Hollow's Cottage

Moore’s good spirits were still with him when he rose next morning. He and Joe Scott had both spent the night in the mill, availing themselves of certain sleeping accommodations producible from recesses in the front and back counting-houses; the master, always an early riser, was up somewhat sooner even than usual; he awoke his man by singing a French song as he made his toilet.

‘Ye’re not custen dahn, then, maister?’ cried Joe.

‘Not a stiver, mon garcon—which means, my lad. Get up, and we’ll take a turn through the mill before the hands come in, and I’ll explain my future plans. We’ll have the machinery yet, Joseph; you never heard of Bruce, perhaps?’

‘And th’ arrand (spider)? Yes, but I hev; I’ve read th’ history o’ Scotland, and happen knaw as mich on’t as ye; and I understand ye to mean to say ye’ll persevere.’

‘I do.’

‘Is there mony o’ your mak’ i’ your country?’ inquired Joe as he folded up his temporary bed, and put it away.

‘In my country! Which is my country?’

‘Why, France, isn’t it?’

‘Not it, indeed. The circumstance of the French having seized Antwerp, where I was born, does not make me a Frenchman.’

‘Holland, then?’

‘I am not a Dutchman; now you are confounding Antwerp with Amsterdam?’


‘I scorn the insinuation, Joe. I, a Flamand! Have I a Flemish face?—the clumsy nose standing out, the mean forehead falling back, the pale blue eyes “\dg\a fleur de t\ec\te”? Am I all body and no legs, like a Flamand? But you don’t know what they are like—those Netherlanders. Joe, I’m an Anversois; my mother was an Anversoise, though she came of French lineage, which is the reason I speak French.’

‘But your father war Yorkshire, which maks ye a bit Yorkshire too; and onybody may see ye’re akin to us, ye’re so keen o’ making brass and getting forrards.’

‘Joe, you’re an impudent dog; but I’ve always been accustomed to a boorish sort of insolence from my youth up: the “classe ouvri\dg\ere” —that is, the working people in Belgium—bear themselves brutally towards their employers; and by brutally, Joe, I mean brutalement— which, perhaps, when properly translated, should be roughly.’

‘We allus speak our minds i’ this country, and them young parsons and grand folk fro’ London is shocked at wer “incivility,” and we like weel enough to g’ie ’em summat to be shocked at, ’cause it’s sport to us to watch ’em turn up the whites o’ their een, and spreed out their bits o’ hands, like as they’re flayed wi’ bogards, and then to hear ’em say, nipping off their words short like— “Dear! dear! Whet seveges! How very corse!” ’

‘You are savages, Joe; you don’t suppose you’re civilized, do you?’

‘Middling, middling, maister. I reckon ’at us manufacturing lads i’ the north is a deal more intelligent, and knaws a deal more nor th’ farming folk i’ th’ south. Trade sharpens wer wits; and them that’s mechanics, like me, is forced to think. Ye know, what wi’ looking after machinery, and sich like, I’ve getten into that

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