BYGONE SUSSEX - online book

Essays, Sketches and Illustrations of bygone Sussex

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S UCH a broadside as might well have been in the pack of Autolycus is that which, in the seventeenth century, was " printed by and for A. M., and sold by the booksellers of London," and is devoted to " An excellent Ballad of the Mercer's Son of Midhurst and the Cloathier's Daughter of Guildford." It is printed in the Ballad Society's edition of the " Roxburghe Ballads," ii., 189. The guileless poet tells how a Sussex youth went wooing to a maid, who frankly vows that she will marry only for money, and is indifferent as to who her husband may be if he is wealthy. On this the swain induces his father to convey to him assurance " of all his house and land." The married pair treat him badly, and as a punishment they have no child. The wife at length strangles herself, and the husband
" E're thirteen years was past Dy'd he without a will, And by this means at last, The old man living still,
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