Tuesday, September 8, 2009

the mystery solved...

Over the years I've seen this magazine for sale on eBay. I thought the cover sampler (described only as "The Scarlet Letter sampler") was interesting and always wondered what the verse said.

I contacted a couple sellers and asked them about the verse but, apparently it was too much work for them to tell me, because none ever responded. So I figured what the heck, it's only a few bucks, and I bought the magazine. (What can I say? I'm a sucker for green linen...!)

The magazine has a nice feature on the Scarlet Letter company. It's simplistic to call this sampler "the Scarlet Letter sampler" because it's only one of their many, many reproduction samplers. It is actually the "Chloe Jenkins 1814 Sampler."

Here's a better picture of the text:

And here's a picture of the sampler done on white or cream linen. I think I prefer the green.

Verse reads (and includes many misspellings):
Chloe Jenkins was born in Scituate March the 6th 1802 This done in the
13th year of my age and in the year of our Lord 1814 (note: how is this possible? Wouldn’t she either be 12 years old or wouldn’t it have to be 1815??)

When Death transfers me to the dust
May I be numberd with the Just
My soul assend to worlds of blifs
Where dwells immortal happinefs
See here I leave my name behind
Forgetful mortals to remind
That once I live’d

But can I hope this slender webb
Entwind with party coulourd thread
When bronze or deep cut marle bust
With time is crumbling back to dust
Will give me life nay but to live
I must to tame a trumpet give
With virtue tun’d (???)

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