From 1777 to 1783 James Boswell was a columnist for the London Magazine, writing a total of seventy essays under the pseudonym the Hypochondriack.
The Cit and his Daughter
Thus Gripe bespoke his daughter Sue;
'My girl, you have the choice of two.
There's old Sir Francis with wise pate,
And (mark me, child) a large estate;
'Tis true the gout oft takes his feet.
There's Jack, too, in the neighb'ring street,
Not half so rich as the good knight.
Come, then, determine which, tonight.
Indeed, 'tis scarce worth while to ask,
Where't not the parents' proper task;
I read Sir Francis in your face.'
'Nay, truly, Sir, that's not the case;
He may have gold enough in store,
But handsome Jack I like much more.'
'What says the hussy? Do I hear? -
I must have got a trech'rous ear.'
'I really blush to say't again,
But sure, Papa, the reason's plain:
'Tis better far a man to wed
Than take ten thousand to one's bed.'
This is the first of a number of poems in a manuscript collection entitled 'Poems on Several Occasions', which was written out by Boswell, ca. 1761, with special neatness and unwonted correctness of spelling and punctuation, with a view to publication.