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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Culture and Life

Happy's the wooing that's not a long doing

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This article was transcribed from a newspaper column published in March 1856.


Happy's the wooing that's not a long doingHAPPY’S THE WOOING THAT’S NOT LONG A DOING. - A jolly Jack Tar, quartermaster of a man-of-war, last week arrived at Basingstoke, and took up his quarters at a house of public entertainment, attracted by the congenial sign of “The Sailor’s Return.” He was waited upon by a buxom lass of 20, and before he left for a stroll, he asked her if she was mistress of the house. She replied in the negative, but he nevertheless requested her to take charge of his purse. After a few hours’ absence he returned, and she immediately offered to restore the purse. He told her she was a good, honest girl, and that he liked the looks of her so well, that he was anxious to marry her, but would give her a fortnight to consider of it. The lady with equal vivacity and prudence answered that she did not require a fortnight, but would marry him at once. Not being on the other side of the Tweed, they could not call in a blacksmith, or any other layman – declare themselves man and wife, and there put an end of the matter. In England, the law interposes, which is often a fatal delay. They found some difficulty in obtaining a licence the next morning, but the impatient bridegroom elect hastened to Winchester, secured the necessary documents, came back to that most significant of signs, “The Sailor’s Return,” and the following morning they were made one.