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James Williams 1869 (Taigwynion, near Tal-y-bont, Cardiganshire) – 1954 (United Kingdom)
(12 Chancery Division, 776)
Captain Dashwood, who had been
In the service of the Queen,
Sick of "Eyes front" and "Attention,"
Came to London on his pension.
At the "Portland" as he stayed,
Firm the friendship that he made
With one William Richards, who
Put up at the "Portland" too.
Passed six years, then he was wrapped in
Love's embraces, vanquished captain!
"Yes," he cried, "I will; no bar shall
Stop my wedding Edith Marshall."
But there was a bar, 'twas that
He was poorer than a rat;
Indian pensions do not run
More than just enough for one.
Edith, too, had not a cent,
Who would pay the rates and rent?
Two more years, and Richards moved
(He perchance had sometime loved),
Promised them an income clear,
'Twas five hundred pounds a year
For his life; when he was dead,
Then ten thousand pounds instead.
This to Dashwood in a letter
Wrote he, deeming it was better
They should marry soon while he
Lived their happiness to see.
'Twas a modest sum, but marriage
May be blest without a carriage,
Forty pounds a month and more
Keep the wolf from near the door.
So they wed for worse or better,
On the faith of Richards' letter.
Scarcely was a quarter's payment
Due when mourning was their raiment.
Richards died. Alas! no cash would
Find its way to Captain Dashwood.
Dashwood's head began to swim--
Not a shilling left to him!
"Ha, I'll have it still," cried he;
"Justice dwells in Chancery."
So the case was straightway taken
To the court of V.-C. Bacon.
Vainly Dashwood cash expended
The executors defended,
Claiming that what Richards wrote
Was not worth a five-pound note;
First because the dead testator
Well, not wisely, loved the "cratur,"
More than that, had often been
In delirium tremens seen;
Secondly, because he signed
When he did not know his mind;
Third, because pollicitation
Is not good consideration.
Law, of justice independent,
Gave its judgment for defendant.
Poorer than he was at first,
That unhappy plaintiff cursed,
With a special satisfaction
Cursed the day he brought his action.
Would that he'd in India tarried!
Would that he had never married!
He, alas, is tied for life
Pauper to a pauper wife,
Scarce consoled that on his name
Equity reports shower fame,
Bearing down to endless ages
Dashwood's story on their pages.
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"Cases - Dashwood V. Jermyn" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 30 Nov. 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/55740/cases---dashwood-v.-jermyn>.