A Lively Day at a Small Concern: 1893


A Lively Day.

Charlie Dulltimes recently kept a record of the business transacted by him during one day of the present depression, with the following gratifying results. His callers were:

A stranger to borrow the directory.

A man who wanted change for two dollars.

A boy to sell matches or feather dusters.

An accident insurance agent.

A man who wanted Charlie to cash a check,

A girl collecting subscriptions for a woman’s home.

A book-peddler.

A friend who wanted a small loan.

Charlie’s tailor.

Another friend who wanted a loan.

The Most Worthy Begum of the Order of Indian Rajahs, who tried to sell Charlie some tickets for an entertainment to be given “for the benefit of the order.”

A woman to ask what floor Room 69 was on.

Another friend who wanted five dollars “until Saturday night.”

The tenant from across the hall to use the telephone.

A boy to borrow the railway guide for Mr. Sniffins.

A man looking for “a party named White.”

The boot-black.

The janitor to clean up the office.

And yet they say that away out in the suburbs, a fair maiden sits and sadly wonders “Why Charlie doesn’t propose?”

The Argonaut [San Francisco CA] 23 December 1893

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire:  The “present depression,” referred to in this squib was the “Panic of 1893.”  Mrs Daffodil does not dabble in the stock-market so the reasons behind the Panic are as a sealed book to her. Argentina and gold enter into it somehow.  And yet, for all the runs on banks and brokers in despair, it all comes down to the heartbreaking tragedy of the last sentence….

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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