Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cartoon/A Quotation/New Follower

Y'all'll hev ta wait 'til next post ta see one of thim pritty gals, podnuh. Rat now ah've got more important thangs to do lak write sum'thin' today.

While browsing through Project Gutenberg Catalog, I came across this dedication in a book entitled, Romance of California Life by John Habberton, 1877:

"To:  Frank Leslie

"Who, while other publishers were advising the writer of these sketches to write, supplied the author with encouragement in the shape of a publishing medium and the lucre which all literary men despise but long for, this volume is respectfully dedicated by


Now that's a nice dedication, but I didn't know that "literary men despise" money and long for it at the same time. Is it anything like hating sex and longing for it, too? It seems to me that they are similar attractions, although one is physical and fleeting and the other material and fleeting. Times were different in 1877, one being that S E X was never mentioned, although they could talk all they wanted to about money as long as they didn't disclose their own income. Men (and women?) who had money could talk about it, but the cowboy didn't say much in that regard. Everyone knew he didn't make much money punching cows and he never had much to brag about, anyway. I assume that's why so many stage coaches, trains, and banks were robbed - need of money. And someone had to tell those stories in the hopes of making money that a literary man hates. Oh, well, we're right back where we started from.

And a big welcome to a new follower, Trinity. Read the blog at


  1. Ha. I believe a writer willing to "prostitute" his art for the sake of money would not be respected and so professed not to care about financial reward. Where sex shows up as a topic in the early westerns is in the hysteria stirred up by romantic or marital relationships (or abductions) that crossed racial boundaries.

  2. Maybe the outlaws were robbing banks and so on because they knew ladies like bad boys.

    1. Ron, I think that idea carries over some today, art for art's sake. And the sex thing was not as overt as the more modern literature.

      Charles, right on. I'm sure some of them thought that way.

  3. Hurdy gurdy! I had forgotten that word. There was a time when the hurdy gurdy was as hot as iTunes. Thanks for that Oscar!

    1. You're welcome. Some saloons had them along with the girls for entertainment.