Daily Chronicle, February 20, 1904

1 [In one of the States of the Argentine Republic bachelors have to pay a fine of £1 a month up to the age of thirty, £2 a month from thirty to thirty-five, and £6 a month after they reach the age of fifty.]

Since my twentieth birthday I had tried
With no success to win a bride;
My heart had been returned with thanks
By cruel ladies in endless ranks.
But, instead of the balm that the jilted lacks,
The State came down on me with a tax,
And I saw my savings disappear
At the rate of twelve pounds every year.
  It came a bit expensive, for
  I wasn’t a wealthy bachelor.

Fearing my purse wouldn’t stand the drain,
At the age of thirty I tried again;
Bought new clothes of the latest style,
Practised a fascinating smile;
But—why, I cannot understand—
Nobody wanted my heart and hand
And the State, in its brutal, callous way,
Doubled the tax it made me pay.
  Pounds to the number of twenty-four
  I paid for being a bachelor.

My fiftieth birthday found me still
A single Jack in search of a Jill;
Hairless, hopeless, dull, and stout,
Troubled, too, with a twinge of gout;
And for all my exertions I could not
Find anyone willing to share my lot.
But did the State feed sorry for me?
No; it multiplied my fine by three.
  Seventy pounds and a couple more
  I paid for being a bachelor.

I write these lines with a borrowed quill
On the back of an unpaid tailor’s bill.
As clever readers will doubtless guess,
The local workhouse is my address.
  It seems the only refuge for
  A cruelly-harried bachelor.

P. G. W. 




“In one of the States of the Argentine Republic every man who remains a bachelor after the age of twenty has to pay a tax of £1 a month till he is thirty. After that, if he is still so unfortunate as not to have married, the tax is doubled up to the time that he attains the age of thirty-five. From that age to fifty he pays £4 a month, and, should he still persist, between fifty and seventy £6 monthly. At this point the maximum is reached.” (Western Times, February 23, 1904)

John Dawson