And so, as we draw towards the end of the year, it seems only fitting to mark the occasion with a peek at a year in the life of a decidedly unsuccessful Georgian marriage.
After marrying on New Year’s Day, our happy couple spend the next twelve months swinging wildly from love to loathing (probably reaching a particularly low point when she gave birth to a daughter seven months in). By December, the long-suffering husband is forced to confront the fact that his wife has been unfaithful when… he finds her in bed with another (and let’s face it – considerably less attractive) fellow.
Life truly is a rollercoaster.
JANUARY the first the knot was ty’d
Which prov’d I thought a happy day;
FEBRUARY quarrel’d with my bride,
Which put my love that month astray.
MARCH to please I did my best
But all my kindness prov’d in vain,
APRIL out she went full dress’d,
And I, alas! left to complain.
MAY she return’d, flew to my arms,
I embraced the dear deceiver,
JUNE deluded by her charms,
Love blinded me, and I believ’d her.
JULY suspicion fir’d my breast,
A pledge of love she brought (a daughter)
AUGUST contention marr’d our rest;
I curs’d the hour I ever sought her.
SEPTEMBER vex’d, I view’d my bargain,
But no resemblance could I trace;
OCTOBER Madam su’d for pardon,
Whilst crocodile tears, bedew’d her face.
NOVEMBER touch’d with keenest pain,
Forgave her all, which sure was civil;
DECEMBER caught her with her swain
(In bed) and kick’d ’em to the Devil.
– ‘A Matrimonial Alliance’ (1804). Courtesy of the Lewis Walpole Library.