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The Contract
by [?]

HOW many tempted by the golden ore,
Have taken wives whose slips they know before;
And this good man the lady chaste believed,
So truly well she managed and deceived.
But when four months had passed, the fair-one showed.
How very much she to her lessons owed;
A little girl arrived: the husband stared
Cried he, what father of a child declared!
The time’s too short: four months! I’m taken in!
A family should not so soon begin.

AWAY he to the lady’s father flew,
And of his shame a horrid picture drew;
Proposed to be divorced: much rage disclosed;
The parent smiled and said, pray be composed;
Speak not so loud: we may be overheard,
And privacy is much to be preferred.
A son-in-law, like you, I once appeared,
And similar misfortune justly feared;
Complaint I made, and mentioned a divorce;
Of heat and rage the ordinary course.

THE father of my wife, who’s now no more,
(Heav’n guard his soul, the loss I oft deplore,)
A prudent honest man as any round,
To calm my mind, a nice specifick found;
The pill was rather bitter, I admit;
But gilding made it for the stomach fit,
Which he knew how to manage very well:
No doctor in it him could e’er excel;
To satisfy my scruples he displayed
A CONTRACT (duly stamped and ably made),
Four thousand to secure, which he had got,
On similar occasion for a blot;
His lady’s father gave it to efface
Domestick diff’rences and like disgrace:
With this my spouse’s fortune he increased;
And instantly my dire complaining ceased.
From family to family the deed
Should pass, ’twill often prove a useful meed;
I kept it for the purpose:–do the same
Your daughter, married, may have equal blame.
On this the son-in-law the bond received,
And, with a bow, departed much relieved.

MAY Heav’n preserve from trouble those who find,
At cheaper rate, to be consoled inclined.