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The Dialect of the West of England Particularly Somersetshire by James Jennings

Part 3 out of 4

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At which she niver toss'd her naws,
As zum ool, thawf pon starvin.

She oten yarly upp'd to goo
A milkin o' tha dairy;
The meads ring'd loudly wi' er zong;
Aw how she birshed the grass along,
As lissom as a vairy!

She war as happy as a prince;
Naw princess moor o' pleasure
When well-at-eased cood iver veel;
She ly'd her head upon her peel,
An vound athin a treasure.

There war a dessent comly youth,
Who took'd to her a likin;
An when a don'd in zunday claws,
You'd thenk en zummet I suppaws,
A look'd so desperd strikin.

His vace war like a zummer dAc,
When Acll the birds be zingin;
Smiles an good nature dimplin stood,
An moor besides, an Acll za good,
Much pleasant promise bringin.

Now Jan war sawber, and afeard
Nif he in haste shood morry,
That he mid long repent thereof;
An zo a thwart 'twar best not, thawf
To stAc mid make en zorry.

Jan oten pAcss'd the happy door,
There Fanny stood a scrubbin;
An Fanny hired hiz pleasant voice,
An thawt--"An if she had er choice!"
An veel'd athin a drubbin.

Bit Jan did'n hulder long iz thawts;
Vor thorough iv'ry cranny,
Hirn'd of iz Lort tha warm hird tide;
An a cood na moor iz veelins bide,
Bit tell 'em must to Fanny.

To Fanny, than, one Whitsun eve,
A tawld er how a lov'd er;
Naw dove, a zed to er cood be
Moor faithvul than to her ood he;
His hort had long appruv'd er.

Wi' timourous blishin, Fanny zed,
"A maid mist not believe ye;
Vor men ool tell ther lovin tale,
And awver seely maids prevail--
Bit I dwont like ta grieve ye:

Vor nif za be you now zAc true--
That you've for I a fancy:
(Aw Jan! I dwont veel desperd well,
An what's tha cAcze, I cannot tell),
You'll zAc na moor to Nancy."

Twar zaw begin'd their zweetortin;
BooA川h still liv'd in their places;
Zometimes thAc met bezides tha stile;
Wi' pleasant look an tender smile
Gaz'd in each wither's faces.

In spreng-time oten on tha nap
Ood Jan and Fanny linger;
An when war vooA山'd to zAc "good bwye,"
Ood meet again, wi' draps in eye,
While haup ood pwint er vinger.

Zo pass'd tha dAcs--tha moons awAc,
An haup still whiver'd nigh;
Nif Fanny's dreams high pleasures vill,
Of her Jan's thawts the lidden still,
An oten too the zigh.

Bit still Jan had not got wherewi'
To venter eet to morry;
Alas-a-dAc! when poor vawk love,
How much restraint how many pruv;
How zick zum an how zorry.

Aw you who live in houzen grate,
An wherewi' much possessin,
You knaw not, mAc-be, care not you,
What pangs jitch tender horts pursue,
How grate nor how distressin.

Jan sar'd a varmer vour long years,
An now iz haups da brighten:
A gennelman of high degree
Choos'd en iz hunsman vor to be;
His Fanny's hort da lighten!

"Now, Fan," zed he, "nif I da live,
Nex zummer thee bist mine;
Sir John ool gee me wauges good,
AmAc-be too zum viA"r ood!"
His Fan's dork eyes did shine.

"To haw vor thee, my Fan," a cried,
"I iver sholl delight;
Thawf I be poor, 'tool be my pride
To ha my Fan vor a buxom bride--
My lidden dAc an night."

A took er gently in iz orms
An kiss'd er za zweetly too;
His Fan, vor jay, not a word cood speak,
Bit a big roun tear rawl'd down er cheak,
It zimm'd as thawf er hort ood break--
She cood hordly thenk it true.

To zee our hunsman goo abroad,
His houns behind en volly;
His tossel'd cap--his whip's smort smack,
His hoss a prancin wi' tha crack,
His whissle, horn, an holler, back!
Ood cure Acll malancholy.

It happ'd on a dork an wintry night,
Tha stormy wine a blawin;
Tha houns made a naise an a dismal yell;
Jitch as zum vawk zAc da death vaurtell,
The cattle loud war lawin.

Tha hunsman wAckid an down a went;
A thawt ta keep 'em quiet;
A niver stopped izzel ta dress,
Bit a went in iz shirt vor readiness
A voun a dirdful riot.

Bit Acll thic night a did not come back;
All night tha dogs did raur;
In tha mornin thAc look'd on tha kannel stwons
An zeed 'em cover'd wi' gaur an bwons,
The vlesh Acll vrom 'em a taur.

His head war left--the head o' Jan
Who lov'd hiz Fanny za well;
An a bizzy gossip, as gossips be
Who've work o' ther awn bit vrom it vlee,
To Fanny went ta tell.

She hirn'd, she vleed ta meet tha man
Who corr'd er dear Jan's head:
An when she zeed en Acll blood an gaur,
She drapp'd down speechless jist avaur,
As thauf she had bin dead.

Poor Fanny com'd ta erzel again,
Bit her senses left her vor iver!
An all she zed, ba dAc or night--
Vor sleep it left her eye-lids quite--
War, "why did he goo in the cawld ta shiver?--
Niver, O Jan! sholl I zee the, niver!"

[Footnote: See a letter by Edward Band, on this subject, in the
prose pieces.]


Awa wi' Acll yer tales o' grief,
An dismal storry writin;

A mAc-be zumthin I mAc zing
Ool be as much delightin.

Zumtime agoo, bevaur tha moors
War tin'd in, lived at Mork
One JERRY NUTTY--spry a war;
A upp'd avaur the lork.

Iz vather in a little cot
Liv'd, auver-right tha moor,
An thaw a kipt a vlock o' geese,
A war a thoughted poor.

A niver teach'd tha cris-cross-lain
Ta any of his bways,
An Jerry, mangst the rest o'm, did
Not much appruv his ways.

Vor Jerry zumtimes went ta church
Ta hire tha PAcson preach,
An thawt what pity that ta read
Izzel a cood'n teach.

Vor than, a zunday Acternoon,
Tha Bible, or good book
Would be companion vit vor'm Acll
Who choos'd therein ta look.

Bit Jerry than tha naise o' geese
Bit little moor could hire;

An dAcly goose-aggs ta pick up
Droo-out tha moor did tire.

A A愒en look'd upon tha hills
An stickle mountains roun,
An wished izzel upon their taps:
What zights a ood be bA un!

Bit what did mooA山t iz fancy strick
War Glassenberry Torr:
A Aclways zeed it when tha zun
Gleam'd wi' tha mornin stor.

O' Well's grate church a A愒en hired,
Iz fancy war awake;
An zaw a thawt that zoon a ood
A journey ta it make.

An Glassenberry's Torr, an Thorn
The hawly blowth of which
A hired from one and tother too;
Tha like war never jitch!

Bit moor o' this I need not zAc,
Vor off went Jerry Nutty,
In hiz right hon a wAckin stick,
An in hiz qut a tutty.

Now, lock-y-zee! in whimly dress
Trudg'd chearful Jerry on;

Bit on tha moor not vur a went--
A made a zudden ston.

Which wAc ta goo a cood not thenk,
Vor there war many a wAc;
A put upright iz walking stick;
A vAcll'd ta tha zon o' dAc.

Ta tha suthard than iz wAc a took
Athert tha turfy moors,
An zoon o' blissom Cuzziton,
[Footnote: Cossington.]
A pass'd tha cottage doors.

Tha maidens o' tha cottages,
Not us'd strange vawk to zee,
Com'd vooA川h and stood avaur tha door;
Jer wonder'd what cood be.

Zum smil'd, zum whecker'd, zum o'm blish'd.
"Od dang it!" Jerry zed,
"What do tha think that I be like?"
An nodded to 'm iz head.

"Which is tha wAc to Glassenberry?
I've hired tha hawly thorn
War zet there by zum hawly hons
Zoon Acter Christ war born;

An I've a mine ta zee it too,
An o' tha blowth ta take."
"An how can you, a seely man,
Jitch seely journey make?

"What! dwont ye knaw that now about
It is the midst o' June?
Tha hawly thorn at Kirsmas blaws--
You be zix months too zoon.

Goo whim again, yea gAcwky! goo!"
Zaw zed a damsel vair
As dewy mornin late in MAc;
An Jerry wide did stare.

"Lord Miss!" zed he, "I niver thawt,
O' Kirsmas!--while I've shoes,
To goo back now I be zet out,
Is what I sholl not choose.

I'll zee the Torr an hawly thorn,
An Glassenberry too;
An, nif you'll put me in tha wAc,
I'll gee grate thanks ta you."

Goo droo thic veel an up thic lane,
An take tha lift hon path,
Than droo Miss Crossman's backzid strait,
Ool bring ye up ta Wrath.

Now mine, whaur you do turn again
At varmer Veal's long yacker,
ClooA山e whaur Jan Lide, tha cobler, lives
Who makes tha best o' tacker;

You mist turn short behine tha house
An goo right droo tha shord,
An than you'll pass a zummer lodge,
A builded by tha lord.

Tha turnpick than is jist belaw,
An Cock-hill strait avaur ye."
Za Jerry doff'd his hat an bow'd,
An thank'd er vor er storry.

Bit moor o' this I need not zAc,
Vor off went Jerry Nutty;
In his right hand a wAckin stick,
An in hiz qut a tutty.

Bit I vorgot to zAc that Jer
A zatchel wi' en took
To hauld zum bird an cheese ta ate;--
Iz drink war o' tha brook.

Za when a got upon Cock-hill
Upon a linch a zawt;
The zun had climmer'd up tha sky;
A voun it very hot.

An, as iz stomick war za good,
A made a horty meal;
An werry war wi' wAckin, zaw
A sleepid zoon did veel.

That blessed power o' bAcmy sleep,
Which auver ivery sense
Da wi' wild whiverin whings extend
A happy influence;

Now auver Jerry Nutty drow'd
Er lissom mantle wide;
An down a drapp'd in zweetest zleep,
Iz zatchel by iz zide.

Not all tha nasty stouts could wAcke
En vrom iz happy zleep,
Nor emmets thick, nor vlies that buz,
An on iz hons da creep.

Naw dreams a had; or nif a had
MooA山t pleasant dreams war thAc:
O' geese an goose-aggs, ducks and jitch;
Or Mally, vur awAc,

Zum gennelmen war dreavin by
In a gilded cawch za gAc;
ThAc zeed en lyin down asleep;
ThAc bid the cawchman stAc.

ThAc bAcll'd thAc hoop'd--a niver wAck'd;
Naw houzen there war handy;
Zed one o'm, "Nif you like, my bways,
"We'll ha a little randy!"

"Jist put en zActly in tha cawch
An dreav en ta BejwActer;
An as we Acll can't g'in wi'n here,
I'll come mysel zoon Acter."

Twar done at once: vor norn o'm car'd
A strAc vor wine or weather;
Than gently rawl'd the cawch along,
As zAct as any veather.

Bit Jerry snaur'd za loud, tha naise
Tha gennelmen did gally;
ThAc'd hAcf a mind ta turn en out;
A war dreamin o' his Mally!

It war the morkit dAc as rawl'd
Tha cawch athin BejwActer;
ThAc drauv tip ta the Crown-Inn door,
Ther MAc-game man com'd Acter.

"Here Maester WActer! Lock-y-zee!
A-mAc-be you mid thenk
Thic mon a snauren in tha cawch
Is auvercome wi' drenk.

Bit 'tis not not jitchy theng we knaw;
A is a cunjerin mon,
Vor on Cock-hill we vound en ly'd
Iz stick stif in his hon.

Iz vace war cover'd thick wi' vlies
An bloody stouts a plenty;
Nif he'd o pumple voot bezide,
An a brumstick vor'n to zit ascride,
O' wizards a mid be thawt tha pride,
Amangst a kit o' twenty."

"Lord zur! an why d'ye bring en here
To gally Acll tha people?
Why zuggers! nif we frunt en than,
He'll auver-dro tha steeple.

I bag ye, zur, to take en vooA川h;
There! how iz teeth da chatter;
Lawk zur! vor Christ--look there again!
A'll witchify BejwActer!"

Tha gennelman stood by an smiled
To zee tha bussle risin:
Yor zoon, droo-out tha morkit wide
Tha news wor gwon saprisin.

An round about tha cawch thAc dring'd--
Tha countryman and townsman;
An young an awld, an man an maid--
Wi' now an tan, an here an there,
Amang tha crowd to gape an stare,
A doctor and a gownsman.

Jitch naise an bother wAckid zoon
Poor hormless Jerry Nutty,
A look'd astunn'd;--a cood'n speak!
An daver'd war iz tutty.

A niver in his life avaur
'ad been athin BejwActer;
A thawt, an if a war alive,
That zummet war tha matter.

Tha houzen cling'd together zaw!
Tha gennelmen an ladies!
Tha blacksmith's, brazier's hammers too!
An smauk whauriver trade is.

Bit how a com'd athin a cawch
A war amaz'd at thenkin;
A thawt, vor sartin, a must be
A auvercome wi' drenkin.

ThAc ax'd en nif a'd please to g'out
An ta tha yalhouse g'in;
Bit thAc zo clooA山e about en dring'd
A cood'n goo athin.

Ta g'under 'em or g'auver 'em
A try'd booActh grate and smAcll;
Bit g'under, g'auver, g'in, or g'out,
A cood'n than at Acll.

"Lord bless ye! gennel-vawk!" zed he,
I'm come to Glassenberry
To zee tha Torr an Hawly Thorn;
What makes ye look za merry?"

"Why mister wizard? dwont ye knaw,
TheA山e town is cAcll'd BejwActer!"
Cried out a whipper-snapper man:
ThAc all bust out in lAcughter.

"I be'nt a wizard, zur!" a zed;
"Bit I'm a little titch'd; [Footnote: Touched.]
"Or, witherwise, you mid well thenk
I'm, zure anow, bewitch'd!"

Thaw Jerry war, vor Acll tha wordle,
Like very zel o' quiet,
A veel'd iz blood ta bwile athin
At jitchy zort o' riot;

Za out a jump'd amangst 'em Acll!
A made a desperd bussle;
Zum hirn'd awAc--zum made a ston;
Wi' zum a had a tussle.

Iz stick now sar'd 'em justice good;
It war a tough groun ash;
Upon ther heads a plAc'd awAc,
An round about did drash.

ThAc belg'd, thAc raur'd, thAc scamper'd Acll.
A zoon voun rum ta stoory;
A thawt a'd be reveng'd at once,
Athout a judge or jury.

An, thaw a brawk navy-body's bwons,
A gid zum bloody nawzes;
Tha pirty maids war fainty too;
Hirn'd vrom ther cheaks tha rawzes.

Thinks he, me gennelmen! when nex
I goo to Glassenbery,
Yea shant ha jitch a rig wi' I,
Nor at my cost be merry.

Zaw, havin clear'd izzel a wAc.
Right whim went Jerry Nutty;
A flourished roun iz wAckin stick;
An vleng'd awAc iz tutty.


[First Printed in "Graphic Illustrator, p. 124.]

I cannot do better than introduce here "_A Legend of
Glastonbury_," made up, not from books, but from oral tradition
once very prevalent in and near Glastonbury, which had formerly
one of the richest Abbeys in England; the ruins are still

Who hath not hir'd o' _Avalon?_
[Footnote: "The Isle of ancient Avelon."--Drayton.]
'Twar talked o' much an long agon,--
Tha wonders o' tha _Holy Thorn_,
Tha "wich, zoon Acter Christ war born,
Here a planted war by _ArimathA(_,
Thic Joseph that com'd auver sea,
An planted Kirstianity.
ThAc zAc that whun a landed vust,
(Zich plazen war in God's own trust)
A stuck iz staff into tha groun
An auver iz shoulder lookin roun,
Whatever mid iz lot bevAcll,
A cried aloud "_Now, weary all_!"
Tha staff het budded an het grew,
An at Kirsmas bloom'd tha whol dAc droo.
An still het blooms at Kirsmas bright,
But best thAc zAc at dork midnight,
A pruf o' this nif pruf you will.
Iz voun in tha name o' _Weary-all-hill!_
Let tell _Pumparles_ or lazy _Brue_.
That what iz tauld iz vor sartin true!

["The story of the Holy Thorn was a long time credited by the
vulgar and credulous. There is a species of White Thorn which
blossoms about Christmas; it is well known to naturalists so as
to excite no surprise."]


The incident on which this story is founded, occurred in the
early part of the last century; hence the allusion to making a
_will_ before making a journey to the metropolis.

Mr. Guywar a gennelman
O' Huntspill, well knawn
As a grazier, a hirch one,
Wi' lons o' hiz awn.

A A愒en went ta Lunnun
Hiz cattle vor ta zill;
All tha horses that a rawd
Niver minded hadge or hill.

A war afeard o' naw one;
A niver made hiz will,
Like wither vawk, avaur a went
His cattle vor ta zill.

One time a'd bin ta Lunnun
An zawld iz cattle well;
A brought awAc a power o' gawld,
As I've a hired tell.

As late at night a rawd along
All droo a unket ood,
A ooman rawze vrom off tha groun
An right avaur en stood:

She look'd za pitis Mr. Guy
At once hiz hoss's pace
Stapt short, a wonderin how, at night,
She com'd in jitch a place.

A little trunk war in her hon;
She zim'd vur gwon wi' chile.
She ax'd en nif a'd take her up
And cor her a veo mile.

Mr. Guy, a man o' veelin
For a ooman in distress,
Than took er up behind en:
A cood'n do na less.

A corr'd er trunk avaur en,
An by hiz belt o' leather
A bid er hawld vast; on thAc rawd,
Athout much tAck, together.

Not vur thAc went avaur she gid
A whissle loud an long;
Which Mr. Guy, thawt very strange;
Er voice too zim'd za strong!

She'd lost er dog, she zed; an than
Another whissle blaw'd,
That stortled Mr. Guy;--a stapt
Hiz hoss upon tha rawd.

Goo on, zed she; bit Mr. Guy
Zum rig beginn'd ta fear:
Vor voices rawze upon tha wine,
An zim'd a comin near.

Again thAc rawd along; again
She whissled. Mr. Guy
Whipt out hiz knife an cut tha belt,
Then push'd er off!--Vor why?

Tha ooman he took up behine,
Begummers, war a _man!_
Tha rubbers zaw ad lAcd ther plots
Our grazier to trepan.

I shall not stap ta tell what zed
Tha man in ooman's clawze;
Bit he, and all o'm jist behine,
War what you mid suppawze.

ThAc cust, thAc swaur, thAc dreaten'd too,
An ater Mr. Guy
ThAc gallop'd all; 'twar niver-tha-near:
Hiz hoss along did vly.

Auver downs, droo dales, awAc a went,
'Twar dAc-light now amawst,
Till at an inn a stapt, at last,
Ta thenk what he'd a lost.

A lost?--why, nothin--but hiz belt!--
A zummet moor ad gain'd:
Thic little trunk a corr'd awAc--
It gawld g'lore contain'd!

Nif Mr. Guy war hirch avaur,
A now war hircher still:
Tha plunder o' tha highwAcmen
Hiz coffers went ta vill.

In sAcfety Mr. Guy rawd whim;
A A愒en tawld tha storry.
Ta meet wi' jitch a rig myzel
I shood'n, soce, be zorry.


The rook, _corvus frugilegus_, is a bird of considerable
intelligence, and is, besides, extremely useful in destroying
large quantities of worms and larvA| of destructive insects. It
will, it is true, if not watched, pick out, after they are
dibbled, both pease and beans from the holes with a precision
truly astonishing: a very moderate degree of care is, however,
sufficient to prevent this evil, which is greatly overbalanced by
the positive good which it effects in the destruction of insects.
It is a remarkable fact, and not, perhaps, generally known, that
this bird rarely roosts at the rookery, except for a few months
during the period of incubation, and rearing its young. In the
winter season it more commonly takes flights of no ordinary
length, to roost on the trees of some remote and sequestered wood.
The _Elm_ is its favorite, on which it usually builds; but
such is its attachment to locality that since the incident alluded
to in the following Poem took place the Rooks have, many of them,
built in _fir_ trees at a little distance from their former
habitation. The habits of the Rook are well worthy the attention
of all who delight in the study of Natural History.

My zong is o' tha ROOKERY,
Not jitch as I a zeed
On stunted trees wi' leaves a veo,
A very veo indeed,

In thic girt place thAc _Lunnun_ cAcll;--
Tha Tower an tha Pork
HAc booA川h a got a Rookery,
Althaw thAc han't a Lork.

I zeng not o' jitch Rookeries,
Jitch plazen, pump or banners;
Bit town-berd Rooks, vor Acll that, hAc,
I warnt ye, curious _manners_.

My zong is o' a Rookery
My Father's cot bezide,
Avaur, years Acter, I war born
'Twar long tha porish pride.

Tha elms look'd up like giants tAcll
Ther branchy yarms aspread;
An green plumes wavin wi' tha wine,
Made gAc each lofty head.

Ta drAc tha pectur out--ther war
At distance, zid between
Tha trees, a thatch'd Form-house, an geese
A cacklin on tha green.

A river, too, clooA山e by tha trees,
Its stickle coose on slid,
Whaur yells an trout an wither fish
Mid A愒entimes be zid.

Tha rooks voun this a pleasant place--
A whim ther young ta rear;
An I a A愒en pleas'd a bin
Ta wActch 'em droo tha year.

'Tis on tha dAc o' Valentine
Or there or thereabout,
Tha rooks da vast begin ta build,
An cawin, make a rout.

Bit aw! when May's a come, ta zee
Ther young tha gunner's shut
Vor SPOORT, an bin, as zum da zAc,
(Naw readship in't I put)

_That nif thAc did'n shut tha, rooks
ThAc'd zoon desert tha trees!_
Wise vawk! Thic reason vor ther SPOORT
Gee thAc mid nif thAc please!

Still zeng I o' tha Rookery,
Vor years it war tha pride
Of all thAc place, bit 'twor ta I
A zumthin moor bezide.

A hired tha Rooks avaur I upp'd;
I hired 'em droo tha dAc;
I hired ther young while gittin flush
An ginnin jist ta cAc.

I hired 'em when my mother gid
Er lessins kind ta I,
In jitch a wAc when I war young,
That I war fit ta cry.

I hired 'em at tha cottage door,
When mornin, in tha spreng,
WAck'd vooA川h in youth an beauty too,
An birds beginn'd ta zeng.

I hired 'em in tha winter-time
When, roustin vur awAc,
ThAc visited tha Rookery
A whiverin by dAc.

My childhood, youth, and manood too,
My Father's cot recAcll
Thic Rookery. Bit I mist now
Tell what it did bevAcll.

'Twar MAc-time--heavy vi' tha nests
War laden Acll tha trees;
An to an fraw, wi' creekin loud,
ThAc sway'd ta iv'ry breeze.

One night tha wine--a thundrin wine,
Jitch as war hired o' nivor,
Blaw'd two o' thic girt giant trees
Flat down into tha river.

Nests, aggs, an young uns, Acll awAc
War zweept into tha wActer
An zaw war spwiled tha Rookery
Vor iver and iver Acter.

I visited my Father's cot:
Tha Rooks war Acll a gwon;
Whaur stood tha trees in lofty pride
I zid there norra one.

My Father's cot war desolate;
An Acll look'd wild, vorlorn;
Tha Ash war stunted that war zet
Tha dAc that I war born.

My Father, Mother, Rooks, Acll gwon!
My Charlotte an my Lizzy!--
Tha gorden wi' tha tutties too!--
Jitch thawts why be za bizzy!--

Behawld tha wAc o' human thengs!
Rooks, lofty trees, an Friends--
A kill'd, taur up, like leaves drap off!--
Zaw feaver'd bein ends.


"Luck, Luck in tha Bag! Good Luck!
Put in an try yer fortin;
Come, try yer luck in tha Lucky Bag!
You'll git a prize vor sartin."

MooA山t plazen hAc their customs
Ther manners an ther men;
We too a got our customs,
Our manners and our men.

He who a bin ta Huntspill FAcyer
Or Highbridge--Pawlet Revel--
Or Burtle Sassions, whaur thAc plAc
Zumtimes tha very devil,

Mist mine once a man well
That war a cAcll'd TOM GOOL;
Zum thawt en mazed, while withers thawt
En moor a knave than fool.

At all tha fAcyers an revels too
TOM GOOL war shower ta be,
A tAckin vlother vast awAc,--
A hoopin who bit he.

Vor' Acll that a had a zoort o' wit
That zet tha vawk a laughin;
An mooA山t o' that, when ho tha yal
Ad at tha fAcyer bin quaffin.

A corr'd a kit o' pedlar's waur,
Like awld _Joannah Martin_;
[Footnote: This Lady, who was for many years known in
Somersetshire as an itinerant dealer in earthenware, rags, &c.,
and occasionally a _fortune-teller_, died a few years since
at Huntspill, where she had resided for the greater part of a
century. She was extremely illiterate, so much so, as not to be
able to write, and, I think, could scarcely read. She lived for
some years in a house belonging to my father, and while a boy, I
was very often her gratuitous amanuensis, in writing letters for
her to her children. She possessed, however, considerable
shrewdness, energy, and perseverance, and amassed property to the
amount of several hundred pounds. She had three husbands; the
name of the first was, I believe, _Gool_ or _Gould_, a
relation of _Thomas Gool_, the subject of the above Poem; the
name of the second was _Martin_, of the third _Pain_;
but as the last lived a short time only after having married her,
she always continued to be called Joannah Martin.

_Joannah_ was first brought into public notice by the Rev.
Mr. WARNER, in his _Walks through the Western Counties_,
published in 1800, in which work will be found a lively and
interesting description of her; but she often said that she
should wish me to write her life, as I was, of course, more
intimately acquainted with it than any casual inquirer could
possibly be. An additional notice of Joannah was inserted by
me in the _Monthly Magazine_, for Nov. 1816, page 310. I had
among my papers, the _original song composed_ by her, which I
copied from her dictation many years ago,--the only, copy in
existence; I regret that I cannot lay my hand upon it; as it
contains much of the Somersetshire idiom. I have more than once
heard her sing this song, which was satirical, and related to the
conduct of a female, one of her neighbours, who had become a

Such was JOANNAH MARTIN, a woman whose name (had she moved in a
sphere where her original talents could have been improved by
education,) might have been added to the list of distinguished
female worthies of our country.

[The MS. song was never, that I am aware of, discovered
after my relative's death.--Editor, J. K. J.]]
An nif yon hAcn't a hired o' her,
You zumtime sholl vor sartin.

"Luck, Luck in tha Bag!" TOM, cried
"Put in and try yer fortin;
Come try yer luck in tha lucky bag;
You'll git a prize vor sartin.

All prizes, norra blank,
Norra blank, Acll prizes!
A waiter--knife--or scissis sheer--
A splat o' pins--put in my dear!--
Whitechapel nills Acll sizes.

Luck, Luck in tha Bag!--only a penny vor a venter--you mid get, a-
ma-be, a girt prize--a _Rawman waiter!_--I can avoord it as
cheep as thic that stawl it--I a bote it ta trust, an niver
intend to pAc vor't. Luck, Luck in tha bag! Acll prizes; norra

Luck, Luck in tha Bag! Good Luck!
Put in an try yer fortin;
Come, try yer luck in tha lucky bag!
You'll git a prize vor sartin.

Come, niver mine tha single-sticks,
Tha whoppin or tha stickler,
You dwon't want now a brawken head,
"Nor jitchy zoort o' tickler!

Now Lady! yer prize is--'A SNUFF-BOX,'
A treble-japann'd Pontypool!
You'll shower come again ta my luck in tha bag,
Or niver trust me--TOMMY GOOL.

Luck, Luck in tha bag! Good Luck!
Put in an try yer fortin;
Come, try yer luck in tha lucky bag!
You'll git a prize for sartin!


"The short and simple annals of the poor." GRAY.

_Miss Hanson to Miss Mortimer. Ashcot, July_ 21st.

My Dear Jane.

Will you do me the favour to amuse yourself and your friends with
the enclosed epistle? it is certainly an original--written in the
dialect of the County. You will easily understand it, and, I do
not doubt, the "moril" too.

Edward Band, or as he is more commonly called here, Teddy Band, is
a poor, but honest and industrious cottager, but I am,
nevertheless, disposed to think that "if ignorance is bliss, 'tis
folly to be wise."

My dear Jane, affectionately yours,


_Teddy Band to Miss Hanson._


I da thenk you'll smile at theeA干am here veo lains that I write ta
you, bin I be naw scholard; vor vather coud'n avoord ta put I ta
school. Bit nif you'll vorgee me vor my bauldniss, a-mAc-be, I mid
not be afeard ta zAc zummet ta you that you, mAcm yourzell mid like
ta hire. Bit how be I ta knaw that? I knaw that you be a
goodhorted Lady, an da like ta zee poor vawk well-at-eased an
happy. You axt I tother dAc ta zing a zong: now I dwont much like
zum o' thAc zongs that I hired thic night at squire Reevs's when we
made an end o' HAc-corrin: vor, zim ta I, there war naw moril to
'em. I like zongs wi' a moril to 'em. Tha nawtes, ta be shower,
war zAct anow, bit, vor Acll that, I war looking vor tha moril, mAcm.
Zo, when I cum'd whim, I tawld our Pall, that you axt I ta zing:
an I war zorry Acterward that I did'n, bin you be Aclways zo desperd
good ta poor vowk. Bit I thawt, a-mAc-be, you mid be angry wi' my
country lidden. Why Teddy, zed Pall, dwontye zend Miss Hanson thic
zong which ye made yerzel; I thenk ther is a moril in thic. An zo,
mAcm, nif you please, I a zent tha zong. I haup you'll vorgee me.

MAcm, your humble sarvant,



I have a cot o' Cob-wAcll
Roun which tha ivy clims;
My Pally at tha night-vAcll
Er crappin viA"r trims.

A comin vrom tha plow-veel
I zee tha blankers rise,
Wi' blue smauk cloudy curlin,
An whivering up tha skies.

When tha winter wines be crousty,
An snaws dreav vast along,
I hurry whim--tha door tine,
An cheer er wi' a zong.

When spreng, adresst in tutties,
CAclls Acll tha birds abroad;
An wrans an robin-riddicks,
Tell Acll the cares o' God,

I zit bezides my cot-door
After my work is done,
While Pally, bizzy knittin,
Looks at tha zottin zun.

When zummertime is passin,
An narras dAcs be vine,
I drenk tha sporklin cider,
An wish naw wither wine.

How zweet tha smill o' clawver,
How zweet tha smill o' hAc;
How zweet is haulsom labour, ^
Bit zweeter Pall than thAc.

An who d'ye thenk I envy?--
Tha nawbles o' tha land?
ThAc can't be moor than happy,
An that is Teddy Band.

Mister Ginnins;

I a red thic ballet o' yourn called Fanny Fear, an, zim ta I,
there's naw moril to it. Nif zaw be you da thenk zo well o't, I'll
gee one.

I dwont want to frunt any ov the gennelmen o' tha country, bit I
Aclways a thawt it desperd odd, that dogs should be keept in a
kannel, and keept a hungered too, zaw that thAc mid be moor eager
to hunt thic poor little theng cAclled a hare. I dwon' naw, bit I
da thenk, nif I war a gennelman, that I'd vine better spoort than
huntin; bezides, zim ta I 'tis desperd wicked to hunt animals vor
one's spoort. Now, jitch a horrid blanscue as what happened at
Shapick, niver could a bin but vor tha hungry houns. I haup that
gennelmen ool thenk o't oten; an when thAc da hire tha yell o' tha
houns thAc'll not vorgit Fanny Fear; a-mAc-be thAc mid be zummet tha
wiser an better vor't; I'm shower jitch a storry desarves ta be
remimbered. This is the moril.

I am, sur, your sarvant,



Upon a time, naw matter whaur,
Jitch plazen there be many a scaur
In Zummerzet's girt gorden;
(Ive hir'd 'twar handy ta tha zea,
Not vur vrom whaur tha zantots be)
There liv'd a young churchwarden.

A zim'd delighted when put in.
An zaw a thawt a ood begin
Ta do hiz office duly:
Bit zum o'm, girt vawk in ther wAc--
Tha _Porish_ o'ten cAclled,--a girt bell sheep
Or two that lead the rest an quiet keep--
Put vooA川h ther hons iz coose to stAc,
Which made en quite unruly.

A went, of coose, ta VisitAction
Ta be sworn in;--an than 'twar nAction
Hord that a man his power should doubt,--
An moor--ta try ta turn en out!
"Naw, Naw!" exclaim'd our young churchwarden,
I dwon't care vor ye Acll a copper varden!"

Tha church war durty.--Wevets here
Hang'd danglin vrom tha ruf; an there
Tha plaisterin shaw'd a crazy wAcll;

Tha Acltar-piece war dim and dowsty too,
That Peter's maricle thAc scase cood view.
Tha Ten Commandments nawbody cood rade; [Footnote: Read]
Tha Lord's Prayer ad nuthin in't bit "Brade;" [Footnote: Bread]
Nor had tha Creed
A lain or letter parfit, grate or smAcll.
'Twar time vor zum one ta renew 'em Acll.

I've tawld o' wevets--zum o'm odd enow;
ThAc look'd tha colour of a dork dun cow,
An like a skin war stratched across tha corners;
Tha knitters o' tha porish tAck'd o knittin
Stocking wi' 'em!--Bit aw, how unbevittin
All tAck like this!--aw fie, tha wicked scorners!

Ta work went tha Churchwarden; wevets tummel'd
Down by tha bushel, an tha pride o' dowst war hummel'd.
Tha wAclls once moor look'd bright.
Tha Painter, fags, a war a Plummer
An Glazier too,
Put vooA川h his powers,
(His workin made naw little scummer!)
In zentences, in flourishes, and flowers.
Tha chancel, church and Acll look'd new,
An war well suited to avoord delight.

Tha Ten Commandments glitter'd wi' tha vornish;
Compleat now, tha Lord's Prayer, what cood tornish.

As vor tha Creed 'twar made bran new
Vrom top ta bottom; I tell ye true!
Tha Acltar piece wi' Peter war now naw libel
Upon tha church,
Which booA川h athin an, tower an all, athout
Look'd like a well-dressed maid in pride about;
Tha walls rejAcic'd wi' texts took vrom tha Bible.
Bit vor all that, thAc left en in tha lurch; I bag your pardon.
I mean, of Acll tha expense thAc ood'n pAc a varden.

Jitch zweepin, birshin, paintin, scrubbin;
Tha tuts ad niver jitch a drubbin;
Jitch white-washin and jitch brought gwAcin
A power of money--Tha Painter's bill
Made of itzel a pirty pill,
Ta zwell which Acll o'm tried in vain!
Ther stomicks turn'd, ther drawts were norry; [Footnote: Narrow]
Jitch gillded pills thAc cood'n corry.
An when our young churchwarden ax'd em why,
ThAc laugh'd at en, an zed, ther drawts war dry.

Tha keeper o' tha church war wrong;
(Churchwarden still the burden o' my zong)
A should at vust
A cAcll'd a Vestry: vor 'tis hord ta trust
To Porish generasity; an zaw
A voun it: I dwon' knaw

Whaur or who war his advisers;
Zum zed a LAcyer gid en bad advice;
A-mAc-be saw; jitch vawk ben't always nice.
LAcyers o' advice be seltimes misers
Nif there's wherewi' ta pAc;
Or, witherwise, good bwye ta LAcyers an tha LAc.

A Vestry than at last war cried--
A Vestry's power let noA孓e deride--
When tha church war auver tha clork bal'd out,
_Aw eese! aw eese! aw eese!_
All wonder'd what cood be about,
An stratch'd ther necks like a vlock o' geese;
Why--_ta make a Rate
Vor tha church's late
A grate norAction,
A nAction naise tha nawtice made,
About tha cost ta be defray'd
Vor tha church's _repairAction_.

Tha Vestry met, Acll naise an bother;
One ood'n wait ta hire tha tuther.
When thAc war tir'd o' jitch a gabble,
Ta bAcl na moor not one war yable,
A man, a little zActenfare,
Got up hiz verdi ta delcare.
Now Soce, zed he, why we be gwAcin
Ta meet in Vestry here in vAcin.

Let's come to some determination,
An not tAck Acll in jitch a fashion.
Let's zee tha 'counts. A snatch'd tha book
Vrom tha Churchwarden in't ta look.
_Tha, book war chain'd clooA山e to his wrist;_
A gid en slily jitch a twist!
That the young Churchwarden loud raur'd out,
"You'll break my yarm!--what be about?"

Tha man a little zActenfare,
An Acll tha Vestry wide did stare!
Bit Soce, zed he again, I niver zeed
Money brought gwAcin zaw bad. What need
War ther tha Acltar-piece ta titch?
What good war paintin, vornishin, an jitch?
What good war't vor'n ta mend
Tha Ten Commandments?--Why did he
Mell o' tha Lord's Prayer? Lockyzee!
Ther war naw need
To mell or make wi' thic awld Creed.
I'm zorry vor'n; eesse zorry as a friend;
Bit can't conzent our wherewi' zaw ta spend,

ThAc Acll, wi one accord,
At tha little zActenfare's word,
Agreed, that, not one varden,
By Rate,
Should be collected vor tha late RepairAction
Of tha church by tha young Churchwarden.


Now who is ther that han't a hir'd
O' one young TOM CAME?
A Fisherman of Huntspill,
An a well-knawn name.

A knaw'd much moor o' fishin
Than many vawk bezides;
An a knaw'd much moor than mooA山t about
Tha zea an Acll tha tides.

A knaw'd well how ta make buts,
An hullies too an jitch,
An up an down tha river whaur
Tha best place vor ta pitch.

A knaw'd Acll about tha stake-hangs
Tha zAclmon vor ta catch;--
Tha pitchin an tha dippin net,--
Tha Slime an tha Mud-Batch.
[Footnote: Two islands well known in the River Parret, near its
mouth. Several words will be found in this Poem which I have not
placed in the _Glossary_, because they seem too local and
technical to deserve a place there: they shall be here explained,

_To Pitch, v.n._ To fish with a boat and a pitchin-net in a
proper position across the current so that the fish may be caught.

_Pitchin-net. s._ A large triangular net attached to two
poles, and used with a boat for the purpose, chiefly, of catching
salmon.--The fishing boats in the Parret, are _flat-
bottomed_, in length about seventeen feet, about four feet and
a half wide, and pointed at both ends: they are easily managed by
_one_ person, and rarely, if ever, known to overturn.

_Dippen-net. s._ A small net somewhat semicircular, and
attached to two round sticks for sides, and a long pole for a
handle. It is used for the purpose of _dipping salmon_ and
some other fish, as the _shad_, out of water.

_Gad. s._ A long pole, having an iron point to it, so that it
may be easily thrust into the ground. Two gads are used for each
boats. Their uses are to keep the boat steady across the current
in order that the net may be in a proper position.]

A handled too iz gads well
His paddle and iz oor;
[Footnote: Oar.]
A war Aclways bawld an fearless--
A, when upon tha Goor.
[Footnote: The Gore. Dangerous sands so called, at the mouth of
the River Parret, in the Bristol Channel.]

O' heerins, sprats, an porpuses--
O' Acll fish a cood tell;
Who bit he amangst tha Fishermen--
A Aclways bear'd tha bell.

Tommy Came ad hired o' PlAcyers,
Bit niver zeed 'em plAc;
ThAc war actin at BejwActer;
There a went wi' Sally DAc.

When tha curtain first drAcw'd up, than
Sapriz'd war Tommy Came;
A'd hAcf a mine ta him awAc,
Bit stapp'd vor very shame.

Tha vust act bein auver
Tha zecond jist begun,
Tommy Came still wonder'd grately,
Ta him it war naw fun.

Zaw Acter lookin on zumtime,
Ta understand did strive;
_There now_, zed he, _I'll gee my woth_
[Footnote: Oath.]
_That thAc be all alive!_


I zeng o' _Mary Ramsey's Crutch!_
"Thic little theng!"--Why 'tis'n much
It's true, but still I like ta touch
Tha cap o' _Mary Ramsey's Crutch!_
She zed, wheniver she shood die,
Er little crutch she'd gee ta I.
Did Mary love me? eese a b'leeve.
She died--a veo vor her did grieve,--
An _but_ a veo--vor Mary awld,
Outliv'd er friends, or voun 'em cawld.
Thic crutch I had--I ha it still,
An port wi't wont--nor niver will.
O' her I lorn'd tha cris-cross-lAcin;
I haup that't word'n quite in vAcin!
'Twar her who teach'd me vust ta read
Jitch little words as _beef_ an _bread_;
An I da thenk 'twar her that, Acter,
Lorn'd I ta read tha single zActer.
Poor Mary A愒en used ta tell
O' das a past that pleas'd er well;
An mangst tha rest war zum o' jay
When I look'd up a little bway.
She zed I war a good one too,
An lorn'd my book athout tha _rue_.
[Footnote: This Lady, when her scholars neglected their duty, or
behaved ill, rubbed their fingers with the leaves of _rue!_]
Poor Mary's gwon!--a longful time
Zunz now!--er little scholard's prime
A-mAc-be's past.--It must be zaw;--
There's nothin stable here belaw!
O' Mary--Acll left is--er _crutch!_
An thaw a gift, an 'tword'n much
'Tis true, still I da like ta touch
Tha cap o' _Mary Ramsey's Crutch!_
That I lov'd Mary, this ool tell.
I'll zAc na moor--zaw, fore well! [Footnote: Fare ye well.]


Tha zAc I'm maz'd,--my Husband's dead,
My chile, (hush! hush! Lord love er face!)
Tha pit-hawl had at Milemas, when
ThAc put me in theA干e pooA川-hawl place.

ThAc zAc I'm maz'd.--I veel--I thenk---
I tAck--I ate, an oten drenk.--
Tha _thenk_, a-mAc-be, zumtimes, _peel_--
An gee me stra vor bed an peel!

ThAc zAc I'm maz'd.--Hush! Babby, dear!
ThAc shan't come to er!--niver fear!
ThAc zAc thy Father's dead!--Naw, naw!
A'll niver die while I'm belaw.

ThAc zAc I'm maz'd.--Why dwont you speak?
Fie James!--or else my hort ool break!--
James _is_ not dead! nor Babby!--naw!
ThAc'll niver die while I'm belaw!


An shall I drap tha Reed--an shall I,
Athout one nawte about my SALLY?
Althaw we Pawets Acll be zingers,
We like, wi' enk, ta dye our vingers;
Bit mooA山t we like in vess ta pruv
That we remimber those we love.
Sim-like-it than, that I should iver
Vorgit my SALLY.--Niver, niver!
Vor, while I've wander'd in tha West--
At mornin tide--at evenin rest--
On Quantock's hills--in Mendip's vales--
On Parret's banks--in zight o' Wales--
In thic awld mansion whaur tha bAcll
Once vrighten'd Lady Drake an Acll;--
When wi' tha Ladies o' thic dell
Whaur witches spird ther 'ticin spell--
[Footnote: COMBE SYDENHAM, the residence of my Friend, GEORGE
NOTLEY, Esq. The history of the _Magic Ball_, as it has been
called, is now pretty generally known, and therefore need not
be here repeated.]
Amangst tha rocks on Watchet shaur
When did tha wine an wActers raur--
In Banwell's cave--on Loxton hill--
At Clifton gAc--at Rickford rill--
In Compton ood--in Hartree coom--
At Crispin's cot wi' little room;--
At Upton--Lansdown's lofty brow--
At Bath, whaur pleasure flAcnts enow;
At Trowbridge, whaur by Friendship's heed,
I blaw'd again my silent Reed,
An there enjay'd, wi' quiet, rest,
Jitch recollections o' tha West;
Whauriver stapp'd my voot along
I thawt o' HER.--Here ends my zong.


_(First printed in the Graphic Illustrator.)_

The catastrophe described in the following sketch, occurred near
_Highbridge_, in Somersetshire, about the year 1779.--Mr. or
_Doctor Cox_, as surgeons are usually called in the west, was
the only medical resident at Huntspill, and in actual practice
for many miles around that village. The conduct of Mr. Robert
Evans, the friend and associate of Cox, can only be accounted for
by one of those unfortunate infatuations to which the minds of
some are sometimes liable. Had an immediate alarm been given when
we children first discovered that Cox was missing, he might,
probably, have been saved. The real cause of his death was, a too
great abstraction of heat from the body; as the water was fresh
and still, and of considerable depth, and, under the surface, much
beneath the usual temperature of the human body. This fact ought
to be a lesson to those who bathe in still and deep fresh water;
and to warn them to continue only a short time in such a cold
medium. [Footnote: Various efforts to restore the suspended
animation of _Cox,_ such as shaking him, rolling him on a
cask, attempts to get out the water which it was then presumed had
got into the stomach or the lungs, or both, in the drowning;
strewing salt over the body, and many other equally ineffectual
and improper methods to restore the circulation were, I believe,
pursued. Instead of which, had the body been laid in a natural
position, and the lost heat gradually administered, by the
application of warm frictions, a warm bed, &c., how easily in all
probability, would animation have been restored!]

The BRUE war bright, and deep and clear;
[Footnote: The reader must not suppose that the _river Brue,_
is generally a clear stream, or always rapid. I have elsewhere
called it "lazy Brue." It is sometimes, at and above the
floodgates at _Highbridge,_ when they are not closed by the
tide, a rapid stream; but through the moors, generally, its course
is slow. In the summertime, and at the period to which allusion is
made, the floodgates were closed.]
And Lammas dAc and harras near:
The zun upon the waters drode
Girt sheets of light as on a rode;
From zultry heA川 the cattle hirn'd
To shade or water as to firnd:
Men, too, in yarly Acternoon
Doft'd quick ther cloaths and dash'd in zoon
To thic deep river, whaur the trout,
In all ther prankin, plAcd about;
And yels wi' zilver skins war zid,
While gudgeons droo the wActer slid,
Wi' carp sumtimes and wither fish
Avoordon many a dainty dish.
Whaur elvers too in spring time plAcd,
[Footnote: Young eels are called _elvers_ in Somersetshire.
_Walton_, in his Angler, says, "Young eels, in the Severn,
are called _yelvers_." In what part of the country through
which the Severn passes they are called yelvers we are not told in
Walton's book; as eels are called, in Somersetshere, yels, analogy
seems to require _yelvers_ for their young; but I never heard
them so called. The elvers used to be obtained from the salt-water
side of the bridge.]
And pailvuls mid o' them be had.
The wActer cold--the zunshine bright,
To zwiminers than what high delight!
'Tis long agwon whun youth and I
Wish'd creepin Time would rise and vly--
A, half a hundred years an moor
Zunz I a trod theA干e earthly vloor!
I zed, the face o' Brue war bright;
Time smil'd too in thic zummer light.
Wi' Hope bezide en promising
A wordle o' fancies wild A' whing.
I mine too than one lowering cloud
That zim'd to wrop us like a shroud;
The death het war o' Doctor Cox--
To thenk o't now the storry shocks!
Vor Acll the country vur and near
Shod than vor'n many a horty tear.
The _Doctor_ like a duck could zwim;
No fear o' drownin daver'd him!
The pectur now I zim I zee!
I wish I could liet's likeness gee!
His _Son_, my brother _John, myzel_,
Or _Evans_, mid the storry tell;
But thAc be gwon and I, o' Acll
O'm left to zAc what did bevAcll.
Zo, nif zo be you like, why I
To tell the storry now ool try.

Thic _Evans_had a coward core
And fear'd to venter vrom the shore;
While to an vro, an vur an near,
And now an tan did _Cox_ appear
In dalliance with the wActers bland,
Or zwimmin wi' a maA"ster hand.
We youngsters dree, the youngest I,
To zee the zwimmers Acll stood by
Upon the green bonk o' the Brue
Jist whaur a stook let water droo:
A quiet time of joyousness
Zim'd vor a space thic dAc to bless!
A dog' too, faithful to his maA"ster
War there, and mang'd wi' the disaster--
_Vigo_, ah well I mine his name!
A Newvoun-lond and very tame!
But Evans only war to blame:
He AcllA"s paddled near the shore
Wi' timid hon and coward core;
While _Doctor Cox_ div'd, zwim'd at ease
Like fishes in the zummer seas;
Or as the skaiters on the ice
In winin circles wild and nice
Yet in a moment he war gwon,
The wonderment of ivry one:
That is, we _dree_ and Evans, Acll
That zeed what Blanscue did bevAcll.--
Athout one sign, or naise, or cry,
Or shriek, or splash, or groan, or sigh!
Could zitch a zwimmer ever die
In wActer?--Yet we gaz'd in vain
Upon thic bright and wActer plain:
All smooth and calm--no ripple gave
One token of the zwimmer's grave!
We hir'd en not, we zeed en not!--
The glassy wActer zim'd a blot?
While Evans, he of coward core,
Still paddled as he did bevore!
At length our fears our silence broke,--
Young as we war, and children Acll,
We wish'd to goo an zum one cAcll;
But Evans carelissly thus spoke--
"Oh, _Cox_ is up the river gone,
Vor sartain ool be back anon;--
He tAclk'd o' cyder, zed he'd g'up
To Stole's an drenk a horty cup!"
[Footnote: Mr. Stole resided near _Newbridge_, about a mile
from the spot where the accident occurred; he was somewhat famous
for his cyder.]
Conjecture anty as the wine!
And zoon did he het's faleshood vine.

_John Cox_ took up his father's cloaths--
Poor fellow! he beginn'd to cry!
Than, Evans vrom the wActer rose;
"A hunderd vawk'll come bimeby,"
A zed; whun, short way vrom the shore.
We zeed, what zeed we not avore,
The _head_ of Doctor Cox appear--
Het floated in the wActer clear!
Bolt upright war he, and his hair,
That pruv'd he sartainly war there,
Zwimm'd on the wActer!--Evans than,
The stupid'st of a stupid man,
Call'd _Vigo_--pointed to that head--
In _Vigo_ dash'd--_Cox was not dead_!
But seiz'd the dog's lag--helt en vast!
One struggle, an het war the last!
Ah! well do I remember it--
That struggle I sholl ne'er forgit!
Vigo was frightened and withdrew;
The body zink'd at once vrom view.

Did _Evans_, gallid _Evans_ then,
CAcll out, at once, vor father's men?
(ThAc war at work vor'n very near
A mendin the old Highbridge pier,)
A did'n cAcll, but 'mus'd our fear--
"A hundred vawk ool zoon be here!"
A zed.--We gid the hue and cry!
And zoon a booA川 wi' men did vly!
But twar Acll auver! _Cox_ war voun
Not at the bottom lyin down,
But up aneen, as jist avore
We zeed en floatin nigh the shore.

But death 'ad done his wust--not Acll
ThAc did could life's last spork recall.
Zo Doctor Cox went out o' life
A vine, a, and as honsom mon,
As zun hath iver shin'd upon;
A left a family--a _wife_,
Two _sons_--one_dater_,
As beautiful as lovely MAc,
Of whom a-mAc-bi I mid za
Zumthin hereActer:
What thAc veel'd now I sholl not tell--
My hort athin me 'gins to zwell!
Reflection here mid try in vain,
Wither particulars to gain,
_Evans_ zim'd all like one possest;
Imagination! tell the rest!


To Acll that sholl theeA干e storry read,
The _Truth_ must vor it chiefly plead;
I gee not here a tale o' ort,
Nor snip-snap wit, nor lidden smort.
But A愒en, A愒en by thie river,
Have I a pass'd; yet niver, niver,
Athout a thought o' _Doctor Cox_--
His dog--his death--his floatin locks!
The mooA山t whun Brue war deep and clear,
And Lammas dAc an harras near;--
Whun zummer vleng'd his light abroad,--
The zun in all his glory rawd;
How beautiful mid be the dAc
A zumthin AcllA"s zim'd to zAc,
_"Whar whing! the wActer's deep an' clear,
But death mid be a lurkin near!"_


Thenk not, bin I ood be tha fashion,
That I, ZIR, write theA干e DedicAction;
I write, I haup I dwon't offend.
Bin I be proud ta cAcll You FRIEND.
I here ston vooA川h, alooA孓 unbidden
To 'muse you wi' my country lidden;--
Wi' remlet's o' tha Saxon tongue
That to our Gramfers did belong.
Vor Aill it is a little thing,
Receave it--Friendship's offering--
Ta pruv, if pruf I need renew,
That I esteem not lightly YOU.


A longful time zunz I this vust begun!
One little tootin moor and I a done.
"One little tootin moor!--Enough,
Vor once, we've had o' jitchy stuff;
Thy lidden to a done 'tis time!
Jitch words war niver zeed in rhyme!"
Vorgee me vor'm.--Goo little Reed!
Aforn tha vawk an vor me plead:
Thy wild nawtes, mAc-be, thAc ool hire
Zooner than zActer vrom a _lyre_.
ZAc that, _thy mA叉ster's pleas'd ta blaw 'em,
An haups in time thAc'll come ta knaw 'em;
An nif zaw be thAc'll please ta hear
A'll gee zum moor another year._
Ive nothin else jist now ta tell:
Goo, little Reed, an than forwel!



_Farmer Bennet.--_ Jan! why dwon't ye right my shoes?

_Jan Lide.--_ Bin, maA"ster 'tis zaw cawld, I can't work wi'
tha tacker at Acll; I've a brawk it ten times I'm shower ta dAc--
da vreaze za hord. Why Hester hanged out a kittle-smock ta drowy,
an in dree minits a war a vraur as stiff as a pawker; an I can't
avoord ta keep a good vier--I wish I cood--I'd zoon right your
shoes and withers too--I'd zoon yarn [Footnote: Earn.] zum money,
I warnt ye. Can't ye vine zum work vor me, maester, theA干e hord
times--I'll do any theng ta sar a penny.--I can drash--I can
cleave brans--I can make spars--I can thatchy--I can shear ditch,
an I can gripy too, bit da vreaze za hord. I can wimmy--I can
messy or milky nif ther be need o't. I ood'n mine dreavin plough
or any theng.

_Farmer Bennet.--_ I've a got nothing vor ye ta do, Jan; bit
Mister Boord banchond ta I jist now that thAc war gwain ta wimmy,
ond that thAc wanted zumbody ta help 'em.

_Jan Lide._--Aw, I'm glad o't, I'll him auver an zee where I
can't help 'em; bit I han't a bin athin tha drashel o' Maester
Boord's door vor a longful time, bin I thawt that missis did'n use
Hester well; but I dwon't bear malice, an zaw I'll goo.

_Farmer Bennet._--What did Missis Boord zAc or do ta Hester,

_Jan Lide._--Why, Hester, a mAc-be, war zummet ta blame too:
vor she war one o'm, d'ye zee, that rawd Skimmerton--thic mAc game
that frunted zum o' tha gennel-vawk. ThAc zed 'twar time to a done
wi'jitch litter, or jitch stuff, or I dwon knaw what thAc call'd
it; bit thAc war a frunted wi' Hester about it: an I zed nif thAc
war a frunted wi' Hester, thAc mid be frunted wi' I. This zet
missis's back up, an Hester han't a bin a choorin there zunz. Bit
'tis niver-the-near ta bear malice; and zaw I'll goo auver an zee
which wAc tha wine da blaw.


_Thomas Came._--Aw, Maester Jimmy! zaw you be a come whim
vrom school. I thawt we shood niver zeenamoor. We've a mist ye
iver zunz thic time, when we war at zea-wall, an cut aup tha girt
porpus wi' za many zalmon in hiz belly--zum o'm look'd vit ta eat
as thaw tha wor a bwiled, did'n thAc?--

_Jimmy._--Aw eese, Thomas; I da mine tha porpus; an I da mine
tha udder, an tha milk o'n, too. I be a come whim, Thomas, an I
dwon't thenk I shall goo ta school again theA干e zumrner. I shall
be out amangst ye. I'll goo wi' ta mawy, an ta hAc-makin, an ta
reapy--I'll come Acter, an zet up tha stitches vor ye, Thomas. An
if I da stAc till Milemas, I'll goo ta Matthews fayer wi'. Thomas,
Acve ye had any zenvy theA干e year?--I zeed a gir'd'l o't amangst
tha wheat as I rawd along. Ave you bin down in ham, Thomas, o'
late--is thic groun, tha ten yacres, haind vor mawin?

_Thomas Came._--Aw, Maester Jimmy! I da love ta hire you tAck-
-da zeem za naatal. We a had zum zenvy--an tha ten yacres be a
haind--a'll be maw'd in veo dAcs--you'll come an hAc-maky, o'nt ye?-
-eese, I knaw you ool--an I da knaw whool goo a hAc-makin wi', too
--ah, she's a zweet maid--I dwon't wonder at ye at Acll, Maester
Jimmy--Lord bless ye, an love ye booA川h.

_Jimmy._--Thomas, you a liv'd a long time wi' Father, an' I
dwont like ta chide ye, bit nif you da tAck o' Miss Cox in thic
fashion, I knaw she on't like it, naw moor sholl I. Miss Cox,
Thomas, Miss Cox ool, a-mAc-be, goo a hAc-makin wi' I, as she a done
avaur now; bit Sally, Miss Cox, Thomas, I wish you'd zAc naw moor
about er.--There now, Thomas, dwon't ye zee--why shee's by tha
gate-shord! I haup she han't a hird what we a bin a tAckin about.--
Be tha thissles skeer'd in tha twenty yacres, Thomas?--aw, thAc be.
Well, I sholl be glad when tha ten yacres be a mawed--an when we
da make an end o' hAc-corrin, I'll dance wi' Sally Cox.

_Thomas Came_.--There, Maester Jimmy! 'tword'n I that tAck'd
o' Sally Cox!



To er Scholards_.

Commether [Footnote: Come hither.] _Billy Chubb_, an breng
tha hornen book. Gee me tha vester in tha windor, you _Pal
Came_!--what! be a sleepid--I'll wAcke ye. Now, _Billy_
there's a good bway! Ston still there, an mine what I da zAc to
ye, an whaur I da pwint.--Now;--cris-cross, [Footnote: The
_cris_, in this compound, and in _cris-cross-lain_, is
very often, indeed most commonly, pronounced _Kirs_.] girt Ac
little Ac--b--c--d.--That's right _Billy_; you'll zoon lorn
tha cris-cross-lain--you'll zoon auvergit Bobby Jiffry--you'll
zoon be _a scholard_.--A's a pirty chubby bway--Lord love'n!

Now, _Pal Came_! you come an vessy wi' yer zister.
--There! tha forrels o' tha book be a brawk; why dwon't ye take
moor care o'm?--Now, read;--_Het_ _Came!_ why d'ye
drean zaw?--_hum, hum, hum_;--you da make a naise like a
spinnin turn, or a dumbledore--Acll in one lidden--_hum, hum,
hum,_--You'll niver lorn ta read well thic fashion.--Here,
_Pal,_ read theA干e vesses vor yer zister. There now,
_Het,_ you mine how yerzister da read, not _hum, hum,
hum._--Eese you ool, ool ye?--I tell ye, you must, or I'll rub
zum rue auver yer hons:--what d'ye thenk o't!--There, be gwon you
_Het,_ an dwon't ye come anuost yer zister ta vessy wi' er
till you a got yer lessin moor parfit, or I'll gee zummet you on't
ax me vor. _Pally,_ you tell yer Gramfer Palmer that I da zAc
_Hetty Came_ shood lorn ta knitty; an a shood buy zum knittin
nills and wusterd vor er; an a shood git er zum nills and dird,
vor er to lorn to zawy too.

Now _Miss Whitin_, tha dunces be a gwon, let I hire how pirty
you can read.--I Aclways zed that PAcson Tuttle's grandActer ood lorn
er book well.--Now, _Miss_, what ha ye a got there?
_Valentine an Orson._--A pirty storry, bit I be afeard
there's naw moril to it.--What be Acll tha tuthermy books you a got
by yer goodhussey there in tha basket? Gee's-zee-'em,[Footnote:
_Let me see them_. This is a singular expression, and is thus
to be analysed; _Give us to see them_.] nif you please,
_Miss Polly_.--Tha _Zeven Champions_--_Goody Two
Shoes_--_Pawems vor Infant minds_.--TheA干amy here be by
vur tha best.--There is a moril ta mooA山t o'm; an thAc
be pirty bezides.--Now, _Miss_, please ta read thic--
_Tha Notorious Glutton_.--_Pal Came!_ turn tha glass!
dwon't ye zee tha zond is Acll hirnd out;--you'll stAc in school tha
longer for't nif you dwon't mine it.--Now, Acll o' ye be quiet ta
hire _Miss Whitin_ read.--There now! what d'ye zAc ta jitch
radin as that?--There, d'ye hire, _Het Came_! she dwon't
drean--_hum, hum, hum_.--I shood like ta hire er vessy wi'
zum o' ye; bit your bad radin ood spwile her good.


_All the childern goo voA川h_.



(_First printed in the Graphic Illustrator_.)

Ben Bond was one of those sons of Idleness whom ignorance and want
of occupation in a secluded country village too often produce. He
was a comely lad, aged sixteen, employed by Farmer Tidball, a
querulous and suspicious old man, tto look after a large flock o
sheep.--The scene of his Soliloquy may be thus described.

A green sunny bank, on which the body may agreeably repose, called
the _Sea Wall_; on the sea side was an extensive common
called the _Wath_, and adjoining to it was another called the
Island, both were occasionally overflowed by the tide. On the
other side of the bank were rich enclosed pastures, suitable for
fattening the finest cattle. Into these inclosures many of Ben
Bond's charge were frequently disposed to stray. The season was
June, the time mid-day, and the western breezes came over the sea,
a short distance from which our scene lay, at once cool, grateful,
refreshing, and playful. The rushing Parret, with its ever
shifting sands, was also heard in the distance. It should
be stated, too, that Larence is the name usually given in
Somersetshire to that imaginary being which presides over the
IDLE. Perhaps it may also be useful to state here that the word
Idlelon is more than a provincialism, and should be in our

During the latter part of the Soliloquy Farmer Tidball arrives
behind the bank, and hearing poor Ben's discourse with himself,
interrupts his musings in the manner described hereafter. It is
the history of an occurrence in real life, and at the place
mentioned. The writer knew Farmer Tidball personally, and has
often heard the story from his wife.


"Larence! why doos'n let I up? Oot let I up?" Naw, I be sleapid, I
can't let thee up eet.--"Now, Lareuce! do let I up. There! bimeby
maester'll come, an a'll beA川 I athin a ninch o' me life; do let I
up!"--Naw I wunt.

"Larence! I bag o'ee, do ee let I, up! D'ye zee! Tha shee-ape be Acll
a breakin droo tha hadge inta tha vivean-twenty yacres; an Former
Haggit'll goo ta LAc wi'n, an I sholl be kill'd. _--Naw I wun't--
'tis zaw whot: bezides I hant a had my nap out._ "Larence! I da
zAc, thee bist a bad un! Oot thee hire what I da zAc? Come now an let
I scooce wi'. Lord a massy upon me! Larence, whys'n thee let I up?"
_CAcz I wunt. What! muss'n I hAc an hour like wither vawk ta ate my
bird an cheese? I do zAc I wunt; and zaw 'tis niver-tha-near to keep

"Maester tawl'd I, nif I wer a good bway, a'd gee I iz awld wasket;
an I'm shower, nif a da come an vine I here, an tha shee-ape a brawk
inta tha vive-an-twenty yacres, a'll vleng't awAc vust! Larence, do
ee, do ee let I up! Ool ee, do ee!"--_Naw, I tell ee I wunt._

"There's one o' tha sheep 'pon iz back in tha gripe, an a can't turn
auver! I mis g'in ta tha groun an g'out to'n, an git'n out. There's
another in tha ditch! a'll be a buddled! There's a gird'l o' trouble
wi' shee-ape! Larence; cass'n thee let I goo. I'll gee thee a _hAc
peny_ nif oot let me."--_Naw I can't let thee goo eet._

"Maester'll be shower to come an catch me! Larence! doose thee hire?
I da zAc, oot let me up. I zeed Farmer Haggit zoon Acter I upt, an a
zed, nif a voun one o' my shee-ape in tha vive-an-twenty yacres, a'd
drash I za long as a cood ston auver me, an wi' a groun ash' too!
There! Zum o'm be a gwon droo tha vive-an-twenty yacres inta tha
drauve: thAc'll zoon hirn vur anow. ThAc'll be poun'd. Larence! I'll
gee thee a _penny_ nif oot let I up." _Naw I wunt._

"Thic not sheep ha got tha shab! Dame tawl'd I whun I upt ta-da ta
mine tha shab-wActer; I sholl pick it in whun I da goo whim. I vorgot
it! Maester war desperd cross, an I war glad ta git out o' tha
langth o' iz tongue. I da hate zitch cross vawk! Larence! what, oot
niver let I up? There! zum o' tha shee-ape be gwon into _Leek-
beds_; an zum o'm be in _Hounlake_; dree or vour o'm be gwon
zAc vur as _Slow-wAc_; the ditches be, menny o'm zAc dry 'tis all
now rangel common! There! I'll gee thee _dree hAc pence_ ta let
I goo." _Why, thee hass'n bin here an hour, an vor what shood I
let thee goo? I da zAc, lie still!_

"Larence! why doos'n let I up? There! zim ta I, I da hire thic pirty
maid, _Fanny o' Primmer Hill_, a chidin bin I be a lyin here
while tha shee-ape be gwain droo thic shord an tuther shord; zum
o'm, a-mAc-be, be a drown'd! Larence; doose thee thenk I can bear tha
betwitten o' thic pirty maid? She, tha Primrawse o' Primmer-hill;
tha Lily o' tha level; tha gawl-cup o' tha mead; tha zweetist
honeyzuckle in tha garden; tha yarly vilet; tha rawse o' rawses; tha
pirty pollyantice! Whun I seed er last, she zed, "Ben, do ee mind
tha sheeape, an tha yeos an lams, an than zumbody ool mine
_you_." Wi'that she gid me a beautiful spreg o' jessamy, jist
a pickt vrom tha poorch,--tha smill war za zweet.

"Larence! I mus goo! I ool goo. You mus let I up. I ont stAc here na
longer! Maester'll be shower ta come an drash me. There, Larence!
I'll gee _tuther penny_, an that's ivry vard'n I a got. Oot let
I goo?" _Naw, I mis ha a penny moor._

"Larence! do let I up! Creeplin Philip'll be shower ta catch me!
Thic cockygee! I dwont like en. at Acll; a's za rough, an za zoA1r. An
_Will Popham_ too, ta betwite me about tha maid: a cAcll'd er a
ratheripe _Lady-buddick_. I dwont mislike tha name at Acll,
thawf I dwont care vor'n a stra, nor a read mooA川e; nor thatite o' a
pin! What da thAc cAcll _he_? Why, tha _upright man_, cAcs a
da ston upright; let'n; an let'n wrassly too: I dwont like zitch
_hoss-plAcs_, nor _singel-stick_ nuther; nor _cock-
squailin'; nor menny wither mAc-games that Will Popham da volly. I'd
rather zitin tha poorch, wi' tha jessamy ranglin roun it, and hire
Fanny zeng. Oot let I up, Larence?"--_Naw, I tell ee I ont athout
a penny moor._

_"Rawzey Pink_, too, an _Nanny Dubby_ axed I about Fanny.
What bisniss ad thAc ta up wi't? I dwont like norn'om? _Girnin
Jan_ too shawed iz teeth an put in his verdi.--I--wish theeA干e
vawk ood mine ther awn consarns an let I an Fanny alooA孓e.

"Larence! doose thee meA孓 to let I goo?"--_Eese, nif thee't gee me
tuther penny_.--"Why I han't a got a vard'n moor; oot let I up!"-
-_Not athout tha penny.--"Now Larence! doo ee, bin I liant naw
moor money. I a bin here moor than an hoA1r; whaur tha yeos an lams
an Acll tha tuthermy sheep be now I dwon' know.--_Creeplin
Philip_[Footnote: Even remote districts in the country have their
satirists, and would-be-wits; and Huntspill, the place alluded to in
the Soliloquy, was, about half a century ago, much pestered with
them. Scarcely a person of any note escaped a pariah libel, and even
servants were not excepted. For instance:--_Creeplin Philip_,
(that is "creeplin," because he walked lamely,) was Farmer Tidball
himself; and his servant, William Popham, was the _upright
man_. _Girnin Jan_ is Grinning John.] ool gee me a lirropin
shower anow! There!--I da thenk I hired zummet or zumbody auver tha

"_Here, d--n thee!_ I'll gee tha _tuther penny, an zummet
besides!_" exclaimed _Farmer Tidball_, leaping down the
bank, with a stout sliver of a crab-tree in his hand.--The sequel
may be easily imagined.

Nanny Dubby, Sally Clink,
Long Josias an Raway Pink,
--Girnin Jan,
Creeplin Philip and the upright man.



(_From the Graphic Illustrator._)


Until recently few writers on the English Language, have devoted
much attention to the origin of our first personal pronoun I,
concluding perhaps that it would be sufficient to state that it is
derived from the Anglo-Saxon _ic_. No pains seem to have been
taken to explain the connexion which _ic, ich,_ and
_iche_ have with _Ise, c', ch', che',_ and their
combinations in such words as _ch'am, ch'ud, ch'ill, &c_.
Hence we have been led to believe that such contractions are the
vulgar corruptions of an ignorant and, consequently, unlettered
people. That the great portion of the early Anglo-Saxons were an
unlettered people, and that the _rural_ population were
particularly unlettered, and hence for the most part ignorant, we
may readily admit; and even at the present time, many districts in
the west will be found pretty amply besprinkled with that
unlettered ignorance for which many of our forefathers were
distinguished. But an enquiry into the origin and use of our
provincial words will prove, that even our unlettered population
have been guided by certain rules in their use of an energetic
language. Hence it will be seen on inquiry that many of the words
supposed to be _vulgarisms_, and _vulgar_ and
_capricious_ contractions are no more so than many of our own
words in daily use; as to the Anglo-Saxon contractions of
_ch'am, ch'ud,_ and _ch'ill_, they will be found equally
consistent with our own common contractions of _can't, won't,
he'll, you'll, &c., &c._ in our present polished dialect.

Whether, however, our western dialects will be more dignified by
an Anglo-Saxon pedigree I do not know; those who delight in
tracing descents through a long line of ancestors up to one
primitive original ought to be pleased with the literary
genealogist, who demonstrates that many of our provincial words
and contractions have an origin more remote, and in their
estimation of course, must be more legitimate than a mere slip
from the parent stock, as our personal pronoun, I, unquestionably

As to the term "barbarous," Mr. Horace Smith, the author of
"_Walter Colyton_," assures me that many of his friends call
what he has introduced of the Somerset Dialect in Walter Colyton,
"barbarous."--Now, I should like to learn in what its barbarity
consists. The plain truth after all is, that those who are
unwilling to take the trouble to understand any language, or any
dialect of any language, with which they are previously
unacquainted, generally consider such new language or such dialect
barbarous; and to them it doubtless appears so. What induces our

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