JF Ptak Science Books Post 2492
The list below is part of a workbook/artwork created in ca. 1820-1830 or so--it is a wishbook of sorts, a daydream collector. There are a number of questions that the author asks of herself (wishes for a small and pretty foot and such are among the many hints) and provides 40 answers for each. The questions and answers are lovely, and revealing.
The questions include:
- "By Whom are You Beloved?"
- "What is Your Disposition?"
- "For What Are You Admired?"
- "Will You Marry or Not, and Why?"
- "What is Your Life's Passion?"
- "What Do You Most Figure Yourself Upon?"
- What is Your Most Ardent Wish?"
Tonight though I would just like to look at one, the last question:
And just in case you can't quite make out the penmanship (rendered with a very finely-nibbed pen):
The responses: (1) a coach and four (a coach pulled by four horses); (2) a fine house, (3) a husband, (4) to be beloved, (5) to leave school, (6) to be admired, (7) a white and pretty hand, (8) to read an interesting book [but not book-plural?], (9) to excel, (10) to be married, (11) a lover, (12) a ride on horse back, (13) to go to a ball, (14) a sail by moonlight, (15) an offer of marriage, (16) to go to a party, (17) pretty eyes, (18) a small and pretty foot, (19) a ride with good company, (20) to be married to the one I love, (21) a new dress, (22) a ride with a certain person, (23) to teach, (24) a walk by the moonlight with you, (25) to be a belle, (26) to supplant my rivals, (27) a pretty face, (28) to see the one I love best, (29) to be accomplished, (30) to make a good appearance, (31) to learn instrumental music, (32 )to attend a concert, (33) to go to Bangor, (34) an invitation to a wedding, (35) a present of a book, (36) to give a ball, (37) to see my best friend, (38) a letter from my lover, (39) to visit Europe, (40) a pretty wife.
In general, the things on the wish-list of ardent wishes were mostly about experiences (13 or 14 things), followed closely by wishes in relationship(s) with 9 or 10; physical attributes (6 hits), and other bits and pieces. It is interesting that of the 40 choices there are only four that deal with physical things.
It is an enchanting list, especially when you realize that it isn't as antiquarian as it seems, with the overwhelming majority of the wishes being easily wishable today--probably as they have always been.