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Higher Education




Tis winderful what a quantity of edication folks can stand now-a-days without being any the wiss for’t. Twas different when I were a cheel. They use to reckon in they days that if a boy went to skule arter he were ten twas making a proper fule o’n. But now, by jo, if you was to take’n away bevore he’s vowerteen or vifteen they tells about puttin’ of ’ee into prisin.

But not only that. Us use to reckon that when us ’ad lef’ skule us ’ad done with edication. O’ cou’se better- most folk wude send their chillern someplace to be polished off. And they what ’ad to work for their livin’ was fo’ced to get polished off the best way they cude, or bide unpolished. But now, bless yer art, us ’ave got this yer higher edication, which have been invented by the County Council, with the assistance o’ the rates, fer the purpose of gwain on larnin’ of ’ee arter you’m grawed up.

Tis a quare idea, an’ I dunnaw what will be the outcome o’t. l’ve heerd o’ folks gettin’ their second childhude and when you zees men an’ women vifty or zixty years of age trapesin off to skule I fancy that’s what they must agot.

Us have had several goes to this yer higher edication yer to Muddlecome an’ fust an last it must a-cost a middlin’ scute of money. How much gude it have do’d I shude’n like to say. But seemin’ to me the wrong folks get the benevit o’t, which is most-times the case when things is bein’ gived away for nothing.

Look at when us ’ad “Bees” fir instance. The Squire was mazed that us shude have what he called a “Serious of Lexyers” all about Bees; and they was serious too, I’m popped. He reckoned twude be a fust- rate idaya if all the folks in contry districks was to larn the way to manage bees. To hear him telling, you’d think you’d only got to turn a old bucket up-an-down, an’ smear ’en all about the inzide with traicle, an’ then go rinnin’ around knackin’ a vryin’ pan wai’ the door-kay, an’ the bees wude come an’ full up the bucket with honey in about vive minutes.

“What do you knaw about bees Jan” he says to me.

“I knaws all that’s necessary, yer honour” I says.

“Aw!” he says, “what’s that then?”

“Why, when l sees a bee loppin’ around lookin’ for some place to zit down, I knaws enuff to kip out of his way an’ let’n zit on some other body.”

Be as twill, us ’ad “Bees.” Bills was sticked up all ovver the village an’ the passen gived it out in church that us was gwain to have a Higher Edication out yer to taiche us ’ow to kip bees.

Wull squire waint, an’ passen waint, an’ I waint once out o’ coorosity, an’ passen’s wive an’ squire’s wive, they waint. An’ Miss Jemima Chick the ole maid, who’d rin a mile if a bee was comin’, her waint cuz her thort Henry Sparks would attaind, an’ wude walk ’ome along with her as they both lived the same direction. An’ her never wain’t no more when her’ found Henry wad’n comin’. Wull, an’ the sarvant maids at the Parsonidge waint in turns, wik about, so’s what they larned wan go they cude firget the next. An’ there was a vew more but neether wan o’m ab’m keeped a bee from thik day to theeas.

Wull that was “Bees,” an’ the volleyin year us ’ad a cookin’ class. My hyvers, that was gwain to be a winderful consarn, sure nuff. They tooked along a gurt kitchen stauve, an’ knacked a ’ole in the skule wall vir the chimley to go droo. What it must a-cost to be sure, fir there was all the coal, an’ Mary Bawden to do the waishin’ up an’ the lady that do’d the taichin her had to be took out an’ back again in a carriage, an’ then all the things they had fir cookin’, why it must a-cost a li’l fortin.

Shude’n mind that if twas gwain to benefit the right soort. The volks that ort to get cookin’ lessons fer nothin is men’s wives what got ’bout vowerteen or vifteen shullins a wik an’ their darters. An’ they wants to be shawed how to make a gude meal out o’ nought, or next akin to nought; an’ ’ow to use up vegetables to the best advantage an’ make gude zoup “out of a turmit an’ ’ot watter” as Turney used to zay.

But laur bless yer art there wad’n wan o’ that class went to the Higher Edication. There was the cook to the parsenidge, an’ the ’cook to the manor, an’ the cook to Missis Winter’s, an’ the cook to Missis Hayes’s. That’s vower cooks in fus’ class vam’lies gettin’ taught cookin’ out o’ the rates. An’ the wives an’ darters of all the best varmers around was there who cude avord to pay fer what they wanted to knaw, but Sal Atch, an’ Poll Short, an’ Liz Bradverd, an’ they that wants shawin’ the way to make dre-pennerd o’ coppers stretch all around the kitchen table, they never shawed their nawses inside the door.

What us wants is a bit o’ Lower Edication. That might do a bit o’ gude.