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Ah! now I
The ugly hatter stands at a table ironing top hats. "Gossamer" refers to the shellacked muslin pieces that shaped silk hats. "Swipes" is slang for copious drinking, and "logwood" is a type of dye. "Judy" is slang for a ridiculous woman, and the sender suggests that the recipient could only marry such a woman., Text: Ah! now I well know what it was that I smelt, / It was the bottle-nosed, rabbit-mouthed dealer in felt. / Mother Judy might marry such a fellow, but I-- / Detest such a dabbler in logwood and dye, / Though your head is so big-- 'tis of gossamer rig-- / All bloated and puffed, like a measly pig, / Beastly swiller of swipes-- what a picture is thine-- / Bad luck to the girl who is your Valentine., See similar print, A Hatter, Comic Valentines, 4.40, Provenance: Helfand, William H.

Alas, poor man,
A jockey stands at a bar drinking from a beer tankard with a dog standing attentively at his side. In the background, a bartender stands behind the bar across from a woman who grins and holds a glass., Text: Alas, poor man, thy suit of plush, / Has fairly turned thy brain I ween, / But if thou art a man, Oh! blush, / To be a thing so very mean, / Oh! Jockey of the spotless clothes, / Oh! Jockey of the gundy plush, / Oh! Jockey with the turn up nose, / I pity thee and for thee blush., Provenance: Helfand, William H.

Awkward, clumsy, bawling
A peddler stands between a fence and a wooden stand. Over his ahoulder is a strap carrying mugs, which are also hanging from the fence and stand., Text: Awkward, clumsy, bawling brute, / How well you with your CALLING suit, / For as about the streets you shout, / Each servant girl on looking out / Exclaims "just hear that fellow, : / To bring the Pot unto his call; / Why what a cheek the fellow's got, / He's only fit to go to Pot., Provenance: Helfand, William H.

A Baker.
A baker stands in front of his oven. He is smoking a pipe and his shovel leans on the wall next to him., Text: The bread that you bake is not fit for a dog, / Your pies and your cake would sicken a hog; / Sawdust-flour you use, rancid butter and lard, / For such practice you ought to be feathered and tarred, / Or else to be taken and baked in your oven -- / You dirty old cheat, and rascal, and sloven., Provenance: Helfand, William H.

The Baker
A baker in a paper hat is putting a pie into an oven. His shoe has split open and his red nose, combined with the word "sodden," imply that he is drunk while on the job., Text: What! Buy of you! Your senseless grin / Would sour all your pies, / And not a loaf, poor, sodden oaf, / But would smatter of your lies. / Heavy as lead, your lightest bread, / Cakes, buns, and buscuits, all; / Smash your paper cap on your grinning head, / And into your oven crawl!, Provenance: Helfand, William H..

A Bargain Second Hand
A woman in mourning clothings hold a handkerchief to her eyes and smiles. She gestures to a sign on the wall behind her thats reads "A Bargain Second Hand to be Disposed of". Another sign on the wall reads "To Let". The valentine suggests she is looking for a new husband immediately after being widowed., Provenance: Helfand, William H.

Bawling about the streets
A man carries a yoke with two buckets. One is labelled chalk and the other water. Milk means to take undue profit and the use of "cream" and "surface" suggest that the milkman is cheating his customers by adulterating his product so that it looks like milk., Text: Bawling about the streets you go, / With noisy cry of milk Be—low, / BE-LOW indeed the MILK must be, / We none upon the SURFACE see, / For it is plain you never fail / To milk the cow with the iron tail. / Of all the MILKMEN I have seen, / Of roguery you are the CREAM., Provenance: Helfand, William H..

Begone, you dirty
An unkempt woman leans against a post and drinks from a bottle of liquor., Text: Begone, you dirty drunken jade, / And feed along with swine, / For none but a pig would have you / To be his Valentine., Provenance: Helfand, William H..

A Big Bloat.
A fashionably dressed man holds a cane and smokes a cigar. His bulging midsection and puffy face underscore the text's suggestion that as a "Bloat" and "Wind-bag" he lacks substance., Text: You swagger round, you Wind-bag, / As if you owned the Earth, / But your would-be lordly bearing / Awakens only mirth. / No man who comes across you / Ever fails at once to note, / That in spite of all your blather, / You are just a great big Bloat., Provenance: Helfand, William H..

A blacksmith stands at his anvil, using a hammer and tongs. His face is dirty and he is smoking a pipe. The valentine suggests that the smith's trade will prepare him for Hell in the afterlife., Text: A sketch of your visage, so ugly and cross, / Here behold, Mr. Blacksmith, of botches the Boss. / It can’t be disputed a wise choice you made, / When you took for a calling your black, sooty trade ; / For ‘tis well ere you die to get used to things hot, / In view of what surely will then be your lot., Provenance: Helfand, William H..

Blundering little hussy
A short and stout country bumpkin smiles and carries a pitchfork. The sender rejects the recipient's romantic advances because of his occupation., Text: Blundering little hussy, who can never move about, / But furniture and tea trays are all put to the rout ; / It's all your foolish vanity because you wil be seen, / When about your work, dressed in a crinoline : / Pray leave off your hoops and gain a little sense, / And then to gain a husband you may make some pretence., "No. 186", Provenance: Helfand, William H..

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..

A Brainless Jackass.
A man with an oversized bald head smiles broadly. The text indicates that his baldness is an outward sign of his inner deficiencies., Text: You have got a great big head, but it’s only filled with air. / It hasn’t enough of substance to produce a growth of hair. / You’ve got a smile upon your face, but we have heard before, / You get it from a bottle when you sneak behind the door. / You’re only an old milk sop, and of either sense or wit, / No one will e’er accuse you of having the smallest bit., Provenance: Helfand, William H..

The Butcher Boy.
A butcher with a moustache stands with cleaver in hand. Two cats hang from hooks under the words "Cats wanted.", Text: Go! slaughterer of stolen cats, / And shave the moustache from thy lip -- / Thy sausages are made from rats, / Thy cutlets worse than any chip, / Thy steaks defy the strongest jaws, / Thy mutton comes from aged rams, / Thy pork defies the sharpest saws, / And tainted are thy sugared hams. / Repent, ere yet it is too late, / Or you may butcher for the State., Provenance: Helfand, William H..

A Careless Driver.
A driver who has falled from his cart sits on the ground. His hat has fallen off, he has dropped his whip, and his clothes are torn at the knees and elbows. His horse is running away with the cart int he distance and the boxes of cargo have fallen off. The text indicates that he is careless because he drinks too much., Text: You stupid old donkey, just from the bogs, / You’re only fit to drive, a drove of western hogs, / You always are loaded, and so much more of late, / That your tongue seems a brick and you cannot see straight, / Your horses get scared – for their blinders don’t blind them, / When they see such a sot, on the truck-load behind them., Provenance: Helfand, William H..

A Chambermaid!
A chambermaid holds a candle and shows a room to a man. The text suggests that she is promiscuous., Text: A chambermaid! Pray what’s the use, / Of such a giggling, silly goose? / Whose chief employment, so ‘tis said, / Is showing folks the way to bed!, Provenance: Helfand, William H..

A Chattering Magpie.
A female domestic servant peers over a wall and gossips with another servant. A magpie in the background emphasizes the irritating nature of the servants' chatter and suggests that, like the magpie, the servants may also be thieves. Spleen refers to anger or a foul mood. Hecate is a Greek goddess associated with magic and crossroads and is often depicted as a hag or crone., Text: A chattering magpie is a hateful creature, / With spleen and malice marked in every feature, / Forever gossiping with thy hateful crew, / I’d sooner wed old Hecate than love you., Provenance: Helfand, William H..

A coachman sits on his box. He wear a feathered top-hat, an elaborate buttoned coat, and mutton-chops. The valentine suggests that no one will take his pretension seriously., Text: What an arrogant air, / What a cockneyfied stare / You try to put on, you comical monkey! / Can it be you expect / Anyone to respect / Such a paltry, contemptible flunkey?, Provenance: Helfand, William H..

Come, stand erect.
A bent-backed carpenter is using a plane. His pants are mended with a patch and his nose is red and dripping. A saw, chisel, hammer and other tools are on the floor of his shop., Text: Come, stand erect and plain away, my beau of sawdust, chips and shavings, / St. Valentine’s, that happy day, is hastening round to ease your ravings; / Then don’t be downcast, see above, a sketch I’ve made of your sweet features / Then come and wed, with love for love, we’ll prove to all, we’re Cupid’s Creatures., Provenance: Helfand, William H..

The Conceited Woman
A woman wears an elaborate crinoline, shawl and wide-brimmed hat. The hat partially conceals a sheep's head. The valentine suggests a person who does not dress age-appropriately is deceitful. Hecate is a Greek goddess assocaited with magic and crossroads, and is often represented as a hag or a crone., Text: There we see an old ewe, yet more like a ram, / Though a fifty-year old, she’s dressed like a lamb, / Both toothless and ugly, and snafty and base, / Yet she tries to look sheepish, and soft in the face. / Dress on, Mother Hecate, your stiff crinoline, / Floats flauntingly free, abroad in the wind, / But the looks that you give, and the fashions you wear, / Bids all of good sense and of manners beware., Provenance: Helfand, William H..