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phrase of the people in that part; in fact, he
was foolishly and mischievously fond of him.
He would give him beer to drink, ' to make a
true Briton on him,' as he said, spite of Betty's
earnest endeavour to prevent it,—telling him
that he was laying the foundation in the lad
of the same faults that he had himself. But
David Dunster did not look on drinking as a
fault at all. It was what he had been used to
all his life. It was what all the miners had
been used to for generations. A man was
looked on as a milk-sop and a Molly Coddle,
that would not take his mug of ale, and be
merry with his comrades. It required the
light of education, and the efforts that have
been made by the Temperance Societies, to
break in on this ancient custom of drinking,
which, no doubt, has flourished in these hills
since the Danes and other Scandinavians, bored
and perforated them of old for the ores of lead
and copper. To Betty Dunster's
remonstrances, and commendations of tea, David
would reply,—' Botheration Betty, wench!
Dunna tell me about thy tea and such-like
pig's-wesh. It's all very well for women; but
a man, Betty, a man mun ha' a sup of real
stingo, lass. He mun ha' summut to prop his
ribs out, lass, as he delves through th' chert
and tood-stone. When tha weylds th' maundrel
(the pick), and I wesh th' dishes, tha shall ha'
th' drink, my wench, and I 'll ha' th' tea.
Till then, prithee let me aloon, and dunna
bother me, for it's no use. It only kicks my
monkey up.'

And Betty found that it was of no use;
that it did only kick his monkey up, and so
she let him alone, except when she could drop
in a persuasive word or two. The mill-owners
at Cressbrook and Miller's Dale had forbidden
any public-house nearer than Edale, and they
had more than once called the people together
to point out to them the mischiefs of drinking,
and the advantages to be derived from the
very savings of temperance. But all these
measures, though they had some effect on the
mill people, had very little on the miners. They
either sent to Tideswell or Edale for kegs of
beer to peddle at the mines, or they went
thither themselves on receiving their wages.

And let no one suppose that David Dunster
was worse than his fellows; or that Betty
Dunster thought her case a particularly hard
one. David was ' pretty much of a muchness,'
according to the country phrase, with the rest
of his hard-working tribe, which was, and
always had been, a hard-drinking tribe; and
Betty, though she wished it different, did not
complain, just because it was of no use, and
because she was no worse off than her neighbours.

Often when she went to ' carry in her hose '
to Ashford, she left the children at home by
themselves. She had no alternative. They
were there in that solitary valley for many
hours playing alone. And to them it was not
solitary. It was all that they knew of life,
and that all was very pleasant to them. In
spring, they hunted for birds'-nests in the
copses, and amongst the rocks and grey stones
that had fallen from them. In the copses built
the blackbirds and thrushes: in the rocks the
firetails; and the grey wagtails in the stones,
which were so exactly of their own colour, as
to make it difficult to see them. In summer,
they gathered flowers and berries, and in the
winter they played at horses, kings, and shops,
and sundry other things in the house.

On one of these occasions, a bright afternoon
in autumn, the three children had rambled
down the glen, and found a world of amusement
in being teams of horses, in making a
little mine at the foot of a tall cliff, and in
marching for soldiers, for they had one day
the only time in their livesseen some soldiers
go through the village of Ashford, when they
had gone there with their mother, for she
now and then took them with her when she
had something from the shop to carry besides
her bundle of hose. At length they came to
the foot of an open hill which swelled to a
considerable height, with a round and climbable
side, on which grew a wilderness of
bushes amid which lay scattered masses of
grey crag. A small winding path went up
this, and they followed it. It was not long,
however, before they saw some things which
excited their eager attention. Little David,
who was the guide, and assumed to himself
much importance as the protector of his sisters,
exclaimed, ' See here! ' and springing forward,
plucked a fine crimson cluster of the mountain
bramble. His sisters, on seeing this,
rushed on with like eagerness. They soon
forsook the little winding and craggy footpath,
and hurried through sinking masses of
moss and dry grass, from bush to bush and
place to place. They were soon far up above
the valley, and almost every step revealed to
them some delightful prize. The clusters of
the mountain-bramble, resembling mulberries,
and known only to the inhabitants of the hills,
were abundant, and were rapidly devoured.
The dewberry was as eagerly gathered,—its
large, purple fruit passing with them for
blackberries. In their hands were soon seen
posies of the lovely grass of Parnassus, the
mountain cistus, and the bright blue geranium.

Higher and higher the little group
ascended in this quest, till the sight of the
wide, naked hills, and the hawks circling
round the lofty, tower-like crags over their
heads, made them feel serious and somewhat

' Where are we? ' asked Jane, the elder
sister. ' Arn't we a long way from hom? '

' Let us go hom,' said little Nancy. ' I 'm
afeerd here; ' clutching hold of Jane's frock.

'Pho, nonsense!' said David, 'what are
you afreed on? I 'll tak care on you, niver

And with this he assumed a bold and
defying aspect, and said, ' Come along; there
are nests in th' hazzles up yonder.'

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