Answer to the Advertisement

Miss Vardill


Being informed that your advertisement for a husband requires an answer thro’ the medium of the Attic Chest, I beg leave to announce my pretensions to the honour of your preference. The most prevalent recommendations to a lady’s favour should be mentioned first; therefore I begin by stating that my family is one of the most ancient and wealthy in the West-Indies. As indolence is the privileged associate of a West-Indian, I frankly acknowledge a very powerful impulse is necessary to move me; and I leave the inference to the vanity which is equally privileged in a female. To the description conveyed in your encouraging advertisement, my exterior is perfectly answerable. My complexion is tinged with that graceful brown which never changes except to a more becoming darkness; and I need not acquaint a lady of your science, that umber is a less fleeting colour than vermillion. My person — why should I be restrained by the modesty so long banished from advertisements? My person, madam, is of the grand order: its altitude exceeds six feet without the aid of fashionable boots or a porcupine-toupee, and as your figure is said to be short and slim, we shall form that amiable contrast of contrarities so diverting in matrimony. Permit me to add that the most brilliant drawing room is forlorn without my presence; and when I appear, no gentleman preserves his place with more dignified inattention to the smiles of the ladies or the elbows of their chaperones. You require a distinguished talent for prose-reading. I can furnish unexceptionable references to prove that I embellish poetry and understand prose equally well.

It has been hinted that I might excel many Hon. Gentlemen in extemporary eloquences; especially as I possess the parliamentary talent of speaking on both sides and the still rarer talent of being silent when I am not desired to speak, which is certainly very desirable in a M.P. or a husband. I am said to resemble Orpheus, tho’ I cannot boast his privilege to recall a wife from death; nor is it a privilege now much coveted, but a fair lady might easily re-animate me. However, as wives seldom make the experiment, I do not mention this particular as a recommendation. A carriage is specially required in your advertisement and you will form a proper idea of my importance when I inform you that I never take an airing without one; but, as is usual in such cases, I expect the lady to whom I devote myself will provide me with an equipage. Then, madam, the last and most indispensable requisite stated in your postscript is happily in my possession! My head is of such admirable hardness that Mambreno’s helmet would scarcely render it fitter to receive the innumerable memorials which it seems your intention to bestow. And my constitution is so well organized that those manual applications which would render some husbands intolerably insolent, will improve my conversation and harmonize my temper. Therefore in addition to the amusement which a wife and her friends naturally derive from a husband’s chastisement, you will have the peculiar pleasure of giving me perfection.

As common sense and fashion (still more powerfully) forbid ceremony and compliments on these occasions, I hope you will not be surprised if I content myself with enumerating my own good qualities. But I assure you finally and with more than usual sincerity, that when a proper price has been paid, I shall remain

Your most faithful, humble
and devoted servant.

A. G. Pxxxx