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Now we may not require to use such a thing
at all, and you have sent for one under any
circumstances; still, when you see her, if you
consider it expedient, you might ascertain whether
she has one in her possession. If her information
is not satisfactory, to have a likeness at
hand will save time."


Oi ha' larnt that ef any man wishes to be
thowt well on by other people, he must think a
good deal of hisself. I haven't larnt this from
beuks, but from jest keepin' my oies open, loike.
I dessay you'll want to know whoy I calls
myself Soleon t' pitman. You'll jest understand
that I didn't call myself so at all. Oi didn't
know there ever wos a Soleon, until one o' them
skippin' dondified chaps, that the guv'ment
sends down sometoimes to look at t' pits, towd
me so. Oi wos allus considered a little bit free
wi' moi tong, and whether moi brains got a
little loose that mornin', oi doant knowfor
they tell me that t' tong wags accordin' to t'
brainbut oi wos full o' queer sayin's, loike,
and they would cum out. This chap heered me
a sayin' 'em, and he sez, sez he, "Oi should think
that yow are Solon, t' pitman." Of course, on
heerin' this, oi must needs ax him who Soleon
was; and oi found out that he wadn't a pitman
at all, but that he wos a ole chap that people
thowt a good deal on, because he thowt a good
deal of hisself, and that he lived in Grese. When
oi heerd that he lived in Grese, oi thowt 'twos
a butcher or a candle-maker, and oi axed him
if it wos so, and he only larfed at moi hignorance,
and went on. Well, he sed enuff for
me; and moi mates allus since then call me
Soleon, t' pitman. Oi hev jest towd this to
yow, that yow moight know who oi am, as
well as to tell yow that oi am axed to-night
moi thowts on t' Queen's cumin' to

When we heerd that t' Queen wos a comin'
to Wolverhampton, we wos moighty glad. Oi
hadn't sin dayloight, only on a Sunday, ever
since the days shortened; for we go to work
when its dork in t' mornin', and we doant cum
up out t' ole pit until after dayloight is gone at
noight; but, thinks oi, t' Queen shan't cum to
Wolverhampton and me not see hur. We then
heerd through t' paper and oi doant know
how 'tis, but sumhow or another we loike a
respectable paper, 'tis so much noicer to reed
wot men roight that have got eddication, then
wot 'tis sum other folk roightthat t' chaps at
Wolverhampton were a goin' to make a arch o'
coal. "Well," thinks oi," that'll be fust-rate; and
oi hope they'll make it a stunner." And they
hev tew. It's no use a tellin' yow how we
wished for t' day to cum, nor how ernest we
wos to lissen to Bull's-oi, t' best reeder in our
pit, as he red wot wos a goin' on.

Well, t' day did cum at last, and it wos a foin
day, and me and Bull's-oi, and Stumpy, and Ole
Crow, and our missuses, got reddy to go to
Wolverhampton. They chaps cum down t' moi
place o'ernoight, and sum on 'em wadn't for
takin' their missuses. When moi Molly heerd
that, she looked at me, not cross loike, but sad.
So oi sed, " Molly, yow're no gadabout, and oi
shan't go wi'out ye. Yow and me got drawed
together sumhow; yow sed 't wos because yow
loiked me, and oi sed 'twos because oi loiked
yow; and oi doant think much on t' man as
loikes a ooman afore they're married, and runs
away from her arterward. No, no, Molly, oi
wadn't ashamed o' yow afore oi had yow, and
arter a knowin' yowr worth all these years, oi
ain't ashamed on ye now. Oi tell ye wot it is,
chaps," sez oi, " oi goes to Wolverhampton
to-morrow, and Molly goes wi' me." Bull's-oi and
Stumpy didn't much loike it, because they
knowed they should ha' to take their missuses;
but oi didn't care, not oi; and so 't wos settled
that we should all go together. When Molly
heered me say that oi wouldn't go wi'out hur,
oi seed a tear stand in hur oi, and oi kuowed as
that cum from a glad heart.

In t' mornin' we all met at moi place, dressed
in our best clothes, and reddy for startin'. And
we wor dressed tew. All our very best wor
brought out that day; and Molly's shawl, that
hadn't bin put on sin the day we wor married,
wor brought from t' drawer. " Whoy, Molly,"
sez oi, when oi saw hur, " it seems loike as we
wor goin' to get married agin." " Oi'm glad we
a'ant," said she, " and oi hope we shall ne'er
want tew." We all dressed as smart as we
could; for, whatever some people say aboot
dress, oi am of opinion that dress does the
world good. Oi doant say tew much on it
does; but this oi do say, that the better a man
dresses, the better he thinks on hisself; and if
the poor people are to be raised, they must be
incouraged to git above rags, and to put on a
tidy gownd and coot. Oi know this, that oi
have underneath moi weskit a greater feeling
of self-respec when oi am dressed in moi
best, then when oi am in moi dirt. When oi
am in moi dirty flannels, oi feel oi am a pitman;
but when oi am dressed in moi best, oi feel
more that oi am somebody. Oi am moighty
glad when oi sees a wench pertickeler about
hur dress; thinks oi, the man as has yow will
be a lucky fellar. Bein' all dressed, and takin'
a summit to ate, off we goes to the stashun.
Oi will say this of them railroad chaps, they did
all they could to make us comfortable. They
tell me they are not paid tew well; they
ought tew be paid better. We soon got our
seats; and bein' set down, I begun to praise
the railroaders for their attention, when an
ole man as set next to me, not a pitman, sed as
he didn't see they ought, to be praised, for they
wor paid for doin' it. Thinks oi, " Old fellar, oi
shouldn't loike to ha' such a face as yourn; and
oi doant believe that whoever brings in a Reform
Bill, unless he puts a piece in that Inglishmen
shall have the roight of grumbling for ever and
ever, that that ole chap will be satisfied wi' it."
When such people grumble that others ought
to do things because they are paid for it, oi