A Bill for Services Rendered: 1898

A 1915 image of Cupid delivering chocolates.

A 1915 image of Cupid delivering chocolates.

“Let by-gones be by-gones,” said she, after she had managed to quarrel with him on the way home from the circus.

He reflected awhile: “And is this the end?”

“It is, sir; all is over between us.”

“Last Sunday night you said you loved me.”

“I did then; I do not now.”

“And you want by-gones to be by-gones?”


“Who’s to pay for all the ice-cream?”

“Leave me, mercenary wretch! Name your price for your valuable services, and I will see it paid.”

Next morning’s post brought her the following:

Miss Smith to Mr. Simpkins, Dr.



To 6 rides, $4 each $24.00

15 oyster-soups at church festivals $7.00

15 suppers at church festivals, $15.00

15 hacks at church festivals, $22.50

42 tickets to theatre $42.00

Librettos (10), 25 cents $2.50

Suit of clothes (per intimation) $50.00

Boots blacked and shaved (say) $20.00

46 broken promises .25

1 broken heart $500.00

60 ice creams $15.00

Raising my hopes, etc.  $5,000.00

Firing me out after circus $1.20

Total $5.699 .95


By going with another fellow (4) $ 8.00

Healing broken heart (3) .45

Hugging me (400) $400.00

Sitting on my lap (20). . . $1,000.00

Extinguishing hopes .75

First kiss $2,000.00

229,200 kisses and hugs, 1c. each 2,292.00

Total $5,699.20

Balance due .75

Will call to-morrow night and collect balance due.

She met him at the door. ” Come into the parlor,  Chawley,” she said, “and I’ll pay you.”

An hour afterward she was contracting a fresh debt at the ice-cream saloon near by.

The Argonaut [San Francisco, CA] 7 February 1898.

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: One does so like a happy ending, although Mrs Daffodil wonders if a gentleman with such a head for figures (in the mercenary sense) is a wise investment. Such persons would always want to go over the dressmaking accounts–something no woman of spirit tolerates.

To read of an 18th-century version of a lover’s bill for services rendered, see this post, on Valentine’s Day.

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.


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