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Bernard Miles Monologues
 
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OVER THE GATE
performed by
Bernard Miles

"Good arternoon...
I was born and bred in Ivin'hoe.
I was born at me grannies.
That's a nice little village is Ivin'hoe; like what they calls interdenominational. That's got a church, a Ebernezer Strict Baptist, a Wesleyan Reform, a Bethel and a little Salvation Army made outa corrugated iron; arr, and when that rains that don't half rattle! Only o' course 'tis nice soft water.
I'm church, myself, St Marks, what they calls perpendicular, that was built by the Vikings, in th' 'leventh century, afore the railway come. Tha's got some fine ole crusaders in un like these 'ere stone statutes where 'e lays underneath and they puts these 'ere stone statutes on the lid so's 'e'll reckernise 'isself,.
Only I don't reckon nobody'll reckernise 'im cos us 'r' bin sharp'in' our sickles and faggin' hooks on 'im ever since I can remember, and 'e 'adn't got no face then.
Us gets into church at night an' sharps our sickles an' faggin' hooks on this yer ole crusader, arr, all over 'im. They reckon that's the finest bit o' sharpening stone in 'Ertfordshire, only o' course nobody don't know, that's bin handed down like.
I had to laugh at our ole vicar, showin' some folks over the church.
He said "This yer ole crusader" 'e says, "was," 'e says "defaced by Oliver Cromwell at the time of the Revelation."
I had to laugh, haa.
Arr, 'e lays there quite comfortable like with his ole woman alongside 'im.
They reckon that's the finest bit of sharpening stone in 'Ertfordshire. Only 'is ole woman ain't no good. Can't get no edge out ov 'er.
He have a little dog lays at his feet, like a little crusading dog, wot used to follow after 'em down by the Crimea. Only I reckon tha's more like a whippet if you ask me. That stands over agin th' organ.
I like music. I used to sing in the choir, only they reckoned my voice was a bit too spiteful.
I mind ole Charlie 'Awkins said to me one time, 'e said "You got a belly full o' music, Jimmy, but a bad road out."
Arr. But I had a tidy good education. I could read when I was 18, only o' course not to understand it.
Not like that ole Miss Piggott what used to play th' organ.
I hated the sights of 'er. I couldn't abide 'er.
They reckon her dad was a big army gentleman left over from the mutinies.
But she was very 'ot on the temperance.
Arr, I mind she seed my barrow stood outside the Rose and Crown one time. I'd been over to get some bean sticks from by the crab tree and I'd stood my barrow outside the Rose and Crown and she seen it stood there.
So I sees her on the Tuesday and she starts off at me.
She says "I seed your barrow stood outside the Rose and Crown," she says, "that's intemperance," she says. "Look not upon the wine when it is red," she says, "Cos at the last it biteth like a serpent and stingeth like a adder; Proverbs 25, 31 and 32."
"But," I said, "I was never inside the Rose and Crown." I said, "I never come near 'er."
And she said, "I seed your barrow stood outside. That's intemperance," she said. "That's intemperance."
So I seed it wasn't no good argyfying. I touched me hat and said good arternoon.
About three or four days arterwards I left my barrow outside her door all night.
Arr, that 'ad 'er.
That 'ad 'er.
 
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