lördag 7 april 2018

Lördag med Gutenberg

En av många saker jag gillar med Gutenberg är att det alltid finns något läsbart som passar mitt humör och förmåga — eller bristande förmåga — att tillgodogöra mig en text.
I dag när jag inte lyckats skaka liv i hjärnan så blir jag riktigt uppiggad av att läsa en brevställare från 1900. En bok med den nätta titeln: The New Century Standard Letter-Writer, Business, Family and Social Correspondence, Love-Letters, Etiquette, Synonyms, Legal Forms, etc. av Alfred B. Chambers.
"When about to put your words in ink,
'Twill do no harm to stop and think."

Här finns verkligen allt från affärsbrev till privata inbjudningar och kondoleanser. Jag gillar Evelyn Innes brev till Miss Clancy där hon ber om hjälp med ett inköp:

 Asking a Friend to Make a Purchase for the Writer.

T——, April 21, 19—.
My Dear Miss Clancy:—
Will it impose too much upon your kindness to ask you to attend to a little business for me?
I want to buy a nice wrap, and I have no idea what people are wearing just now. I seldom go to town, as you know, and there are no styles to study in these parts; indeed, we are very primitive as regards dress, and I do not like to trust entirely to fashion plates, for fear of ordering something exaggerated.
Your taste is excellent, and you know so exactly what is most suitable to my figure and height, that I should feel more than satisfied if you would choose a coat for me at about $45, for which I enclose a check.
Have you been buying anything pretty this spring? I know you are a great authority on dress, and I suppose you brought home some exquisite gowns from Paris. Are the hats as large as ever? and what will be the favorite color this season?
We are as usual very quiet down here; but I am going to pay a few visits in the northern part of the State, next month.
Believe me, dear Miss Clancy, with many thanks in advance,
Affectionately yours,
Evelyn T. Innes.
P. S.—I enclose measurements.

45 dollar 1900 motsvarar 1285 dollar i dagens penningvärde  undrar om hon kunde ha fått en så här stilig "Fortuny coat" för den summan. Själv skulle jag inte ha något emot den.

Pliktbrev har en tendens att bli torftiga. Hade jag några släkttanter vid liv, skulle mina brev till dem bli lika innehållslösa som bokens förslag:

From a Niece to an Aunt.

A——, July 15, 19—.
Dear Aunt Selma:—
I do earnestly hope you and Uncle Phillip have not thought me neglectful in not writing to you before this, but beyond asking after you both and hoping you are quite well, I felt I had nothing 108to write about. I lead, as you know, such a quiet life, and the days so resemble each other, that I can hardly distinguish them apart. I ought perhaps to be glad of this, as family news when it has to be told is seldom a matter of rejoicing; quite the contrary, it generally forebodes trouble and sorrow—at least I have found it so.
The east winds have been very trying to my mother lately, but I am happy to say she is fairly well and able to go out every day. She sends her love to you, and hopes to have the pleasure of seeing you and my dear uncle before long.
How is your work society getting on? I suppose your Sunday-school picnic will take place next month, as usual. I can imagine how busy Uncle Phillip must be just now in his garden. Are the bees thriving? and how do the new glass hives answer? Has he been making any fresh experiments?
Please give him my best love, and with much to yourself,
Believe me, dear aunt,
Your affectionate niece,
Sophia Moore.
Tänk att jag aldrig fått brev från någon okänd beundrare  undrar hur man skulle reagera inför ett brev av det här slaget:

Marriage Proposal to a Lady to whom the Writer has never been Introduced.

C——, May 15, 19—.
Dear Madam:—
I know only too well that I am taking a very unusual step in venturing to address you, but let me trust that under the circumstances you will be inclined to excuse it, as unfortunately there appears to be no other course open to me of making myself known. 
Your beauty has inspired me with a most sincere admiration, and the various occasions on which I have had the pleasure of seeing you have served but to deepen the impression at first created; thus the one hope that animates me in writing, is that you may be induced to return my affection and ultimately become my wife. My position and means would, probably, be found satisfactory to your friends, and I trust you will give me an early opportunity of pleading my suit in person, and of offering every possible explanation to your relatives respecting my prospects in life. In the meantime, I should tell you that I have lately become a junior partner in the well-known firm of Messrs. Andrews Bros. civil engineers and contractors, of this city, and am thoroughly able to maintain a wife in comfort, if not in luxury. Kindly accept my enclosed photograph. Dare I hope that it may silently speak for me?
Believe me, dear madam, with humblest apology for my boldness,
Yours most respectfully,
Sylvester Langdon.
Här följer i boken, två tänkbara svar på ovanstående frieri — men vill du läsa dem får du kila över till Gutenberg.
Och eftersom jag inte har behov att tjänstefolk, och inte avser att söka tjänst som sällskapsdam eller förkläde, hoppar jag över allt i den vägen och avslutar med en liten flickas inbjudan till te. Det ska böjas i tid...

From a Little Girl to a Friend, Asking Her to Tea.

T——, December 10, 19—.
Dear Daisy:—
Next Friday is my birthday. Mamma says I may have a little tea party, and I am to write the notes of invitation myself. 219I hope your mother will let you come. We shall have tea at half-past four, and games and dancing after tea. Trusting that you will be able to attend,
I am, your affectionate friend,
Alma Clarke.

Answer to the Above.

T——, December 11, 19—.
Dear Alma:—
Mother says I may come to tea with you next Friday, and I shall be very happy to. I wonder if you will have many birthday presents. Mamma is going to send you one which I think you will like.
Your affectionate
Daisy Gordon.
Och snyggt skulle man skriva:

2 kommentarer:

  1. Snygg kappa!
    Och roliga/spännande/intressanta brev.
    Kram från Mette,

    1. Mette,
      Ja, visst är den fin!
      Brevläsandet kan man verkligen bli fast i.