A humorous Adventure of a Marriage negotiated by a Bill of Exchange, in one of the English West India Islands.
A Merchant, originally from London, having acquired a great fortune in this island, concluded with himself he could not be happy in the enjoyment of it, unless[?] he shared[?] it with a woman of merit ; and knowing none to his fancy he resolved to write to a worthy correspondent of his in London. He know no other [?] than that he used in his trade ; therefore treating affairs of love as he did his business, after giving his friend in a letter several comissions, and reserving this for the last, he went on thus : Item[?], seeing that I have taken a resolution to marry, and that I do not find a suitable match for me here, do not fail to send me by next ship bound hither, a young woman of the qualifications and form following: As for a portion I demand none ; let her be of an honest family ; between 20 and 25 years of age ; of a middle stature, and well proportioned ; her face agreeable, her temper mild, her character blameless, her heatlh good, and her constitution strong enough to bear the change of the climate, that there may be no occasion to look out for a second through lack of the [?] soon after she comes to hand ; which must be provided against as much as possible, considering the great distance and dangers of the sea. If she arrives, and conditioned as abovesaid, with the present letter endorsed by you, or, at least, an attested copy thereof, that there may be no mistake or imposition, I hereby oblige and engage myself satisfy the said letter, by marrying the [?] at 15 days [?]. In witness [?] [?] I [?] [?], [?].”
The London correspondent read over and over the odd article, which put the future [?] on the same footing with the bales of good he was to send to his friend ; and after adressing[?] the prudent exactness of the naturalized Creole, and his laconic stile, in enumerating the qualifications he insisted on, he endeavoured to serve him to his mind ; and after many enquiries, he judged he had found a lady fit for his purpose, in a young person of a reputable family, but no fortune ; of good humour, and of a polite education ; well shaped, and more than tolerably handsome. He made the proposal to her as his friend has directed, and the young gentlewoman, who had no subsistence but from a cross old aunt, who gave her a great deal of uneasiness, accepted it. A ship bound for the West Indies was then fitting out at Bristol ; the gentlewoman went on board the same, together with the bales of goods, being well provided with all necessaries, and particularly with a certificate in due form, and indorsed by the correspondent. She was also included in the invoice, the last article of which ran thus : “Item, a maid of 21 years of age, of the quality, shape and conditioned as per order ; as appears by the affadavits and certificates she has to produce.” Writings, which were thought necessary to so exact a man as the future husband, were an extract from the parish register ; a certificate of her character, signified by the curate ; an attestation of her neighbours, setting forth that she had for the space of three years lived with an old aunt who was intolerably peevish, and that she had not, during all that time, given her said aunt, the least occasion of complaint. And li[?]y, the goodness of her consitution was certified after [?] by [?] [?]. [?] [?] departure the London correspondent sent several letters of advice by other ships to his friend, whereby he informed him that per such a [?] he sent him a young woman of such an age, character, and condition &c. in a word, such [?] desired to marry. The letters of advice, the bales, and the gentlewoman came safe to the port ; and our Creole, who happened to be one[?] of the foremost on the pier and the lady’s landing was charmed to see a handsome person, who having heard him called by his name, told him, “Sir, I have a bill of exchange upon you, and you know that it is not usually for people to carry a great deal of money about them in such a long voyage as I have made ; I beg the favour you will pleased to pay it.” At the same time she gave him his correspondent’s letter, on the back of which was wrote, ” The bearer of this is the spouse you ordered me to send you.” Ha, [?][?] ! said the Creole, I never yet suffered my bills to be protested, and I swear this shall not be the first : I shall reckon myself the most fortunate of all men, if you allow me to discharge it.” Yes, Sir, replied she, and the more willingly, since I am apprized of your character. We have several persons of honour on board, who knew you very well, and who, during my passage have answered all the questions I asked them concerning you, in so advantageous a manner, that it has raised in me [?] for you.” This first interview was in a few days after followed by the nuptials, which were very magnificent. The new married couple are satisfied with their happy union made by [?] of exchange, which was the most fortunate that had happened in that island for many years.
Citation: Glasgow Advertiser (Glasgow, United Kingdom), 17 September 1790, available at the Scissors and Paste Database, http://www.scissorsandpaste.net/70.