Answer to the Advertisement

Miss Porden


Although consciously deficient in many of the qualifications you have named as desirable in your advertisement for a husband, I take the liberty of addressing you; confiding in the strength of a charm which has acquired in modern days the name of “the one thing needful”. Before this talisman bow the various races of mankind, whether their complexions are tinctured by the warm glow of a tropical sun, or with the paler gleam of his arctic ray, whether honoured, admired, and beloved, or scorned, detested, and despised. Few indeed are those who have the fortitude to resist my attractions, and though history has crowned their brows with laurel, the heroes of modern days would be inclined rather to weave them a garland of goose grass for their folly. Need I say Madam that this talisman is gold. Gold for which the hero fights, the lawyer pleads, the poet sings, the lover sighs. Yes Madam the arrows of Cupid are tipped with gold. It is not now the virtues or the graces of the fair that strike the heart of a youth, ’tis not her tresses that ensnare or her eyes that wound; it is her riches that attract him. It is true Madam that I cannot sing nor play many instruments but my wealth is so unbounded that even the bravuras of a Catalanian fisher will not be too deep or too high for my pocket. I am not very fond of reading aloud, but if you have a taste for literary or scientifci amusements the poor poet who is destined to dine with Duke Humphrey will readily quit his table for one better furnished. The chemist will be more attracted by your “ragout de vie” than by a dish of vital air, the botanist will prefer the odour of a beef steak to that of a rose and even the philosopher will quit the imaginary delights of Utopia for the solid substantial charms of a good dinner. If on the contrary you incline to amusement of a lighter sort innumerable are those who will fly to a rout or a dane, who will forget all their cares at the card table, or consign at once to oblivion their grey hairs, their corns, their fatigues, their vapours and all their fashionable aches and pains, at the magic mirth inspiring sound of a fiddle.

There are yet some points in your letter which remain unanswered, but I trust that the consideration of my wealth will induce you to waive some objections on the score of personal appearance etc. In respect to Bacchus I must acknowledge that I am rather a votary of the jolly god, but I am generally sober in a morning, and as I never come home till late at night and we shall of course have our separate apartments, this will inconconvenience you very little. Indeed Madam, as I shall interfere little with your amusements, I shall expect the same civility from you and with regard to your milling faculties, as we shall of course see very little of each other, that gives me no more uneasiness though I think it proper to have a respectable female at the head of my table.

I shall wait you reply with extreme impatience and the meantime subscribe myself

your most devoted admirer