Edwin and Angelina

Miss Vardill

Dear Headytur,

As the gentlefolks like my pottery much, I thought I might try to tell tales as well as they, so I had another lecturefrication. I liked my old master’s way of making pottery best, for he never wrote without a bottle besides him. So Mr. Thomas (my Lord’s gentleman) copied this letter on a piece of foolscap, because he comprehends thography better than me and I hopes my story will please for it is not a fragment but a whole one and I have told all about it straight forward, being your Humble Servant to command

Eliza Brush

Deputy housemaid at
Positive House

A True Story

Fair Angeline at school was found
 Establish’d in a Square — 
(The middle of that square was round
 And fifteen trees grew there)

Miss Angelina had above
 Twelve thousand pounds in store
So Ensign Edwin fell in love
 And sigh’d a week or more.

He hir’d a chaise in White-horse Street
 Their ’lopement to begin — 
(That chaise had four wheels and a seat
 To sit upon within.)

Baldock and Biggleswade they passed
 (Bugden and Walmsford too — )
Chang’d horses at the Boar Inn last —  
 (The Black Boar, not the Blue.)

They stopped some sparrow-grass to take
 With chickens at the Bell Inn,
’Tween Stamford where men cheeses make,
 Near Stilton where they sell ’em.

They saw a red and gold-fringed cloud
 Swim round the Wrekin’s ridge,
And counted milestones on the road
 Which leads to Borough-Bridge.

Then gentle Edwin look’d about,
 And dropp’d the left-hand glass — 
He sigh’d so deep, it seem’d, no doubt
 A breeze from Boreass.

Fair Angelina’s words were soft
 As Yorkshire-cream and honey — 
Why sighs my swain (says she) so oft?
 Says he — I have no money!

“From Whitehorse-Street to Wetherby
 Four horses too much cost — for
Blind Cupid cannot post-boy be
 Nor Imen pay the ostler.

My-lord-chief-justice’s own son
 With lovely nightingale
When they to Scotland chose to run,
 Took places in the Mail.

Venus of Med’cines only drives
 Two turtles with her chair,
And he who for a Venus strives
 Needs but a chaise and pair.”

Fair Angelina’s eyes dropp’d dew — 
 “It never shall be said,
That only in a chaise and two
 I ran away to wed.

Miss Deidamia Dawson has
 Three ponies to her Tandem,
And shall she boast that I, alas!
 Rode with two hacks at random?

Open the door! — let down the step!
 Our parting Fate decrees here! 
I’ll go home to Papa’s own Rep-
 -Ository of Teas, sir!”

Then spoke the Ensign of the Guards — 
 (The Guards wear blue and buff)
“If this is all that Love rewards,
 We’ve travell’d far enough.

When Bills are due and Bankers stop,
 A free man may be flurried,
But he who weds can only hope
 To bury or be buried.”

Then spoke the bold Postillion
 Right gaily answer’d he,
“John Perkins never yet look’d on
 A lady’s tears to see.

Captains and Squires I go before
 And Lords too, all my life — 
And till I hold the reins no more
 I need not fear a Wife.

But, Lady, I’m no boasting elf,
 My name is Honest John,
I’ll go to Gretna-green myself — ”
 Said Angeline — “Drive on!”

Now, Lords and Ladies, please to heed
 The moral of my verse — 
Let him who means a trip to Tweed
 Put money in his purse.

And, lovely Ladies, if you pray
 To ’scape false’s Lovers’ laughter
Be constant on your bridal-day,
 And change at leisure after.