Dracula (Chapter 6, page 3 of 12)


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Chapter 6

Lucy was looking sweetly pretty in her white lawn frock. She has got
a beautiful colour since she has been here.

I noticed that the old men did not lose any time in coming and sitting
near her when we sat down. She is so sweet with old people, I think
they all fell in love with her on the spot. Even my old man succumbed
and did not contradict her, but gave me double share instead. I got
him on the subject of the legends, and he went off at once into a sort
of sermon. I must try to remember it and put it down.

"It be all fool-talk, lock, stock, and barrel, that's what it be and
nowt else. These bans an' wafts an' boh-ghosts an' bar-guests an'
bogles an' all anent them is only fit to set bairns an' dizzy women
a'belderin'. They be nowt but air-blebs. They, an' all grims an' signs
an' warnin's, be all invented by parsons an' illsome berk-bodies an'
railway touters to skeer an' scunner hafflin's, an' to get folks to do
somethin' that they don't other incline to. It makes me ireful to
think o' them. Why, it's them that, not content with printin' lies on
paper an' preachin' them out of pulpits, does want to be cuttin' them
on the tombstones. Look here all around you in what airt ye will. All
them steans, holdin' up their heads as well as they can out of their
pride, is acant, simply tumblin' down with the weight o' the lies
wrote on them, 'Here lies the body' or 'Sacred to the memory' wrote on
all of them, an' yet in nigh half of them there bean't no bodies at
all, an' the memories of them bean't cared a pinch of snuff about,
much less sacred. Lies all of them, nothin' but lies of one kind or
another! My gog, but it'll be a quare scowderment at the Day of
Judgment when they come tumblin' up in their death-sarks, all jouped
together an' trying' to drag their tombsteans with them to prove how
good they was, some of them trimmlin' an' dithering, with their hands
that dozzened an' slippery from lyin' in the sea that they can't even
keep their gurp o' them."

I could see from the old fellow's self-satisfied air and the way in
which he looked round for the approval of his cronies that he was
"showing off," so I put in a word to keep him going.

"Oh, Mr. Swales, you can't be serious. Surely these tombstones are
not all wrong?"

"Yabblins! There may be a poorish few not wrong, savin' where they
make out the people too good, for there be folk that do think a
balm-bowl be like the sea, if only it be their own. The whole thing
be only lies. Now look you here. You come here a stranger, an' you
see this kirkgarth."

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