Sunday, May 12, 2019

More from the "Best. Book. Ever."

About 53½ moon cycles ago, I had the first in a series of two posts on the Best Book Ever (Part 1, Part 2). It's an 1885 textbook titled A Brief History of the United States. I described it as great based upon "the book's physical appearance, the interior markings and inscriptions it has accumulated over the years and things that have been tucked away inside in previous decades."

There were many awesome things to note, and I tried to cover all of them. But, in flipping through the book recently, I found something cool that I missed. Opposite Page 226, there's an inscription on a blank page. Here's a transcription of the cursive text:

You scondrel [sic] yelled
young Jacob Green
At his good neighbor Browns
You kiss my wife upon the street
I ought to knock you down.
Thats [sic] were [sic] your [sic] wrong
young Brown replied
In account mild and meek.
I kissed her that I've not
But I kissed her on the cheek.

I found one version of the likely source material for this in the May 15, 1890, edition of Life, which was a humor magazine from 1883 until 1936 before it transformed into the photojournalism powerhouse of the mid 20th century that we're more familiar with. The poem, in this instance, is part of an advertisement for Dr. Pierce's Pellets ("purely vegetable and perfectly harmless").

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