The Factor's garland (1840-1850)
IN FOUR PARTS
PRINTED FOR THE BOOKSELLERS.
Behold here's a ditty the truth and no jest,
Concerning a young gentleman liv'd in the east,
Who by his great gaming came to poverty,
And afterwards went many a voyages to sea
Being well educated, and one of great wit.
Three merchants in London, they all thought it fit
To make him their Captain and Factor also,
And for them, to Turkey, a voyage he did go.
And walking along the streets, there he found
A poor man's dead carcase lying on the ground;
He asked the reason why it there did lie
Then one of the natives did make this reply.
That man was a Christian, sir, while he drew breath,
The duty's unpaid, he lies above the earth.
Why, what is the duty? the Factor he cry'd.
It is fifty pounds, sir, the Turk he reply'd.
That is a great sum, quoth the Factor, indeed;
To see him lie there, makes my heart for to bleed.
So then, by the Factor, the money was paid,
And under the earth the dead carcase was laid.
When having gone further, by chance he did spy
A beautiful creature just going to die;
A young waiting maid, who strangled must be,
For nothing but striking a Turkish lady.
To think of her dying with grief he was fill'd,
Then rivers of tears, like waters distill'd,
Like streams of a fountain, from her eyes ran down
Her red rosy cheeks, and from thence to the ground.
Hearing what her crime was he to end the strife;
Said, what must I give for this poor creature's life?
The answer was return'd, a hundred pound,
The which for her pardon he freely paid down.
He said, fairest creature, thy weeping refrain,
And be of good comfort, thou shalt not be slain,
Behold, I have purchas'd thy pardon, will ye
Be willing to go to fair England with me.
She said, Sir, I thank you, who freed me from death,
I am bound to obey you so long's I have breath:
And if you are willing, to fair England I go,
And due respect to you till death I will show.
He brought her to London where as it is said,
He set up housekeeping, and made her his maid
For to wait upon him, and finding her just,
With the keys of his riches he did her intrust.
At last this young Factor was hired once more,
To cross the proud waves and billows that roar,
And into that country his course was to steer,
Which by this maid's father was govern'd we hear.
Being a hot country, this maid did prepare,
To get light robes, in that country to wear,
He bought a silk waist-coat, the it is told,
His servant maid flowered with silver and gold.
She said to him, master, I do understand,
You are going Factor unto such a land,
And if you that Prince's court enter in,
Be sure let this fine flowered garment be seen.
He said, to that Prince's court I must go,
The meaning of your words I long for to know.
Sir I will not tell you, some reason you'll find.
With that he replied, I'll fulfill my mind.
Then away he sail'd, and came to the shore,
This Factor he came to the Emperor's door,
For it was the usual custom of that place,
To present some noble gifts unto his Grace.
His gift was accepted of and as he stood by,
On this flowered garment the Prince cast an eye.
Which made him colour, and thus he did say,
Who flowered that garment now tell me I pray.
If it please your Grace, my last voyage to Turkey,
Where I saw a lady that strangled must be,
And to save her life, gave an hundred pound,
And carried her with me to fair London town.
There she's my house-keeper while I'm in this land
And when of my coming she did understand,
She flowered this robe and gave strict charge to ,
To let it be seen by your great Majesty.
The prince cried, behold friend, this robe which I wear
Is of the same flower and spot, I do swear,
Thy maid wrought them both, she's my daughter dear,
I have not heard from her till now these three years.
To pay a visit to some neighbouring prince,
I sent her in a ship, and have not seen her since,
And I was afraid the sea had prov'd her grave,
But I heard, to Turkey she was taken a slave.
For the loss of my child, who I thought had been kill'd,
A well-full of tears in my court has been spill'd;
My princess, her mother, could for her not rest,
Her loss drew millions of sighs from her breast.
The ship shall be richly loaded with speed,
And I'll send a ship for her convoy indeed;
Because of thy love, thou sav'd my child's life,
Bring her alive to me, I'll make her thy wife.
And if thou should'st not live to bring her to me;
Whoe'er brings her home, his bride she shall be;
And twenty-thousand a year ye shall have,
That ventur'd my dear child's life for to save.
The ship being loaded, their anchor was weigh'd,
And he with his convoy came over the main
To fair London city, and home he did go,
And gave the young Princess these tidings to know.
He said, Noble lady, I've good news to tell,
The old prince, your father, and mother's both well;
And your royal parents the thing have design'd,
In the bond of wedlock we both should be join'd.
Perhaps, noble lady, you would not agree,
To marry a poor man, especially me;
Sir, was you a beggar, I would be your wife,
Because, when just dying, you saved my life
I never shall forget that great token of love,
Of all men now breathing I prize thee above,
it is so ordered, I'm well pleased I vow,
And glad my dear father these things doth allow.
Pray, sell off your goods that you have in store,
And give all your money to those that are poor;
And let us be jogging away o'er the main,
For I long to see my dear parents again.
This thing was soon done, and they sailed away
In the ship that her father sent for her convoy,
But mark what was acted on the ocean wide,
To deprive the Factor of his royal bride.
The Captain who convoy'd them over the deep,
One night as the Factor was laid in his sleep,
Being under sail, overboard did him throw,
Saying, now I shall have this young creature I know.
There happened to be a small island at hand,
To the Factor swam as I understand:
And there we leave him a while for to mourn,
And unto the ship again we'll return.
Next morning, as soon as day-light did peep,
He waked the young Princess out of her sleep,
And said, noble lady, the Factor's not here,
He's fall'n overboard and drowned I fear.
To hear the sad news, then her eyes they did flow,
He said, noble lady, since now it is so,
There's none here can help it, do not troubled be,
For thou in short space your dear parents shall see.
And when that they came to the desired port,
The Princess came weeping to her father's court,
Who gladly received her with joy and great mirth,
Saying, where is the man that freed you from death.
The captain replied, as he lay asleep,
He fell overboard and was drown'd in the deep.
Your said the man that your child home did bring,
Would have her, I hope you'll perform this thing.
Yes, that was my promise, the monarch replied;
What say'st thou, my daughter? wilt thou be his bride?
She said, yes, dear father, but first, if you please,
For him that sav'd my life I'll mourn forty days.
Then into close mourning this lady she went,
For the loss of her good friend in tears to lament;
And there I will leave her in tears for a while,
And return to the Factor who was left on the isle.
On this desert island the Factor he lay,
In floods of tears weeping two nights and a day;
At length on the ocean appear'd in his view,
A little old man paddling in a canoe.
The Factor call'd to him, which caus'd him to stay,
And drawing near to him, the old man did say,
Friend, how cam'st thou hither?-With eyes that did flow,
He told him the secret, and where he would go.
That old man said to him, if here thou does lie,
With grief and hunger in short thou wilt die:
What wilt thou give me, if to that court I'll thee guide?
I have nothing to give you, the Factor replied.
If thou wilt promise, and be true to me,
To give the first babe that is born unto thee,
When thirty months old, to that court I'll thee bring,
I will not release you without that very thing.
The Factor consider'd that thing would cause grief,
And without it for him there was no relief,
He cried, life is sweet, and my life for to save,
Carry me to that place and your will you shall have,
So soon he was carried to the , and when
He came to the gates, he saw his lady, then
Looking out of her window; who seeing him there,
From sorrow to joy transported they were.
He into the court then with joy was receiv'd,
Where his lady met him, who for him had griev'd,
And said, My dear jewel, my joy, and my dear,
O, where have you tarry'd? I pray let me hear.
Where so long he tarry'd he then did relate,
And by what means he came to her father's gate;
He said, I was thrown overboard in my sleep,
I think 'twas the captain threw me into the deep.
With that, the Captain was sent for with speed,
And hearing the Factor was come there indeed,
To show himself guilty, like a cruel knave,
Leapt into the ocean which proved his grave.
Next day with great joy and triumph we find,
This Factor and Lady in marriage were join'd,
And within the compass and space of three years,
They had a fine son and daughter we hear.
The son was the first born, a perfect beauty,
And was well beloved of the whole family:
When thirty months old came the man for his child,
Who released the Factor from the desert isle.
When the Factor saw him, his eyes they did flow,
Then gave his lady and parents to know,
He was forced to make that promise only,
In the desert isle, lest he with hunger I should die.
With a grim look the old man did appear,
Which made the court tremble and fill'd them with fear.
Crying, what shall we do? sure he's not a man,
He will have our darling, do all that we can.
He said, it was promised, and I'll have my due;
There's one babe for me, and another for you,
I will have your first-born, give him to me.
At which all the family wept bitterly.
The babe's mother cry'd, I'm griev'd to the heart,
To think that I with such a dear infant must part,
To one that should carry him Lord knows where,
And perhaps in pieces my darling will tear.
With that she embrac'd, and down the tears fell,
And then, having kiss'd him she bade him farewell,
Saying, it is for the sake of my husband that I
Do part with my first born, though for him I die
So then this grim ghost to her husband did say,
Sir, do you remember in Turkey one day?
You saw a dead man's corpse lying on the ground,
And to have it buried you gave fifty pound.
Sir I am the spirit of that dead body,
I saved your life for that great love to me;
You may keep your babe, and God bless you all,
So it vanished quickly out of the hall.
Being gone the old Prince and the Princess likewise
The ⟨babe's⟩ tender parents with tears in their eyes,
With joy they embrac'd their darling young son,
Saying, child, hadst thou left us, we had been undone.
Now I'll leave the court full of joy and great mirth;
To love one another while God gives them breath;
And now by this Factor we may see indeed,
What mortal can prevent what fate has decreed.