Sam it up. (Prose)

A poem by John Hartley

Ther's a deal o' things scattered raand, at if fowk ud tak th' trouble to pick up might do 'em a paar o' gooid, an' my advice is, if yo meet wi' owt i' yor way 'at's likely to mak life better or happier, sam it up, but first mak sure yo've a reight to it. Nah, aw once knew a chap at fan a topcoit, an' he came to me, an' says - "A'a lad! awve fun one o' th' grandest topcoits to-day at iver tha clapt thi' een on." "Why, where did ta find it?" aw says. "Reight o' th' top o' Skurcoit moor." "Well, tha'rt a lucky chap," aw says, "what has ta done wi' it?" "Aw niver touched it; 'aw left it just whear it wor." "Well, tha art a faoil; tha should ha' brout it hooam." "E'ea! an' aw should ha' done, but does ta see ther wor a chap in it." Aw tell'd him he'd made a fooil on me, an' aw consider'd mysen dropt on, but noa moor nor he wor wi' havin' to leave th' coit. "Neer heed," he said "fowk can allus do baat what they can't get," an' aw thowt ther wor a bit o' wisdom i' what he said. But what caps me th' mooast is at fowk tug an' tew for a thing as if ther life depended on it, an' as sooin as they find they cannot get it, they turn raand an' say they care nowt abaat it. We've all heeard tell abaat th' "fox an' grapes," an' ther's a deal o' that sooart o' thing. This world's full o' disappointments, an' we've all a share. Th' Bradford Exchange wor oppened this month, 1867, an' aw luk on it, that wor a sad disappointment to some. "Exchange is noa robbery," they say, but if some fowk knew what it had cost, they might think it had been a dear swap. Ther are fowk at call it "a grand success" - but then awve heeard some call th' Halifax Taan Hall "a grand success," but they haven't made me believe it. It may do a deal o' gooid, aw'll not deny that; it may taich fowk to let things alooan at they dooan't understand - let's hooap soa. Ovver th' door-hoil they've put "Act Wisely," an' it's time they did. Its summat like telling a chap to be honest, at the same time yo'r picking his pocket. But we've noa business to grummel, its awr duty to "submit to th' powers that be" (if they're little ens); but a chap cannot help langin' for th' time when brains an' net brass shall fit a man for a Taan Caancillor. But fowk mun get consolation aat o' summat, soa they try to fancy th' Taan Hall luks handsome. Its like th' chap 'at saw his horse fall into th' beck; - he tugg'd an' pool'd, and shaated an' bawl'd, but th' horse went flooatin' on, plungin' its legs abaat, makkin' th' watter fly i' all direckshuns but it wur noa use, for it wur draanded at th' last. When he went hooam he tell'd th' wife abaat it

"What does ta say?" shoo says; "is it draanded?"

"E'es, it's draanded, lass; but it ud ha' done thi e'en gooid to ha' seen it, aw wor capt, - mun it wur a topper to swim, an' that's a comfort; tha knows we could niver ha' known that if it had niver been tried."

Lets hooap 'at when they've another to build they'll do better. Its niver too late to mend, an' we're niver too owd to learn; but its hard wark to taich some. Aw remember once a chap tellin' me hah they made sooap, an' he said "three-thirds o' sooap wor tollow, an' tother summat else." Aw tried to show him 'at it couldn't be soa, for if three-thirds wor tollow it must be all tollow; but he said, aw "needn't start o' taichin' him; when he'd been a sooap boiler twenty year he owt to know." Aw saw it wor noa use me talkin', for as Wordsworth says (or else he doesn't)

"Twor throwing words away, for still,
The soap-boiler wod have his will,
And said, "Three-thirds wor tollow.'

But who is ther 'at niver does wrang? net th' odd en! Them 'at live i' glass haases shouldn't throw stooans; soa we'll drop it. We're all fooils at times.

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