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POEMS

CHRISTMAS SONG

Ring out a welcome worthy peal,
    Ye bells of Christmastide;
Ring out the woe, ring in the weal,
    And human frailty guide;
Ring out the gloom, the saddened gloom
    That we have known so long 
Enshrine it in a Christmas tomb,
    And in a Christmas song.

Ring out a solemn, mournful peal
    For friends who are no more,
Whose love, while here, but makes us luv!
    That they are gone before.
Aye! ring out a muffled, muffled peal,   
    We all have lost a friend,
And While ye ring we, too, will kneel
    To Him Who knows our end.

Ring out a merry, hopeful peal
    For better days to come;
Aye! burst the cloud, and there reveal
    A happy Christmas home.
Let hunger cease his piercing dart,
    And want her clutching bite;
Let Christmas join each Christian heart,
    And soul to soul unite.

Ring out, ye joyful Christmas bells;
    Your lay float on the wind
Till every human bosom swells
    With love for all mankind;
Till cruel war no more shall wage
    For selfish, sordid aims;
Till we can show a blotless page:
    ’Tis this King Christmas claims.


THE WEATHER

Don’t think that I’m prone to be gloomy,
    Because now and then I complain,
But really I think there is room, eh?
    To grumble respecting the rain.

For day after day it is muddy,
    And week after week it is wet;
No wonder our cheeks grow less ruddy,
    So little of sunshine we get.

’Tis raining if early I’m rising,
    It rains if I lie until noon;
Fine weather is now most surprising,
    ’Twill be quite a novelty soon.

’Tis so tantalizing to many
    Who’ve business important to do;
But courters are worse off than any,
    Their nights are the stormiest too.

The wind, and the shocking bad weather,
    Are playing sad havoc with me;
Umbrellas won’t hold fast together;
    I’ve broken, I think, twenty-three.

Have patience, humanity teaches;
    I lose it, however I try;
I’m constantly changing my breeches,
    And hanging them up for to dry.

I’m troubled with colds and rheumatic,
    Digestion is failing its part;
And, though you may think me erratic,
    There’s something disturbing my heart.

But heed not these sad lamentations 
    Existence is burdened with grief;
I know I have strange inclinations,
    But rain cannot give them relief.


A WALK IN SPRING

See how the trees are budding,
    Greet joyfully each leaf,
Such harbingers of summer
    Should know no pain nor grief.

While o’er the fields is spreading
    God’s beauteous grass so green,
Let each small blade remind you
    Of greater things unseen.

And when the flowers shall open,
    To blossom o’er the earth,
Be each sweet cup a token
    Of Him who gave it birth.

And when the autumn cometh,
    And all things fade away,
May we our work have finished,
    As will the flowers of May.


CRICKET

Hurrah! hurrah! for cricket,
    Come cheer ye merry men;
    For bat, and ball, and wicket,
Hurrah yet once again!
    Ye people of dissension,
Who controversy court,
    What is there you can mention
That beats this English sport?

What is there half so jolly,
    What is there half so free,
What lightens melancholy,
    And gladdens with such glee?
What gives such manly vigour,
    Such animating zeal,
What is there softens rigour,
    And makes us hearty feel?

My comrades fill a bumper,
    Here’s right good health to all,
To bowler, batter, stumper,
    And all who touch the ball;
May luck desert you never,
    But may you always win,
And may true friendship ever
    Keep all your hearts akin.


LIFE ’S WORK

Come, why this sad dejection—
    This longing after rest?
We cannot reach perfection
    Though each one does his best
There’s always something higher
    To spur us on our way;
’Twas meant we should aspire,
    And thus progress each day.

This world is full of trials,
    That oft our path beset;
Then brood not o’er denials,
    We’re made to conquer yet.
This life were but a bubble
    If shorn of toil and thought,
True pleasure comes of trouble,
    That’s well and nobly fought.

What though our part be humble?
    If done with heart and soul,
No man on earth need grumble —
    ’Tis parts that make the whole.
Dame Fortune may be frowning,
    But keep your purpose true,
She’ll come again with crowning;
    There’s always work to do.


A SMILE

I like a genial-hearted smile,
    That brightens up the face,
That casts a halo all the while,
    And gives a homely grace.

I like a smile that’s open, free,
    Spontaneous in its mirth,
And peaceful as the calm blue sea,
    Resistless as the earth.

I like a smile that oft will grow
    Into a laughing sound,
And set all kindred hearts aglow,
    Make merriment abound.

I like a smile that softly speaks
    For its own soul within;
That plays so sweetly round the
            cheeks —
    A smile that knows no sin.

There
s language in a simple smile
    More strong than tongues can speak
And eloquence in truest style,
    Go where we will to seek.


THOSE CONFOUNDED BUTTONS!

              “My dearest pet,
               Pray, have you yet
Those buttons put upon my shirt?
               I do engage
               You’ll waste an age
In trimming that confounded skirt.

              “And here I’ve been,
               Nor dare be seen,
Stuck in this nook from morn till night,
               Whilst you, my dove,
               And darling love,
Don’t care to free me from this plight.”

              “Now, Mister Winn,
               Don’t make a din,
Because I’m working for myself —
               I can’t see why
               You shouldn’t try
To sew the buttons on yourself!

              “I wonder when
               There were such men
As these enlightened days produce,
               Who, on my life,
               Regard a wife
As manufactured for their use;

              “Who think that we
               Should ready be
Just at their lordship’s call, and rise
               To stitch them that,
               And who knows what,
And think us fools, and they the wise!

              “I’ll let you know
               It is not so —
Ah! you may stare, and shake your head —
               You p’rhaps will find
               That I’ve a mind,
And mean to use it, too, my Fred.”

               Alas! poor Fred!
               He now is wed,
And must, of course, put up with fate!
               He finds it is
               Not always bliss
To join the matrimonial state.

Chadderton Field
Chadderton Fold.


NATIONAL HONOUR
A SONNET

The glory of our honoured name,
The dignity we nobly claim,
Have not been won by clash of arms,
Nor diplomatic war’s alarms;
’Tis not the men we set apart
To fight that cause the English heart
To gladly own its native soil,
And proudly share its worthy toil.
The germ of English greatness springs
From Him whence cometh all good                          things;
He planted riches in our lands,
And blessed us with industrial hands;
True labour in an honest field
Is honour’s best and brightest shield.


NATIONAL RULE
FROM AN ESSAY ON IMPERIALISM

That rule is good, and liveth long,
Which, feeling that its arm is strong,
To want and grief is never blind,
But tries to comfort all mankind.

That rule is good, and great the crown
That scorns to tread its people down,
That stretcheth forth its hand to save,
And helps its subjects to be brave.

Aye! brave in greater things than war,
Where enmity and carnage mar,
The brightest side of human life,
And foster bitterness and strife.

But brave in true nobility,
And kindly generosity,
Forgetting not that God above
Delights in truth, in peace, and love.

And brave in all that constitutes
The gap dividing men from brutes;
Pursuing paths the great have trod,
That lead to purity and God.

That rule is good 
and may it spread 
That loves to give its people bread;
Where natural laws are understood,
And less distinction paid to blood.

That rule is good, though it were stern 

Oh! would it might to us return,
Where men in power should speak the
        truth
And leave their dreams to foolish youth.

That rule is good that knows no pride,
Save as a bridegroom to a bride,
That seeketh not to make offence,
But gives and takes full confidence.

That rule is best the wide world o’er,
That never seeks to quarrel more,
That curbs its lust, and gives its hand,
To’ards making peace throughout the land.


WAR

And can it be that war is just,
And proper that a Christian must
Decide by sword in bloody fight
What may be wrong, or shall be right?
What has the sword in bygone days
Accomplished that deserves our praise?
What are its deeds of crimson hue
That ever made the world more true?
What righteous cause e’er rose to fame
By staining thus its holy name?
What noble work e’er felt its mead,
Nor could progress, did men not bleed
In mortal feuds, by malice wrought,
When men loved less the more they fought
Does Nature mean that man must draw
On brutal force for mortal law,
By practised aim and skilful eye
Declare what race must live or die?
I will not think — it cannot be —
That God designed such cruelty.


HUMAN PROGRESS

With every age invention brings
Some strange and unexpected things;
Each generation in its day
Cuts through the wood, and paves the
            way.
We further than our fathers get,
Our children will go farther yet;
Each generation will excel
The former one, though it did well.

We gaze with wonder and surprise,
And oft the works of men despise,
Though perhaps that work in days gone
            by
Were ranked by men as being high,
Because, forsooth! we know the more,
And pride ourselves upon the store
Of knowledge which we may possess,
While we forget to thank and bless.

With every age there comes a task;
Let each and all this question ask,
“Can I assist, improve mankind?
Am I prepared, with heart and mind,
To do my duty as a man —
To do the work I feel I can?”
And, having asked it, answer too,
“The task assigned I’ll proudly do.”


WHITSUNTIDE

Oh what a time is Whitsuntide
    For jollity and mirth;
There’s scarce another holiday
    That counts one half its worth.
What cheerful hearts,what prattling
            tongues,
    What youthful happiness,
When nature vies with boys and girls
    To show its summer’s dress!

How pretty is the harmony!
    How bright the contrast too!
The fields and trees of greenish tinge,
    The girls with dresses blue;
The earth bedecked with wondrous
            bloom,
    All hearts are light and gay,
Sweet smiles prevail, kind words go forth,
    To greet this holiday.

Unfurl your banners to the breeze
    That speak of children’s glee;
Aye! lift them high, to show the world
    No better sight can be.
Then hail with joy this gladsome time,
    Take Nature by the hand,
And kindly help her thus to spread
    True pleasure o’er the land.


ILFRACOMBE

Sweet Ilfracombe, I love thee well,
    And thus would make my passion known;
Though many suitors near thee dwell,
    There’s none whose love excels mine own

In fancy shall I oft embrace,
    And bring thee closer still to me;
And feel that glow upon thy face,
    Though distance separates from thee.

Thy caves, and cliffs, and mountain peaks,
    Proclaim thy power with sacred awe;
The rippling rill then softly speaks,
    And whispers that thy love is law.

Thy sisters, too, I fain would take,
    Nay! chide me not, nor jealous grow;
Fair Clov’lly cannot evil wake,
    And purest thoughts o’er Lynmouth flow.

The waves may break upon thy beach,
    And storms may rage around thy shore;
But peace and calm thy mem’ries teach,
    Though I should never see thee more.


SAM BAMFORD

I wish I could have seen his face
    Ere he was called away,
And met his bright and gentle eye,
    And felt its genial ray.
He must be happy when he saw
    His works crowned with success;
When labour wins such great rewards
    ’Tis highest happiness.

I wish I could have heard his voice,
    It must have been so sweet
When he bent o’er his little child
    To watch its pattering feet.
To have a father such as he,
    Though poor to worldly eyes,
Were to possess God’s richest gift 

    God’s greatest earthly prize.

My fancy often wanders o’er,
    And lingers round that spot,
And even steals a glimpse within
    That comfortable cot.
I see him bless his little one,
    And take it on his knee;
I hear him cheer his loving wife,
    And bid her merry be.

They cluster round the cosy hearth,
    And, with a fondling look,
The father rises from his chair
    To reach that good old book.
And when he reads in earnest tones
    Of that bright heavenly goal,
I feel, whatever Tyndall says,
    That man must have a soul.

I now behold him in the field,
    I hear his voice again
Depicting wrongs, and guiding right
    His suffering fellowmen.
I gaze on him at Peterloo,
    I love his graceful mien,
And while I look the field is changed
    Into a bloody scene.

And now I view that playful smile,
    As step by step they come,
With martial tread and strong array,
    To steal him from his home.
But force is needless — their’s the crime —
    His glory gilds the van;
His honest and courageous deeds
    Portray the noble man.

Then bid us not forget such times,
    But rather let us trace
The landmarks that our fathers built,
    The glory of their race.
Be those events indelibly
    Impressed upon our minds,
Nor let us scatter history
    Before the thoughtless winds.


FOR OFFICE:
AFTER (NOT MUCH) LORD SALISBURY AT
LIVERPOOL.

What wont we Tories glibly preach,
What doctrines won’t we falsely teach,
What heights of folly won’t we reach,
                                       For office?

What laws we’ll pass, what laws repeal;
What principles we’ll slyly steal;
What cards we’ll shuffle and misdeal,
                                       For office!

One year we’ll advocate Home Rule,
The next we’ll rudely spurn its school;
We’ll either play the knave or fool,
                                       For office.

We’re not exacting as to grade,
We’ll vote for “Fair” or any “Trade;”
Through mud and slime we’ll nobly wade,
                                       To office.

We boast no colours, ’tis most true,
As suits us best we
ll change our hue;
We’ll mix, or vote for red or blue,
                                       For office.

We
ll not resign our easy chairs
For what the people say downstairs,
We do so love the pay and cares
                                       Of office.


TO THE LIBERALS OF ENGLAND

Ye Liberals of England
    Whose fame spreads o’er the seas,
Who proudly curb the despot’s sway,
    And scorn his vain decrees,
Your glorious banner wave on high,
    Aside your crotchets throw,
            And plunge in the fight
            Till freedom and right
                Shall stronger and nobler grow;
            With valour and might
            Your forces unite,
                And Truth shall her honours
                            bestow.

The spirit of our leaders
    Will yet our honour save;
The Platform is their field of faith,
    The Press their champion brave.
Where Bright and Gladstone may be found
    ’Tis there that we will go
            To plunge in the fight, &c.

Britannia needs no bulwark,
    Of titled men to keep
The proud position now attained,
    Her greatness lieth deep.
Her glory is her people’s thrift,
    That glory let us show,
            And plunge in the fight, &c.

The Liberal flag of England
    Will yet to victory tum;
We’ll bid adieu to foreign broils,
    And Christian lessons learn.
Our armour now we’ll buckle on,
    Our purpose all may know,
            To plunge in the fight, &c.


THE M.P. AND THE BABY

Three ladies, whom we’ll christen Brown,
Resolved to visit London town,
And, just their happiness to crown,
                                 They took a baby.

They showed that baby all the sights,
Including all the shops at nights,
They carried with them women’s rights,
                                 Besides a baby.

Thus pleasantly their time was spent,
But ere their steps were homeward bent,
Says Mrs. Brown :—“To Parliament
                                 We’ll take the baby.”

Of course, the two Miss Browns were rile
But Mrs. Brown remarked, and smiled,
“Some members, just to put it mild,
                                 Are only babies.”

To Westminster they went their way,
And entrance gained without delay,
And of a constable did pray
                                 To take the baby.

He turned upon his heels, and fled,
And with his hands he held his head,
“They know not that this House,” he said,
                                 “Is full of babies.”

Upon a slip their names they write,
The slip then forward takes its flight,
And presently a dandy quite
                                 Comes to the baby.

He takes that baby on his arm,
And kisses it to keep it warm,
Then bids his friends, in great alarm,
                                 To hide the baby.

He loved it, though his love would keep,
His love was like a well, ’twas deep,
But inward1y — let angels weep,
                                 He cursed that baby.

“Alas!” says he, “what must I do?
If one by one, or one by two,
I’ll gladly take you all three through,
                                 But not the baby.”

“You little know my standing here,
I’m not in Oldham now, I fear,
My mates will call a colleague dear,
                                 That little baby.”

So one by one, or one by two,
He took them all the Commons through
And begged them, whatsoe’er they do,
                                 Be mum about the baby.


THE SONG OF THE CALLS

Weary, sickened, and sad, with eyelids
            heavy and red,
A poor man stood, in a penitent mood,
            munching a crust of bread;
Munch, munch, munch, with his gaze fixed
            on the cold walls,
Whilst now and again, in a dolorous strain,
            he sang this song of the calls.

Calls, calls, calls, I’m heartily sick of the
            sound!
And calls, calls, calls, worth seven-and-six in
            the pound;
There’s scarce a day goes but
woe upon
            woes — these terrible foes ,
Come ranged in long rows, defiantly
            spoiling my nightly repose.

Breakfast, dinner, or tea, are one and the
            same to me,
Of troublesome mails the post never fails to
            bring me perhaps two or three;
And oft I’ve been tempted — but then I’ve
            repented — the postman most
            soundly to thrash;
But what if I did — though heaven forbid —
            ’t would scarcely mend matters of
            cash.

Calls, calls, calls, each visit by post is the
            same;
And calls, calls, calls, let the future emblazon
            the name;
The tragedy great that it plays deserves the
            highest of praise,
But should it not cease, and let me have
            peace, it surely will shorten my days.

Calls, calls, calls, what a musical word in my
            ear;
And calls, calls, calls, I’m in for a scrape it is
            clear;
The fortune I made by commerce and trade,
            alas! I’m afraid
Will dwindle away, as sure as the day, ere
            half of my calls I have paid.

Calls, calls, calls, I’ve files upon files that are
            full;
And calls, calls, calls, oh! my brain grows
            maddened and dull;
Calls, calls, calls, till my senses wander
            away;
The calls are all due, but what is most true, I
            have got no money to pay.


A SIMPLE STANDARD

Be earnest and steadfast
    In all that you do,
And be your ambition
    Exalted and true.

Be upright and manly,
    And never be mean;
Give help to the needy,
    But let it be clean.

Hold fast that religion
    Which helps all mankind,
Not selfishly pushing
    Your neighbours behind.

In matters of doctrine
    Let each one be free;
Two consciences never
    Exactly agree.

To faith offer freedom,
    ’Tis noble and just;
Say not to another
    Thou shalt, or thou must.

In language and conduct
    Make beauty your guide;
In all that lifts manhood
    Take pleasure and pride.

Be honour your motto
    And mercy your rule;
Do nothing unworthy
    Nor play you the fool.

Have hope in the future,
    Do good while you can;
Be all that is needful
    To build up a man.


’TIS HARD TO DIE IN YOUTH

’Tis hard to die in youth,
    When all seems incomplete;
Just when we realise the truth
    That life on earth is sweet.

’Tis hard to die when young,
    And leave our friends behind;
We think God’s links of love unstrun
    And wonder, is he kind?

’Tis hard in youth to die,
    In spring of life to part,
When fruits of Summer’s beauty lie,
    But budding in the heart.

We often look aloft,
    To view that distant scene;
We measure long, we measure oft.
    The gulf that lies between.

That gulf draws nigh each day,
    As we our course speed on,
Till Death a bridge throws o’er the way,
    And we, alas, are gone.


A PRAYER

O Father, teach us how to pray,
For all that helps us day by day;
Teach us to know our duty here,
And make the path of duty clear.

O make us thankful, Lord of Light,
For all the men who loved the right,
For those who in the darkest days,
The Flag of Freedom dared to raise.

For all the blessings we possess,
For all the joy and happiness,
For all the hopes that make us men,
O may we thank Thee, Lord, again?

And help us, Lord, to live the life
That makes for peace and not for strife;
That sees in all below, above,
Thy priceless gift — the gift of Love.


Unitarian Chapel
Interior of Unitarian Chapel,
Lord Street, Oldham.


HEAVENLY GRACE

O God of the frost and the snow,
    That seem to find every place,
Reminding Thy creatures below
    ’Tis so with Thy heavenly grace.

O God of the mist and the rain
    That darken and shorten our days,
Give light that Thy children again
    May sing to Thy glory and praise.

O God of the great rushing winds,
    That toss the great ship like a toy,
Give Thou of Thy blessing that binds
    Thy children in love and in joy.

O God of the billows and waves
    That roll on the time-beaten sands,
That play in the caverns and caves
    Of happy and unhappy lands;

Give strength like the strength of the tide,
    To break down the barriers of sin,
To sweep them for ever aside,
    While justice and mercy come in.

O God of the valleys and hills
    Where sunshine and gloom alternate,
Where men spend their lives at the mills,
    And droop like the victims of fate;

O send them the rays of the sun,
    Surround them with heavenly light,
Illumine the path that they run,
    Make labour more hopeful and bright.

O God of the weak and the strong,
    O God of the high and the low,
Let right take the place of all wrong,
    And love sweeten sorrow and woe.


HYMN OF PRAYER

Almighty God, who makest all
    The worlds that move in space,
Whose love respondeth to the call
    Of all the human race;
Help Thou Thy children to aspire
    To great and worthy things;
Teach them that richest thoughts require
    To soar on noble wings.

Almighty God, help us to feel
    Our kinship with the world;
Let dogmas, that would friendship steal,
    Be from their places hurled;
May all the doctrines, and the creeds,
    Be merged in simple love,
And let religion live in deeds
    That echo from above.

Almighty God, Whose loving hand
    Doth all the World caress,
Whose bounty filleth every land
    With gifts of loveliness,
O help us so to recognise
    The ties of brotherhood,
That all our hopes shall realise
    The lofty and the good.   


EAWR FOLKS’ POLITICS

My faythur is a Tory —
    He says his faythur wur —
An’ Tory he shall tarry
    As lung as he can stir.
He doted on owd Cobbett,
    But, neaw it’s Spinks an’ Lees,
He swears he’ll vote for booath,
    Till one or th’ other dees.

He doesno’ care for monarchs,
    Heawever good an’ great;
He doesno’ value parsons,
    Nor loves the Church an’ State
He says he’s yerd sufficient,
    An’ seen sufficient too;
That, if it’s but to spite ’em,
    He’st awlus vote for th’ blue.

Eawr Sam an’ me are Lib’rals,
    An’ so’s my brother Joe;
But, strange to say, eawr Jammie,
    Pretends t’ be nowt at o.
He says he’s quite impartial,
    An’ cares for noather side,
That bits o’ sects an’ parties
    He never could abide.

He’s one o’ thoose that glory
    I’ bein’ hawve-an-hawve,
That get both led an’ driven
    Like some great suckin’ cawve.
They hanno’ th’ gift o’ thinkin’
    What’s good for th’ human race,
But say they’re quite contented,
    An’ winno’ shift their place.

They’ll stond wi’ meawth wide open,
    Agree wi’ o ’at’s said,
An’ if yo’ ax their colour
    They’re noather blue nor red.
They’ll coincide wi’ Gladstone,
    An’ follow Beaconsfield;
They’re gradely fond o’ Hibbert,
    An’ Spinks, an’ Lees, an’ Neild.

They’re awkert folk to deal wi’,
    There’s nowt but what they know
It’s same as feightin’ shadows,
    Or puncin’ at a wo.
An’, if you’ll nobbo’ notice,
    They’re often mean an’ sly,
An’, though they say they’re neutral,
    They’re blue o’ th’ deepest dye.

Eawr Teddy is Republic —
    He shows what brass we’ve spent,
An’ heaw it would be chepper
    To have a president.
He says we get no profit
    Fro’ dukes, an’ lords, an’ th’ Queen
An’, though they’re nice as pictures,
    There’s nicer to be seen.

My mother an’ eawr Sally
    Discourse on wimen’s wrungs,
An’, when we say they’ve plenty,
    They winno’ howd their tungs.
We’re o great politicians,
    Except it be eawr Jim,
An’ he’s so very clever
    I’m not surprised at him.


TORYISM

Aw think aw’st ne’er be a Tory
    While aw’ve a day to live;
Aw wouldn’t be one, see yo’.
    No matter what yo’d give.
Aw’ve closely watched their doin’s,
    An’, though aw am but yung,
Aw’ve seen ’em do things often
    Aw durst ha’ sworn wur wrung.

Just fancy aw’m supportin’
    A party what aw know
Has in the cause of freedom
    Ne’er struck a single blow —
The party that for ages
    Has kept us in the dark,
An’ thowt we should be happy
    Wi’ nowt but bed an’ wark.

The party that’s o bluster,
    An’ sheawtin’ eawt for war,
That brings eawr famous commerce
    A great deal under par;
That makes true, honest labour
    Both scarce an’ badly paid,
An’ doesno’ care a button
    For th’ welfare of eawr trade.

Con anybody tell me
    When sich distress wur known?
(Except when war’s been ragin’)
    If so, let’s have it shewn.
Ther’ seems t’ be nowt but strikin’,
    An’ not for higher pay;
Nawe, nawe, those times have left us,
    Is this good rulin’, pray?

A government that
s noble,
    An’ bent on doin’ good,
Would less direct its actions
    To’ards sheddin’ people’s blood.
We’re payin’ more i’ taxes,
    An’ gettin’ less i’ wage,
But these things eawlus happen
    In ev’ry Tory age.

We’re doin’ neaw at th’ present
    What folks did in the past 
We’re payin’ for eawr whistle,
    But heaw lung will it last?
These Tories are a lux’ry,
    But, oh, aw wish they’d shift;
For, if they do no mischief,
    They’re costly as a gift.

Aw conno’ tak’ to rowdies,
    An’ parasites aw hate;
A sycophant’s un-English,
    An’ loathsome is his prate,
So, as the Tory party
    Is chiefly made o’ these,
Aw mean to stop a Liberal
    Whoever aw displease.


EAWR SPIRITED POLICY

Aw’m gradely fain that Owdham folk
    Are on their feet again,
Contendin’ for humanity,
    And liberty of men.
Aw’m glad to yer ’em lift their voice
    To swell the leawd protest
Against these cruel, horrid crimes
    That shock each human breast.

It vexes me to nobbo’ think
    Heaw cool eawr rulers are,
As tho’ they didno’, care a straw
    For this most hellish war.
Their policy is “spirited,”
    But when there’s owt to do
They’ve nobbo’ pluck enoof to mak
    A bran new earl or two.

An’ this, they say, is statesmanship,
    An’ worthy eawr applause;
But ere yo’ give it, gentlefolks,
    Just look areawnd, an’ pause.
Pray, read of thoose atrocities
    That mak’ us burn wi’ shame;
Aye, think of thoose barbarities
    Unfit for me to name.

An’ when yo’ve done it, ax yo’rsels,
    Is this enlightenment?
To be supported tooth an’ nail
    By th’ British Parliament?
Is it a subject fit for joke,
    For ridicule, an’ mirth,
When deeds of fiendish malice rage,
    An’ desolate the earth?

Shall o the ties of brotherhood
    Religion ever made
Be cut asunder just for fear
    O’ losin’ Turkish trade?
Shall o eawr boasts of Christian love
    Be shorn of actual work?
An’ shall we stultify eawr fame
    By feightin’ for the Turk?

Nawe! nawe! a theausand theausand
        times,
    Whatever “earls” may say;
An’ we mun show ’em that we will
    Not brook so mich delay.
But aw mun stop; aw’m gettin’ vexed,
    My temper’s risin’ fast;
It’s strange heaw England will alleaw
    Sich dreadful crimes to last.


THE ELECTION

Heaw do yo’ folks intend to vote?
    I often ax mysel’,
An’, p’rhaps, aw should have ax’t yo’ o,
    But, then, yo’ met no’ tell.
Heawever, if yo’ dunno mind,
    We’ll just see heaw we stond,
An’ heaw we con improve this land
    Of which we are so fond.

We’ll just consider, if yo’ please,
    Some plain, unvarnished facts,
An’ see what are these glorious deeds
    Dubbed “patriotic acts.”
We’ll see what good these Tories do,
    An’ wheer that good is seen;
We’ll see heaw much these needless wars
    Have glorified eawr Queen.

Their incapacity was shown
    When dealin’ wi’ the Turks,
An’ th’ same unequalled tact is seen
    In o their later works.
Their brilliant military feats,
    Their Oriental skill,
Have been proclaimed at every bar,
    An’ sung at every till.

But still the honours that they’ve won
    Have been but very few;
True glory is a precious thing,
    An’ rarely painted blue.
What though they’ve slain some
            theausand men,
    Their cause was never just,
An’ thoose that kill for th’ sake o’ fame
    Are folks aw conno’ trust.

Their little war in Zululand
    For just a toothri reaunds,
In which so many lives wur lost,
    Has cost five million peaunds,
Of course, no good has come o’ this,
    Nor do we think it will,
But workin’ folk must daily toil
    To pay the “little” bill.

This Afghan war, of which they boast,
    When will it really end?
It’s gettin’ time that someb’dy knew
    What Ministers intend:
We’ve fowt, an’ fowt, to gratify
    Eawr “noble,” warlike thirst,
But th’ mischief is, we get no nar
    Nor what we wur at th’ first.

In fact, we seem t’ be fur away,
    As far as knowledge goes,
For what this war was started for
    Lord Dizzy only knows.
His workmates in the Cabinet
    Are prone to disagree,
But when he wants their little help,
    He works ’em to a T.

They’ve shot an’ hung eawr foes by
            scores,
    An’ felt quite preawd o’ th’ job,
An’ when they’ve sided th’ people off,
    Their land they’re gone to rob;
But th’ cost of o this dreadful work
    They ceawardly impose
Upon a people helpless, poor,
    Afflicted deep wi’ woes.

These blunderin’ pranks have cost so
                        mich —
    An’ will cost moore yet —
That when they borrow year by year
    Folks say they add to th’ debt;
But, bless yo’r life, it’s nowt o’ th’ sort,
    They lessen th’ nation’s debt,
They borrow five to pay back three:
    Aren’t they a clever set?

These Tories never condescend
    To do good, whoamly wark,
They’d sooner deal i’ foreign stuff,
    An’ work it wheer it’s dark,
Of course, yo’ know what th’ Owd Book
            says
    Abeawt sich deeds as these;
So, if yo’ want good, honest men,
    Just vote for th’ Liberals, please.


THE SHIP CANAL

“Neaw, what abeawt this Ship Canal?”
    Eawr Sally said to me;
“Altho’ theau’s kept it to thisel,
    Fro’ th’ pappers aw con see
That th’ scheme is gettin’ into shape,
    An’ meetings goin’ on,
While Parliament is to be ax’d
    If this thing must be done.

Aw don’t see why they should refuse,
    But then some jealous folk,
Who have their brass i’ railway shares,
    May want it t’ end i’ smoke;
While others, p’rhaps, will deprecate,
    Who, summat like eawr Dick,
If they should sail a toothri yards
    Are feeart o’ bein’ sick.

But, then, no matter what is said,
    Improvements must be made;
If Oldham spindles must increase
    We must have freer trade.
It’s same wi’ nations as wi’ teawns,
    If they must keep their pace,
For fettered labour cannot hope
    To howd a foremost place.

Eawr divi’s neaw are not so good
    An’ he would be a fool
Who’d pay his profits year by year
    To th’ folks i’ Liverpool.
Let’s have a sea at th’ side o’ whoam,
    An’ see what we can do,
If it will pay, as some folks think,
    We’st save a trifle, too.

Just fancy ships come sailin’ through
    A populated street,
Surrounded by that other boon,
    The new electric leet.
Who knows what wonders are in store
    For enterprisin’ zeal?
When men unite in common bonds
    For general public weal.

Then here’s success to this great scheme,
    Let’s o be of good cheer;
That breeter days will surely dawn
    We have no need to fear.
The flag of progress still shall wave
    To strengthen every hand,
An’ freer trade, an’ freer laws,
    Will bless eawr native land.


EAWR JOHNNY

Eawr Johnny has begun to paint,
    He’s quite a good un too,
In fact, aw don’t know what there is
    Eawr Johnny conno’ do;
If he’ll but set his moind an’ try,
    As well aw know he con,
He
ll do a job of ony sort
    As well as ony mon.

Aw do so wish yo’d come some day
    Just when he’s at his wark,
He’s paintin’ summat neaw he co’s
    “Faint moonshine after dark;
It represents sich lots o’ things
    I’ th’ risin’ o’ the moon,
But what they are aw conno’ tell,
    No moor nor Johnnys shoon.

His sweethearts loikeness, once he said,
    Hed have a try to paint,
He thowt he’d draw her angel-like,
    An’ mak’ her in a saint;
So wi’ this noble view he geet
    His easel an’ his things,
An’ sketched a maiden fair, and sweet,
    Wi’ lung an’ pointed wings.

An’ ev’rybody said ’t wur noice,
    An’ so it wur no deawbt,
For if there wur some little faults,
    They hadno bin fun eawt;
So Johnny’s sweetheart took it whoam
    And show’d it to her dad,
But when he set his eyes on it
    It almost sent him mad.

For theer, as plain as plain could be,
    Her een look’d to’rd her nose,
An’ ev’ry toime he looked at it
    His passion heeghur rose;
He swore if Johnny ever coom
    O’ courtin’ her again,
An’ he should chance to be i’ th’ heause
    Hee’d twamp him theer an’ then.

Eawr Johnny moumed awhile at this,
    Becose it seemed so wrung,
But after o he thowt it best,
    As both wur very yung;
And neaw he spends his leisure toime
    I’ dabblin’ wi’ his paints;
But ever since that day, aw think,
    He’s kept off paintin’ saints.


EAWR MALLY

Eawr Mally’s bin an’ getten wed
    To sich a smart yung chap,
An’ neaw hoo’s Missis Benjamin
    John Jeremiah Snap.
He loikes to see his name i’ full;
    He spells it so hissel’;
Eawr Mally towd me this, yo’ know,
    But then yo’ munno’ tell.

He’s awlus dressed quite up to th’ nines,
    An’ sich a nobby walk;
An’ then his tung — eh! bless my life,
    Aw wish yo’ yerd him ‘talk,
Sich words he uses neaw an’ then,
    Enoof to break one’s jaw;
Aw’m sure he would ha’ made a mark
    If he’d gone in for law.

He’d soon ha’ bin at th’ top o’ th’ tree
    If hed that road bin bent,
An’ had Q.C. beheend his name,
    An’ bin i’ Parliament,
But then, he’d happen ne’er ha’ known
    My sister Mally then,
So it’s as weel he shouldn’t have
    His chances o’er again.

He’s bowt a bran new lot o’ goods,
    An’ o i’ first-class style;
For me t’ ha’ sich loike when aw’m wed
    Aw’st ha’ to wait awhile.
Aw wonder heaw eawr Mally did
    To get a chap loike him?
He seems so clever placed beside
    My own true sweetheart Jim.

An’ sich a weddin’, too, they had,
    Wi’ o set eawt so grand;
They went an’ spent their honeymoon
    I’ some foine forrin land,
They’ve just come back, an’weel they
            look,
    They
re happy too, no deawbt;
But never moind, a day will come
    When we’st ha’ tums abeawt.

Aw know my Jimmy’s savin’ brass,
    An’, if aw’ll nobbo’ wait
Till o his calls are paid, he says
    He
ll gi’ me sich a thrate.
So here’s good luck to Missis Snap,
    An’ Ben, here
s luck to thee;
Lung life an’ strength to ev’ryone,
    Includin’ Jim an’ me.


A FAMILY EAWT

“Come Susie, lass, just lay aside
    That little bit o’ wark,
We’ll tak’ eawr childer for an eawt
    To Alexandra Park.
There’s lots o’ things sprung up o’ late
    Aw’m sure theau hasno’ seen;
Theau’ll stop i’ th’ heause till folks may
            weel
    Declare theau’rt gdoin’ green.”

“To Alexandra Park!" hoo said,
    “Whey, where i’ th’ world is that?”
Hoo knows as much o’ g’ography
    As my owd boddyhat.
They didno’ teach sich fancy stuff,
    Yo’ see, when hoo wur yung;
Beside, hoo thinks hoo’ll manage neaw,
    Hoo’s done witheawt so lung.

Well, hoo geet done, an’ off we set
    Past Tum o’ Robin’s farm;
Aw’d three o’ th’ childer at my laps,
    An’ one on ayther arm.
Eawr Susie carried th’ yung’st but two,
    For, goodness, heaw it scroikt!
An’ t’ other four had liberty
    To roam just where they lokt.

We geet to th’ Park at four o’clock,
    Eawr legs no worse for wear,
But yo’d ha’ been amused, aw know
    To see eawr Susie stare;
Hoo look’d at me, as wimen look
    (Yo’ve seen ’em aw’ve no deaubt)
Who’ve summat awful on their minds
    They’re bent on lettin’ eawt.

Hoo look’d, an’ freawn’d, an’ then it coom
    “Theau good-for-nowt,” hoo said,
“If someb’dy tak’ this chilt a bit
    Aw’d come an’ jow thy yed.
Is this thy Alexandra Park
    Theau’s trailed me here to see,
As though aw’d never been before
    Quite unbeknown to thee?
 
“It’s nobbo’ gradely Owdham Park
    When folk’ll co’ it reet;
Theau knows what Shakemspeere said
    Abeawt things smellin’ sweet?”
“Of course aw do, but never heed
    What Shakemspeere said;
He’d not ha’ said one hauve he did
    If he’d been gradely wed.”

Hoo chummert to hersel’ awhile,
    But wouldno’ stir a yard,
Though neaw an’ then aw catched a word
    Fro’ th’ owd immortal bard.
Hoo quoted o hoo knew I think,
    An’ then hoo faced abeawt,
Commandin’ me to goo i’ th’ Park,
    An’ ne’er again come eawt.

Hoo laft me wi’ th’ yung’st childer too,
    An’ what a noise they made;
Aw’st ne’er engage a nursin’ job,
    Heawever weel it’s paid;
Aw’d quite enoof that afternoon
    To last me for a while,
For oather one or t’ other scroikt
    I’ splendid scroikin’ style.

Aw took ’em deawn to look at th’ ducks,
    Aw show’d ’em th’ boulder-stone,
An’ tried if th’ owd bellman could
    Induce ’em t’ change their tone;
But neawe, they didno’ care a bit
    For th’ ducks, or th’ stone, or Joe;
So then aw thowt to tak’ ’em whoam
    Would be th’ best plan of o.

Aw bowt ’em both a sugar stick,
    To find ’em summat t’ do,
An’ made my way o’er th’ Coalpit Road
    An’ deawn by Brunley Broo;
Aw wonder’d why aw hadno’ thowt
    O’ sugar sticks before;
But never mind, o’ fam’ly eawts
    Aw think aw’st ha’ no more.


TH’ OWD FOLKS’ TAY PARTY

Aw’ve often thowt yo’d happen loike
    To know a little bit
Abeawt this stir that’s gan to us,
    An’ heaw we liken it.
Aw darsay, neaw, if yo’ could see
    Heaw nice an’ snug we look,
Yo’d give a trifle, if yo’ must
    Just come an’ mix wi’ th’ rook.

Neaw dunno’ go an’ contradict;
    Yo’ want to do, aw see;
Aw’ve lived awhile, an’ know yo’r ways
    Don’t think o’ chettin’ me.
Yo’d o foot up, aw durst bi bund,
    If Abram would alleaw;
So don’t yo’ turn yo’r noses up,
    An’ try to look so feaw.

It’s nobbo’ once i’ twelvemonth’s time,
    We get a chance to meet;
An’ then we simply talk things o’er,
    An‘ see that o goes reet.
They
re gradely whoamly parties these,
    A daycent, sober spree;
If once yo’ come, yo’ll want to come
    Again, aw’ll guarantee.

It is so good o’ Abram, too,
    To keep us o i’ mind;
He keeps invitin’ fresh uns, too,
    An’ leeovs noan behind;
Except it be — sometimes it is —
    That when his chap goes reaund
He yers o’ some owd friendly face
    That’s getten put i’ th’ greaund.

There’s ’Liza, Maggie, little Nan,
    An’ Ruth, an’ Kit o’ Bob’s,
An’ Jane, and me, that’s bin so lung,
    We’ve getten thick wi’ th’ nobs;
They’ll come an’ sit an’ talk to us,
    They’ll smooke a pipe an’ o,
An’ one chap coom an’ said to me
    “Heawever is yo’r Joe?”

“Eh! thank yo’ sir; he’s doin’ neaw
    As weel as e’er he will,
For him an’ me, yo’ know,” aw said,
    “Are slurrin’ fast deawn th’ hill;
We’ve seen some changes i’ this world,
    An’ had eawr ups an’ deawns;
We’ve noticed, too, heaw Owdham has
    Eawtstripp’d o other teawns.

“We’ve seen” — but here aw had to stop
    For th’ chap wur co’ed away,
An’ then aw thowt aw met as weel
    Be shappin’ for my tay.
Aw hardly need to tell yo’ what
    A rare nice tay we had;
If Joe had nobbo’ bin wi’ me
    He would ha’ be’n some glad.

They browt us sugar towfy reaund,
    An’ ’bacca, pipes, an’ snuff;
An’ rare un good it wur for folks
    That’s use’t to sich like stuff.
They made some funny speeches, too,
    But then, my mem’ry’s gone;
Aw did intend to larn ’em o,
    But conno’ think o’ one.

Aw conno’ finish up so weel,
    Nor would aw be so rude,
Witheawt just tryin’ to convey
    My heartfelt gratitude.
There’s lots o’ folks would like to thank
    Kind Abram, if they could,
Aw nobbo’ speak their wishes when
    Aw wish him o thats good.


CLEVER FOLKS

There are a toothri clever folks
    We daily come across,
Whose ways we conno’ understond
    Becose they are so fausse;
They’ll talk, an’ talk, fro’ morn till neet,
    An’ wondrous tales they’ll tell
Of heroes, that yo’ll awlus find
    Turn eawt to be theirsel’.

Whate’er yo’ve seen, they’ve seen before,
    An’ summat better, too;
An’ what yo’ve yerd, they’re sure to

            know,
    An’ what they say is true;
Their facts are facts, an’ warranted
    To bear the strongest test,
So if yo’ get a tale fro’ ‘em
    It’s sure t’ be one o’ th’ best.

They’re rattlin’ folks for company,
    Or joinin’ in a spree;
Or if yo’re dull, an’ nowt to say,
    They’re th’ reet uns to a T.
We conno’ spare ’em very weel
    Though we may think so neaw,
For after o their little faults
    They’re jolly folks, chus heaw.

Another sort o’ clever folks,
    Of extra consequence,
Are thoose ’at seldom spake at o,
    Lest they should lose some sense;
They look wi’ scorn an’ great disgust
    On common ways an’ things,
They’d flit to some grand wo’ld above
    If someb’dy a mak’ ’em wings.

Aw mak’ no ’ceawnt o’ sulky chaps,
    But sulky wimen less,
Aw’d sooner ha’ one fifty times
    That spends a lot o’ dress.
There is a bit o’ comfort when
    Hoo’s th’ latest fashion eawt,
But bless my life, a sulky wife,
    Is awlus on the peawt.

Hoo’ll spend her brass, an’ then come
            whoam
    Dissatisfied an’ vex’d,
An’ mak’ yo’ tremble, lest hoo should
    Begin a feightin’ th’ next.
It’s best to let ’em sulk it eawt;
    Though some will sulk awhile,
Their meawths o’ someheaw arno’ shaped
    To give a gradely smile.

Neaw, if there’s one amung yo’ o
    Would like a sulky wife?
Aw’m sure aw’d sooner live mysel’
    A jolly single life.
Aw dunno’ want to say it’s reet
    That chaps should sulk, not I;
Aw think if wimen never sulk’d
    That chaps could never try.


SAM TULIP’S WILL

Sam Tulip said he’d mak’ a will,
    Lest he should chance to dee
Witheawt his kinsfolk knowing heaw
    He wanted things to be.
He thowt he’d tell ’em i’ this note
    Just heaw an’ what to do
Wi’ o his goods an’ chattels, loike,
    An’ who to give ’em to.

A gradely business chap wur Sam,
    An’ gen’rous too, ’tis said;
He’d awlus lived a sengle life,
    Nor dreamt o’ gettin’ wed.
He used to moralise a bit,
    An’ oft he said to me,
“Do summat, lad, i’ this short life,
    That winno’ dee wi’ thee.

“What’s th’ good o’ livin’ if we dee
    An’ leeov nowt behind
Which, when it’s put to reet good use,
    Will benefit mankind?
What’s th’ end of o this business here,
    Reward for o this strife?
Are we put here for nowt i’ th’ world
    But live an empty life?

“Are we machines, that do eawr wark
    Witheawt a bit o’ thowt,
An’ when that wark has getten done
    Be put aside as nowt?
Nay, nay, my lad; a nobler part
    Remains for us to play,
An’ if we brave it eawt loike men
    We’st live to endless day.”

Well, Sam set to to mak’ this will,
    A job not done so soon;
He started soon i’ th’ momin’ part,
    An’ hadn’t done at noon.
An’ neet coom on — noane finished yet;
    He still stuck to his wark,
Nor seemed to notice th’ flight o’ time,
    Nor see ’at it wur dark.

An’ when aw coed, as wur my wont,
    He sat at th’ table still;
His pen was in his cowd, cowd hont,
    An’ restin’ on his will.
Aye, Sam, owd friend, theaw little thowt,
    When theaw wur writin’ this,
Theaw’d reached a spot i’ life’s roof road
    That opened Death’s abyss.

His will wur short, an’ ran loike this:
    “I, Sam, the undersigned,
Do neaw bequeath to Lucy Ann
    My curtains an’ my blind.
To Martha Jane I also give
    My cheears an’ th’ little stoo’;
Hoo’ll let her sisters join at these,
    An’ o her brothers too.

“My sofa, an’ my pots an’ pons,
    To ’Lizabeth an’ Joe,
Wi’ hopes that when they fratch a bit
    They winno’ break ’em o.
My carpets, rugs, an’ fire things
    Aw give to ’Liza Lord;
Aw know hoo loikes a smartish heause,
    But conno’ weel afford.

“My dresser, an’ it’s ornaments,
    To Polly an’ her chap;
Aw’ve awlus loiked her ever sin
    Aw nursed her i’ my lap.
Aye, bless her little pratty chops!
    An’ may her pleasant face,
Of trouble, care, an’ sleepless toil,
    Be awlus free fro’ trace.

“Aw’ve neaw disposed of o my goods,
    Except my clock an’ bed,
An’ these yung Charley Binns may have,
    Again he wants t’ be wed.
They’ll come in useful, aw’ve no deawt,
    To booath him an’ th’ wife;
They’re two essential attributes
    Of happy married life.

“Aw saved a little bit o’ brass
    (Yo’ know who it wur for);
Aw’ve added toothri peawnd sin’ then,
    But give it o to her.
Aw loved her lung wi’ honest love,
    That love aw cherish still;
An’ if yo’ll kindly tell her this
    Yo’ll best fulfil my will.”


OWD SARAH

Owd Sarah wur a good un,
    As everybody knew,
For while th’ owd lass geet owder,
    Her heart yet y’unger grew.

Yo’ve often yerd it stated
    As heaw the good dee y’ung ;
“The good are y’ung, though agèd,”
    Wur th’ song Owd Sarah sung.

Th’ owd girl wur awlus smilin’,
    Tho’ hoo’d her ups an’ deawns;
Said hoo, “Life’s short at th’ lungest,
    Why mix it up wi’ freawns?”

Hoo seem’d to carry sunshine
    Abeawt fro’ place to place,
An’ th’ childer ever welcomed
    That sweet an’ kindly face.

To win the love o’ childer
    Is good enoof for me;
It’s like a bit o’ heaven,
    There happiness to see.

Th’ owd lass had che’tted th’ sexton,
    Hoo’d pass’d three score and ten,
Hoo said hoo’d like to square it,
    An’ have it o’er again.

Of course, hoo nobbut said it
    To have a bit o’ fun;
Hoo’ll have her joke wi’ th’ angels
    O’er th’ earthly race hoo’s run.

Hoo’ll have some tales to tell ’em
    Of what hoo did deawn here;
But nowt hoo’d need t’ be shamed on
    O’ that yo’ needn’t fear.

Hoo used to go to sarvice,
    When th’ days wur nice an’ warm,
Hoo loved to yer th’ singin’,
    That filled her soul wi’ charm.

To see her glad een breeten
    When some owd hymn wur sung
Wur worth a toothri sarmons
    From ony parson’s t’unge.

Hoo seem’d t’ be gettin’ ready
    For goin’ up above,
An’ everything areawnd her
    Reflected only love.

An’ where th’ owd dame has sattl’d
    Celestial songs are sung,
Hoo’s one amung the angels,
    An’ every angel’s y’ung.


WALKIN ’ REAUND

God bless thoose pratty faces;
   
        Heaw they smile!
    They’re full o’ glee an’ gladness,
    They know no grief nor sadness,
They fill the angels’ places
   
        For awhile.

God bless their toddlin’ marchin’,
            Eawt o’ line,
    Wee sister, little brother ;
    They bravely help each other
An’, though their legs are wartchin
            Ne’er repine.

They’re like a bunch o’ posies,
            Red, white, green;
    New clooas here an’ theer,
    Cheeks shinin’ ev’rywheer,
The finest bed o’ roses
            Ever seen.

Just hearken heaw they’re singin’
            Joyous lays?
    Their songs are gently swellin’
    Reet up to th’ heavenly dwellin’,
And in their train are bringin’
            Happy days.

An’ hearken th’ bells i’ th’ steeple?
            Ring, ding, dong.
    They want to mak’ life breeter,
    They want to mak’ life sweeter,
An’ sing unto the people
            Th’ good owd song.

These scenes will live for ever
            In the mind.
    They’ll in the mem’ry sattle
    An’ through life’s daily battle
In ev’ry great endeavour
            Help mankind.

Bless childer in their beauty,
            Ev’ry one,
    Some day they’ll fill eawr stations,
    Accept eawr resignations,
But each will do his duty
            Like a mon.


OLDHAM AND OLDHAMERS

        We’ve chimneys tall
        An’ chimneys small
An’ smooke o reawnd us clingin’;
        We’ve lots o’ wark,
        But ne’er a lark ‘
To cheer us with its singin’.

We’ve narrow streets
        An’ bad gas leets,
        An’ other things that’s rilin’.
But th’ folks are fit,
        An’ full o’ grit,
        An’ do their duty, smilin’.

Old Market Place, Oldham
Old Market Place, Oldham,
1860.


OWDHAM WAKES

To stop awhoam this Owdham Wakes
    Aw thowt would be as well;
In fact, to tell yo’ th’ gradely truth,
    Aw couldno’ help mysel’.
Aw couldno’ boast o’ ready brass,
    Though credit’s full an’ free;
It’s chiefly made o’ heavy calls —
    That mak’ a wakes o’ me.

Aw’d just completed packin’ up,
    And puttin’ th’ label on,
When th’ postman coom an’ rapp’d at th’
            dur —
    “Another letter, John,”
“Another call,” aw said to th’ wife,
    “Another call behanged!”
An’ th’ chap could hardly get away
    Ere th’ dur wur shut an’ bang’d.

Of course, aw softly sided th’ things
    As though we’d just com’d back,
An’ th’ wife stood by, but never spoke —
    But didno’ hoo look black!
Hoo didno’ poo her bonnet off
    For sich a lung, lung while,
An’ do an’ say whate’er aw would
    Aw couldno’ get her t’ smile.

An’ then hoo vow’d, as wimen con —
    Yo’ve yerd ’em aw’ve no deawbt —
That thoose met share, an’ share ’at loik’t
    Hoo wish’d that we wur eawt.
Hoo’d had no pleasure sin’ we first
    Began to spekilate;
But then aw wanted brass so fast
    Aw couldno’ work an’ wait.

“Neaw, dunno’ spake a word,” hoo said;
    “Thy case needs no defence,
For th’ job is done, an’ here we are
    Awhoam, i’ consequence.”
“Nay, nay,” aw said, “there is no need
    To stop awhoam at o;
We’ll go as far as Tommy Fielt,
    An’ in a penny show.

“There’s lots o’ folk as well as us
    I’ th’ same predicament;
Besides, we’re savin’ th’ brass, theaw knows
    So rest thysel’ content.
Come, breeten up thy face a bit;
    What, though it rains to-day,
There’ll come a time o’ sunshine yet

    There’s worse things done at say.”

Hoo veer’d reawnd i’ course o’ time,
    An’ then hoo said to me,
“Well, if we go to Tommy Fielt
    Whatever shall we see?”
“What shall we see?  Eh, bless me, wench,
    There’s circuses an’ shows,
There’s endless fun an’ merriment,
    An’ lots o’ folk theaw knows.”

“Well, then, we’ll go.”  An’ go we did,
    An’ had a gradely reawnd;
We yerd o sorts o’ dismal chords
    Mak’ up a dismal seawnd.
The showmen towd us what they had,
    They sheawted leawd an’ strung,
An’ swore they’d give us fifty peawnd
    If what they said wur wrung.

We went to Howden’s mannikins,
    An’ rare an’ good they wur;
It fairly capp’d me heaw they made
    Thoose little chaps to stir.
They’rn up an’ deawn i’ double quick,
    So nimble wur their shanks,
But th’ worst on ’t wur, they played at nowt
    But reet deawn peevish pranks.

We went to see the goblinscope,
    We went i’ th’ circus, too;
In fact, we went i’ ev’ry show
    To see what there wur t’ do.
Aw said aw’d ride a dobby horse,
    An’ th’ wife said so would hoo;
So on we geet, loike jockeys bowd,
    An’ reawnd an’ reawnd we flew.

Aw see’d eawr Sally turnin’ pale,
    Aw sheawted for my life,
“Yo’ rascals, stop that engine neaw;
    Yo’re beawn’ to kill my wife!”
They stopp’d, an’ deawn aw jump
d at once
    An’ ran across the street;
Aw geet some brandy, nice an’ warm,
    An’ help’d her on her feet.

Hoo wurno’ lung i’e comin’ reawnd,
    It seem’d to do her good,
An’ if aw’d ax’t her t’ ride again
    Aw do believe hoo would.
Heawever, th’ time wur gettin’ on,
    An’ th’ brass wur gettin’ done,
“So let’s be goin’ whoam,” aw said,
    “We’ve had enoof o’ fun.”


EAWR JAMMIE

Eawr Jammie wur a singer,
    A gradely good un too,
Yo’ couldno’ bring him music
    But what he’d sing reet through.
When he wur quite a babby,
    Aw’ve yerd my mother say,
He’d lie him deawn i’ th’ cradle,
    An’ sing a childish lay.

But as he grew up owder
    He added tune to tune,
Till folks said to my fayther,
    “He’ll be a topper soon.”
They said he wur so cheerful,
    His looks wur never dark,
No matter when they seed him
    He’re singin’ like a lark.

An’ do not aw remember
    When him an’ me went th’ schoo
He sang for o his schoo’mates,
    An’ weel they like’t him too.
He read just like a parson,
    That never missed a word,
An’ sang his summin’ tables
    Just like a little bird.

An’ when at jolly Christmas
    We had eawr barrin’ eawt,
What fun we had wi’ rompin’,
    An’ heaw we used to sheawt.
We sang abeawt “Tom Bowlin’;”
    Eawr Jammie sang an’ o,
But heaw he put a finish
    On what we sang, aw know.

As we kept grooin’ bigger,
    We had to leeov schoo’;
Folks said it would be better
    If we’d some wark to do.
We geet a job i’ th’ factory,
    We work’d both soon an’ late,
But Jammie lost his troubles
    Wi’ tunes i’ th’ jenny-gate.

An’ while he kept i’ practice
    He geet a smack o’ fame,
An’ then his course soon ended,
    An’ folks forgeet his name.
He met a fair young alto,
    Wi’ sich a splendid voice,
He couldno’ sing for lookin’,
    He thowt hoo wur so noice.

He chirp’d a lovely ditty,
    An’ hoo responded too,
An’ then — would yo’ believe it?—
    They’re wed ’beawt more ado.
Aw yer him neaw but seldom,
    Although it’s Christmas time,
But yesterday, aw’ll tell yo’,
    He sang a nurs’ry rhyme.


JOE TODLIN

Joe Todlin was a-crying fast,
    He’d lost his Mary Ann,
And down his face the woeful tears
    In little streamlets ran.

He cried himself asleep, and dreamt
    Of her in days gone by,
When she’d embrace him unawares,
    And kiss him on the sly.

Oh! those were happy, halcyon days,
    Too happy long to last;
He shuddered when he woke to find
    His dreams were of the past.

A cruel girl was Mary Ann,
    Joe’s feelings thus to hurt;
But I had told him long before
    That she was but a flirt.

Now, Joseph did not hang himself,
    Nor yet attempt to drown,
But wisely buoyed his spirits up,
    And went to live in town,

He there forgot his Mary Ann,
    And, when he last was seen,
Another love hung on his arm,
    Whose name was Angeline.


REET AND WRUNG

Folks say there’s nobbo’ reet an’ wrung
    In owt we undertak’,
But someheaw wrung gets th’ best o’ th’
            start,
    An’ reet keeps hangin’ back.
Reet’s quite a bashful sort o’ chap,
    An’ darno’ show his face,
Nor even put his modest yed
    In ony sort o’ place.

Aw’ll give yo’ toothri incidents
    To show yo’ what aw mean,
Some that aw’ve yerd folks talk abeawt,
    An’ others that aw’ve seen;
Yo’ll tak’ ’em just for what they’re worth
    For little or for mich,
For bad or good, or nowt at o,
    It doesno’ matter which.

For instance, neaw, there’s Jimmy Jones,
    That lives up eawr street,
Do what yo’ would yo’ couldno’ keep
    That felly goin’ reet;
He’s such a notion in his yed
    O’ gettin’ nicely reawnd,
To pay a nineteen shillin’ debt
    He’ll borrow just a peawnd.

He keeps a shillin’ thus i’ hond,
    An’ seems so light an’ gay
Yo’d think he’d laid a fortune by
    Again a rainy day.
He gets abeawt a peawnd a week
    To keep a heawse o’ six,
So neaw an’ then he borrows, just
    To save ’em from a fix.

He has a son coed Spanky Sam,
    That ne’er geet on his feet;
He married, when he’re seventeen,
    A wench noane gradely reet;
Yo’ll say that he wur summat th’ same,
    An’ if yo’ do it’s true;
Aw do believe aw never seed
    A bigger, gawpin’ foo.

There’s Tinker Tom, yo’ happen know,
    He tramps abeawt so mich,
The brass he gets mak’s folk declare
    He owt t’ be gradely rich;
But his affairs, like lots o’ folks’,
    Are in a bunglin’ state,
An’ if he ever gets ‘em reet
    He’ll have a while to wait.

Young Donty thowt he’d spekilate,
    An’ bowt a lot o’ shares,
An’ neaw he fuddles ev’ry week
    To drive away his cares.
The shares wur up at th’ time he bowt,
    But neaw theyre very low,
Tho’ neaw an’ then he’ll cause a rise
    By kickin’ up a row.

Thus things go on fro’ week to week,
    An’ reet an’ wrung go reawnd;
We awlus get eawr share o’ one
    Before we’re put i’ th’ greawnd.
Aw hope that o yo’r prospects neaw
    Are shinin’ very breet,
That in this world’s great ups and deawns
    Yo’ll get yo’r share o reet.


ADVICE TO YOUNG FRIENDS

Eh, bless yo’, little childer,
    That neaw “Eawr Circle” read;
It’s sich-like pratty faces
    That o great movements need.
There’s nowt ’at’s great an’ noble
    But some may to it climb;
An’ noane, heawever mighty,
    But’s been a choilt sometime.

Neaw, Jack, theau’rt fond o’ music,
    An’ music’s really grand:
It mak’s a lowly dwellin’
    Into a heavenly land:
So get thee up an’ practise
    Thy lessons ev’ry day;
An’ then, my charmin’ minstrel,
    Go eawt an’ get thy play.

An’ Dick, theau’rt good at figures,
    An’ doin’ fraction sums:
Thee follow up thy studies,
    Theau’ll get thy share o’ plums.
The best o’ this world’s places
    Are only won by work,
An’ deawnreet stirlin’ merit
    Beats accident o’ birth.

So get thy slate an’ pencil,
    An’ do thy Rule o’ Three;
Theau’ll find, someday, it’s useful,
    So be advised by me.
An’ when theau’s done thy lessons,
    Go run an’ play eawtside;
Get exercise an’ l’arnin’,
    An’ be thy mother’s pride.

Neaw, Mary, theau’rt for t’achin
:
    It’s summat grand to do
To give to thoose ‘at need it,
    An’ help to poo ’em through.
It doesn’t matter whether
    It’s knowledge that yo’ give,
Or whether food an’ raiment,
    Yo’re helpin’ folks to live.

So Nancy meeons l’arnin’
    What some folks co’ a trade,
Hoo’ll try her hond at ribbins,
    An’ match ’em to a shade;
Hoo’ll put ‘em into bonnets,
    For ladies fine to wear,
An’ mak’ the world look cheerful
    Through o its toil an’ care.

Aye, well, we’ve o eawr troubles;
    Sometimes were low an’ sad;
But he’s a noble worker
    That maketh life more glad.
So o yo’ lads an’ lasses
    Spread sunshine here below;
Be gentle in yo’r actions,
    An’ kind where’er yo’ go.

Give honour to yo’r parents;
    Aye, more, give them yo’r love:
Of o yo’r friends they’re th’ truest,
    Except the One above.
So neaw, my dearest childer,
    Go neaw an’ have yo’r fun;
But in yo’r fun an’ frolic
    Offend no other one.


EAWR MALLY ON TH’ JUBLIEE

“What’s o this talk o’ th’ Jubilee?”
    Says Mally, th’ other day,
“Aw’m not so larned i’ g’ography,
    Who ever is it, pray?
Aw used to go to th’ Birchinlee,
    But that’s awhile ago.
There’s been some bakin’ days sin’ then,
    An’ fewer bakin’s, Joe.

“But then, thoose days are past an’ gone;
    We need not grumble neaw.
We’re better off than what we were —
    That’s progress made, chuz heaw.
But then, I often think, what fun
    We had i’ th’ Birchinlee;
I wonder, Joe, if it wur like
    This Royal Jubilee?”

“God bless thee, lass! theau’rt off thi track
    Thoose places that theau’s seen
Have nowt to do wi’ th’ Jubilee
    Of eawr most gracious Queen.
It’s fifty years, this comin’ June,
    Since hoo began to reign,
An’ folks are makin’ o this fuss
    To show they’re gradely fain.”

“Aw dunno’ understond thee, Joe!
    What are they fain abeawt?
Becose hoo’s gettin’ owd, an’ soon
    Her lamp must flicker eawt?
Aw dunno’ think that’s reet at o,
    If my thowts aw mun tell;
Owd age should be respected, Joe!
    We’re gettin’ owd ussel’.”

“Theau’rt off thi track again, owd brid!
    It’s not becose hoo’s owd.‘
It’s like a birthday party, mon—
    At least, that’s what aw’m towd.
Hoo’s reigned o’er us for fifty years,
    An’ thinks it would be grand
If summat could be done to show
    Heaw well hoo loves this land.”

“Aw’m glad to yer thee say it, Joe!
    Aw’m sure hoo’s very good.
I hope hoo’ll put some rum i’ th’ tay

    Hoo’d mend it if hoo would.
We made a party once, theau knows,
    On th’ birthday of eawr lass;
But th’ Queen could mak’ a grand affair —
    Hoo has sich lot’s o’ brass.”

“Aw’m loth to dissappoint thee, lass —
    Fond hopes aw’d fain not dash —
But th’ Queen would have these things t’ be
            done,
    An’ some’dy else find th’ cash.
They’re gettin’ up subscriptions neaw,
    An’ some seem glad o’ th’ job
Theau’ll see it i’ that papper, which
    Aw’ve borrowed fro’ yo’r Bob.”

“What’s that theau says? Theau’rt jokin’,
            Joe!
    Aw conno’ credit that.
When workin’ folks have cause for joy
    They don’t go reawnd wi’ th’ hat.
Aw quite admit we’re better off
    Than when th’ Queen coom on th’
            throne,
But what we have we’ve worked hard for;
    It’s eawt o’ th’ flesh an’ bone.

“When thee an’ me wur starvin’, Joe,
    An’ hunger made me cry,
Did th’ Queen do owt to help us then
    But put her theausands by?
When folks wur pinched through cruel
            laws,
    Which good men tried to reet,
Did hoo lift up a finger then
    To find us summat t’ eat?

“For what we have eawr thanks are due
    To noather King nor Queen;
The people their own architects,
    An’ builders too, have been.
If ony gratitude is due
    For princely blessin’s given,
Let th’ Queen acknowledge what hoo owes
    To us, an’ God in Heaven.”


EAWR SALLY ON TH’ STORE

Eawr Sally says to me, says hoo,
    “Aw wonder which is th’ biggest foo’?
Theau’s be’n an’ bowt a suit o’ togs,
    Aw’ve bowt a bonnet, shawl, an’ clogs;
An’ while we thowt we’d look’d o’l o’er
    We’ve noather on us thowt at th’ store;
Theau’rt wise no deawbt, aw’m fose aw’m
            sure,
    But o eawr sharpness keeps us poor.

Bethink thisel’ neaw, what we’ve lost,
    An’ reckon up the total cost
Of o these things that we’ve just bowt,
    Witheawt us givin’ th’ store a thowt.
Let
s see, there’s o’er three peawnds for
            thine
    An’ very nee two peawnds for mine:
Three shillin’ th’ peawnd we’ve lost o that.
    Neaw which of us is th’ biggest flat?

“There’s childer’s things we’ve had beside 

    Theau knows we’re o stuck full o’ pride —
But then that’s noather here nor theer,
    The question neaw seems very clear:
Wheer have we been this mony o’ ye’r
    While th’ store’s be’n makin’ sich a stir?
Wheer’s o this divi’ that we’ve made,
    An’ when’s it likely we’st be paid?

“Eawr Nancy tells me sich a tale,
    Hoo goes quite reg’lar, witheawt fail;
An’ look heaw nicely off they are,
    They’re better off nor us bi far.
Aw’m sure they get no moor brass,
    An’ tho’ eawr Nan’s a careful lass,
Hoo’s nobbo’ like onesel’, aw know,
    Hoo says hersel’ th’ store does it o.

“Neaw let me calkilate a bit,
    An’ see if aw can mak’ things fit:
This last ten ye’rs we’ve spent, aw’m sure,
    Two peawnds a week, an’ happen moor,
Two peawnds a week — neaw dunno’ speak —
    Three shillin’ th’ peawnd, six bob a week,
Four peawnds a quather, very nee;
    Weve lost a fortune, doesno’ see!”

“Aye, aye, aw see,” at last aw sed,‘
    “We’ve lost a big un sin’ we’re wed,
But never mind, it’s not too late,
    We’ll ha’ one yet as sure as fate.”
Aw went th’ next day, my brass aw paid,
    An’ gradely store folks we wur made;
An’ if yo’ like, some other time,
    Heaw we went on aw’ll tell i’ rhyme.


DIVI.

Eawr store has made a “divi.”;
    Aw connot say heaw mich,
But folks ’at once wur starvin’,
    Seem gettin’ fairly rich;
An’ th’ brass has not been laft ‘em
    By some ’at’s pass’d away;
They’ve had to scrape an’ save it
    Again a rainy day.

But th’ scheme ’at help’d ‘em forrad,
    Thro’ heavy storms an’ gales,
Wur true co-operation,
    That rarely ever fails.
At first they hardly felt it,
    It’s guidin’ touch wur leet;
But soon their whole surreawndin’s
    Wur helpful, hopeful, breet.

Someheaw they’d grit beheend ’em,
    An’ courage on their road;
Someheaw they’re awlus sanguine,
    Whatever weight their load;
Someheaw their aims wur higher
    Than what they used to be,
An’ then they tried to live ’em,
    An’ that wur grand to see.

Aye! that’s a part o’ th’ “divi.”
    Co-operation’s paid,
A part o’ th’ firm feawndation
    Co-operation’s laid.
It’s men an’ women strivin’
    To live a nobler life,
Assistin’ one another
    To banish want an’ strife.

Aw dunno’ just remember
    What th’ “divi.” wur i’ th’ peawnd
But then that doesn’t matter,
    If th’ balance sheet wur seawnd,
It’s not th’ ameawnt o’ money ‘
    Yo’ may be turnin’ o’er,
It’s makin’ men an’ women
    ’At’s th’ standard of a store.

Aw know we’ve made a “divi.”;
    Aw know we mak’ it when
We train the sweetest women
    An’ rear the noblest men.
When honesty an’ honour
    An’ love dwell in eawr hearts,
We
ve made a gradely “divi.
    That’st seawnd in o its parts.

So neaw, co-operators,
    Aw think we o agree
That life’s more worth the livin’
    For yo’ as weel as me.
Aw’m sure more rayso’ sunshine
    Come streamin’ from above
When each one does his duty,
    An’ finds in duty  love.


Old Oldham
Old Oldham


MRS. PENDLEBURY’S PICKLE.
OR
THE CURSE OF CREDIT.


A Domestic Drama in One Act.

CHARACTERS:

MRS. PENDLEBURY   An apparently well-to-do lady.
MRS. WORSLEY
   An old acquaintance of Mrs. Pendlebury’s.
JANE 
— —      Mrs. Pendlebury’s Maid.
_ _ _

SCENE 
ROOM in Mrs. Pendlebury’s House.

[Enter JANE.]

JANE. — Theighur, neaw, that’s what aw co’ a relief!  That ends th’ second lesson for today.  Talk abeawt free eddication!  Some folks dunno know what it is.  Aw’ve yerd some say ’at there’s no sich thing as free eddication.  Aw say, let ’em come to Mrs. Pendlebury’s schoo’, an’ they’ll soon find it eawt.  Hoo’s been tryin’ mony a week neaw to larn me heaw to talk fine, but hoo says ’at aw dunnot get mich forrader.  An’ aw dar say ‘at hoo’s reet.  Eddication depends on willin’ scholars a good deeol moore nor it does on able schoo’ mesthurs.  It’s no use tryin’ to larn a lad French if he intends to be a carter.  Th’ ’osses couldn’t understond French, an’ he met as weel ha’ no eddication at o’ if his ’osses connot understond him.  Neaw, it’s just the same wi’ me an’ larning to talk fine.  My felley, yo’ see, is a carter, an’ when we getten wed we meean to have a little farm, abeawt th’ size o’ three acres an’ a ceaw.  What good will fine talk be to me then?  Just fancy me talkin’ to a ’oss, an’ saying, “I beg your pardon, Neddy, but will you please walk on the other side of the street?”  Why, bless yo’! th’ ’oss would wonder what i’ th’ world aw wur talking abeawt: but if aw said “Gee back,” it would gawm what aw wanted in a minute.  (Sees Mrs. P
s hat on the table).  Hello!  What han we here?  Another new hat for Mrs. Pendlebury, aw declare.  Aw wonder heaw hoo con forshame of her face, spendin’ her brass like teemin’ wayter deawn a doitch back, ‘an’ owin’ me four months’ wages.  But aw dunnot think ’at it’s paid for.  Mrs. Pendlebury believes moore i’ buyin’ nor hoo does i’ payin’.  Neaw, aw wonder heaw aw should look in it?  Eh! but it’s gradely stylish, isn’t it?  What pratty fleawers, an’ what a bonny fither.  They say ’at fine fithers mak’ fine brids.  Well, aw say ‘at fine brids set fine fithers off.  (Puts on the hat and adjusts it at the mirror.)  Neaw, then, dunnot aw look smart?  But, then, yo’ know, ev’rybody wouldn’t look as weel in it as me.  It’s my pratty face ’at sets it off.  With a nice leet bleawse an’ my new heeliotrope dress, shouldn’t aw look like a grand lady?  Well, whooa knows?  awst happen be a lady sometime.  But aw hope aw’st never goo into society on th’ tick.  (A knock is heard at the door).  Hello! whooa’s that?  Noane Mrs. Pendlebury, surely?  Neawe; hoo winnot be back for an heawr, at leeost.  Oh! aw know, it’ll be Bessie Hardwick.  Hoo said hoo’d co’ in when hoo seed Mrs. Pendlebury go eawt.  Neaw, just see if aw dunnot surprise her.  (Goes out, still keeping the hat on her head.  As the door opens, Jane suddenly screams, and Mrs. Pendlebury’s voice is heard).

MRS. P. (outside).—So that is the way you behave when I am out, is it? Putting on my hats and dresses, eh? Perhaps walking out in them with your young man, eh?

JANE (outside). — Aw dunnot think yo’ need trouble yo’resel, missis, my felley wouldn’t like me to wear out ’at didn’t belung to me, or ’at wurn’t paid for.

MRS. P. (outside ). — How dare you use your insolence? But I won’t have it any more. You will take your notice at once. Do you hear, Jane? You will leave this day month.


[Enter MRS. PENDLEBURY and MRS. WORSLEY]

MRS. P. — I am sorry, Mrs. Worsley, that this incident should have occurred, because it has upset me, and I did so want to have a chat with you about old times.  You know, Mrs. Worsley, when you and I were courting.  But how is Mr. Worsley, and how are the children, and you, Annie — you will pardon me calling you Annie, but it is so like old times — but I do not think you are looking quite so well as you used to do?  You have not been ill, I hope.

MRS. W. — Eh, neawe, bless yo’, aw’m as reet as a ribbin, an’ so are th’ childer.  Yo’d think so if yo’ seed ’em side a great big pon full o’ pon-itch ev’ry mornin’.  But eawr Joe, that’s Mesthur Worsley, as you co’en him, aw’m sorry to say, has had a raythur lung beawt o’ sickness.

MRS. P. — Dear me!  That is unfortunate.  But I hope that he is recovering.

MRS. W. — Aye, aw’m fain to say ’at aw think he’s chetted th’ sexton this time, but six months’ sickness is a lung an’ serious trial.

MRS. P. — It is indeed.  And has he been away from his employment all that time?

MRS. W. — Aw should think he has.  Folks are hardly in a fit state to mind a pair o’ jennies when they connot stond o’ their feet.

MRS. P. — But how have you lived?  People don’t give credit for ever.

MRS. W. — Aw reckon not, th’ owd Jonas Clack once did abeawt ten ye’rs beawt payin’ oather his rent or his shop score.

MRS. P. — How did he manage to do that?


MRS. W. — Oh, he awlus flitted before th’ Bums coom.  He said ’at it wur chepper to flit nor pay.  But aw’m thankful to say ‘at we’ve never gone into debt.

MRS. P. — What!  Not gone into debt?  And your husband at home sick for half a year?  How have you done it?  Why, I am over head and ears in debt now, and my husband has had full work, and earns, I believe, more wages than yours when he is working.

MRS. W. — Aw’m surprised, an’ aw’m sorry to yer it, Alice.

MRS. P. — You may be surprised, but you needn’t be sorry.  Why should either you or I be sorry.  It only concems those who give the credit, and they are only too eager, I can assure you, to do business, even on credit.  It is a pure business speculation; if it succeeds so much the better, if it fails, there is the Bankruptcy Court, and an end of the matter.  It does not affect us in any way.

MRS. W. — Aw think it does, Alice; aw think it does.  It touches eawr moral character.  When a woman con swagger abeawt wi’ fine clooas ’at haven’t been paid for, hoo’s losin’ that sense of honour ’at’s wo’th moore to her nor o’ her good looks.  When a woman darn’t pass a shop dur becos hoo’s feeart ‘at th’ shopkeeper met see her an’ ax her when hoo’s beawn to pay him th’ brass ’at hoo owes him, hoo’s lost that liberty which should be a preawd possession to her.  But when a woman gets so used to bein’ i’ debt ’at hoo doesn’t care whooa knows abeawt it, aw say ’at it
s a bad job, not only for thoose ’at hoo owes th’ brass to, but it’s a worse job for thoose ’at look to her for example an’ for help.  If hoo’s nob’dy nobbut hersel’ to tew for, hoo’ll end her days i’ th’ warkheause; but if hoo’s a family, they’ll wear clogs of a Sunday, an’ awlus be two or three weeks beheend nowt.  Beside, if folks find eawt ‘at they con live beawt payin’, they areno’ lung before they find it eawt ’at they con live beawt working!  An’ someb’dy has to keep ’em.  If you’ll notice, folks ’at run up a shop score are never as reg’lar at their wark as those ’at pays their road.

MRS. P. — Really, Annie, you have developed into quite an eloquent preacher.  You have given me a splendid sermon, but, like a good many sermons, it would not work out well in practice.  Take your own case, Annie, and say whether it would not have been better for you and your family if you had enjoyed your usual comforts and luxuries, even though you had obtained them on credit.

MRS. W. — Neawe! aw dunnot think it would.  Lookin’ back at th’ difficulties we’ve had to face aw think ’at eawr efforts to get o’er ’em have done us good.  We larnt th’ evil o’ waste an’ th’ value o’ wark.  If yo’ ever want to know th’ real value o’ money yo’ should work for it.  Then we never wore shoon when we could nobbut afford clogs.  See yo! aw’d sooner go to church in a pair o’ clogs nor swagger in a pair o’ shoon ’at squeak an’ tell ev’rybody ’at they aren’t paid for.

MRS. P. — But you forget, Annie, that even churches go into debt.

MRS. W. — Nay, aw dunnot forget it, Alice.  Aw know ’at nob’dy brakes th’ Tenth Commandment moore nor th’ churches, but becose they’ve brokken it that doesn’t say ’at they’ve been put in to piece it up again th’ back’ard road abeawt.  Yo’ dunnot think, dun yo’, ’at they’ll alleaw thoose folks to wear grand creawns i’ heaven ’at wouldn’t pay their bonnet bills deawn here?

MRS. P. — Really, Annie, I do not see that the Tenth Commandment has anything to do with credit trading.

MRS. W. — Hasn’t it?  Doesn’t it tell us ’at we munnot covet owt ’at belongs to someb’dy else, an’ if we buy summat an’ haven’t brass to pay for it, it’s noane eawrs, is it?  Doesn’t credit tempt us to buy lots o’ things ’at we dunnot need, an’ things ’at aren’t work’d for are never cared for so weel.  Aw think ’at th’ Co-operative Stores are th’ best things ’at ever coom up for workin’ folks, becose they dunnot alleaw credit theer.

MRS. P. — Do you say that the Co-operative Stores do not allow credit?  Why, that is where I first learned the art of credit trading.  At first I only obtained a few articles in that way.  Then I began to get more.  Soon I found that I had reached the limit which the Society would allow.  But the habit of getting that which I fancied, whether I had money to pay for it or not, had so grown upon me that I could not resist it, and as the Stores would not let me have more credit, I went elsewhere.  If I want a picture, or a piece of furniture, or a hat, or a dress, I simply order it and pay when it is convenient.  That hat, for instance, which Jane was wearing when we came in, I saw in the window of Madame Bulet’s shop, and being delighted with it, I went in and ordered it.

MRS. W. — An’ isn’t it paid for?

MRS. P. — Oh, dear, no.  But it is really a pretty hat.  You shall see it.  (Rings the bell).

[Enter JANE, attired ready for departure]

MRS. P. — Bring that hat, will you, Jane, for Mrs. Worsley to — really, Jane, whatever is the matter?  Where are you going?

JANE. — Aw’m goin’ whoam.  Yo’ve bagg’d me, haven’t yo’?

MRS. P. — Yes, I am aware of that, and you richly deserved it.  But you must remember that you have a month to serve yet.

JANE. — Aw beg yo’r pardon, ma’am, but yo’re mista’en.  Yo’ owe me four months’ wages, so th’ contract is brokken.  Aw’m goin’ neaw, so aw’ll trouble yo’ to pay me what yo’ owe me.

MRS. P. — Nonsense, girl!  Don’t be foolish.  Fetch that hat and go on with your work.

JANE. — Not if aw know it, ma’am.  Yo’ insulted me before this lady, an’ neaw aw want my money, an’ aw’ll goo.

MRS. P. — Bring me that hat, Jane, and let me have no more foolery.

JANE. — Foolery, is it?  Which is the mooist foolish, yo’ or me?  Aw dunnot goo an’ order new hats an’ dresses when I haven’t paid for th’ last.

MRS. P. — Hold your tongue, Jane.

JANE. — Aye!  When yo’ve paid me my wages.

MRS. P. (aside)—What must I do?  I have not sufficient money to pay her, and if she is not satisfied she will give the whole business away.  (Aloud) Jane, I tell you to go and fetch that hat.

JANE. — An’ aw tell yo’ ’at aw’ve finish’d my contract, but aw’ll just try to oblige yo’ if yo’ll pay me what yo’ owe me.

(A loud knock is heard at the door).

MRS. P. — Attend to the door, Jane, at once.

JANE
. — Jane’s noane on duty neaw, ma’am; hoo’s been sack’d.

MRS. P. — Don’t exasperate me, Jane, but do as you are told.

JANE. — Dunnot vex me, ma’am, but pay me my wages.

(Knocking at the door louder than before).

MRS. P .— Do you hear, Jane, they are growing impatient.

JANE. — Aye! an’ so am I.

MRS. P. — Jane!  I beg of you to see what is the matter, and who it is that so loudly demands admittance.

JANE. — An’ dun’ yo’ withdraw that insult to me?

MRS. P. — Yes, Jane, I withdraw it.

JANE. — An’ th’ notice, too?

MRS. P. — Yes, Jane, and the notice.

JANE. — Then aw’ll attend to th’ dur. — (Very loud knocking).  Coming.

[Exit JANE].

MRS. P. — I am extremely distressed that this little scene should have taken place to mar the pleasure of your visit, but, then, you know how difficult the great servant problem is.

MRS. W. — Indeed, Alice, th’ sarvant problem doesn’t concern me at o.  Aw’ve no bother wi’ em, becose aw’m my own sarvant.

MRS. P. — You do not mean to tell me that you do all the housework yourself?

MRS. W. — Of course, aw do.

MRS. P. — But, really!——

[Enter JANE, hastily].

JANE.—Eh, Mrs. Pendlebury, do come here!  It’s th’ Bums.

MRS. P. — The what?  The Bums?

JANE. — Aye, it is.  An’ they would come in.

MRS. P. — But they must go out before Mr. Pendlebury retums.

JANE. — But they swear ’at they winnot go eawt for noather Mr. Pendlebury nor King George till they get what they’ve come for.

MRS. P. — Gracious me, Mrs. Worsley!  What — ever must I do?  It will bring discredit on Mr. Pendlebury.  Can nobody help me?  Can you suggest any way out of the difficulty, Annie?

MRS. W. — Aw’m feeart ’at aw connot, Alice.  Yo’ see aw’ve had no experience i’ these sort o’ things.  Aw’ve noather been in a Bum Bailey’s Court, nor a King’s Court.  Aw dunnot want to goo i’ one, an’ aw dunnot think ’at onybody’ll ever ax me to goo into th’ other.  But aw thowt yo’ said ’at these debts didn’t consarn yo’?

MRS. P. — So I did, Annie, so I did.  Ah! I was wrong.  I never thought it would come to this.  Can’t you persuade them to go away, Jane?  Tell them I will pay everything off as soon as possible.

JANE. — Aw towd ’em ’at it would be o reet, but they nobbut laugh’d at me, an’ said ’at they’d rayther see th’ colour o’ yo’r money.

MRS. P. — Do they doubt my word?

JANE. — Aw’m feeart they do, ma’am.  Judgin’ fro’ what they said, they’d sooner have a promise fro’ Mrs. Worsley nor yo’.

MRS. P. — Absurd!  Ridiculous!  Do they know that Mrs. Worsley is poor through having a long sickness in the family?

JANE. — Aye!  But then, yo’ see, hoo’s never gone into debt.

MRS. P. — Ah! I see it now.  My promise is worth just as much as I am, which is nothing.  Oh! Annie, can you help me?

MRS. W. — Heaw mich dun yo’ owe?

MRS. P. — I do not know.  Ask them, Jane, how much they want?

JANE. — They said as they’d been put in for £50, but they’re prepared to accept £5 deawn, an’ security for th’ remainder at £5 a month.

MRS. P. — Alas!  They might as well ask me for £1,000.  It is impossible for me to find the money or the security.

MRS. W. — Aw’ll find it for yo’, on one condition, Alice.

MRS. P. — You! Annie?  You find £5 and give security for £45 more, after having had to maintain a family of children and a sick husband?  Surely you are mocking me.

MRS.W. — Nay I aw’m noane makkin’ a foo’ on yo’.  Yo’ve done that for yo’rsel’.  Yo’ve londed yo’rsel’ in a bonny pickle, shuz heaw it is.  But aw’m preawd to say ’at we’re noane beawt brass, tho’ we’ve had a lot o
bad luck i’ th’ heause.  But aw’m noane ’shawm’d o’ sayin’ ’at aw not only nursed eawr Joe but aw took in a bit of other wark, so ’at we shouldn’t lessen eawr savin’s so mich.  Then we made it a rule never to buy owt ’at we didn’t really need or what we couldn’t pay for, so, yo’ see, we kept a close watch on eawr expenses.  I haven’t had mony new geawns, an’ we hannot dined so oft off roast turkey, but eawr Joe’s nearly ready for his wark again, an’ still we’ve a bit of a balance left i’ th’ bank.

MRS. P. — You amaze me, Annie!  A balance at the bank after all your misfortunes, whilst I, with a greater income and a less family than you, am in debt.  How do you explain it?

MRS. W. — By one word, Alice — credit-trading.  Folks ’at begin o’ buyin’ fine things witheawt havin’ brass to pay for ’em soon get agate o’ thinkin’ ’at they’ve no need to pay for ’em at o.

MRS. P. — You are right, Annie, I know it.  But you say you will help me?

MRS. W. — Aye! on one condition.

MRS. P.—And what is that?

MRS. W. — That yo’ solemnly promise me that yo’ll never buy another article, heawever great or smo’, on credit i’ yo’r life.

MRS. P. — I solemnly give you that promise Annie, and I seal my pledge with a kiss, and may God bless you for your kindness.  I will try to show my earnestness by returning the new hat which I do not require, and which, as Jane says, is not paid for.

JANE. — Aw beg yo’r pardon, Missis Pendlebury; but if yo’ dunnot mind aw’ll buy that hat, aw need a new un, an’ it suits me very weel.  Beside aw’ve brass enoof to pay for it.  But aw shannot wear it till it’s paid for.

MRS. P. — You shall have it, Jane, and may God bless you, too, for your devotion. (Kisses JANE)  And now we’ll go and see if we can persuade these bailiffs to take their departure.

MRS. W. — An’ we’ll try to stop ’em fro’ coming back again by having nowt to do wi’ that ruinous system o’ Credit Trading.

JANE. — An’ if yo’ want to see heaw it’s done, come an’ visit me when aw’ll wed, an’ see eawr three acres an’ a ceaw.

[CURTAIN].

――――♦――――


LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS


ARMSTRONG, D.
ARMSTRONG, MISS
ALLAN, J.
AXON, R.
ARMSTRONG, MRS.
ARMSTRONG, W.
ANDREW, W.

BARNETT, H. F.
BOOTH, C.
BRADBURY, MISS A.
BROADBENT, A. A
BARBER, MRS. L.
BOURNE, G.
BRADBURY, W.
BURTON, T.
BOWERS, C.
BARDSLEY, J.
BELFIELD, E.
BOWKER, W.
BURTON, T.
BRADSHAW, F. INGHAM

COLLINS, M.P.S., S.
CHADWICK, A.
CHADWICK, F.
CHADDERTON, F. W.
CHEETHAM, ALD. J. K.
CLARKE, W. D.
COLVINE, J.
COBBOLD, A.
COLLINGE, S. J.

DORNAN, J.P., MISS A.
DAVIES, F.
DICKENSON, —.

HARRISON, T.
HILTON, J.
HARDMAN, T. E
HIBBERT, A. E.
HEYS, A.
HENSHALL, W. A.
HUGHES, J.
HILTON, HARRY
HARDMAN, L.

INGHAM, G.
JACKSON, LL.B., A.
JORDAN, J.

KENWORTHY, E.

LORD, S. W.
LETHAM, E. E.
LAYTON, F.
LOCKLYN, ---.
LUMLEY, L.

MARCROFT, W.
MCLAUCHLAN, W. S.
MAYALL, C.
MOOK, G. E
MILLS, J.

NEWBY, M.P.S., F.
NEDDERMAN, G. H.
OLDHAM, J.
OLDHAM INDUSTRIAL
    CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY
OLDHAM EQUITABLE
    CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY
OLDHAM NURSING
    ASSOCIATION
DAVENPORT, J.
DUNKERLEY, W.
DONCASTER
    CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY
DARTFORD
    CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY

EASTHOPE, J. W.
EASTHOPE, A. E.
EASTHOPE, A.
EASTWOOD, MRS.
ELSON, S.
ECCLES
    CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY

FIELD, E.
FAIRBROTHER, S.
FIELDING, WALTER
FAILSWORTH
    CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY

GILL, J
GOULDING, W. A.
GARBUTT, F.
GARTSIDE, F.

HAIGH, C.
HAIGH, MRS. J. W.
HAIGH, MISS A.
HENSOR, F.
HOULGRAVE, A.
HOLMES, H.
HARDMAN, ALD. C.
HOLLOS, J.
HOLDEN, MRS. E.
HOLGATE. MRS.

OLDHAM ENGINEERS’
    CLUB
PEARSON, REV. J. A.
PONTEFRACT, R.
POLLITT, J.

RAE, J.
ROCHDALE PIONEERS’
    CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY
ROYTON INDUSTRIAL
    CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY

SHEPLEY, MISS N.
SHEPLEY, MRS.
SPENCER, N.
SLACK, J. S.
SYRES, J.
SIM, J. T.
SMETHURST, O.

TAYLOR, T.
TAYLOR, MRS. J. T.
TAYLOR, MRS. T. B.
TURNER, W.
TAYLOR, E.
TAYLOR, HERBERT

UNWIN, M.
UNDERWOOD, T.

WHITWORTH, S.
WILKINSON, J.
WOLSTENCROFT, A. E.
WOLSTENHOLME, S.
WILKINSON, MRS.
WOOLWICH
    CO-OPERATIVE INSTITUTE

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