The Daguerreian Society

Selected text (first two paragraphs) from
Fanny Fern, Ruth Hall: A Domestic Tale of the Present Time. (New York: Mason Brothers, 1855) pp. 106-7.

("Fanny Fern" is a pseudonym for Sara Payson Willis, sister of the noted author/editor N.P. Willis.)

Chapter LIII

Skiddy's intercepted hegria—his incarceration—his final escape

"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..."

(End of text. Please refer to our textnote regarding this text.)

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