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The very next time we slipped out for some fetchin' trade, we met Mus' Stenning's boat over by Calais sands; and he warned us that the Spanishers had shut down all their Dutch ports against us English, and their galliwopses was out picking up our boats like flies off hogs' backs. Mus' Stenning he runs for Shoreham, but Frankie held on a piece, knowin' that Mus Stenning was jealous of our good trade. Over by Dunkirk a great gor-bellied Spanisher, with the Cross on his sails, came rampin' at us. We left him. We left him all they bare seas to conquest in.

This is from ""Simple Simon" in "Rewards and Fairies"by Kipling.
http://www.telelib.com/authors/K/KiplingRudyard/prose/RewardsFaries/simplesimon.html

I do not understand the meaning of
---Frankie held on a piece,

and

---We left him all they bare seas to conquest in.

I am glad if somebody kindly teach me.

  • This is highly colloquial, bordering on pidgin in some places, written in a very idiosyncratic voice. It would require annotation by a Kipling authority to tell you what this all means. I believe "held on a piece" is another way of saying Frankie waited, but I could not support that contention absolutely. I also believe left him all they bare seas would mean left him all their [or the] bare seas, meaning they simply left or fled. – Robusto Dec 21 '17 at 3:59
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I'll take a stab at it, why not? :-)

Mus' Stenning he runs for Shoreham, but Frankie held on a piece, knowin' that Mus Stenning was jealous of our good trade.

Mus' Stenning warns them about the Spanish boats attacking the British traders. Mus' Stenning tries to escape by running to Shoreham. Frankie thinks on it a while (held on a piece), because he suspects Mus' Stenning was jealous and was trying to sabotage our good trade.

Over by Dunkirk a great gor-bellied Spanisher, with the Cross on his sails, came rampin' at us. We left him. We left him all they bare seas to conquest in.

A Spaniard with a cross on his sails tried to attack our ship (tried to drop a ramp on their ship). We ran away and let him conquer the empty ocean.

  • You should definitely try to get more opinions or do some research. There's a good chance I'm at least partially wrong. – Ringo Dec 21 '17 at 22:22

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