Gradely Lancashire II.

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WHEN I WER' A BIT OF A LASS.


"YO' talk o' yor modern behaviour an' sich,
    Yo'r up-to-date manners an' ways,
Yo' think'n yer comed to a wonderful pitch,
    Yo'r cromful o' pride neaw-a-days.
I wish yo'd a lived i' my Gronmother's time,
    When cheeks wer' not plated wi' brass;
They didn't wear frocks 'ut 'ud give a chap shocks
    When I wer' a bit of a lass.

Yo'r modern conventions o' shoddy an' sham,
    Yo'r rayther too fine i' yo'r talk;
Yo'll jostle an' cram in a train or a tram
    Becos' yo'r too lazy to walk.
An' when bits o' lasses an getten fourteen
    They think'n ther women bi th' mass,
They didn't talk fine, nor stop eawt after nine,
    When I wer' a bit of a lass.

Ther' wer' no penny mashers nor fourpenny hops
    When I wer' a bit of a tot,
They didn't walk eawt wi' a tab i' the'r chops,
    Nor swagger o'er smookin' a lot;
An' bits o' lads then didn't think they wer' men
    When sittin' at th' back of a glass;
They durst'nt talk back when the'r feyther looked back
    When I wer' a bit of a lass.

They didn't go wearin' a watch on the'r wrist,
    Nor greyt Gibson bows on the'r shoon,
They didn't spend money on tippit nor whist,
    Nor co' a canoodle a spoon;
On swallow-tailed suits an' fancy-dress boots
    They didn't go wastin' the'r brass;
Ther' wer' no bunny hugs nor hitchy-koo mugs
    When I wer' a bit of a lass.

Then lasses wer' lasses, an' if they wer' poor
    They dressed up i' sensible rags;
They didn't go swaggerin' wi' pads i' ther yure,
    Nor swingini the'r vanity bags;
They had no clock stockin's to sport onto th' Prom,
    They didn't think swankin' wer' class;
They'd noan so mich neck stickin' eawt, had they heck,
    When I wer' a bit of a lass.

I hope yo'll excuse o' mi critical views,
    I'm like to keep waggin' mi tung;
We're o' apt to praise thoos' owd-fashioned days
    When we wer' quite happy an' young,
Neaw! when yo' get owd some'dy else 'ull be towd
    'At modern behaviours no class;
Wi pride yo'll impart 'at yo'r manners wer' smart
    When yo' wer' a bit of a lass."


――――♦――――

 
BILL KNOCKER.


BILL KNOCKER was a hasty man,
    With very little speed.
He knocked along uneasily,
    For he was knock-a-kneed.

His legs refused, as was their bent,
    To walk in windy weather;
They couldn't get along, although
    They always rubbed together.

"These legs will lag behind," he said,
    "In spite of my advances;
They're only poor, and yet they'r not
    In straightened circumstances.

"I'd like a decent brand of legs —
    Why did I get this branding?
I understand a leg that's straight,
    Though warped my understanding.

"I'm tired of walking crooked ways,
    Bad luck's my daily shocker;
Too oft it knocks upon the door,
    Of knock-kneed Mr. Knocker.

"In this hard world I can't keep straight,
    My means are getting smaller;
If I were straight, I'm sure I'd be
    A good six inches taller.

"A knock-need man gets knocked about,
    When weather's wild and breezy;
By Fate I've had a kneesy knock,
    That was a knock un-easy."

He couldn't ride a bicycle,
    He couldn't be a bobby,
And so he learned to ride a horse,
    But only for a hobby.

They tied his feet beneath the horse —
    A thing they didn't oughter —
And then he galloped off until
    He reached a pool of water.

Poor Knocker tried to keep his seat,
    But found it rather boresome,
Like man and wife, his feet were tied,
    And he could not divorce 'em.

The horse bent down to take a drink,
    Nor thought of trouble brewing;
They'd tied him up for safety, but
    Alas, 'twas his undoing.

That horse had such a hefty thirst,
    It nearly drank an ocean,
And soon there came a heavy swell
    On where it kept its lotion.

Poor Bill began to feel the strain,
    He trembled like a jelly,
His poor legs had to "bow" to Fate,
    And that fat horse's belly.

It straightened out his knacky knees
    Until he mumbled sadly,
"My legs that lately stood at X,
    Are O'ing very badly.

"I've often met teetotal folks,
    Both sparrow-legged and crow-legged
But who could think that drinking hard
    Would drive a fellow bow-legged?"

That horse had swelled and swelled until,
    Its belly got so big through,
The Knocker's legs assumed a bow,
    That one could drive a pig through.

"Alas, alas, my knacky knees,"
    Cried Knocker broken hearted,
"Together they have rubbed for years,
    And now, through drink, they're parted."


――――♦――――

 
TO A CAGED LARK.


Na then, what arto doin' theer,
An' th' air eawtside so nice an' clear?
It owt to mak' thi very near
                Get in a rage.

Tha's happen bin inside so lung
Tha doesna think it very wrung
To warble eawt thi merry sung
                Inside a cage.

I'm talkin' to thi, howd thi din!
Tha doesna seem to care a pin;
Why didta let 'em put thi in?
                Tha silly brid!

Tha should ha' pecked 'em with thi beak;
As payment for the'r cruel cheek,
Or didta fret about a week?
                I'll bet tha did.

Goo on owd laddy! heaw tha sings!
For o' it's freedoms song tha brings,
Tha's hardly reawm to flap thi wings
                Amung thoose wires.

An' yet tha doesna seem to crave
To warble in a heigher stave;
Tha'rt quite content to be a slave
                For eawr desires.

Thi mester, though he's livin' free,
Con never rise, or soar as hee,
Or chirp an' sing as weel as thee,
                Not him, bi gum.

Though he's no wings an' conno fly,
If he wer' caged he'd look a guy,
An' bet thi boots he'd sob an' sigh
                For kingdom come.

It's hard for thee to live aloof
Fro' grassy knowl or fleawery cloof,
Or warble under nature's roof,
                Wi' kith an' kin.

It's quite enough to breighk thi heart,
To bring thi deawn to worldly mart;
I wonder if it be a part
                O' human sin,

Tha may be happy, who con tell?
Tha seems to quite enjeigh thisel';
A human felon in his cell.
                Ne'er looks so glad.

So mak' thi throttle ring agen,
Contented wi' thi narrow den,
A pattern set for growlin' men,
                Sing on mi lad.


――――♦――――

 
TO AN UNCAGED LARK.
A SEQUEL.


HELLO! my lad!   It's theer tha art,
    It seems he's let thi free;
I didna' want yo' both to part,
    So come on back wi' me.

Tha'rt happen lookin' for a wife ―
    That's natural enough;
But bein' caged up o' thi life
    Tha'll find it rayther rough.

Eh! heaw tha totters; what's thi age?
    Tha doesna' look so young,
Wi' bein' stuffed up in a cage
    Tha conno' bi so strong.

Thi mester's lookin' rayther feaw,
    To him tha wer' a boon;
He never sees thi flutter neaw,
    He's missed thi merry tune.

He's grown as sad as ony sage,
    Becose he leet thi fly;
An' when he sees thi empty cage
    He often gives a sigh.

So come on whoam, he conno' sleep;
    To watch thi cock thi yed
He awlus used to have a peep
    Before he went to bed.

Eh! heaw tha used to warble then,
    Before he let thi free;
So come whoam to thi cage again,
    It's hangin' up for thee.

Na' stop thi chirpin' lad, an' heed;
    Thi cage is nice, I know;
He's fairly piled it up wi' seed,
    An' clenned it eawt an' o'.

Hello! tha'rt singin', arto?   Well!
    I'll goo' an' eyt mi hat!
An' heaw tha flies!   It's plain to tell
    Tha's noan forgetten that.

What's that tha ses?   Tha winno' come?
    Tha'd rayther soar aboon?
O' reet, owd laddie, I'll go whoam
    An' say tha's gone to th' moon.

So trill on like a fairy bell,
    Sing up an' be at rest;
Good-bye, owd songster, fare thee well!
    It's happen o' for't best.


――――♦――――

 
A MORNING GOSSIP.
COAL, CANT AN' OTHER THINGS.


"MISSIS PLEBSON, han yo' no coa1?"

    "I hav'nt a bit an' I should bake this mornin'," replied Mrs. Plebson, "I don't know whatever folks are comin' to.  Some folks don't care a hang for other folks so long as they con mak' theirsels o reet."

    "Aye; it's a selfish world for sure.  There's Jammy Grabber's lad just gone deawn t' road wi' a bag on his back he's had fro' somewheer, an it's nobbut yesterday his mother were tellin' me, on t' quiet yo' known, 'at they han a cellar full.  There's no believin' some folks.  Hello, theer goes Lizzie Ann.  'Han you getten ony coal yet, Lizzie Ann?'"

    "Eh, dear.  You may weel ax.  I'm welly starved to deeoth.  I've just managed to borrow a shoolful off Missis Brella, an hoo has'nt mich herself.  I should ha' baked this momin', but I'm noan worryin' abeawt that so mich as t' childer.  True, some on em con keep theirsels warm wi runnin' abeawt, but it breyks my heart to see eawr little Joe.  He's as fast as ever he con be on his chest this very minute.  I think I'st co t' doctor in this mornin'.  I conno' get nowt into him, poor little thing."

    "Eh, I am sorry.  I'll tell yo' what to do, Lizzie Ann, send one o' yor childer reawnd an' I'1l let yo' have a bucketful if I go short mysel.  Hang it o' we munino see th' lad starve to deeoth.  It's a Christian country yet."

    "We're led to believe so at any rate, but I'm beginnin' to deawt it.  It favvers bein' everybody for theirsel an t' devil tak' t' hindmost.  We want less preychin' an moor practice now-a-days.  Yo conno' warm folks up wi' lung-faced hymns and dreigh sarmons."

    "Nawe, nor yo' canno' cook yor dinner on 'em noather.  I've to beyl a flesh puddin' for eawr dinner, an' I'm afraid I'st ha' to finish it eawt wi strikin' matches under t' pon.  Well, good mornin', Lizzie Ann, if yo'r gooin'."

    "Good mornin'."

    "I do feel sorry for Lizzie Ann theer, hoo has as mich as hoo con manage wi' one thing an' another.  Her husband's done nowt mich sin he geet demobilised, an he wer nowt mich to start on; eh dear, it's a funny world."

    "Hello, theer go's owd Goldison.  I'll bet yon mon's noan short o' coal."

    "I'll bet he isno', yon mon's short o' nowt but fairation.  I seed a load o' coal go to their house one day last week.  Some folk con manage it."

    "Aye; that's true.  They con say what they like, there's still one law for t' rich an' another for t' poor — ony road for some folk so long as they con get howd.  A lot o' these rich folks are an avaricious lot."

    "Aye; an' if tha'll look abeawt tha'll find a lot o' poor folks just as bad.  We o' on us han a nasty habit o' wantin' what we conno get.  It's a human, or an inhuman way we han."

    "Aye; well I reckon we han; I reckon we were born so.  Hello, who dun yo co' yon?  He looks some bad doesn't he?"

    "Oh, I know who it is.  It's that theer felly 'at lives by hissel.  He's a chap 'at lost a lot o' money durin' t' war they sen.  I wonder if he's ony coal?  I'll shout an' ax him.  'Neaw maister, han yo ony coal?'"

    "No, I'm afraid I haven't; I am just going down to see if I can get a bag."

    "Yo looken ill.  Are yo noan so weel?"

    "You are very kind.  I am all right, thank you.  Got a bit of a cold, that's all.  I shall feel better when I can get a fire.  Good morning."

    "Good morning.  Poor felly.  I should ha liked to ax him to come in an' warm hissel; but then I reckon folks had nobbut ha' talked."

    "I reckon they would, but if folks 'ud talk less an' mind their own business there'd be a lot better doing i' this world.  If a felly's cowd he's cowd, no matter what's t' colour of his ettikette.  If we'd larn to give an' tak' moor we should o' get moor happiness eawt o' life.  We're o' on us good till we're fun eawt.  One touch o' coal strikes maks t' whole world kin."

    "Aye; some on us.  Theers t' parson gooin' by.  I'll bet he had his cellar full.  He's a poor shepherd at lets his lost sheep go short o' warmth."

    "Dunno be awkert Mary Allis.  T' parson's happen as short o' coal as we are."

    "He met be, but I con think, connot I?  I should like to bet on it."

    "Hello, who's comin' here?  What's up?  What's up?"

    "Be sharp; tak' yor bag; Harry Goodson's lettin o thoose 'at has no feigher have a bag o' coal apiece fro' th' factory.  They had a big stock in, you known.  He's a good soart is Harry, an he says he's noan beawn to see little childer an' owd folks starve if he con help it."

    "By gum, I'm beawn to tak' a pillow-slip if I con find nowt else.  I'm one o' t' workpeople an I've an owd fayther here at's getten his blood rayther thin o' lately.  Hey eawt."

    "Aye.  There hoo goes.  An' I'll bet a penny hoo has a two-three hundred hid under t' steers somewheer."

    "For shame on thee, Sally.  Tha doesn't know.  Tha'rt happen measurin' eawt o' thy own seck.  Tha shouldn't judge folks like that."

    "Eh, dear; it's a nuisance.  I don't know what t' colliers want to come eawt on strike for.  Yon o' eawrs has to keep worchin' for a lot less wage than 't collier for £20 a week.  Somebody has to get to suffer."

    "That's very true, but I'm afraid there's noan on us so very innocent, if we could be fun eawt."

    "Speyk fer thysel.  I know one thing.  I shouldn't like my husband to be a collier for £30 a week.  Somebody has to get coal.  It's a thing we conno' do beawt, an' t' colliers know it."

    "That may be, but they shouldn't tak' advantage o' their position."

    "It's that takkin' advantage o' one another i' this life at's causin' o' t' trouble i' t' world; an t' worst on it is 'at a lot o' thoose goodly folks 'at are very ready to tell us to practice tolerance an' to love one another are t' first to fill their cellars when there's a shortage of owt."

    "They're noan o alike; there's good an' bad o' both soarts.  We're o on us a bit selfish at times.  T' poor aren't allus t' friends o' t' poor.  I think I yeard some'dy rootin' abeawt in eawr coal place t'other neet, an I missed a two-three good, big cobs this mornin."

    "Weah, I thowt tha towd me last neet tha hadn't a scrap o' coal i' thy cellar.  There's no riddlin' some folks.  Hello; here comes Lizzie Ann again.  What's up?  Hoo favvers hoo's bin skrikin.  What's up Lizzie Ann?"

    "Eh, dear.  Eawr little Joe's just gone deeod.  Whatever mun I do?  Whatever mun I do?  An't doctor says a bag o' coal met ha' saved him.  Oh dear, there's nowt nobbut trouble i' t' world."

    "Poor Lizzie Ann.  Eh, dear; I wish this strike were o'er.  It's hard lines when some folks go wrong through other folks feightin' for their reets.  I wonder why it is?"

    "I'll tell thee, Mary.  It's becose there's too mich selfishness i' t' world, an' far too little real Christianity.  That's why.  Well, I mun goo an mak' a bit o' dinner for owd Missis Welldon.  Hoo's noan so weel, an hoo hasn't a bit o' coal i' t' house.  Well, cheer up, an' do yor best o on yo'.  Good mornin."


――――♦――――

 
MY NEW TYPEWRITER.


Ed.―This tale might appear odd, for today most are skilled at using some form of electronic keyboard and word-processor.  But even well into the 20thC, use of a character printing keyboard (forget about the word-processor!) was rare. Here the author relates his first experience, having exchanged pen and ink for a mechanical typewriter.


MY dear Editor; — I have got a typewriter, and you and your indulgent printers will no more be in a state of mental aberration and optical collapse by trying to decipher my hierogliphical calligraphy.  Yes, I have got a new typewriter.  Tell it to the four winds of heaven.  Tell it to the patient and angelic compositor and to the printers' devil.  Tell it everywhere.  Tell it to Gath, if you like.  Tell it to the marines, tell it to the linotyper.  Ah, there's the rub!  The linotyper.  Tell him, sir, will you, and he'll fall on the neck of the printer's devil and kiss him where his whiskers will later grow if the price of shaving rises at the present rate.

    The die is cast, and I live again.  No more fiddling with a fountain pen.  No more decorating the ceiling with fountain ink.  No more blotches and black looks through somebody else upsetting the ink on the nice, new, clean tablecloth, the careless beggars.  No sir; this is the day of strange changes and peculiar progressions, the day of clarity and explicitness.  The typewriter is a lot mightier than the sword.  I love it, I love it, and who shall dare to chide me for klicking with the thing I love£ — I mean —

    Dont minD me making a few misTakes untilll get Used to it, will you sir&  Sorry: I pressed the wrong keY down there, it should have been a quistiun mark, thus% — hang it, I mean ⅝ — No ? ? ? — thats the one.  Of course, a pen and ink is all right in its Place 6⅝ and there are no dodgasted twiddlebits to confuse one, but given a faiR amount of prac7ice the typer⅞writer will holditsown.  I can rattle it off a bit, Cant i £ not ½.

    This is only my 1 st time trying B and i'm not doing bad am I@.  It does'nt require any ink but its Pad is the next best thing.  thats a joke.have you got it % Oh dear, I' going worse.  I am hoping to cut a better fiGure than that 8.  I mean ) no that £ hang it, — that; hooray, gst it.  Mind you.  if you puBlisH this I hope you will doctor it Up a bit.  I know I am thin blooded, but I shouldn't like the poor patient linotyper to demand what drop of blood I have.  Bear with me, sir, please, and I will be careful to the very letteR ⅝ if I can.

    To resume — 5⅞/6⅛03-256.830_384. o halifax, sir, where am I & Some 69½ went wrong.  I say sir, something went wrong. I fancy it is the %@"" that has got a BIT miXed up.  As I intended saying in my resume the typewriter, sir, is a distinct boon and a blessing to printers and sich, as you, sir, can plainly see.  EN6ΌΎET  When you see it, of course.  That was a discord, but when once in the right key it flowE hnUW n'@and it —

    Oh, mess it ,it's off again.  I'll sell the beggar.  As I was saying, the typewriter is a LC t //&c.. well its a %@mD nuisance, sir, if you'll pardon me.  Bad as it is, sir, it is much better than my writing, as your patient printer will avoch.  If he cares to.  I am doing CAPITAL if you'll only think so:17% better than I expected.  Oh, come we're improving.  I think EUk-moe—no, I don't think that exactly.  What I meant to say was te½uWF7 ;;.uNLCii6nLu.nd.  What the Gumpping moseo — I mean Jumping Moses—am I doing now?

    Don't mention Job ts me sir, What? y ou did'nt?  No., but you were on point of belaudirig his patience.  I know.  I was nearly doing it myself: Job would have drowned himself in hi- old tearful waters of babylon if he tried to lament on an old thing like this.  Job never tried to Elvthuiml nss —.  Tried to TAΎ½D ii write ΎOFOHDAMMIT?

    I say, sir, do you know anybody who wants to buy a nice Dod70£⅜@D  typeWriter?  Will anybody exchange it with me for a bottle of vinegar— cloths £ or a pint of white mise.  No i don't mean that.  Sno use, sir, sno use.  I cannot write prose on this diabOlykal thing.  Ah, happy thought.  I'll try a pome on it.  Wate till I change gears.  And shifted the thingum bits.  Then the bell rung.


MY DARLING TYPEWRITER.


I'v got a new typewriter:
    I'm happy that I am.
Oh joy supreme:  Oh Rapture:
    Oh it B6%9B — VOh d4⅝n?
It glides along so merrily,
    I'     doing E½Ύ  Verry well.
Long life to him who made it 7890.
Oh Jupiter, //"—;240.L —O-L.
    Ifeel so very 8%- ?40.
I'm as happy as a King.

I'd like to hug it to my 33&—Oh dash the bloom.


    The bloo — the bloo- Sorry-the blooming thin g . sno use sir snouse.gI am (k54543aNsΎ½@a OD-MMM.


――――♦――――

 
"OWD AN' POOR"


THIS world's a hardened piece o' dirt to some yo may be sure:
It seems a lump o' granite to a chap who's owd an' poor
It greets him wi a welcome when his limbs are young an' free
But when he's owd an' poor it says, "I have no room for thee."
Eh lads, I've sin the day when I were free fro' pain an' care,
I'd then both strength an' money, an' the world were passin'
            fair:
But sin ill luck has pinched my purse an' paled my wrinkled
            brow
This selfish world has cocked its nose — it doesno' know me
            neaw.

It seems to say, "Oh, come away,
He's owd an' done, he's had his day;
Sich things as him we corn't endure,
We want young blood, he's owd an' poor."


There's good an' bad i' this owd world, we'n clever folks an'
            clowns,
An' while we're on this rasntipow we'n o' eawr ups an' deawns;
Eawr shabby blokes an' clownish folks we shouldno laugh
            to scorn,
For th' cleverdick o' yesterday met be a clown to morn.
Aye, though I look a clown misel, an' poor as poor con be,
I've known a time when clever folks 'ud touch their hats
            to me.
It isno' wise to strut an' crow, an' cock yor nose so heigh,
One never knows what Fate ull do before owd Time says
            "weigh."

An' if yo'r gray, an castaway,
Yo'r dearest friends o' yesterday
U'll mutter as they shut their door,
"He's nowt to us, he's owd an' poor."


We're nobbut bits o' clay at best.   Cheer up, for yo'll allow
West o' be on a level in a hundred years fro' neaw;
So let us laugh at clouds an' fog, for th' sun met shine
            to-morn;
This world 'ull then laugh wi' us, if it nobbut laughs wi scorn,
This world has lots o' noodles, but it has its gentlemen;
I've met wi' rogues a time or two, an' kind hearts neaw an'
            then.
I've met poor folks wi' funny bones, I've met rich folk wi'
            gout:
There's misery i' money, an' there's joy i' bein' bowt.

So if I'm owd, my spirit's bowd;
A merry heart is moor nor gowd.
A bit o' pluck 'ull allus cure
The hump o' one who's owd an' poor.


I've met some growsers in my time, but, lads, it doesno' pay;
I've had my neet o' darkness, an' I've had my sunny day.
It's strange heaw folks forget a chap who's owd an' deawn
            i' th' mire;
I've sin the day they'n coed me sir, an' labelled me Esquire.
Dame Fortune smiled upon me then, an' th' sky were nice
            an' blue;
This grand owd world 'ud greet me wi' "Good health," and
            "How d'ye do?"
But neaw I'm rayther wake i' th' back, an' wackery i' th' knee,
It turns its yed away, it doesno' want the likes o' me.
            But, lads —

When limbs grow numb, an' Time says "come!"
I'st pack my traps an' toddle whoam,
But when Saint Peter oppens th' door,
He winno say,—"He's owd an' poor."


――――♦――――

 
IT'S MOTHER 'AT KNOWS.


I wonder sometimes what us childer 'ud do,
If Fate took my mother away;
I connot imagine heaw we should poo' through
If hoo were to lev us some day.
We fancy we're clever an' wise, I suppose,
Well, happen we are — it's my mother 'at knows.

We eyt, an' we sleep, an' we keep joggin' on;
We o say we're doin' eawr best;
My mother keeps slavin' as hard as hoo con,
I think hoo could do wi' a rest.
A while sin' her cheeks were as red as a rose;
Hoo may be o' reet, it's my mother 'at knows.

My feyther, to me's one o' th' nicest o' men,
Unless when he gets on the go;
I fancy hoo worries a lot neaw an' then;
Eawr Jonny's a bother, I know;
Hoo frets a lot, too, o'er that lad o' their Joe's.
When trouble's i' th' house it's my mother 'at knows.

If ony o' th' childer are sad or perplexed,
Hoo'll answer: "Ah, well, never mind."
Hoo shares at their troubles an' never gets vexed,
Hoo's allus so patient an' kind.
Hoo smiles on her friends, an' hoo pities her foes;
For genuine love — it's my mother 'at knows.

My mother's a martyr, hoo'll suffer an' bear;
I know hoo's my very best friend;
We trust in her love, an' we'n never a care,
So long as we'n money to spend.
We dunno' care mich if it rains or it snows;
But when there's no brass — it's my mother 'at knows.

So, childer, let's try to be better behaved,
For some day — we never con tell —
We'st happen regret heaw hoo suffered an' slaved,
An kept o' her pains to hersel;
Her laugh may be gay, for her grief rarely shows,
When happen hoo — well, it's a mother 'at knows.


――――♦――――

 
MY OWD PIPE.


WHEN winter time comes creepin' on,
    An' th' neets are growing dark,
When trees are bare an' brids are gone,
    An' life's o' bed an' wark;
When frosty blizzards leawd an' ripe
    Howl reawnd mi cosy nook,
It feels so nice to charge mi pipe
    An' sit an' have a smook.

I puff away an' let 'em howl;
    I'm happy as con be;
For after o' I shouldna growl ―
    There's folks wor' off nor me;
But when I think abeawt the'r lot,
    An' read the'r dreary book,
To keep fro' gooin' off mi dot
    I sit an' have a smook.

When "Humbug" throws his darts abeawt,
    An' Fortune's lookin' grim,
It stops mi tongue fro' poppin' eawt,
    An' keeps mi nerves i' trim;
An' when th' owd woman's raised her ire,
    An' tells me to go-look,
I do it, till I find mi "briar,"
    An' then I have a smook.

Yo' single fellies, an' yo' dads,
    Whose lives are full o' lumps,
I'd like to back tobacco, lads,
    For shiftin' o' yo'r humps;
An' when yo'r dumpy, dunno' pick
    Yo'r woodies an' yo'r fags,
A single pipe 'ull do the trick,
    Wi' hawf a dozen drags.

An' when I'm pestered wi' a dun,
    O' th' aggravation type,
I dunno' goo an' fotch mi gun
    I simply get mi pipe;
I puff away, an' never grieve
    Abeawt his bit o' rent;
I welly mak' misel' believe
    I've never owed a cent.

I dunno' like a stormy neet;
    But when mi 'bacco's prime,
If I con nobbut get a leet,
    It looks like summer time;
When variegated throuble crowds
    Around, I never look,
I conno' see no other clouds
    For clouds o' 'bacco smook.

It doesna' suit th' owd woman, though,
    Hoo says I'll ha' to stop;
Hoo says I shouldna' smook at o',
    Becose it blackens t' top;
It's me 'at sullies th' curtains, too,
    An' th' papper up o' th' wo',
Hoo tells me ― but it isno' true ―
    I've gan her th' gout an' o'.

Hoo's troubled wi' th' brontitus, an'
    Hoo's gettin' very steawt;
Hoo says her teeth are welly done
    Wi' th' road I've turned it eawt;
Hoo's neaw a bunion on her toe,
    It's nobbut one to th' rook,
I'll try to grin an' bear 'em o'
    If I con have a smook.


――――♦――――

 
LOST! A LODGIN' HEAWSE.


DID ony on yo' ever know Georgie Lump? that weren't his gradely name, an' why they co'd him Lump wer' a' mystery to me, for he wer' as thin as two lats, an' ther' wer' nowt lumpish abeawt him, unless it wer' that bit o' flesh 'at stuck eawt o'er his meawth, that seemed to ha' swelled a bit o'er its natterable size, but then wi' o' known what ale 'ull do to a chap 'at turns hissel into a main sewer.

    Georgie wer' a good sort though, an' he wouldna' harm a flea if he could help it.  He wer' a yessy-goin' sort of a felly; very yessy-goin', unless he wer' gooin' o' havin' a chep pint, he met hurry up a bit then.  He awlus used to say ther' wer' nowt betther nor a pint unless it wer' a quart.  But speykin' generally, Georgie wer' to' slow to carry a cowd dinner.

    He lived up on th' hillside at a place co'ed th' Nook, why they co'n it that I conno' say, seein' 'at it's on a broo'.  Georgie liked livin' theer very weel but for one thing, he used to awlus say:

    "Onybody 'at lives up here 'owt to bi teetotal; onybody con' go deawn a broo' sober, but it's bloomin hard wark gooin' up a broo' drunk."

    Georgie did it very oft though, for ther' wer' hardly a neet passed but what he'd come deawn Shay o' havin' a tuthri pints, an' he allus went back makkin' W's in his whoamward walk.

    Well, a week or two before Shay wakes, he wer' sat at th' hob end talkin' to his wife, when th' latter axed,

    "Dosta' think wi' con manage to goo' off at th' wakes, Jud?"

    Jud wer' busy cuttin' up his thin twist;

    "Werta sayin' summat ?" he said.

    "Tha knows very weel what I said mon, so durnt act gawmless; if I'd axed thi' to have a pint tha'd ha' yerd that some sharp."

    Georgie did nowt but grin, an' went on rubbin' his bacco.

    "Tha never thinks abeawt nowt but thisel" continued his wife.  "I corn't see why wi' shouldna' goo' off same as other folk, an' it's th' wakes in a fortnit' tha knows."

    "Is it ?"

    "Is it? tha' knows very weel it is.  We'n ne'er bin to Blackpool sin' wi' wer' wed, an' it wouldna' cost mich.  Bless mi' life! wi' could save as mich us 'ud tak' us for a day or two if tha'd bi' teetotal a fortnit, an' beside, I think it 'ud do th' chilt good, he seems to ha' gotten propper wheezy on his chest o' lately, so think, it o'er Jud, an' let us goo' should wi? wha? goo' on' Jud say tha'll goo."

    Sally knew heaw to wheedle him when hoo'd a mind, poor lass, an' if onybody did disarve a bit of a change o' scene an' air, it wer' her.  Hoo managed to get him i'th reet humour for Blackpooling.

    Th' wakes coom; an' they went reet enough.  Jud'ud nobbut bin to Blackpool once in his life before, so not knowin' mich abeawt th' place he wer' rayther lookin' forrad to th' trip hissel.

    Ther' wer' some bustle at Shay station that mornin I con tell yo'.  Railway porters runnin' abeawt wi' labels i' the'r honds, an' tongues hangin' eawt ready to lick 'em, an' slap 'em on trunks, bags, an' boxes.  Young lasses an' felly lads sheawtin' an' singin' i' the'r high glee at th' thowts of a tuthri' days far away fro' cop an' shuttle.  Young women wi' felleys, an' young women beawt felleys but wi' smiles an' roses on the'r faces 'at no' sensible human chap could keep away fro' if they'd nobbut oppen the'r een an' the'r hearts.  Old men an' women too wer' theer, lookin' as young i' spirits, an' laughin' as hard as onybody, but yo' known what it is, yon' o' bin theer.

    Th' thrain coom in, an' ther' wer' a rush for dacent seats too.  It took Sally Lump o' her time to look after th' chilt, an' th' luggage, an' Jud.  That beggar wer' welly too late for t' train, for he'd bin deawn as far as th' Blue Bell wi' one or two moor, an' he'd a job to breyk fro' 'em.

    Jud needed moar 1ookin' after on th' road to Blackpool nor oather th' chilt or th' luggage.  Th' chilt would keep quiet when it geet its bottle, an' th' luggage 'ud stop wheer it wer' put, if nob'dy shifted it, or it didna' drop on some'dy's yed; but Georgie would ramble abeawt.  He kept gettin' eawt at th' railway stations on th' road, lookin' for stray dogs, or studyin' heaw barmaids dress the'r yure or some lumber.  He knew th' best hissel.  He geet i'th' wrung carriage a time or two, but heawever, after a lot o' dodgin' an' scamin', Sally londed 'em o' at Talbot Road Station, safe an' seawnd, well, barrin' Jud's umbrella, an' a tothri sandwiches 'at they'd forgetten to poo' eawt o' th' train, that wer' o'.  But, strange to relate, Georgie never once lost eawt of his pocket a little gill bottle 'at contained summat 'at wer'nt hair oil.

    Well, they geet to the'r lodgin's o' reet,


MRS. PICKLE,
    Sea View,
        Muddleton Street.


Home from Home.


    As soon as they'd getten beawt the'r luggage, an' rested a tuthri' minutes, Sally wer' shown up stairs o' lookin' at the'r reawm, an' hoo left Georgie sittin' on a form i'th front garden, talkin' to th' chilt.

    "Come on den!" he said to it.  "Let us goo' o' lookin' at th' wayter while thi mammy gets her boxes unpacked."

    An' off he set with chilt in his arms, up one street deawn another, till at last, Georgie couldn't tell heaw, they fun the'rsels on th' promenade.  Eh! what folk!  Georgie stared like somedy silly.  He met one or two Shay folk 'at he knew, but some on 'em wer' so disguised wi' parasols, striped wes'cots, panama hats, an' hobble skirts, 'at Jud scarcely knew 'em, for they dressed so different when they wer' awhoam.

    "Hello, Jud!" sheawted one chap 'at favvert a Yankee millionaire, but wer' a bobbin carrier at th' same factory as Jud worched at.  "Has tha com'd to Blackpool then?"

    Jud wer' awlus a drowl owd stick, so he said,

    "Nawe! not I!  I'm stonnin' at Four Lane Ends watchin' th' carts pass, an' lookin' for chep drink same as tha' does.  I am here ammot I?"

    "Thart here for sure," said th' chap.  "Ha long arto' stoppin'?"

    "I'm beawn to stop here till some'dy mak's mi' a present of a hat like thine."

    "Th'art very fawse" said th' tother, "mind tha doesna' let that chilt fo'.  Tha' has it th' wrang end up sithee!  Wheer abeawts are yo' lodgin' Jud?"

    "Oh! I'm lodgin' wi' th' missis" said Georgie, "but tha' wants to know wheer hoo's lodgin', hoo's up at — na' wheer the heck are wi' lodgin'?  I'm hanged if I know.  I'd forgotten to look at th' number o'th' dur.  Well that's a beggar?"

    "Well, tha has made a mess on it; what part o!' Blackpool is it?"

    "Nay! heaw the heck do I know?" said Jud.  "I ne'er thowt abeawt it.  I coom deawn one street, an' across another, an' past a' aleheawse 'beawt co'in' in it, an' I could ha' supped a pint some nicely too, an' eh dear! well, I am a burmyed!"

    Th' felly fairly chuckled at Georgie's predicament.

    "Well, tha'll happen come across it somewheer, good mornin'!" he sheawted an' left Georgie to sort hissel eawt as best he could."

    Good mornin' eh?  It wer' a good mornin', but he'd made a very bad start.  He rambled abeawt for a long while, but he seed nowt 'at favvert his lodgin's.  An? to mak' things wor', th' chilt started o' skrikin', ther' must ha' bin' a pin stickin' in it, or summat, whatever it wur, Jud wer' quite helpless.

    "Come den," he said, "husht my lad, husht! dunno skrike! husht den! an' we'll goo an' find his mammy — if we nobbut known wheer hoo lives.  Eh dear o' me!  I'm noan fit to be a feyther.  I dunnot even know th' name o' th' street; an' I forgotten what londlady's coed.  I want mi yed jowin'.  I know it's somewheer i' Blackpool, an' it's a heawse wi' a beaw window, an' neaw I remember ther' wer' a bunch o' banana skins at th' front at th' heawse, an I welly broke mi' neck wi' slippin' on one on 'em.  Husht den! my child, an' I'll tak' thi' to thi' diddy-bottle.  Thi' feyther is a silly owd dog isn't he?  Dog! nay by gow! a dog 'ud ha' fun its road back wi'th' sense o' smell, but o' smells alike here! ham an' eggs an' fried feesh at every turn."

    In a bit he stopped at th' corner o' th' big wheel.  Th' chilt wer' skrikin' its een up, an' he geet quite a little creawd reawnd.

    "Eh dear! mester!" said a middle-aged young woman wi' a wart on her nose, an' a 'tammy' on her yed to mak' her look younger, as hoo thowt.  "Whatever are yo' doin' at that chilt?  Why dum't yo' tak' it whoam?"

    "I know" said Georgie, "but I dunno want everybody to know, so sling yer' hooks o' on yo!"

    "He's a greyt churnyed fro' somewheer, or he'd never yer' it skrikin' i' that fashion" another chimed in.

    Then a bobby coom up.

    "Now then, get a move on yer!  What have yer lost old chap?" he said to Jud.

    "If tha'rt talkin' to me I'm noan an' owd chap," snarled Georgie.  "I've lost a heawse wi' a bow window in it if tha' wants to know."

    Then folks began to laugh.  Th' bobby towd him to clear off or he'd jolly soon find him a heawse wi' a barred window in it.  Poor Georgie an' his skrikin' babby cleared off, an' he hadno' gone far afore he met Jammy Pippin fro' Smo'brook, runnin' like mad.  He stopt Jud wi' th' remark

    "Hellol Jud!  I've lost eawr little lad, hast sin owt on him?"

    "Nawe, I hav'na', I've lost summat bigger nor a lad; I've lost a lodgin' heawse."

    "Go look!" said t' other, an' went on wi' his runnin'.  Georgie couldn't help smilin'; an' th' chilt couldn't help skrikin'.

    "Husht my love! we'n goo' o' lookin' for that heawse wi' a bow window in, but by the hecky! they o' favver bein' bow-windowed dunno' they?  Never mind my love, we'st ha' to look for that banana skin, an' then―whoo-up!"

    Just as he wur' sayin' banana skin, he stept on a bit 'at made him wriggle abeawt like a tight-rope walker.

    "By gum! if I hadna' bin' a dancer!"

    Then he looked at th' heawse opposite, an' thowt to hissel, "This is happen th' heawse opposite!  I'll ax' that young woman at th' dur, I say, 'Missis is Sally Lump stoppin' here?'"

    Th' lass wer' a bit dee-of.  "What sort of a lump did yo' say?"

    "A gradely sort! noan o' yor' ony'-mak's.  A gradely tender piece fro' th' Nook.  Noan o' yor' boilin' lumps."

    Th' missis oth' heawse 'ud come to th' dur bi' he'd said o' that, an' hoo' gave Georgie strict marchin' orders, or hoo'd soon have him locked up for bein' drunk.  Poor Georgie! an' he'd ne'er tasted sin he left th' station.  Ther' wer a big hotel opposite, a reet flashy place, wi' three or four roads in an' seven or eight roads eawt.  Georgie wer' just wonderin' whether to tee th' chilt to a lamp post eawtside while he went inside o' dreawnin' his misery w' fo'penny, when two kind-hearted women coom up.

    "What's to do wi' that chilt maister?" one axed plaintively.  "Eh! bless it!  It wants its 'titty,' doesn't it? come den.  Eh felly! wheerever's its mammy?"

    "That's what I want to know" moaned Georgie, an' th' corners of his meawth welly dropped in his waistcoat pocket.  "I'm wantin' its mammy some bad; hoo's i' Blackpool somewheer in a heawse wi' a bow window in, but I'm hanged if I con find it."

    Then he towd 'em o'th' nomanny, an' eh! they were sorry for him.  One on 'em took chilt off him to diddle it abeawt a bit, an' t' tother towd Jud to goo i'th' Hotel opposite an' look at a directory, then he'd happen remember th' name oth' street, hoo said.

    "Tha' mun stir thisel mon, for tha' art in a bonny pickle."

    "By gum! that's it!" sheawted jud.  "Pickle! that's th' woman's name!  I con remember it neaw.  Howd that chilt a bit missis, I'll bi' back in a minute."

    Then dartin' i' th' Hotel he soon fun th' directory, an' read, "Mrs. Pickle, Muddleton Street."  After lookin' in th' directory, of course he looked inside a pint pot, an' it didn't tak' him long to see th' bottom noather; then he darted eawtside again, but not at th' same door 'at he entered by.  He'd getten a bit mixed someheaw, an' he fun hissel in anothen street o' together.

    He looked abeawt for th' women wi' his chilt, but he couldna' find 'em, but he'd th' name o'th street, an' he didna stop runnin' noather till he geet to his lodgin's an' his wife to whom he related his experiences.

    "Tha' greyt foo!  I'st lev' thi' awhoam another time.  An' wheer the hecks th' chilt?"

    "Eh!  I conno' tell thi!  I'm flabbergasted!  I dunno' care heaw soon I con see t' Newteawm chimney again I con tell thi."

    Poor Georgie.  However, they fun th' chilt o' reet.  It wer' at th' Police Station, sittin' on a fat bobby's knee playin' wi' his whiskers.


――――♦――――

 
GIVE AN' TAK'.


CHEER up, my bonny lads an' lasses,
    There's sunshine reawnd abeawt;
Thoose hymns of Hate an' poison-gases
    Are quickly wearin' eawt;
Foul feightin' conno' bring fair weather,
    It nobbut makes things black;
Why should we bang eawr yeds together?
    Let's try an' give an' tak'.

We rage at folks who're avaricious,
    When we'n an empty purse,
But gooin' barmy's injudicious;
    We nobbut mak' things worse.
It doesna' pay to get yo'r spleen eawt
    When little things yo' lack;
So, when yo' long to give black 'een eawt,
    Feight fair, an' give an' tak'.

We shouldna' blaze abeawt i' blindness,
    An' set the world aglow;
Let's try to fan eawr spark o' kindness;
    We're human after o'.
It doesna' pay to be a sinner,
    When food an' money's slack;
We connot allus back a winner,
    Be sporty!   Give an' tak'.

Despotic farce, an' brutal passion
    Bring nowt but grief an' pain;
Let's work i' gradely, kingly fashion;
    We hannot long to reign.
Then why should some get on wi' thievin',
    While some sink on the rack?
Don't laugh becose yo'r brother's grievin,
    Be human!   Give an' tak.

Why growl becose yo'r thrifty neighbour
    Lives like a howlin' swell?
It yo' were rich through honest labour,
    Yo' met do t' same yorsel'.
Sour envy's apt to make yo' snappy,
    So cultivate the knack
O' bein' tolerant an' happy.
    Oh, hang it!   Give an' tak'.

There's some who'd rob yo' o' yor freedom;
    Their pride's too stiff to bend;
They'll lie an' sneak; but never heed 'em,
    It doesna' pay i' th' end.
Sich folk 'ull later get a drubbin'
    Wi' men o' gradely mak';
So, when yo'r vexed, just keep on rubbin',
    But allus give an' tak.

I know we meet wi' rot 'at's rilin',
    We meet wi manners feaw,
But just keep p1oddin' on an' smilin',
    We'll sweep things eawt in neaw.
So tune yo'r song, an' stop yo'r whinin',
    For if To-day look black,
To-morn 'll come up young an' shinin';
    Cheer up!   An' give an' tak'.


――――♦――――

 
FEIGHT FAIR.


NA', lads, it's very plain to see,
    Wi' one thing an' wi' t'other,
We're gettin' vexed, but yo'll agree
    We don't want ony bother.
If spinnin' hasno' bin so straight,
    We'n tried to grin an' bear it,
An' if ther's beawn to be a feight
    Let each one try to share it.

We'n struggled hard wi' shoddy ends,
    Until we'n lost eawr "tackum,"
But if they winno' make amends,
    It's time we tried to mak' 'em.
We conno' co' 'em honest men,
    To fairly put us through it,
An' spin the'r shoddy cotton,
    When they know we conno' do it.

An' if we grunt, or mak' a fuss,
    They nobbut seem to scoff it;
They dunno' care a tig for us
    If they con mak' the'r profit.
They think it wisdom to deride,
    An' sweat the'r humble neighbour;
They'd ha' no profits to divide
    If they could get no labour.

But should they bring contention nigh,
    Through greed and aggravation,
We'll win wi' th' "union" battle cry,
    An' th' sword o' combination.
A fig for strife, an' hungry seets!
    Be hanged to stormy weather!
But if we han' to force eawr reets,
    Feight fair, an' keep together.


――――♦――――

 
EAWR MARKET NEET.


TO yo' who read as weel as run,
    Eawr little town's a treat,
An' if yo' want to see some fun
    Come reawnd a' th' Market neet,
For if yo'll view eawr Market Square,
    An' walk abeawt a while,
Yo'll see some things to mak' yo' stare,
    An' some to mak' yo' smile.

They'll sell yo' owt, eawr Market folks —
    They're cute, as I con tell —
An' if yo' dunno' watch the blokes
    Yo'll soon get sowd yo'rsel'.
They sell blackleads 'at winno' write,
    Herb-beer 'at winno' pop;
There's apples, too, yo' conno' bite,
    Wi' th' ripe 'uns o' on t' top.

There's hair pins, an' there's monkey-nuts;
    They'll sell yo' owt for brass,
An' — if there were no ifs an' buts —
    'Yo'd find it o' first-class.
There's pokers, pots, an' brandy-snaps;
    There's combs to scrat yo'r nob;
There's fourpence-hawpenny warty caps
    For which they charge a bob.

There's pens an' carrots, soap an' gum;
    There's pinafores an' spuds;
In short, it's just the place to come
    For o' yo'r worldly goods.
There's nails an' slippers, shirts an' shoon,
    Lead spoons an' feather-beds;
There's new-laid eggs 'at hum a tune,
    Ox-tails an' hommer-yeds;

There's kettle-stands 'at winno' ston',
    Gowd rings 'at are no' gowd;
There's Stilton cheese wi' whiskers on,
    Cock chickens ten year owd;
There's champagne too 'at's nobbut sham,
    There's bacon 'at con creep,
There's turnips labelled apple jam,
    An' lamb 'at's turned to sheep;

There's fancy plants 'at winno' grow;
    There's sugar, sawt an' sond;
There's Sunday socks, first-class an' o',
    An' some 'at's second-hond;
There's history books an' fairy tales;
    There's jokes yo' conno' see;
They'll sell yo' cakes as hard as nails,
    An' teeth to chew 'em wi';

There's hankychers to wipe yo'r nose,
    Screw keighs an' waggon wheels;
There's patent salve to rub yo'r toes,
    An' lots o' rubber heels;
There's balls o' worsted, balls o' bant,
    A pinbow, or a pill;
There's lots o' things yo' often want,
    An' some yo' never will.

We han' a Doctor Quack an' o';
    He'll cure yo' in a flash;
He'll ease yo' o' yo'r gouty toe,
    Yo'r colic, or yo'r cash;
He'll diagnose yo'r aches an' pains,
    He'll mak' yo' think yo'r bad.
An' then he'1l shift yo'r muddled brains,
    An' thoose yo' never had;

He'll put yo' reet fro' top to toe,
    He'll cure yo'r corns an' warts.
He'll shift yo'r warchin' yed an' o',
    Browt on wi suppin' quarts;
He's shifted boils i' barrowfuls ―
    It's true, for yo' con tell,
He's scores o' testimonials
    He's written eawt hissel:

He's stuff for makkin' whiskers grow
    Wheer whiskers never grew;
It's printed on a papper, so,
    Of course, it must be true.
So come an' visit Doctor Quack —
    He looks a gradely gawk —
An' if he conno' cure yo'r back,
    It's grand to yer him talk.

We han' a fortune-teller too!
    He's clever yo' con see,
He'll tell yo' o' yo'r beawn to do,
    An' who yo'r wife 'ull be:
He'll warn yo' to be careful as
    Yo' tak' a walk i'th' park:
He'll say yo'll meet a gypsy lass
    Who's rayther tall an' dark;

He'll say yo'll ha' some childer too —
    He fancies yo'll ha' three —
But if he knows yo'n kids enoo,
    He'll tell yo' when they'll dee:
He has blue goggles o'er his een,
    An' wears a cap an' gown;
He coes hissel "Professor Green,
    The Seer of world renown":
But then he's one o' th' best o' liars —
    The beggar's killed wi' cheek —
He carries bobbins up at Squire's
    For nineteen bob a week.

So do come up an' stop a bit,
    An' see eawr little teawn;
I'll bet yo'r takken up wi' it,
    Unless yo'r takken deawen:
An' bring yo'r wives an' childer too;
    Eh, mon, it's quite a treat:
But lads, whatever else yo' do,
    Yo' mun' come a' th' Market neet.


――――♦――――

 
"POOR FAYTHER."


It's nice to be a feyther when
    Yo'r childer's fast asleep,
Unless they'r plagued wi' t'
            neetmare, or
    They'r gan to snorin' deep;
It's nice to sport a family o'
    Six fine lads an' a lass;
It's nice to love 'em dearly, but
    They cost a lot o' brass.

Yo' talk abeawt paternal love
    An' childer's pleasant ways,
They mun ha' deed wi' Noah, for
    Ther' is noan neaw-a-days;
An' as for usin' impudence,
    They'n reitched a bonny pitch;
But then, I'm nobbut t' feyther, so
    It doesna' matter mich.

As soon as I get whoam at neet
    My brain gets in a whirl;
Ther's Jimmy singin' silly songs
    Abeawt some moony girl;
An' Billy, though he isno' what
    Yo'd co' a crazy lad,
Is talkin' footbo' every day,
    The beggar's gooin' mad.

An' Bob 'ull sit an' listen till
    He welly cornt' abide,
An' then they han a feight becose
    He sheawts for t' t'other side.
Be hanged to goals an' corners.   Why!
    I corn't tell which is which,
But then, I'm nobbut t' feyther, so
    It doesna' matter mich.

The'r mother's awlus growlin', an'
    I get it rayther whot,
It's me 'at blackens t' curtains, for
    Hoo sez I smook a lot.
I like a pipe o' 'bacco, but
    It isno' mich I get;
Why, even little Joedy tries
    To smook a cigarette.

One day when it 'ad made him sick,
    His mother took a freet,
Hoo welly had a fit becose
    I said it sarved him reet.
Hoo allus blames it o' on me
    Whene'er we han a hitch,
But, eh! I'm nobbut t' fayther, so
    It doesna' matter mich.

I rayther like eawr Mary Jane,
    In fact hoo's one o' t' best,
But when hoo's in her tantrums — well,
    I think hoo's wor' nor t' rest;
Hoo dons hersel' i' fithers, an'
    Hoo's allus lots o' brass,
Her mother tries to speyl her just
    Becose hoo's th' only lass.

I think hoo has a felly, too,
    But if I cop the clown
He winno' feel so yessy when
    He tries to sit him deawn.
He fancies hoo's an angel, but
    To me hoo's like a witch;
Hoo knows I'm but her fayther, so
    It doesna' matter mich.

It's nice to be a fayther, but
    Somehow it doesna' pay;
I dunno' think they'd worry if
    I wer' to run away.
They think I'm but a nobody,
    An' when they'r in the'r fun
They shove me in a corner till
    They'r wantin' summat done,

I shell eawt very often, an'
    It's me 'at bears the'r yoke,
But takken o' together they'r
    As good as other folk;
They'r fond o' gradely honest wark,
    An' when they'n getten rich,
So long as I'm the'r fayther — well
    It winno' matter mich.


――――♦――――

 
FRIDAY NEET.
(A Pen Picture of a Lancashire Home).


"WELL, it's Friday neet.  We mun shap.  Come on, Mary Allis, let's be gettin' summat done.  Han yo' o had tay?  Jimmy, stir thisel.  I want thi to go me an errand.  Dunno' sit theer o' neet."

    "Tay yo'r hurry," said Jimmy, "I haven't supped my tay yet.  Besides, I'm wary."

    "Aye, I'm wary, too, but I ha' to keep gooin'.  Come on neaw!  Get thi cap."

    "Oh heck!  Send eawr Joe.  He's bigger nor me."

    Joe scowls at him an' says summat abeawt battin' earhole.  Jimmy keeps suppin' his tay slow.  Fayther looked off th' papper he's bin readin' an scowls manslaughter at him.

    "Arta bown to goo when thi mother tels thi or have to get my foot to thi?  I shanno tell thi again, my lad."

    He goes on readin' th' Share List again an' he doesno' look pleased at it noather.

    "Con I go to t' picthers to-neet wi Serellen Buttley?" asks Gladys, aged fourteen.

    "I'll gi' thi picthers if tha talks to me abeawt picthers to-neet.  Tha's to get some scourin' done to-neet, owt abeawt picthers.  Tha met think I'm ―――"

    "Weah, Serellen Buttley goes every Friday neet an' mother never says nowt.  Beside, I con pay for mysel."

    Hoo's beginnin to whimper when — "Shut thi crazy mouth, an stop thi whimperin'.  What the firrups!  Tha met think' we're made o' money.  I'll gi' thi picthers.  Neaw, no blubberin' or tha goes to bed at once if not sooner."

    It wants a fayther abeawt a house to stop some sort o' wark.  Faythers con allus put the tin hat on awkertness.  Sometimes.  Some on 'em dun get vexed though, especially when shares are deawn.

    "Come on, Mary Allis, let's side this table.  An' Jimmy, mitch that basket th' back o' th' pantry door, I want thi to fot' me some pottitoes an two loaves fro' th' corner shop.  Come on, love, tha winno' be a minute.

    "Oh, heck, I'm wary.  Wait till I've just ―――"

    "By gum, but I'll send thi through that door if tha'rt' noan ――"

    "That'll do.  Dunno' hurt him!  I'll mak' him goo or he'll ha no Setterday hawpenny to-morn.  Hey, hey!  Na then theer i' that kitchen.  What's o that skrikin abeawt?  What's to do, Willie?"

    "Oh, oo bohoo, eawr Emma's bin hittin' me."

    "Weah, he mun give oer pooin his face at me.  I'st hit him again."

    "Emma, let him alone an get summat done.  An thee too, Willie, get summat done o on yo'.  Yo'll have it bedtime before yo'n done owt.  Neaw, dost yer?  Ow! ―――"

    Hoo allus coes her husband "Neaw," barrin when hoo coes him "Dost yer" or "Na then."  To her friends an' neighbours hoo allus speyks of him as "Yon of eawrs."  He looks off th' side of his papper an' says: "What's up?  Arto shoutin' o' me?"

    "Aye.  I want thi to chop a bit o' feigher wood an' nail a bit o' leather on eawr Jimmy's shoon before tha goes eawt.  They charg'en so mich neaw-a-days.  Tha hasn't time?  Goo on wi' thi.  Tha's noan so mich brass to spare as tha needs be in a hurry to goo o suppin' cowd ale.  An besides, tha never thinks at — Betsy Jane, put that love tale deawn an' get summat done.  Tha owt to — Goodness!  Whatever's to do neaw?"

    "It's eawr Emma.  Hoo's gone an' brokken a hondle off a jug."

    "Hello, tell-tale tit, I couldn't help it.  It were loas. (Loud laughter).

    "Wheer's th' black-lead brush, mother?"

    "Look for it.  Wheer does it use bein?  Hang it, I con do o th' wark misel while I'm waiting on yo."

    Mary Allis is tryin' to sing i' th' kitchen.  Jimmy's just come back fro' th' shop wi two pound o' pottitoes an five loaves, for he'd reversed th' numbers.  Little Willie's black leadin' th' cat.  "Yon of eawr's" chops feigher wood an hits his thumb.  He does a song an' dance in Wild Man of Borneo language.  Th' mother frowns.  Jimmy laughs outreet.  He's beawt jacket or he met ha' laughed up his sleeve.  Th' cat jumps on a shelf i' th' panthy in sheer freet — an' incidentally to eyt a bit o' ceawheel pie 'at th' mother had saved for "Yon of eawr's" supper.  "Yon of eawrs" does another Borneo dance wi' variations, includin' vulgar patter, an' thi' cat loases another of its lives — welly its last.  Later on order an' furniture is restored once moor.  "Yon of eawrs," havin' nailed th' leather on Jimmy's shoe an' hit his thumb again, an' nearly exhausted th' Borneo vocabulary, has a wesh, wakkens up, then goes eawt to th' club to play hawpenny nap, at which some on 'em cops him at it.  While his wife is shoutin' at four childer' an' losing her patience, he's shoutin' "five" i' th' club an' winnin' twopence.  Little Willie, happy in his dirt, has to be bathed an' made miserable.

    "Come on neaw, an' no skrikin.  Tha'rt big enough to wesh thisel.  Getten ten year owd welly an' has to be bathed!  I'm shamed at thee. (Slap.)  Keep thi yed still or I'll shove th' soap in thi mouth.  What's up neaw?"

    "Oo, ee oo.  Yon hurt my sore finger.  Oo, yo'r brunnin me."

    "Eh, tha softy!  Skrikin becose he's bein' washed!  Duck his yed in, mother, I should."

    "Tha darnt.  Ow!  Poo my cap off!  Mother, see yo, he's getten my cap on."

    "Shut thi mouth or else I'll ――" (Slap.  Yowl.  Hubbub.  Tinkle, tinkle).

    "Oo heck!  Eawr Gladys has shoved th' window-brush through t' fanlight." (Loud laughter, an' giggles, an' smiles and tears).

    "Art gooin' to t' footbo match o Setterday, Tum?"

    "Aye, lad, an I'll bet th' Latics [Ed.―Oldham AthleticJ lose.  They con play noan."

    "Conno' they lad?  They'll show 'em to-morn.  I'st shout for t' 'Latics every time, lad.  I'll play thee shuzheaw." (Scatteration).

    "Ow, give o'er lad.  Mother, he's puncin' my cap abeawt.  Give it us here, I'm bown eawt."

    "Here, dunno' thee stop eawt so long.  It's welly bed time."

    "Weah, eawr Bob's gone eawt.  Mak' him stop a-whoam too."

    "Eawr Bob's owder nor thee.  Besides he's courtin'."

    "Weah, they shouldno' court o' Friday neet, or they'll bring t' frying ponn to 'em.  Neaw, gove o'er; Eawr Mary Allis is pinchin' my towfy."

    "Oh, shut up o' on yo' an' get sommat done.  Eh dear!  I weesh it were bed time.  Lizzie Ellen, has tha finished thi dustin'?  Side that brush away, Joe."


*            *            *            *            *


    "Go to sleep, up them steers, o on yo.  An' mak' a less noise Willie."

    "Its eawr Jimmy.  He keeps pooin t' clooas off me o' purpose."

    "Go to sleep!  Yo'll ha' to get summat done to-morn.  Na then!  Yer feyther's com'd. — Tha's bin a rare while.  Tha's had aboon one to neet, too."

    "I know I have.  I've had two."

    "Two what?"

    "Find it eawt.  I'm owd enough to know heaw to behave mysel.  Wheer's my supper?"

    "Th' cat's etten it, hasnt it?"

    "Oh heck, aye.  Wheer's t' cat then?  I'll ha that filletted.  Are they o com'd in?"

    "Theyre o i' bed nobbut eawr' Bob an' eawr Lizzie Ellen.  I'm fair fagged."

    "Tha should ha gone to bed.  Tha'rt missin nowt.  Off wi' thi."

    "Dunno' stop theer brunnin gas o neet.  It's too dar.  Well.  I'm gooin, I've a lot to do to-morn.  Do come to bed lad."

    "What are t' botherin' abeawt?  It's nobbut just turned 10 0'clock.  It doesn't say everybody's sleepy becose tha art.  Go to bed.  I'll lock up when they come.  Tha used to stop eawt later nor this when tha were courtin'.  Give an tak'."

    "Well, good neet!  I'st be asleep when tha comes.  See as tha locks up.  An', I say!"

    "Well?"

    "Dunno' wait for thoose two, if they hanno' comd when tha's had thi supper.  Put a cher at back at dur — an hasta put th' cat eawt?"

    "Aye.  Go to bed.  I punced that eawt lung sin.  Who's that skrikin up steers?"

    "It'll be th' babby.  It's bin a bit fretful o day abeawt sommat.  I think I'st co t' doctor in to-morn, would tha?"

    "Plez thisel.  Neaw off wi' thi.  Tha looks wary.  Go to bed an' I'll bring thi a drop o' that whiskey up when I come.  It'll do thi good."

    "O reet.  I'm gooing.  An I've sich a lot to do to-morn.  Dunno' forget that gas."


*            *            *            *            *


    An hour and a half later: — Childer upstairs snorin' soundly.  One on 'em, th' youngest, a bit fretful, wailin', "Mammy, mammy."  Its mother a bit restless an' chunnerin' between whiles: "Go to seep love; go to seep!  Eh, dear; I mun get summat done to-morn."


*            *            *            *            *


Three hours later: — All quiet up above.  All's well.  Fayther snorin' soundly, in spite o' missin' his cowheel supper.  A feline voice without the back door thresher:— "Meeow, meeow."

    Good (Friday) neet.


――――♦――――

 
"A DIP AT SOUTHPORT."


WHEN John Tommy Taylor were quite a young lad
Folk said he were pratty an' favvert his dad;
He'd a sma' chubby nose, an' some nice curly yure,
He sucked booath his thumbs, and he crawled upon th'
        flure,
Tho' his parents geet sick o' his bother an' din,
They said he wur th' nicest ut ever wur sin.
In a twothree years he geet teighert o' t' pap,
And he started i' th' world as a dacent young chap.

He blacked his own shoon, an' he earned his own peck,
An' he made moar palaver i' washin' his neck.
He wore ston-up collars, his cuffs wur to match,
He spent hawve an heaur i' commin' his thatch
Which wern't so curly as when he wur' young,
But he'd sin a nice girl, an' he wern't so lung
Afore he wur tryin' to make her see him,
An' that's why he made hissel pratty an' prim.

He thowt he wur nice, but some cawd him a cauf,
An' said, "when he wur young he were nicer by th' hauf."
This wench very oft used to meet him i' th' street,
And once when hoo wur passin' he sheauted "Good neet."
An' then he went whoam quite contented at heart,
An' thowt "Come, I'm noan doin' bad for a start."
They acted like this for th' best part o' a week,
So one neet he stopped her, he'd getten moor cheek.

He said, "Neaw, I say! is thy brother cawd Nat?"
Hoo answered, "Aye, that he is, what abeaut that?"
"Nay, nowt," he replied, "but I thowt I were reet."
He paused, an' then said, "It's a very nice neet,"
"It is," said Sophia, for that wur' her name;
"If it's like this to-morn at neet, that'll be th' same."
They talked on a bit, an' then Johnny said, "Come,
Theau'll be cowld stonnin' here, I'll go wi' thee whoam."

They billed an' they coo'd, an' he co'd her a dove,
He gave her a kiss, and he towd her his love.
"I like thee," said Johnny, an' then scrat his yead,
"Wilt ha' me, Sophia?"   Hoo blushed, an' hoo said:
"Why! what made thee think abeaut gooin' wi' me?
I corn't say I ever thowt much abeaut thee.
I like thee a bit, for theau'rt noan a feaw lad,
I'd better say 'Aye,' if tha wants me so bad."

They walked eaut together, an' one Sunday neet
Hoo took him i' th' heause, an' they made it aw reet;
An' then begun kissin' an' squeezin'; an' th' fun ―
But I needn't say moar, for yo' known heaw it's done.
Heawever, these two wur quite happy an' gay,
They cawd thersel' cooartin', so one summer's day
They went deawn to Southport to have a nice eaut;
They londed aw reet, and went linkin' abeaut.

They'd a hawpoth o' that, an' a pennoth o' this,
Then went up'at' sonds, an' they thowt it wur bliss;
They poo'd off their stockin's, an' paddled i' th' "bruck,"
'Till they felt it wur time they wur havin' some "chuck."
They went in a shop, to get summat to eit,
They'd pratoes cowd, an' some very dry meit;
They'd a bottle o' pop, an' some wimberry cake,
An' then they went eaut for a row up'at' lake.

Neaw Johnny had ne'er bin on t' wayter afore,
So he felt rayther awkert at usin' an oar.
They geet in a boat, then they tried to row eaut,
But th' ricketty cockleshell wobbled abeaut,
An' John Tommy bein' a ricketty chap,
He flopped on his girl, wi' his yead in her lap.
"Neaw, then," said Sophia, "what are't tryin' on?
Cern't theau see as them felleys is watchin' thee, mon?

Some felleys wer' watchin', an' didn't they laugh,
An' then started throwin' their slur an' their chaff.
"Ger a donkey to poo it," said one wi' a yell;
"Aw reet," said John Tommy, "come poo it thysel. "
"Shut up," said his girl, "tak' no gawm o' their bother."
"Theau mun get eaut an' shove it," then sheauted another.
"I'll get eaut an' shove thee on t' nose in a bit,"
Said Johnny; but th' jokers were nearly split.

They sheauted an' lowfed till they rented their throat,
But th' lad kept on writhin' an' tuggin' at th' boat.
"Does ta yer?" sheauted one, "theau's a gradely nice girl,
Get eaut, an I'll give her a bit of a twirl.
Thee try t' dobby-horses," said th' chap, wi' a sneer,
"Hoo'd be rayther safer nor stoppin' i' theer."

Neaw John Tommy Taylor were noan a bad sort ―
He were fond of a joke or a bit o' good sport;
But their insultin' language were rayther too bad,
An' when he seed t' girl lowfin too he geet mad.
He up wi' his oar, an' he swung it abeaut,
He darted at th' felley to fotch him a cleaut.

But, eh, what a bowster'yead, oh, what a bore,
He toppled i' th' boat, an' he tippled it o'er.
An' then there wur' kickin', an' swearin', an' dashin',
An' Jack and Sophia were bobbin' an' splashin',
An' th' fellys wur sheautin', an' yellin', an' chaffin',
An' everybody wur screamin' an' laughin';
An' eh, what a camival, eh, what a spree,
As good as a circus, I think yo'll agree.

Heawever, this wayter wur noan very deep,
An th' audience stopp'd 'em fro' gooin' to sleep.
Sophia wur yellin' like one off her chump,
An' th' felleys were sheautin' "All hands to the pump,"
An' when they geet teighert of 'em bobbin' abeaut
They copp'd 'em by th' yure, an' bundled 'em eaut.
To stop an' be laughed at would do 'em no good,
So they ran to their lodgin's as hard as they could.

John Tommy wur blue, but Sophia wur bluer.
Hoo said, "I'll ha' nowt to do wi' thee no mooar,
Theau'm goo wheer theau likes, for I durn't care a rap;
I wanted no 'churnyead,' I wanted a chap."
An' then they'd a row, an' a jolly good cry,
But they geet thick again when their clooas wur dry.
They'n getten wed neaw; an' they laugh till they ache,
When they talk o' that day when they tumbled i'th' lake.


――――♦――――

 
DO A GOOD TURN WHEN YO' CON.


GOOD givin's a blessin', we're led to believe,
    So let us o give till we dee'n;
We're towd its mooar blessed to give than receive —
    Why should we be stingy an' mean?
When Time co's your number, an' life is no mooar,
    Remember yo'r deeds ull live on;
So be a good pal to the needy an' poor,
    An' do a good turn when yo' con.

There's mony a heart welly breykin' becose
    O' pains 'at it conno' just tell;
A chap may be smilin', but nobody knows
    What troubles he keeps to hissel';
So poo eawt yo'r shekels, an' help him eawt neaw,
    It's rayther too late when he's gone.
Well, just ascertain his position, shuzheaw,
    An' do a good turn when yo' con.

There's pleasure i' helpin' the weak or the smo'
    Accordin' to th' cash 'at we earn;
There's tons o' good happiness come to us o,
    Through doin' a chap a good turn.
A chap may be poor as a raven, an' yet
    In dress he may look like a don:
He'd smile if yo' gave him a lift, yo' con bet,
    So do a good turn if yo' con.

A bob or two given met gain yo' a crown,
    Seek eawt some poor mortal yo' know;
Yo'r little 'ull look like a lot when he's deawn —
    Yo'r lot winno' suffer at o.
Then think o' the blessin's yo'r certain to get —
    Yo'll feel like a gradely mon;
There's thousands for charity, worry, an' fret,
    An' do a good turn when yo' con.

I' makkin' one happy yo're makkin' a friend,
    So pay up an' mak' 'em, pell mell!
Yo'll larn 'at there's poor satisfaction i' th' end
    I' keeping yo'r wealth to yo'rsel'.
Look eawt for somebody who's short of a share,
    Put some o' yo'r beef in his pon,
Then look in yo'r larder for what yo'n to spare,
    An' do a good turn when yo' con.


――――♦――――

 
ME AN' SARAH.


ME an' Sarah's gooin' off
    In a day or two;
Dressed i' cream I'st be a toff,
    Sarah's havin' blue.
Neaw we'n drawn a bit o' wealth
    We con hardly 'bide,
So we're beawn away for health,
    Summat else beside.
Happen we're a pair o' geese,
    But we han to bear a
Longin' for a chap apiece,
            Me an' Sarah.

Yet we arno' giddy things,
    Never brassy bowd;
Simply want a pair ol rings,
    If they're made o' gowd;
Her an' me are owd enough,
    Far too owd for some;
Still we find it rayther rough
    When they winno' come.
We're as nice as other folk;
    An' we shouldn' care a
Hang, if we could get a bloke,
            Me an' Sarah.

Sarah's welly in a rage;
    I could do a dance;
Other girls of eawr age
    Seem to get a chance.
Noather her nor me are feaw,
    Both are good as gowd;
If they winno' tak' us neaw,
    Soon we'st be too owd.
Some 'ull tell us we're too shy,
    Same as modest Clara;
Still we're beawn to have a try,
            Me an' Sarah.

Durn't yo' think it seems a shame
    When we'n done eawr best?
We should like a change o' name,
    Same as some o' th' rest.
While they'r loved an' bein' kissed
    Her an' me's "to let";
Th' holidays are comin', we'st
    Happen manage yet.
If we're good as good con be,
    Someb'dy 'ull happen spare a
Chap a piece for her an' me,
            Me an' Sarah.


――――♦――――

 
TO A FLY.
IN A BOWL OF MILK.


NA then, tha's gone an' done it neaw,
Tha's made a mess o' things shuzheaw,
            Thais dreawned thisel!
To fate at last tha's had to bow,
            So ding, dong, bell.

Tha's done some buzzin' in thi time,
Tha's groused in every sort o' grime,
            Tha dirty thing!
O'er every sort o' slutch an' slime
            Tha's flipped thi wing.

I' th' summer time tha used to flit
Abeawt me till I had a fit;
            Tha's made me creep.
Tha's pestered me aboon a bit,
            When hawf asleep!

Tha's sickened me.   I've felt appalled
A time or two; tha's fairly mauled
            My eggs an' ham;
An' then bigum tha's gone an' scrawled
            All o'er my jam!

I conna' see what good tha's done;
No doubt tha had a lot o' fun
            When tha were wick;
I seed a fly once in a bun ―
            It turned me sick.

Tha may ha' worked Dame Nature's will,
Or had a mission to fulfil;
            It's hard to tell.
Though some 'ud say thy use were nil ―
            Well, tak' misel'.

There's lots o' folk who conno' see
Why th' world should harbour sich as me.
            Aye, I'll be bound.
There's mooar nor one who thinks, like thee,
            I'm nowt a pound!

Tha's getten in a sloppy state!
Tha's deed i' cream at ony rate!
            Tha looks a mess!
There's lots o' humans met their fate
            Through greediness.

That bowl o' milk's thy grave, I fear;
Tha little thowt o' th' danger near
            When on its rim;
Tha should ha' kept away fro' theer,
            Or larnt to swim.

Each gleam o' sunshine hides a shower;
There's danger lurkin' every hour
            In every thing.
Heaw very near to life's full flower
            Is death's dark sting!

Tha sees neaw what ambition brings,
Tha's speyled my milk, an' soaked thy wings,
            Then look at th' waste!
There's lots who get to t' cream o' things
            Yet never taste!

There's lots ull miss thi neaw tha'rt gone,
Especially thoose tha's settled on
            Wi' feet most foul.
Good-bye, an' — if tha's getten one —
            God rest thi soul!


――――♦――――

 
"NEVER MIND."


JIM was allus easy-goin' from the day 'e'was a lad;
Sort o' careless like, an' lazy; still, at times 'e wasn't bad.
When we've hung abart the station, an' 'e's 'ad a lit o' thrift,
I have watched 'im carry parcels as a man could hardly lift.
When the toffs have come wi' luggage, an' 'e'd chance to
make 'is pelf,
I have known 'im slink away an' chuckle, "Carry it yerself!"
Then of course I've reprimanded 'im an' said 'e was unkind;
But 'e'd only shrug his shoulders, an' 'e'd mumble, " Never
mindl"

'E was 'appy if 'e'd tuppence, 'e was rich if 'e'd a. bob;
'E would pal on with a moucher, said 'e couldn't bear a snob.
'E would 'ang abart the taverns for the broken bits o' chuck,
An' e'd' give 'is only copper to a bloke down on 'is luck.
Now an' then 'e seemed to fret, an' get as 'umpy as could be,
For 'e 'adn't got a mother to look after 'im, yer see,
Then, if 'e could earn a bob or two, 'e'd drink till 'e was
blind;
An' if I should tell 'im of it 'e would mumble, "Never mind!"

One day I met 'im in the street, an' lo»okin' young an' tit;
'Ed got inside the khaki, an' was off to do 'is bit;
'E went to fight for Kitchener, all on 'is own accord,
I sent 'im 'bacco now an' then—'twas all I could afford.
Yer see, 'e'd no relations, an' 'e felt it, I am told;
While others got their parcels 'e was left out in the cold.
'E said so in a letter, an' these words 'e underlined-
"I somehow seems ter want a mother's kiss—but never mind."

'E couldn't stand a lot o' fuss—it must ha' been 'is whim;
In all the war there never was a braver man than 'im.
One day our lads got in a trap, as shells fell round about;
Jim made a rush in "no man's land," an' dragged 'is captain
out.
They promised 'im a D.C.M., but Jim went very red;
'E wiped 'is chivvy with 'is sleeve, an' then 'e 'umbly said;
"What did yer say? A D.C.M.? Wot for? Yer very kind!
I only did my duty to the boss, sir — never mind!"

One mornin' down at Wipers things were lookin' rather black;
The company that Jim was in was ordered to attack.
With shell and shrapnel all around he rushed to meet the foe!
He fought like Britons can until a bullet laid him low.
They took him to the 'ospital; they saw where he was hit;
The doctors tried to bring 'im round, but jim 'ad done 'is bit;
"God bless yer' nurse," 'e whispered. "At last someone is
kind;
An' p'raps I 'aven't done so bad — I'm — but — never mind!"


――――♦――――

 
LANKY HUMOUR.
(A Toathri Little Pen Pictures).


FOR spontaneous wit and humour of either the dry or moist variety Lancashire has no superior and very few rivals.  Its people are kind and sympathetic to a degree, and though to the more "superior" and often more affected outsider they may appear harsh, crude, or lacking in those finer attributes that custom says go to the making of England's ladies and gentlemen, they can hold their own in any kind of behaviour that matters to real, sound, right-thinking people.  Lancashire does call a spade a spade and holds in contempt any super-idiot who prides his stuck-up self for discovering that a gradely, sensible spade is a silly, superior silver salt-spoon.  You talk about the sympathy that makes the whole world kin; you talk of wit and humour; and you talk about a din — Old Lancashire's the place for all.  Its humour is not too flabby.  For instance, note the mother as she hugs her youngest baby:

    "Well then; whatever han they bin doin' at thi my love?  Come to mammy, den!  It's every time I turn my back.  Thi feyther's wor nor an owd woman i' t' house, I conno' lev thi a minute bowt he's oather rowlin thi on t' rug till tha'rt as full o' win' as a wartime dumplin' or shovin' a piece o' indiarubber i' thi cho·ps an' floppin' thi i' th' kayther while he goes a havin' a sup.  Come love, dunno' skrike den!  Well den!  What hasta bin doin' at him?

    "I've done nowt."

    "Tha's done nowt?  Tha's said it neaw?  Tha never does do nowt.  Here's t' chilt welly skrikin its little een up while I goo a-beighin in a bit, an tha does nowt!  Get that diddie bottle an' warm it a drop o' milk an' dunno' sit theer as if tha'd sin a boggart.  Get howd o' that tayspoon an' stir thisel."


    "Stir misel?  I conno' stir missel wi a tayspoon, con I?"

    "Nawe, tha greyt lazy thing.  Tha wants a gas explosion to stir thee."

    "Weah, I'm havin' a gas explosion ammot I?  Tha'll goo off wi a bang if tha'rt noan careful.  Mun I strike a match?"

    "A match?  I struck a match wi' thee a lung time sin! but tha doesna' show so mich leet yet.  Tha'rt wor nor a bag o' sawdust i' th' heawse."

    "I'm as dreigh as one shuzheaw.  Lend us a tanner wilt?"

    "I'st lend thi nowt.  Tha doesn't desarve to ha' childer."

    "I know I dunno', lass.  Tha con have it o to thisel if tha wants."

    He cuts up his bit of twist in penitent silence for a moment then exclaims:—

    "Heaw do I know what ails t' chilt?  Put a cork in it a bit.  It's nobbut getten t' bally warch; that's o.'"

    "Bally warch?  It may weel ha bally warch, feedin' it on th' dummy-tit o t' day oer.  Heaw would ta like it?  Atta beawn to lend a hond?"

    "I will if tha'll lend me a tanner while I just goo an ha' one.  Tha's made me as dreigh as a blottin pad wi' talkin'.  Eh, I am dreigh."

    "Arta?  Well tha mun suck at that dummy-tit a bit.  Tha'rt childish enough for owt.  Come love, come!  Go to bo-bo while mammy maks it some cinder tay."

    The model Lancashire laddy is a diamond in the rough.  He's fond of sport and dancing.  Why, he never had enough.  His favourite game is football.  'Tis a sight to him most dear; and when his side is winning, 'tis a treat to hear him cheer.  "Goo on lad!  Get on it!  Get yor feet abeawt it lads!  Eh, if Billy con nobbut just get howd o' that bo!—  By gum he's getten it!  Billy's getten it!  Goooo on Billy!  Goooo on!  Yon's the bloomin' lad for yo.  I'll back him again ony mon on t' field bar noan.  Ah!  Hard lines!  He's deawn!  Nay, he has it yet.  Gooo on Billy!  That's the bloomin road to play."

    "Haow!  He's offside!  He's offside!"

    "Is he heck as offside!  He's o reet.  Get on it lads!  There isn't a mon i' o yor team at con play like that lad.  He con —  Tha'll what?  Get it done, lad!  Get it done!  I'll soon show thee."

    "Sherrup mon!  We're playin' at footbo, noan feightin'.  I'll bet a penny we — hee!  Did t' see that?  Goo on Joe!  Get on it!  By go, I'll bet a tanner he — eh!  Hard lines lad!  Haow!  Hondud!  Hello, Billy's getten it again.  Pass, Billy, pass!  Neaw Tommy!  Neaw tha has it!  He's gooin; he's gooing he's ―― A GOAL!"
'
    Then a thirty thousand voiced shout goes up with a yell strong enough to explode an Oldham rain cloud and split the ear drums of the man in the moon, who smiles and chuckles, "Hello, there's old Lancashire enjoying itself again, I hear."

    It cannot be said that the Lancashire lad takes his pleasures sadly, not even when his particular team loses.  Neither does he take them in affected spats and cut-me-dead blazers.  Not him!  He prefers to get his shirt off to them and arm himself with a couple of thick soles and a double million-power megaphone.  The lads, and bonny lasses too, are full of honest sport.  They know the way to work and play, and they know the way to court.  Their language may be simple, but to them 'tis perfect bliss as Sally turns her eyes to Joe and says to him, "Tha'rt very quiet Joe."

    "Aye."

    After another half-mile moonlight loiter she again essays with "Kahoo."  That's an imitation cough.  "Kahoo.  Say summat Joe!  Hasta nowt to say.  Arta vexed abeawt summat?"

    Joe blows his nose once more and says "Nawe; not as as I know on.  Why?  What for?"

    "Nay, nowt; nobbut I thowt tha happen were  ―― I co it rayther cowd to-neet doesn't tha?"

    "Aye.  I daresay it is but, well,  ―― onyheaw, I'm warm enough shuzheaw."

    Another half-mile slips slowly under their loving feet.  Ladies first again.  "Well, I reckon we'st soon have Aister here neaw."

    "Aye."

    Love is rarely a loquacious being.  Sally coughs again for variety.  "Joe, I do weesh tha'd say summat.  Do say summat."

    "Summat."

    "Aye.  That's summat, an nowt, too.  Say summat sweet Joe.  Goo on!"

    "Tracle."

    Joe chuckles at his own joke and wonders whether to say anything else.  Sally begins to grow impatient.  "Is that o tha con say — tracle?"

    "Aye; I favver bein' stuck at tracle don't I?"

    "Tha does, an' tha doesn't favver tha could lick it noather.  What's up wi' thi?  Tha'rt lookin' some black abeawt summat to neet."

    "Nowt."

    "That's noan so mich, shuzheaw. There is summat I know, but tha's no 'casion to keep pooin thi face, becose if tha doesno' want me I con go whom an do my crowsherin."

    "Weah, I may weel look black.  Tha knows o abeawt it, mon."

    "I know nowt."

    "Oh, doesn't tha?  I yerd abeawt thi dancin' wi' Billy Robbishaw t' other neet mon.  I know o' abeawt it."

    "Weah, that's nowt.  What abeawt thee dancin' wi' Sarah Jane Butthercup last Setterday but one?  I yerd abeawt that too."

    "Weah.  We're straight neaw then."

    The cool air of each has now put a couple of yards between them as they meander through half a mile of sulkiness, until Sally, woman-like and bendable where true love is, breaks the ice by humbly and contritely saying, "I want noan o' Billy Robbishaw, man nut I."

    This confession softens Joe's whole being at once and blows to the winds his previous intention to "Tell her off an' ha' done wi' her afore t' neet were eawt, he would that."  His soul is once again in love's heaven, for hadn't she told him with her own dear sweet lips that "She wanted noan o' Billy Robbishaw?"  Joe says, "Weah, would ta sooner ha' me nor Billy Robbishaw?"

    I fancy I can hear Sally chuckling as she answers, "Goo on, tha silly cauf.  Tha knows very weel I'd sooner ha' thee nor Billy Robbishaw, but — does ta like me?"

    She drops her eyes on the cinder path at that juncture and begins to draw twin hearts on the floor with the tip of her umbrella.

    "Like thee?  Eh lass, I could eyt thi!"

    And forthwith he begins to do so, the first course being an attack on her lips.  Well, you all know.  Love is a commodity that doesn't vary much — in Oldham, Paris, or Timbuctoo.  The human heart is still a human heart, whether it hides behind an Oldham jumper, an Arab's toque, or a Scotch kilt.  When Joe and Sally have bade good night for the seventeenth time she says, "Well, good neet my lad; an — eh, tha art a love; an' I do like thi lad."

    "Better nor Billy Robbishaw?"

    "Aye, of course I do.  Tha knows I do, doesn't tha Joe?"

    "Aye, an I like thee too, better nor ――"

    A voice from Sa1ly's mother says, "Sally, come in here!  Tha'll neer be up i' t' mornin."

    "Comin'!  Well, good neet, Joe, love."

    "Good neet, an' don't forget that ――"

    That mother's voice again says —"Does tha yer?  Come on mon!  Tha'll ha' thi father comin an —"

    "Good meet, Sally."

    "Good neet, Joe."

    Eh dear!  How soon these wed women forget that they too often found it hard to say "Good neet"!


――――♦――――

 
"FOR T' BEST"
BUT NOBBUT A POOR WHISSUNDAY.


BOB STONEY counted his brass for the third time with a view to ascertaining what was to be the extent and nature of his Whitsuntide holiday.  Bad trade, short time and reduced wages had played havoc with his chances of a toothri days at Blackpool, Southport, or possibly New Brighton.  Bob was ever a cheery optimist and even now, though his wife, poor tired soul, would do with a change for her health's sake, he logically concluded that "What conno' be cured must be endured even if it hurts badly.  Besides,"—he continued "there's allus t' hills an' green fields an t' fresh air, so what says ta Mary Allis?  Are we goin' off this Whissiunday or are we not?  I reckon tha has a vice i' t' matter."

    "I havno' mich of a vice i' t' gooin off matter at o," replied Mary Allis, as the wrinkle between her tired eyebrows grew higher and deeper.  "Those at coes t' tune owt to pay, so, an I've no brass to spare for holidays, I'st ha' to shout 'Snipe Clough' or else 'Fitton Hill.'  We met manage that, if we tak' eawr tay wi' us, of course.  If tha has an owd stockin' onywheer gooin a-beggin—"

    "I have," interjected Bob, with a smile.  "An that just reminds me, I've a hole i' one on em big enough to stick my yed through, just mend it for us will ta lass?  I'st happen be able to afford a new pair when trade looks up a bit.  It's hard enough for sure, lass, but cheer up.  It's happen for t' best."

    Brave, patient Bob! just like him!  And braver, more patient Mary Allis!  I wonder, are there any monuments anywhere erected to poor women who have schemed, invented, fought, and alas, died in their honest efforts to make one pound a week go as far as two, for the honour and glory of old England?  I fear there wouldn't be sufficient open spaces to accommodate them all, so we'll be content to let her children be her living monuments, providing she can just keep them alive.  Mary Allis got out her darning needle and said:—

    "Poo that stockin' off.  I seem to be allus darnin' thy stockin's some road.  Hasta getten a nail i' thi shoe?"

    "I happen have, lass.  I've moor nails nor owt else in 'em at present I think.  They'd do wi' a bit o' leather on.  I'll beigh twopennoth when I goo i' Tommyfield again.  Heaws eawr Joe?  Is he ony better?  That cowf seems to trouble him a lot to-day."  (Joe was the youngest, aged two.)

    "Eawr Joe's bad if I con speyk.  He fair chokes sometimes when he's cowfin.  He'd do to goo off if onybody would.  I weesh trade would mend.  This war of eawrs has caused a lot o' trouble.  Us poor folk are sufferin' for it neaw.  I hope ther'll be no moor.  We con get nowt neaw-a-days."

    "We conno', lass.  I know I geet a lot betther meyt when I were i' t' army nur I do neaw, an this is coed peace.  I reckon there'll be a change sometime.  It's happen o for t' best.  I use likin' gooin off at Whissunday, but I reckon we'n to look after summat to eyt for t' childer first.  They con walk reawnd wi' t' scholars an' play i' t' field."

    Little Jack, aged seven, but looked ten, then chirped in with, "I dunno want to goo off.  I'm bown to walk reawnd an' I'm carryin' a banner an' o, an' it says on, 'Feed My Lambs.'  What does that meon, mother?"

    "Eh, bless thi, lad, it meons — but run an' play thi an' dunno' ax questions.  We connot afford lambs neaw-a-days.  Here, get a bit o' mowfin eawt o' that mug i' t' cellar, an' run an' play thi, an' never mind banners."

    "But con I carry a banner, mother, con I?  Billy Hollowdy's bown to carry one.  His is nobbut a little one.  It has a harp on.  Con eawr Joedy carry a banner wi' a harp on, mother?  Con he walk reawnd, mother?"

    "Nawe.  He's too little to carry a banner, an', besides, he's poorly.  Neaw off wi' thi."

    She wiped a tear from her nose as he ran off chewing at the muffin with a two-fold relish.  A coughing bout from little Joe upstairs caused her to drop her needle and hasten thither.  Patient, honest Bob began to chop a bit of firewood in the kitchen, his good heart suffering many a pang at the sound of Joe's coughing upstairs.  Pausing in his work, he shouted from the bottom, "Is it time he had his physic, Mary Allis?  Give him some, willta?"

    "He had it ten minutes sin." replied the patient woman from above.  "We conno' do no moor —  Well, come, love, come.  Lie down, love, an' let mammy cover him up nice.  They'er!  Na, goo to sleep again neaw."

    "That lad hasno' had enough food I'm afraid, Mary Allis," said Bob when she had returned.  "I weesh things would look up a bit.  I reckon everybody's doin' their best.  T'other countries are woss off than us, they tell me."

    "They sen so, dunno they?  It met be true, but it's poor consolation for us."

    "Aye, I reckon it is." — A pause — "They're a greyt while afore they mak' it a country fit for poor heroes to live in, shuzheaw.  But it's happen o for t' best.  I daresay eawr big men and politicians are tryin' as hard as they con to straighten things up."

    "They happen are, an' they happen aren't.  They'd happen try harder if they had to go as short as poor folks dun.  They never go'n short o' beef, beer, an' bacca like tha's had to do mony a time.  If they did they'd try a bit harder, I fancy.  Somebody's to blame, arno' they?  An' I'm sure it's noan poor folks.  They con nobbut keep teylin an' doin' as they're towd.  We'n to put trust to those 'at owt to know heaw to shap better nor they are doin', shuzheaw.  It's time we had a change.  Fancy telling folks like thee an' me to economise.  Why dunno' they set us an example?"

    "Tha owt to be i' Parliament, Mary Allis.  It's no use growsin.  We munno be weary i' weel dooin.  Let's try to think there's folks woss off than eawrsels."

    "If there is I feel sorry for 'em.  Who's responsible?  That's what I want to know.  What puzzles me is why we dunno get to know, an turn 'em eawt.  There's enough brains i' th' land to shap betther nor this, shuzheaw."

    "There is, Mary Allis, but there's too mich selfishness.  That's what's up.  But it's no use o' bothering, lass.  It's happen o for t' best.  It's Whissunday, so we mun enjoy eawrsels as weel as we con.  Let's don eawrsels up an ――"

    "Well, put thi stockin' on for a start.  I'll get my weshin done to-neet.  Then, if eawr Joe's fit to tak' eawt, we'll have a good ramble somewheere, an' tak' summat to eyt wi us.  It's no use lookin' poor if we are so.  Hang it, there'll be betther days some time, surely."

    "Neaw tha'rt talking sense, Mary Allis.  I'll just goo an' beigh a bit o' 'bacco, an' then I'll help thi to wesh if tha's a mind."

    "Not thee.  I'st manage.  Thee goo eawt wi' thi mates, an' get a drink or two.  I know tha connot afford to get drunk, an' if tha could tha wouldno.  Na, off wi' thi, an —husht!  What's that?  Eawr Joe's cowfin again.  I mun goo an' look at him.  Eh, dear."

    Joe was coughing most severely.  Nay, poor Joe was — surely he wasnt? — Mary Allis shouted in alarm, "Bob, Bob, do be sharp, oh dear.  Do come."  Of course Bob went.

    "Oh, Bob, do fotch somebody.  He's—He's—"

    Joe had gone.  Perhaps he would carry a harp after all.

    Poor, brave Mary Allis!  Her child was dead.  Poor, dear, broken-hearted, patient Bob!  He tried to comfort his brave wife by saying, even then, "It's hard lass, it's very hard; but do bear up, do lass.  Let's try to think it's happen o for t' best."


――――♦――――

 
WHEN T' TURKEY COMES ON T' TABLE.


WHEN Kesmas comes it's quite a treat
    To see eawr merry party;
There's Polly lookin' nice an' neat,
    There's Billy, feelin' hearty
There's Molly sittin' like a chump,
    While Tottie reads a fable,
But, eh! yo' owt to see 'em jump
    When t' turkey comes on t' table.

Mi mother smiles o' reawnd her face,
    Becose hoo's beawn to sarve it;
Mi feyther fairly sheins wi' grase
    When he begins to carve it;
He twirls his knife abeawt, an' says:
    "Wire in, lads, whol yo'r able!"
Eh, lads! but thoose are happy days
    When t' turkey comes on t' table.

Eawr Polly stares i' greyt surprise;
    Eawr Bill begins o' puffing
Eawr Tommy wags his fork an' cries,
    "Ow! con I ha' some stuffin'?"
Mi mother stares at Tottie's plate
    Wi lumps o' breast adornin',
An' sheawts "Bi careful, curly pate!
    Tha'll want a pill i' th' mornin'!"

Eawr Joedy gets a turkey wing,
    To fix his little pegs on;
Eawr Bill co'es th' bird for everything
    Becose it's no mooar legs on;
Eawr Tommy get a parson's nose
    (That lad con fairly shut it),
An' then he welly skrikes becose
    He has nowhere to put it.

Mi mother does o' th' sarvin' eawt,
    (We corn't afford a slavey),
An' here hoo ladles one a clout,
    An' theer a drop o' gravy;
Hoo doesna' eyt so mich hersel',
    Hoo says hoo's feelin' seedy;
Hoo nobbut says so — who can tell? —
    Becose hoo's noan so greedy.

I know hoo likes her childer, then
    It's happen th' smell o' th' cookin';
Hoo'll pick a bit o' th' carcas when
    Hoo thinks there's nob'dy lookin';
Mi feyther minds to get his share,
    He's gettin' owd an' snappy;
Mi mother — well, hoo doesna' care
    If hoo con mak' us happy.

We'n curran'-loaf, an' cakes enoo',
    An' different sorts o' jellies;
We'n paper caps for childer, too,
    An' cigarettes for fellies;
There's yards o' rowly-powly jam,
    As thick as ony cable;
But o' these things are nobbo' sham
    When t' turkey comes on t' table.


――――♦――――

 
A GRADELY MON.


I like a mon 'at's gradely.   What
    He is I dunno care;
He may be nice, he may be feaw,
    A tramp, or millionaire.
Whene'er I meet an honest heart,
    I never need to fear;
I just howd eawt my hond an' say:
    "Neaw, laddie; put it theer."

A gradely mon's a mon to me,
    No matter what his trade;
I dunno mind his grammar if
    He coes a spade a spade.
His jacket may be holey, but
    To wear it's noan a crime;
His clooas dunno matter if
    He's jannock every time.

Appearances are often wrung;
    Of that there's no denial,
There's mony a wicked action born
    Behind a pratty dial.
A chap may have a bonny face,
    Yet play an ugly part,
I dunno care heaw feaw he is,
    If he's an honest heart.

A mon who plays a noble part
    Ull never get far wrung,
This world 'ud be a better place
    If selfishness were hung.
A chap who loves his fellow-men,
    An' helps 'em o' he con,
An' never stoops to shady tricks —
    Well, he's a gradely mon.

Some folks delight i' hollow shams,
    I let thoose folks a-be,
A game of cant an' make believe
    Ull ne'er appeal to me.
Success 'at comes wi' tellin' lies
    Is often hard to bear,
There's lots o' gradely happiness
    I' dealin' straight an' fair.

A chap who cocks his nose i' th' air
    An' struts wi' pride an' crows,
Forgets he's but a lump o' clay,
    Who'll later cock his toes.
There's honour comes wi' doin' reet,
    For when we'n had eawr day,
A goodly name's a monument
    'At time con ne'er decay.

A rogue may wear a pious face,
    An' flaunt his gowd abeawt,
It doesno say he's reet becose
    He never gets fun eawt.
We o' han fawts, we err at times;
    So don't blame sich an' sich,
There's lots of silly snobbery
    I' poor as weel as rich.

An honest heart is worth a lot,
    Wi' morals good an' sound,
Good deeds are priceless every time;
    A liar's nowt a pound.
So lads, let's o be gradely men,
    An' tak' this song to heart;
An' whether we be rich or poor
    We'll play a gradely part.


――――♦――――

 
COB-COALING TIME.
(By a Victim).


CUSTOM dies very slowly in our little Lancashire village.  Of all the ghosts that walk our ghostlike streets, the ghost of Guy Fawkes is apparently the hardest to lay.  Although the fifth of November is still a few weeks in the offing of the sea of Time, the squib-shocking and rocket-shooting season has commenced in juvenile earnest.  Ever since that eventful night on which Guy Fawkes didn't blow up the Houses of Parliament, young and old of both sexes have taken an almost fiendish delight in splitting the otherwise tranquil ether, with the reports of "Chinese Crackers," "Halfpenny Fizzers," and "Penny Bongers," — somewhere near the neighbourhood of your keyhole and the glorious Fifth.  But the sooty-faced, rag-tag and bob-tailed children of our village, — the "Cob-coalers" as they style themselves, — begin their nocturnal marauderings in early October; or even late September.  Thus, while you are sat by your cosy fire o' nights, burning the weed, or maybe courting the Muse, and striving hard to complete that beautiful poem; that "Ode to Peace" that is to bring you fame, and a possible half-guinea,—"Bang" goes a fourpenny "bonger" outside your door and your Muse flies up the chimney.  Just as you are wondering whether you are back in Ypres, or the gas-main has burst, a dirty juvenile hand gently pushes open your door, and a little voice, laden with hope and fear croaks,

    "Can we come o' Cob-coaling?"

    "NO," you roar; then, as an afterthought coupled with curiosity, you say, —"Yes, hang it, yes, lets see what you are going to do.  Come in."  They do.  Stealthily and sheepishly, half a dozen boys and girls, aged anywhere from five to ten, line up in front of the sideboard, and begin to sing.  Their habiliments are strange and weird; the make-up of their faces would raise envy in the heart of a Clarkson: common soot, or maybe, a terrible-looking paper mask helping in the incongruous effect.  Their singing is hardly up to Grand Opera standard, but what they lack in vocal rendition they make up for in raucous earnestness; and the burden of their song (which the listener has to b-ear) is:—


"We've come o' Cob-coalin' for brun-fire time,
 Your coal or your money will suit us sublime"


    I forget the rest, but you can take it from me that our Revue-writers will have to look to their laurels: if they have any.  The whole finishes with a grand Ensemble, and a bewitching chorus that goes:—


"Fol the day! fol the day!
 Fol the diddle I di day."


    Oh Guy! you have a lot to answer for.  Having finished and let down the curtain so to speak, you proceed to reward the little actors in sundry halfpence as befits your judgment; or failing that, they want "A Cob of coal" for their fire on the fifth.  Yes, and unless you keep a good lock on your coal-house door they'll have one whether or not.


――――♦――――

 
GRIN.


IF it's happiness you're after in this good old world of ours,
                                          Just grin.
There's a great big sun a-shining, never grumble if it showers,
                                          Just grin.
When the pendulum of good old Time gives you a nasty
    knock;
Remember Time is a healer, then you may survive the shock;
You'll never smooth your troubles with a face to stop a
    clock,
                                                                                    So grin.

This merry world goes smiling on, and if you see it frown,
                                          You grin.
You'll never stand a drubbing if you take it lying down,
                                          Just grin.
Old Time will smile upon you if you'll give him glow for
    glow;
You'll never get your dues unless you pay up what you owe;
This world is but a looking glass reflecting what you show,
                                                                                    Then grin.

When feeling full of sorrow, and the sky is dark to-day,
                                          Just grin.
It may be fine to-morrow, then your grief will melt away,
                                          So grin.
Don't give the palm to other folk, like you, they're only men;
Life's often what you make it, stir yourself and try again;
Try rallying your forces, keep your pecker up, and then,
                                                                                    Why, grin.

When times are bad and funds are low, it isn't wise to mope,
                                          So grin.
Just sing "Nil Desperandum," for you mustn't give up hope,
                                          No, grin.
When Fate has fairly floored you, and you've played a
    losing card,
Or should your heart be aching 'cos you've lost your only
    pard,
Do pull yourself together, oh, I know you'll find it hard,
                                                                                    But grin.

There may be a glad to-morrow, but to-day is ever near,
                                          So grin.
If we'll only try to find it there's a bit of Heaven here,
                                          So grin.
Never heed the dismal Jimmy who is happy to declare,—
"It's a wicked world, my brothers; let us journey over there."
There's a sun to keep us living, if you want to get your share.
                                                                                    Just grin.


――――♦――――

 
TED BUTTERWORTH BUYS A TROMBONE.


TEDDY BUTTERWORTH had getten an idea 'at he had a sowl for music, an' having made up his mind to push his road in the musical world, he bowt a trombone.  A thrutch an' poo back, or a come from it an' to it as some coes it.  When he walked in th' house one neet wi' it wrapped up in a piece o' brown-papper, his wife Sally stared an' said:

    "What the firrups has ta getten theer?"

    "What dost think?" he grinned.  "I'm bown to be i'th' band so I've bowt a trombone," an' he looked as pleeased as a little lad who's swapped a bad hawpenny for an owd knife.

    "Wheer hasto had it fro'?"

    "Bowt it, what else?"

    "Tha's moor wind nor wit; what hasto bowt that thing for?"

    "I'm bown to be i'th' band."

    "Tha favvers band, tha does!  I reckon tha thinks thar't set up neaw."

    "I shall be when I get i'th' front wi' this," he grinned, as he carefully unwrapped his parcel.

    "Sitheel what's think abeawt it?"

    "I don't think much abeawt it.  It's too thin for my fancy.  It favvers a gaspipe! an' wheer does ta reckon thart beawn to blow that thing?"

    I'm beawn to blow it deawn this little hole here sithee!" he said, then he put th' meawthpiece to his lips an' puckered his chops up an' blew an' skeinned till he looked as if th' front of his face 'ud fly off.  ut no sound coom.

    "Try t'other end," said Sally.  "It's happen getten t' frog i'th' throat."

 

TED'S TROMBONE


    "Tha con goo an' have a run," said Ted, as he took at long breath an' tried again, wi' th' same results as before.

    "That's a beggar," he said as he shut one 'ee an' squinted deawn th' spout to see what were barrin' his progress.

    "It were o' reet when I left th' shop, for th' felley played Annie Laurie on it champion."

    "That's happen th' reason it winno' play" — said Sally.  "Annie Laurie's happen getten stuck fast deawn th' spout somewhere.  Heaw will it be if tha cops a mouse an' shoves that in, it'll shift her."

    "Tha's no need to be so scornful,"—said Ted—"I know tha'rt nobbut vexed becose I've bowt it, tha'rt feeart on my makin' a big noise."

    "Nay; I've never yerd nowt to be feeart on yet.  If tha'rt beawn to puff thisel eawt like that, I'm feeart tha'll brast before it mak's a noise at o.  Heaw will it be, Ted, if tha gets a corkscrew an' tries to poo summat eawt?  If its a new un it happen hasn't bin opened yet."

    "Heaw will it be if tha gets a cork an' shoves it in that hole under thy nose a bit while tha's larned heaw to give o'er bein sarcastic?  I'll blow a road through here or else I'll eyt it."

    "Mun I pour some warm wayter deawn it? it's happen getten frozzen up!" — Ted took no notice; he puckered an' he blew an' screwed his face in sich fancy shapes 'at he didna' favver hissel.  Sally stared at him, hoo couldn't ha' believed he had so mich lose skin abeawt his face.  It swelled eawt like a boiled beetroot.  Hoo were feeart to deeoth he'd get his lips fast i'th' meawthpiece an' he'd ha' nowt left to kiss th' child wi.  His een stuck eawt like two big glass dobbers, an' they favvered they'd fly eawt an' rowl on th' carpet ony minute.

    "Let me pour a drop o' cod liver oil deawn its throw; Ted; I fancy its ill; it looks terribly thin."

    "Thee go look," he said, "Tha doesn't underston' music."

    "Well," said Sally, "I con tell better when I yer it.  Its said nowt yet.  But I reckon tha'rt playin' th' piano passages neaw."

    "I reckon tha'rt a foo: I'll surprise thee if I con just get a road through it."

    "We'n some Beechams Pills i'th' cubbart," said Sally; but Ted never spoke.  O'th wind he had to spare were gooin deawn that hole.

    "Heaw will it be if I run that slopstone wire through it? that should shift summat."  No answer.  "Dost think tha's thrutched thi poo-back far enough eawt, Ted?"  Ted geet vexed.

    "Sally Butterworth," he said, "tha's no need to keep throwin' thi slurs eawt; tha'rt nobbut wastin' thy wind."

    "I havn't wasted as mich wind as thee yet; as for slurs, tha's bin throwin' thy slurs eawt welly ten minutes, an' tha hasno' played so mich as a jimmy-quaver yet.  If I were thee I'd goo an' swap it for a jew's harp, tha could happen blow that beawt stranglin' thisel.  Tha's blown that thing a yard longer sin tha started.  Tha'll look weel if tha blows it straight."  Just then, whether by accident or good luck, he blew eawt a mournful yowl 'at caused th' cat to jump off th' rug an' bound up onto a heigh set o' drawers i'th' corner, an' th' child gave a skrike fro' th' kayther, wheer it 'ud bin asleep.  Ted fairly danced wi' glee becose he'd blown a neise eawt on it.

    "Didta yer tha Sally? did ta yer that?"

    "I did; an' it's summat to swagger abeawt neaw tha's done it isn't it?"

    "That were D sharp," he said.

    "Aye; an' tha'll dee sharp if tha blows another like that.  Tha's welly freetened th' child eawt of it wits.  Come, love, come."

    Ted laughed an' swaggered as if he'd played o' th' Hallelujah Chorus.  He held his trombone under th' child's nose an' said:

    "Husht, love, husht! sithee love, a band."

    "Get eawtside wi' thy yowlin' din," said Sally, an' tak' thi gaspipe wi' thee, or I'll poke thi feigher wi' it."

    "Oh aye! get thi hair off! tha doesna' gi' me a bit o' encouragement, but I'll go wheer I con practice in comfort."

    Then he took his trombone in t' front parlour, an' shut hissel in.  He hadno' bin in above two minutes before his mother-in-law who lived wi' 'em coom in; an' hoo were just axin' what t' child were skrikin for when Ted let up sich a yowl in t' front room 'at made th' owd woman drop on a cheer an' gasp.  "Good Lord! what's that?"  At same time as th' cat sprung on her yed an' flew eawtside, an' it hasno' come back yet.  Sally popped her yed i'th' parlour an' sheawted: "Ted Butterworth! shut it up; tha's welly sent my mother in a fit; if tha'rt beawn to mak' that neise every neet, I'm bown to get a separation."  Theer he stood wi' his push-pull i'th' front of a big lookin-glass fancyin' hissel an' tryin' to run th' scale up; makin' neise enough to raise th' yure on a bald yed.

    "Come ere Sally ― l'm doin champion; just thee watch me blow my bottom G."  He up wi' it to his lips an' — oh heck! — he blew his bottom G, an' his gaspipe straight through th' lookin-glass; then there were a row, 'at ended wi' Ted sayin', "It sarves thi lookin-glass reet, it shouldna' ha' cast rude reflections."

    "Teddy Butterworth," hoo yelled.  "If tha doesna' goo an' sell that diabolical peace-disturber at once I'll oather saw it i' pieces or mak' thi swallow it at one gulp.  If tha wants to be a musician get a triangle or else a piccolo.  There's nowt safe wi' a lung thing like that bobbin' in an' eawt.  That's noan music."

    "That's o tha knows, there's a lot o' music in a trombone."

    "There met be a lot in, but tha's never blown ony eawt yet.  Tha's no moor music in thee nor a pot cat, goo an' swap it for a set o' white mice or a box o' dominoes, tha winno' mak' so mich neise then."

    Ted finally geet weary of her taunts, so he sowd his trombone to a chap wi' a deeof an dumb wife who lived at top of a hill a mile away fro' onywheer.  He bowt a pack o' cards an' plays solitaire every neet neaw.  He's so quiet 'at he hardly ever breyks th' silence, never name a lookin-glass.


――――♦――――

 
LOVE-SICK.


"EH, mother, I'm bothered! I'm gloomy! I'm glad!
    I don't know whatever to do;
My heart's in a flutter, an' o' through a lad
    Who swears he'll for ever be true.
I've smiled at him lovin'ly; looked at him feaw,
    But th' lad winno' let me alone,
He's awlus bin chatty an' chummy, an' neaw
    He's wantin' me o' for his own.

"Of course, I could tell him it's off, but I deawt
    He'd find it a terrible blow;
He's towd me he loves me, he's walked me abeawt,
    An', mother he's kissed me an' o'.
I'st blubber an' stut when I meet him, an' then
    He'll think me a bit of a foo';
I conno' say 'nawe' when he axes again,
    For, mother, I'm fond of him, too.

"I'm proud as a queen as he walks bi mi side;
    I think of him when at mi wark;
One day I'm so dumpy I cannot abide,
    An' th' next I'm as blithe as a lark.
Eh, mother, he's bonny; so gentle an' kind;
    He seems to be honest an' true;
I think I'm i' love, but they sen love is blind,
    So, mother, oh! what con I do?"

"Well, well!" said her mother, "tha's getten it bad:
    Tha likes him a lot, I con tell;
I courted thi feyther when he wer' a lad,
    I've bin a bit crazy misel'.
Tha'rt owd enough neaw to be shappin' thi ways,
    Tha's wisdom o' twenty, bi th' mass!
Well, then, if tha thinks tha con better thi days,
    Say 'aye,' an' be handy, my lass!"


――――♦――――

 
YO'R DEAREST FRIEND.


WE o' han friends both good an' kind,
    There's mony sich yo'll know;
But if yo'll look, I think yo'll find
    Yo'r mother's best of o'.

There's love at's false an' love at's true,
    But mother's love's divine;
Hoo'll cling to yo' an' see yo' through,
    Whether in rain or shine.

Hoo'll smile wi' yo' when skies are clear,
    Hoo'll suffer for yo'r sake;
Hoo'll try to hide each pityin' tear,
    Aye, though her heart may break.

Ho'll work for yo' wi might an' main,
    Her love's without alloy;
Hoo browt yo' into th' world i' pain,
    In pain hoo'll seek yo'r joy.

Hoo'll bear yo'r crosses, yo'll confess,
    Then strive to shape her crown,
Yo'r smallest touch of tenderness
    Is better than yo'r frown.

Who nurtured yo' an' kept yo' clen,
    An' who — whate'er befel—
Watched o' yo'r ways, an' helped yo' when
    Yo' couldna help yorsel?

Who taught yo' what yo' ought to know?
    Who gave yo' care sublime?
Who nourished yo' to mak' yo' grow?
    Yo'r mother every time.

Who rocked yo'r troubles o' away?
    Who slapped yo'r chubby legs?
Who hugged yo' on that happy day
    Yo' cut yo'r peggy-wegs?

Who curled yo'r yure to keep yo' nice?
    Who soothed yo' wi' her lay?
Who gave yo' bits o' toys an' spice
    To soothe yo'r tears away?

Who calmed yo'r passions an' yo'r fears?
    Who tried to keep yo' straight?
Who gave yo' comfort when in tears,
    Yo' said yo'd lost a feight?

Who, when yo' geet a bigger lad —
    Advised yo' o' hoo could,
To keep away fro' o' that's bad,
    An' mingle wi' the good?

Who bade yo' keep wi' honest men,
    An' scorn each lying churl?
Who gave yo' mony a lecture when
    Yo' said yo'd getten a girl?

Who gave yo' virtues rich and rare?
    Who kept yo' free fro' crime?
In short, who were an' angel fair?
    Yo'r mother, every time.

Hoo may be full o' whims an' fads
    Yo' connot underston;
Remember hoo's your mother, lads,
    So help her o' yo' con.

Respect her as good childer should,
    Her love is true an' dear;
When other friends han gone for good,
    Yo'll find yo'r mother's theer.

Yo' think yo'r wise, an' killed wi' sense,
    But hoo con play her part;
Just let her ha' yo'r confidence,
    Yo'r trust 'ull cheer her heart.

Yo'r mother's heart has lots o' sores
    To cause her soul to sink;
Thoose little thowtless stabs o' yo'rs
    Hurt moar nor what yo' think.

So treat yo'r mother kindly, then
    Hoo'll neer ha' cause to moan;
Yo'll maybe get rewarded when
    Yo'n childer o' yo'r own.

Yo'r mother's love, yo'r mother's kiss,
    They're fervent, lads I know!
Of o' yo'r friends, remember this—
    Yo'r mother's best of o'.


――――♦――――

 
"TH' OWD FIDDLER."


TH' owd fiddler's a tuneful owd brid,
    An' though he's noan fee'art o' wark,
He fiddles his way for a livin' o'stid,
    An' yet he's as blithe as a lark.

He's sin better days in his time, i
    His fare wer'not awlus so poor,
An' neaw he's gone owder it cornt be a crime,
    To fiddle fro' door to door.

He's awlus contented at heart,
    An' jealous o' nob'dy I know,
He's numerous pleasures i' playin' his part
    Along wi' his fiddle an' bow.

He'll play ony tune at a glance,
    He's graceful i' every limb,
He chuckles aleawd when he's playin' a dance,
    An' puts o' his soul in a hymn.

His music 'ull never go flat,
    To th' childer it acts as a charm,
Ther's some 'at 'll follow him just for a chat,
    Or lovingly cling to his arm.

The'r little feet conno' bi still,
    They'll trip it, an' skip it, an' prance,
To set 'um a' gooin' he'll play a quadrille,
    A jig or a country dance.

He's givin' 'um pleasure he knows,
    It isno' for gain yo' con tell;
y He puts o' his heart in his fiddle becose
    He loves it as weel as ther'sel'.

He'll never do nob'dy no harm,
    His morals are seawnd as a rock,
He looks on a miserly chap wi' alarm,
    Hypocrisy gives him a shock.

If he con keep joggin' along,
    He's heedless o' everything;
He's livin' a life o' melodious song,
    As grand as a prince or a king.

When done wi' his labour o' love,
    May He on His Heavenly Throne
Send beautiful singers to meet him above,
    Wi' music as sweet as his own.


――――♦――――

 
ONE GOOD TURN


DURING one of those old-fashioned snow-storms in the Lancashire hills, a couple of hard-headed hillsmen alighted from the last train up that night, at the bleak, cold, station of Grassrock.  Accustomed as they were to battling with the whirling winds and drifting snows, for which these hills are notorious, they were hard put to it on this particular night to keep their feet.  The little frosty-whiskered station-master slammed the carriage door to with a "Right away," than he bade the two belated travellers, "Good neet, yo two an' mind o' gettin' blown away."

    "Good neet, owd lad, good neet.  By gow, its a roof un up i' this quarter isn't it?"

    "Roof's not the word, lads; it's a bloomin' blizzard.  It's roofest neet win had sin it blew Ned o' Stup's wife through't pop-shop window.  Stick to one another's honds, lads, an' trust i' Providence."

    No sooner had the couple left the station and reached the snow-bound highway than the hat of the smaller of them blew off, and flew away on the wings of the storm.

    "Who-upl" he shouted; "theer goes three an' eleven-pence hawpny.  Dang th' bloomin' wind.  I weesh I lived i' Ceylon, wheer it's a bit warmer."

    "Gerraway, mon, tha'd lose thi yed theer neer name thi hat.  If thi hat's gone tha needno get thi yure off.  Cop howd o' my arm an' let's be leggin' it."

    Struggling through snow-drifts nearly two yards high, away they went, battling and puffing against the cutting wind and snow.

    Not many yards further on they saw something dark, half buried in a drift under the hedge side.

    "Howd on a bit, Jerry; cast thi anchor a minute while I see what this is."

    "It favvers an overcoat " said Jerry.

    "Aye, it is an overcoat" said the other, stooping down to examine it.  "An there's summat in it, too, an it's a chap or else I'm chetted."

    There was a man in it, and in an intoxicated condition, and he was none other than Billy-o-Sups, a chronic toper, who had lived up at Cow Gardens, two miles away, nearly all his life.  Everybody knew Billy.  "Strike a match, Jerry, an' let's see who it is.  He's warm and wick enough, an' — well — I'll be hanged if it is'nt Bill-o-Sups fro't Cow-Gardens.  Hey, wakken up, my lad.  Tha'll be frozzen stiff.  Thar' noan i' bed neaw, tha knows."

    Billy mumbled half asleep, "Damp cowd shee's, Mary; cow' shee's.  Purra bo'le i' bed, Mary."

    "Gerrup," said Jerry.  "I'll gi' thi bottle.  Tha's had too mich bottle to-neet o' ready.  Tha greyt foo.  What han wi' to do wi' him, Jerry?"

    "Tak' him whoam, what else.  It's two miles from here I know, but wi mun do eaur good turn tha knows, an then we con tee a knot on eaur scarves.  Come an' cop howd of his arm an let's get it o'er."

    Jerry wasn't mean, but he didn't like the idea of going two miles out of his road on such a night, to take an intoxicated man home.  Besides, he was thinking of the cowheel pie supper he was booked at 11 o'clock.  Anyhow, away they went, stumbling, puffing, and battling the elements in the direction of Bill-o-Sup's residence.  It was a hard enough task for a man with all his legs at home, but for a tipsy man with one leg sprawling in the direction of Mossley, and the other wambling about Grains Bar, it was indeed a hard tussle.  Bill kept sprawling along between them in a sleepy stupor all the way, mumbling "Be a pal.  Good turns never die; shimply fade away."  Then he would vary his remarks by, "But no cow' shee's, Mary; purra blanket on lass—hic—purra blanket on."

    The trio reached Cow Gardens about half past eleven.  Jammy propped the helpless Bill against a gatepost, while Jerry scrambled through a huge snowdrift and banged at the front door loud enough to wakken the seven sleepers.

    A little easement window opened up above, and the terrified squeaky voice of a woman about fifty, piped out:—

    "Hello, whatever's to do?  Oh, whatever's to do?"

    "Gerrup, missis; an be sharp abeawt it.  Whatever are yo doin' i' bed I wonder."

    "Go away wi' you, yo ill-mannered wastrels.  What dun yo' want?"

    "We want yo' to get up.  We'n browt yor Bill."

    "My Bill?  What Bill?  I don't owe nobody nowt as I know on."

    "It's yo'r Bill we'n browt.  It's a felley; it's noan a piece of papper.  We'n browt yo'r husband whoam.  We fun him lied in a snow-drift a couple o' miles away, so yo'd best gerrup an' get him summat warm."

    The wind was by this time abating somewhat, but the huge snowflakes were falling thicker than ever.  The poor woman was bewildered.

    "Goo way," she shouted.  "I have no husband.  I'm a poor lonely dacent single woman, an I wonder heaw yo' con furshame to wakken onybody a rough cowd neet like this.  Goo away, that's a lot o' good lads.  Yo'r a set o' good-for-nowts fro' somewhere, an' if one on yo' 'ull goo an fotch me a policeman, I'll ha' yo' locked up.  This mak' o' wark ull do my bronchitus no good."

    "We're very sorry, missis, but we han a felley here, an' he lives here, so get up, that's a love."

    "Forshame on yo; who ever is it yon getten.  I have no husband I tell you."

    "He's coed Bill.  Bill o' Sups; dunno yo' know him?"

    "Bill o' Sups?  Oh, I see it o neaw!  Bill o' Sups did live here, but he's flitted a fortnit sin an I nobbut coom in misel day before yesterday.  He's come o livin at side o' Grassrock Station.  I'm very sorry.  Good neet."

    "But hawf a minute.  Con yo' let him sleep on yo'r sofa till mornin'?"

    "Nawe; I shannot.  Yo mun tak' him o sleepin' wheer he's getten his ale, or else tak' him back an' put him wheer you fun him."  And then the window shut with a bang, leaving the three wanderers standing looking at each other like a trio of disconsolate Christmas waiters.

    Jerry was nearly wild; he blamed Billy for all this.

    "Tha grieyt foo," he said.  "I feel mad enough to punce thi to't deeoth; what mun we do wi thi?"

    Billy mumbled something about damp sheets an' being pals, and good sports, and said:

    "Do me a goo' turn, lads, an' then God 'll love yo."

    "Good turn my leg," roared Jerry.  "Hanno we dune thi a good turn wi' bringin' thi here?"

    "Tha's reet, owd lad, an' one goo' turn desarves another.  Tak' me back again neaw lads, an' be goo' pals."

    "Pals, eh? after bringin' thi two miles up a broo like this.  Wheer's eawr consolation come in?"

    "Well," said Billy, who was by this time getting somewhat sobered.  "It'll be deawn broo back, thas one consh'lation, isn't it?"

    Jerry was wild.

    "Why the heck didno' tha tell us wheer tha lived?"

    "Very s'h'orry, yo' never axed me,"

    Well, to cut a long lane short, the floundering, stumbling, and wobbling trio arrived back to the neighbourhood of Grassrock station just as the church bell tolled one.

    They soon found Bill's homestead from the light in the window.  The door was soon opened to them by a red eyed disturbed old lady who said as soon as she saw them:

    "Eh dear, a dear.  O! come in do, come in.  Wheerever did yo' find him?"

    They told her all the story, at which Bill chuckled as if he would burst.

    "Mary," he said, as she wiped her eyes.  "Mary; sheer up, lass, we're noan deeod yet are we lads?"

    Then he began to sing.  'When we Come to the End of a Perfect Day.'  "Eh lass, I'm some fain to shee thi; an these two pals are sports, Mary.  Mak' 'em a cup o' tay, an' fry 'em some o' that ham.  Rare ham, lads, rare ham."

    She soon had a tasty supper ready for them, and she didn't half tongue-wollop Billy for "an owd foo who gwoes worther an' sillier."

    "Just yer her, lads; just yer her," said Billy.  "Look heaw I'm coppin' it.  By gow, lads, if I'd stopped i' that snow till mornin' I should ha' bin in a warm shop, shouldn't I?"

    "Tha'd ha bin a icicle before mornin," said Jerry, feeling rather refreshed by the homely repast he had just had.  He even ceased to regret having missed the cowheel pie supper.

    "But I'll tell yo' what it is, missis.  If I were yo', I should cheon yo'r Billy up to th' oon dur neaw till springtime comes again, fur a chap who sups ale like him never owt to be let eawt in a place wheer they han snowstorms.  Well, we'll be gettin' whoam, Jimmy, or somedy 'ull be lookin' fur us.  Good morning, missis, an' thank yo."

    "Goo momin', lads," said Billy, "an God bless yo.  I'll be a bether lad i' future, see if I amno."

    And as the two stumbled from the cottage in the direction of home, they could still hear Bill singing ―

    "When we come to the end of a perfect day."


――――♦――――

 
T
O AN ACHIN' TOOTH.


OOH! stop thy stoungin' an' thy stumpin';
Or else I'll gi' thee sich a humpin';
Tha's pulled my cheek eawt wi' thy bumpin' ;
                        I'm welly racked,
Do stop thy everlastin' jumpin';
                        Tha drives me cracked.

I'll go to th' dentist, then he'll shut thee;
When in my childhood days, I cut thee
My mother felt as hoo could put thee
                        In her best pocket.
Neaw, like a goat, I'd like to butt thee
                        Reet eawt o'th' socket.

Tha's done some chewin', that I'm ownin',
At pie wi' beef in, some wi' noan in,
An' if tha met a spud wi' bone in
                        Tha'd allus munch it;
Aye! when a curran's had a stone in
                        Tha's tried to crunch it!

Na' stop thy pranks, tha pleasure speyler,
Tha rotten rogue, tha sugar steyler;
Tha'rt nobbut smo' but tha'rt a teyler;
                        Na' dont begin it
Tha feels as big as ony beyler,
                        This very minute.

Tha' once were nice, if neaw feaw-lookin';
Tha's sampled every kind o' cookin';
Tha's ground away, thy duty brookin';
                        If neaw tha'rt gripin';
For years an' years when I've bin smokin'
                        Tha's held my pipe in.

One day I thowt thy end were near,
Tha'd someheaw getten eawt o' gear;
Away to th' dentist, full o' fear,
                        I went off marchin',
An' then, by gum! when I geet theer,
                        Tha gan o'er warchin'!

Tha's cooked my goose, tha tarty taster,
Tha's frizzled me, tha's bin a baster,
But soon I'll let thi see who's th' maister';
                        I'll warm thy jacket.

For thee, owd tooth, there's trouble bodin';
This world has mony a weary load in;
Tha's happen fun it extra goadin' —
                        Well, there's no tellin'.
I know when first tha' pushed thy road in
                        I did some yellin'.

Tha'rt nobbut rough, tha's no gowd-facin';
Tha'rt hollow, too, yet noan debasin'
For when a gooseberry I've bin racin'
                        Tha's bin a funny 'un;
Tha's done thy bit when I've bin chasin'
                        A pickled onion.

Here, stop thy jumpin'; dunno' jar me;
Tha' thinks I'm soft, but dunno' dar' me;
Tha's power to oather make or mar me,
                        Tha'rt doubly gifted.
Ooh, jumpin' snakes!   I'm gooin' barmy;
                        I'll ha' thee shifted!


――――♦――――


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