To Miss Caroline Wiggins, who threatened to throw a cup of tea over Alfred Snell & me. Sepr.r 1832.
My dearest Miss W—, your pardon I pray,
Lest offence should be taken at what I shall say.
I crave and beseech your forgiveness to me,
If I beg to refuse to share of your tea.
Of your goodness in giving, I am fully aware,
And that y’ould give me the whole, instead of a share.
To be drenched with salt water is often my fate,
(Tho’ thanks to Heaven, I’ve ‘scaped well of late).
But a soaking with tea is something refined,
And is, with submission, most humbly declined.
As a favour, you think, I ought to receive it,
But somehow or other, I cannot believe it,
That mischief and fun are often combined,
Is a maxim, ‘stablished long time out of mind:
So if, joking and laughing, you make me your butt
Why then – I’faith – your acquaintance I’ll cut.
But if you consent to what I propose,
We shall always be friends & never be foes.
Let us now, if you like, firm friendship proclaim,
And to please one another be ever our aim.
An answer to this my proposal in rhyme
Will greatly oblige, yours most truly in time.
J.W. & A.S.
An answer in the affirmative was returned by the lady, when we added as follows –
Mr. Alfred, with me, now send to you
Our thanks most sincere, most justly your due,
But begs to be told, if your promise will stand,
As he has heard (I suppose at good second hand)
That the promises made, we’ll say on this eve,
Are made to amuse, if not to deceive.
But granting (no matter) that such is the case,
We fear not the danger, which boldly will face;
And with forces united we’ll mutually join,
To try and repay you in your own coin.
Miss Wiggins was a passenger on James’ eleventh voyage to Buenos Ayres.