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more thoroughly deserving of success than
that managed by my friends Messrs.
Jacobus and Eves.


NONE of us have very vivid personal
recollections of the Saxon Heptarchy; that is
to say, none of us can remember when
England was parcelled out into Mercia,
Damnonia, Deiri, East Anglia, Bernicia,
and so on, and when Mercians, Damnonians,
East Anglians, &c., were all separate
peoples, with languages, and hates, and
loves so variable, that they flung spears
and arrows at each other from their puny
kingdoms, and crouched behind ill-tanned
skin-shields to save themselves from
retributory wounds. But the time is within
the memory of most of us when still
(traditionally, on the stage, at any rate) a
Yorkshireman was detectable at once from
a Londoner; when a Zomerzetshire lad
formed a third breed or genus; when an
Essex calf, a Hampshire hog, a Lancashire
witch, all represented other breeds,
supposed to be quite separate and distinct
from each other.

In those days the talk in our provinces,
as well as the tune of the talk, differed
much more from the metropolitan than it
does now. She's muckson up to the huckson,
is a phrase that is an example. What
does it mean? It was said, one hundred
and fifty years since, of a woman dirty up
to the knuckles. To call her a daffock, a
dawkin, a dawgos, was another way of
styling her a slattern. The titles harry-
gaud and rigsby, meant that she was
wildish, playful; to say that she was
hattle, was another version of the same
thing; and so it was to declare she had too
few harns, brains. Were this woman a
step-mother, she was known as ell-mother;
were she neatly dressed, she was said to be
snogly-geered. A little girl was a mauther;
did she frolic much and laugh aloud, she
was said to goylter; were she, on the other
hand, grave and witty more than usual at
her years, she was set down as and-farand.
A dumb person was a cank; one who
squinted was gly; one almost crazed was
welly-moidered. A wife's brother was a
meugh; an uncle was a neme; a miser
was a pin-panierbly fellow; strangers were
comelings in some places, and frimfolks
in others. Were people foolish, they were
said to be kemmet; were they idle, they
were trantrels. The times for idling were
called scopperloits; the places where the
trantrels would stay to lounge were
hipping-hawds. Clinkets might be met there,
clinkets being crafty folks; and against
the palings and on the benches might be
haspats, striplings, and dambers, rascals;
and crassantly, and cranny, and reuling
lads, cowards, and jovial boys, and boisterous
ones; and they could stop with one
another all the dondinner, or the onedher
(the afternoon), and they could indulge
themselves the while in donudrins,
afternoon drinkings. Christmas, of course, was
Nowell; the beginning of Lent was
Fasguntide. Were the morning misty, it was
called cobweb; a long, tedious day was
called dree. If people felt but indifferently
well, they said they were frobly-mobly; if
they had swollen faces, they spoke of boun
muns; if they were ready to faint, they
said coath. They spoke of the sull, the
plough; or of weeding nepes, turnips;
and as they trudged along, they would
tread down paigles, cowslips, and turn up
many a forkin-robbin, earwig, and mad,
earthworm; they spoke of picking ersk,
stubble; and of mending the skeels, collocks,
stufnets, posnets, eskins, gotches,
and other kitchen utensils quite as queerly
called. If they wanted to say they
worked with all their might, they used
the word birre; and let us give them
credit for doing it, though it might be
haggling, hailing, though there might be a
sea-harr, a sea-storm, with the gill-hooters,
the owls, at their cry, and memories of
goetie, witchcraft, to grow them, trouble
them, as they strode across runes and
grindlets, watercourses, and by rank zittens,
churchyards. "Where fured ye?" one
might ask another. "Where went you?"
And "Where wun ye?" "Where do you
live?" And they might speak of the thone
tugs, damp meadows, near them, with the
pulks, holes of standing water, and the
rnches, carlock, growing by, and the
disfigurement of mullock, heaps of rubbish.
On the hedge, too, they might point to
bumblekites, blackberries; and, high above,
to a cletch of caddows, a brood of jack-daws;
and, strewing the earth beneath,
to the whitening dodmen, the useless
snail-shells. They might long, too, with one
another, for stull-time, the hour for a huge
slice of bread-and-cheese; but that would
not come sooner than it could come, nor
could they hurry on a moment the hour for
eein, leisure. What if the hauber-jannocks,
oaten-cakes, arid the flauns, custards, and
feabs, gooseberries, are not on the doubler,