un = one
'n = ing ending
Student or Learner
I can't understand the following stanza from Peter Pindar's The Royal Visit to Exeter.
The whole text is here. The stanza is on the next page.The queen, she showed zuch wive-leek care
Zo kind upon un zo to stare;
To whisper'n, and all that!
And, faggins, people leeked it much,
Zo pleased to zee her love vor'n zuch—
To watch'n leek a cat.
What does "un" mean? What does "'n" stand for?
un = one
'n = ing ending
Last edited by susiedqq; 12-Mar-2011 at 14:39.
I wasn't clear enough. I highlighted red the parts I couldn't get. I still don't understand them, even with your explanation. Do you mean that "to whisper'n" means "to whispered"? It doesn't make sense to me.
Could you please explain what the red parts mean?
It may not make sense; it is written in an ancient dialect.
The best you can do is to try to get the message.
z = s
wive = wife
leek = like
'un' and 'n' can represent various pronouns, including 'one', 'us', 'him' and 'them' - apart from the ''ing' reading for ''n'. My guess for the rest is
The queen, she showed zuch wive-leek care The queen showed such wifely attentiveness
Zo kind upon un zo to stare; ......................It was so kind* of her to look at us
To whisper'n, and all that! ??????????
And, faggins, people leeked it much, ??????????
Zo pleased to zee her love vor'n zuch— .......[We were] so pleased to see such love for him in** her
To watch'n leek a cat. [that she] watched him like a cat [does to someone about to feed it!]
'kind' may well have included some sense of 'belonging to a family'; it may even be a pun on the two modern senses of 'kind' (adj and noun).
**This preposition isn't justified by the text; the 'n' in my 'in' is entirely accidental. I could think of no other way to convey the original's 'her such love for him'.
But as susiedqq says, it's a very old and obscure dialect.
Last edited by BobK; 12-Mar-2011 at 16:09. Reason: Correction - "she" for "he", and '-ness'
PS In the days of the Milk Marketing Board, there was an advertisement for Devonshire clotted cream that featured the line 'Give un a gert big dollop' - in which 'un' meant 'them' and 'gert' was a metathetical form of 'great'.
PPS 'girt' corrected to 'gert' (which occurs in the fifth stanza: 'both gert and small') - which makes the metathesis more obvious.
Last edited by BobK; 12-Mar-2011 at 16:18. Reason: Added PPS
Thank you, Bob.
You seem to understand the stanza differently from me. Throughout the poem much is said about how people wanted to see the king and the queen, and how it drove them crazy. I thought the staring and the whispering must have been done by those people, not by the queen!
Who would be the two hes?[that he] watched him like a cat [does to someone about to feed it!]
And I thought I would be able to understand the whole poem if I thought long enough...
My guess is that the poet is admiring the obvious love the queen showed for the king. I have guessed that 'faggins' is an expression of surprise, admiration, or something of that sort.
The queen, she showed zuch wive-leek care .The queen showed such wifely attentivess,
Zo kind upon un zo to stare; ......................So kind (of her) to stare upon him so,
To whisper'n, and all that!.......................... (So kind of her) to whisper to him and all (things like) that.
And, faggins, people leeked it much, ...........And, oddsbodikins, people liked it so much
Zo pleased to zee her love vor'n zuch— .......[They were] so pleased to see her love for him such (=so strong)
To watch'n leek a cat. .............................. (how sweet) to watch him like a cat [looks at its master]
Last edited by 5jj; 12-Mar-2011 at 15:58.