Page:Yorkshire Oddities, Incidents and Strange Events.djvu/280

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Yorkshire Oddities and Incidents.

dirty. From his hat depended a tobacco-pipe, hung by a string.

"Never," he would say to his visitors, "never take to nowt, but whenever you can get a penny, felt (hide) it, and let nobody know about it, and then they cannot get it from you. Get all the brass ye can, and as soon as ye can buy a bit o' grund like this o' mine, ye see, set it with potatoes, and it'll keep ye. There'll be a peck or two to spare; ye can sell them, and so ha' brass agean. Are ye married?" said the hermit to a young man who went to see him.

"No," answered the visitor.

"Then ye are right there, young chap. Keep so. If ye get a wife, ye'll see shoo'll be coming on wi' a family, and then that'll take all your brass. I' th' first place, ye'll want a house and furniture, and then there'll be rent and taxes, and your wife'll be always wanting summat for hersen or the bairns. And besides, just look how more flour ye'll want, and sugar, and soap, and candles. And look how mony more potatoes ye'll want for them all to eat. Eh! but they're the animals 'at eats brass. They say that maggots eats cheese, and weevils eats cloathes, and mice eats corn; but wife and bairns eats brass, and it's t' brass as gets cheese, and cloathes, and corn. Nay, lad! have nowt to do wi' them soort o' cattle. And then—if th' wife takes to bonnets and gowns, ye're ruined directly. Nay, nay, grund is better nor a wife, and potatoes nor bairns. If ye want to save your brass and snap up a bit o' grund, ye munna be married."

Job's end came as he was on one of his singing rounds. It is thought that some youngsters drugged his drink, in prank, at Silsden, and the consequences were a violent attack of English cholera. He got back to Ilkley, and crept into a barn belonging to the White Sheaf Inn; but the landlord seeing that his end was near, sent for the