Henry Blyd's contract
Who lived in the Carse of Gowrie, near Dundee.
In a fine elegant discourse to his Mistress the Minister's wife.
Entered according to Order.
Henry Blyd's Contract, &c
WELL Mistriss I'm new come out o' Dundee, I ⟨could⟩ get naething to gi' the horse draff in but the sku(illegible text) your women ay takes his trough to keep sand in, for ⟨scouring⟩ their fushicades, i' bink well I wat he's a good ⟨beast.⟩ God bless him that I dinna forspeak him; An as well for ⟨he's⟩ quainted wi' me, as if I had been seven years in's company In troth Mistris, fouk has ay need to deffect (illegible text) they are doing, for the day as I'm coming along ⟨to⟩ casoway o' Dundee, the laid's brether that came here cry'd me up, an ga' me a biker, an coming out I fell down the stair, an 'maist brake my neck, but a providence ⟨saves⟩ the barm. An you ken Mistris fan I'm ridden down the pow upon Mistris fushicad, she an I crackin t'gether an' I no mindin' fat she's saying', tine's my pisle, an' rid fordert, till I'm about a mile an' a bittockie frae'd, ⟨and⟩ mind's says I, Good faith Mistris, I've tint my pisle, ale ⟨and⟩ maun gang back for'd againOut ye're a fool cushe, (illegible text) it gang there, it was no meikle worth. Wa's no ⟨meikle⟩ worth cothie, Saul, Mistris, it was as good a ane as ⟨ever⟩ was in a poor beast; an' I wou'd na ge'ed for my h(illegible text) year's fee yet; fae ged my wa's back, and gat it just (illegible text) I fan'd it.
Now, mistris, as you was sayin', I man gi' you a prescriptification o' my life. First fan I came to the wa(illegible text) as soon as I grew a body my father was dissolved to (illegible text) me to school, to learn to dispel, an' a chapman come by he bought me a 'Chief end 'o Man,' an a' 'Prognostication:' but I being contraveenable ran awa' and ged the west mill and helped the miller; For he greed wi' ⟨the⟩ auld lady, to uphad a' the gaun gear, an' she furnisht ⟨him⟩ wi' a woman, an gat the o'ercom to himsel fae this ⟨was⟩ I misglecked a my learnament, well when I was past a h(illegible text) lang lad, I began to think how I sud' come thros the wa(illegible text) an' ye ken the best way was to disjoin mysel' to a (illegible text) marrow after the orderly custom o' the ban' fan lads ⟨and⟩ lasses being observed to marry ither, Lord grant prosperity, generation mortification and devulsion to a' them gangs that geat cothie. Now always mistris I'll tell ⟨you⟩ the thing I'm gaun to tell you. The lass's sister that m(illegible text) ⟨cried⟩ fushica'em's good father that dwells down o' the laird o' thing's lan', began to look to me an I to her, ay after that they scorned us t'gether, her uncle a very disponsible woman, bids me meet her at the kirk of fushica'd, upon Sunday, well afar aff, Is I came near hand I thought it was a market, an put in my hand i' my fushica d, for something to the custom wife. I mind it was Sunday, an' that there was nae ousen but men and women, a' thro' ither: well I comes in by an fits down by the tent side amang them, an puts on my bonnet as the rest did; sae be that time the lass that sou'd a been mine came in by, an' as she was sitting down.' I'll ne'er forget it, ane o' the men wi' the black cloaked necks, contransied out o the bcuk, 'That if a man was ordain'd for a thing, hc wou'd na' get win by it' Well that ga' me some hartin, sae we took a chapin o' ale at the tent side, an cry'd in upo' John fushica'd that was pishing at the east gravel (his brether sister's married to my lord kinghorn's hen-wife, I believe's name is Lion) an ga' him a part o't, then I says cothie, sin there's but a diffusion here, we'll sit and take out our drink, and confer th' 'greement till we meet at the brydal. That's to be on Tysday, cothie: Sae here's een t'you Lass, I thank you lad a'tweel, it's onforsaid o' me; Sae an ye binna as onwillin to take me, cothie, as I'm to take you, let's een make an end o't on Tysday, cothie: Confortably we forgethers in the afternoon, fan lads has gotten in their stuff, an begin to grow ramage, wi' the soup drink; we devis't upo' the matter, an' conspounded to be contriv'd. Well I was to gi' up our names to the kirk session, an pay white silver to the box, to keep me frae gettin upo' the stool of repentance for a twelve month to come. An forenons that I was to get threty mark wi' her an a mare, an a my fees were to be laid to that, If I di't first a my things were to be her's; an if she di't neist. her things were to be mine, the bairns ware to be divided amang the first end o' the gear, the lads ware to be elder than a' the lasses, but the lasses were to come in afore the lads in the testification, as John Follow laid it down upo' write.
Well, 'twas three days afterhend, she comes to me upo' a day fan I'm at the pleugh, an says Henry, coshie, Ye ken fat ye did at the kirk-yeard, an the brydal, ye're a gay conspicable wark lad, an I ha' been try'd at barns an byres an can put my hand to a' things, cothie, as well as my neighbours. And sae I convolved, that fin it was the way that other fouk did an her kist was well made up wi' aff-fains, I just arrests her to mect me at Forgan the morn: Sae I ged my wa' hame, mulled my head, ⟨and⟩ made ready a clean oerly, my purlt bandit sark, a staff and a blew bornet in my head, an raise as soon as the cock ⟨get⟩ upo' the kitchen, an' came to the king's high way to Fougan, an be the fun was haf a mile frae the lift, I was (illegible text) the orchard, an sum meets I, but just my lord i' the teeth (illegible text) Ho, good dav Henry cothie: Fat are your will my lord cothie, ha' you gotten a wife yet Henry? cothie de'il are you gotten yoursel vet mv loid, cothie: Fat makes ⟨you⟩ sae shoon up? cothie, I've been taken in some meal, Henry cothie. Indeed my lord cothie, an you wou'd lift the house up to your dukit, it wou'd cost you less travel. How wou'd you do that Henry cothie. My lord cothie gar John fushica'd your officer raise the ground, an fe(illegible text) in Silder, for tows to the bailies o' Dundee, an shout there in beneath the foundation, an cut trees to let it o'er the shrig, we'll carry it up in a forenoon, an’ make it two coupler higher, and strike through a Through-art, an ⟨it⟩ were but to see a seek beast; he gat out wi' a gaff o' laughter an says, weil controlt Henry cothie I'll gi' you three dollars to grieve the wark. My lord cothie, I'll take naething but the death that Elspit Fushicaid your Honour's widows tennants wife rests me, for the warl' makin' a Turnament opo her, an the corn no castin up good years, you've meddl'd wi' a her gear, ilk hilt an hai o't cohie Sa't is certain your honour or gi' me satisfaction well Henry, cothie there's my hand and a faxpence, than I will see you wrang'd. Well God detain an' discompose your honour, cothie, Sae I recovered my bonnet an' disscoursed him, an' comes to the house far the neighbour was sitting i' the fire, previncing an' preverting the oc ⟨affairs⟩ of the kintra, an fan they saw me, O welcome Henry, here's to your health and luck to the bargain, drink it is welcome, I hank you, in conscience I wish we never want war, let never sorrow gang sae near your heart. Well mistris think she's a gay lass, an' she binna a wa(illegible text) man nor her father I'll be right well set on upo' her. Well I wat she tak'st well a kin, for her mother was as able ⟨a⟩ barn-man as ever hell corn to the win.
The house I was to take ran just down by the water side it was a gay fit misdimable house, wi a but an a ben an a fire side, an' a closs that wou'd hadden a swine: the ha(illegible text) stood just i' the raids o' the floor, an the fin came in at the wast winnock tan the lads got their dorder meat, wi' disproportional yard, that wou'd have sawn six furlets ⟨of⟩ beer. Just as we were previn a disclusion up by comes Fushicam that dwells down at the brigen, an says, this mar(illegible text) cothie, man pay for his house an yard cothie, twenty marks, cothie. Saul stir chamberlain, cochie, an you will no tak twenty pend keep them to your fell cothie, well Henry, cothie, lick my thing and lay it to yours, an since it is sae, that it near be nae ither way nor it fond be an your desistable, lars pit black upo' white upo't, He taks out a lang thing that fouk uses to di fan' they gang about the way o' things, an scrapt upo' paper at the dissolments an' tanaments o' the taftens, an' bad pit to my name. Stir cothie, I'm no beuk learnt, well then cothie pit to your han to my Fushicad, before witlesses an I'll describe for you
The lass secing a' this, says I, the fint a fit I'll tak him, cushie, for he's a fool, being magvocate, and corraminous wi' the soup drink: An aways being (illegible text) cothie, Saul comer cothie, Conscience comer, cothie, I: I was magistravigant an' glastrious as other lads, I foud ken whether ye were a man or lad, an make you never work a turn after this deficient day gae your gates in a vengeableness, cushie. Sae mistris there was nae great skaith for my master gart her pay the haf o' the lawin, an' said fin you winna intend the marriage, he manna be the cost, for fatever has been batween you you've as meikle o him, as he has of you. But he could not thrive for he got a laird wi bairn and di't i the bearing o't. For women Mistris are fair things, whiles fan they tak it on: Your nain women disabuse me the last year because I wodna claw the Cow to gar her milk come down, an keep her frae flinging, they ca'd me frae heaven to hell, I was i' the mean time delvin i' thc ministers bastard, an' brcuk my warklome, an gean to seek the len of the beadles they ran before me an gart his wife cry, come in by Henry, an get the fashion o the house, Sae I gead in by thinkin she was gan' to gi' me cheese an bread, or something that woud na speak to me, but she ga' me sic a hurl I never gat the like o't fin the day Andrew fushicam's daughter a bangster queen met me in the dvak, an jemst me because me and my master John Gallows coost divats upo' Sunday thro' ignorance. I cou'd not displunge an sport as fouk will do in their daffin, but flang her down and misgrougled a' her apron by mirackligencc, she was sae angry that the rugget out a' my Fushica'd and made me bald, that I never have been like other fouk till this dcficient day, sae Mistress I ne'er drew up wi' anither till I came to my lord Fushica'd's house, wi' apples ayont Aberdeen far the bread water is that you'll no see a hill on the tither side o't, Sae as I'm i' the women's house ben comes lady Ann, a bonny lassie wi' a black fushicad on her head, an her face fou a black splatchets, an says Henry cushie, there's a groat tye an' kiss that lass at the wheel, as I was striving we tumelt down a tween the kist an the wa, an get nae scouth to win out for two hours, but an we had been as lang I soud gotten a kiss whether she wou'd or not, bat I never left her till I gart her cry, an if I had stayt there misdoutans I might ha' married her.
Now Mistris I'm your man an the ministers, and if ye dcsist frae pittin me awa, I winna bide, for I could live wi' you a' my days he speaks fae mony good wordsHe obstructit me the last day that I wou'd rise again: An I said cothie; Stir I'se believe as 'ither honest fouk do; An indeed stir, cothie the beuk of Poggavy just said as you said, an the o'erturn o't was ay three things, for it tell't, 'That tho' a man lay down in the gitter. an pray to God to take him out o' the gitter yet an he made nae moughts o' himsel he wou'd ly till he di't, and God wou'd raise him up for a' that. If I were good o' the remembry Mistris might ha' learnt a my quastens on it, О that beuk, for there was a thing an that beak, an the o'erturn o't was ay three things, there was Cats an Pipers in't, ships an' Swines an horn't beast, women and mony things, but I'm amint to learn yet, for tho' we was aulder the day than we was the morn, fouk are only detact it about my age, Just like Mr Francis Fushicam, that same day that the beadles wife an I lay upo' ither about clawin the cow. An ye kent mistriss that you lcnt me to the Officers wife to harrow her wheat in Divcr-lanc the afternoon. Sae as I was tellin you by comes his honour ridin on a Haak an a horse on's arm; an thinkin I was as auld as the officers wife, says Good day honest man can you set me upon a mankin herc about? The de'il a bit am I an honest man cothie, am bat the Ministers lad, an I'm but laubrin this honest woman's butt. Her good man's sae trackl'd wi' my Lord's wark, that we maun pit him alike wi' his neibors. Indeed Lord cothic, the gentlcs take a hankil uphadin ay ay stir, cothie but an gentle fouk were semple fouk an semple fouk wcre gentle fouk wou'd be like semple fouk. Wi' that up got a stock of Fushicads an he ged's was at the gallop.
I'll no contain you any longer Mistriss for I'm a mind to confer a wife gin the warl dinna men: for we get nae thing but what we buy, an de'il ha't we hae to buy wi' (illegible text) had anes an idle life, for I was a walicious man, an shot att the moon to learn us to had aff the whigs at Bodal brig we had nae wark than but to lay down our things on the grund an come back an fore get gin ony mist to tak his neibors thing instead o' his ain he gat o'er the crown. Well Mistriss this be your leave an I wiss a well; an very wife fouk says, that be't aft likes an it be no the same way it will be the tither an that well either hae King or Queen or sim ither thing or else naething at a' an than fouk cannot readily be out a' condition.
On the Foregoing
ALas! alas! for an ill hour
Is now befallen poor Inchflower,
Henry's gane, and that o'er sure.
But what remeed?
His feet will never fyle their Floor
For now he's dead
Poor Henry that was cad a fool
Has got three yelps wi' a cald shool,
Alas! that has wrought meikle dool.
Baith far an near,
To Fire-side he'll nee mair draw stool.
To gar Fouk sneer,
Now poor man in his grave he's laid.
And with the Shool nis debts are paid
But fan alive be freely ga'd
Whare it was due:
Baith Bill and Bans are a discharg'd
O lang or now:
But Henry was a right gay lad
E'en downright honest an e sa'd.
At Pleugh ho wou'd na quat the Gad,
To ony man
In field or yard he cou'd hae saw'd
Naething came wrang,
And for King he woud hae fought
Though like a cow he soud been bought,
Nae money wou'd him bysa'd wrought.
He was sae true,
A better Lad you coudna sought.
The Warl through,
When he was upo' his Death bed
The very last word that he said,
Was mind the poor beast I have fed.
An ridden on,
He was as good as e'er was laid
A Leg upon.
At his contract fan you have laught
An scritch an cry'd gin we were daft,
Then to his memory take a waught,
Of ale or beer,
And drivt about sae very aft,
Till you can't steer.
Critick forgive me for this ryme,
I had na better at the time,
But buy it first and whan you read it,
As it deserves then burn or spread it.
This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.