Dialect in British Fiction: 1800-1836Funded by The Arts and Humanities Research CouncilSupported by The University of Sheffield
Full record including Speech Extracts
Gaskill, PeterPlebeians and Patricians.
Author Details
Surname:Gaskill
First Names:Peter
Gender:Male
Anonymous:No
Publication Details
Publisher:Smith, Elder and Co., Cornhill.
Place:London
Date:1836
Novel Details
Genre:Inheritance/identity; satirical
Setting:Manchester, Cheshire
Period:Contemporary
Plot
The novel follows the social advancement of John Manford and his family (the 'Plebeians' of the title), who make their wealth through cotton manufacturing. Parallel to this, it narrates the story of Anne Talbot, a foundling of obscure birth employed in one of Manford's mills. She is taken out of child labour by Manford, only to be shunned as an adult when he marries a fellow mill-owner's daughter. Later Anne attracts the attentions of a local aristocrat, Sir John Scarsbrook. Scarsbrook marries Anne, in spite of her low status and unknown origins. It later transpires that she is the daughter of his friend, the Marquis Trevor d'Harcourt, a fact unbeknown to the Marquis himself.
Much of the novel focuses on the vulgarity, mean-spiritedness and social ambition of the Manfords, in particular that of John Manford's mother and his wife, who torment Anne early in the novel, and behave in an unseemly fashion when in the company of aristocrats. Their overweening pride is ultimately punished when Manford's niece is married off to a feckless and corrupt German count. After the circumstances of Anne's birth come to light, the Manfords and the Scarsbrooks (including Anne) are reconciled.
Overview of the Dialect
The novel is set in 'the parish of Shawton, forming one of the north eastern extremities of Cheshire', and many of the characters in the novel, in particular the upwardly mobile Manfords and the families of other mill-owners in the surrounding area, speak in a local dialect. Gaskill uses a range of features seemingly quite inconsistently, including the negative clitic -na, definite article reduction, lack of subject-verb concord, 'ha' for have, and thou/thee pronouns (thee is often used in the nominative position).
In general the dialect speakers, most of whom are belong to wealthy manufacturing families, are represented as unsympathetic, vain and ignorant. Dialect speakers of lower social status are shown to be either immoral and manipulative, such as the quasi-Luddite leader Orator Sampson, or physically unprepossessing, such as the 'slatternly woman' who occupies Anne's old cottage or the 'withered crone' who raised her as a child. In contrast, the central Standard English-speaking characters are well-educated, graceful and morally upstanding.
An 'Amazonian woman' affiliated with London criminals appears to speak in Irish English dialect. The debauched German Count Hartmann speaks in a 'mingled patois of languages', consisting in the main of archaic English poeticisms and French.
The novel includes some interesting and revealing metalinguistic discussion between the Standard English speaking characters:
'"Mere coarseness of manner, and provincialism of dialect, which are accidental circumstances, have not, I am sure, produced your dislike. Though sufficiently offensive, it would be harsh to blame, and unjust to avoid individuals on account of them."
"No, Charles, no; these things, though unpleasant as jarring upon our customary and familiar habits, I could bear well enough. But what says our wise brother -- are coarse manners and rude speeches indicative of minds equally coarse and rude -- or are they merely rust, obscuring, without injuring deeply the more precious metal?"'

Unexpectedly nondialectal characters: As an adult, Anne Talbot speaks in Standard English (none of her speech as a child is represented directly) despite having lived exclusively among other dialect speakers during the first part of her life. When she is aged between ten and twelve (her precise age is a mystery throughout the novel), she is put under the care of a 'decent woman' in the village. The narrator refers to her 'natural though rustic grace, and her refined though simple ideas', but never addresses the question of her speech directly. On p.194 of vol. 3 a 'miserably squalid and filthy' woman, who is loosely affiliated with criminals is introduced, and she too speaks Standard English. She is the person who took Anne to the foundling's hospital
Displaying 13 characters from this novel    |    Highlight dialect features in each extract    |    Do not highlight dialect features in each extract
Speaker #1:Mrs Manford - Mother of mill-owner
Individual or Group:Individual
Primary Identity:Mrs Manford
Gender:Female
Age:Adult - middle aged
Narrative Voice:3rd person
Role:Central

Social Role
Social Role Description:Mother of mill-owner
Social Role Category:Trade or craft
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:Shawcross, north-east Cheshire
Place of Origin Category:Shawcross, Cheshire, North England, England
Extract #1 dialect features: Grammar, Orthographical Contraction
" Indeed -- then do you receive such hapless creatures -- for what purpose can they be sent to Mr. Manford?"
"Oh, my Lady, they are sent to work i' th' mill. We've had many and many a score of 'em ."
"Poor creatures! -- but it is, perhaps, fortunate that they are sent to a humane man, like Mr. Manford, who I am sure will treat them kindly. "
"Why yes, my Lady, our John's pretty well with them, now. At first he used to play the dickins with them."
"Then I presume, the fair girl whom I saw resides with you; I wish you had brought her, as I should have been very glad to have seen her more closely."
"No, no, my Lady; I assure your Ladyship we shouldn't think of colloguing with her -- Why, will you believe it, my Lady, she doesn't know who was her father! "
"Mr. Manford, then, is kind to the poor forlorn creature," said Lady Lucy, somewhat hurt at Mrs. Manford's tone of speaking.
"That he is, my Lady; she lives to do nothing but to read and sew and sing, just for all the world as if she was a born lady. But we never speaks to her."
(Vol. 1,p. 123-124)
Mrs. Manford fidgeted and primmed, and at last said --
" Well , Sir John, it's very curious, what you quality folk can want wi' a poor girl like Anne. May be, her Ladyship wants her for a nurse-maid; now our John winna keep her as a lady."
"I believe Lady Haggerton's intentions regarding this unprotected creature are of the very best and kindest description. Will you favor me with her present address, as I find she has removed from the cottage."
" Why Lord sake , Sir John, I dinna know where she is, I only suppose she's where she should be, for I think she's no great things for my part. I does'na like young women having Dukes and Baronets running after 'em , that I does'na Sir John ; and, may be, you know more about her than I do, for she was a pert and forward minx, Sir John. But we've pulled her a peg down I assure you, she'll not take your fancy now she works in the factory, I guess."
Ineffably disgusted, and as Mrs. Manford seemed disposed to be loquacious, Sir John abruptly left the house.
(Vol. 1,p. 246)
William, who had, we suppose, read the Story of Pyramus and Thisbe, or seen Shakespeare's drollery on the stage, here broke in with --
"Yes Ma'am, very foolish -- just like Pyramus and Thisbe."
"Pyramus and Thisbe" shouted Mrs. Manford, "who was they?"
"Oh, mother, never mind; you don't know any thing about Pyramus and Thisbe, they were two lovers, that used to talk through a crack in the wall, as they could not get nearer each other."
" Well , that was a funny way of courting to be sure . When I was a lass , we used to court through hedges, and under hay-stacks, and may be, now and then, got a bit of a frolic, snug and comfortable like , after the old folks were gone to bed. That's the sort of courting for me, and none of your whispering round a place like this, or through a cracked wall. -- Marry-come-up , a pretty sort of courting that is, to be sure !"
"Lord, how shocking vulgar that must have been! -- only to think of courting under hay-stacks, and talking through hedges. Why didn't you court in the drawing-roon, or green-house, or amongst the shrubs, or in the carriage, the same as we do?"
"Why, thee sees , Sally, there was no such a thing as those, then, and, I can tell thee , it's the nicest and most comfortable way after all. Me and our Thomas have had a hundred bouts at courting, on the old cut hay-stack, that used to stand, twenty years since, just in th' place where th' Lodge is now."
(Vol. 2,p. 171-173)
Extract #4 dialect features: Discourse Marker, Grammar, Orthographical Contraction
"The Lord be gracious to us," the old lady, "the Lord be gracious to us! -- It's well thou'rt so rich, Johnny, or we should have been clean ruinated !"
" Why John," said his wife, "I didna think thee had been such a fool as that lad . But prithee how did it happen. It seems mighty curious to me."
(Vol. 3,p. 87)
Speaker #2:Sir John Manford - Mill-owner, later knighted
Individual or Group:Individual
Primary Identity:Manford
Gender:Male
Age:Adult - middle aged
Narrative Voice:3rd person
Role:Central

Social Role
Social Role Description:Mill-owner, later knighted
Social Role Category:Trade or craft
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:Shawcross, north east Cheshire
Place of Origin Category:Shawcross, Cheshire, North England, England
Extract #1 dialect features: Discourse Marker, Orthographical Contraction
"I have," said the Baronet, "as you are aware, occasion for money, and have come to the resolution of disposing of the Shortwood's estate; my agent tells me, you have spoken to him on the subject, as the property is contiguous to your own, and as you are aware, there is abundance of coal and stone under it."
" Why, aye, " answered John, "I ha' looked it over, and should never heed buying it; but I'll ne'er give the upshot price of fifteen thousand pounds for it."
"What, Mr. Manford, a man like you, rich enough to buy my whole lordship, stand haggling about the price? -- you know its well worth the money to you."
" Why , as to that , I've worked hard for my money, and I shan't let it slip through my fingers very easily; I'll not deny that Shortwood's may be worth the money to me, but then nobody else will give you half the money for it, and why should I?"
"Probably at this juncture nobody will, but how long will it be, before it is of the same value to your neighbours as to yourself? You are a shrewd man, Mr. Manford, and to my certain knowledge, that plot of ground you purchased from me last year, has repaid you a hundred fold."
"May be -- may be -- but I'll tell you at a word what I'll do -- I'll give you the price, if you'll fling in the timber you've fallen."
"The timber! why it's worth a thousand pounds. However, to bring matters to a close, I shall take your terms, I want the money for special purposes, and I am not ashamed to acknowledge that I feel under considerable obligations to you in that affair with Norton."
" Well , I'm quite agreeable Sir John, the title's clear and short, and as there's no encumbrance, except my own small mortgage, the deed won't cost much."
(Vol. 1,p. 40-42)
" I'll tell thee what, Anne, she's almost as pretty, and I believe, almost as good as thee ," and in making this comparison, he gave her the highest commendation he could bestow.
"No very great compliment to her Ladyship, I should think," replied Anne laughingly.
" Aye , but it is though, for she's the only woman I ever saw, that I could say so much for."
" It's very odd," said Anne, "what a wish I have to see these noble persons; -- since I knew they were in the neighbourhood, I have never ceased thinking about them -- It's very silly, is it not?"
" Well , Anne, I'm going over to-morrow on some business with Sir John, and thou shall ride wi' me. -- I'm sure her Ladyship will be glad to see thee ."
"Not for the world -- it would be the very height of rudeness."
" Well , that beats me," said Manford, "here just now, nothing would be so liked. -- Adad , Anne, thou art a true woman."
" Ah! well -- I do own, I am dying with curiosity to speak to her, but it will never do to go that way. "
"What is the way then? for see her, I'm determined thee shall . Come now, there's a lassie -- do go wi' me, and luck will perhaps stand our friend."
(Vol. 1,p. 135-137)
Extract #3 dialect features: Grammar, Metalanguage, Orthographical Contraction
The letter ran as follows:--
[Writing] "Sir ,
"Understanding that my apprentice Anne, is at this present time living wi' you as your concubine, this is to tell you that if so be you don't send her back to work out her wages, or pay me the charges I've had wi' her, I shall proceed against you as the law directs.
"Your humble Servant,
"John Manford, Knt. [italics]
To this gracious communication was appended an immensely long catalogue of all necessaries and unnecessaries, which had been purchased on Anne's account, forming a sum total of no slight magnitude.
Sir John read over this specimen of the 'polite letter writer,' without exactly comprehending its signification, though it appears to be plain enough even to the meanest capacity; [...]
(Vol. 2,p. 85)
"I don't know, John, it's mighty curious how thee could sign away ten thousand pounds that way. Why didna the Count take care of thee -- or why couldna thee keep thyself sober?"
" Why thee sees , Nancy, it's very easy now to see that I've made a fool of myself. And as for that Count, why it's my belief he's no great things after all. But it's no use making a piece of work about it here; I'm determined to be off again to London, and see these chaps."
"If thee goes , John, I go too," said his wife, " thou'rt not fit to be trusted in London; just see what a fool they made thee when there was nobody with thee . I will go," she continued, seeing a negative expression in Manford's face, "so don't thee say a word John."
(Vol. 3,p. 89-90)
Extract #5 dialect features: Discourse Marker, Grammar, Orthographical Contraction
" Hah , mine dear father-in-law, and mine worthy Sir John, and mine dear Mrs. Manford, how much gladness is this. I been robbed -- you been robbed, by one great villain."
His reception was anything but cordial; a heavy gloom sat on Sir John's brow as he answered --
"May be, Count, may be, we shall soon see that. Where's your friend Deidamer?"
" Hah , mine dear Sir John, no friend, but a great villain."
" It's a pity but you'd told us that sooner,- but where's Helen?" said the father.
" Hah! mine poor wife; she has the sickness at mine hotel."
(Vol. 3,p. 108-109)
Extract #6 dialect features: Discourse Marker, Grammar, Orthographical Contraction
Thomas Manford listened to his statement with no small surprise.
" Thou must have given that cheque, John, in some wagering way I should think, as I'll ne'er believe they would have taken it. It's worth seeing after, however, and the Count may, perhaps, help thee out of the scrape."
" Hum -- Thomas -- perhaps he may, but we'll see. Just go to Manchester for me, and get me the number of the notes, and the description of the fellow that got it cashed, and ask 'em how I had best proceed."
"Well, I'll do that," was the answer, "and I don't know if I wont go to London too. -- Nelly does na seem right, and I've a curiosity to see her."
"Just as thee likes , Thomas, for that, only don't take thy wife. Mine will go, but she'll be quite enough of the womankind for us."
" Well, well, I must see if I can contrive it," and so the brothers parted; [...]
(Vol. 3,p. 90-91)
Speaker #3:Mrs Nancy Manford - Wife of mill-owner
Individual or Group:Individual
Primary Identity:Nancy
Gender:Female
Age:Adult - unspecified age
Narrative Voice:3rd person
Role:Significant

Social Role
Social Role Description:Wife of mill-owner
Social Role Category:Trade or craft
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:Shawcross, north-east Cheshire
Place of Origin Category:Shawcross, Cheshire, North England, England
Extract #1 dialect features: Grammar, Orthographical Contraction
This event was, however, too important to be confined to her own breast, and in the course of a few days the following letter was received by her coterie of country confidants:
"One of the most astonishingest things has happened as was ever know'd -- our John is made a knight, and must be called, by the King's orders, Sir John Manford -- only think how grand it will sound -- it's turned my head topsy-turvey. And then we've seen such a power of fine people, that I really begins to think, London's the only place for great folks , like Sir John and me.-- Only here nobody knows anything about one, and Sir John had his hat knocked over his eyes and pocket picked, as we were coming from the theatre last night -- only think, what impudence. We've been to a grand man, called an artist, to have our likenesses taken, both in one frame, and it is to have written on it -- 'These are Sir John Manford and his Lady,' it will look mighty grand in our new house. I hopes that they are getting on with it, -- and that they will take care to have the kitchen near at hand. We shall be down next week, and come in our new carriage, with the arms of the Manfords and the Nortons painted on it, and hung round wi' curtains, which they calls supporters. Sir John desires his kind love to his Mother, and hopes this will find you in good health, as it leaves us at present, and so no more from your
Obedt. humble Servant,
Nancy Manford
(Vol. 1,p. 259-261)
Extract #2 dialect features: Discourse Marker, Grammar, Orthographical Contraction
"The Lord be gracious to us," the old lady, "the Lord be gracious to us! -- It's well thou'rt so rich, Johnny, or we should have been clean ruinated !"
" Why John," said his wife, "I didna think thee had been such a fool as that lad . But prithee how did it happen. It seems mighty curious to me."
(Vol. 3,p. 87)
"I don't know, John, it's mighty curious how thee could sign away ten thousand pounds that way. Why didna the Count take care of thee -- or why couldna thee keep thyself sober?"
" Why thee sees , Nancy, it's very easy now to see that I've made a fool of myself. And as for that Count, why it's my belief he's no great things after all. But it's no use making a piece of work about it here; I'm determined to be off again to London, and see these chaps."
"If thee goes , John, I go too," said his wife, " thou'rt not fit to be trusted in London; just see what a fool they made thee when there was nobody with thee . I will go," she continued, seeing a negative expression in Manford's face, "so don't thee say a word John."
(Vol. 3,p. 89-90)
Speaker #4:Count (no forename given) Hartmann - Aristocrat
Individual or Group:Individual
Primary Identity:The Count
Gender:Male
Age:Adult - unspecified age
Narrative Voice:3rd person
Role:Significant

Social Role
Social Role Description:Aristocrat
Social Role Category:Aristocracy or gentry
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:'some obscure German state' (vol. 2, p.120).
Place of Origin Category:Germany
Extract #1 dialect features: Grammar, Metalanguage
His grimaces and mustachios, for a time, completely overcame the blushing Helen. His English, too, was by no means of the most orthodox purity; and as he ran on in a mingled patois of languages, Mrs. Manford, the mother, thought him one 'of the extraordinest and curiosist men,' she had either ever seen, or ever heard tell of.
After a somewhat prolonged interview, the Count rose to depart, protesting, in the most decided manner, that --
"He put his love at her feet, and that he should never more look melancholy as long as he did live, but that he would take the liberty of her 'beaux yeux' did give, to pay his duty to her on the following day. Yes," he ended, "I will have the one great happiness to kiss your hand, on the day of to-morrow ; I shall be ' tout a fait mecontent ' until that time; and I now wish you one farewell."
(Vol. 2,p. 124-125)
Extract #2 dialect features: Grammar, Orthographical Contraction
"What mine wife -- not to have one little play with Julie, la jolie et la belle -- Ah -- mine word, but she is very charmante , full of the game and sport, one nice, sweet girl."
"Well, but Ernest, is it not most abominable, to me, to your wife -- to go on so before my face?"
"Well, well -- mine wife. I will then do mine sports behind your back. -- C'est egal a moi ."
"Shameful! -- Oh shameless man, I won't endure it, I won't " said Helen, losing temper at the tone of cold indifference in which Hartmann answered her, between the whiffs of his meerschaum.
"Do not put yourself in to one passions , mine wife," and he began, singing --
"Ah Julie est charmante Riant, larmoyent Julie est charmante, Ma petite belle .
"Oh you bad man," sobbed Helen. " I'll have nothing more to do with you, go to your Julie -- if you are so fond of her."
"Very well, mine wife -- I do think that it be more pleasure , to see 'la belle Julie' than to hear, in the night, one lecture of the curtain -- I will have one drop more of the good brandy and then I will go."
(Vol. 2,p. 188-189)
Extract #3 dialect features: Discourse Marker, Grammar, Orthographical Contraction
" Hah , mine dear father-in-law, and mine worthy Sir John, and mine dear Mrs. Manford, how much gladness is this. I been robbed -- you been robbed, by one great villain."
His reception was anything but cordial; a heavy gloom sat on Sir John's brow as he answered --
"May be, Count, may be, we shall soon see that. Where's your friend Deidamer?"
" Hah , mine dear Sir John, no friend, but a great villain."
" It's a pity but you'd told us that sooner,- but where's Helen?" said the father.
" Hah! mine poor wife; she has the sickness at mine hotel."
(Vol. 3,p. 108-109)
Speaker #5:Thomas Manford - Brother of Mill-owner
Individual or Group:Individual
Primary Identity:Thomas Manford
Gender:Male
Age:Adult - middle aged
Narrative Voice:3rd person
Role:Minor

Social Role
Social Role Description:Brother of Mill-owner
Social Role Category:Trade or craft
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:Shawcross, North Cheshire
Place of Origin Category:Shawcross, Cheshire, North England, England
Extract #1 dialect features: Discourse Marker, Grammar, Orthographical Contraction
Thomas Manford listened to his statement with no small surprise.
" Thou must have given that cheque, John, in some wagering way I should think, as I'll ne'er believe they would have taken it. It's worth seeing after, however, and the Count may, perhaps, help thee out of the scrape."
" Hum -- Thomas -- perhaps he may, but we'll see. Just go to Manchester for me, and get me the number of the notes, and the description of the fellow that got it cashed, and ask 'em how I had best proceed."
"Well, I'll do that," was the answer, "and I don't know if I wont go to London too. -- Nelly does na seem right, and I've a curiosity to see her."
"Just as thee likes , Thomas, for that, only don't take thy wife. Mine will go, but she'll be quite enough of the womankind for us."
" Well, well, I must see if I can contrive it," and so the brothers parted; [...]
(Vol. 3,p. 90-91)
Speaker #6:(no forename given) Sampson - Mill worker/ insurrectionist
Individual or Group:Individual
Primary Identity:Orator Sampson
Gender:Male
Age:Adult - unspecified age
Narrative Voice:3rd person
Role:Minor

Social Role
Social Role Description:Mill worker/ insurrectionist
Social Role Category:Respectable poor
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:Shawcross, north-east Cheshire
Place of Origin Category:Shawcross, Cheshire, North England, England
The first act of their discontent was to abandon their work, and thus throw themselves into a state of absolute destitution, the second was to appoint a sort of deliberative assembly, into which clamour and vituperation were alone admissable, and the third was to fix upon Orator Sampson, as their president and oracle, his recommendations being, -- that he was a scoundrel in grain, but had a loud voice, and could declaim vehemently on topics level with the understanding of his hearers.Thus qualified, the Orator may speak for himself, the scene being an open glade, about a mile distant from the nearest mill, and the audience three or four hundred of the 'unwashed.'
"Friends, Countrymen and Fellow-citizens, We are met here on a matter o' life and death ( hear, hear ) . Our rights and our bread is taken away by cotton lords, and steam engines, and flesh and blood, canno' bear it longer ( hear ) . It's no use to argufy the matter, it's as plain as a pike-staff, it shows itsel' in your hollow cheeks, it shows itsel' in your ragged coats, it shows itsel' in your wives old gown's -- and oh! my Friends, Countrymen and Fellow-citizens, it shows itsel' in your little childer's hungry looks ( hear, hear ) . We are a free people, for you have all sung -- 'Britons never shall be slaves!' but you are robbed, and treated worse nor slaves by cotton lords -- these trample upon you, take the bread out of your mouths, and then build castles, and palaces, and halls. I tell you, Friends, Countrymen and Fellow-citizens, that mortar is your blood, and that the stones are your bones; and let me ask you, what are these cotton lords, that hector and domineer over you? -- What are they I say? -- Are they a bit better nor yourselves? ( no, no ). We want no steam engines nor mills -- and for why ? -- because we have arms to weave and spin, -- and is'n't a shame a d----d shame, I say, that they take work out of our fingers, and then bate us till it's no use working. -- I say down with the cotton lords and steam engines, down wi' em, burn ' em and distroy 'em , and then we shall have good old times back again; then, I say, we shall have beef in our kettles, and ale in our pots, instead of meal-porridge and butter-milk. Down with the cotton lords, my lads ! down with 'em ."
These sentiments met with the cordial approbation of his auditors, and the 'greasy rogues' threw up their caps, and shouted "Down with the cotton lords!"
(Vol. 2,p. 209-211)
Speaker #7:Trickle - Mill-owner
Individual or Group:Individual
Primary Identity:Trickle
Gender:Male
Age:Adult - young
Narrative Voice:3rd person
Role:Peripheral

Social Role
Social Role Description:Mill-owner
Social Role Category:Trade or craft
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:Shawcross, north-east Cheshire
Place of Origin Category:Shawcross, Cheshire, North England, England
Extract #1 dialect features: Discourse Marker, Grammar, Orthographical Contraction
Speakers: All , Trickle, interlocutor
"You positively swear, Mr. Trickle, to the identity of the prisoner at the bar, and that he fired the shot by which you were wounded?"
"Yes I do, -- I swear it was him, and nobody else."
"You were," said the Counsel, looking at a map, "standing at a window on the ground floor of your own mill, and defending your property against the attack of rioters. In what position did Ward, the prisoner, stand when he fired at you; - you saw him clearly I suppose?"
" To be sure I did, I see'd him as plain as the sun at noon-day; -- he was standing before me, on the outside of the mob. I see'd him aim, and try'd to get away, but Mr. Manford and the rest were behind me, so I could na stir -- I see'd the flash, and then he walked away with the gun over his shoulder."
"Your wound was in the shoulder I believe, the ball passing into the fleshy part -- and, indeed, if I am rightly informed, still remaining there. You saw Ward fire at you distinctly, and, according to your statement, he stood right before you?"
"Just so -- the ball's in sure enough -- he stood right in front of me."
(Vol. 2,p. 36-37)
Speaker #8:Jenny - Runs house in which foundlings lodge
Individual or Group:Individual
Primary Identity:Old Jenny
Gender:Female
Age:Adult - elderly
Narrative Voice:3rd person
Role:Peripheral

Social Role
Social Role Description:Runs house in which foundlings lodge
Social Role Category:Respectable poor
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:Shawcross, north-east Cheshire
Place of Origin Category:Shawcross, Cheshire, North England, England
Speakers: All , Jenny
To Manford's question regarding Anne, his Anne as he called her, she answered --
"Bless her, she was a bonny child, and a sweet tempered one. You see Sir," speaking to the Baronet, "I was a kind of mother to them, and a pretty large family I had. Well , let me see if I have any thing of hers; I shall soon find it if I have," and she proceeded to open and examine a large oaken linen chest filled with frocks, all much alike, many woefully patched and of a variety of hues.
Besides these, there was a sliding drawer, filled with shreds of paper, proving to be the certificates sent with the children, and various little trinkets which she said she had taken care of, and which had been worn by the Foundlings when they first came down from London.
"You see, Master, if I had na put them by, the factory lads would have stol'n 'em for a certainty: or the lasses themselves would have made away wi' em, in some way or other: - and now I'm sure I don't recollect what your Anne had on."
(Vol. 3,p. 212-213)
Speaker #9:Sir John Scarsbrook - Baronet
Individual or Group:Individual
Primary Identity:Sir John
Gender:Male
Age:Adult - unspecified age
Narrative Voice:3rd person
Role:Central

Social Role
Social Role Description:Baronet
Social Role Category:Aristocracy or gentry
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:Shawcross, north-east Cheshire
Place of Origin Category:Shawcross, Cheshire, North England, England
Mrs. Manford fidgeted and primmed, and at last said --
" Well , Sir John, it's very curious, what you quality folk can want wi' a poor girl like Anne. May be, her Ladyship wants her for a nurse-maid; now our John winna keep her as a lady."
"I believe Lady Haggerton's intentions regarding this unprotected creature are of the very best and kindest description. Will you favor me with her present address, as I find she has removed from the cottage."
" Why Lord sake , Sir John, I dinna know where she is, I only suppose she's where she should be, for I think she's no great things for my part. I does'na like young women having Dukes and Baronets running after 'em , that I does'na Sir John ; and, may be, you know more about her than I do, for she was a pert and forward minx, Sir John. But we've pulled her a peg down I assure you, she'll not take your fancy now she works in the factory, I guess."
Ineffably disgusted, and as Mrs. Manford seemed disposed to be loquacious, Sir John abruptly left the house.
(Vol. 1,p. 246)
Extract #2 dialect features: Discourse Marker, Orthographical Contraction
"I have," said the Baronet, "as you are aware, occasion for money, and have come to the resolution of disposing of the Shortwood's estate; my agent tells me, you have spoken to him on the subject, as the property is contiguous to your own, and as you are aware, there is abundance of coal and stone under it."
" Why, aye, " answered John, "I ha' looked it over, and should never heed buying it; but I'll ne'er give the upshot price of fifteen thousand pounds for it."
"What, Mr. Manford, a man like you, rich enough to buy my whole lordship, stand haggling about the price? -- you know its well worth the money to you."
" Why , as to that , I've worked hard for my money, and I shan't let it slip through my fingers very easily; I'll not deny that Shortwood's may be worth the money to me, but then nobody else will give you half the money for it, and why should I?"
"Probably at this juncture nobody will, but how long will it be, before it is of the same value to your neighbours as to yourself? You are a shrewd man, Mr. Manford, and to my certain knowledge, that plot of ground you purchased from me last year, has repaid you a hundred fold."
"May be -- may be -- but I'll tell you at a word what I'll do -- I'll give you the price, if you'll fling in the timber you've fallen."
"The timber! why it's worth a thousand pounds. However, to bring matters to a close, I shall take your terms, I want the money for special purposes, and I am not ashamed to acknowledge that I feel under considerable obligations to you in that affair with Norton."
" Well , I'm quite agreeable Sir John, the title's clear and short, and as there's no encumbrance, except my own small mortgage, the deed won't cost much."
(Vol. 1,p. 40-42)
Speaker #10:Lady Lucy Haggerton - Lady
Individual or Group:Individual
Primary Identity:Her Ladyship
Gender:Female
Age:Adult - unspecified age
Narrative Voice:3rd person
Role:Minor

Social Role
Social Role Description:Lady
Social Role Category:Aristocracy or gentry
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:Shawcross, north-east Cheshire
Place of Origin Category:Shawcross, Cheshire, North England, England
Extract #1 dialect features: Grammar, Orthographical Contraction
" Indeed -- then do you receive such hapless creatures -- for what purpose can they be sent to Mr. Manford?"
"Oh, my Lady, they are sent to work i' th' mill. We've had many and many a score of 'em ."
"Poor creatures! -- but it is, perhaps, fortunate that they are sent to a humane man, like Mr. Manford, who I am sure will treat them kindly. "
"Why yes, my Lady, our John's pretty well with them, now. At first he used to play the dickins with them."
"Then I presume, the fair girl whom I saw resides with you; I wish you had brought her, as I should have been very glad to have seen her more closely."
"No, no, my Lady; I assure your Ladyship we shouldn't think of colloguing with her -- Why, will you believe it, my Lady, she doesn't know who was her father! "
"Mr. Manford, then, is kind to the poor forlorn creature," said Lady Lucy, somewhat hurt at Mrs. Manford's tone of speaking.
"That he is, my Lady; she lives to do nothing but to read and sew and sing, just for all the world as if she was a born lady. But we never speaks to her."
(Vol. 1,p. 123-124)
Extract #2 dialect features: Metalanguage
"[...] Mere coarseness of manner, and provincialism of dialect, which are accidental circumstances, have not, I am sure, produced your dislike. Though sufficiently offensive, it would be harsh to blame, and unjust to avoid individuals on account of them. "
" No, Charles, no; these things, though unpleasant as jarring upon our customary and familiar habits, I could bear well enough. But what says our wise brother -- are coarse manners and rude speeches indicative of minds equally coarse and rude -- or are they merely rust, obscuring, without injuring deeply the more precious metal? "
Whilst this conversation was proceeding, the objects of it were as busy as people well could be.
(Vol. 1,p. 129-130)
Speaker #11:Jem Ward - Servant - factotum
Individual or Group:Individual
Primary Identity:Jem
Gender:Male
Age:Adult - unspecified age
Narrative Voice:3rd person
Role:Peripheral

Social Role
Social Role Description:Servant - factotum
Social Role Category:Servant
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:Shawcross, north-east Cheshire
Place of Origin Category:Shawcross, Cheshire, North England, England
After they had proceeded several miles in safety, though not without some narrow escapes of serious damage, Manford's evil wish seemed on the point of being fulfilled, the horse plunged and stumbled, and the ladies shouted in chorus to Jem, "To mind what he was doing!"
" Why , Missis ," said the fellow, through an opening in front, " it's no fault o' mine -- that d-----d blacksmith, must ha' pricked Jack's fore-foot , for he halts terribly, and ---"
Here this harangue was put a stop to by the said Jack going down on his knees, and tilting Jem, head foremost from his seat.
(Vol. 1,p. 117)
Speaker #12:Johnny (no surname given) - Poet
Individual or Group:Individual
Primary Identity:Jingling Johnny (might be John Manford)
Gender:Male
Age:Adult - unspecified age
Narrative Voice:3rd person
Role:Peripheral

Social Role
Social Role Description:Poet
Social Role Category:Unspecified
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:Shawcross, north-east Cheshire
Place of Origin Category:Shawcross, Cheshire, North England, England
Extract #1 dialect features: Grammar, Metalanguage, Orthographical Contraction
However, it looked imposing when compared to other buildings near it, and was pretty accurately described by Jingling Johnny, the poet Laureate of the parish, in the following exquisite doggrel: --
" It's twenty yards long, and ten yards wide, It's two stories high, wi' cellars beside, It's forty windows, one above t' other, And belongs to Jack Norton, Dick Norton's brother."
(Vol. 1,p. 20-21)
Speaker #13:Lord Charles Haggerton - Lord
Individual or Group:Group
Primary Identity:Haggerton
Gender:Male
Age:Adult - unspecified age
Narrative Voice:3rd person
Role:Peripheral
Dialect Features:Metalanguage

Social Role
Social Role Description:Lord
Social Role Category:Aristocracy or gentry
Speaker's Origin
Place of Origin Description:Unspecified, presumably England
Place of Origin Category:England
Extract #1 dialect features: Metalanguage
"[...] Mere coarseness of manner, and provincialism of dialect, which are accidental circumstances, have not, I am sure, produced your dislike. Though sufficiently offensive, it would be harsh to blame, and unjust to avoid individuals on account of them. "
" No, Charles, no; these things, though unpleasant as jarring upon our customary and familiar habits, I could bear well enough. But what says our wise brother -- are coarse manners and rude speeches indicative of minds equally coarse and rude -- or are they merely rust, obscuring, without injuring deeply the more precious metal? "
Whilst this conversation was proceeding, the objects of it were as busy as people well could be.
(Vol. 1,p. 129-130)
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Version 1.1 (December 2015)Background image reproduced from the Database of Mid Victorian Illustration (DMVI)