The Chaplain!

Here is the next installment of poetry generally attributed to Thomas, the sixth Earl of Harrington (circa 1730).  This particular poem will be continued with the second and final part tomorrow.  Enjoy!

The Chaplain

A handsome lady, young and gay,
By nature formed for amorous play,
Forced by her mother, and by fate,
Was married to a reverend mate:
A Surrey knight of sixty-five,
And dull as any man alive.

But he who had of gold enough,
Need never want such household stuff.
The world is now so full of vice,
that if a man pays down the price,
He’ll find some mothers are not shy,
To sell what e is fond to buy;
And he may either get a wife,
Or if he hate a married life,
And only would a leman seek,
She’ll hire her daughter for a week,
Nor think the girl a pin the worse,
If he will but untie his purse.
This with Miss Jeany was the case,
She once was sold to please his grace,
Who thinking she had been a maid,
Five hundred pounds her mother paid;
But Jeany was a clever lass,
And of his honor made an ass,
Her cousin Tom, a sprightly lad,
A year fefore that jewel had;
But Jeany had reserved the case,
Which gave contentment to his grace.

The duke soon slackened in his flame,
And old Sir Ralph a -wooing came;
Who notwithstanding of his age,
In marriage trambles would engage:
But such an old and feeble brute,
Did ill with Jeany’s temper suit;
But wise mamma her daughter told,
“Sir Ralph was rich though he was old,
“And sshe should have as much a year,
:To buy her pins, as what the peer
“Had paid her for her maidenhead,
“And when the doating monster’s dead,
“Your jointure shall be such, that you
“In marrying him shall never rue;
“Besides, my dear, you cannot tell
“But you may soon begin to swell;
“Think, Jean, if that should be your fate,
“Your child would heir Sir Ralph’s estate;
“Nor think, dead child, that I expect
“You should your youth and joys neglect;
“Of love and pleasure take your fill,
“And cuckold him whenever you will.”

When Jean this sage discourse had heard,
Her former scruples all were cleared,
And cheerfully that very night,
Was married to the stupid knight,
Who was transported with the joy,
Of having got her virgin toy.

Sir Ralph, delighted with his choice,
In his dear Jeany did rejoice,
And took her to his house next day,
Where all was fine, and all was gay;
‘Tis true, the knight was not so ready,
At one amusement as my lady;
But yet she did not take it ill,
For cousin Tom was with her still.
But when her friend to London went,
“Twas then that she began her Lent:

To be continued with Part 2 tomorrow . . . 

Note: printed on the page following the title page was the following: “from a collection of poems that have been generally ascribed to Thomas, sixth Earl of Harrington. He was the son of Charles, the fifth Earl, and Margaret Lesslie, Countess of Rothes; and fought on the Royal side at the battle of Shirreffmuir, along with his brother John Lesslie, Earl of Rothes, and his own son, Lord Binning. These poems, according to Pinkerton, were printed about 1730, and have been reprinted in 1753, 1765, 1767, and 1777. He was also the author of a treatise on forest trees, which has gone through several editions. He died in 1735.” However, if these dates are correct (and I am by no means an expert historian in such matters), these poems could only have been written by either the first or second Earl of Harrington (William Stanhope and W.S. Jr.).


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