Page:A book of the west; being an introduction to Devon and Cornwall.djvu/33

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11
DIALECT

at Kelly, he found the children whom he was questioning very inattentive.

"What is the matter with you?" he asked testily.

"Plaaze, zur, us be a veared of the apple-drayne."

In fact, a wasp was playing in and out among their heavily oiled locks.

"Apple-drayne!" exclaimed Mr. Arnold. "Good gracious! You children do not seem to know the names of common objects. What is that bird yonder seated on the wall?" And he pointed out of the window at a cock.

"Plaaze, zur, her's a stag."

"I thought as much. You do not know the difference between a biped and a quadruped."

I was present one day at the examination of a National School by H.M. Inspector.

"Children," said he, "what form is that?"

"A dodecahedron."

"And that?"

"An isosceles triangle."

"And what is the highest peak in Africa?"

"Kilima Ndjaro."

"Its height?"

"Twenty thousand feet."

"And what are the rivers that drain Siberia?"

"The Obi, the Yenesei, and the Lena."

Now in going to the school I had plucked a little bunch of speedwell, and I said to the inspector, "Would you mind inquiring of the children the name of this plant?"

"What is this plant?" he demanded.

Not a child knew.