|Have a laff and
see who among you can best read aloud (or even understand) this sermon
written in a
Scottish dialect by David Gibb Mitchell (1863-1921), a minister at the
Free Church of Cramond in Midlothian:
The Hinmaist Nicht Wi The Twal
This was the dowie
nicht o their life wi the warst forebodins. They had gaithered in here
frae the storm that was brewin the wild burstin fury that was swallin i
the breists o their foes. Ilk ane had a sair doon-hingin face, an
carried the grief o his ain thochts in his looks. There was little
sayin, but meikle thinkin. Ane an a kent weel that this was the
hinmaist tryst! The Maister had mony things to say the nicht that cudna
be said afore. They were a lookin at Him, an wonderin. They kent His
hert was fu o something. He had ower muckle to say an no eneuch time to
say it in. He was speakin faster than ordnar. He wasna like Himsel. He
was cuisten doon; but a spirit o calm ruled. A thrang o things were
comin thegither in His mind. He kent that Judas was to betray Him. Nane
o the lave had an inklin ot. He was in a swither hoo He was to brak the
news to them. There were quarrels anbickerins. He girds a tooel aboot
Him. He draps on His knees, an the Maister-Lord begude to wash the
disciples feet. Peter winna lat Him; but what cud the knave hae thocht
whan He kneelt doon aside him, an dichtit the dubs frae his feet, an
dried them wi the tooel? Wwere there ony qualms o conscience, or a
turnin awa frae his dark design?
Or try this 19th c. poem, by Janet Hamilton, about a drunkard's wife:
Yer ae drugget coat is baith scrimpy an
An your auld leloc
toush is baith dirty an torn;
An roun your lean
haffets, ance sonsy and fair,
Hings, tautit an
tousie, your bonny broun hair.
They tauld ye that
Davie was keen o the drink,
That siller neer baid
in his pouches a blink,
An a he got claut o he
waret on the dram,
An ae pay neer sert
till anither ane cam.
But ye wadna be waret,
sae your weird ye maun dree,
Tho aften ye rather wad
lie doun an dee;
For o puir drucken
Davie yeve nae houp ava,
Sae youre greetin, an
toilin, an fechtin awa.
Or try this 19th
century Forfar Notables
(quoted in The Royal Burgh of Forfar A Local
History, Alan Reid, 1902), which describes a lesson in a Forfar school:
Put doon fowre bools! Dye ca that fowre,
Johnny? Ive anither name fort.
Weel dune, Tammie! Yell be a man afore yer mither yet. Tak them a up
but twa, noo! Did ye no hear fat I said, min? Gin I come owre yere
fingers twice Ill learn ye to coont twa some better. Noo, lift ane, an
leave ane. Fats yer fingers made o, Bobbie, at ye let a yer bools gae
scatterin owre the flure that wye? Your fingers is a thooms, Im dootin.
Tak them a up noo! Put doon sax! Coont them ane by ane, min! There!
Thats the wye. Confoond ye, canna ye stop when ye come to sax? Tak them
a up an well try again. Ane Geordie, Ill hae to gie ye a lickin, I
doot. Dye no ken fat ane is? Hoo mony heids hae ye?