Page:A book of the west; being an introduction to Devon and Cornwall.djvu/38

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16
THE WESTERN FOLK

servility of manner which one meets with in other parts of England, it would be a vast mistake to suppose that a West Country man is disrespectful to those who are his superiors—if he has reason to recognise their superiority; but he does not like a "foreigner," especially one from the North Country. He does not relish his manner, and this causes misunderstanding and mutual dislike. He is pleased to have as his pass'n, as his squire, as a resident in his neighbourhood, a man whom he knows all about, as to who were his father and his grandfather, as also whence he hails. A clergyman who comes from a town, or from any other part of England, has to learn to understand the people before they will at all take to him. "I have been here five years," said a rector one day to me, a man transferred from far, "and I don't understand the people yet, and until I understand them I am quite certain to be miscomprehended by them."

The West Country man must be met and addressed as an equal. He resents the slightest token of approach de haut en bas, but he never presumes; he is always respectful and knows his place; he values himself, and demands, and quite rightly, that you shall show that you value him.

The other day a bicyclist was spinning down the road to Moreton Hampstead. Not knowing quite where he was, and night approaching, he drew up where he saw an old farmer leaning on a gate.

"I say, you Johnnie, where am I? I want a bed."

"You'm fourteen miles from Wonford Asylum," was the quiet response, "and fourteen from Newton