Quayle Bridge House Collection.
Document No. 158.
A Dialogue at the Falls near Snaefeld between some Peasants, Inhabitants of the Back-Settlements of Mona upon an expected Introduction of English Laws and Taxes. Penn'd as the Words were spoken; and translated by Jenkin Mc. Mananan, a Lover of the Old Establishment.
Our Twenty four, says Joan, at Castletown
Did lately meet, and made a long sit down.
And some have strongly got it in their Noddle
That they playd chuck, and took a hearty-Bottle.
Others alledge that mixing Talk with snuff
They sorely wrangled, and did kick and cuff.
Marry, duoth Hob, I wish no worse a matter
There was amongst them, than hard bangs, and clatter
But I am told, a number of odd stories
That half of them are Whigs, and half are Tories,
Yet that they all have join'd in passing Laws
( I wish with all my soul, they may have flaws)
Of men for to make Women, Women men
An hen a Capon, and a Cock a hen;
And beside that, many great alterations
To be a check upon our Neighbour - Nations
Nay then cries Hal, a stout. and able Blade
And no ill friend to the fair smugling Trade
If that indeed be fact, why don't they pass
A Law with Vigour, and as strong as brass
To countermine our sapping English Statute
To us much worse than Frenchmen's galling Tribute
And which those English, had they any Conscience
Woud have flung out, as vile stuff and nonsense
And folly too, for thus by stopping one hole
They've opend ten, and only blown the coal
Of smugling, which like wild fire, spreads the more
And is predominant on their own shore.
You fool, says Roger, No such things in view
For these our Keys are not of the True Blue
And many of them, I fear, rusty too.
Instead of sending us, Alass ! our Woe!
They held a correspondence with the Foe
And are for loading us with English Taxes
Compelling us to drudge with crows, and axes
In English mines, or serve on board their Gallies
Yet they pretend to make us their fast allies
By joining* Mann to Cumberland's black coast
A Work of which Old Nick might make his boast
Coud he effect it, with hands, feet, and all
His might: for, pray, what sort of mound or Wall?
Suppose it made of sand, of Wood or Bone
Or Iron mingled with the hardest stone
Coud stand fierce Neptune in his Wat'ry Realm
When he and Boreas too sit at the helm.
Beside where coud materials be found
For such enormous work, far under ground,
Far under sea, I mean, of such a length
And breadth and height, surely above the strength
Of ancient giants, for aught that appears
To get it finished in an hundred years.
So by th'assistance of the f riendly waves
We hope at least, we shan't be coal mine slaves.
But, Hob replys, are we a straw the better
If we, at home, like slaves, must drag the Fetter?
If English Laws take place, thro' some folks fault
It is not possible, we can have salt
Unto our porridge, nor a cup of ale
Without excise-high Duty-shocking Tale!
So far from good salt herring, or flesh meat
I do not see, we can have bread to eat
Farewell then shoes, nay then our very sandals
We cannot purchase, nor a pound of candles
To mend our Coats by, in a winter's night
And tatterd stockings-Troth, it looks like spite.
For my own part, I'm now without all hope
And have sometimes sad thoughts-to use the Rope
For how can Joan ev'n get an ounce of soap?
As things are like to be, to wash my shirt
My only one, when full of sweat and dirt.
Come then, good Neighbours, Let us haste away
And take our journey over land and sea
For here I see, we can no longer stay.
Suppose we'd go to those, who near the swamps-f
Did bravely scorn the Act, about the stamps.
Surely they'd pity our unhappy Fate
And probably relieve our wretched state.
We'll take our chance, and sail for Canada
Or if that fails, we'll fix at Florida
Or any other hospitable shore
For Mona's bliss and freedom are no more:
*In the literal sense of the words.
+ In America.
It would appear from the text that the Dialogue, which is headed `English Taxation,' must have been written soon after 1765, at which date the ` Mischiefs Act' was passed by the Parliament of England.