Digital Tradition Mirror

The Lawyer Outwitted

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The Lawyer Outwitted

'Tis of a young councilor I write
Who had one only daughter,
And she was of the beauty bright.
Now mind what follows after.
She had five hundred pounds a year,
In gold and silver ready.
Courted she was by lords and peers
But there's none could gain this lady.

At length the squire's youngest son
In private came a-wooing
And when her favor he had won
She feared his after ruin.
[Two missing lines imply he says:]
"I go to your father;
I'II tell him my condition.
"Ten guineas then shall be his fee,
He'll think I am some stranger.
Your father then will counsel me
And keep me from all danger."

[Missing lines show he consults father who urges:]

"She must provide a horse," he cried,
"And take you on behind her
And straightway to the old parson's go
Before her parents find her.

"If she steals you, you must complain
For to avoid all fury.
This is a law I will maintain
Before both judge and jury.
Here is my writing, hand and seal.
In truth I can't deny you
And if you any trouble find
In court I will stand by you."

"I thank you, sir," this young man said,
"Since me you have befriended,
I'll bring my bride unto your house
As soon as the work is ended."
The very next morning, by daylight
The news to her he carried.
She did her father's counsel take
And they were fairly married.

They lay that night and took their ease
In joy beyond expression
Then they returned down upon their knees
To ask her father's blessing.
When the old lawyer heard of this
He raved like one distracted.
He vowed in wrath revenged he'd be
By all that's done and acted.

(Two missing lines indicate that the young man speaks up:)

"It is all law that we have done.
Here is your own handwriting."
"My hand and seal I can't deny.
Was man e'er so well fitted?
I must confess before you all
That by him I am outwitted."

From The New Green Mountain Songster, Flanders et al
Collected from Mrs. W. E. Pierce, VT
DT #455
Laws N26

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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