The Widow

Communicated by Mr Vignoles

A Doctors’ Commons Tale founded on Facts

Most lawyers, in the long vacation
Pursue some fav’rite recreation,
Their strength and spirits to recruit,
And leave their clients and the suit.
Oh! happy moment for the client,
If adverse party be but pliant,
To settle and adjust the cause,
By equity, and not by laws;
But quickly do it while you can
Ere the attorney know the plan!

 Thus common lawyers have some leisure,
And full three months can take their pleasure;
Yet they who wear the civil gown,
The proctors, cannot leave the town:
Call when you will, they’re never out,
Grant licences the year throughout;
Or prove a will, or else administer — 
And if your views are fair, not sinister,
Their hopes so much in suits they centre,
A caveat gladly will they enter.

 A widow in the month of June,
Though sure a widow much too soon,
Fair, plump, and young — not twenty-seven
Here husband scarcely got to Heaven — 
For only nine long days had passed
Since the good man had breath’d his last,
Come to consult her husband’s friend,
To tell him that her heart would rend,
To ask him what she had to do,
For, as a proctor, well he knew,
How to advise the widow best — 
To her the world was all a jest,
She’d lost the man she held most dear — 
Her bosom heav’d — a swelling tear
Fell on her breast — the proctor saw,
He thought true grief, without a flaw;
Though widows daily come to prove
The wills of those they dearly love,
Wishing, forgetting all that’s past,
The man to have his will at last;
Here was of sorrow such a store
As would have serv’d five widows more.

 The proctor sends his clerk away
Judging she still had more to say:
 My husband, sir, has made no will
He knew his wishes I’d fulfill,
For when alive, he never wanted,
But instantly his wish was granted.
Administer, they say, I must
I am not, sir, too late, I trust?”

 “Too soon, dear ma’am, by full five days,
The court ne’er grants, tho’ widow prays,
Till twenty days are gone and past,
To see there be no will at last.”
 Wait five days longer” cries the dame
 I’m sure, sir, ’tis a burning shame,
I thought nine days, to wait was plenty,
Your court is mad, to make it twenty.”