Yorkshire Ditties, First Series - To Which Is Added The Cream Of Wit And Humour From His Popular Writings
by John Hartley
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Holinworth Lake

Th' mooast remarkable thing 'at aw' con recollect abaat this time last year, wor a trip to Hollinworth Lake. Ther'd been a collection made at the Longloin Sunday Schooil for a new gas meeter; an after they'd getten th' brass, they bethought 'em 'at th' old en could be made do, an' soa th' taichers agreed to have a trip wi' th' funds. They argued a gooid deeal abaat ha to spend it, an' at last it wor decided they should walk all th' rooad, an' spend it as they went on. They started aat at four o'clock one Setterday mornin' i' furst rate fettle. Ther wor six men an' seven women; but as th' superintendent wor as big as two, they considered thersen weel paired. They trudged nicely on till they gate to Bolton Brow, an' then two or three began to feel faint, an' Swallow (that's th' superintendent's name) propooased 'at they should have a drop o' drink to revive 'em. Noabdy had owt to say agean that, soa as th' public haase wor just oppened, one on 'em went in an' browt aat a quart pitcher full an' handed it to Swallow to sup th' furst. An' he did sup—for when he left lause ther wor nowt left but th' froth on his upper lip to tell at ther'd iver bin ony. "Well" said Lijah, "aw've heeared swallows called burds of passage, but if they'd all a passage like thee, they'd sup th' sea dry." "Tha sees, Lijah," he said, "awm unfortunate, for aw've a thirst on me 'at aw cannot quench, an' aw darn't sup watter for fear o' havin' th' dropsy." All th' women agreed' at he wor reight, an' soa after another quart amang em they went on.

What wi' laffin, an' talkin,' an' smookin, they gate to Blackstone Edge Moor, an' some of the women thowt it time for a rest, soa Swallow stop'd all at once an' said, "Do yo all see that stooan post 'at's standin' thear? That's the stooan at devides Yorksher an' Lankysher, an' aw think this a 'varry fit time to say a few words woll yo ease yor legs a bit." Soa up he climb'd onto th' pooast, an' began praichin away, an' kept at it woll they wor all hauf pined to deeath. At last Lijah said, "Hang it up, ha long are ta baan to talk? aw wonder thi conscience doesn't prick thee!" "Prick me!" he said, "Aw defy owt to prick me when awm laborin' for a gooid cause." Just then he ovver balanced hissel an' fell slap into th' middle ov a whin bush; but he wor up in a crack, an' one o' th' lasses said, "if his conscience hadn't getten prick'd summat else had," an' they went forrard, but Swallow kept his hand under his coit lap for a mile or two. They gate to th' lake at last, an' after enjayin' what they call th' seea breeze, they started off to see some o' th' places ov interest. One o' th' furst they steer'd to wor th' birthplace o' Tim Bobbin. "An' who wor Tim Bobbin?" said one o' th' lasses. This puzzled 'em, for ther worn't one i'th' lot 'at knew; but one o' th' chaps said he thowt, if he worn't mistakken, he war th' inventor o' th' spinnin' mule. Th' superintendent said that wor varry likely, for he'd oft nooatised when readin' history books, 'at chaps gate ther names throo summat they'd done, an' soa varry likely he gate called Tim Bobbin for that reason. After that they went back an' had a ride in a booat, an' as nooan on em knew ha to row, th' watter were varry sooin ankle deep inside; some on 'em began to grummel at this. "Oh, niver heed," said Swallow, "yo'll niver catch cold wi' salt watter." It worn't long afoor they wanted ther tea, soa they went into th' haase an' ordered a gooid feed. Aw've heeard cunjurors say, "Quick, Jack, fly," when they've been puttin' summat aat o'th' seet; but ther worn't time to say that wi' them, for th' breead and butter went like leetnin'. One plate full after another kept comin' in, till at last th' mistress said, "Aw think yo must ha' been hungry?" "E'ea, it's change o' climate 'at does it," they said. Soa shoo browt in a fresh lot, but it made noa difference; away it went after tother. "Do yo' know,". shoo says, when shoo coom in agean, "at yo've etten two pund o' breead apiece?" "Why what's two pund when its cut thin," they said? An' at it they went agean. When they couldn't find room for ony moor, they paid ther shot an' started off hooam, whear they landed safely. Th' next Sunday neet, when th' gas wor lit at schooil iverybody wor capt to see what an' improvement th' new meter wor. Soa after passin' a vote o' thanks to th' superintendent an' th' taichers for th' trouble they' been put to, th' matter dropt.


A lecture on this subject was delivered on Tuesday evening, to the members of the Ladies' Needle and Thimble Association, by the Rev. James Sleek, curate of St. Enock's-in-the-Mist. After adverting to the plagues of Egypt, the learned lecturer dwelt at length upon the plagues of the present day, which he classed under the following heads: —Servants, poor relations, borrowers, teetotallars, tobacco-smokers, and children in arms. To counteract these evils were such associations as the one he had the honor to address, select tea meetings, fancy bazaars, and perambulators. The lecture gave great satisfaction.

End o' th' Year

It's a long loin 'at's niver a turn, an' th' longest loin ends somewhear. Ther's a end to mooast things, an' this is th' end o' the year. When a chap gets turned o' forty, years dooant seem as long as once they did—he begins to be feeared o' time rolling on—but it's fooilish, for it nawther gooas faster nor slower nor iver it did. But he's a happy chap 'at, when th' year ends, can luk back an' think ha mich gooid he's done, for it isn't what a chap will do for th' futer, its what he has done i'th' past 'at fowk mun judge by. Its net wise for onybody to booast o' what they mean to do in a month's time, becoss we cannot tell what a month's time may do for us. We can hardly help havin' a gloomy thowt or two at this part o'th' year, but Kursmiss comes to cheer us up a bit, an' he's nooan ov a gooid sooart 'at can't be jolly once i'th' year. As an owd friend o' mine has cliverly said:—

Come let us choose the better part, And sing whilst life is given; A cheerful and contented heart Gives no offence to Heaven.

'Tis Christmas time, then fill the horn, Away with melancholy, If there's no leaves upon the thorn, There is upon the holly.

Hi! varry true! When ther's no leaves upon th' thorn, they're green upon the holly. Ther's allus summat to be thankful for if we seek it aat—ther's sure to be a bit o' sunshine somewhere—an' its a varry bad case if a chap can't find consolation aat o' summat.

Aw remember a case ov a woman deein' 'at aw knew, an' aw met th' husband lukkin' varry glum a bit at after. "Well Joa," aw said, "tha's had a heavy loss, lad." "Eea, aw have," an' then after studdyin' a bit, he said, "but aw should ha had to ha bowt a new suit afoor long, an' aw mud as weel buy black as any other color; it wod ha been awkerd if aw'd just getten a white hat, as aw thowt on—but Providence! orders all things for th' best."

Ther's noa daat a gooid lot on us find consolation aat o'th' Kursmiss jollification—its just a bit ov a sweetener afoor all th' nooats begin o' commin' in; aw dooant mean five paand nooats, ther's nooan monny o' them stirrin'. It's th' coil nooats, an' gas nooats, an' tax papers, them's th' sooart at's stirrin abaat this time. Wheniver ther's a knock at th' door, yo may ventur to put yor hand i' yor pocket; an' happy he must feel 'at can allus find as mich thear as'll do. But its time enuff to think abaat that sooart o' thing when it comes; we've plenty to do nah to think abaat plum pudding an' rooast beef—an' aw hooap at iverybody 'at reads this may have enuff an' to spare. If aw could do owt to help yo to enjoy yorsen, awm sure aw wod, but as that's aat o' mi paar, just afoor aw leave for another twelve months aw'll gie yo a tooast, an' aw hooap yo'll all drink a bumper to it. Here gooas! Fill up to th' brim! Are yo ready? Here's off!

God bless ivery one raand yor table Wi' plenty to ait an' to spare; God bless yo an' mak yo all able To enjoy what may fall to yor share. God bless yo wi health an' wi riches, God bless yo wi hearts 'at can feel For the poor, when cold poverty twitches. God bless them sometimes wi' a meal. God bless them 'at's climbin' life's mountain, Full ov hooaps 'at they niver may craan, An' refresh from Thy cool soothin' fountain, Those who paddle resignedly daan. An' tho' in death's mist-shrouded valley Our friends we may lose for a while, God grant that at last all may rally Where sunleet shall fade in His smile.



After the annual excursion of the Lowly Dale Scientific Society, the members were addressed by Mr. Evertrot Gagthorp. New specimens, the product of their recent journey, now enrich the Museum: viz. In Geology—Limestone, pumice stone, soft stone, white stone, plum stone, and cherry stone. Conchology—Egg shell Tortoise shell nut shell and satchel. Botany—Corn flour, grog blossom, and many leaves from the book of nature. Entomology—a swallow tail had been obtained, but the president going to a dress party, had got the loan of it.

Valentine Dream

"On Valentine's day, will a gooid gooise lay," is a varry old sayin', an' aw dare say a varry gooid en; an' if all th' geese wod nobbut lay o' that day ther'd be moor chonce o' eggs bein' cheap. But it isn't th' geese we think on at th' fourteenth o' this month i'ts th' little ducks, an' th' billy dux. A'a aw wish aw'd all th' brass 'at's spent o' valentines for one year; aw wodn't thank th' queen to be mi aunt. Ther's nobdy sends me valentines nah. Aw've known th' time when they did, but aw'm like a old stage cooach, aw'm aat o' date. Aw'st niver forget th' furst valentine aw had sent. Th' pooastman browt it afoor aw'd getten aat o' bed, an' it happen'd to be Sunday mornin'. Aw read it ovver an' ovver agean, an' aw luk'd at th' directions an' th' pooast mark, but aw cudn't make aat for mi life who'd sent it; but whoiver it war aw wor detarmined to fall i' love wi' her as soain as aw gate to know. Then aw shov'd it under th' piller an' shut mi een an' tried to fancy what sooart ov a lass shoo must be, an' someha aw fell asleep, an' aw dremt, but aw willn't tell yo what aw dremt for fear yo'll laff. But when aw wakken'd, aw sowt up an' daan, but nowhere could aw find th' valentine. Aw wor ommost heartbrokken, an' aw pool'd all th' cloas off th' bed, an' aw luk'd under it, an' ovver it, but net a bit on it could aw see, an' at last aw began to fancy 'at aw must ha dremt all th' lot, an' 'at aw'd niver had one sent at all; but when aw wor gettin' mi breeches on, blow me! if it worn' t stuck fast wi a wafer to mi shirt lap. What her 'at sent it ud a sed if shoo'd seen it, aw can't tell an' aw wodn't if aw could; but aw know one thing, aw wor niver i' sich a muck sweeat afoor sin aw wor born, an' when aw went to mi braikfast aw 'wor soa maddled, wol aw couldn't tell which wor th' reight end o'th' porridge spooin, but aw comforted misen at last wi' thinkin' 'at aw worn't th' furst 'at had turned ther back ov a valentine.


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