Lehigh University
The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 083 [07-23-1861]

              75
	       An Old Peasant.
at �our beddes hedde� hung a decently-drawn
lithograph of the head of a boy-cricketter.
  24.  Wednesday.   Up betimes.     A talk with
an old man, named Arnold, who has lived with 
Arthur Tew for the past two years.    He was enga-
ged in weeding a carrot-patch and informed me
that he once lived with an English Israelite who
ate such weeds, as �perslam, burridge, churval,
bugfloose and tarragon� (I took down the na-
mes) the last of which he described as a sort of
wild parsley.    He proved to be an interesting old
boy; had been a gardner; a game keeper; a crick-
etter, and a walker of matches.     In the second
capacity he had been �left for dead,� twice, by poach-
ers.      His was all Wiltshire and Hauts expe-
rience; he had received many a guinea from
Assheton Smith, the sporting squire, for earth-
stopping and fox-purveying.       The Duke of Wel-
lington used to be a guest of his master.      To listen
to his rustic speech was as good as an hour with 
Chaucer, while his health and contentment (he
was over seventy; had his board and $100 a year)
conveyed its moral.    In Arthur Tew, as in all
the countryfolk, I notice a softness and delibera-
teness of utterance suggestive of how our English
language was spoken long ago, and of Chau-
cers open-spelling.       I like these Tews, all of               
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