(1990 ed., Macmillan Children’s books)
‘What about that play you were goin’ to write?’ said Ginger.
William set to work. The others gathered around him, peering over his shoulder.
seen one pallis king seeted enter perkin warbeck disgized as george washington.
king. hello george washington cum in I’ll ask my mother if thou can stay to tea theres creem buns and sum jelly left over from sundy.
‘You see, he doesn’t know he’s a rebel,” explained William in parenthesis. “He thinks he’s jus’ an ordin’ry visitor.’
george washington (throing off disgize). I am not george washington thou villun I am perkin warbeck and I have cum to waid in they blud. exit king run after by perkin warbeck with ax.
Seen two a corpse enter rebbles.
Rebbles. Theres a pretty shady corpse over yonder lets sit on it.
They gathered around him again.
‘What do they want to sit on a dead body for’? said Henry.
‘It’s not a dead body,’ said William in exasperation. ‘Corpse means “wood” in plays an’ po’try. An’ it’s not “on”. It’s “in”.’
Why don’t you cross your “i’s”, then? said Henry. ‘An’ I’ve never come across “corpse” meanin’ “wood”. It always means “dead body” in the books I’ve read’.
–Richmal Crompton, William the Bold (1950)