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for the edification of those who are absent,- a full report will be found in our next paper." This is worthy of a place in any collection: "One pound reward—Lost, a cameo brooch, representing Venus and Adonis on the Drumcondraroad, about ten o'clock, on Tuesday evening." And so is this: "The advertiser, having made an advantageous purchase, offers for sale, on very low terms, about six dozen of prime port wine, late the property of a gentleman forty years of age, full in the body and with a high bouquet." The lady spoken of in the following would meet with some attention from the renowned Barnum: "To be sold cheap, a splendid grey horse, calculated for a charger, or would carry a lady with a switch tail." But she would find a formidable rival in the gentleman whose advertisement we place as near as possible, so as to make a pair: "To be sold cheap, a mail phaeton, the property of a gentleman with a moveable head, as good as new." Students of vivisection, and lovers of natural history generally, would have been glad to meet with this specimen of life after decapitation: "Ten shillings reward—Lost by a gentleman, a white terrier dog, except the head, which is black." And as congenial company we append this: "To be sold, an Erard grand piano, the property of a lady, about to travel in a walnut wood case with carved legs."
Differing somewhat, though still of the same kind, is the advertisement of a governess, who, among other things, notifies that " she is a perfect mistress of her own tongue." If she means what she says, she deserves a good situation and a high rate of wages. An anecdote is told of a wealthy widow who advertised for an agent, and, owing to a printer's error, which made it "a gent," she was inundated with applications by letter, and pestered by personal attentions. This story requires, however, a little assistance, and may be taken for what it is worth. Not long ago, a morning paper contained an announcement that a lady going abroad would give "a medical man" ^100 a year to look after "a favourite spaniel dog" during her absence. This may not be funny, but it is certainly curious, and in these days, when starvation and misery are rampant, when men are to be found who out of sheer love kill their children rather than trust them to the tender mercies of the parish officials, and when these same officials are proved guilty of constructive homicide, it is indeed noticeable. A kindred advertisement, also real and unexaggerated, asks for " an accomplished poodle nurse. Wages £1 per week." This has double claims upon our attention here, for in addition to the amount offered for such work, there is a doubt as to the actual thing required. Is it a nurse for accomplished poodles, or an accomplished nurse? And, if the latter, what in the name of goodness and common sense is accomplishment at such work? Do poodles require peculiar nursery rhymes and lullabies, or are they nursed, as a vulgar error has it about West-country babies, head downwards? This is not the exact expression used with regard to the infants; but it will do. We will conclude this short list of peculiarities with two which deserve notice. The first is the notice of a marriage, which ends, " No cards, no cake, no wine." This is evidently intended for friends other than those "at a distance," whose polite attention is so constantly invoked. The remaining specimen appeared in the Irish Times, and runs thus: "To Insurance Offices.— Whatever office the late William H. O'Connell, M.D. life was insured will please to communicate or call on his widow, 23 South Frederick Street, without delay." One hardly knows which to admire most, the style or the insouciance of the demand.
Of curious advertisements which are such independent of errors, selfishness, or moral obliquity, we have in the purely historical part of this work given plenty specimens from olden times; but there are still a few samples of the peculiarities of our ancestors which will bear repetition in this chapter, more especially as most of them have not before been unearthed from their original columns. Before quoting any of those which are purely advertisements in the ordinary sense of the word, we will present to our readers a curious piece of puffery which appeared in an Irish paper for May 30, 1784, and which from its near connection with open and palpable advertising, and from its whimsical character, will not be at all out of place, and ■will doubtless prove interesting, especially to those of a theatrical turn of mind, as it refers to the gifted Sarah Siddons's first appearance in Dublin. The article runs thus: "On Saturday, Mrs Siddons, about whom.all the world has been talking, exposed her beautiful, adamantine, soft, and lovely person, for the first time, at Smock-Alley Theatre, in the bewitching, melting, and all-tearful character of Isabella. From the repeated panegyrics in the impartial London newspapers, we were taught to expect the sight of a heavenly angel; but how were we supernaturally surprised into the most awful joy, at beholding a mortal goddess. The house was crowded with hundreds more than it could hold,—with thousands of admiring spectators, that went away without a sight. This extraordinary phenomenon of tragic excellence! this star of Melpomene! this comet of the stage! this sun of the firmament of the Muses! this moon of blank verse ! this queen and princess of tears! this Donnellan of the poisoned bowl! this empress of the pistol and dagger! this chaos of Shakspeare! this world of weeping clouds! this Juno of commanding aspects! this Terpsichore of the curtains and scenes! this Proserpine of fire and earthquake ! this Katterfelto of wonders! exceeded expectation, went beyond belief, and soared above all the natural powers of description! She was nature itself! She was the most exquisite work of art! She was the very daisy, primrose, tuberose, sweetbrier, furze-blossom,- gilliflower, wall-flower, cauliflower, auricula, and rosemary! In short, she was the bouquet of Parnassus! Where expectation was raised so high, it was
thought she would be injured by her appearance; but it was the audience who were injured :—several fainted before the curtain drew up! When she came to the scene of parting with her wedding-ring, ah! what a sight was there! the very fiddlers in the orchestra, 'albeit, unused to the melting mood,' blubbered like hungry children crying for their bread and butter; and when the bell rang for music between the acts, the tears ran from the bassoon players' eyes in such plentiful showers, that they choked the finger stops; and making a spout of the instrument, poured in such torrents on the first fiddler's book, that, not seeing the overture was in two sharps, the leader of the band actually played in one flat. But the sobs and sighs of the groaning audience, and the noise of corks drawn from the smelling-bottles, prevented the mistake between flats and sharps being discovered. One hundred and nine ladies fainted! forty-six went into fits! and ninetyfive had strong hysterics! The world will scarcely credit the truth, when they are told, that fourteen children, five old women, one hundred tailors, and six common-councilmen, were actually drowned in the inundation of tears that flowed from the galleries, the slips, and the boxes, to increase the briny pond in the pit; the water was three feet deep; and the people that were obliged to stand upon the benches, were in that position up to their ankles in tears! An Act of Parliament against her playing any more will certainly pass." As this effusion appeared almost immediately after the famous actress's first appearance, we are hardly wrong in considering it as half an advertisement. It must certainly have helped to draw good houses during the rest of her stay.
Lovers of the gentle craft may be interested to know that what was perhaps the earliest advertisement of Izaak Walton's famous little book '' The Compleat Angler" was published in one of Wharton's Almanacs. It is on the back of the dedication-leaf to "Hemeroscopeion: Anni iEra Christianse, 1654." Hemeroscopeion was William Lilly, and the almanac appeared in 1653, the year in which Walton's book was printed. The advertisement says :—
There is published a Booke of Eighteen-pence price, called The Compleat Angler, Or, The Contemplative man's Recreation: being a" - Discourse of Fish and Fishing. Not unworthy the perusall. Sold by Richard Marriot in S. Dunstan's Church-yard, Fleetstreet.
The publication of births, marriages, and deaths seems to have begun almost as soon as newspapers were in full swing. At first only the names of the noble and eminent were given, but soon the notices got into much the same form as we now find them. One advantage of the old style was that the amount a man died worth was generally given, though how the exact sum was known directly he died passes our comprehension, unless it was then the fashion to give off the secret with the latest breath. Even under such circumstances we should hesitate to believe some people of our acquaintance, who have tried now and again, but have never yet succeeded in telling the truth about their own affairs or those of their relatives. And doubtless many an heir felt sadly disappointed, on taking his property, to find it amount to less than half of the published sum. Notices of marriages and deaths were frequent before the announcement of births became fashionable; and in advertisements the real order of things has been completely changed, as obituaries began, marriages followed, and births came last of all. In the first number of the Gentleman's Magazine, January 1731, we find deaths and marriages published under separate heads, and many papers of the time did likewise. The Grub Street Journal gave them among the summary of Domestic News, each particular item having the initials of the paper from which it was taken appended, as was done with all other information under the same head; for which purpose there was at the top of the article the information that C. meant Daily Courant, P. Daily Post-Boy, D. P. Daily Post, D. J. Daily Journal, D. A. Daily Adver