Jealousy. (Prose)

A poem by John Hartley

It wad be a poor shop, wad this world, if it worn't for love! But even love has its drawbacks. If it worn't for love ther'd be noa jaylussy - Shakspere calls jaylussy a green-eyed monster, an' it may be for owt aw know, an' aw dooan't think 'at them 'at entertain it have mich white i' theirs. If ther's owt aw think fooilish, it is for a husband an' wife to be jaylus o' one another; for it spoils all ther spooart, an' maks a lot for other fowk; an' aw'm allus a bit suspicious abaat 'em, for aw've fun it to be th' case 'at them 'at do reight thersens are allus th' last to believe owt wrang abaat others.

Aw once knew a chap 'at wor jaylus, an' his wife had a sore time wi' him. If shoo spake to her next-door neighbor, it wor ommost as mich as her life war worth, an' shoo wor forced to give ovver gooin' to th' chapel, becos if shoo luk'd at th' parson he used to nudge her wi' a hymn book. Th' neighbours pitied her, an' set him daan for a fooil; but he gate cured at last, an' aw'll tell ha.' Once he had to set off, an' as shoo worn't varry weel he couldn't tak her wi' him, but he gave her a lot o' directions afoor he went, an' tell'd her 'at he might be back ony minit. Well, if iver ther war a miserable chap it wor Jim, wol he wor away; but he coom back as sooin as he could, an' what should he see but a leet up stairs. His face went as white as chalk, an' he wor just creepin' to th' winder to harken, when a chap 'at knew him happened to pass. He knew how jaylus Jim war, soa he thowt he'd have a lark. "Halla, Jim!" he said, "coom here; aw've summat to tell thee. Tha munnot goa in yor haase just nah, for tha ar'nt wanted."

"What ammot aw wanted for, awst like to know?" said Jim.

"Well, keep cooil, an' aw'll tell thi. Tha knows tha's been away a day or two, an' aw think it's my duty to let thi know 'at last neet ther wor a young chap coom to yor haase to luk at thi mistress; an' shoo's niver been aat o; door sin', nor him nawther; an' my belief is they're in that room together just this minit."

"Aat o' my rooad!" sed Jim, "let me goa in If aw dooant pitch him aat a' that winder, neck an' crop, my name isn't Jim." Up stairs he flew. "Nah then, whear is he? whear is he?" he haw'led, an' seized hold o' th' pooaker.

"Aa, Jim," shoo sed, "Tha wodn't hurt th' child surelee?" an' shoo held up a bonny little lad abaat two days old, 'at stared at him as gaumless as gaumless could be, an' 'at had his father's nooas an' chin to nowt.

"By gingo, aw'm done this time!" said Jim, as he tuk it in his arms an' kust it. "Aa, what a fooil aw've been! tha'll forgie me, lass, weant ta?"

"Sure aw will, Jim," shoo sed. An' after that they lived happily together, as all dacent fowk should.

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