Sunday, May 09, 2010

Farmer Willum's Election Antidote

Misspelling William is all the rage; but I don't think Richard Jefferies' host in his piece on snipe shooting will lose any sleep, or votes, over it. Some good writing from 1879 to soothe your mind:
The low whitewashed walls of the house were of a dull yellowish hue from the beating of the weather. They supported a vast breadth of thatched roof drilled by sparrows and starlings. Under the eaves the swallows' nests adhered, and projecting shelves were fixed to prevent any inconvenience from them. Some of the narrow windows were still darkened with the black boarding put up in the days of the window tax.
In the courtyard a number of stout forked stakes were used for putting the dairy buckets on, after being cleaned, to dry. No attempt was made to separate the business from the inner life of the house. Here in front these oaken buckets, scoured till nearly white, their iron handles polished like silver, were close under the eyes of any one looking out. By the front door a besom leaned against the wall that every comer might clean the mud from his boots; and you stepped at once from the threshold into the sitting-room. A lane led past the garden, if that could be called a lane which widened into a field and after rain was flooded so deeply as to be impassable to foot passengers.


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