'th' mourners, "if tha does'nt mind we'st be too lat to get into th' Cemetary."

"Thee mind thi' own business,—aw've getten mi orders."

"Tha'll have to hurry up or else we'st be to lat aw tell thi! We're all stall'd o' waitin!"

"Its nooan thee at we're baan to bury or tha wodn't be i' sich a hurry. Awst tak noa orders nobbut throo Rodger or Nancy, soa tha can shut up."

Th' old horse started off agean, an' at last they gate to th' far end, but it wor ommost dark, an' when they'd taen th' coffin aght o'th' heears he drew up to one side to wait wol th' ceremony wor ovver, an' when th' fowk caom throo th' grave side Joa wor fast asleep, an' th' horse too, soa they left' em whear they wor an' went hooam.

Some chaps i'th' village gate to hear abaat Joa's drivin an' fallin asleep, soa they thowt they'd have a bit ov a marlock on, an abaat a duzzen on' em went to th' Cemetary gates, an tho' it wor dark they faand th' heears an' th' horse just as it had been drawn up, and Joa fast asleep. One on 'em at had an old white hat changed it varry gently for Joa's black 'en, an' then they hid thersen at tother side o'th' wall. One on 'em set up a whistle at wakkened Joa, an' as sooin as he began to rub his een an' wonder whear he wor, they begun singin th' Old Hundred. "Bith' heart!" he said, "they tell'd me at tha'd a varry hard deeath Nancy, an' it seems tha'rt having a varry hard burrin. Aw declare awve been asleep, an' its as dark as a booit. Awm hauf starved stiff wi caarin here, but aw should think they'll nooan be long nah, for they sewerly dooant mean to stop thear singin all th' neet." Th' chaps waited vary still for a while wol he began grumblin agean. "Aw dooant see ony use i'me caarin here ony longer. Ther'll nubdy want to ride inside. Aw may as weel be off hooam." Just then th' chaps sang another verse, an' he thowt he'd better stop a bit longer, soa he put up his coit collar to keep th' wind aght of his neck, an' wor sooin fast asleep agean. As sooin as they fun it aght they varry quitely tuk th' horse aght o'th' shafts an' turned it into a field cloise by, an' lifted th' gate off th' hinges an' propt it up between th' shafts asteead o'th' horse, an' hung th' harness ovver it; then they teed th' appron strings fast soa as he could'nt get off his seeat, an' waited wol he wakkened agean. They hadn't long to wait before he gave a gape or two, an' then he sed, "Awm nooan baan to caar here ony longer! Aw nobbut agreed to come to th' burrin, aw didn't bargain to stop wol they lettered th' gravestooan! Gee up!" An' he started floggin th' horse for owt he knew, but it nivver stirred. "Ger on wi' thi! or else awl bury thee an' all!" an' he slashed away wi' th' whip, but th' heears nivver moved. Next he tried to get daan to see if he could leead it, but he couldn't lause th' appron at wor across his legs, soa he had to creep aght as he could an' climb onto th' top, an' as th' top wor smooth an' polished he slipt off, an' sat daan ith' middle o'th' rooad wi' sich a bang at if he worn't wakkened befoor ther wor noa fear on him bein' asleep after that.

"Tha'rt a bigger fooil nor aw tuk thi for Joa," he said to hissen, as he sam'd hissen up, "aw thowt tha'd sense enuff to tak thi time an' net come off th' top ov a thing like that i' sich a hurry. It ommost knockt th' wind aght o' me, an' if aw dooant knock th' wind aght o' that horse awl see." It wor nobbut leet enuff to see th' glimmer oth' harness, tho' th' mooin wor just risin, an' he laid his whip on wi' a vengence, but as it did'nt offer to stir he went up to it. "What's th' matter wi' thi?" an' he put aght his hand to find it. "Well, awl be shot! Tha worn't mich when we set off, but tha seems to ha gooan to nowt! Aw could caant thi ribs befoor, but aw can feel 'em nah. Ther's nowt left but a skeleton!"

Th' meoin began to show a bit breeter, an' after grooapin abaat for a while he sed, "It strikes me it isn't a horse at all. Ther's somdy been playin me a trick. Awm nooan mich ov a driver at th' best hand, an' awd as mich as aw could manage to drive comin, but awm blest if aw can drive a five barr'd gate goo in back! Awm fast what to do wi' this lot."

"Why, what's th' matter, Joa?" sed one o'th' chaps, comin' up as if he knew nowt abaat it. "What are ta dooin wi' th' heears here at this time o' neet?"

"That's what aw want to know," he sed, an' he tell'd him all he knew abaat it.

"Well, th' horse can't be far off," th' chap sed, "they'd nivver tak th' horse, for it isn't worth stailin. It'll be i' one o' theas fields sewer enuff. We can find it bi mooin leet."

Joa an him went to seek it, an' as he knew just whear to find it they had'nt long to luk. As sooin as ther backs wor turned, tother chaps oppened th' heears an' filled it wi' th' biggest topstooans off th' wall 'at they could lift, an' when it wor fairly looadened they shut it up agean, an' left it as if it had nivver been touched.

Joa an' his friend coom back wi' th' horse, an' had it harnessed up all right, but altho' it tugged an' pooled as hard as it could, it did'nt stir th' heears.

"Its studden soa long wol aw think it must ha' takken rooit," sed Joa.

"O, nay, its nobbut settled a bit wi' th' graand bein soft. It'll goa reight enuff when it gets off. Tak hold o' one o'th' wheels an' let's give it a start."

Th' old horse pooled its hardest, an' wi' th' help they gave at th' wheels they set it movin, an' as sooin as th' chap saw that, he bid Joa geoid neet an' left him, tellin him at if it stuck fast he mud get behund an' thrust a bit. It hadn't gooan monny yards when Joa saw he mud awther thrust or stop thear all th' neet, an' altho' th' rate they wor gooin at wor slow enuff to suit even one a' Joa's disposition, yet th' sweeat rolled off him, for he'd quite as mich to do as th' horse. Once or twice he stopt to consider whether he hadn't better tak th' horse aght an' get into th' shafts hissen.

Abaat two o'clock i'th' mornin they gate back hooam, an' old Rodger wor waitin for him in a ragin temper, an' when he saw his favorite horse, "Old Pickle," blowin an' steamin as if it had just come aght ov a mash tub, an' Joa wi' a white hat on, he wor sewer he'd been on th' spree. He didn't give him a chance to spaik, but set to an' called him ivverything he could lig his tongue to Joa tried to explain matters, but it wor noa use.

"Its th' last time tha'll ivver drive for me! Tha's been ommost twelve haars away!"

"Why, yo sed aw hadn't to hurry,—but if my drivin doesn't suit yo, yo can drive yorsen, an' welcome; for that horse o' yor's wants huggin, net drivin,—yo did reight to call it 'Old Pickle,' for its getten me into a bonny pickle!"

"An what are ta dooin wi' that white hat? An' whears th' hat aw lent thi?"

"This is th' hat yo lent me, for aw've nivver touched it sin aw set off, an' if its changed color aw can't help it—if it weant do for a burrin it'll do for a weddin."

"Dooant tell me nooan o' thi lies! Awm ommast fit to give thi a gooid hidin whear tha stands!"

"Yo'd better think twice abaat that!"

"Aw will'nt think once," he sed, an' made a rush at him but Joa held his fist aght, an' Rodger ran agean it wi' sich a force wol he flew back an' messured his whole length ith' street.

"What's th' meanin o' that," he sed, as he sam'd hissen up,—"Isn't it enuff, thinks ta, to goa on th' spree an' ommost kill a horse, but tha mun come an' start o' illusin me? But awl mak thi smart for this as sewer as my name is what it is!"

"Aw nivver touched yo," sed Joa, "all aw did wor to hold mi' neive aght; an' if yo had'nt run agean it i' sich a hurry it wod'nt ha harmed yo."

"Awl let thi see whether it wod'nt or net! Goa into th' haase an' change them clooas, an' nivver let mi' see thi face agean!"

Joa wor as anxious to change his clooas an' get off hooam as Rodger wor to be shut on him, for his shirt wor wet throo wi' sweeatin, an' his shoulder had th' skin off wi' thrustin, to say nowt abaat th' knocks he'd getten when he tummeld off th' heears. He didn't loise any time, an' when he coom back Rodger had just oppened th' heears an' fun all th' stooans. "What the degger's th' fooil been doin?" he sed, as he held a Ieet to luk inside. "What's ta fill'd th' heears wi' stooans for, lumpheead? Why, ther's a looad big enuff for a elephant."

"They're just as yo put 'em in," sed Joa, "aw nivver touched ony on 'em; an' if yo'll gie me mi wage awl be off hooam."

"Here's two shillin! goa an' buy a rooap to hang thisen, for tha arn't fit to live!"

"When awm deead yo'll happen bury me for nowt, considerin 'at aw've worked for yo?"

"Eea, an' welcome! Th' sooiner an' th' better!"

"Awm varry mich obliged to yo, an' awl send yo word when yore wanted, but dooant be in a hurry.—Ther's nowt like takkin yer time. Gooid neet."

As that wor th' last job Joa ivver hed, Abergil did'nt mak up her mind to have him, but that does'nt trouble him, for he says "Gettin wed is a job a chap can do ony time, an' ther's noa need to be in a hurry."

His mother's ommost fast what to do wi' him, an' hardly a day passes but what shoo axes him "if he ivver meeans to get owt to do?" an' he allus says, "Awm thinkin abaat it. Give a chap a bit o' time! What's yor hurry?"


Ha Owd Stooansnatch's Dowter gate Wed.

He wor a reight hard-hearted sooart ov a chap wor owd Stooansnatch; ther wor hardly a child 'at lived i'th' seet o'th' smook ov his chimley but what ran away when they saw him coming, an' ther mothers, when they wanted to freeten 'em a bit used to say, 'aw'll fotch owd Stooansnatch if tha doesn't alter.'

He wor worth a gooid bit o' brass, 'at he'd scraped together someway, but like moor sich like it didn't mak him a jot happier, an' he lived as miserly as if he hadn't a penny. Even th' sparrows knew what sooart ov a chap he wor, for they'd goa into iverybody's back yard for two or three crumbs but his, an' if one wor iver seen abaat his door, it wor set daan to be a young en 'at wor leearnin wit. Fowk sed 'at he clam'd his wife to deeath, for he wodn't pairt wi' th' smook off his porrige if he could help it. Th' cowdest day i' winter ther wor hardly a bit o' fire i'th' grate, an' sich a thing as a cannel ov a neet wor quite aght o' question. Th' fowk 'at kept th' shop at th' yard end, sed he did buy a pund when his wife wor laid deead i'th' haase, but it wor becoss he darn't stop wi' a deead body at neet i'th' dark. But he'd a dowter, as grand a lass 'as iver a star pept throo a skyleet at; shoo wor a beauty, an' shoo wor as gooid as shoo wor bonny. When aw used to see her, shoo used to remind me ov a lily in a assmidden. Shoo'd noa grand clooas to her back, but what shoo had shoo lined 'em i' sich a nice style wol they allus luk'd weel. Monny a chap wished he'd niver seen her, an' monny a one made up ther mind if shoo wor to be had to get her. Some tried one way an' some another, but owd Stooansnatch wor ready for 'em. Them 'at went honor bright up to th' door an' axed, he ordered abaght ther business, an' them 'at went creepin abaght th' haase after dark, he used to nawp wi' his stick if he could catch' em. But ther wor one, a reglar blade, he used to be allus playin some sooarts o' marlocks, but iverybody liked him except owd Stooansnatch. He'd gooan wi' a donkey hawkin puttates an' turnips an' stuff for a year or two, an' as he'd gooan his raand he'd seen Bessy,—'Bonny Bessy,' as fowk called her—an' th' neighbors nooaticed 'at if shoo wanted owt, 'at he allus picked th' grandest bit he had for her, an' used to give her far moor bumpin weight nor what he gave them.

He'd gooan as far as to give her a wink once or twice, an' shoo'd gooan as far as to give him a smile, but that wor all they'd getten to. But one neet when he'd getten hooam, an' th' donkey wor put i'th' stable, an' all his wark done, he sat daan ov a stooil an' stared into th' fire.

'What's th' matter wi' thi, Joa?' sed his owd mother; 'aw see tha's summat o' thi mind, hasn't ta had a gooid day?'

'Yi! aw've had a gooid enuff day, mother, it isn't that.'

'Why what is it lad? Tha luks a wantin.'

'Yo say reight, an' aw am a wantin, but aw dooan't meean to be long. Aw've made up mi mind to get wed, an' sooin an' all; for awm sure yo arn't fit to be tewin as yor forced to be nah.'

'A'a, Joa, tha'rt tryin to fooil thi owd mother awm feeard! But aw wish aw may live to see that day, for aw think if aw saw thi nicely settled aw could leave this world better content. But who does ta think o' havin? Aw didn't know tha wor cooartin.'

'Well, aw dooant think yo did, for aw havn't begun yet, but awve made up mi mind to start, an that sooin.'

'Waw, ther'll be a bit ov a sign when tha does begin, but if tha luks soa yonderly afoor startin, aw dooant know what tha'll luk like afoor th' weddin day. But let's be knowin who's th' lass.'

'Well, aw know yo'll be capt when aw tell yo; but it's owd Stooansnatch dowter.'

'Th' grandest lass aw iver clapt mi een on, but if that's her tha's made choice on awm feeard tha'll be disappointed. Owd Stooansnatch 'll want a different chap throo bi thee for his son i'-law; waw, mun, when owt happens th' owd man, shoo'll be worth her weight i' gold.'

'Hi! fowk say soa, an' aw've been thinkin 'at that's nooan a bad thing! Aw'll drop hawkin then, mother. If aw get aw'll that brass aw'll have suet dumplins to ivery meal. But putting all that i'th' back graand, if shoo hadn't a rag to her back nor a penny in her pocket, shoo's th' lass for me; an' aw connot rest for thinkin abaat her, an' awm just studdyin abaat gooin to see her to neet.'

'Why, lad, art ta reight i' thi heead, thinks ta? Doesn't ta know what sooart ov a chap her fayther is?'

'Aw should think aw do! Aw've nooan traded wi' him soa long withaat findin him aght.'

'Well, awm nowt agean thi cooartin, but aw think tha mud ha fun sumdy likelier nor Bessy; for tha'll nobbut be wastin thi time, tha may depend on't. They'll have to be sumdy better nor thee 'at gets Bessy.'

'Better nor me! Waw, aw wonder whean yo'll find him! For aw can wrastle ony chap mi own weight, an' aw'll set misen agean th' world for bein a judge ov a gooid maily puttate. Nah, if yo think awm gooin a beggin for her to owd Stooansnatch yo're off yor horse, for awm net. Awm baan to ax her th' furst, an' if shoo says 'Eea,' aw'l sooin work owd Stooansnatch into th' mind.'

'Why, lad, aw dooan't know what's getten into thi heead, but ther niver wor one o' awr family went cracked afoor, an' aw hooap tha'll come raand.'

'Nah, mother, yo dooant know all 'at aw know, but aw'l just let yo into a bit ov a saycret. Nah, aw've nooaticed 'at Bessy allus blushes when shoo comes to buy owt o' me, an' shoo luks onywhear else rayther nor shoo'll luk at me; an' shoo strokes th' owd donkey's nooas an' maks a fuss on him, an' even gies him th' carrot tops, an' he munches' em up an' luks at me as mich as to say—'This is her Joa; spaik up like a man an' tha'll win;' an' latly he's begun to rawt as sooin as iver we've getten into th' end o' th' street, an' aw tak that for a gooid sign, for yo know Jerusalem wod do owt for me. An' nah as aw've finished mi supper aw'll be off.'

'Well, lad, aw wish thi weel, but awm feeard. Aw think if aw wor thee aw should want summat moor nor a donkey rawtin to set me off o' sich a eearand as that. Listen! does ta hear it nah? It's a rawtin agean. Can ta tell me what that means?'

'Nay, by gow, aw dooant know. Aw think it must meean 'luk sharp.''

'Aw think it meeans tha'rt a choolter heead, that's what aw think.'

'Neer heed, mother; yo'll see when aw come back.'

Soa off Joa went, full o' faith. When he gate aghtside, th' mooin wor just risin, an' th' stars wor sparklin up i'th' sky, an' all wor clear an' still. It wor a gooid two miles to Bessy's, an' he'd time to think a bit; an' he kept turnin over in his mind what his mother had sed abaght gooin cracked, an' he began to have some daats as to whether he wor altogether square or net. 'A'a,' he sed, 'aw've missed it this time, for aw mud ha browt her a heearin or some oonions for her supper, but it's just like me, aw allus think o' thease things when it's too lat—aw must ha been born a bit to lat; but what awm to do, or what awm to say when aw get to owd Stooansnatche's aw connot tell. But fortune favors th' brave,' an' aw have been lucky befoor, soa aw'll hooap to be lucky agean.'

Joa wor fast lessenin th' distance between hissen an' th' haase whear owd Stooansnatch lived, an' it worn't long befoor he stood peepin in at th' winder. He couldn't see owt, for all wor as dark as a booit inside. He then began tryin to mak up a speech, or frame some mak ov excuse for comin, but he wor clean lick'd, for moor he tried, an' th' farther off he seemed to get, an he began to think 'at if he went on studdyin mich longer it ud end in him gooin back baght dooin owt, soa he screwed up his pluck an' knocked at th' door. He could hear a mumblin an' scufflin inside, an' somdy strike a match, an' in a bit he heeard somdy unlock two or three locks, an' shooit five or six bolts, an' then th' door oppened abaght two inch, an' a nooas 'at iverybody knew belang'd to owd Stooansnatch bobbed aght.

'What does ta want at this time o'th' neet?' sed th' owd man.

'Nay, nowt particlar; but didn't yo give me hauf-a-craan amang that copper this mornin, think yo? Aw shouldn't like to wrang onybody, an' aw did get hauf-a-craan somewhere.'

Th' door oppened in a minit, an' Joa went in. He knew weel enuff 'at th' hauf craan didn't belang to th' owd sinner, but he didn't care as he'd getten in an' Bessy wor sittin bi th' side o'th' fire lukkin bonnier, he thowt nor iver.

Owd Stooansnatch wor reckonin to caant up his brass, an' in a bit he says,—'Tha'rt reight, Joa, lad, it's mine; awm just hauf-a-craan short, soa tha can give it me.'

Joa hadn't heeard a word o' this speech, for his een wor fixed o' Bessy. an' his maath wor oppen as if he wor gooin to swallow her. Bessy wor blushin, an' seemed varry mich takken up wi' her toa 'at had popt throo th' end ov her slipper.

'Does ta hear me?' he sed sharply, 'aw tell thi it's mine, an' tha mun give it me, an' dooant stand starin thear! Gi me that brass, an' then tak thisen off hooam! aw connot affooard to keep a cannel burnin this rooad for nowt.'

'Why, thear's th' brass,' sed Joa, flinging it on to th' table. 'Aw should think it owt to pay for a cannel or two.'

'It's nowt to thee what it'll pay for! but tha's noa need to sit daan thear for we're gooin to bed, an' soa tha mun goa.'

'Well dooan't bi i' sich a hurry abbat it, awm net goin to stop all th' neet yo needn't think, but aw've another bit o' business to see yo abaat, 'at'll be moor i' yer way nor that hauf-craan's been.'

'Well if that's th' case tha con stop a bit an' aw'll put th' cannel aght, for we can tawk i'th' dark. An' nah tell me what it is.'

'Yo see,' sed Joa, 'aw've been thinkin 'at it ud be a trouble to yo to loise yor dowter, for aw know shoo's a gooid lass.'

'Shoo's a extravagant hussey, that's what shoo is,' sed Stooansnatch, 'for shoo's just gien a booan away 'at's niver been stew'd nobbut once.'

'Why shoo mayn't be just as careful as yo, shoo's young yet; but then aw dooant think if her an' me gate wed withaat iver lettin yo know 'at yo'd be altogether suited.'

'Wed! Wed! Who says shoo's gooin to get wed? Wed! what to a bit ov a puttaty hawker? If tha mentions sich a thing to me aw'll bundle thi aght o'th' door i' quick sticks.'

'Well, aw have mentioned it, an' aw'st mention it agean if aw like; an' as for shovin me aght o'th' door, aw'll forgi yo if yo do that.' An Joa quietly gate up an' locked th' door an' put th' key in his pocket.

When owd Stooansnatch saw that he lauped aght of his cheer, fooamin at th' maath like a mad dog. 'What are ta baan to do? Does ta want to rob me? Aw'll mak thee pay for this!'

'Yo can call it robbin if yo like, but what aw've coom for is yor dowter, an' aw mean to have her unless shoo says noa, an' aw dooant think her heart's hard enuff for that,' sed Joa lukkin at her. But Bessy niver spaik, an' shoo seemed as if shoo could see nowt but th' toa aght o'th' end ov her slipper.

'Tha nasty ragamuffin! Tha impident scamp! Oppen that door! If tha doesn't aw'll fetch th' perleece! Aw'd rayther bury her alive nor tha should have her!'

'Why yo needn't get into sich a fit abaat it fayther (for aw suppooas aw may call yo fayther nah), yo know sich things—'

'Fayther! Fayther! Whose fayther? Awm nooan thy fayther nor likely to be! Aw'd rayther pairt wi' ivery hawpeny aw have nor iver think 'at tha wor owt to me!'

'Well, Bessy's fayther'll be my fayther when we get wed, an' aw dooan't see what ther is to be 'shamed on i' that. But aw think yo'd better put a bit o' coil on th' foir for it's rayther a cooil neet.'

'Awst put noa coil on th' foir, aw con tell thi that. Aw havn't getten my brass wi' burnin coil at this time o'th' neet. Aw hooap tha'll be frozzen to th' deeath if tha doesn't goa.'

'Noa fear abaat me bein frozzen, becoss if yo d'ooant put some on aw will, soa crack that nut, fayther.'

'Aw'll crack thy nut if tha touches ony coils here!' sed Stooansnatch, seizin hold o'th' pooaker, 'aw'll do that for thee an' sharply if tha doesn't hook it.'

'If yo cannot keep yor temper better nor that aw should advise yo to goa to bed an' leave Bessy an' me to talk matters ovver a bit; an' awm net gooin to caar here an' get mi deeath o' cold for th' sake ov a bit ov coil aw can tell yo,' an' Joa tuk th' coil basket an' emptied it onto th' foir. 'Nah then just leearn me that pooaker, or else scale it yorsen fayther, an' then we shall have a bit o' leet.' But Stooansnatch kept fast hold o'th' pooaker, soa Joa scaled it wi' th' tongs.

'Yo happen havn't owt to sup i'th' haase Bessy, have yo?' he sed, spaikin to her for th' first time since he'd takken possession. But still Bessy seem'd altogether takken up wi th' toa 'at wor peepin aght ov her slipper.

'Dooan't be 'shamed lass, dooan't be 'shamed, thi fayther'll be all reight in a bit. Come an' let's gie thi a kuss,' he sed, stoopin ovver her an' puttin his arm raand her waist.

This wor moor nor owd Stooansnatch could stand, soa swingin th' pooaker aboon his heead, he browt it daan wi' a fearful crack onto th' heead o' poor Joa, who at once reel'd ovver an fell insensible to th' graand.

Terrified when he saw what he'd done, Stooansnatch let th' pooaker fall, an' Bessy jump'd up wringin her hands an' cryin 'Oh, fayther! yo've killed him! yo've killed him! Oh, Joa, Joa, spaik to me! What shall we do? Fayther bring a leet sharp!'

But that wor aght o'th' question, for his hand tremeld soa 'at he couldn't leet a cannel, soa Bessy had to leet it, an' then shoo bent ovver th' form ov poor Joa. A little crimson stream wor slowly formin a pool abaat his heead, an' his pale face luk'd soa awful wi' his jet black hair araand his brow, 'at Bessy seemed ommast as terrified as her fayther. But tho' shoo wor scared for a minnit shoo sooin gate ovver it, an' set to bind up his heead an' place it carefully on a cushion. Then shoo bathed his face wi' watter, but still ther wor noa sign o' life.

'Aw didn't mean to hit him soa hard, Bessy, awm sure aw didn't.'

'Yo'll be hung for it as sure as yor standin thear, an' then what's to come o' me, left withaat onybody to care for me?'

Owd Stooansnatch could say nowt for a long time, but at last he sed, 'Bessy, put thi hand in his pocket for th' door kay. Aw think aw'd better fotch a doctor.'

Bessy felt backward at putting her hand i' his pocket, but shoo did soa, an' handed th' kay to her fayther, an' in a varry short time he wor hobblin off for a doctor.

Bessy kept bathing his heead, an' in a while he slowly oppened his een an' luk'd raand. 'Ha does ta feel, Joa?' axed Bessy, in a voice as tender as if shoo'd been talkin to a babby. 'Whativer will thi mother say?'

This sooart o' tawk browt Joa to his senses. 'Well, Bessy,' he sed, 'my mother tell'd me aw wor gooin cracked bat aw think awm brokken nah. Whear's thi fayther?'

'Gooan for a doctor; he thinks tha'rt killed, an' he's terrified aght ov his wits.'

'Well, if my heead worn't pratty thick, aw should ha done sellin puttates. But, Bessy, if aw come raand all reight will ta be mi wife? Tell me that?'

'Hold thi noise; tha munnot talk—sithee ha thi heead's bleedin.'

'Neer heed it! My heart'll bleed too if tha willn't ha me;—nah, lass, what says ta?'

'Tha knows mi fayther'll niver agree to it, soa what's th' use o' talkin.'

'But will ta agree to it if he does? That's what aw want to know?'

'If tha'll nobbut hold thi noise aw'll agree to owt;—tha luks moor like burryin nor weddin.'

'Well, that's settled, an' aw'll tell thi ha aw con get top-side o'th' old man. Dunnot say a word abaat me havin come raand, an' when th' doctor comes aw'll put him up to a thing.'

Just then th' door oppen'd, an' Stooansnatch an' th' doctor coom in. Joa shut his een an' tried to luk as deead as he could. Th' doctor felt his pulse, an' luk'd at his heead, an' sed, 'we must get this man to bed, it seems to me that his skull is fractured.'

'Do yo think he's likely to dee?' axed Stooansnatch.

'Well, it's very doubtful; it's a bad case, but we must make the best of it, so help me to get him to bed.'

They all three tuk hold on him, an' wi' a deeal o' trouble managed to get him into Bessy's room, an' to bed. 'Now then, get some brandy an' some stickin plaister,—Bessy can fetch it.'

'Na, aw'll fotch it; aw con get it cheaper,' sed Stooansnatch. An' off he went, wonderin ha mich he could save aght o'th' hauf craan Joa'd gien him.

As sooin as he'd gooan, Joa oppened his een, an' raisin hissen up on his elbow an' winkin at th' doctor, he sed, 'doctor, con yo keep a saycret?'

Th' doctor wor soa capt wol he ommost fell into th' assnuck, an' withaat waitin for him to spaik, Joa sed, 'yo see aw've had a nasty knock, an aw mean to mak owd Stooansnatch pay for it.'

'Certainly! Quite proper! Sue him for £100 damages. I'll attend as a witness.'

'But that isn't th' way aw want to mak him pay for it. Aw dooan't want his brass, aw want his dowter, an' it's becoss aw axed him for her 'at he crack'd mi heead. Nah, if yo can nobbut mak him believe 'at this is a varry bad case, an' freeten him wi' makkin him believe 'at aw shall niver get better, aw think we can manage it.'

'Capital! capital!' sed th' doctor, rubbin his hands wi' glee (for he wor noa fonder o' Stooansnatch nor th' rest o' fowk) 'th' very thing! You can depend on me. Ah! here he comes.'

Joa shut his een, an th' doctor lained ovver him as if he wor examinin his heead, an' Bessy stood wi' her apron up to her face as if shoo wor cryin, but shoo wor laughin fit to split, for shoo could enjoy a joke at th' owd man's expense as weel as onybody.

Owd Stooansnatch coom in traidin of his tip tooas, holdin a roll o' plaister i' one hand an' sixpenoth o' brandy i'th' tother.

Th' doctor luk'd at him an' pool'd a long face an' sed, 'I'm afraid its of no use, Mr. Stooansnatch; this is a bad case, and had better be taken to the hospital.'

'Will it be cheaper to have him thear nor at home?' sed Stooansnatch.

'That I can't tell, but I shall be compelled to give you into custody. Murder is a sad thing, Mr. Stooansnatch—a terrible thing, sir; and the hanging of an old man is an awful thing to contemplate.'

'Murder? hanging? Aw didn't do it! They'll niver hang me for it, will they? A'a dear, what'll come o' Bessy an' all my bit o' brass? Keep him here, doctor, an' try to cure him; aw dooant care if it costs a paand,' an th' old man trembled wol he had to steady hissen agean th' bed pooast.

Joa had kept quiet as long as he could, an for fear o' spoilin it all wi' laffin, he set up a groan laad enuff to wakken a deead en.

'Poor fellow,' sed th' doctor, givin him a drop o' brandy, 'that's a fearful groan.' He then cut a lot o' hair, an' put on abaat six inch square o' plaister, an' leavin him, went into th' next room wi' owd Stooansnatch, leavin Bessy an' Joa together, an' yo may bet Joa made gooid use of his time, for he'd begun his cooartin i' hard earnest, an' he meant to goa throo wi' it. What they sed to one another aw dooant know, but aw suppoas they talk'd th' same sooart o' fooilery as other fowk, an' believed it. Haiver, ther's one thing sartin, they coom to understand one another varry weel, or if they didn't, they thowt they did.

When th' doctor an' th' owd man wor i'th' next room, an' th' door shut, th' doctor sed, 'Tell me all about this affair,—how it happened, and tell me the truth, for if he dies, the law will require me to state all I know, and perhaps it might be possible to have the sentence commuted to transportation for life instead of hanging.'

'Oh, doctor, do get me aght o' this scrape if yo can. Aw'll tell yo all abaat it, an' yo tell me what to do.'

Soa he tell'd him all just as it happened, an' when he'd finished th' doctor luk'd wise for a minit or two, an' then he sed, varry slowly an' solemnly, 'so you spilt a fellow creature's blood because he wanted to marry your daughter. The case looks very bad—very bad.'

'What mun aw do, doctor? Connot you tell me what to do?'

'I can only see one way, and that is, if we could bring him to consciousness, and get a minister to marry them before he dies, then you see he would be your son-in-law, and his mother would never like to have it said that her daughter-in-law's father had been hanged, and the thing might be hushed up; the only difference would be that your daughter would be a widow.'

'A widow! an' then shoo could claim his donkey, an puttates, an' all his clooas, couldn't shoo?' 'Yes, certainly.'

'Well, they'll be worth summat, for he's some varry gooid clooas, an' they'd just abaat fit me. Aw think that's th' best way to do.'

'Well if it has to be done it must be done quickly. If you will get a marriage license and a minister, I will endeavour to restore him to consciousness, so you had better be off.'

Off went old Stooansnatch, tho' it wor nobbut four o'clock i'th' mornin.

When he'd gooan, th' doctor tell'd all 'at had happened. Bessy begged hard to have it put off for a wick, but Joa tawk'd soa weel, an' th' doctor backed him i' all he sed, wol at last shoo consented.

In abaat two haars, th' old man coom back, an browt th' license an' th' parson wi' him.

'Is he livin yet?' he axed in a whisper.

'Hush! yes, he still survives and is quite conscious,' an' withaat any moor to do he led' em into th' room an' motioned th' parson to waste noa time; an' he walked up to th' bedside an' takkin hold o' one o' each o' ther hands began his nomony, an' wor varry sooin throo wi' it, an' pronounced 'em man an' wife.

It wor a gooid job at Stooansnatch turned his back wol it wor gooin on, for if he hadn't he mud ha smell'd a rat, an' a big en too.

As sooin as it wor ovver th' doctor went to Joa an' axed him ha he felt.

'Aw think awm gettin on gradely thank yo; ha's mi fayther gettin on?' he sed, in a voice as laad as if he wor hawkin his greens.

Th' parson wor soa takken wol he let his book tummel, an owd Stooansnatch jumpt ommost aght ov his booits, an' turned raand to see if it wor possible to be Joa 'at had spokken; an when he saw him sittin up, winking one e'e, an' a grin all ovver his face, he luk'd at him for a minit an then he sed, 'Joa aw allus thowt thee a daycent sooart ov a lad, but aw niver gave thi credit for havin mich wit, but tha's getten th' best on me this time. Tha's played thi cards pratty weel for that lass, an' tha hasn't wasted mich time ovver th' gam, but tha's ommost brokken mi heart.'

'Well, yo've ommost brokken my heead, soa we're straight.'

'Tha thinks tha's done summat clivver, but aw'll fix yo all, for aw willn't leave yo a hawpeny, noa net a hawpeny.'

'Yo can keep all yor brass an' welcome, an' mich gooid may it do yo, aw've getten all yo had at aw hankered after, an soa nah aw'll get up an' tak her wi' me, for shoo's mine nah, an' aw think that old donkey an' me will be able to find her summat to ait, at any rate we'll try.'

Joa jumpt up (for he wor varry little warse for his hurt,) an' tellin Bessy to put on her duds prepared to leeave.

'Well, Mr. Stooansnatch,' sed th' doctor, 'a weddin is better than a hangin after all, isn't it?'

'Hangin be hanged! yo've been just as deep i'th' muck as they've been i'th' mire, an' if awd my way awd hang yo all. But aw say, luk here, aw dooant want to be made a laffin-stock on, an soa if yo'll promise niver to mention this affair, maybe aw shall do summat for' em yet, an' if anybody axes owt abaat it, say it wor done wi' my consent.'

They all promised, an' as they wor leeavin Joa sed, 'gooid mornin fayther, yo mun come up an' see awr Bessy as oft as yo can, we'll mak yo welcome.'

'Joa tha'rt a scaandrel if iver ther wor one, an' thee Bess, see at tha behaves thisen, an let' em see at tha hasn't been brought up wi' extravagant ways; save a penny wheariver tha can, th' time may come when yo'll need it. Here's a bit o' summat to start wi',' he sed, an' gave her an old bacca box an' shut th' door.

They all laffed, an' as they wor goin up th' street Joa oppen'd th' box, an' inside wor a little bit o' paper, an' written on it thease words. 'For Bessy's wedding if she weds with my consent.' They all luk'd curiously to see what wor in it as he slowly oppen'd it, an they could hardly believe ther een when they saw a Bank o' England note for £500.

Well, yo may think ha capt Joa's mother wor when shoo saw him come in wi' Bessy on his arm, for it wor nobbut th' neet befoor 'at he'd goan aght cooartin, an' when he saw her he sed, 'Well, mother, yo sed aw wor gooin cracked, an' sin' aw saw yo aw've been cracked an' getten spliced, an' aw've browt yo a dowter; an' as aw've axed some friends o' mine to come to ther drinkin, yo mun side all them tubs an' buy some rum, an' let us have some rum an' teah, an' owt else yo can get us, for we want a gooid blowout. An' wol yo do that, Bessy an' me 'll goa to bed a bit, for we've been up all th' neet an' awm sure shoo must be sleepy.'

'Nay awm nooan sleepy Joa, thee goa to bed an' aw'll help thi mother.'

'That's reight lass,' sed his mother, 'aw mak nowt o' fowk sleepin i'th' day time, thee help me an' tak noa notice o' him, he isn't reight in his heead, aw cannot tell ha iver he caanselled thee to have him.'

'Nah mother, dooant yo interfere between a man an' his wife; yo forget at aw've had my heead smashed sin aw saw yo, an' aw want a bit o' rest.'

'Thee goa to bed an' get all th' rest tha wants, tha'll sleep better bi thisen 'coss tha'rt moor used to it, an' aw'll see at Bessy doesn't run away.'

'But, mother, yo see'—

'Aw see nowt abaat it, an' unless tha clears aght o' this hoil ther'll nawther be rum an' teah nor nowt else! Bless mi life lad! does ta think at ther wor niver onybody wed afoor thee? tha'rt war nor a child wi' a new laikon.'

Joa saw it wor noa use tawkin, soa he went aght to feed his donkey, an' luk after th' pigs an' poultry, an' mak believe he wor iver soa thrang.

At last drinkin time coom, an' a few friends coom up, an' a jolly time they had. Joa luk'd joyous an' Bessy luk'd bonny, an' just befoor they separated for th' neet an' wor all standin up to drink long life an' prosperity to th' newly married couple, th' door oppen'd an' in coom owd Stooansnatch. 'Well,' he sed, 'awm just i' time,' soa seizing hold ov a glass o' rum he says here's a toast;

'May thease young ens to-day has seen joined,
Find all th' pleasure ther hearts are now cravin;
An' when spendin my brass may they find,
As mich pleasure as aw fun i' savin.'

Ov coorse this tooast wor drunk i' bumpers, an' sooin after they brake up, an' all went to ther hooams.

Joa an' Bessy seem to get on varry weel together; an Joa's mother says 'at all shoo wants to mak her happy is to be a granmother.

Stooansnatch seems to be altered famously sin Bessy gate wed, an' it is sed (but for th' truth on it aw willn't pledge misen), 'at one day he gave a little lad a penny to buy spice wi'. If its true, he isn't past hooap yet.

He spends th' mooast ov his time up at Joa's, but he's niver had a pooaker in his hand sin that neet, an' if yo want to see him mad, just say a word abaat hangin.


Th' New Railrooad.

Yo've heeard tell abaat th new railrooad aw dar say? It's an age o' steeam is this! Smook nuisance and boilers brustin are ivery-day affairs, an' ivery thing an' ivery body seem to be on at full speed. Aw wonder 'at noabdy invents a man wi a drivin pulley at his back soa's they could speed him up as they do a loom to soa mony picks a minit; th' chap 'at get's a patent for that ul mak a fortune.

But after all, they dooant seem in a varry gurt hurry abaat th' new railroad; but we mun remember Rome wor'nt built in a day, nor a neet nawther, an' soa we mun have patience. They've nobbut been agate two or three year, an' although it's hardly likely at' we shall live to see it finished, happen somedy else will, an' that's a comfort. But bi what aw hear, ther's some fowk at Ovenden fancy it'll be finished befoor soa varry long, an' they've started what they call "a railway trainin class," to taich some oth' young chaps to be railway porters, soa's they'll be ready when th' time comes. They meet in a cottage haase twice a wick to practice, an' they say they're gettin on furst rate. Ther's owd Billy 'at wor once a firer-up for a veal pie shop, an' he's th' president, an he's getten th' asthma soa bad wol if he sturs he puffs war nor a broken winded horse, soa they call him puffin Billy. When they're practisin', they stand o'th' side o'th' oven door i' ther turns, an' when Billy whistles one on 'em oppens it an' shaats aght "Change here for Bradford Beck, Halifax, Hull and t'other shops!" then he bangs it too ageean an shaats "All reight!" an another comes an' does th' same. When they began at th' furst they borrowed a Tom cat o' th' old woman, an' used to put it i' th' oven for a passenger, but one o'th' chaps wor soa fussy, 'at he bang'd th' door too befoor it had getten reight aght, an' chopped its tail clean off. Niver mind if th' owd woman didn't mak a crack—shoo declared shoo'd sue' em for condemnation. Billy tell'd her it ud be a Manx cat after that, but shoo sooin tell'd him shoo wanted nooan sich lik manx; soa they have to tak ther lessons nah withaat passenger. Two on 'em 'at's passed ther examination are studdyin nah for ticket collectors, an' they promise to mak varry gooid uns. When they practise that, they call th' haase door th' furst class, th' cubbord th' second class, an' th' oven door th' third class, an' they start at th' haase door furst, "Gentlemen, your tickets please," then they goa to th' cubbord door, "Tickets," an' then to th' oven door, "Nah then, luk sharp wi' them tickets."

But they'd a sad mishap one neet, for it seems th' owd woman had been bakin, and shoo forgate to mention it, soa when th' furst chap gate hold o' th' oven door hannel he burn'd his fingers, an' becos tother students lafft he sed they'd done it o' purpose; an' it led to a reglar fratch, an' he gate into sich a rage 'at he sed he'd swallow one on em, if he did'nt hold his din, an' it wod'nt be th' furst porter he'd swallow'd nawther! Soa th' taicher tell'd him 'at sich like carryin on wor varry unporterish, an' if he brake th' rules that way he'd have to be taken before th' inspector. But nowt could quieten him till he gate his fingers rubb'd wi sooap an' they gave ovver smartin, soa as th' oven door wor hot they had to practice another pairt. One on 'em borrowed a wheelbarrow, as they could'nt get a luggage lurry, an' they had to wheel it up an' daan th' haase floor i' ther turns, callin aght "By leave!" An' them 'at could manage to run ovver one o' th' tother's tooas, an' goa on as if nowt wor, gate one gooid mark, but him at could run buzz agean a chap an' fell him wor th' next on th' list for a guard. It used to be warm wark boath for him at wor wheelin' an' for tothers, but they wor all on 'em bent o' bein' porters, soa they tew'd at it, detarmined to maister all th' ins an' aghts abaat it. Whether all ther trouble will be thrown away or net aw connot tell, but ther's one gooid thing, it keeps' em aght ov a war turn an' saves th' police a deal o' bother.

But th' owd fowk dooant like th' idea; they see noa use i' bringin sich gurt stinkin things into their district, an' they've detarmined to do all they con to stop it; when a body's been able to live 60 or 70 year withaat sich like nonsense, they see noa reason why they shouldn't be let finish their bit o' time aght quietly. Ther wor one young lad went to ax his gronfayther if he mud join th' class, an' th' owd chap went varry near into a fit, he luk'd at him for a minit, an' then he says,

A'a, Johnny! a'a, Johnny! aw'm sooary for thee!
But come thi ways to me, an' sit o' mi knee.
For it's shockin' to hearken to th' words 'at tha says;—
Ther wor nooan sich like things i' thi gronfayther's days.
When aw wor a lad, lads wor lads, tha knows, then,
But nahdays they owt to be 'shamed o' thersen;
For they smook, an' they drink, an' get other bad ways;
Things wor different once i'thi gronfayther's days.
Aw remember th' furst day aw went coortin' a bit,
An' walked aght thi gronny;—awst niver forget;
For we blushed wol us faces wor all in a blaze;—
It wor nooa sin to blush i' thi gronfayther's days.
Ther's nooa lasses nah, John, 'at's fit to be wed;
They've false teeth i' ther maath, an' false hair o' ther heead:
They're a make-up o' buckram, an' waddin', an' stays,
But a lass wor a lass i' thi gronfayther's days.
At that time a tradesman dealt fairly wi th' poor,
But nah a fair dealer can't keep oppen th' door;
He's a fooil if he fails, he's a scamp if he pays;
Ther wor honest men lived i' thi gronfayther's days.
Ther's chimleys an' factrys i' ivery nook nah,
But ther's varry few left 'at con fodder a caah;
An' ther's telegraff poles all o'th' edge o'th' highways,
Whear grew bonny green trees i' thi gronfayther's days.
We're teld to be thankful for blessin's 'ats sent,
An' aw hooap 'at tha'll allus be blessed wi content:
Tha mun mak th' best tha con o' this world wol tha stays,
But aw wish tha'd been born i' thi gronfayther's days.


Mose Hart's Twelvth Mess.

'Holloa! whear ta for, Dick? Tha'rt donned up fearful grand.'

'Nay, aw nobbut wish aw knew whear aw wor, but aw connot tell for th' life on me; but tha can happen put me into th' end, for awm seekin "Th' Fiddle Brig an' Blow Pipe Music Saloon," for aw've getten two tickets for a grand consart 'at's gooin to be gien bi some Morpheus Musical Society, an' aw've rammel'd abaat for a gooid clock haar, an' awm blow'd if aw can find th' shop.'

'Why, if tha's getten two tickets tha mud as weel gie me one, an' aw'll goa hooam an' get donned, an' we'st be company.'

'Bith' heart, lad, aw wish tha wod; aw dooant care bein my share towards a quairt if tha'll goa, but awm feeard we'st be lat; doesn't ta think them clooas tha has on'll do?'

'Nay, tha sees mi britches knee is brussen.'

'Ne'er heed, aw'l leearn thi mi kerchy, an' then as sooin as tha's getten set daan tha can spreead it ovver thi knees, an' nobdy'll iver know owt abaat it.'

'Well, if tha doesn't mind aw dooant, for a chap had better have a hoil in his clooas nor a hoil in his karracter, soa let's try to find this place. Sithee! what does that sign say 'at's hingin' aght o' th' charmer winder?'

'Nay, Seth, tha knows awm noa reader, an' besides aw havn't mi specks, but what does ta mak it into?'

'Well, ther's a Hess, an' a Hay, an' a Hell, an' two Hoes, an' a Hen, what does that spell?'

'Nay, aw connot tell, but it'll nooan be what we want awm sewer o' that, for thear's noa hens abaat thear.'

'Ha hens, lumpheead! It's th' letter N aw sed.'

'Litter hen! why aw nivver heeard o' sich o' thing; aw've heeard o' pigs havin litters but nivver hens, we call 'em cletches.'

'Tha gets less sense, Dick, ivvery day, aw do think. Doesn't ta understand? Ther's a Hess, an' a Hay, an' a Hell, an' two Hoes, an' a Hen, an' that spells saloon, or else aw've forgetten my algibra.'

'Well, well, happen it does; tha's noa need to get soa cross-grained abaat it; if tha goes on like that aw'll gie th' ticket to somdy else, nah mark that.'

'Tha can gie it to who the duce tha's a mind, Dick; awm nawther beholden to thee nor to thi ticket, soa crack that nut!'

'Well, tha's noa need to be soa chuff. Here's th' ticket an' mi kerchy, an' nah tha con follow clois to me an' we'll goa up stairs. Aw con hear some mewsic bi nah, come on.'

Just as they oppened th' door all th' singers wor standin up to begin.

'Dooant stand up for th' sake o' us,' sed Dick, 'get on wi' yer mewsic, we can caar daan onywhear.' Iverybody laff'd when Dick sed soa, an' as they didn't know what they wor laffin at they thowt it wor at Seth's britches.

'Yo've noa need to laff,' sed Seth, 'aw've some better at hooam.'

'Silence! silence!' bawled aght a lot o' fowk; an' when all wor quiet, th' chap at th' far end began shakkin a bit ov a stick 'at he had, an' Seth sed, 'Tha's noa need to shak thi stick at me,' but what he sed beside wor lost, for all th' singers struck up, an' Dick an' Seth set daan o' th' edge ov a big drum 'at ther wor in th' nook. In a bit Seth axed th' chap 'at set next to him what they wor singin.

'It's Mozart's Twelfth Mass,' he sed.

'Why, what dooant they turn him aght for?'

'Turn who aght?' sed th' chap lukkin raand.

'Why, Mose Hart. If he worked at awr shop he'd be secked for one mess, niver tawk abaat twelve.'

'Whisht!' sed th' chap, an' gave Seth a drive wi' his elbow just between his brace buttons, an' Seth went daan wi' a soss onto th' drum end, an' throo it he went wi' a crack as laad as a pistol gooin off.

'Thear, tha's done it,' sed Dick; 'Tha's letten all th' mewsic aght o' that, onyway; they owt to ha made a drum major o' thee.'

'It's noa fawt o' mine,' he sed, as he tried to scramel aght. 'Let me catch hold o' that chap' at knocked th' wind aght o' me, an' if aw dooant drum him it'll be becoss aw connot.'

When he gate to his feet he luk'd raand, but th' chap had mizel'd, but all th' singers wor standin raand laffin fit to split.

'Are yo laffin becoss mi britches knees is brussen or becose th' drum end's brussen, aw'd like to know?'

'What's th' matter wi' thi? tha'rt as mad as if tha'd swoller'd th' drum asteead o'th' drum swollerin thee; tha mud ha getten thi bally brussen,' sed Dick.

'It's very plain to me that there will be no more harmony here this ev'ning,' sed th' little man 'at wor shakkin th' stick, 'and so I shall leave you, an' I hope those who have tickets to dispose of, will in future give them to persons who can appreciate music.'

'Aw'll mak thee sick for two pins,' sed Seth, 'if tha says owt agean me, aw'll sing thee for glasses raand ony day.'

The conductor sed no more but went home.

'Who is yond leckterin fooil?' sed Seth, to a chap 'at stood near.

'That's th' conductor.'

'Corn doctor, is he? Why, what does he want at a singing doo? Connot yo cut yor own corns?'

'Tha doesn't understand, he's th' leeader.'

'Well, if he's th' leeader, what dooant yo follow him for? But nah luk here! aw'll tell yo what aw'll do. Aw've been th' cause o' braikin up yor spree, soa suppoas yo all stop an' have a bit ov a doo wi' me; aw've getten a shillin or two an' we'll send for some ale an' mak a reglar free-an-easy on it.'

'Hear! hear!' sed one.

'Ov course we'll have it here, whear else does ta want it!' Soa they all agreed to sit daan, and Seth sent for two gallon o' ale an' some bacca, an' nooan on 'em seemed to be sooary 'at things had turned aght as they had.

When they'd all had a second tot, an' getten ther pipes let, they made Seth into th' cheerman, an' he sed they'd have to excuse him for net knowin ther names, but when he wanted to call anybody up he'd do his best to mak 'em understand who he meant, an' to begin wi, he should mak bould to ax that chap wi' th' big nooas to sing a song.

Nubdy stirred, soa Seth pointed him aght an' sed, 'Will that chap wi' th' red peg i'th' middle ov his face oblige the company with a song?'

Th' chap couldn't mistak who wor meant this time, so he gate up.

'Mister cheerman,' he sed, 'aw doant know 'at my nooas owes yo or onybody else owt, an' why it should be remarked aw can't tell.'

'Aw should think it owes thee a gooid deal,' sed th' cheerman. 'If tha doesn't want it to be remarked tha shouldn't paint it sich a bright colour; but get on wi' th' singing.'

'Awm noa singer, aw play a offerclyde, but awm thinkin' o' changin, an' leearnin th' fiddle.'

'That's reight, lad, do. Awm sure it'll tak all th' wind tha has to blow that peg o' thine i' cold weather; a fiddle 'll suit thee better, an' tha'll niver be fast for a spot to hing up thi stick. But it's a song we want, an' not a speech, an' if tha doesn't sing tha'll be fined a quairt.'

That settled it; soa, clearin his voice, he began—

Tho' the sober shake the head,
And drink water, boys, instead,
And the foolish all strong liquors do decry;
Yet the foaming glass for me,
May we never, never see
A friend without a draught when dry.
Then quaff, boys, quaff, and let's be merry;
Why should dull care be crowned a king?
Let us have another drain, till the night begins to wane,
And the bonny, bonny morn peeps in.
Let us drown each selfish soul
Deep in the flowing bowl;
Let the rosy god of wine take the throne;
And he who cannot boast
Some good humour in his toast,
Let him wander in the world alone.
Then quaff, boys, &c.
O, I love a jolly face,
And I love a pretty lass,
And I love to see the young and old around;
Then with frolic and with fun
Let both wine and moments run,
And the hearty, hearty laugh resound.
Then quaff, boys, &c.
When man was placed on earth
He was naked at his birth,
But God a robe of reason round him threw;
First he learned to blow his nose,
Then he learned to make his clothes,
And then he learned to bake and brew.
Then, quaff, boys, &c.
If it's wrong to press the vine—
Thus to make the rosy wine,
Then it must be wrong to crush the wheaten grain;
But we'll laugh such things to scorn,
And although it's coming morn,
Just join me in another drain.
Then quaff, boys, &c.

'E'e gow, lad! that's a rare song. Aw'll say nowt noa moor abaat thy nooas after that, but tha munnot sing that amang teetotallers. It's thy call nah, let's keep it movin, call for who or what tha likes.'

'Well, if awm to call, aw shall call th' landlord to fill this pitcher, for this pipe o' mine's varry dry.'

'All reight, lad, order it to be filled, aw'll pay for it, an wol they're fotchin it call o' somdy for a song or summat.'

'Well, aw call o'th' cheerman for a song.'

'Nay, lad, tha munnot call o' me, for if awd to start ony mak ov mewsic aw should niver get throo it.'

'Yo went throo th' drum easy enuff,' said one.

'Eea, an' he brag'd he could sing better ner awr conductor,' sed another.

'Nah chaps, aw'll do my best to mak it a pleasant neet, an' as th' ale has just come up aw'll give yo a tooast an' a sentiment booath i' one.'

Hold up yer heads, tho' at poor workin men
Simple rich ens may laff an' may scorn;
May be they ne'er haddled ther riches thersen,
Somdy else lived afoor they wor born,
As noble a heart may be fun in a man
'At's a poor fusten coit for his best,
An 'at knows he mun work or else he mun clam,
As yo'll find i' one mich better drest.
Soa, here's to all th' workers wheariver they be,
I'th' land, or i'th' loom, or i'th' saddle;
And the dule tak all them 'at wod mak us less free,
Or rob us o'th' wages we haddle.

'Them's just my sentiment,' sed one o'th' singers, 'an' aw dooant care who hears me say it, for aw dooant care whether a chap's coit is aght o'th' elbows or his britches knees brussen, noa matter if he's——'

'Thee shut up,' sed Seth, 'it's my call next, an' aw want thee to know, owd fiddle-face, 'at tha can give ovver talking abaat fowks clooas, an' sing as sooin an tha likes.'

'Mr. Cheerman, aw nobbut know one, but as sooin as aw've supt aw'll start, shove th' ale this rooad.'

'Get supt then, it taks more bother to start thee singin nor what it taks to start th' Dyke Engin.'

All kinds of songs I've heard folks sing,
Of things in every nation;
Of Queen's Road swells, and Clarehall belles,
And every new sensation.
But I've a song you never heard,
Although the music's ancient;
It's all about one Doctor Bird,
And his fascinating patient.
So list to me
And I'll tell you all the story of this Doctor B.
One day he sat within his room,
By draughts and pills surrounded;
Strange pictures hanging on the walls
Which timid folks confounded.
He heard the bell, and strange to tell,
He quickly changed his manner,
And in there came his bosom's flame
His darling Mary Hannah.
So list to me, &c.
'Sweet Mary Hannah!' 'Doctor dear'—
Such was their salutation;
'I've come,' sed she, 'for much I fear,
I've got the palpitation.'
'O never mind,' says Doctor B.,
'You need not long endure it;
Just come a little nearer me,
I fancy I can cure it.'
But list to me, &c.
He took a loving, long embrace,
Cries she, 'Oh, dear, that's shocking!'
When the doctor's boy, to mar their joy,
Just entered without knocking.
And when he saw the state o' things,
Then down the stairs he hurried,
And ran to tell the Doctor's wife,—
For Doctor B. was married.
So list to me, &c.
The Doctor seized his hat and cane,
And cried, 'Dear Mary, hook it!'
Then down he ran, and found a cab,
And in an instant took it—
'Drive for your life and fetch my wife,
And need no second telling!'
And in a very little time
They reached the Doctor's dwelling.
So list to me, &c.
His wife was there, said he, 'My dear
Come with me to the city,
I'm lonely when you are not near,'
Says she, 'Why that's a pity.'
He took her to the self same room,
And in the self same manner;
He kissed and coaxed his lawful wife,
As he'd just kissed Mary Hannah.
So list to me, &c.
In loving talk some time they spent,
Says she, 'now I'll go shopping;'
He kissed her and as out she went,
The Doctor's boy came hopping;
He saw her and he quickly cried,
'O, please excuse me missus,
But Doctor's got a girl inside,
And he's smothering her with kisses.
So list to me, &c.
'You little sneaking cur,' she cried,
'That shows that you've been peeping.'
She boxed his ears from side to side
And quickly sent him weeping.
The Doctor rubbed his hands and smiled,
To think how well he'd plan'd it,
And Mrs. B.'s quite reconciled,
But the boy don't understand it.
So you all see
What a very cunning fellow was this Doctor B.
Now all you married men so gay,
Just listen to my moral;
Indulge your wives in every way,
And thus avoid a quarrel.
Pray do your best to settle down,
Nor with the fair ones frisk it;
You might not fare like Doctor B.,
It isn't safe to risk it.
For you can see
How very near in trouble was this Doctor B.

'Is that th' only song tha knows young man?'

'That's all aw know, Mr. Cheerman.'

'Why, tak my advice an' forget it as sooin as tha can, for aw niver heeard a war, an' see if tha cannot find a better. Nah tha can call for th' next.'

'Well, aw'll call o' owd Miles, an' if he con do ony better aw'll pay for th' next gallon.'

Old Miles stood up, an' crossed his hands i' front an turned up his een as if he wor gooin to relate his experience at a prayer-meetin, an' began:

They may talk of pure love but its fleeting at best;
Let them ridicule gold if they will;
But money's the thing that has long stood the test,
And is longed for and sought after still.
Love must kick the balance against a full purse,
And you'll find if you live to four score,
That whativer your troubles the heaviest curse,
Is to drag on your life and be poor.
If you sigh after titles and long for high rank,
Let this be your aim night and day,
To increase the small balance you have at your bank,
And to honors' 't will soon point the way.
For you'll find that men bow to the glittering dross,
Whate'er its possessor may be;
And if obstacles rise they will help you across,
If you only can boast £. s. d.
See that poor man in rags, bending under his load,
He passes unnoticed along:
No one lends him a hand as he goes on his road,
He must toil as he can through the throng.
But if he was wealthy, how many would fly
To assist him and offer the hand;
But he's poor, so they leave him to toil or to die,
That's the rule in this Christian land.

'Nah, that's summat like a song; aw could lizzen to that all th' neet, an' aw think yo'll all agree 'at owd fiddle face has lost his gallon. Nah, lad, does ta hear? Tak to payin.'

But he didn't hear, for he'd quietly slipped away an' left 'em wi' a empty pitcher. 'Well, he's a mean owd stick, onyway; but aw'll pay for it fillin once moor. An' nah, Miles, it's yor turn to call.'

'Mr. Cheerman, aw'll call o' yor friend for th' next.'

'A'a, lad,' sed Dick, 'tha should pass by me, for aw niver sang a song i' mi life, an' awm to old to start, but if yo've noa objections aw'll give yo a recitation.'

'Gooid lad, Dick, goa on! Tha'rt gam, aw know.'

Ov all th' enjoyments' at sweeten man's life,
Ther's nooan can come up to a sweet tempered wife;
An' he must be lonesome, an' have little pleasure,
'At doesn't possess sich a woman to treasure.
But them 'at expect when they tak hooam a bride,
'At nowt nobbut sunshine wi' them will abide,
An' think 'at noa sorrow will iver oppress,
They'll find ther mistak aght, yo'll easily guess.
For th' mooast fascinatin an' lovable elves,
Are all on 'em mortal, just th' same as ussels,
An' show tempers 'at sometimes are net ovver pleasant,
They find fault whear ther's room, an' sometimes whear ther isn't,
An' to get there own way, why they'll kiss, coax, or cavil,
They'll smile like an angel, or storm like the devil.
But aw've monny times sed, an' aw say it ageean,
'At women are ofter i'th' reight nor are th' men,
Just fancy gooin hooam to a bachelor's bed,
All shudderin an' shakkin yo lig daan yor heead.
There's a summat a wantin, 'at fills yo wi' fear,
Yo can turn as yo like, but you find it's not thear,
An' yo freeat an' yo fitter, or weep like a willow;
An' for want o' owt better, mak love to a pillow.
But him 'at's been blessed wi' a wife he can love,
Liggs his heead on her breast pure as snow from above,
An' ther's nubdy could buy it for silver or gold,
An' he wodn't exchange it for Abrahams of old.
An' he falls hard asleep, wi' her arm raand his neck,
An' gets up lik a lark, an' then works like a brick.

'Nah, friends, aw wish to say a few words befoor aw goa. Awm varry sorry 'at aw brack that drum, but yo see it wor an accident, an' aw've done my best to mak it up, an' as Dick's recitation maks me think awd better be gettin hooam, or aw shall happen find it varry warm when aw get thear. Aw'll nobbut call o' one moor befoor sayin gooid neet, an' that's Mose Hart. If he's hear aw should like him to try agean; ther's nowt like perseverance, an' if a chap fails twelve times th' thirteenth may pay for all.'

'Mr. Cheerman, Mozart wor deead long befoor yo wor born or thowt on.'

'Then that chap 'at dug his elbow into my guts tell'd me a lie, for he sed he'd just made a mess for th' twelfth time when aw come in.'

Ther wor a crack o' laffin when he sed that, for th' chaps saw his mistak, an' soa one on 'em went quietly up to him an' explained it. 'O, then,' he sed, 'if he's deead we may as weel goa hooam, an' all aw've getten to say is 'at ony time yo chonce to come by awr haase, just luk in an' aw'll mak yo welcome, an' my owd lass'll mak yo a mess o' some sooart 'at'll do yo some gooid. Yo'll find it easy, for aw live th' next door to th' Pig an' Whistle, an' soa aw wish yo all a varry gooid neet—Come on Dick.'


Th' Hoil-i'th'-Hill Statty.

CHAPTER I.

Th' Hoil-i'th'-Hill Fowld wor a quiet little place; ther wor sixteen haases altogether, four on each side ov a big square yard, an' a pump i'th' middle. Th' fowk 'at lived thear had mooast on 'em been born thear, an' ther'd been soa monny weddin's amang 'em wol they wor all summat moor or less akin. Niver i'th' memory o'th' oldest on 'em had ther been ony change i'th' fowld, except nah an' then a bit o' fresh paint wor put on th' doors an' winders, until one day th' landlord coom and browt two or three smart lukkin chaps' at begun to messure hear an' thear, an' all th' wimmen an' th' childer watched' em wi' as mich anxiety as if they wor gooin to pool all th' haases daan.

Th' chaps wor all off at ther wark, but when they coom hooam at neet they wor sooin made acquainted wi' all 'at had gooan on, an' when they'd getten ther drinkins, one after another walked aght, wol they wor all met together raand th' pump.

'What does ta mak on it, Jacob?' sed one o'th' younger end, spaikin to an owd man wi' a grey heead. 'What does ta think they meean to do?'

'Nay aw connot tell, unless it's some o' them wrang-heeaded fowk 'at th' maister wor tawkin abaat, 'at want to start a schooil booard or some new-fangled noation.'

'Why, what mak o' schooils is them schooil board consarns?'

'Aw dooant know, nobbut it's a schooil whear yo send childer to leearn ther letters, an' they booard 'em at same time.'

'Why, that's nooan a bad thing if they give 'em owt daycent to ait.'

'Does ta think they'll have owt at we shalln't have to pay for? Did ta iver know th' Corporation give owt for nowt? All aw wish is 'at they'd let us alooan. We've getten on here for aboon fifty year withaat ony o' ther bother, an' aw could like to finish my bit o' time aght as we are.'

They all agreed wi' this, an th' wimmen 'at had gethered raand to harken sed they thowt soa too, an' it ud seem 'em better if they'd luk after ther own wives an' childer a bit moor, and net come botherin thear.

When th' bacca wor done, they went back into ther haases, one bi one, an' went to bed, but ther wor a sooart ov a claad hung ovver 'em all, and they didn't sleep varry weel.

Next mornin, as they started off for th' day, they each gave a luk raand, as if to fix iverything i' ther mind, for fear when they coom back they'd niver be able to own th' spot.

Sooin after they'd gooan, a lot o' navvies coom an' started o' diggin. Wor'nt th' wimmin aght in a crack! 'What are yo baan to do?' they sed.

'We're gooin to put yo all watter in,' sed th' gaffer, 'soas yo can do withaat this pump.'

'We dooant want ony watter puttin in; when we want watter we can fotch it,—goa abaat yor business!'

But he tell'd 'em they'd getten orders to do it, an th' landlord had agreed, soa they went on wi ther wark.

Nah, th' chap 'at had takken this job to do, hadn't takken it bi th' day; he'd agreed to do it for soa mich, soa yo may bet he kept' em all at it, an' it tuk varry little time to dig an' get th' pipes laid; an' then th' plumbers wor waitin to start, an' iverybody wor as thrang as if ther lives depended on it bein finished that day,—an' it wor finished,—an' as sooin as it wor done they set to wark an' pool'd daan th' owd pump, an' laid some flags ovver th' well, an' went hooam.

Th' wimmin didn't know whether to be pleased wi' th' new taps or mad abaat th' loss o'th' pump, an' soa they sed nowt until ther fellies coom back. It worn't monny minits afoor they began to coom hooam, an' as sooin as they saw th' pump ligged o'th' graand an' th' well covered up, they luk'd like—weel, it's noa use me tryin to tell what they luk'd like, for they luk'd so monny different ways 'at aw should be fast amang it; but ther worn't one on 'em suited, an' net one 'em had patience to luk at th' new taps.

Owd Jacob spit his teah aght ov his maath as sooin as he tasted it. 'Aw knew ha it ud be,' he sed, 'if iver we lost that pump.'

'Why, what's th' matter?' sed his dowter.

'Matter! connot ta taste th' difference between that watter an' th' watter tha used to get aght o'th' pump?'

'Why, father,' shoo sed, 'that is pump watter, for aw pump'd it mysen befoor they pool'd it daan.'

'Oh, did ta. It wor happen a bit o' bacca aw had i' mi maath. But allus bear this i' mind, if iver tha gets wed an' should leave this fowld niver go to live whear ther isn't a pump.'

After th' drinkin all th' chaps could be seen standin i'th' door hoils, leeanin agean th' jawm, for they felt lost, an' didn't know whear to goa. They'd allus been i'th' habit o' getherin raand th' owd pump, an' it seemed nah as if they couldn't tell whear to stand for th' pump had acted as cheerman for' em when they had ther argyfyin meetins,—an' a varry gooid cheerman too.

At last one on 'em screwed up courage to goa an' luk at th' owd pump case as it ligged i'th' muk, an' then one an' another joined him, wol it luk'd for all th' world as if they wor holdin an inquest.

'That's been a gooid friend to us all,' sed Jacob, 'an' aw dooant like to see it liggin thear.'

'Noa, moor do aw,' sed another, 'an' it luks a sooart o' desolate, sin they tuk th' guts aght.'

'Aw wish somdy'd tak their guts aght,' sed Levi, 'it ud sarve 'em reight. But what mun we do wi' it! Th' fowld luks lost withaat it. Suppooas we put it up agean just to luk at?'

'Aw propooas we bury it,' sed Jacob, 'an' then raise a monement ovver it. It desarves one better nor lots 'at get 'em. It wor allus sober, an' minded its own business, an' niver refused to give owt it had if yo shook it bi th' hand.'

'Well, but whear mun we bury it?' sed Jonas.

'Aw think,' sed Jacob, ''at as it's had a wattery life, it owt to have a wattery grave. Let's pool them flags up an' drop it into th' well.'

They all agreed to this, soa it worn't monny minits befoor they had th' well oppened, an' wor ready to drop it in, but one o'th' women happened to ax 'who wor gooin to read ovver it.' Nah this had n ver struck nooan on' em befoor, an' they saw at once 'at it should be attended to.

'Whear's Elkanah?' sed Jacob. 'He's allus ready wi' a speech, let's see what he can find to say.' Soa one on 'em whistled, an' Elkanah coom, an' they tell'd him what they wanted.

'All reight,' he sed, 'but if yor baan to bury it like that aw think ther owt to be a burryin drinkin.'

'That's reight, Kana!' shaated th' wimmin, 'let's have it reight if we have it at all.'

'That's my noation,' sed Elkanah, 'an aw'll see what aw con collect befoor we bury it,—aw'll be a shillin.'

'Soa will aw,' 'soa will aw,' 'aw'll be another,' an ther wor sooin thirteen shillin an' sixpence sam'd up. 'Nah, awm ready,' he sed, 'tak off yor hats, an' handle it gently for its rayther rotten.' They all did as they wor tell'd, an' havin getten ready Elkanah spake,—

'Into this well soa deep,
We put thee daan to sleep,
Farewell owd pump.
Tho' some may thee despise,
We know tha'rt sure to rise
Up wi' a jump.
'Tha's sarved thi purpose weel,
An' all thi neighbors feel
Sad at thi fate.
But as tha's had thi day,
This is all we've to say,
Ger aght o'th' gate.'

After this one on 'em struck up a temperance hymn, an' bi th' time they'd getten through an' th' owd pump wor sent to its restin place two o'th' wimmen wor ready wi' a gallon o' rum an' ale mixed, an' they totted it aght i' pint pots. This didn't go far amang th' lot, soa they fotched another an another wol ther brass wor done, an' then separated wi' heavy hearts an' rayther leet heeads an' went to bed, feelin glad to know 'at they'd done all they could towards payin a fittin tribute to an owd friend.

CHAPTER II.

Next day wor a gloomy day i'th' Hoil-i'th'-Fowld; whether it wor grief for th' loss o'th' pump, or th' effects o'th' rum an' ale, aw connot say, but all th' chaps stopt at hooam, an' it wor ommost dinner time when they mustered i'th' middle o'th' yard, an' owd Jacob, who'd been puffin at a empty pipe for a long time, luk'd up an' spake.

'Lads,' he sed, 'it seems to me 'at this yard will niver luk like itsen agean, unless we have summat standin up i'th' middle i'th' place ov th' owd pump; an' aw've been tryin to think what it had better be, but aw can't mak up mi mind abaat it. What do yo think?'

'Suppooas we put a tombstun ovver th' pump,' sed Elkanah.

'Tha wants th' job o' writin th' hepitaf, does ta?' sed Jonas.

'Well, aw dooant think that ud do, for a tombstun is nobbut a varry gloomy sooart ov a thing at th' best hand. Nah, what do you say if we have a statty? Aw think a statty ud look noble an' inspirin like.'

'Eea, aw think soa too,' sed Simeon, 'but who mun we have a statty on? Mun it be th' landlord?'

'Landlord be blow'd! What mun we have a statty o' him for? We see enuff o' him ivery month when he comes for his rent.'

'Well, who mun it be?'

'Aw dooant know 'at it matters mich who it is, for they put up stattys to onybody nah days, nobbut we mun pick aght somdy 'at gets a daycent wage, 'coss he'll have to find pairt o'th' brass. Nah, ther's Kana thear; he isn't baat a two or three paand. Suppooas we put one up to Kana?'

'Why, what's Kana iver done 'at he should have a statty?'

'What difference does that mak? What's lots o' fowk done 'at get stattys? Worn't his fayther th' bell-man for monny a year? an' didn't owd Sally his mother, bake the best havvercake 'at yo could get i'th' district? An' a statty's a statty noa matter who's it is? What says ta Kana?'

'Well aw dooant know ha mich it'll cost. What is it to be made on?'

'Oh, we'll have it made o' wood,—th' pump wor a wooden un, an' Simeon's a wood turner, an' he'll turn it cheap, willn't ta Simeon?'

'Aw'll do it as reasonable as aw con. Aw think aw could get up a varry gooid en for abaat thirty shillin.'

'Well, aw'll be ten shillin,' sed Kana, 'an' tother can be subscribed for at a penny a wick a piece.'

'Why, that's fair enuff, lads, what do yo say?'

'We'll all agree to that,' sed Jonas, 'but whear mun we put it? May be 'as th' Corporation's taen away th' pump they may want to shift th' statty.'

'Corporation be hanged! we'll put it up thear an' let them mell on it 'at dar.'

'Well' sed Simeon, 'aw'll start it reight away, but aw'st want Kana to sit aside o'th' lathe wol awm turnin, or else awst niver be able to get a likeness on him.'

'Oh, th' likeness matters nowt; tha can paint his name on it an' then iverybody'll know whose it is.'

'After a bit moor tawk they sauntered off, some one way an' some another, an' amused thersens as weel as they could wol bed time, an' then went to sleep, all except Simeon; he could'nt sleep, for he didn't like to admit 'at he couldn't turn a statty, an' still he didn't know ha to start; but he wor bent o' having th' thirty shillin ony way.

Next mornin he made a beginnin, an' he thowt he'd turn th' body pairt first, an' he made a varry daycent job on it he thowt, an' when they ax'd him at neet ha he wor gettin on, he tell'd 'em th' belly piece wor all reight, an' he'd have it all done bi Setterdy neet; an' he kept his word, an' when they all coom hooam thear it wor, wi' a gurt bedquilt ovver it, waitin to be unveiled, an' yo con bet it worn't long befoor they'd all swallow'd ther drinkin an' wor waitin—all except Kana, he felt a sooart o' modest abaat it an' had to be fotched aght.

Jacob wor th' cheerman, an' they maanted him on a peggytub turned upside daan; but he wor a sooart o' fast what to say, soa he ax'd Simeon. 'Why,' he sed, tha mun praise th' statty, an' say it's a life-like portrait, an' then tha mun tell all th' gooid things tha knows abaat Kana.'

'Why, but aw dooant know nowt varry gooid abaat him, nobbut he can cure a bit o' bacon dacently.'

'Niver heed, tha mun say all tha thinks he owt to ha done, it'll do just as weel.'

Kana wor wonderin all th' time what he'd have to say, soa he called Jonas o' one side an' axed him.

'Oh, thy pairt's easy enuff. Tha mun thank 'em all, an' say it's th' praadest day o' thi life; but dooant say owt abaat thi own ten shillin, coss it willn't do for iverybody to know that; an' then as tha's nowt to booast on thisen, put in a word or two abaat thi father. Owt tha says obaat thi father is sure to goa daan.'

'Order! order!' shaated two or three as Jacob gate ready to spaik. 'Feller citizens, an' citizenesses, under this bed quilt is a statty erected to th' memory of Kana, an' it's put here asteead o'th' pump. You all know Kana. He's a daycent sooart ov a chap, an' we thowt he owt to have a statty. At onyrate, we wanted a statty, an' it mud as weel be Kana's as onybody's else. He's a varry daycent chap, as aw sed befoor, an' upright—varry upright—as upright—as upright as a yard o' pump watter. An' aw've noa daat he's honest; aw niver knew him trusted wi' owt, but varry likely if he wor he'd stick to it. He's a gentleman, th' bit ther is on him, an' he allus pays his rent. Aw could say a gooid deeal moor, but th' least sed is th' sooinest mended, an' as yo all want to see what's under this quilt, aw'll say no moor but show yo at once.'

Off coom th' quilt, an' ther wor th' statty, but it didn't stand on its feet, for it wor raised on a powl, an' turned raand like a weathercock. Worn't ther a shaat when they saw it! Didn't they swing ther hats raand! Niver mind!

'Well,' sed Jacob, 'tha's made a gooid job o' that, Simeon; it's as nice a bit o' wood as aw've seen for a long time, but what made thi have it to turn raand?'

'Eea, it's a bit o' nice wood, an' them buttons 'at aw put in for his een cost me sixpence a-piece. Aw thowt it wor noa use puttin a nooas on, for tha sees it ud be sure to get brokken off, an' th' reason aw made it to turn raand is becoss aw thowt it wor hardly fair 'at fowk 'at live o' one side o' th' fowld should have his face to luk at allus, an' tother side his back; soa nah we con have it lukkin one way one day an' another th' next. But whisht! Kana's baan to spaik.'

'Kind friends, aw just stand up to spaik a few words hopin to find yo all weel as aw am at present. If onybody had tell'd my fayther 'at his son wod iver have a statty like that, aw think it wod ha brokken his heart. This is a praad day for me, an' aw shall niver see this work o' art withaat thinkin abaat what it cost. My father wor a gooid man, an' awm his son, an' this is my statty, an' aw thank yo one an' all, soa noa moor at present, throo yours truly, Elkanah.'

When he'd done ther wor some moor shaatin, an' then one o'th' wimmen sed shoo'd a word or two to say.

'Silence for Mary o' Sarah's!'

'Me an' tother wimmen has been tawkin it ovver,' shoo sed, 'an' we think 'at if ther wor a gooid strong hook driven in th' top of its heead, 'at we could fessen a clooas line to, 'at it wod be varry useful, an' we'd ommost as sooin have it as th' pump.'

'That's a gooid idea,' sed Simeon, 'aw'll drive one in, for ther's no brains in it.'

'Its soa mich moor like Kana,' sed Jonas, but nubdy tuk ony noatice.

They all kept waitin abaat after th' ceremony wor ovver, expectin 'at Kana wod ax 'em to have summat to sup at th' heead on it, but he didn't seem to understand things, soa Simeon went up to him an' whispered.

'Net another hawpney,' he sed, 'it's cost me enuff.'

When they heeard this they all turned agean him at once. 'If tha doesn't stand treat,' sed Jacob, 'we'll rub thi name off an' put on somdy's else at will.'

'Yo can put whose yo like on,' sed Kana.

An' one o'th' wimmen coom wi' a dishclaat an' wiped it off, for shoo sed 'it wor far to handsome a statty for sich a skinflint as him, as flaysome as it wor.'

Then Jacob gate on to th' tub agean an' ax'd who'd stand a gallon to have their name put on, but they all sed they wor hard up an' couldn't affoord owt, soa thear it stands, an' th' first chap 'at'll pay for a gallon o' ale con have his name put on whether he's a subscriber or net.

Ther's a chonce for some o' yo 'at wants a statty.


Owd Dawdles.

Ther's a deeal o' tawkin abaat owd-fashioned kursmisses, an' my belief is 'at moor nor one hauf 'at tawk or write abaat 'em know nowt but what they've heeard or read. Aw'm gien to understand 'at a owd-fashioned kursmiss wor one whear iverything we admire an' think comfortable wor despised, an' iverything we have a fear on wor sowt after. Awm net sewer whether ther wor ivver an owd-fashioned kursmiss withaat a snowstorm, but aw should think net; but as aw have to tell yo what happened one kursmiss when ther wor nawther frost nor snow, but when th' sun wor shinin, an' th' fields wor lukkin as fresh an' green as if it wer May asteead o' December, aw shall be foorced to call this a tale ov a new-fashioned kursmiss. Kursmiss Day wor passed an' ommost forgotten, but still th' fowk 'at live i' th' neighborhood o' Bingly or Keighly nivver think it's ovver until th' new year's getten a start. Abaat a duzzen sich like had been to Bradforth (as ther wives had been gien to understand on business, but as yo'd ha fancied if yo'd seen 'em, on pleasure), an' they'd set off to walk hooam, but they called so oft on th' way, wol what wi' th' distance an' what wi' th' drink they wor rare an' fain to rest thersens when they gate to th' Bingley Market Cross. It wor a grand neet, an' th' mooin wor shinin ommost as breet as if it wor harvest time; an' as ther purses wor empty an' ther pipes full, they argyfied it wor a deeal moor sensible to caar thear an' have a quiet smook nor to waste ther time in a public haase. Th' warst on it is wi' sich like, 'at they know soa mich abaat one another an' soa little abaat onybody else 'at it isn't oft 'at when they oppen ther maath owt new falls aght, an' unless ther's a stranger i' th' company things are apt to grow varry dull.

Amang this lot 'at aw'm tellin abaat ther didn't happen to be a stranger, an' soa th' owd tales wor tell'd ovver agean, an' altho' some on 'em wor ommost asleep, they allus laft at th' reight spot, for if they didn't hear a word 'at wor sed, they knew th' time when it owt to come in. In a bit one on 'em let his pipe tummel an' mashed it all i' bits, an' as nubdy had one to lend him, an' he'd nowt else to do, he sed: 'Did any on yo ivver hear tell abaat Owd Dawdles?'

'Nay,' they sed, 'they didn't know 'at they had.'

'Why, but he wor a queer owd chap, wor Owd Dawdles, an' they didn't call him Dawdles for nowt, soa aw'l tell yo summat abaat him wol yo finish yor bacca. He wor a chap 'at thowt he wor full o' sense, an' th' way he winked his left e'e after givin vent to one o' his cliver speeches, showed plain enuff 'at whether it wor satisfactory to other fowk or net, it wor quite soa to him. But if he hadn't a varry heigh opinion o' th' fowk he met, yet he worn't withaat pity for 'em, an' he generally ended up wi' sayin 'at it wor hardly reight to blame 'em for bein short o' wit when they'd had no orderation on it. But tho' he wor varry liberal wi' his advice, ther wor nubdy could charge him wi' bein too liberal wi' his brass, for he'd pairt wi' nowt if he could help it; yet he'd one waikness in his disposition, an' that wor 'at he couldn't say 'Noa' if onybody offered to treat him. Fowk wodn't ha thowt mich abaat that if it hadn't been for him allus draggin in his friend Michael for a share, an' it wor weel known 'at Michael had nivver existed except in his own imagination. If ivver he gate ax'd to a supper or a bit ova feed o' ony sooart, he used to stuff hissen wol he wor foorced to lawse his wayscoit, an' then if ther wor owt left, he'd say: 'If yo'll excuse me, ther's a bit thear 'at aw should like to tak for Michael,' an' he used to fill his pockets wi' th' best o' th' stuff, an' mony a rare blow aght he gate aght o' what wor supposed to be Michael's share. He used to goa to Bradforth market two or three times in a wick, an' he allus kept his een skinned to luk aght for a bargain; an' he didn't care what it wor, owt throo a cabbage to a cartwheel, if he could turn a penny into three-awpence. But he didn't allus mak a gooid spec, for strange to say ther wor other fowk 'at wor quite as wise an' even sharper nor hissen. One day he bowt a white bull cauf, an' he wor sewer he'd getten it as cheap as muck, an' happen he had, but haivver cheap yo buy sich a thing, it's varry likely to cause yo some bother unless yo've somewhear to put it. It wor a varry weet day, an' throo Bradford to Keighley is a long walk, but ther wor nowt else for it unless he tuk it with him on th' train, an' that ud be extra expense, soa he teed a rooap raand its neck an' they started off. It's an' owd sayin' 'at youth will have its fling,' an' this cauf wor detarmined to goa in for its share. Th' rooads worn't i' th' best order, yet they mud ha' managed to wade throo but for th' cauf seemin' to have a strong desire to find aght if Owd Dawdles could swim, an' whenivver it coom to a pond or a puddle it gave him a chonce to try, but like all young caufs it hadn't mich patience, an' th' way it jurk'd him in an' aght worn't varry pleasant for one on 'em. When they'd gooan a mile or two Dawdles wor inclined to think it would ha been cheaper to ha taen it bi rail, to say nowt abaat th' extra comfort. At ony rate it gave him noa troble to drive it, for it seemed to know ivvery step o' th' rooad, an' it seem'd a deeal moor like th' cauf takkin Dawdles nor him takkin th' cauf. He couldn't help but think 'at it had a deeal moor strength nor sense; but altho' he tried to pity it 'coss it hadn't had th' orderation ov it's own heead, he couldn't help blamin it for bein soa detarmined to have th' orderation o' th' way they'd to goa. When they'd getten to th' Bull's Heead he wor ommost finished, an' he thowt as he'd getten soa weet aghtside he'd better get a drop in, an' as he made towards th' door th' cauf went an' backed into th' passage, an' wodn't let him enter a yard. He tried his best to get it to stir, but all to noa use. Wol he wor tewin with it th' landlord wor scalin th' foir i' th' kitchen, an' he thowt he heard sumdy makkin a noise, an' he went to see; an' when he saw Dawdles tryin to pool th' cauf aght o' th' passage he thowt he'd help him, soa he gave it a prod behind wi' th' foir point, an' it flew aght o' th' door as if it had been shot aght ov a cannon, an' its heead happenin to leet i' th' middle o' Dawdles' wayscoit, he tummeld a backard summerset, an' ligged him daan i' th' middle o' th' rooad, an' th' cauf laup'd ovver th' wall o' t'other side an' gallop'd away, whiskin its tail abaat as if it wanted to cast it. Th' landlord went to see Dawdles. 'What's ta dooin thear?' he sed. 'Aw'm waitin' wol sumdy comes to help me up,' he sed. Soa th' landlord helpt him up, an' then sed: 'Come inside an' sit thi daan a bit.' 'Nay, lad, aw've been i' th' Bull's Heead monny a time, but tha's ommust sent th' bull's heead into me to-day. Ther's lots o' young caufs come to yor haase beside yond o' mine, an' yo've a deeal o' bother wi' 'em sometimes aw know, but if yo'll just tickle up wi' th' red wut foir point aw'll bet yo'll get shut on 'em in as little time as yo did that o' mine. All aw wish is 'at tha wor th' cauf an' me th' landlord for five minutes.'

'Well, tha has dropt in for it pretty rough, an' aw think tha's getten aboon thi share, tha mun see if tha cannot give a trifle to Michael.'

Dawdles wodn't answer him, but set off to catch his white bull cauf, an' after chasin it raand for a whole clock haar he gate hold o' th' rooap another time, an' they made another start for hooam. It went varry quietly on nah, an' th' owd chap thowt it ud be a gooid idea, as he wor soa tired, an' as ther wor nobody abaat, to get astride on it an' have a ride. Th' thowt had hardly entered his heead befoor it wor put into practice, but if you could ha seen that cauf yo'd ha been fit to split. It stood stock still for abaat a minit, an' then it started off, gently at furst, but it kept gettin faster an' faster, wol at last it gate into a two up an' two daan gallop, an' Dawdles began to find aght 'at altho' veal wor a nice tender soft sooart o' mait when it wor deead, it grew on varry hard booans when it wor wick, an' he wor twice as anxious to get off an' walk as he had been to get up to ride. He managed to twist th' rooap raand its heead an' he pooled for his life, but it didn't mak a bit o' difference. 'Wo up! connot ta?' he sed, 'tha'rt as heeadstrong as tha'rt strong i'th' heead. If ivver aw have th' orderation o' thee agean aw'll bet aw tak some o' that nowtiness aght on thee.' He'd hardly getten th' words aght ov his maath when, as they wor passin some pighoils 'at stood o' th' roadside, th' cauf made a dash at th' door o' one 'at wor nobbut just heigh enuff for it get in at, brast it oppen, gooin in an' strippin off Dawdles, left him sittin i' th' middle o' th' rooad, wonderin who'd hit him wi a looad o' bricks. Trubbles nivver come singly, an' to mak matters war aght rushed a lot o' pigs 'at rolled him ovver an' ovver wol he couldn't tell when he put up his hand whether it wor on his heead or his hat. Th' furst thing 'at browt him to his senses wor sumdy shakkin him an' shaatin aght, 'What business has ta to let out my pigs? Aw'll ha thi lock'd up!' 'Maister! maister! do let me spaik! Aw've had nowt to do wi' th' orderation o' this mullock, an' if ther's owt lost aw'll pay for it. Hah mony wor ther? Ther's my bull cauf i' th' pighoil an' if yo'll tak care on it for a bit aw'll goa an' see if aw can find th' pigs.'

Th' chap, thowt that wor fair enuff, soa he let him goa, tellin him ther wor six on 'em, an' he must find' em all. Owd Dawdles had nivver had sich a job in his life, it tuk him aboon an haar, an' when he coom back it wor droppin dark.

'Well, has ta fun 'em?'

'Eea, they're all here.'

'Why, whear did ta find 'em?'

'Aw fan one together, an' two bi thersen, an' three amang one o' Amos's.'

'Well, that's all reight, tak thi cauf an' be off hooam. It luks a varry nice en; it's just such a one as aw wor intendin to buy.'

'Yo can have this at yor own price, or aw'll trade wi' yo.'

'Nay, it luks too quiet for my brass, aw'd rayther ha one 'at's a' bit life in it.'

'Well, then, to be honest, aw dooan't think this will suit yo, for aw'm blessed if aw think ther can be much life left i' this considerin what it's let aght sin aw bowt it. Gooid neet.'

'Gooid neet, owd chap. Cannot ta walk i' th' front an' let it suck thi fingers? It ud be sewer to follow.'

'Happen it wod; but th' chap aw bowt it on suckt me quite enuff withaat lettin th' cauf suck me.'

After that he managed to get hooam wi' it withaat ony moor mishaps. It wor varry lat, an' all th' family wor i' bed, but he detarmined he wodn't goa huntin up an' daan for a stable at that time o' neet, soa he unlocked th' door an' tuk it into th' haase an' teed it fast to th' wringin machine i' th' back kitchen, an' then he went upstairs to bed.

'Tha'rt varry lat, Dawdles,' sed his wife, 'has ta ridden or walked?'

'Aw walked pairt o' th' way.'

'Has ta browt owt wi' thee?'

'Eea, aw browt a bit o' mait an' aw've left it daan stairs.'

He crept into bed as well as he could, an' in a minit he wor asleep. As th' cauf had had nowt to ait nor drink all th' day it did not feel varry oomfortable, an' in a bit it went 'B-o-o-o-o-o-o-h!'

'Dawdles! Dawdles!' shoo screamed, an' gave him a dig i' th' ribs 'at made him jump agean.

'What's th' matter wi' thee?' he sed.

'Matter enuff! Didn't ta hear yond din? Ther's summat flaysome getten into th' haase.'

'Aw heeard noa din; it's thee 'at's been dreeamin.'

'Dreeamin! Aw've nooan been dreeamin! Ger up an' see what ther is to do! Thear's a boggard i' th' haase as sewer as aw'm here!'

'Ne'er heed it! goa to sleep an' it'll nooan mell on thee.'

'Sleep! Awst sleep nooan! Awst lig wakken o' purpose to listen. A'a! men havn't a spark o' feelin! Thear, he's snoarin agean.'

'B-o-o-o-o-o-o-h! B-o-o-o-o-o-o-h!'

'Dawdles! Dawdles! wakken, lad; do wakken! It's th' dule hissen an' nubdy else. A'a! whativver mun we do, an' ther hasn't one o' th' childer been to th' Sunday schooil for a fortnit! Do get up lad, do!'

'Aw tell thee aw shalln't get up as what it is; but aw hooap if he's comed for onybody 'at he'll tak thee furst, an' then aw can get a bit o' sleep.'

'Tha'rt a brute! an' mi mother allus sed aw should find it aght! But aw'm baan to have yond childer aght o' bed.'

Up shoo jumpt an' went to wakken 'em, an' he wor soa worn aght 'at he dropt off to sleep agean. Sich a hullaballoo as ther wor i' that shop when all th' eight childer wor up, yo nivver heeard, for th' cauf kept at it, an' ther worn't one i' th' lot dar goa to see what it wor. At last they threw up th' chamer winder and skriked wi' all ther might. Th' neighbours wor up in a crack, an' th' poleese coom runnin to see what ther wor to do.

'Ther's a boggard i' th' haase!' they cried aght. 'Do see what it is, poleeseman, if yo pleeas.'

But as th' door wor lockt, an' nooan on 'em dar goa daan stairs to oppen it, ther wor noa way to do but to braik a winder pane, soa th' poleese smashed one ank stuck his heead an' his lantern in an' lewkt all raand, but ov coorse he could see nowt. But just as he wor baan to back aght th' cauf gave another 'B-o-o-h!' Daan dropt his lantern inside, an' away flew his heead aghtside, an' all th' fowk cluthered raand him an' ax'd him what he'd seen.

'Aw've seen nowt,' he sed, 'but aw've heeard summat.'

One o' th' childer upstairs shaats aght, 'Aw believe it's i'th' back kitchen.' An' away they all ran raand to see if they could see it thear. Another poleese had come up, soa he gate his lantern an' held it cloise to th' winder, an' ther wor sich a skrike an' a skutter as yo nivver heeard nor saw. Ther wor noa mistak abaat it nah, for they'd all seen it; them 'at hadn't seen th' een had seen th' horns, an' ther wor one or two 'at declared they'd seen a tail. Then they held a long confab as to what they'd better do, an' th' wimmen sed they thowt it wor th' duty o' th' poleese to goa in an' tak him up whativver he wor; but th' poleese didn't see it, for, sed one on 'em, 'If he's th' chap aw think he is he might tak us daan wol we wor tryin to tak him up.' At last a chap says, 'Aw've a gun, let's shooit him.' They all agreed wi' that, an' he went an' fotched his gun. Ther wor a gooid deeal o' squarin abaat when he coom back, befoor he could get fair aim; but at last th' poleese gate his bull's eye on th' bull's eyes. Bang! it went, an' th' boggard disappeared. Owd Dawdles wor varry saand asleep, but when th' gun went off he wakkened, an' wonderin what could be to do, he pooled on his britches an' ran daan stairs an' oppened th' door just as all th' fowk wor comin raand to try an' get in, for they hadn't a back door.

'We've peppered him his nut whoivver he is,' sed th' poleese.

'Peppered whose nut? What docs ta mean?' sed Owd Dawdles.

'We've shot th' boggard i'th' back kitchen.'

'Boggard be hang'd! Ther's noa boggard i'th' kitchen. It's nowt, nobbut a white bull cauf! Hev yo all lost yor wit?'

Dawdles went to see what wor th' matter an' t'others followed him; but when they saw what a mistak they'd made, the mooast on 'em slink'd off for fear they wud hev to pay for some o'th' damage. Dawdles wor ommost ranty abaat it when he saw it ligged deead, but he said as little as he could, for his furst thowt wor hah mich brass he could mak on it as it war. 'Well,' he sed, 'it's deead enuff, soa ther's nowt for it but to send for a butcher an' hey it killed, for aw knaw it'll be a bit ov as nice mait as ivver wor etten.' Soa he fotched a butcher an' had it skinned an' dressed, an' as he lukt at it he thowt it happen wodn't turn aght so varry bad after all, an' as th' poleese paid for th' winder, an' th' wife an' th' childer fettled up withaat sayin' a word, he decided to be as quiet as he could an' mak th' best of his bargain, Th' fact is he thowt it had nobbut sarved it reight, considerin' what a life it had led him th' day befoor. After a bit o' braikfast he set off to see if he could find a customer for it, but th' tale had flown all ovver th' district, an' whearivver he went he gate soa chaffed abaat it wol he wor fain to go back hooam.

'Nah, lass,' he sed to his wife, 'aw've tried all ovver, an' aw cannot sell a pund o' that cauf, so ther's nowt for it but to set to an ait it, for aw'm detarmined it shalln't be wasted.'

'Why, Dawdles, tha knows we can nivver ait it wol it's sweet.'

'Aw dooan't care whether it's sweet or saar, it'll have to be etten, soa tha'd better set to an' salt it, for ther isn't another aance o' mait comes into this haase till that's etten.'

Shoo did as shoo wor tell'd, an' shoo stew'd th' heead an' made some cauf-heead broth, an' rare an' nice it wor. Next day they had a rooast, an' th' childer sed they wished ther fayther'd buy another cauf when that wor done. It went on varry weel for th' furst wick, but towards th' end o'th' second they'd rayther ha' seen a boggard walk into th' haase nor another piece o' that cauf walk on to th' table. But Dawdles wor as gooid as his word, an' long befoor it wor done he declared it wor th' cheapest mait he ivver bowt. But aitin soa mich o' one sooart o' stuff seemed to have a strange-effect o'th' childer, for they fair seem'd to grow gaumless an' th' hair o' ther heead stood up like a caah toppin, an' Dawdles hissen wor terrified if one on 'em complained ov a pain i' ther heead, for fear th' horns should be buddin'.

'Nah, then, hah long are ta baan to praich,' sed one o'th' chaps 'at had been lissenin' to this tale, 'does ta know 'at it's ommost twelve o'clock?'

'Why, nivver heed! It's th' last day i'th' year, an' we'st all have halliday to-morn. Aw havn't tell'd yo hauf o'th' queer tricks he's noated for yet. Did yo ivver hear tell abaat that umbrella o' his 'at he lost at Bradforth market?'

'Noa an' we dooan't want to hear ony moor to neet,' they sed, as they gate up an' knockt th' ash aght o' ther pipes, 'tha's tell'd us quite enough for a Kursmiss stoary, an' tha mun save th' rest for th' New Year.'

Soa they all trudged off to ther hooams to get a warm supper an' let ther wives sympathise wi' 'em, for havin' to tramp an' tew wol past twelve o'clock at neet to mak a bit ov a livin' for them 'at wor caar'd warm an' comfortable at hooam.


Property Huntin'.

Ther's soa monny different sooarts o' fooils 'at it's hard to tell which is th' warst, an' th' best on us do fooilish things at times. It's varry fooilish for a young chap at's a paand a wick to live at th' rate o' twenty-five shillin', for hahivver clivver he may be at figures he'll be sure to find hissen in a hobble befoor long. Aw once knew a chap they called "Gentleman Dick:" he wor nobbut a warp dresser, but to see him ov a neet, when he wor donned up an' walking throo th' streets twirlin' his cane, yo'd ha' taen him to be a gentleman's son at th' varry leeast. Fowk 'at knew him sed he had to live o' mail porrige all th' wick, an' a red yearin for a treeat on a Sunday, to enable him to get new clooas, an', as it wor, he owed soa monny tailors' bills 'at when he heeard a knock at th' door he allus had to luk aght o'th' chamer winder to see who it wor befoor he dar oppen it. But whativver he had to put up wi he nivver grummeld, an' Setterdy neet an Sundy wor th' time 'at he enjoyed hissen to his heart's content. One day when he wor aght dooin the grand, he met wi a young woman i'th' train gooin to Briggus, an' he showed her soa mich attention wol shoo tuk quite a fancy to him, an' when he ax'd her if he might see her hooam, shoo blushed an' sed shoo didn't mind if he did. Shoo wor a varry nice lass an' dressed as grand as yo'd wish to see an' Dick sed such nice things to her, an' shoo smiled an' luk'd soa delighted wi him wol he hardly knew what ailed him. When they coom to some gates leeadin to a varry big hall shoo held aght her hand to bid him gooid-bye, for shoo sed, 'I'm at home now.' Dick begged hard on her to promise to meet him agean, an' at last it wor arranged shoo'd see him next Sundy neet on th' canal bank at Brookfooit. All th' next wick Dick's mates couldn't tell what to mak on him; he gave ovver singin' 'Slap Bang' an' 'Champagne Charlie,' an' tuk to practisin' 'Gooid-bye, Sweetheart' an' 'Bonny Jean,' an' whenivver he'd a minit or two to spare he wor scrapin' his finger nails or twistin' th' two or three hairs 'at he wor tryin to coax into a mustash. Sundy coom at last, an' what wi curlin' his hair, an' practisin' all sooarts o' nods an' bows i'th' front o'th' lukkin'-glass it filled up th' furst pairt o'th' day. He started off i' gooid time an' wor at th' meetin' place to a minit, an' shoo worn't long after him.

It's a gooid job at happiness is short-lived, for if his had lasted long he'd ha gooan cleean off th' side. Ivvery Sundy neet he tuk her for a walk, an' what delighted him moor nor all wor to find 'at shoo worn't a bit stuck up—real ladies nivver are. He gate to know 'at her name wor Matilda, an' 'at shoo wor nobbut twenty-five year old, an' had two nice little properties ov her own, an' he tell'd her 'at he had a share in a big consarn, an' after they'd met an' walked an' tawk'd a few times he began ta be varry anxious for her to name th' happy day. Shoo made a lot o' excuses an' sed shoo didn't know what her father 'd say, but Dick sooin showed her 'at it wor a varry easy thing ta manage it withaht lettin' him know, an' he begged soa hard wol, after a deeal o' sobbin' an' gettin' him to sware 'at he'd allus love her as weel as he did just then, an' 'at come what wod he'd nivver forsake her, shoo gave her consent.

When Dick bid her gooid neet an' had watched her in at th' gate, he couldn't help turnin' raand an' smilin' at th' idea 'at in a few days he'd be son-in-law to a gentleman 'at lived i' sich a style as that. Ther wor nowt for it but to be wed bi licence, an' hah to get th' brass Dick couldn't tell, but at last he detarmined to tell one ov his shopmates all abaht it, an' ax him to advance him twenty paand, to be paid back as sooin as he gate th' properties. Th' chap agreed to let him have it if he'd give him five paand for interest, an' th' bargain wor sooin struck. Dick lost noa time i' gettin' th' licence, an' they met one mornin' an' went to th' church, an' wor teed as fast as th' law o'th' land could do it. He didn't know what shoo'd say when he tuk her to his hooam, for it wor nobbut a haase an' chamer an' varry little furnitur, tho' he'd fettled it up an' made it lewk as smart as he could. They went to a public-haase to ther dinner, an' then they tuk a long raand abaat way hooam, an' as they kept callin' for a refresher it wor neet when they landed.

As sooin as ivver they entered th' door he began to mak all sooarts o' excuses abaat it bein' humble, but shoo stopt him in a minit, for shoo sed 'shoo didn't care hah little it wor soa long as shoo wor th' mistress, for shoo'd getten reight daan stall'd o' sarvice.' 'Why,' he sed, 'tha knaws nowt abaat sarvice Matilda, dear?' 'Aw should think aw owt to do,' shoo sed, 'for aw've been i' place ivver sin aw could walk ommost.' Dick stared like a throttled cat for a minit, for he couldn't believe his awn ears. 'Aren't ta thi father's dowter?' he sed. 'Why aw should think soa—whose dowter does ta think aw am?' 'But isn't that thi father 'at lives i' yond big haase?' 'What are ta tawkin abaat?' shoo sed, 'why th' chap 'at lives i' that haase is one o'th' richest chaps i' Briggus—aw wor nobbut th' haasemaid thear—my father lives at Salterhebble, an' hawks watter cress.' 'Why then, whear did ta get thi two properties 'at tha tell'd me tha had?' Matilda sat daan in a cheer, an' covered her face wi her handkertchy, an' began cryin' as if her heart wor braikin.

This touched Dick, for he wor ov a tender sooart, an' he did like her after all, soa he drew his cheer to her side, an' put his arm raand her waist an' tawk'd pratly to her an' tell'd her shoo shouldn't ha sed shoo had 'em if shoo hadn't. 'But it's true eniff,' shoo sed; 'aw wish it worn't, for that's what causes me to have sich an uneasy mind.' 'Why what's th' reason on it? Is ther some daat as to who's th' reight owner? Or is ther a morgage on 'em? Give ower freeatin', an if it's a fine day to-morn we'll goa an' luk at 'em.' 'Ther's noa daat who belangs to 'em; a woman has 'em aght at nurse at Sowerby Brig.' 'At nurse? At nurse? What does ta mean? An' is that what tha ment bi thi two properties? Tha'rt a deceitful gooid-for-nowt! To think 'at aw should wed a woman wi two childer!' 'Why, tha didn't expect aw should have two elephans, did ta? But tha needn't let it bother thee mich, for one 'em's a varry little en.' 'Awst nivver be able to put mi heead aght o'th' door ageean as long as aw live.' 'Nivver heed, lad, awl stop at hooam an' keep thee cumpny.' 'Well, but awl tell thee, tha'll be suckt, for aw hevn't a penny i'th' world, an' awm nowt but a warp dresser, an' cannot addle aboon two-an'-twenty shillin' a wick, an' awm ovver heead an' heels i' debt, soa tha'll be capt abaat that!' 'Nay awm nooan capt, coss aw knew it all monny a wick sin, for aw made it i' mi way to mak a few enquiries, an' if tha'rt satisfied aw am, an' ther's nubdy else owt to do wi it.' 'Aw've getten quite enuff to satisfy me, but tha can bet thi booits if it's ivver my luck to goa coortin ageean, awl mak it i' my way to mak a few enquiries.' 'Well, it's allus safer but aw dooant think tha'll ivver have th' chonce for nooan o' awr family dee young, but here's a two-a-three paand aw've managed to save, an' it'll happen help to pay some o' thi debts. What time is it? aw feel sleepy.' 'Aw think it's time to lock up.' Two days after, Dick sell'd up an' they went to America; he's been thear monny a year nah, an' th' last time aw heeard on him he'd getten some moor properties.


Abraham's Sparrib.

Old Abraham wor a jolly sooart ov a chap, an' he luk'd like it, for he'd a face ommost as big as a warmin pan, and it tuk ommost as mich stuff to mak him a waistcoit as wod mak some chaps a suit o' clooas, an' fowk 'at knew him varry weel sed he wor as fond ov his guts as he wor praad on 'em. Be that as it may, ther wor seldom a feed onywhear for two or three miles raand but what Abe wor sure to be thear, an' ther wornt a place within a day's march, whear they made a gooid meal for little brass, but what he knew it. When he wor young he wor put 'prentice to a cook-shop, but befoor he'd been a year th' chap failed, an' when th' bums had fetched aat all th' bits o' furniture, the maister stood opposite young Abe, wi tears in his een, an' he sed, 'Abraham, if tha'd been livin when thi name-sake wor, it wod ha been a bad job for th' Israelities. Awve tewd hard for monny a year, an' after all, awve nowt to see for it but thee.' 'Well,' sed Abe, 'its a bitter pill, noa daat, but yo mun swallow it as weel as yo can.' 'Swallow it! if it wor thee tha mud swallow it, for tha's swallowed all ther wor, an thart all ther is left for mi pains.'

'Well, maister, yo cannot charge me wi ingratitude for awve stuck to yo to th' last, an if yo like to start another shop, yo'll find me to depend on.' 'Aw dooant daat thi for a minnit, lad, but to be plain wi' thi, it'll be noa use me oppenin another shop unless tha shuts thine up.' Soa they parted, an Abe grew into a man, an wheariver he wor fed he didn't disgrace his pastur. At th' time awm tellin abaat he worked in a warehaase wi two or three moor, an' one mornin when th' waggon coom ther wor a big parcel for Abe, an' one o' thease chaps couldn't do but luk what wor in it, an' yo may fancy ha suited they wor when they saw a side o' sparrib. It wor sooin decided to have a lark, an' one o'th' chaps propooased to send it to th' 'Three Doves,' wi orders to cook it for th' supper, and to provide puttates &c. for a duzzen. Abe wornt long befoor he coom, soa one on 'em tell'd him 'at they'd been tawkin abaat having a bit ov a doo, an' they should be varry glad if he'd join 'em. Abe sed he had an engagement, but he'd put it off, an' they mud expect him.

They knew a few chums 'at could enjoy a spree an' soa they invited 'em to mak up th' number, an' let' em into th' secret. At eight o' clock they wor all i' ther places, an' in coom a big dish wi' this sparrib nicely rooasted. Abe wor vooated into th' cheer to cut it up an' deeal it aat, an' he did it wi' a willin hand. After sarvin 'em all he helped hissen, an' it began to disappear like magic. Abe thowt he'd niver been at sich a jolly do in his life, ivery body seemed i' sich gooid spirits, an' they laft wol he feeared they'd chooak. He wor as jolly as ony on 'em, but he didn't let it interfere wi' his business. Come lads,' he sed, 'pass up yor plates! let's see if we connot finish it, for awm sure its grand.' They wornt at all backward at bein helpt a second time, and rare gooid suppers they made. When th' aitin stuff wor sided, glasses o' hot punch coom in, for which ivery body paid a share, an' then one o'th' chaps propooased th' health o'th' gentleman 'at had given em' sich a treat. Another seconded it an' it wor carried. Abraham called for th' name, but they sed that wor a secret, but as he didn't get up to respond, they'd be mich obliged if Abe wod do so for him. Abe wor allus fond o' makkin a speech, soa he wor up in a minit. 'Gentlemen,' he sed, 'awm glad to see yo,—yo've done justice to what's been provided, an' awm sure yo're varry welcome.' When he sed this ther wor sich clappin an' stampin wol he wor foorced to drop it an' sit daan, an' he couldn't help thinkin 'at noa speech o' his had made sich an impression befoor.

After gettin warmed up wi punch, he tell'd 'em 'at he expected some sparrib comin th' next day, an' it had been his intention to mak a bit ov a doo an' invite 'em all, but as they'd had sich a supper that neet, he knew they wodn't enjoy another off th' same sooart o' mait, soa he shouldn't ax 'em. They all sed they'd had enuff for a week, but they thanked him all th' same, an' after singing 'For he's a jolly gooid fellow,' they went hooam.—Next day Abraham wor lukkin aght for his sparrib, but it didn't come, an' day after day he wor disappointed, an as th' chaps laft ivery time he mentioned it, a thowt began to creep into his noddle, 'at he'd been done.—He niver grumbled, but he's takken care to have his parcels 'livered at hooam sin then.


A Run ovver th' Year.

"A gooid beginin maks a gooid endin," fowk say, soa let's mak a gooid beginnin o'th year. But aw dooant altogether agree wi' thease old sayins, for aw've known monny a gooid beginnin 'at's come to a fearful bad endin, an' my advice to ony body 'at's startin owt is, niver crow till th' finish. Aw once heeard tell ov a young woman at wor a reglar glaid; one o' them sooart 'at nubdy could do owt wi'; tawk abaat taming a shrew! why, net all th' shrews in Shrewsbury wor a match for her. But a chap 'at lived net far off, thowt shoo wor a varry bonny lass, an' he felt sure he could manage her, soa he went an' made love in his best fashion, an' ivery time shoo call'd him a nasty offald scamp, he sed he lov'd hur moor an' moor; soa at last shoo cooil'd daan, an' all things were made sweet, an' befoor long they gate wed. Ov coorse they'd a few friends to ther drinkin, an' a bit ov a donce at after, an' then a drop o' whisky an' hot water, an' when th' husband had getten a glass or two into him, he began to tell th' cumpany ha he'd tamed hur. 'Why,' he sed, 'aw can do owt aw like wi' her nah, shoo's as gentle as a lamb.' 'If that's thy noation,' shoo says, 'th' sooiner tha gets shut on it an' th' better!' Soa shoo made noa moor to do, but gave him a crack ovver th' nooas wi' her naive, an' in abaat a minit it wor swell'd as big as a cauf blether. He made a gurt din an' quavered abaat a bit, but it wor noa use for shoo wor th' maister on him, an' ivver after that he let her do as shoo liked, for he sed 'nowt suited him as mich as to see her suit hersen.' But ther wor fowk 'at used to wink an say, 'poor beggar!'

Th' next comes Valentine's day, an' 'On Valentine's day will a gooid gooise lay,' is a varry old sayin, an' aw dar 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, it's 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 nubdy sends me valentines nah. Aw've known th' time when they did, but aw'm like a old stage cooach, aw'm aght o' date. Aw'st niver forget th' furst valentine aw had sent; th pooastman browt it afoor aw'd getten aght o' bed, an' it happen'd to be Sunday mornin. Aw read it ovver and ovver agean, an' aw luk'd at th' directions an' th' pooast mark, but aw cudn't mak aght for mi life who'd sent it; but whoiver it wor aw wor detarmined to fall i' love wi her as sooin 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 will'nt tell yo what aw dremt for fear yo laaf. But when aw wakken'd aw sowt up an' daan, but nowhear could aw find th' valentine. Aw wor ommost heart-broken, 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 sweat afoor sin aw wor born, an when aw went to mi breakfast 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' thinking at aw worn't th' furst at had turned ther back ov a valentine.

Nah, th' vally ov a thing depends oft o'th' use ov a thing; her's an old sayin 'A peck o' March dust is worth a king's ransom,' but aw should think 'at th' vally o'th' ransom owt to depend o'th' vally o'th' king. It's oft capt me ha it is 'at becos one chap is son ov a king, an' another is son ov a cart-driver, 'at one should be soa mich moor thowt on nor tother. Noa daat we should all be sons an' dowters o' kings an' queens if we could, but then ther'd have to be a deal moor kings an' queens, or else they'd niver be able to keep th' stock up. Net 'at awm findin fault wi' awr Queen, net aw marry! shoo's done her best noa daat, an' her childer seem tryin to follow her example. But then, when princes an' princesses get moor plentyful they'll be less thowt on; it'll be th' same wi' them as it wor wi' th' umbrellas at one time, for th' chap 'at had th' furst wor run after wi' ivery body, an' when ther were nobbut two or three, fowk allus ran to th' winder to have a luk at 'em; but whoiver runs to luk at umbrellas nah? It wor th' same wi' steam engines, it's getten th' same wi' velosipeeds, an it'll be th' same wi' princes, princesses, or owt else, as sooin as they get common, unless they've summat moor to depend on nor a grand title, fowk ull tak but little noatice. We cannot all be fine fowk, but we may all be gooid fowk, if we try, an' a gooid cart-driver ull be better nor a bad king at th' finish. Rich fowk ha troubles as weel as poor, but ther's noa need for onybody to be troubled long; for if its summat they can't help its fooilish to freeat, an' if its summat they can help, why the deuce don't they?

Its fooilish to freeat, but fowk will freeat sometimes. Well, nivver heed! 'April shaars bring May flowers,' soa we willn't grumel if we get catched i' one nah an' then an' get a gooid sooaking, for ther's nowt i'th' world bonnier nor flaars, even cauliflaars. Ther's lots o' bonny things i'th' world besides flaars; ther's bonny words, an' if fowk wod nobbut use 'em we should all get on a deeal better. Aw remember once bein in a public haase, an' ther wor two chaps sat quietly suppin ther pints o' fourpenny, when all at once one o' ther wives coom in, an her een fair blazed when shoo saw him. 'O, soa tha'rt here are ta?' shoo began, 'soa this is th' way th' brass gooas is it! tha nasty gooid-for-nowt! Aw could like to smash thi face! sittin thear throo morn to neet sossin like a pig, an' leavin me an' th' childer to do as we con! Ha con ta fashion? Tha desarves teein to a cart tail an' hidin' throo th' streets, tha low-lived villain! All th' time shoo wor talkin shoo wor shakin her neive in his face, an' when he could edge in a word he sed. 'Aw'l tell thee what it is, this is nobbut mi third pint to-day, an' aw wor just commin hooam, but tha can hook it, for aw shall come when aw'm ready, an net before, an' that will'nt be yet a bit.' Just wol they wor fratchin tother chap's wife coom seekin him, an' as sooin as shoo saw him shoo smiled an' sed, 'O, aw've fun thi, come lad, aw want thee at hooam, awr little Jack has getten his new clogs on an' he will'nt let me put him to bed till tha's seen 'em, tha'll be like to come.' 'Howd a minit,' he sed, as he emptied his pint, then he went away wi' her. Tother stopt. Soa mich for kindness.

An' ther's moor ways nor one o' bein kind. Nah, yo've oft heeard fowk say, 'Niver cast a claot till May goas aght.' That's all varry gooid as far as regards top coits an' flannel shirts an sich like. But ther's another thing, its just abaat th' time for fowk to get new clooas an' throw off th' old ens; an' aw've a word or two to say abaat that, for ther's some poor fowk aw see sometimes 'at cannot cast a claot; th' fact is, they've nowt else to put on. Ha monny scoor fowk do we meet as we walk abaat, 'ats hardly a rag to ther back, or aw should say they've nowt but rags, an' that's what prevents 'em havin a chonce to addle brass to buy ony fresh ens. Ha monny have to creep aght o'th' seet, into ony sooart ov a low hoil, mix up wi bad compny,—first pine, then beg, then stail—an' all this becoss they've had th' misfortun to be ragged. If ther's one thing moor nor another 'at fowk mak a mistak in, it's sellin ther old clooas. Some may say they can't affoord to give 'em: Then aw say, wear 'em a bit longer till yo can; ther'll somdy be thankful for 'em after then. Ivery body can affoord to be charitable to a certain extent, an' ther's noa charity does as mich gooid wi as little cost as givin yor old clooas. Luk what comfort yo give a chap; then as sooin as he sees his sen luk respectable, he begins to want to be soa, he feels to have moor pluck, he doesn't hing daan his heead, he's a better chonce to win a honest livin, an' yo may safely think yo've gien a chap a lift on his way, when yo've gien him yor old clooas.

'If the 8th of June is a rainy day, it foretells a wet harvest, so men say,' but whether it does or it doesn't aw cannot tell: if it does we mun mak th' best on it, that's all; but we've one bit o' comfort left even then, for its sure to be fair at Halifax o'th' 24th. It's grand to goa to th' Fair an' see fowk starin at th' pictures; an' its cappin to harken to th' show fowk shaatin an' bawlin an' tellin all sooarts o' tales to draw th' brass aght o' yor pockets. Then ther's th' swingin booats, them's for cooarters: they're a grand institution for young fowk, for if a chap can get his young woman to get in, he's sure of a chonce to get his arm raand her waist, an' give her a bit of a squeeze. Then ther's th' flyin' horses, whear a chap can get made mazy for a penny: wheniver aw see 'em they allus remind me ov a chap aw knew; he stood abaat six foot two in his stockin feet, an' weighed abaat six stooan an' a hauf; an' one day he'd been poorly a bit, soa he thowt he'd ax a friend 'at had a donkey if he'd lend it him. 'Tha can have it an' welcome,' th' chap said, 'but aw'm feeard thi legs is too long.' 'Oh ne'er heed that,' he sed, 'if aw find 'em to trail aw'l hold 'em up.' Soa he gate it, an as he wor varry leet they went on nicely for a bit, but just as he wor comin on Charlestaan, a chap stopt him to ax him what they called that old church, soa he dropt daan his feet on to'th floor and began to explain an' as sooin as he'd done that, th' donkey walked away leavin him thear striddlin like a clooas peg. As sooin as he'd finished he sed 'gie up!' an he thowt o' sittin daan; an' he did, but it wor soa mich lower daan wol he thowt his back wor brokken; when he luk'd raand he saw Neddy trottin up th' Haley Hill. 'Tha's tow't me a lesson,' he sed, 'an' for th' futur, as long as iver aw can do for misen, aw'l niver seek onybody's ass istance.

Ther's nowt like bein independent, an mooast fowk have a chonce if they'll nobbut 'mak hay wol th' sun shines,' an' if yo dooant mak it then yo'll niver be able to mak it at ony other time. If yo want to mak love, yo can mak that when th' mooin shines, but it will'nt do for hay. Aw remember a queer tale 'at they used to tell ov a chap 'at had some strange nooations, an' allus thowt his own way best. An' one day as some chaps were gooin past his farm, they saw him runnin up an' daan i' th' front o' th' lathe, wi' a empty wheelbarro, and then rush in, an' upset it, and aght agean. 'Why,' says one, 'aw'm sure Ike must be crack'd, whativer can he be dooin?' Soa they went to ax him. 'What's up nah Ike?' said one, 'tha'll kill thisen if tha gooas on like that, are ta trainin for a match or summat?' 'Yo dooant know,' sed Ike, 'but aw'l let yo into a saycret; yo see aw'd getten all th' grass cut yesterday, an' aw fancied it wor baan to rain, soa aw haased it just green as it wor, an' nah aw'm wheelin sunshine in to dry it wi.' 'Well, tha'rt a bigger fooil nor aw tuk thi for! Does ta think tha can wheel sunshine into th' lathe, same as horse-muck?' 'Thee mind thi own business,' says Ike, 'aw should think aw've lived long enuff to know what aw'm dooin, an' when aw want taichin aw'll send for thee.' Soa they left him to his wheelin, but ha long he kept at it they didn't know, but in a few days they saw him agean an' axed him ha he fan his system to answer? An' he says 'Why, aw dooant get on varry weel, but it is'nt th' fault o' th' system, th' fact is, aw connot do it till aw get a bigger barro. But he wod'nt give in. An' ther's lots o' th' same sooart.

Perseverance is a grand thing. If it wornt for tewin, an' sewin, an' plowin whear wod th' harvest be? An ther's noa greater blessin nor a gooid harvest. Ther's a deal o' fowk have a harvest abaat this time. Flaar shows reap a benefit if th' weather be fine. Ther's nowt aw like better nor to goa to a flaar show, moor especially sich as th' Haley Hill, Ovenden, Siddal, or Elland, or ony other, whear th' mooast o' th' stuff has been grown bi workin fowk. Th' plants may'nt be as bonny, but they luk bonnier to me, an' they tell a tale 'at yo cannot mistak. Ha monny haars' enjoyment have they gien to th' fowk 'ats growin 'em? An' ha oft have they kept chaps aght o' th' alehaase? An' then see ha praad prize winners are! Aw allus feel sooary 'at they cannot all win th' furst prize, for aw'm sure they desarve it for ther trouble. An' if yo nooatice, yo're sure to see a nice cheerful woman or two, stood cloise aside o'th' plants 'at's wun owt, an' if yo wait a bit yo'll see her ivery nah an' then, touch somdy o'th' elbow as they're gooin past, an' point at th' ticket an' say, 'sithee, them's awr's!' 'What them 'at's won th' prize?' 'Eea.' 'Why they're grand uns!' An' then shoo'l whisper in her ear, 'Ther's nubdy can touch aw'r Simon 'at growin thease, tha sees he understands it.' A'a Simon! shoo's a deeal o' faith i' thee, an' if tha's made muck wi thi clogs sometimes when tha's trailed in withaat wipin thi feet, shoo forgives thi nah. Wimmen's varry soft after all an' its as weel it is soa, for ther's monny a gooid harvest a' happiness been gethered in at wod ha been lost but for a soft word or two.

Another old sayin', 'September blow soft, till the fruit's i'th' loft,' for if strong winds blow nah it'll spoil all th' apples an' stuff, an' it'll be soa mich war for fowk 'at has to addle ther livin for whativer else fowk differ abaat, aw think they're all agreed o' one point, an' that is, ther's noa livin long withaat aitin. But it's hard wark gettin a livin nah days, an' them 'at's comfortably off owt to be thankful. But it's cappin i' what queer ways some fowk do get a livin! Aw knew a chap once 'at stood abaat seven feet, an' he wor soa small he luk'd like a walkin clooas prop. Talk abaat skin and grief! aw niver did see sich a chap, an' his face luk'd to be all teeth an' een. He used to waive a bit at one time, but he gate seck'd becos his maister catched him asleep in a stove pipe. But one day he wor wanderin abaat, an' wonderin ha to get a livin, an' in a bit a chap comes up to him, an' says, 'Does ta want a job?' 'Aw do that, can yo find me one, maister?' he sed. 'Well,' says th' chap, 'tha'rt just th' lad 'at aw want if tha'll goa, for aw keep a druggist's shop at Sowerby Brig, an' if tha'll stand i'th' winder an' flay fowk into fits as they goa past, aw'll gie thee a paand a wick.' 'It's a bargain,' he sed, 'an' he went wi' him, an' aw've been tell'd 'at that druggist made a fortun i' twelve months wi nowt but sellin fit physic. Whether that's true or net aw will'nt say, but aw'm sure ther's some fowk at Sowerby Brig 'at dooant seem altogether reight even yet.

An' its hardly to be wondered at, for one hauf o'th' fowk we meet i'th' streets on a neet, seem to be druffen. Aw hear some queer tales sometimes, but aw dooant tell all aw know. 'Ale sellers shouldn't be tale tellers.' But aw'm sooary to say at th' mooast ale sellers at' aw know are varry fond o' taletellin. Ther's nowt shows a chap's littleness as mich as to be allus talkin abaat his own or somdy else's private affairs; an' ther's nowt likely to produce moor bother nor that system o' tittle tattlin abaat other fowk's consarns. Ther's a deal o' blame ligg'd o' th' wimmen sometimes, for gossipin ovver a sup o' rum an' tea: an' noa daat its true enuff, but aw think some o' th' men hav'nt mich room to talk, for they gossip as mich ovver ther ale as ivver wimmen do ovver ther tea. Little things 'at's sed in a thowtless way sometimes cause noa end o' bother, an' it's as weel to be careful for ther's trouble enuff. A chap an' his wife 'at lived neighbors to me, had a word or two one neet, an' soa shoo went up stairs to sulk; an' when he sat daan to his supper he thowt he'd have her on a bit, soa he cut all th' mait off a booan, an' then he sed to' his oldest lass. 'Here, Mary! Tak this up stairs to thi mother an' tell her 'at thi father has sent her a booan to pick.' Th' lass tuk it up to her mother an' tell'd her 'at her father'd sent it, an' as sooin as shoo saw it, shoo says, 'Tak it him back, an' tell him 'at he isn't thi father, an' that'll be a booan for him to pick.'—An' it wor an' all, an' it's stuck in his throit to this day, soa yo see what bother that's caused.

It's nivver wise to be rackless naythur i' word nor deed, for whativver yo plot an plan agean other fowk it's ommost sewer to roll back on yorsens an' trap yor tooas if it does nowt else; 'Fowk 'at laik wi' fire mun expect a burn.' An soa all yo 'at intend to keep up Gunpaader plot munnot grummel if yo get warmed a bit. But gunpaader plot isn't th' only plot 'at gets browt to a finish this month; ther's lots o' plottin an' planin besides that. Ther's monny a chap 'at's been langin for a year or two to be made a taan caancillor 'at's been havin all his friends to ther supper, an' 'at for th' last month or two has been stoppin fowk 'at he's met, an' shakin hands wi 'em, an' axin all abaat ha ther wives an' childer are gettin on, tho' he's passed th' same fowk monny a hundred times befoor an' nivver spokken to 'em at all. It's all plottin. A'a this little bit o' pride! A'a this desire to be summat thowt on! Aw dooant know ha we should get on withaat it! Ther's a gooid deeal o' califudge i'th' world after all, but aw dooant think it does mich harm, for mooast fowk can see throo it. But it allus maks me smile when aw goa to a ward meetin, an' hear furst one an' then another get up an' thank a caancillor for dooin soa mich for 'em, an' prayin 'at he'll suffer hissen to be re-elected; when at th' same time they know 'at he's ready to fall ov his knees to beg on 'em to send him agean. Well, aw dooant know why a chap shouldn't be thanked for dooin that 'at's a pleasure to hissen an' a benefit to others! It's nobbut th' same as me writin this, it suits me to write it, an' it suits others to read it, yet aw think aw'm entitled to some thanks after all.

But one munnot expect to get all they're entitled to, an' its a jolly gooid job we dooant, for if we did ther'd be a lot on us 'at ud have to be burried at th' public expense. We're nooan on us too gooid, but 'It's niver too late to mend,' an' it's niver too sooin to begin, soa nah 'at we've getten to th' end ov another year, let us carefully reckon up an see ha we stand. Aw fancy we shall all find 'at ther's lots o' room for improvement yet, an' ther's nowt at yo can do 'at's likely to give yo moor satisfaction nor to detarmine to do better for th' future. A chap's allus awther better or war at th' end o'th' year nor what he wor at th' beginnin, an aw'm sure iverybody'll feel pleased to know at they're all o'th' mendin hand. It's a pity to think ivery time Christmas comes raand 'at ther's soa mony fowk 'at will'nt be able to have a merry un. Aw'm sooary it is soa, an' aw wod help it if aw could. Ther's nubdy enjoys a bit ov a spree better nor aw do, but ther's one thing aw dooant like, an that is to be pestered off my life booath at hooam an abroad wi fowk commin an sayin, 'Aw wish yo a merry Christmas an' a happy New Year,' when all th' time aw know weel enuff they wish nowt at sooart, but just come for what they can get. Nah if sich-like wod nobbut come an' say plain aght, 'we come to see what yo'll give us, an' we dooant care a button whether yo've a merry Christmas or net,' why, then yo'd know what to mak on 'em. Ony body at's ony gooid wishes to give, let 'em give 'em, but aw'm blow'd if aw care to buy' em, becoss they arn't genuine at's to sell. Th' price may be low enuff—a glass o' whisky or a shillin, but unless they come free gratis, for nowt, aw'd rather net be bothered wi' 'em. Shoolers, please tak nooatice.






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