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So I says,

“Oh, indeed! Whatever wote does the gentleman require ? I hope as nothing ain't happened to the beadle, as was the last as 'ad it, as fine-looking a man as you'd see in a day's walk a-standin' on them church steps, with his cock hat and beef-steak collar, as looked commandin' at the 'ead of them boys a-beatin' of the bounds, as the minister, though lusty, didn't look nothing aside of him, and them full parties is often gone to-day and here to-morrow, as the sayin' is.” So it give me a turn when the gentleman talked about Brown's vote.

But he says, a-smilin' benign, “No, mum,” he says, “it are not parochial, but," he says, “parliamentary, thro' Mr. Brown 'aving of property in the Tower Hamlicks."

So I says, “Oh, indeed!" I says, “I hope they ain't been and drawed Brown for Parliament as they did for to serve on a jury, as took him away from his home, and locked up three nights all along of one fellow as wouldn't give in about a party being hanged, as richly deserved it, and got it too, as I says, tho' I don't hold with bloodshed in general, yet them as does such things did ought to get it, as is sure to come home to them.”

So the gentleman he says, “As he hadn't no wish for to dictate to Brown about giving his vote, but that if we wanted all manner, as this was the party as would do what is right by your Queen and constitution, as he was anxious to preserve.

“Of course the Queen did ought to be looked after proper, as is a-getting on now, thro’ being the grandmother of eight, as I see in the paper, tho' that's nothing, for I've six, as I said myself; but," I says, “as to our constitutions, they're remarkable good, or we shouldn't look as we do; for when Brown is cleaned up a bit you'd guess him ten years younger than what he is." So I


“ We don't want no one a-looking after our constitutions, a-poking their noses into families, as is what I calls interference."

So the gentleman says, “Don't you wish for to see Church and State kep’ up?"

I says,

“Well," I says,

6 I thinks there's some as keeps up too much state ; for," I says,

“ there's Mrs. Graylings, as keeps the ile shop at the corner, to see her go to church of a Sunday morning you'd think as she was the queen, and a wulgar squat figger for a green satin gownd and a pink bonnet, with a nose like a beetroot ; and as to him he's downright ridiculous, a head and shoulders shorter nor her, a punchy figger, as a blue coat and metal buttons don't set off, and as plain a family as ever you see, and the eldest daughter married quite miserable; tho’ Í knows what would make them drop their heads a little; and suppose he is churchwarden, what o' that ? there can't be no occasion for them stately ways." So I says, “None of your Church and State for me. “Then,” says the gentleman,

we may

reckon on Mr. Brown being Liberal.”

“Well,” I says, “that depends." I says, “It's as much as people can do now-a-days to pay their ways, let alone being liberal, for I'm sure the price as things is quite takes away your breath.”

So says the gentlemen, We hope to relieve the burdens of the working-man."

I says, “That's right, that is; but," I says, “in my opinion the working-man 'ad better look after his-self. It's all very fine to come a-talking about working people bein' looked after." I says, “ You're precious careful of the working-man, you are; you're afraid of his getting a drop of beer of a Sunday night, when I'm sure we conie in famishing from Chigwell, and it only just struck eleven as we turned the corner, thro’ bein' a good drive, and there we was done out of our beer ; and then we mustn't have a bit of dinner baked of a Sunday; if it ain't fetched home afore half-past one the baker mustn't give it, as 'appened to poor Mrs. Giddings, as had starved and slaved to get that bit of meat all the week, as was kep' late at church through a bishop a-preachin', as she took all the children to hear, and come home too late for to get her dinner out, thro' the baker bein' fined the week afore, as was left a-starvin' with seven on 'em, and the bit of meat with a puddin' under reglar sp'ilt by Monday mornin' when she got it.”

“Now," I says, "you leave the working-man alone, and let him do as he likes, and if he does wrong there's the police as'll make it all square. How ever would you like for a lot of working-men to interfere with your goings-on, and talk about improving of you, as I'm sure needs it with your divorce courts, as is a dis


So says one of the gentlemen, “ Mum, you did ought to be in Parliament yourself.” I seed he was a jeering, as put me out, so I

says, “ If I was I'd pretty soon set some on 'em to rights.'

So the little chap with the red whiskers gives the other a nudge, and then they both laughs, tho' a-trying to keep it under, as I'd ketched em at it afore. So I says,

“Redicule is all very fine, and I dessay as you're mighty fine in your Parliaments; but," I says, « don't come here a-talking and a-sniggering and agrinning at me," I says, "a taking up my time," as was downright a starving for my tea.

“Excuse me," says the tall gentleman, “but really you have been a-talking that fast, Mrs. Brown, as we haven't had a chance of saying a word; but," he says, “you'll tell Mr. Brown as he'll hear from the candidate more fully.” “Well," I says,

" I've heard quite enough, and as to me talking it's a thing as I'm not give to, for, as I often says, hear, and see, and say nothing is the best way through this world.” So they only gives a sort of grunt and bows very low, a-wishing of me a good afternoon ; but, law bless you, they was masks of deceit, for Mrs. Pollin she met 'em two doors off alaughing like mad, and a-talking about some old woman as they'd had fun out of, and I dare say that's what they was up to a-comin' here, but thro' me a-knowin' of myself I don't give no one a chance of makin' fun out of me, tho' when I did tell Brown he went on that aggravatin' a-sayin' of course I was the old woman they meant, whereas they wouldn't believe me a grandmother; but Brown's a-goin' to wote agin 'em, as serves 'em right if they was a-rediculin' of me to my very face, as Brown says is very plain, tho' I don't believe him.

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I WROTE some lines once on a time

In wondrous merry mood,
And thought, as usual, men would say

They were exceeding good.

They were so queer, so very queer,

I laughed as I would die;
Albeit, in the general way,

A sober man am I.

I called my servant, and he came;

How kind it was of him,
To mind a slender man like me,

He of the mighty limb!

“These to the printer," I exclaimed,
And in


humorous way, I added (as a trifling jest),

“ There'll be the devil to pay."

He took the paper, and I watched,

And saw him peep within;
At the first line he read, his face

Was all upon the grin.

He read the next, the grin grew broad,

And shot from ear to ear ;
He read the third ; a chuckling noise

I now began to hear.
The fourth; he broke into a roar;

The fifth ; his waistband split;
The sixth; he burst five buttons off

And tumbled in a fit. For days and nights, with sleepless eye,

I watched that wretched man, And since, I never dare to write

As funny as I can.



I'm not a chicken; I have seen

Full many a chill September,
And though I was a youngster then,

That gale I well remember;
The day before, my kite-string snapped,

And I, my kite pursuing, The wind whisked off my palm-leaf hat

i For me two storms were brewing. It came as quarrels sometimes do,

When married folks get clashing: There was a heavy sigh or two,

Before the fire was flashing, A little stir among the clouds,

Before they rent asunder, — A little rocking of the trees,

And then came on the thunder. Lord ! how the ponds and rivers boiled,

And how the shingles rattled ! And oaks were scattered on the ground As if the Titans battled ;

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