Bank Holiday Bonus II – “She Did a Few Tricks Herself and Wanted to Learn More”

It’s the second May bank holiday in England today, and also the last day of the marvellous Bungay Balls Up juggling festival, so here’s an extra humorous article from the Gateshead Guardian 6 July 1895. Can you work out what the old lady’s accent is supposed to be from?:

The Gateshead Guardian, July 6, 1895

The Gateshead Guardian, July 6, 1895


She Did a Few Tricks Herself and Wanted to Learn More.
As I purchased my ticket to go into the circus which was exhibiting in a town at the foot of Cumberland Range, a little old woman who wore a poke bonnet and was without shoes or stockings, beckoned me aside and said:
“Look yere, stranger, I’ve walked ten miles to see this yere sarcus.”
“I reckoned to git in fur two bits, but I can’t do it. The price is fo’ bits, and they won’t abate. Do yo’ know any of the sarcus folks?”
“No, I don’t.”
“If yo’ did they might abate. I kin do some sarcus tricks myself, and maybe they’d let me in for free. Cum’ out yere and see me flop a summersault, as they calls it.”
“Really ma’am, I haven’t time.”
“Wall then, give me room and see me turn a cart-wheel. I can do it as slick as any man yo’ ever seed.”
“Yes, I presume so, but I can’t spare the time.”
“I walked the top-rail of a fence fur half a mile without fallin’ off,” she continued, “and I believe I could walk a rope. Git outen the way and I’ll show yo’ a hand-spring as good as yo’ ever saw.”
“Please don’t, ma’am. If you want to go into the circus—”
“Yo’ kin hoot that I want to go into the sarcus!” she interrupted. “That’s what I’m here fur. Whenever a sarcus comes along I git thar if I kin and ketch on to all the new flip flops. The ole man is sick and couldn’t come, but I promised him to hev a good look at the hyenas and tell him all about ’em. As fur me, I’m bound and determined to ride that trick mewl twice around the ring or perish in the attempt. What was yo’ goin’ to say?”
“I was going to say that I’d pay the other two bits and take you in with me.”
“Would you do that fur a pore old woman who hadn’t seen sarcus fur two y’are?” she anxiously asked.
“Of course.”
I got her a ticket and we passed in together, and a her request I hunted up the cage of hyenas the first thing. She stood and looked at them for five minutes before saying:
“Wall, I don’t see whar’ the purtiness cums in, but the old man is crazy ’bout hyenas. Now for the sarcus.”
We sat down together, and she took a great interest in and vigorously applauded every feat.
By and bye, when the trick mule was brought in and the usual announcement made, she sprang up and was at the ringside before anyone else could move. Everybody laughed and the ringmaster was confused. He finally had to tell her that all women were barred out, and when she persisted a couple of employees led her back to her seat. She came back flushed and angry, and when I attempted to console her she said:
“That’s the way of it all over – the wimmin folks bain’t got no rights and can’t get em. I could ride that mewl to his grave and not bin throwed off, and that’s what they was afraid of. Are’ thar’ any camp-bells with this show?”
“You mean camels. Yes, there are four or five in the other tent.”
“Then I’ll ride a camp-bell without doin’ sunthin’ to brag of.”
She slipped away, and when we filed out after the performance she was sitting between the two humps of a half-asleep dromedary and saying to the man who wanted her to come off:
“You go to ballyhack! I cum to this sarcus to git a pinter or two, and if you git me off’n this campbell I’ll ride yer ole rhinoceros around ’till he draps dead!”

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