The passage below is taken from Life's Little Ironies by Thomas Hardy. My question concerns "Now be we all here?". I understand that it means "Now are we all here?". The writer might have left the verb "to be" unconjugated to create a certain effect. Perhaps, he wanted his readers to see the carrier as a poorly educated man. Does this use of the verb "to be" make you think of the same thing? If not, what impression do you get?
‘Now be we all here?’ said the carrier again. They started a second time, and moved on till they were about three hundred yards out of the town, and had nearly reached the second bridge, behind which, as every native remembers, the road takes a turn and travellers by this highway disappear finally from the view of gazing burghers.