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Joseph’s Speech

 Source: The quotations are from the novel and the translations are based on dialect research.
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Emily's transliterations of Joseph's broad Yorkshire accent are not easy to understand, even for English people. On this page, I take some of his speeches and try and translate them into modern speech. Some meanings of English words are given [in square brackets] for the benefit of those whose first language is not English. The normal text is directly from the book; text appearing in red is the translated version.

"Flaysome" seems to be a Yorkshire word, related to the Scottish word "flighsome", likely to mean "frightening". The way Joseph uses it, it could also be replaced by "dreadful".

There is also a general glossary of dialectal words on the glossary page.

Chapter 2

'What are ye for?' he shouted. 'T' maister's down i' t' fowld. Go round by th' end o' t' laith, if ye went to spake to him.'

'Is there nobody inside to open the door?' I hallooed, responsively.

'There's nobbut t' missis; and shoo'll not oppen 't an ye mak' yer flaysome dins till neeght.'

'Why? Cannot you tell her whom I am, eh, Joseph?'

'Nor-ne me! I'll hae no hend wi't,' muttered the head, vanishing.

'What do you want?' he shouted. 'The master's down in the fold [sheep pen]. Go round the end of the barn if you want to speak to him.'

'Is there nobody inside to open the door?' I hallooed, responsively.

'There's nobody but the mistress, and she'll not open it for you if you make your frightening din [noise] till night.'

'Why? Cannot you tell her whom I am, eh, Joseph?'

'Not me. I'll not have anything to do with it,' muttered the head, vanishing.

The former, when he had deposited his burden, took a critical survey of the room, and in cracked tones grated out 'Aw wonder how yah can faishion to stand thear i' idleness un war, when all on 'ems goan out! Bud yah're a nowt, and it's no use talking—yah'll niver mend o'yer ill ways, but goa raight to t' divil, like yer mother afore ye!'

The former, when he had deposited his burden, took a critical survey of the room, and in cracked tones grated out 'I wonder how you can stand there in idleness and worse, when all of them have gone out! But you're a nobody, and it's no use talking—you'll never mend your evil ways, but go straight to the Devil, like your mother before you!'

Chapter 3

'"T' maister nobbut just buried, and Sabbath not o'ered, und t' sound o' t' gospel still i' yer lugs, and ye darr be laiking! Shame on ye! sit ye down, ill childer! there's good books eneugh if ye'll read 'em: sit ye down, and think o' yer sowls!"

"'The master just recently buried, and the Sabbath not over, and the sound of the gospel still in your ears, and you dare be larking about [having fun]! Shame on you! sit down, bad children! there are good books enough if you'll read them: sit down, and think of your souls!"

'"Maister Hindley!" shouted our chaplain. "Maister, coom hither! Miss Cathy's riven th' back off 'Th' Helmet o' Salvation,' un' Heathcliff's pawsed his fit into t' first part o' 'T' Brooad Way to Destruction!' It's fair flaysome that ye let 'em go on this gait. Ech! th' owd man wad ha' laced 'em properly—but he's goan!"

'"Master Hindley!" shouted our chaplain. "Master, come here! Miss Cathy's torn the back off The Helmet of Salvation [religious book], and Heathcliff's kicked his feet into the first part of The Broad Way to Destruction [another book]! It's frightening that you let them go on this way. Ech! the old man would have flogged them properly—but he's gone!"

Chapter 9

'And how isn't that nowt comed in fro' th' field, be this time? What is he about? girt idle seeght!' demanded the old man, looking round for Heathcliff.

'And hasn't that nobody [useless person] come in from the field by now? What is he up to? great idle sight!' demanded the old man, looking round for Heathcliff.

'Yon lad gets war und war!' observed he on re-entering. 'He's left th' gate at t' full swing, and Miss's pony has trodden dahn two rigs o' corn, and plottered through, raight o'er into t' meadow! Hahsomdiver, t' maister 'ull play t' devil to-morn, and he'll do weel. He's patience itsseln wi' sich careless, offald craters—patience itsseln he is! Bud he'll not be soa allus—yah's see, all on ye! Yah mun'n't drive him out of his heead for nowt!'

'Have you found Heathcliff, you ass?' interrupted Catherine. 'Have you been looking for him, as I ordered?'

'I sud more likker look for th' horse,' he replied. 'It 'ud be to more sense. Bud I can look for norther horse nur man of a neeght loike this—as black as t' chimbley! und Heathcliff's noan t' chap to coom at my whistle—happen he'll be less hard o' hearing wi' ye!'

'That lad gets worse and worse!' observed he on re-entering. 'He's left the gate fully open, and Miss's pony has trodden down two fields of corn, and blundered through, right over into the meadow! However, the master will complain badly in the morning, and he'll do well. He is patience itself with such careless, worthless creatures—patience itself, he is! But he'll not be so always—you'll see, all of you! You mustn't upset him for nothing!'

'Have you found Heathcliff, you ass?' interrupted Catherine. 'Have you been looking for him, as I ordered?'

'I would much rather look for the horse,' he replied. 'It would make more sense. But I can look for neither horse nor man on a night like this—as black as the chimney! and Heathcliff's not the kind of boy to come at my whistle—it's likely he will be less hard of hearing with you!'

'Nay, nay, he's noan at Gimmerton,' said Joseph. 'I's niver wonder but he's at t' bothom of a bog-hoile. This visitation worn't for nowt, and I wod hev' ye to look out, Miss—yah muh be t' next. Thank Hivin for all! All warks togither for gooid to them as is chozzen, and piked out fro' th' rubbidge! Yah knaw whet t' Scripture ses.'

'No, no, he's not at Gimmerton,' said Joseph. 'I expect he's at the bottom of a bog. This visitation [storm] wasn't for nothing, and I would advise you to watch out, Miss—you might be the next. Thank Heaven for all! It all works out for good for those that are chosen [by God], and picked out from the rubbish! You know what the Scripture says.'

'Running after t' lads, as usuald!' croaked Joseph, catching an opportunity from our hesitation to thrust in his evil tongue. 'If I war yah, maister, I'd just slam t' boards i' their faces all on 'em, gentle and simple! Never a day ut yah're off, but yon cat o' Linton comes sneaking hither; and Miss Nelly, shoo's a fine lass! shoo sits watching for ye i' t' kitchen; and as yah're in at one door, he's out at t'other; and, then, wer grand lady goes a-courting of her side! It's bonny behaviour, lurking amang t' fields, after twelve o' t' night, wi' that fahl, flaysome divil of a gipsy, Heathcliff! They think I'm blind; but I'm noan: nowt ut t' soart!—I seed young Linton boath coming and going, and I seed yah' [directing his discourse to me], 'yah gooid fur nowt, slattenly witch! nip up and bolt into th' house, t' minute yah heard t' maister's horse-fit clatter up t' road.'

'Running after the lads as usual!' croaked Joseph, catching an opportunity from our hesitation to thrust in his evil tongue. 'If I were you, master, I'd just slam the doors in their faces, all of the, simple as that! Never a day goes by when you're away, but that son of Linton comes sneaking here; and Miss Nelly, she's a fine one! she sits there watching for you in the kitchen; and as you come in at one door, he's out at the other; and then our grand lady goes a-courting herself! It's fine behaviour, lurking in the fields, after twelve at night, with that foul, frightening devil of a gypsy, Heathcliff! They think I'm blind; but I'm not: nothing of the sort!—I saw young Linton both coming and going, and I saw you' [directing his discourse to me], 'you good for nothing, slovenly witch! run up and into the house, the minute you heard the master's horse coming up the road.'

Chapter 10

"Nelly," he said, "we's hae a crowner's 'quest enow, at ahr folks'. One on 'em 's a'most getten his finger cut off wi' hauding t' other fro' stickin' hisseln loike a cawlf. That's maister, yeah knaw, 'at 's soa up o' going tuh t' grand 'sizes. He's noan feared o' t' bench o' judges, norther Paul, nur Peter, nur John, nur Matthew, nor noan on 'em, not he! He fair likes—he langs to set his brazened face agean 'em! And yon bonny lad Heathcliff, yah mind, he's a rare 'un. He can girn a laugh as well's onybody at a raight divil's jest. Does he niver say nowt of his fine living amang us, when he goes to t' Grange? This is t' way on't:—up at sun-down: dice, brandy, cloised shutters, und can'le-light till next day at noon: then, t'fooil gangs banning und raving to his cham'er, makking dacent fowks dig thur fingers i' thur lugs fur varry shame; un' the knave, why he can caint his brass, un' ate, un' sleep, un' off to his neighbour's to gossip wi' t' wife. I' course, he tells Dame Catherine how her fathur's goold runs into his pocket, and her fathur's son gallops down t' broad road, while he flees afore to oppen t' pikes!"

"Nelly," he said, "we shall have a coroner's inquest soon, at our place. One of them almost got his finger cut off with stopping the other from sticking himself like a calf. That's the master, you know, that is so set on going to the Grand Assizes [courts]. He's not worried about the bench of judges, neither Paul, nor Peter, nor John, nor Matthew, not any of them. He doesn't care—he longs to set his defiant face against them! And that bonny lad Heathcliff, you know, he's a rare one. He can grin and laugh as well as anybody at a right devil's jest. Does he never say anything of his fine living amongst us when he goes to the Grange? This is the way it is: up at sundown, dice, brandy, closed shutters, and candlelight till next day at noon: then the fool goes cursing and raving to his chamber, making decent folk put their fingers in their ears for the very shame; and the knave, he can count his money, and eat and sleep, and off to his neighbour's to gossip with his wife. Of course, he tells Catherine how her father's gold runs into his pocket, and her father's son gallops down the road to ruin, while he goes ahead to open the gates!"

Chapter 13

'Gooid Lord!' he muttered, sitting down, and stroking his ribbed stockings from the knee to the ankle. 'If there's to be fresh ortherings—just when I getten used to two maisters, if I mun hev' a mistress set o'er my heead, it's like time to be flitting. I niver did think to see t' day that I mud lave th' owld place—but I doubt it's nigh at hand!'

'Good Lord!' he muttered, sitting down, and stroking his ribbed stockings from the knee to the ankle, 'If there's to be fresh orders—just when I was getting used to two masters—if I'm to have a mistress set over my head, it's time to be going. I didn't think I would see the day when I would have to leave the old place—but I suspect it's not far off!'

'Thear!' he ejaculated. 'Hareton, thou willn't sup thy porridge to-neeght; they'll be naught but lumps as big as my neive. Thear, agean! I'd fling in bowl un' all, if I wer ye! There, pale t' guilp off, un' then ye'll hae done wi' 't. Bang, bang. It's a mercy t' bothom isn't deaved out!'

'There!' he ejaculated. 'Hareton, you won't be drinking your porridge tonight; there'll be nothing but lumps as big as my fist. There again! I'd throw in the bowl and all, if I were you! There, skim the milk off, and then you'll be done with it. Bang, bang. It's a surprise the bottom hasn't been knocked out!'

'Oh! it's Maister Hathecliff's ye're wanting?' cried he, as if making a new discovery. 'Couldn't ye ha' said soa, at onst? un' then, I mud ha' telled ye, baht all this wark, that that's just one ye cannut see—he allas keeps it locked, un' nob'dy iver mells on't but hisseln.'

'Oh, it's Master Heathcliff's that you're wanting?' cried her, as if making a new discovery. 'Couldn't you have said so at once? and then I would have told you, without all this fuss, that that is one you can't see—he always keeps it locked, and nobody ever middles with it but himself.'

'Ech! ech!' exclaimed Joseph. 'Weel done, Miss Cathy! weel done, Miss Cathy! Howsiver, t' maister sall just tum'le o'er them brooken pots; un' then we's hear summut; we's hear how it's to be. Gooid-for-naught madling! ye desarve pining fro' this to Churstmas, flinging t' precious gifts o'God under fooit i' yer flaysome rages! But I'm mista'en if ye shew yer sperrit lang. Will Hathecliff bide sich bonny ways, think ye? I nobbut wish he may catch ye i' that plisky. I nobbut wish he may.'

'Ech! ech!' exclaimed Joseph. 'Well done, Miss Cathy! well done, Miss Cathy! Howsoever, the master will just tumble over them broken pots and then we'll hear something; we'll hear how it's to be. Good-for-nothing fool! you deserve starving from now to Christmas for throwing the precious gifts of God underfoot with your frightening rages! But I'll be mistaken if you show that spirit long. Will Heathcliff allow such fancy ways, do you think? I just wish he'd catch you in that temper. I just wish he would.'

'They's rahm for boath ye un' yer pride, now, I sud think i' the hahse. It's empty; ye may hev' it all to yerseln, un' him as allus maks a third, i' sich ill company!'

'There's room for both you and your pride now, I should think, in the house. It's empty: you may have it all to yourself, and him who always makes a third in such bad company [the Devil]!'

Chapter 17

'I'd rayther he'd goan hisseln for t' doctor! I sud ha' taen tent o' t' maister better nor him—and he warn't deead when I left, naught o' t' soart!'

'I'd rather he'd gone himself for the doctor! I would have taken care of the master better than him—and he wasn't dead when I left, nothing of the sort!'

Chapter 19

'Noa!' said Joseph, giving a thud with his prop on the floor, and assuming an authoritative air. 'Noa! that means naught. Hathecliff maks noa 'count o' t' mother, nor ye norther; but he'll heu' his lad; und I mun tak' him—soa now ye knaw!'

'No!' said Joseph, giving a thud with his prop on the floor, and assuming an authoritative air. 'No! that means nothing. Heathcliff takes no account of the mother, nor you neither; but he'll have his lad and I must take him—so now you know!'

Chapter 20

'Cannot ate it?' repeated he, peering in Linton's face, and subduing his voice to a whisper, for fear of being overheard. 'But Maister Hareton nivir ate naught else, when he wer a little 'un; and what wer gooid enough for him's gooid enough for ye, I's rayther think!'

'Cannot eat it?' repeated he, peering in Linton's face, and subduing his voice to a whisper, for fear of being overheard. 'But Master Hareton never ate anything else when he was a little one; and what was good enough for him is good enough for you, I think.'

'Wah!' answered Joseph, 'yon dainty chap says he cannut ate 'em. But I guess it's raight! His mother wer just soa—we wer a'most too mucky to sow t' corn for makking her breead.'

'What!' answered Joseph, 'that dainty chap says he cannot eat them. But I suppose it's to be expected! His mother was just the same—we were almost too dirty to sow the corn for making her bread.'

Chapter 23

'Na—ay!' he snarled, or rather screamed through his nose. 'Na—ay! yah muh goa back whear yah coom frough.'

'No!' he snarled, or rather screamed through his nose. 'No! you must go back where you came from.'

Chapter 24

'"I wer sure he'd sarve ye out! He's a grand lad! He's getten t' raight sperrit in him! He knaws—ay, he knaws, as weel as I do, who sud be t' maister yonder—Ech, ech, ech! He made ye skift properly! Ech, ech, ech!"

'"I was sure he'd teach you a lesson! He's a grand lad! He's getting the right spirit in him! He knows—yes, he knows, as well as I do who should be the master yonder—Ech, ech, ech! He made you shift properly! Ech, ech, ech!"

Chapter 32

'I'd rayther, by th' haulf, hev' 'em swearing i' my lugs fro'h morn to neeght, nor hearken ye hahsiver!' said the tenant of the kitchen, in answer to an unheard speech of Nelly's. 'It's a blazing shame, that I cannot oppen t' blessed Book, but yah set up them glories to Sattan, and all t' flaysome wickednesses that iver were born into th' warld! Oh! ye're a raight nowt; and shoo's another; and that poor lad'll be lost atween ye. Poor lad!' he added, with a groan; 'he's witched: I'm sartin on't. Oh, Lord, judge 'em, for there's norther law nor justice among wer rullers!'

'I'd rather, by half, have them swearing in my ears from morning to night, than have to listen to you!' said the tenant of the kitchen, in answer to an unheard speech of Nelly's. 'It's a blazing shame that I cannot open the blessed Book [Bible] but you set up those glories to Satan, and all the frightening wickedness that ever were born into the world! Oh! you're a real good-for-nothing, and she's another; and that poor lad will be lost between you. Poor lad!' he added with a groan; 'he's bewitched: I'm certain of it. Oh, Lord, judge them, for there's neither law nor justice among our rulers!'

'Tak' these in to t' maister, lad,' he said, 'and bide there. I's gang up to my own rahm. This hoile's neither mensful nor seemly for us: we mun side out and seearch another.'

'Take these in to the master, lad,' he said, 'and stay there. I'm going up to my own room. This place is neither decent nor proper for us: we must move out and search for another.'

'Ony books that yah leave, I shall tak' into th' hahse,' said Joseph, 'and it'll be mitch if yah find 'em agean; soa, yah may plase yerseln!'

'Any books that you leave, I shall take into the house,' said Joseph, 'and it'll be unlikely if you find them again; so, you may please yourself!'

Chapter 33

'I mun hev' my wage, and I mun goa! I hed aimed to dee wheare I'd sarved fur sixty year; and I thowt I'd lug my books up into t' garret, and all my bits o' stuff, and they sud hev' t' kitchen to theirseln; for t' sake o' quietness. It wur hard to gie up my awn hearthstun, but I thowt I could do that! But nah, shoo's taan my garden fro' me, and by th' heart, maister, I cannot stand it! Yah may bend to th' yoak an ye will—I noan used to 't, and an old man doesn't sooin get used to new barthens. I'd rayther arn my bite an' my sup wi' a hammer in th' road!'

'I must have my wages and I must go! I had aimed to die where I'd served for sixty years; and I thought I'd carry my books up into the garret, and all my bits of stuff, and they should have the kitchen to themselves for the sake of quietness. It was hard to give up my own hearthstone [fireside seat], but I thought I could do that! But no, she's taken my garden from me, and by the heart, master, I cannot stand it! You may accept the yoke [oppressive power] if you will—I'm not used to it, and an old man doesn't soon get used to new burdens. I'd rather earn my food and drink as a labourer on the road!'

'It's noan Nelly!' answered Joseph. 'I sudn't shift for Nelly—nasty ill nowt as shoo is. Thank God! Shoo cannot stale t' sowl o' nob'dy! Shoo wer niver soa handsome, but what a body mud look at her 'bout winking. It's yon flaysome, graceless quean, that's witched our lad, wi' her bold een and her forrard ways—till—Nay! it fair brusts my heart! He's forgotten all I've done for him, and made on him, and goan and riven up a whole row o' t' grandest currant-trees i' t' garden!' and here he lamented outright; unmanned by a sense of his bitter injuries, and Earnshaw's ingratitude and dangerous condition.

'It's not Nelly!' answered Joseph. 'I wouldn't move for Nelly—nasty good-for-nothing as she is. Thank God! She cannot steal the soul from nobody! She was never so handsome, but that anybody would look at her without winking [not staring at her beauty]. It's that frightening, graceless girl that's bewitched our lad, with her bold eyes and her forward ways—till—No! if nearly bursts my heart! He's forgotten all I've done for him, and taught him, and gone and pulled up a whole row of the grandest currant-trees in the garden!' and here he lamented outright; unmanned by a sense of his bitter injuries, and Earnshaw's ingratitude and dangerous condition.

Chapter 34

'Th' divil's harried off his soul,' he cried, 'and he may hev' his carcass into t' bargin, for aught I care! Ech! what a wicked 'un he looks, girning at death!' and the old sinner grinned in mockery.

'The Devils's carried off his soul,' he cried, 'and he may have his carcass into the bargain for all I care! Ech! what a wicked one he looks, grinning at death!' and the old sinner grinned in mockery.