Latina wanted

From The Tatler, 1709:

THIS is to give notice, That if any able bodied latine will enter into the Bonds of Matrimony with B[illegible] Pepin, the said Palatine shall be settled in a Freehold [of] 40s. per Annum in the County of Middlesex.

I wonder if this is an in-joke, because 40 shillings isn’t very much–around £180 today, says (via Roy Davies’ excellent value of money links page). While the mail-order bride business used to be fraught with difficulty, now there is not a single East Anglian pub landlord without a considerably better-looking woman stashed away in the kitchen, producing Thai Green. And, stranger still, some of us spend hours online with far-away people who are probably extraordinarily attractive but for whom all feeling might shrivel like a slug on salt if existing barriers were to be removed.

(I think B[illegible] is quite a nice name.)

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