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Best Beloved Adored Darling

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I have no words to describe these ads. They were printed three days apart, so I can only assume they are from the same person - or the same couple. Here is the text:

ADORED darling. - How dark my life without the light that you shed upon it, how cold without the warmth of your love! Dearest on earth, my heart languishes for the rich treasure of your love. Longing to see you, if no other news, will be this evening same place as last time. Kindly grant my request. Remember, sweet, noble soul, you are my everything in this wide world, and I press you in my arms as I worship you.

BEST BELOVED. - How shall I endure this separation when my heart screams for your dear, sweet angel face, which I miss immensely? I implore you, sunshine of my life, let me admire you. I assure you open arms with a heart full of love will welcome you, my beloved idol. God bless you, and believe me thousand tender thoughts are with you.


Yeah. That's what they say. I don't really have much to editorialize here; these two babies speak for themselves. I have an enormous amount of trouble taking these ads seriously; it's impossible for me not to be skeptical, and it's possible they were jokes. We know for sure that there were joke ads. But then again, even in the late nineteenth century when these ads were published people could get pretty, er, eloquent. Maybe someone really, really was this miserable and in love?

What I can say is that, as overwrought and flowery as this language might appear to us, it wouldn't have been entirely out of the ordinary in the 1890s when these were written. That is, not everyone talked like this - I suspect most people didn't - but while I think we can all agree no one today would ever say anything like this, back then, it was believable. Half the time I read these and think, "no friggin' way." And then I read them again and think, "I dunno, maybe." What do you think?

ETA: I just have to give credit where credit is due: one thing I had considered about these two ads is that they might be code for something, but I didn't give much thought to it. However, one commentator below came up with what I think is a brilliant possible interpretation. True or not, it's worth checking out.

Having trouble reading the ads? Click one to enlarge!

©2009 Pam Epstein

8 comments:

Doogie July 15, 2009 at 9:48 AM  

I always assume these sorts of things were Pinkerton notices.
BEST BELOVED
Report from Agent 132
How shall I endure this separation when my heart screams for your dear, sweet angel face.
Still in Boston. The suspect has departed on towards Chicago (heart) by train (screams).
I implore you, sunshine of my life, let me admire you.
Am following (I implore you) to California (sunshine). Send money along the way (let me admire you)
I assure you open arms with a heart full of love
Will start out on next available train. (open arms) Wire needed funds to Chicago.
"God bless you, and believe me thousand tender thoughts are with you."
Please alert other agents (thousand tender thoughts) in Chicago and have them meet me. Perhaps we can apprehend before suspect is able to continue on to CA.

Pam July 15, 2009 at 10:23 AM  

Oooh, I did think they might be codes, but there's a theory I never considered. Good call - and if you're right, I bet the PIs had a great time writing these.

Ms Avery July 15, 2009 at 1:29 PM  

Ha ha, it reminds me of emo kid poetry... could be someone quite young, maybe? Although I love the secret code theory!

Bianca July 15, 2009 at 10:17 PM  

Lord Byron move over!! These are great. Loving the code theory, but I think the emo kid probably holds more true. Some young kid all mooney over a hooker maybe? LOL. Dunno. Great ads. Thanks!

Pam July 15, 2009 at 11:55 PM  

Honestly I don't even care what they mean - they're so funny!

Mike July 16, 2009 at 12:48 PM  

Don't tell me you guys have never written a letter like these! I don't believe it.

Pam July 16, 2009 at 6:23 PM  

@Mike - No. Really, no.

Mike July 19, 2009 at 3:28 PM  

@Pam:
Ha!

Still, I hope someday you find a jolly ship's captain who writes:
"Remember, sweet, noble soul, you are my everything in this wide world."

It's not so bad. Really.

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