2 DECEMBER 1899, Page 29


[To THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR."] DEAR Mn. EDITIIR,---I would be much obliged ef yew could spare me a line or tew in which tu comfort your corre- spondent Mr. W. J. Stillman. My apellin' seems tu her worried him, an' it may encourage him tu know thet it worries me es well. He concloods becos I can't spell thet I don't belong to this great country at all, which is ruther more arrogant than even I represented J. Bull tu be. Fact is, how- ever, me an' my fathers afore me, we've tilled our bit o' land in this kingdom for more'n tew centuries ; I was born here, an' live here now ; so I'm a puffickly natral Englishman, though, at the same time, I'm proud tu her got a sort uv American streak in me thet I can't get rid uv and don't want tu. I'm prouder still tu say thet I am a granson uv the talented Hosea Biglow, Esqre., deceased (though my surname is Walker), but I dew not try tu follow him or tu imitate his dialect, because I am afflicted with a dictionary an' a dialect uv my own. Proud as I am uv him, I cannot disguise from myself thet the late Mr. H. B. did not know how tu spell. I her unfortunately inherited this defect together with some of his characteristic peculiarities nv expression, an' it takes me all my time tu rassle with them an' write with sufficient clearness for my fellow countrymen tu comprehend my meanin' easily. There's no law, natral or otherwise, to compel a man ta talk or write zackly like his granfather. It is trew thet my illustrious ancestor did, as Mr. Stillman says, spell make me/c, but I her found out thet he was mistaken, an' so I put it right. Similarly, by degrees, I am improvin' my spellin' all round. Let me add thet in them verses nv mine I was not tryin' tu express the American conception uv John Bull, or Mr. Still. man's conception uv him, but jest my own. Either Mr. Still. man's or mine may be the correct one,—unless we're both