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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Satirical Letter by [William Cumming?] concerning Arthur Dobb's marriage, including a related deposition
Cumming, William, 1724-ca. 1797
June 07, 1762
Volume 06, Pages 737-738

[From MSS. Records in Office of the Secretary of State.]

North Carolina—ss

Mr. Thomas Howe being Sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God before His Excellency the Governor In Council Deposeth and saith that some time about the Seventh Day of June In the year of Our Lord One thousand Seven hundred and Sixty-two he this Deponent being at the Lodge of William Cumming Attorney at Law in Edenton Saw a paper wrote in the Hand Writing of the said William Cumming which the said William Cumming told this Deponent that he was the Author of, and this Deponent further saith and Deposeth that the paper hereunto annexed is a True Copy of the said paper which he this Deponent saw in the possession of the said William Cumming and heard the said William Cumming say he had been the Author and that he had sent a Copy of it into Maryland to his Sister. And further this Deponent saith not.


Sworn to before His Excellency In Council the 30th Day of November 1762.


An Abstract of a Letter from a Gentleman in No Carolina to his friend in Maryland dated June the 7th 1762

Dr Betty

A letter in these times of Bustle without News looses half its merit I cant give you the marches of a Broglio or the remarches of the Rus: These appertain to the Tragic Muse what I relate is Domestic; purely of the comic cast It will not only give action to your Philosophic vein, but to every Gelastic muscle of your Face—Our Old Silenus of the Envigorated age of Seventy Eight who still Damns this Province with his Baneful Influence grew stupidly Enamored with Miss Davis a Lovely Lady of sprightly fifteen of a good Family and some Fortune After much doting parade, Young Miss (for surely parents know best) is persuaded to be a Governor's Lady altho she loved and was beloved by Dear Eighteen Y—g

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M—r Q—n–ce The day is fixed the nuptial feast provided when Lo! a Discovery is made which surpasses in Villainy the Description of the most envenomed Satyrist It is much above my power I'll humbly therefore attempt the Tale in Common Homespun phrase The Catastrophe was truly Poetic Justice. When the Antedeluvian had agreed, the Old Fellow old in every human characteristic but sense and virtue sends for his Secretary a man of motly cast They form a conveyance of his whole Estate to his son (not even leaving a reversion of his Potatoe Lands near Carrick Fergus) which he enters into and Dispatches a Messenger with it to one of the Supr Court Judges Its proved secundem Legem How was this scheme marred! Some secret power blows the matter Some friendly Sylph protects the Lady The Deed's discovered Her friends warm with indignation send for the youth, the Pensive & Dejected Lover—relate the Injury, propose immediately to consummate the marriage Hymen attends Venus & Apollo add Ringlets and ten thousand Charms to adorn the Lovely pair Assist me some poet or assist me Dr Betty with your Fancy They are married! The Leecher waits, 10, 11, 12 past, the Day wakes, Accursed jealousy takes place, his old Teeth of Enormous length that for many years despised to be clothed with Gums shake in his jaws with Rage He orders his horses to the chariot and feebly in his course would Emulate a Youthful passion he enters her parents house demands the Lady, is conducted into the apartment of Youth Love and Virtue Here I stop! for no pen can describe the Rage and Ridicule