Historic Sheet Music Collection

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Wanted a Governess,
composed and sung by John Parry
written by George Dubourg.
Boston (135 Washington St., Boston) : Published by Oliver Ditson, [between 1844 and 1857]

Some of the resources may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes. Such materials should be seen in the context of the time period and as a reflection of attitudes of the time. The items are part of the historical record, and do not represent the views of the libraries or the institution.


I know not a cure so good for the vapours,
As reading the "wants" which appear in the Papers;
There's wanted a husband,
Or "wanted a sample"
Or "wanted to borrow!"
But here's an example.
"wanted a governess"
"wanted a governess"
A governess wanted!

Governess wanted, well fitted to fill
The post of tuition with competent skill,
In a Gentleman's family highly genteel,
Where'tis hop'd that the Lady will try to conceal
Any fanciful feelings or flights she may feel,
For this gentleman's fam'ly's so very genteel,
They're so very genteel!

Superior attainments are quite indispensable,
With ev'ry thing too that's correct and ostensible,
Morals of pure unexceptionability;
Manners well form'd and of strictest gentility!
The Pupils are five ages six to sixteen
All as promising girls, as ever were seen:
And besides, (tho' 'tis scarcely worth while to put that in)
There are two little boys but they only learn Latin!

Wanted a governess fitted to fill,
The post of tuition with competent skill
In a gentleman's family highly genteel,
Where in order that things may go "Toujours tranquille"
They seldom express themselves quite as they feel,
For this gentleman's fam'ly's so very genteel!
They're so very genteel!

The Lady must teach all the several branches,
Where into polite education now launches;
She's expected to speak the French tongue like a native,
And be to her pupils of all its points dative;
Italian she must know (of course,) nor needs banish
Whatever acquaintance she may have with Spanish!
Nor would there be harm in a trifle of German,
In the absence, (that is) of the master, Herr Hermann!

"Wanted a governess" fitted to fill
The post of tuition with competent skill,
In a gentleman's family highly genteel
Where the Lady will find by attention and zeal,
That she'll scarcely have time to partake of a meal,
For this gentleman's fam'ly's so very genteel,
the're so very genteel!

The Harp and the Piano,
With thorough bass, too, on the plan of Logier.
in drawing in pencil and chalks and the tinting that's call'd oriental,
She must not be stint in!
She must paint upon paper, on satin and velvet,
And if she know wax work she'll not need to shelve it.
Dancing, (of course,) with the newest Gambades,
the Polish Mazurka and the best Gallopades!
Arithmetic, history join'd wit chronology,
Heraldry, botany, writing, chonchology,
Grammar and satin stitch, netting, geography, astronomy,
Use of the globes and cosmograpgy!

These are the principal matters (Au Reste)
Adress. "j.z.x.q.v easy place West."
As the salary's very moderate none need apply
Who more on that point than on comfort rely;
But, perhaps twere as well, to make matters shorter,
to mention the terms, namely five pounds a quarter!

Wanted a governess fitted to fill,
The post of tuition with competent skill
Where 'tis wish'd that the Pupils should never be still,
Nor the governess either, be she well or ill!
"A governess wanted!"
"Wanted a governess!"



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.