’Ow Us Med Out The Census.




Wance een ten yers thay zes the census koms around; an’ I widden make no odds o’t eef twadden but once een vivty. Twid be offen nuff for me, eef us wiz orwiz gwain tu ’ave tha zame scummer us did theas las’ time.

I’ll tull ’e aul ’bout et, wunts.

Wan Zaturday (day or tu avore Apurl—vule day twas) a chap leff a paper tu our ouze. Wi’yum Webber twas leff ’n, ’e up tu Vower- crass-rawds, ya-knaw.

“Zummon’s vor ’e, Jan,” ’e zes; olleyed et out tu me a-did whur ’e zeed me ztude tu tha get.

“Thank ’e, zure,” zes I; an’ I tuked ’n vrom en, an’ car’d en een ouze. ‘E wid carl vor’n Mundy, zo a-zed.

Wull, us med a ztart tu rade ’n awver tho.

Vurst my Ann er lukeed tu un, an’ tried ’er utmos’ tu make tap ’r tail o’t, an’ er let a pan o’ milk boil.

Tho I ’ad a luke tu’n, an’ arter a bit zumbody olleyed een do-or I ’ad leff awpen tha get, an’ the carves an’ pigs wur aul gone tu ro-ad. Zo I ’ad a middlin’ caper arter they, I can tull ’e.

Wull tho, Jane (that’s my darter ya knaw) er pick ’n up an’ tried tu sense en a bit. Er car’d en upstairs long a-wayer whur er waz tu work, an’ er sticked en up agin tha wall zo’s er cude lukee tu’n an’ work on tha zame, don’-e-knaw. An’ er’d rade a bit an’ broomee a bit, an’ broomee a bit an’ rade a bit; an’ zum places, zo er muther zed er broom-id droo tha planch ’most, an’ uther plaaces er never titched, aul droo tha manes o’ thiky thur ole sensus paper.

Vull tho, wile us wiz ’avin’ our vornunes, us tried tu rade tha ole thing aul dree tu wance; an’ twaz aidifyin’, I can assure ’e. whane I zed twiz wan thing, Ann er’d zay twadden, twiz zummat else; an’ Jane er’d zay twadden nuther wan o’t, twiz zummat divvurnt agean. Zo, arter ’bout quarter-hour, us wiz purty near zo var vore as us waz whane us ztarted.

Aul thiky vore-nune I wiz ztiddin an’ ztiddin ’bout thik zilly paaper tull I thort me ade wid vall abroad, an’ I cuden arf get vore way me work.

Dinner time twiz jiss tha zame, ony wiss an’ zupper time twiz zakly zame agin, ony wisser still.

Arf tha night I lied awake thinking o’t, an’ tuther arf I wiz aslape dramin o’t.

Owsumever. Mondy kom, an’ et ad got tu be du-d, zum’ow or nuther, zo us aul dree zot about en. Us cleared away tha things off bes’ kitchen table. an' zent up zhop vor a vrash penny boddle o’ ink, vor tuther ’ad got a bit thick like, way tha dist that ’ad valled in et.

“Tes aisy ’nuff," zes Ann, “Whane yu knaws tha way o’t. Yu’ve ony got tu rade the drekshins wat’s pin tap. Your name’s Jan Stewer, idden ’a?”

“Ees fie,” I zes.

“Wull, then,” er zaith, “putt et zo down thur lukee,” an’ er wiz jiss pin the point o’ zhowin’ me tha place way tha vire pan which er’d got een ’er ’and.

“Not dirt ’en, now!” I olleyed, “mind wat yu’m ’bout!”

“Gude laurd,” er zaith, “Don’ thee wurry theezel. You’ll ’ave ink zlattered aul auver en long vore yu’ve vinished, I warrner.”

“Wull,” I zes, “now koms nex’ kul-lum, where I be ade o’ the vam’ly or no! Mus’ putt down ’ees, I spoas.”

“Whu zed yu waz?” zes Ann drekly.

“Wull!” I zes, “ eef I bant ade, whu es, I wunder?”

“An’ eef yu be ade,” er zes, “Whur be I? Tail, I spoas?”

“Git ’long, mother,” zes Jane, “’cuse vather’s ade o’ the vamly.”

“Wull,” I zes, “tes mortal ’ard eef I carn be ade wance een ten year.”

“Now koms mar-eed or zingle,” zes Ann. “Yu be mar-eed, bant ’e?”

“Gude laurd,” I zes. “Eef I bant mar-eed, I shid jiss like tu zee the pore to-ad wat ees.”

“Put down mar-eed, then,” er zes; “an’ be thankvul yu’ve got a wive as ’ll; putt up way ’e. Now wat’s nex’ thing? ‘Sex!’ Wat du that mane?”

“Lor massey!” I zes. “Don’ ’e knaw wat ‘sex’ manes? Wy et manes Where yu’m Church or Methody.”

“Git out, vather,” zes tha maid; “zex manes where yu’m male or vemale.”

“Gude laurd!” I zes. “Surely tu gudenus they don’ need tu ax thiky queshun whane I puts down Jan Stewer.”

“Du ’e git along,” zes Ann; “vir I be got most zick tu death o’ tha ole ‘sentence’ an’ yu tu.”

“‘Sensus,’ mother!” zes tha maid.

“Non-sensus I carls tes," zes Ann. “Yu’m a male, bane ’e?”

“Ees, I spoas," I zes.

“W'ull,” er zaith, “putt down ‘M,’ an’ that ’ll du vir ‘Mumpade’ as wull.”

“Ees,” I zaid, “an’ whane I koms vore tu thy name I’ll put down F, an’ thik ’ll du vor zummat else tu bezides vemale.”

’Er knaw’d wat I maned, but ’er didden zay nort, ony sniffid a bit.

“Now, then,” I zed, “kom’s ‘age.’"

“Us arn vorce tu putt down wat age us be, ’ave us, mother?” zes the maid.

“Cuse us ’ave,” zes Ann.

“I bane gwain tu mine,” er zaith.

“Nonsince, cheel,” I zes. “Why vor?”

“Ees,” er zaith; “vine thing widden et be vor Wi’yum Webber tu carr up tu thik urd-aired spickety vace zister o’ ees ’ow old I be, an’ ’ave et aul auver par-ish.”

“Vor shame,” I zes; “I be zhame tu yer ’e tull up sitch ole rummidge."

“Wull, then,” ‘er zaith, “putt down twenty- nine.”

“I shan’t putt down no sitch lais,” I zed. “Yu wiz born zame yer een March as us loss thiky black oarse een Vebury, an’ that's thirty-vower yer ’gone kom that time.”

Tho ’er beginned tu cry, an’ Ann zaith—

“Tes ’ow ole yu be us got tu putt down, not tha maid eet. Putt down zixty-nine.”

“I bane gwain tu put down no zitch thing,” I zed, “whaue I bane but sixty-wan.”

“Git ’long,” er zaith, “put down wat yu mind. Yu’m vive yer older than I be wunts, an’ I be zixiy-vower. Yu wiz vindin vot way tha maid a minut agone, an’ yu’m ten times wiss yerzel.”

“Nex’ koms occupation,” I zes.

“W'ull,” er za‘ith, “put down that whane yu’m duin nort else yu’m varmerin; but mos’ part o’ yer time yu’m utherways tullin ’bout wat yu du’d las’ or else ’bout wat yu be gwain tu du nex’.”

Wull, us got droo thik line tu las’, an’ us got vore purty well till et kom tu go down wat age the maid waz.

Tho thur vaz a purty scummer sure muff, an' us cuden get ’er up no ’igher than wan-an-thirty. Zo I zed I wid putt down wan-an-thirty, but I knawed us mid be ’ad up vor tha jidge an’ vine’ vive poun’s, vor it waz putt down zo pin tha paaper. Zow whane ’er wadden lukin arterwads I med tha wan eentu a vower, an’ I sim tidden orwiz yu can plaze ev’rybody zo aizy as that is.



How Us Made out the Census.




Wance in ten years, they saith, the Census comes around. l wude’n make no odds if twas but wance in vifty. Twude be auf’n nuff fer me if us was orwis to have the same ole scummer as us did this last time.

l’ll tull ’ee all about it.

Wan Zaturdy, day or two afore Appril Vule day, I was lained out ovver the coort geat when Wiyum Webber come along with a bit o’ paaper to his ’and. He that lives up to vower cross ways. Overseer he is and undertaker, so he screws ’ee up when you’m alive an’ screws ’ee down when you’m daid. He let me have this yer paaper.

“Zummons for ’ee, Jan,” he says.

“Thank ’ee, sure,” I says. “What’s it fer? Not havin’ a tail-light on me cows?”

“Tis the Census Paaper,” he says. “You mus’ get ’en fulled in by Mondy, an’ I’ll caal fer’n again.”

So l carr’d in houze, an’ us all ’ad a good luke to un.

Vust Ann (that’s my wive) her tried to zee if her cude make tap or tail o’n, wai’ the result her let a pan o’ milk boil. Purty fine old riggs there was then you mid depend.

Then I ’ad a go at ’en, an’ I did’n ‘ardly sim to a- found out which was the right way up when somebody olleyed in the vore-door that I’d left the geat oppen an’ the pigs an’ calves was all gone to rawd. A middlin’ caper I had arter they I can tell ’ee.

Then my darter Jane her took ’en on an’ tried to sense ’en a bit. Carr’d ’en upstairs where her was to work, an’ pinned ’en up agin the wall, so’s her cude rade to ’en and broomee same time. An’ her’d rade a bit an’ broomee a bit, an’ broomee a bit an’ rade a bit; and some places, so her mother said, her broomied purt’ near droo the planch, an’ other places her never titched o’, all droo the means o’ thic ole census paaper.

When come vorenoon’s time us tried raidin’ it all dree to-wance, an‘ that was aidifyin’ I can ’sure ’ee. Whane I said twas wan thing, Ann her’d say twad’n, twas summat else, an’ Jane her’d say twad’n neether- wan o’t, twas summat differnt again. Zo, arter a bit, us was purt near so fur fore as us was when us started.

All droo the fore-noon I was stiddin’ an‘ stiddin’ ’bout thic stoobid paper, an’ cude’n half get vore wi’ me work.

Dinner time was zacly same only wiss, an’ zupper time twas same auver again only wisser still.

Arf the night I lied awake thinkin’ ’bout the darned ole census paaper, an’ tother ’arf I was aslape draimin’ o’t.

All day Zindy I cude’n get ’en off me mind; an’ when passen said “Us have laived undin they things us ought to a-din,” I thought to mezell “Ees, us ’ave. Thik blimmin’ ole census paaper fer wan.”

Owsumever, Mondy come, an’ it ’ad got to be do-d some-ow or nother, so us all dree zot about en. Us cleared off the things from the bes’ kitchen taable, an’ zend up shop arter a frash penny bottle o’ ink, cuz the tother ’ad got a bit thick-like with the dist that ’ad falled in it. Us spraid out the ole paaper, an’ I tooked the pane in me ’and.

“Tis aisy nuff, when you knaw’th the way o’n,” says Ann. “You’ve aunly got to rade the constructions. Your name’s Jan Stewer, id’n it?”

“Wull,” I says, “so they told me.” “Very wull, then,” her says. “Putt it down there, look’ee,” an’ her was jis pon the point o’ shawin’ me the spot wai’ the dirty ole vire-pan which her’d got in ’er ’and.”

“Yer,” I says, “mind what you’m about o’. Not bissle ’en.”

“Gude laur,” her says. “Daun’ you worry yerzell nort about that. I’ll warran’ you’ll have ’en slattered all ovver wi’ ink long nuff avore you’ve vinished.”

An’ I be dalled if her wad’n about right too.

So I wraut down me name, an’ then I says,

“Now comes nex’ cullum, whe’er I be hade o’ the vamly or no. Must putt down ‘ees’, I reckon.”

“Aw,” says Ann, “who says you was?”

“Wull,” I says, “if I ban’t hade o’ the vam’ly who is, I shude like to knaw?”

“An’ if you be hade where be I then?” her saith. “Tail, I spause.”

“Git ’long, mother,” says Jane, “cou’se vather’s hade o’ the vam’ly.”

“Tis mortle ’ard,” I says “if I can’t be hade wance in tain years.”

“Gid on, then,” says Ann. “Putt down sheep’s-ade.”

“Now comes marrid or zingle,” I says.

“Wull, you’m marrid, ban’ ’ee?” says Ann.

“Gude laur,” I says. “If I ban‘t marrid I’d like to zee the poor blid that is.”

“Putt down marrid, then,” her says, “an’ zay you’m thankvul you got a wive as’ll putt up with ’ee. Now what's nex’ thing. ‘Sex.’ What do that mane?”

“Daun’ ’ee show yer ignerance so much,” I says, “fer gudeness sake. Mane to say you dunnaw what ‘sex’ manes! Why ‘sex,’ that’s mainin’ whe’er you’m Church or Methody.”

“Giddout, vather,” says the maid, “sex manes whe’er you’m male or vemale.”

“Rummage,” I says, “you’m thinkin’ about insec’s. They daun’ want to ax whe’er I be male or vemale if I putts down Jan Stewer.”

“Do ’ee git along,” says Ann. “I be zick to death o’ the ole sentence, an’ you too.”

“Sensus!” mother,” says Jane.

“Non-sensus I caalls it,” her says. “You’m a male, ban’ ’ee?”

“I was orwiz give to understand so,” I says.

“WulI, shove down a ‘Ham’ then,” her says, “an’ that’ll do fer Mump’aid as wull.”

“Ees,” I says, “an’ when I comes vore to thy name I’ll put down a ‘Haf,’ an’ that’ll do fer zummat else too bezides Vemale.”

Her knawed what my mainin’ ’was, but her did’n say nort. Her aunly sniffid a bit.

“Now, then, comes age,” I says.

“Us ab’m got to putt down what age us be have us?” says Jane.

“Cou'se you ’ave,” says Ann.

“I ban’t gwain to mine,” says the maid.

“Nonsince, cheel,” I says. “ Why fer?”

“Ees,” her saith. “Vine thing wude’n it be vir Wi’yum Webber to carr’ up to thik urd aired spicketty face sister of his ’ow old I be, an’ spraid all ovver the parish.”

“Fer shame,” I says. “I be vexed to yer ’ee tell up sitch rummage.”

“Well, then,” her says, “putt down twenty-nine.”

“I shan’t putt down no sitch lies,” I says. “You was born on twenty-vorth o’ March as us loss thik black zow on Lady-day. I mind it cuz I said misfortins never come zingly; and that’s thirty-vower year agone come the time.”

“Tid’n the maid you’m writin’ about tis yerzel',” says Ann. “Occupation!” her says. “Putt down that arf yer time you’m tellin’ about what you do’d last an’ the tother arf ’bout what you’m gwain to do next.”

Wull, us got along middlin’ until us come to how old the maid was, an’ then, do what us wude, us cude’n get her up above wan an’ thirty. So I putt down wan an’ thirty, but I knawed us wude be had up bevore the jidge an ’vined vive pound fer twas said so ’pon the paaper. So arterwards, when her wad’n lookin’, I changed the wan into a vower, an’ I sim tid’n orwis you can plaize ev’rybody so aisy as that.