Back to top

Botch Sign Painter.
A man is painting a sign with a large brush. The sign is untidily painted and the man is spilling paint from the pan he holds. This, combined with the pipe he is smoking and the patches on his pants, suggest his work is generally slipshod., Text: You wretched, worthless bungler, to see you try to paint, / I'm sure would spoil the temper of even a first-class saint, / For you cannot lay a color, and the letters you design, / Look like a lot of scare-crows drawn up in a line ; / You're a dirty, mussy dauber, without a bit of taste, / And a building with a sign of yours is thoroughly defaced., Provenance: Helfand, William H..

Emptyheaded and Lazy
A maid wearing an apron is holding a bed-warmer. The word "empty" is written over her head. The valentine suggests that her lack of brains means she is condemned to a life a menial tasks., Text: The reason why you don’t get on in life-- / Is the Sending of the Valentine to you a hollow mockery?, Cf. Valentine 14.42., Provenance: Helfand, William H..

Emptyheaded and Lazy
An elaborately dressed man leans back in a chair and smokes a cigar. The word 'empty" is written over his head. His clothes and the position of his hand suggest he is a dandy. The sender mocks the recipient's concentration on outward appearances., Text: The reason why you don't get on in life-- / Is the Sending of the Valentine to you a hollow mockery?, Cf. Valentine 14.41., Provenance: Helfand. William H..

Now My Jolly Sailor
A sailor stands with one hand in his pocket and the other holds a bottle. A ship is visible in the distance behind him. The sender criticizes the recipient for excessive drinking and laziness., Text: Now my jolly Sailor, / You are an idle, tippling dog, / O really will not wed you, / You are rather fond of Grog., Provenance: Helfand, William H..

Sleepy Looking Harness Maker.
A harness maker sits on a bench and works on a harness on his lap. There are saddles hanging on the wall behind him., Text: Sleepy looking harness maker, /What girl would ever let you take her / For a wife, and thus to be / Saddled by such a thing as thee, / Of leather you so stink ‘tis true / That I should like to leather you, / To saddle an ass as if ‘twere my pleasure / Why I would send to take they measure., "150", Provenance: Helfand, William H..

Tho’ you are Porter
portly man is sleeping in a chair. A woman observes him from a window and says "I wish the lazy beast would wake.", Text: Tho’ you are PORTER, clumsy calf, / You shall not make me half and half / And fond of sleeping as you be, / No SLEEPING PARTNER find in me; / Short-winded, bloated, lazy elf / With care for no one but yourself; / Ne’er think to mate in wedlock sweet, / For you could not make BOTH ENDS MEET., Provenance: Helfand, William H..

To a Labourer.
A bricklayer climbs a ladder and carries his hod on his shoulder. The valentine chides him for being slow at his work., Text: Like an ape dressed in breeches / you creep up the wall, / Or like a slow tumble bug / pushing his ball, / If anyone calls you to hurry up quick, / You are down upon them, / ‘like a 1000 of bricks,” / You think you’re a brick, / but you’re but a brick bat, / With mud in your hod / and with bricks in your hat., Provenance: Helfand, William H..