Wm. Carver, or "old Billy Carver," as he was familiarly termed, a companion and friend of Tom Paine, died in New York on Saturday last, in his 85th year. He was an Englishman by birth, and veterinary surgeon by profession. He was an eccentric man in his habits. Among his other freaks of fancy, which he some years since carried into effect, was to have his coffin made, for which the measure of his body was taken. This piece of furniture he kept for some time at his lodgings. It was subsequently taken to an undertaker's shop in Pearl street, where, with the plate and other appurtenances, in readiness for use, it has since remained. At the latter period of his life he was supported by the society of Free Inquirers.--Phil. Ledger.
It seems to us that there is something wrong about
the coffin story here, and that, in some manner, the freaks of Paine
himself have become mixed up with those of "old Billy Carver." During the
better days of Jarvis, the noted portrait painter and sayer of droll things,
we have more than once heard him narrate, of Paine, the anecdote now told
of his friend. Paine resided at the time in Norfolk, Va., and Jarvis, although
young, was in habits of close intimacy with him. He described the author
of the "Age of Reason" as bereft of all reason in his later days, and as
living on earth the life of the damned. Of the coffin Jarvis spoke frequently,
and never in his usual merry way. Indeed an allusion to his residence with
Paine was always sure to throw a damp upon the excessive spirits of the
painter. In regard to Carver, it may be that he kept a coffin too, and
did so by way of following his leader's example.
[Text: Edgar Allan Poe (?), "Advertising Oddities," from Alexander's Weekly Messenger, February 3, 1840, p. 2, col. 3.]
Goward, the writing and music master of New York, is beyond doubt the most knowing advertiser of his day. What he does in this way he does thoroughly, and there never is any danger of misunderstanding what he says. He gives the thing with a downright improviso air that is altogether irresistible. We believe that his late paragraph, in which he declares that nobody has yet dared to accept any one of his challenges, and pledges his word to teach fully one hundred and fifty new tunes in five minutes, have set him at the head of his profession (whatever it is) and fairly taken the town by storm.
But vixere fortes ante Agamemnona, and there are other geniuses besides Goward. What a fine idea that is of somebody who advertises that he is in immediate want, these dull times, of precisely four guagers at fifty cents per cask, exactly fifty surveyors at twelve and twenty dollars, and just twenty engineers at fifty round dollars, per day! Lest the applicants should be in want of money, the advertiser will give them as much as they want, and buy all their instruments into the bargain.
The Picayune says that it met with the following in one of its New England exchange papers: "Wanted a man to take charge of a milk cart, and a horse entertaining abolition principles"--but we consider this a mere slander. Now here is a genuine thing, and really appears in a down east daily--
Any gal what's got a cow, a good feather bed with comfortable fixins, five hundred dollars in the hard pewter, one that's had the measels and understands tendin' children can find a customer for life, by writin' a small billy dux, addressed Q. Z., and stickin' it in a crack of Uncle Ebenezer's barn, joinin' the hog-pen.
[The "Goward" mentioned in the first item is Isaac R. Goward, a New York music teacher. Brigham notes that Goward "is generally entered in the Directories merely as 'teacher,' but in the Directory for 1839 he is entered as 'Isaac R. Goward, of Amherst College, professor and teacher of music, dancing, writing, &c.' He was a member of the Class of 1830 at Amherst, but did not graduate. His advertisements ran regularly in the New York Evening Signal. He calls himself 'Rev. Isaac Goward, A.M.,' and says that he was educated for the ministry but 'on account of his extraordinary faculty for teaching, he was advised by numerous Christian friends to leave the pulpit and benefit the world by teaching arts, sciences and languages.' He also mentions his three daughters, Euterpe Seraphine, Flora Terpsichore, and Calliope Rosina, 'aged 8, 6 and 4.'" An advertisement typical of the sort referred to is: "Challenge! I challenge any man living to write a Business Hand with me, teach the same, or to teach Music, or Dancing, with me, for $1000, less, or nothing. Put a man down fairly, not by slander, or puffing unworthy ones for money! I have certificates of teaching 50 tunes in 5 minutes!!! Lessons cheap, at all hours--satisfaction or no charge. GOWARD, THE GREAT TEACHER" (Evening Signal, January 18, 1840).]
[S:0 - Brigham]