Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I've been putting off dealing with this ad for ages for the obvious reason that it is really, really long and really, really hard to read. But I decided it's time, for no other reason than that I've never actually read the whole thing through myself (too exhausting). So, here you go; I have painstakingly written out the text for you. Unfortunately it looks like the page was folded over about halfway through and part of the ad is overlapped with another, so some of this is impossible to read (to say the least), so I'm doing the best I can. See here:
A young man, in the pride, strength, and bloom of early manhood, remarkably dignified, noble and prepossessing in personal appearance - so his friends say - who has travelled [sic] much, and seen very much of the world and mankind; is talented and possesses many accomplishments, who hopes to be in possession of an interest in an estate (left him by a relative), which will enable him to live in independence, is desirous of forming an acquaintance - with a view of early marriage - with a young, healthy, handsome, and, at least, moderately accomplished young lady, amiable, and capable of loving with the strength and undivided heart of a true woman, and who has a fortune in her own right capable of at least supporting her in independence during life, should she not marry, as the advertiser is determined not to marry, knowingly, any young lady who marries simply for a home and to be supported. This communication is written in sincerity - and truth, and any young lady possessing the above qualifications aiming to form a matrimonial engagement, for sincere and enduring love and affection, and [...] pose of being supported, may answer this [advertisement] stating her circumstances to [...] which last must be of undoubted respectability [none] need reply to this but such as above [described. A carte de] viste would be highly prized, and those [sending one would] be more likely to receive attention than [others. It is] proper to state that the advertiser is a [member of one of the] most respectable and influential families [and] can refer to and show testimonials from [those of the great]est wealth, respectability, and influence in this State, as well as from other parts of the United States [as well as] from foreign lands. Please address, stating real name, address, and when and where an interview may be had, &c., all of which will be considered and kept sacredly confidential, for ten days, Sincerity, box 219 Herald office, N.Y.
Whew! Everything in brackets are either words I can't quite make out and/or my best guesses of what the cut-off parts say.
People, I'm too worn out from trying to make that out to give much commentary. I would just like to note that that entire ad is just five sentences (which is actually less than Bertram's, so I guess kudos to him for that). Seriously, though, does this seem pretty repetitive and rambly to you? Let me remind you that you pay either by the word or letter for these ads (haven't been able to figure that out yet), and one way or another this must have been VERY expensive to print. Getting through this ad, even if it was completely legible, is quite a feat, and any woman who actually made it to the end must have had many accomplishments indeed!
But my two favorite moments are when he describes himself as "remarkably" dignified, and when he says he's all good looking with the aside thrown in that - "so my friends say -" Ha! How modest!
Believe it or not, there's more to say about this ad...but I'll deal with that tomorrow.
Having trouble reading the ads? Click one to enlarge!
©2009 Pam Epstein