[from Collected Works, T.E.Brown]
" Is that you, Peggy ? my goodness me!
And so dark still I can hardly see!
Wait, woman, wait !
Ill come down : ye needn go on hommerin at such a rate.
Heres the master snorin
Like a mill, and you to be breakin the door in
Its just disthractin, thats what it is
Aisy, woman ! yis ! yis
Theres people ll snorewheres that perricut ?
Theres people ll hommermy gough ! that slut !
Im comin ! Im comin!
God bless the woman!
I navar heard such a row
" Aw dear ! aw dear ! aw, the craythur ! aw, poor Peggy,
whats the matter with you now?
Come in ! come in ! the sowl ! the sowl!
What is it, Peggy, what ? and where have you left Dan Cowle?
Is he outside in the street ?well, where is he then?
Did you call at the halfway-house ? did he getaw, bless these men!
Did he fall on the road ? No, ye say, no !
Well then where did he go?
Is he lyin in the ditch?
Did he lave you, or did you lave him-which?
You left him !
So I suppose its not a man youre wantin at all, but a cherubim?
Aye ! aye !
" And you that were married only yesterday, and the weddin out of this house
To be comin home in the mornin all raggd and rumpled like a reglar trouse 2
Peggy, Peggy ! Youd like to blow there, just to feel
Youre at home againeh, Peggy?
Dont kneel ! dont kneel! Dont be foolish, Peggy. There ! take the bellows,
And blow away!
And well have a cup o tay,
And then youll tell us.
WhyDan Cowle ! Dan Ballabroo!
A dacent man, and well-to-do!
Dan ! Dan Cowle ! dear heart!
And the beautiful ye went away in the cart!
And youve tuk and left him ! left Dan!
Left the man !"
" Man ! did ye say ? aw Misthriss, Misthriss ! what are ye
Man ! do ye call that craythur a man, because hes a thing thats walkin
On two legs, and a tongue in his head ? a beautiful 3
Of a manyou call him a man, I call him a dirt!
Thats what I call hima dirt, and a sneak, and a dunkey
Man ! if that chaps a man, hes a cross twix a man and a monkey!
And a touch of a divil, and a touch of a fool . .
Listen, Misthriss, listen ! We warn half-way up Barrule,
When I thought hed ha stayed a bitand only raisonable he shud
At Kinvigssbein a thing lek thats general understood
Whats halfway-houses for, Id like to know
You wouldn be agen 4 that?
" Certainly ! and company waitinand just a drop to
warm a body
And dear me ! what is there in half a glass of rum, or a whole glass, for the matter of that, to harm a body?
And well you know it isn the dhrink I regard
Well you know thatbut still a bodys hardly prepard
To pass the only public-house on the road, drivin home on your weddin night
It isn right,
Nor correck, nor friendly, nor in any surt of a concatenation
Lek accordin to your station
And disappintin people that way, wheti theyre trustin
Your proper feelins, is quite disgustin.
" So I lays my hand on his arm, just by way of
Nothin moreand behould ye ! he cocks hisseif up as stiff and as dignifyin,
And rip ! and rup ! and chip ! and chup!
And Theres nobody up, he says. Nobody up?
And glasses jinglin, and windows blazin,
And people comin out, and shoutin amazin
To stop ! But no ! but sticks his elbers like skewers in a body
What ! I says, not a glass of toddy?
Just for neighbourly dacency?
Its surprisin how early theyre goin to bed, says he.
Goin to bed ! says I. Yes, he saysmiddlin snarly
Kinvigss was allis early, he says, particlar early
And his ould hoss gallopin, and heisin his hind-quarters, and workin
Like a see-saw, and bumpin and jerkin,
And sent me flyin, with my head in the bottom of the cart, and my feet in the air,
And the rest of meanywhere.
" So he puts out his hand
Bless my sowl ! he says, I thought it was gone !
What ? says I. The box, he says, maenin my box, and my weddin bonnet
Smashed to jammy I wish youd sit upon it,
He saysthe box, of coorse ! So I thought Id be a little lovin
And thatand I comes up lek gradjal, lek shiftin and shovin
Lek agen him in a way. And I says, Id like to be with you, says I,
' My own husband, I says ; for I thought it better to try
Was there just a taste
Of anything of a husband in him. So he put his arm round my waist
Not round eitherfor he couldn do that
Not for the stout I am, bein allis a gintale figger, but just like a lath
Agen the back o my stays, and not the smallest curl
Or squeeze in the ould pump-handle, not the smallest in the worl
And his eyes on the boxand There its goin!
He says, and waein and woin
And as restless ! And then we got on the mountain ; and the ling
Was smellin very sweet in the dark, and a stream began ting-ting-ting
Down the other wayvery pleasant, and it got couldher,
And I thought it was only a spectable thing to put my head on his shouldher.
" O dear ! he got as crabbit
As an ould buck rabbit;
And he hitched and he hunched, and he cribbed and he crunched,
Till he was all bunched
In a lump ; and anyway his blades that sharp
And snaggy you might as well ha leaned your head on the backbone of a carp.
" So I didn care, and I sat up as straight
And as indepandin. It was gettin late
When we come to his house ; and there was a falla theer standin on the look-out
On the very top of the midden, and jumps down, and grips the hoss, and gives a big shout,
And Look here ! he says, whos goin to pay me? 'Pay !
Thinks !and this ould fool goin seerchin away
In all his pocketsand gev a start,
And Bless my heart !
He says, hey I lost it ? hey I lost it ? and twisses and wriggles
Hisself into knotsand the other chap stands and sniggles
A young chapAnd Dear me ! says Dan, it must ha dropt out on the road comin
Its very disthressin, he says. Faith then ! youre a rummin,
Says the chap, and like to buss 5
Whats the use o talkin ? says Dan Cowle, Ive lost my puss.
Wheres your puss, Peggy ? maybe, he says, youll not mind
Payin the man, he says if youll be so kind,
He saysbut oh ! that creepin, and that sneakin, and that slewin, and that screwin,
Like a conger just. And Whats a doin?
Says I ; isn it your own cart you got?
Well no its not, he says,
I must confess
The fact of the matter is, he says,
My own cart is bruk very bad,
And I borrowed this one for the occasion. So I paid the lad.
" Aye, aye ! his cart is bruk very bad, says the
Likewise his trap,
And the phaeton, and the barooch, and the jantin-car, and the family coach-and-four
And he gev a roor
Out of hisself, this young divil
And Hurrah for the weddiners ! he says. Be civil ! be civil!
Says Dan, be civil, young man, it would well become ye
But says I Take your money and your cart, I says, and be off with ye, ye scum ye!
Be off ! I says, stir your stumps !
(These Foxdale lumps 6
Is pirriful.7) And Dan with the box on the street, and pokin
The key in the doorand, you know, I seen the chimbley wasn smokin,
Nor nothinflor no cowhouse about that I could see,
Nor no garden, nor a bush, let alone a tree But just a crock
Standin on a rock,
And water runnin in it very free
At the gable, and slishin and slushin, and muckin the street
Under ones feet.
" And this is the man that tould me hed make me
Youll not mistake me,
You know me, Misthriss, dont ye ? and you know I wouldn flinch,
No, not even if I was deceivedno, not an inch!
On Id go, through the smooth and the rough,
Content enough For richer for poorer, for better for wuss
Lost his puss!
Had he ? lost two ! lost twenty!
Give me a man with a lovin heart, Misthriss, with a lovin heart
Thats plenty Plenty for menavar mind the cart
With a lovin heart, and some wit about him
And Id navar doubt him,
Misthrissno ! For better for wuss
Thems the words, and didn the Pazon say them ? And Id nuss
His childher, and Id work, and Id slave, and Id die
Before Id be beatand still a lie
Is a dirty thingfore or aft,
As the sailors is sayin
But listen again
Misthriss ! Misthriss ! you dont know half.
" So we got in, however, and he groped about, and he found
And he skinned his ould knuckles all like a pridha 8 peel,
Streck-streckin away ; and, when he gor 9 a light at last,
You navar seen such a rookery. A dresser there was
Yisbut hardly a plate or a bason, or any other surt o war,
And a hape of mouldy turmits 10 in a corner therecould, comfortless things they are
And a rot-hole,11 or a shot-hole, I dont know which, and I dont care etha,12
And a barrel that looked like male, with a flag or a slate on the top of it, and a medha,13
And a pot, and nothin in it, and no fire, if there had been, and as for bed or beddin
Well, I dedn throuble, no, faith, I dedn.
" It was a house that if you were inside youd see about as
much sky as roof,
A surt o mixthar o the two, and a touch of harry-long-legses and spidersaw, its the troof ! 14 its the troof,
The troof Im tellin ! And the scraas 15 hangin in rags and strings of dirt as black
You couldn tell were they scraas, or strips tore from a rotten ould sack,
Or nettin or somethin. And I can tell ye the chap begun, as a body might say,
To look rather ashamed of hisself I think so in a way
Yishe didn look at me for a bit at all,
But cocked his face agen the wall.
" And Its too late, he says,
its too late for supper, I suppose
And ye might have sniffed and sniffed till ye straint your nose
Afore youd ha got a smell of supper in yandhar place
But he turned at last, and I saw his face
Workin, workin, workin most terrible,
And screwin the eye, and workin still
And Lets sit down a bit, he says, and he studdied the candle, if ye plaze, and he looks up as innocent as a linnet,
And he says, Thats a nice puss youve got, he says ; how much is there in it?
And I tould him £4 : 16s. and 2½d. farlin
So he says, Thats a nice little bit o money, my darlin
Lets see it, he says.
So I gev it to him, ye know;
And he counted it out, I tell ye, every coin of it, very slow
Very slow he countedand thenwhat dye think?
Whips it in his pocket ! A nice lump of jink !
Says Dan ; and he snuggled up closer to me, and he began to fiddle and fiddle,
Lek tryin to span me round the middle
Some surt o coortin ! thinks I, hes improvin, I doubt
The ould villyan ! He was just tryin to find out
Had I any more stitched up in my stays!
And a man with such ways
Would you call him a man ? now would ye, Misthriss? would ye, though?
That was the fiddlinaye ! he said it, he said it hisself, the ould crow!
Yis, and his dirty ould mouth all of a pucker, and grippin and nippin,
And declarin he felt the shillins slippin
Between the quiltinsaw dear ! aw dear!
But I was enough for himnavar fear!
" I says This is no place for me, I says ; and
up I Jumps
Im off, I says ; and he rattles his ould stumps
And Off? he says Why youve not opened your box yet !
Clear out o the road ! I says. I hevn seen your frocks yet,
He says, nor the sheetin nor nothin !just give us that key
Its every bit my proppity ! he says. Out o the way!
I says, and I gript the box. But if I gript it, he gript it, and he shouted and bawled,
And backards and forrards we tugged and we hauled;
And we staggered this way, and we staggered that way,
And higgledy-piggledy, and I cannot tell what way
But I gev him a run in on the dresser, and his ould back bent,
Anddown he went!
" And the crockerywhat there wasall smashedwell
to be sure!
And the turmits rowlin on the floor So the box was mine, and I out on the door.
Murdher ! tieves ! and he run after me full trot
Youre a robber ! he says ; youve robbed me ! everything you got
Belongs to meIll bring a shuit, he says ; Ill bring a shuit
For damagers ! he saysthe ould brute Ill have your life ! he says,
Arn you my wife ? he says Murdher ! he says, murdher ! Murdher your granny,
I says Good-bye, Dan Cowle ! good-bye, Danny !
And I left him standin in the road ; and here I am, as you see
And, Misthriss I no more weddins, aw good sakes ! no, no more weddins for me !"
2 Slattern. 3 Sort. 4 Against.
5 Burst. 6 Lads. 7 Pitiful, detestable.
9 Got. 10 Turnips. 11 Rat.hole.
12 Either. 13 Small, one-handled tub.
14 Truth. 15 Strips of sod laid on the rafters under the thatch.