Huddersfield Chronicle (27/Jul/1895) - Sol, the Lockwood Goose
SOL, THE LOCKWOOD GOOSE.
(From Our Correspondent "Cid.")
After an interval of several weeks, owing to the general election, the story of “Sol” is resumed as under:—
- In September, 1879, he brought out “The Yorkshire Wonderful Magazine; or Notes from my Scrap Book,” under the pseudonym of A. Ferrett, and a most readable and particularly interesting publication it was. Misfortune, however, dogged his footsteps, and he was forced to discontinue it. As showing his quaint, pawky style I venture to say that anyone who can read the following without a smile, not to say a jolly laugh, is not to be envied:—
- THE YORKSHIRE MONTHLY.
- This Yorkshur Magazine wor born e Septembur, 1879, an mony a bit ov anxiety ther wor afoar it saw t’daayleet I can tell yo, considering what we wor ta call it an soa forth. Ma owd Adam’s spare rib, Jule (Julia proper), said ray ther snappishly, “call it nowt an have dun wi it, what duz ta want wi writing an tryin ta pleaz evvereboddy, same az t’chap did wi t’donkey. Tha’ll be tryin to pleaz em wal tha loizes t’mule itsen et end iv tha duzzn’t mind, same az he did. But I knaw its noa use me tawkin ta thee, its like whisslin jigs tul a mile poast, cos iv I du advise tha ov owt fer thee awn good tha’z suar to du t’contrary, an its Friday ta day tha knaws, soa let it be till another daay. Its t’wrang daay ta start a undertakin a that mak, an think ov this, iv tha duzzn’t give it a gooid name it al be t’same az t’dog, better hang it at once; but sitha ther’s aar Izaak at t’bottom at t’cloise commin throv hiz wark, ax him, he’z ravther a sharpish lad, tha knaws, an might give thee a wrinkle or mention a name at al du.” Hahivver, Izaak cam an we heard what he thowt abaaght it. “Wha fayther,” said he, “iv yo write owt an want ta mak brass be it, write summat abaght Dick Turpin, or Claude Du Val, or summat e that way, as when I wor at t’Schooil Board vary near all t’lads tewk em, an they du t’same at t’mills an combin shops.” “All nonsense,” said I, but still at t'same time I thought he might have been further off t’mark. Aar Tom said, “Call it ‘Rover,’ yo’ll at ta rove abaght a bit fer subjects a that sort.” Aar Sally thowt summat it way ov a “Bow Bells Novellete” ad be t’best; an aar Suzyhannah, “Sacred Messenger,” but we wer az far off az ivver wi comin tull a conclusion. But it struck me all in a minnet abaght a chap e Godwin Street, a bit ov a fillossever, an one at sells all soarts ov books, az been t’likelyest ov onnyboddy I knew ta ax an opinion on, an vary kind an obligin he wor tew; he wrate daan az mony names az ad a fill’d three sheets a fooilscap, an t’names he introduced fair capt me an noa mistake; some ov em wor regular jaw breaakers, and some wor vary fine names, and some az curious az owt at I ivver heard, and nivver com aght ov Webstur’s Dictionary I’m suar. The “Bradford Antiquary” wor one ov em; nay, nay, says I, not so heigh up, that’s rather to rather. Well then, “Heigh O, Tally O,” wor anuthur; I sed, “Nay be heng’d, John, fowk al think its a hunting journal.” “Well, its hunting eniff, an yo’ll find that aght afooar yov’e been at it long.” An soa I have, I con tell yo. Another name wor “The Lantern.” “Nay dear, what mun we call it Lantern for ivver?” “Call it Lantern for,” he says, “ta mean seeking summat.” He fair knock’d t’breaath aght ov me, it saanded so real. I mentioned it tul anuthur an he said, “Oh, its much too tame. It mun be summat strikin, summat wonderful, or else it willent du at this day. Wonderful, we thowt at ther cuddn’t be nowt more strikin ner that, an it wor fun aght ta be soa tu, an mony a score wor struck an wonderfully astonished at we could fancy ta ax a penny fer a little thing like that, an some wodd’nt even buy it fer fear at fowk ad think at ther wor a wonder et world at they’d nivver seen an didn’t knaw abaght: some said its another catch a some soart! an even sneer’d at it, an wod ommost think it a favour ta accept one geen. An then its been kick’d abaght through one taan tul another durin bad times its had ta battle wi, an scores ov other things I could mention, but shan’t at present, but hoap at yo’ll lewk no war on it fer havin its name changed. It izzn’t t’furst ats done soa, an ther’s mony a one reddy to du t’same, but cannot fashion ta begin. But nah, when its changed tut name ov “The Yorkshire Monthly,” I hoap ther al be noa moar disappointment, but it al be aght at t’proper time, neat and tidy, an get sell’d amang its neiabors et same line; an iv it izzn’t az big az some papers, lets hoap it’l be having a good circulation, and grow bigger. A handsome dress maks a good deal ov difference ta some, and I hoap we sal be able ta pleaz em an put a bit ov blue or yellow on it. But still yo knaw a Bible ad read noa better iv it wor dressed e satin an adorned wi diamonds.
I wor baan ta tell yo hah disgracefully it had been tret, but I’ll leave that bit aght wal t’history on’t iz written, an t’history at time through 1st ov September, 1879, up tut present May 1st, 1880.
- A. FERRETT.
As all must sooner or later say their last words, out of a long list of “Last words of eminent men and women” I cull the following from the Magazine: — Cromwell — “ It is not my design to drink or sleep, but my design is to make what haste I can to be gone.” Charles II. — “Don’t let poor Nelly starve.” Queen Elizabeth — “All my possessions for a moment of time.” Sir Walter Raleigh — “Why dost thou not strike? Strike, man!” Washington — “It is well." Nelson. — “I thank God I have done my duty.” William Pitt — “Oh, my country, how I leave my country!” Prince Albert — “I have such sweet thoughts.” Thurlow — “I’m shot if I don’t believe I’m dying.” Boileau — “It is a great consolation to a poet about to die that he has never written anything injurious to virtue.” Thomas Paine — “I would give worlds if I had them that the Age of Reason had never been published.” Dr. Adams, rector of the High School of Edinburgh — “It grows dark, boys, you may go.” Wesley — “The best of it all is, God is with us.” Beethoven (deaf) — “I shall hear.” Goethe — “Light, more light.” John Locke — “O, the depth of the riches of the goodness and knowledge of God.” Mirabeau — “Let me die to the sounds of delicious music.” Charles Mathews — “I am ready.” Louis XIV — “I thought that dying had been more difficult.” Francis Saurez — “I did not suppose it was so sweet to die.” Tasso — “Into Thy hands, O Lord.” Mahomet — “Oh, Allah! be it so among the glorious associates in Paradise.” Johnson died in a tumult of uneasiness and dread. Hobbs — “I am taking a fearful leap in the dark.” Dr. William Hunter — “If I had strength to hold a pen I would write how easy and pleasant a thing it is to die.” President Edwards — “Trust in God and you need not fear.” Lord Bryon — “Shall I sue for mercy? Come, come, no weakness; let’s be a man to the last.” Robert Burns — “Don’t let the awkward squad fire over me.” Cowper sank to rest as peacefully as a child. Professor Edward Forbes — “My own wife.” William Blake, the painter, to his wife — “I glory in dying. I have no grief but in leaving you, Kate.” “Is your mind at ease?” Goldsmith to his physician — “No, it is not.”
If only those go to heaven whose end is peace, I fear there will be many left out. In a lifetime one sees and is informed of a vast variety of death-bed scenes. To hear pleasant and hopeful expressions from those we love at such times is particularly satisfying, but as the dying embers of life flicker and go out the powers of both body and soul generally droop together, and a providential unconsciousness supervenes. As to the significance of death-bed expressions the life lived, and not so much the death died, is surely the criterion of the future. Those who leave to the last hour of life the settling of the state of their future existence will be disappointed, as all such ever must be. The dallying sentiment of leaving to the last the decision of this vital question is unworthy of brave and true men and women, and as there is only one definite and fully tested revelation as to the future of the soul, by all means settle the matter while in health and strength, and trust to no death-bed arrangements. In addition to the list just given I give a personal reminiscence that has often warmed my heart. Left parentless, I was pitched from pillar to post in my youth, and, like Goldsmith, was a wanderer in the world, realising to the full that “poverty makes one acquainted with strange bedfellows.” I always found, however, that the poor ever assist the poor, and that the heart of humanity is big with generous sympathy, full of helpful pity, like begetting like, and that their charity not only hides, but, I fain would say, blots out a multitude of sins. I have found those who were reputed to be the worst of men to be ever influenced by true sympathy and melted by charity — in fact, I am more frequently drawn to such than to the goody goody whose generosity mostly consists of reproof; whose sympathy is words, words, words; whose pity is manifested out of reach or sight of the supplicant; and whose charity is mixed with the curds of what they would have the world believe is their milk of human kindness. For some years I lodged with an aged widow whose husband was killed at a colliery, she being left penniless. She was taken ill, and, seeing that death must ensue, and knowing that she had nothing, I asked her what I could do for her. She was too weak to answer me just then, only by a yearning look that will never be blotted from my memory. I bent over her and told her I would see her put away “decently and respectably,” her own way of putting it, when a peaceful calm came over her features, a softened light illumined her eye, and with scarcely audible words she said, “I am not afraid to go. Goodbye, thank you, good-bye.” Although in this case I was the giver, the satisfaction begot of the gift has been receipted to me ten thousand-fold since, and its wealth of calm joy is as inexhaustible as ever. By some strange association of ideas or sentiment this circumstance always reminds me of the handful of peas given by a girl at a wake, in Cork, to Goldsmith, who, being then in great distress, said afterwards their flavour remained for ever sweet in his memory. Goldsmith! Poor Goldsmith! it is a poverty-stricken heart that cannot, or will not, forgive and condone many of his shortcomings. If he failed to live up to the severe and relentless morality of those who have been successful because their lives have been hedged by fortune’s favours, the world would be none the poorer for a few more Goldsmiths and a few less Pecksniffs. If I could write a “Citizen of the World,” “The Traveller,” that gem of all sympathetic literature, “The Vicar of Wakefield,” the “Good Natured Man,” “She Stoops to Conquer,” and above all that sweetest of poems, “The Deserted Village,” I would sell or give the pottage of my present or future substance to the worldly-wise and the grasping Gaspards of mankind. Goldsmith’s works have charmed and softened the hearts of myriads, and most do so while pity remains and sympathy lives on earth. If he died in debt he is the world’s creditor, while the intellectual legacies and soul-refreshing bequests he left to his fellow creatures are immortal. Well might old and young, rich and poor alike, sob on the threshold of his apartments when his eye was dimmed and his voice stilled by death, and the inimitable hand that penned imperishable words had vanished. “The most natural genius of his time, he wrote the finest poem, the most exquisite novel, and one of the most delightful comedies. Blundering, impulsive, vain, and extravagant, clumsy in manner, undignified in presence, he was laughed at and ridiculed by his contemporaries: but with pen in hand, and in the solitude of his chamber, he was a match for any of them, and took the finest and kindliest revenges. Than his style — in which, after all, lay his strength — nothing could be more natural, simple, and graceful. It is full of the most exquisite expressions, and the most cunning turns. Whatever he said he said in the most graceful way. When he wrote nonsense, he wrote it so exquisitely that it is better often than other people’s sense. Johnson, who, although he laughed at, yet loved and understood him, criticised him admirably in the remark: ‘He is now writing a Natural History, and will make it as agreeable as a Persian tale.’”
- This is human life: the war, the deeds,
- The disappointment, the anxiety,
- Imagination’s struggles, far and nigh,
- All human; bearing in themselves this good,
- That they are still the air, the subtle food,
- To make us feel existence, and to show
- How quiet death is.