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endeavours to knit herself out of her toils. The
number of pairs of stockings that resulted
from these combinations was so great
that if they had all been put into
immediate wear, instead of being comfortably
entombed as soon as made in a dusty family
vault a-top of the bed tester, would have
sufficed for a township of centipedes, to the
great injury of the trade and commerce of
Nottingham. He kept a pale-faced niece,
tall, and woefully marked with the small-pox,
who had difficulties connected with her
legs, and was frequently belated in
wash-houses, and " fit to drop " over puddings. He
kept an ancient man in a smock-frock,
who was nearly a hundred years of age,
past all work, hearing, sight, and almost
speech,—and who could do little save crouch
by the fire-side with a short pipe in his toothless
mouth, or potter about in the stable with
a venerable white horse, comparatively as old,
and quite as blind, as feeble, as past work, as
he was. The old man was called Daddy,
the horse was called Snowball; Lile Jack
sternly repudiated the slightest suggestion as
to the termination of the useless old horse's
career by the bullet or poleaxe, and more
sternly still the hint that the parish might
charge itself with the keep of Daddy.
"Baith ha' served me and mine, i' th' winter
wark and summer, years an' years, and baith
shall bite and sup, and bide wi' me till a' th'
wark be owerbe 't wi' them, or be 't wi'
Jack Scotforth."

So, with his old grandmother, niece, old
servitors, both dumb and human, did Lile
Jack continue to dwell. He was reputed to
be a rich man; but those who reckoned up
his "snougg hundreds" on their fingers,
little knew what a private relieving-officer
Lile Jack was; what an amount of
out-door relief he dispensed in secret; how
many unrecorded quartern loaves, sides of
bacon, blankets, and half-crowns, were distributed
by him, without the board of guardians
or the rate-payers knowing anything of the
matter. He might have been worth many,
many more hundreds of pounds if he had
not given away so many, many hundreds of

Jack wore a very broad-brimmed white
hat, on the crown of which he frequently
made calculations in pencil, and which
he considerably damaged in the excitement
of his eloquence in the auctioneer's
rostrum. He wore very large spectacles
with thick tortoiseshell rims, and carried a
stout oak saplinga portentous staff with
a bull-dog's head carved at the top. He
wore paddock shoes: with which last item
you must be content without further explanation,
for my informant is three hundred miles
away, and it is not probable that I shall ever
see him again, and I have not the least
idea what paddock shoes are. Still he
wore them, and perhaps they may have
assisted him in attaining that straightness of
gait by which he is yet affectionately

Jack talked to himself as he walked.
He would stop in the middle of the street,
and walk round posts, or swing his stick
violently, and sometimes take his hat off',
and rumple his gray hair. He snuffed
so much, and, when he smoked, inhaled and
exhaled the tobacco fumes so fast, that
it was difficult to divest yourself of the
idea that Lile Jack was on fire, and that
flames would burst from him presently. He
was no spirit-drinker, but his consumption
of ale was prodigious. " Gi's soummat quick,"
he would say; " soummats that's gat yist
lifein 't. Ise nit drink yer brandy slugs,
an' dobbins o' gin, an.' squibs o' rum; gi' me
what's quick, an' measure me a gill o' yill.
Friday's, Maggie!"  It should be known that
"Friday's," so called from brewing-day, was
an ale of a potency and quickness which
gave great satisfaction to Lile Jack, and
brought great fame and custom to Maggie
Sharp, landlady of the Cross Keys in
Dodderham town.

Jack had other eccentricities some, in the
artificial state of society which prevails even
in a quiet town like Dodderham, rather
inconvenient. He would tell the truth, and
speak his mind. If he saw, or was in
company for the first time with, an individual
whose demeanour or conversation did not
please him, he told him so at once. "Thee 's
gude for nowt," was his ordinary remark;
"git out wi' thee." And as Jack's dictum in,
all houses of entertainment in Dodderham
town was law, the sooner the unfortunate
person accused of being gude for nowt, got
out with him, the better.

Taking his goodness 'of heart as an extenuation,
freedoms of speech in Lile Jack were
tolerated, when in other less favoured persons
they would have been indignantly avenged.
Thus when, one evening, Lile Jack
sat smoking in the bar-parlour of the
Cross Keys, with Maggie Sharp, then a
very young and comely widow, on one side,
and young Gafferson, the farmer of Cattenmere
Fells on the other, and suddenly
cried out, "Tom, wha dost thee not ask
Maggie to wed? " Maggie only smiled,
blushed, bridled, simpered, and cried " Mercy
on us, Mr. Scotforth! " and young Tom
Gafferson only laughed outright (he blushed
a little, too), smote his stalwart thigh, and
stammered " Maggie's ne'er thowt of weddin',
I'se warrant! " If any other person had made
such a remark, Maggie would have quitted
the room indignantly, and there would have
been tiling of doors, and hammering of
heads for sure. But, bolder still, when Jack
arose, and taking Maggie round the waist, and
chucking her under the chin, deliberately
led her to Tom Gaiferson, and thrust her
into that yeoman's arms, saying, ' Gang till
him, lass, gang till him, hizze. Thee'll
mak a hundred a year till her, Tom. I know