Because You’re Rich and I’m Poor

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A soppy middle-aged man woos a girl as her parents watch the scene from behind a door
Sir, since it is the wish of my parents... || Since you're rich and I'm poor...

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The Getty Research Institute, the Internet Archive

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Description

A bald and soppy middle-aged man woos a much younger girl sitting with some needlework in her lap as her delighted parents watch the scene from behind a door.
This series relies, for its comic effect, on the fact that people, sometimes, do not quite mean what they say. The first part of the caption is what the characters actually say, the second is what they really think.

The caption reads in the original French: Monsieur, puisque c’est la volonté de mes parents… || Puisque vous êtes riche et que je suis pauvre…

This book is missing all the usual markers of regular book publishing: it has no title page, no author’s or artist’s name, no publication date, no colophon. It is made of a consistent series of thirty hand-colored and numbered lithographs sorted in ascending order, followed by the publisher’s catalog. It seems possible that they were privately bound together on behalf of Caroline Janetta, Countess of Essex (whose bookplate can be found on the inside cover), but never publicly released in book form. The date we mention (which applies only to the lithographs: the catalog was printed at a later date) is informed by the publisher’s address, which changed during the course of 1841.

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