Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Parish Mystery

Robert dropped by the Bull and Last the other day with a piece of paper he said he had got from his grandfather's chapbook which had in turn belonged to his great grandfather. The piece is not dated but the chapbook with ballads by local pamphleteers was published in 1832.
When I faced Robert with the fact that he claims he is descended from the wall at the bottom of the road he looked me in the eye and told me not to be so f---ing patronising. Another thing we differed on was our explanations of the reference to Headlong Hallies.
Robert believes it is his great grandfather's tribute to Thomas Love Peacock - Headlong Hallies being people who admire or who are hooked on the novel Headlong Hall.
My interpretation is different - I think it is far more likely to refer to the comet which was in the sky during 1832.i.e Hally's Comet The Headlong Hallies would therefore be the types who fling themselves through life like a comet and have no repect for the polite orbits of planetary folk.
Rob and I can't agree on this but have agreed to differ - we are therefore jointly posting the extract from Great Grandad Trellisand. Would be grateful for the views of others.

We Headlong Hallies disrespect
the venerable spires and their elect;
and focus our nightly long conjecture
on heavenly bodies' architecture.
We look ...... (askance)
at dull doctrinalism;
our more aitheistic schism
regards the material itself..

We have transcribed the handwriting as accurately as possible, though can't make all of it out.