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that none will enter into the subject more candidly, nor go along with it more good-naturedly, than those who are native here and to the manner born." It is not “ Michin Mallecho,”-nor “ poison in jest,” nor “any offence in the world.”

It cannot be denied that strange things are reported in some quarters about this great province. A profound respect for one's self, a strict regard to one's personal interests,-a liberal view of honesty, a generous construction upon obligation, a rigid sense of advantage, a meek-spirited concession to gain, a quick apprehension of another's ignorance, an all-prevailing desire to be right by being on the right side,—these things have been ascribed to its inhabitants. It was rather a waggish trick in the Warwickshire deer-stealer to put so selfish a speech into the mouth of the last member of the house of York,—“Richard loves Richard, that is I am I." I can bear witness to a far more moderate avowal, from the full heart of a man, who reserving some little, but only on the just precautionary ground of selfdefence, could not in the warmth of his feelings make a statement without breathing a prayer: “Grant that I may never cheat nor be cheated, but chance it should be so, I had as lief give a bite as take it."

Our dramatists and novel writers think themselves most fortunate if they can introduce among their characters a Yorkshire boor. Their conception of such a character is that nothing is wanting to its perfect truth, its beau ideal, but gross vulgarism and low cunning. Their Dans and Tykes,-their Matthew Sharpsets, and John Moodys,-are, in their esteem, most felicitous in their wit and most faithful to their original. But these are hit off at random and with caricature: without

any knowledge of the vernacular speech, or any consultation of the true model. What is set down for them would equally befit a clown of any place, and then would require that clown to be a buffoon in order to utter it.

Two or three circumstances tended to impress my mind with the peculiarities of your dialect. But as you have a right to know who and whence the critic is, that ventures to speak so frankly to you,-I have to confess it with no little humility


(though as the child of Erin would say, small blame to me for it) that my nativity was allotted where the language is more distorted and barbarous than in any hamlet or nook of our isle. In the Twelfth Night of Shakspeare the jester says“I fear this great lubber the world will prove a cockney.” The secret is confessed. I drew my first breath in Lud's Town, and had it been some centuries ago I should have been a Luddite. When a child I was deported to Sussex, the most coarse in its vulgar tongue of counties, as London is of cities. But I cannot deny that when I passed this frontier, “ I heard a language which I understood not.” It might be better and purer than any form of speech I had hitherto noticed, but it was widely different. It was characteristic, and unique. Emphasis, collocation, and phrases were all extraordinary. I had to think in new terms, and to think out new associations. Mine ear had to discipline itself to sounds which first jarred upon it, not from any inherent dissonance but solely from their unwonted use; then it was required to catch them, to rate their worth and disentangle their complexity. Adventures were not withheld from me, nor some encounters. A week had scarcely elapsed since my arrival, before I determined on an excursion to the Moravian settlement at Fulneck. Ignorant of the way, I accosted a lad who was breaking stones by the side of the road in

common but unmeaning manner,—“Where does this road go to?" With a proud contempt on his face at what he perceived to be a southern tone and an equally foolish question, he, half with the air of the churl and half that of the rogue, exclaimed : “Go! no where : I have knawn it for mar than ton years, and it never sturred yet.” A little out of countenance, if none out of temper, I still urged my desire of information. “Whither shall I get if I drive along this road?” “ To Pudsey, súre, follee thy nese, and aw's plan as a Pekestaff.”—Thinks I to myself,—if such be the cub, what must they be who have whelped him? if such be the eaglet, little more than callow and new-ejected from the eyrie, what is the region of his sires ? A precipitate retreat seemed alike prudent and inevitable from scenes with which I had so small an affinity; and those sharp spirits which peopled it, for which I was so poor

a very

a match. A more quiet proof, though rather more inexplicable, awaited me. I was invited to a humble cottage in a neighbouring village, whose inmates were most respectable, for they were the pious poor. The evening meal was spread,—the utensils and provisions neat as they were unpretending. But how taken by surprise was I when the worthy dame addressed me in a style, more suitable to a heat on a race-ground than the particular religious act she begged me to perform: “We are all ready, will ye start us?” To “loose,” is to return thanks. I then received the difficult direction to “make myself agreeable.” But this is too much an affair of taste to be one of option. Quickly I became acquainted with those watch-words of hospitality, which I have often subsequently heard,—and having done all that urgency could do, or reiteration express, the hostess implored me “ to rāäch to, and to bide no citing.Again, methought, it is a hopeless case! How are such unintelligible parties to reciprocate their views and feelings! Where shall the interpreter be found! In what manner shall the translation be accomplished ! But I soon ascertained that whatever might be the peculiarities of idiom, there was a vein and layer of sober masculine English: and it then occurred to me that the peculiarities themselves might be any thing rather than corrupted and unauthorised! I knew what the metropolis was ;—the seat of palaces, senates, and tribunals! Though I had no great habit of its language, I had some little of its articulation. And I recollected those pure expressions of the city madam and of the bourgeois multitude, — Ant it. Disciver. Quite promiscuous, for quite undetermined. All that sort of thing. For afraid of, for the fear of. Argufy for signify. Those happy interludes in a story, so says I, says he. I have got a great mind, often said by those who have none at all. I fetch a walk, and if as far out of town as possible, like the poor criminal, sentenced to a public flogging, unprepared for the remaining part of the award, “and back again,”—he having fetched his walk, will require himself to be fetched, then of course he will throw himself into a Chay. He should not look as sour as warges (verjuice being so distilled from his lips) because of his own mistake : while it


be a useful lesson to him that there is wishy-wārshy (his happy elimination of vice-versâ,) even in a stroll to Highgate's skylight-tunnel and Hampstead's cultivated heath. If he cannot understand this, we have only to introduce his own delectable mode of answering a difficulty or assigning a reason, “because as why ?"--and then with aid of his chosen adverb assure him that, how somdever, it is just as far to return. These early impressions of a brogue, hateful the more as clipped and affected, reconciled me to a vocabulary certainly difficult to be understood, and still more to be adopted, — but very powerful, expressive, and copious: and withal accompanied by an energy of tone and manner that stamps upon it a sterling, if uncourtly, sincerity and independence. Had I adhered to my first purpose, I should have amassed large collections of specimen and illustration. It is no small disadvantage of this delay, that my ear has lost much of that nice perception with which once it caught each differing inflexion of sound and each novel peculiarity of term. Much pains has been taken with the Nomenclature; but it is remarkable how persons, living in the same place, assert that this word is rife and prevalent, and that if it ever was employed it is now obsolete: that such is the meaning, and that such a meaning is totally misapplied. The reasons are, that the Yorkshire Dialect includes a varying range of expressions : that so immense an area of soil, and so opposite an outline of boundary, must include a population, parts of which have no influence over others : that all persons of education reject provincialisms for that form and manner which are standard as having nothing peculiar or striking in them: that good society here, as every where besides, is lifted up above the necessity or disposition to resort to that which the humbler classes retain: that this progression is general, affecting even these humbler classes in their turn, first showing them that a local term is not likely in the nature of things to be commonly understood,—then enabling them to discriminate between what is local and what is common to the language,-next giving them the consciousness that in clinging to these they are speaking a dialect rather than a language, -and last of all inspiring them with an ambition which, while it suffers them occasionally to draw upon their old phrases and associations,—sometimes for amusement, and at other times as images and echoes of scenes long fled and days long departed,—an ambition to speak with a correctness adapted to their improved mind, and with a catholicity worthy of their extended circle. Let none, then, exclaim against these pecularities as vulgarisms: let us respect the annals of the poor if we cannot decypher them : let all remember that the Doric breadth and plainness of their County-speech was once approved and adopted as really classic: that as the most illiterate now talk, there is no doubt the most wealthy and most learned in their earlier genealogies conversed: that what is now too harsh for the factory was then the language of the Oriel window recess: that words, not positively evil, but which we do not desire our children to overhear in the street, were recounted by judges, declaimed by preachers, and whispered by lovers : that it is probable that the poor and the untaught have refined above their predecessors uniformly with the refinement of the ranks farther advanced in the social scale: that their dialect is not the scoria of the furnace, but some of the first, though perhaps, grotesque shapes of the fused ore: that in fact the expressions of the common people unto this day form a language distinct and substantive,-whose laws may be reduced to an accurate Syntax, whose roots unfold a philosophic Etymology,-whose dissonance

may be attuned and its inflexibility be attempered! In nothing are we willing to allow those things to be degeneracies because they are surrounded by improvements. They are archaisms; and if we think they have either the garrulous tautology or the forgetful relapse of old age,—they are at least venerable, forbearance should be exercised towards them in respect of past services; having obtained a settlement it would be unjust to turn them adrift ; and I propose do all the little that is in my power to rehearse what they have been and what they have achieved, -to pay some of the attention, and to discharge a few of the offices, that should accompany their decline of life, leaving it to a still more charitable soul, to wind them in their shroud, to ring their knell and dig their grave.

That we may pursue a fair and safe discussion, it will be

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