Nonfiction > Lionel Strachey, et al., eds. > The World’s Wit and Humor > British
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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes.  1906.
Vols. VI–IX: British
 
Some of Mrs. Poyser’s Opinions
By George Eliot (Mary Ann Cross) (1819–1880)
 
From “Adam Bede”

IT’S ill livin’ in a hen-roost for them as doesn’t like fleas.
  1
  What care I what the men ’ud run after? It’s well seen what choice the most of ’em know how to make, by the poor draggle-tails o’ wives you see, like bits o’ gauze ribbon, good for nothing when the colour’s gone.  2
  Mr. Bede, will you take some vinegar with your lettuce? Aye, you’re i’ th’ right not. It spoils the flavour o’ the chine, to my thinking. It’s poor eating where the flavour o’ the meat lies i’ the cruets. There’s folks as make bad butter, and trusten to the salt t’hide it.  3
  I know that dancin’s nonsense; but if you stick at everything because it’s nonsense, you wonna go far i’ this life. When your broth’s ready-made for you, you mun swallow the thickenin’, or else let the broth alone.  4
  I’d sooner ha’ brewin’ day and washin’ day together than one o’ these pleasurin’ days. There’s no work so tirin’ as danglin’ about an’ starin’, an’ not rightly knowin’ what you’re goin’ to do next; and keepin’ your face i’ smilin’ order, like a grocer o’ market day, for fear people shouldna think you civil enough. An’ you’ve nothing to show for’t when it’s done, if it isn’t a yallow face wi’ eatin’ things as disagree.  5
  I was never over-fond o’ gentlefolk’s servants—they’re mostly like the fine lady’s fat dogs, nayther good for barking nor butcher’s meat, but on’y for show.  6
  It’s them as take advantage that get advantage i’ this world, I think; folks have to wait long enough before it’s brought to ’em.  7
  I’ve had my say out, and I shall be th’ easier for’t all my life. There’s no pleasure i’ living, if you’re to be corked up for ever, and only dribble your mind out by the sly, like a leaky barrel. I sha’n’t repent saying what I think, if I live to be as old as th’ old squire; and there’s little likelihoods, for it seems as if them as aren’t wanted here are th’ only folks as aren’t wanted i’ the other world.  8
  I’m not one o’ those as can see the cat i’ the dairy, an’ wonder what she’s come after.  9
  Scarceness o’ victual ’ull keep; there’s no need to be hasty wi’ the cooking. An’ scarceness is what there’s the biggest stock of i’ that country.  10
  It’s hard work to tell which is Old Harry when everybody’s got boots on.  11
 
 
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