The 
Daguerreian Society


I thought this text would be appropriate for today (April 1) as an 
April Fools' Day anecdote. (For those of you who are not familiar with 
the custom, April Fools' Day occurs on April 1 and is marked as a day 
for practical jokes.)
- - - - - - - - -

From the novel "Ruth Hall: A Domestic Tale of the Present Time" written 
by Fanny Fern (pseudonym for Sara Payson Willis, sister of the noted
author/editor N.P. Willis.) (New York: Mason Brothers, 1855):

Chapter LIII
Skiddy's intercepted hegria--his incarceration--his final escape
(page 106-7; first two paragraphs)

"WELL, I hope you have been comfortable in my absence, Mrs. Hall," said 
Mrs. Skiddy, after despatching her husband to market, as she seated 
herself in the chair nearest the door; "ha! ha! John and I may call it 
quits now. He is a very good fellow--John; except these little tantrums 
he gets into once in a while; the only way is, to put a stop to it at 
once, and let him see who is master. John never will set a river on 
fire; there's no sort of use in his trying to take the reins--the man 
wasn't born for it. I'm too sharp for him, that's a fact. Ha! ha! Poor 
Johnny! I must tell you what a trick I played him about two years after 
our marriage."
  "You must know he had to go away on business for Fogg & Co., to 
collect bills, or something of that sort. Well, he made a great fuss 
about it, as husbands who like to go away from home always do; and said 
he should 'pine for the sight of me, and never know a happy hour till 
he saw me again,' and all that; and finally declared he would not go, 
without I would let him take my Daguerreotype. Of course, I knew that 
was all humbug; but I consented. The likeness was pronounced 'good,' 
and placed by me in his travelling trunk, when I packed his clothes. 
Well, he was gone a month, and when he came back, he told me (great 
fool) what a comfort my Daguerreotype was to him, and how he had looked 
at it twenty times a day, and kissed it as many more; whereupon I went 
to his trunk, and opening it, took out the case and showed it to him--
without the plate, which I had taken care to slip out of the frame just 
before he started, and which he had never found out! That's a specimen 
of John Skiddy!--and John Skiddy is a fair specimen of the rest of his 
sex, let me tell you, Mrs. Hall. Well, of course he looked sheepish 
enough; and now, whenever I want to take the nonsense out of him, all I 
have to do is to point to that Daguerreotype case, which I keep lying 
on the mantel on purpose.  When a woman is married, Mrs. Hall, she must 
make up her mind either to manage, or to be managed; I prefer to 
manage," said the amiable Mrs. Skiddy; "and I flatter myself John 
understands it by this time..."

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Posted for your enjoyment.     Gary W. Ewer     
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04-01-97


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