I pray you wherefore are the village
Ringing so merrily?
A wedding Sir, −
Two of the village folk; & they are
To make a merry time o’nt while they
Come twelvemonths hence I warrant them
To church again, more willingly than
If all might be undone.
An ill-matchd pair,
So I conceive you. youth perhaps &
No – both are young enough.
Perhaps the man
Is idle then, & one who better
The alehouse than his work.
Why Sir for that –
He always was a well-conditioned lad,
One who’d work hard & well, & as
Save now & then mayhap at Xmas
Sober as wife could wish.
Then is the girl
A shrew, or else untidy; one who’d
Her husband with a most unruly
Or drive him from a foul & wretched
To look elsewhere for comfort. is it
She’s notable enough; & as for
The best good-humourd girl! – dye see
There by the willow trees whose grey
In the wind? She lives a servant at the
And often as I came to weeding here
I’ve heard her singing as she milkd her
So chearfully, – I did not like to hear
Because it made me think upon the
When I had got as little on my mind
And was as chearful too. – but she would
And folks must reap as they have sowd.
God help her!
Why Mistress. if they both are well
Why should not both be happy?
They’ve no money.
But both can work, & sure as
She’d labour for herself as at the
And he won’t work the worse because he
That she will make his fireside ready for
And watch for his return.
All very well.
A little while.
And what if they are poor
Riches can’t always purchase
And much we know will be expected
Where much was given.
All this I’ve heard at church
And when I walk in the churchyard or have
By a death-bed, tis mighty
But when I hear my children cry for
And see them shiver in their rags – God
I pity those for whom these bells ring
So merrily upon their wedding day,
Because I think of mine.
You have known xxxxxx trouble,
These haply may be happier.
Why for that
I’ve had my share, some sickness &
Well will it be for these to know no
Yet would I rather hear a daughters
Than her wedding peal Sir, if I thought
Promised no better things.
Sure sure good woman
You look upon the world with jaundiced
All have their cares, they who are poor
They who have wealth want more; so are we
Dissatisfied, yet all live on, &
Has his own comforts.
Sir d’ye see that horse
Turnd out to common here by the
He’s high in bone, you may tell every
Even at this distance. mind him – how he
His head to drive away the flies that
On his galld shoulder! – theres just
To disappoint his whetted appetite.
You see his comforts Sir!
A wretched beast!
Hard labour & worse usage he
From a bad master, but the lot of the
Is not like his.
In truth it is not Sir!
For when the horse lies down at night, no
About tomorrow vex him in his dreams.
He knows no quarter day, & when he
Some musty hay, or patch of hedge row
He has no hungry children to claim
Of the half meal.
Tis idleness makes want,
And idle habits. if the man will go
And spend his wages by the alehouse
Whom can he blame if there is want at
Aye – idleness! the rich folks never
To find some reason why the poor
Their sufferings. is it idleness I pray
That brings the fever or the ague
Is it idleness that makes small wages
For pressing wants? tis six years since
Rung on my wedding day, & I was
What I might look for, – but I did not
Good counsel. I had lived in service
Knew never what it was to want a
Laid down without one thought to keep me
Or trouble me in sleep, had for a
My linen gown, & when the pedlar
Could buy me a new ribbon. & my
A towardly young man & well to
He had his silver buckles & his
There was not in the village one who
Sprucer on holydays. we married Sir
And we had children, but as wants
Wages did not. the silver buckles
So went the watch, & when the holyday
Was worn to work, no new one in its
For me – you see my rags! – but I deserve
For wilfully – like this new married
I went to my undoing.
You have taught me
To give sad meaning to the village
Whose music sounded late so merrily
Across the vale!
Look at that little child
With the sun burnt hair. those ragged
cloaths of his
Let comfortably in the summer wind,
But when the winter comes, it pinches
To see the little wretch. I’ve three
And – God forgive me! – but I often
To see them in their coffins. you don’t
How hard it is after a long days work
To come to such a wretched home as
And have ones hungry children welcome
Give them at least this evening a good
With this, good woman! hope for better
And if you have but poor comfort in this
Think of the world to come – a now fare
you well. 
Perhaps you will find many of the expressions provincialisms
which are familiar to my ears. I am apprehensive of this
fault. for the rest it is I think dramatic, & certainly
seasoned as it should be. but something is wanting.
Benyowskys adventures were published in two
quarto volumes some ten years ago. 
I read them at that time with great delight & have never
seen them since. he was a compleat adventurer, & the
authenticity of his discoveries is I believe
questionable.  poor
Athanasia met with a harder fate than Kotzebue  has assigned
her. the Governor was killed in the insurrection, she
accompanied Benyowsky, & died of a broken heart. the
attempt to colonize Madagascar was a good one. there was a
strange kind of imposture practised on the natives – but it
ended, as is supposed in the death of all the settlers. the
book will amuse you. poor Benyowsky was lived twenty years too
soon. he would have made an admirable revolutionist.
I get on with Madoc. the sixth book will soon
be finished, & I have the whole plan ready. I have also
another plan for an Arabian poem upon <of> the wildest nature.  the title The
Destruction of the Dõm Danyel; which, if you ha[MS torn]
read the continuation of the Arabian Nights
Entertainments,  you will
recollect [MS torn] be a seminary for evil magicians under
the roots of the sea. it will have [MS torn] all the pomp of
Mohammedan fable, relieved by scenes of Arabian life, &
the[MS torn] contrasted again by the voluptuousness of
Persian scenery & manners. there is not room left to
send you the outline – I however shall like to have your
remarks while it is yet easy to profit by them.
God bless you.
pray remember me to your mother. & to all who may
enquire for me I should particularize your Madame
Sept. 5. 98.