Archive for October 18th, 2017

A Ridiculous Discovery, Part One!

October 18, 2017

Here is the next installment of poetry generally attributed to Thomas, the sixth Earl of Harrington (circa 1730).  Enjoy!

A Ridiculous Discovery (Part 1)

I’m far from thinking women bad,
Yet whores for certain may be had;
And since no man may be secure,
The wife he takes is chaste and pure,
Until he tries her, and even then
Tricks may be played to cunning men;
Since this is very oft the way,
Men should be cautious what they say,
Nor make a bustle, nor a noise,
Of maidenheads and wedlock joys;
Lest, talking to an idle strain,
They something hear may give them pain:
Especially if it is not known
The dame they talk of is their own:
For men when overpowered with wine,
To tell adventures oft incline,
And to a husband may discover,
He was his wife’s successful lover.

This happened to a man I knew,
(What I’m to tell is really true)
A silly fellow, black and tall,
Whom I, for sound, shall captain call:
Although that a lieutenant’s post
Was all this man of war could boast:
Who, though he was almost a sot,
Yet had good store of money got;
But wearied with a single life,
Wisely resolved to take a wife.

The major’s daughter, young and gay,
Had stole his booby heart away:
Of all her sex she was his choice,
She seemed to him a mine of joys,
And that he would be surely blessed,
If she would grant him his request;
While she, who never had man denied,
As soon as asked, with joy complied.

. . .  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 Mia 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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