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"It is an ill wind", says the age-old proverb, "which blows nobody good," and the Vagabond was once again struck with the truth of the words when, in the course of his daily perigrinations he came upon a most diverting bit of comment. Curiously enough, it was dated FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, Washington, Stipulation No. 339; and was in brief an agreement to prohibit the printing of fraudulent advertising.
Not, indeed, it would seem at first glance, a subject pregnant with merriment. But the Vagabond, true to his nature, attacked the material--and found it with few exceptions pure gold, a few nuggets of which he will give his readers. For example, the description of some of the advertisements: "The said magazine contained a certain advertisement under the following caption: Gland Glad, Papa's Silent Partner. The aforesaid advertisements represented that the use of its product 'Brings quick animation, ready response, lingering satisfaction. If your vitality is low gladden your glands... Be a he-man'; when in truth and in fact the aforesaid representations were exaggerated and in excess of probable accomplishment".
But, perhaps, the most diverting section is that dealing with another class of advertisements. To quote again: "Under the classified caption. 'Matrimonial' numerous advertisements appeared containing the following representations: under the caption 'Would you marry? Our plan You win We win' the following appeared: 'Thousands of happy clients'. Under the caption 'America's Leading High Class Correspondence Institution' the following representation appeared: 'Ladies worth $75,000., $100,000., $200,000., $300,000. Quick results positively guaranteed'. Under the caption 'Try me first, Pay when married' appeared the name and address of the advertiser... Under the caption 'Wife guaranteed in six months' the following representation appeared: 'Personal Service, Quick Results'..."
And finally a suitable and particularly sparkling jewel sets off the whole list when the agreement sums up, saying that these advertisements were published "when in truth and in fact the aforesaid captions and the representations and statements, as set forth in the aforesaid advertisements were in many instances not founded in truth and were otherwise misleading and confusing, and some of the aforeseaid representations as set forth in advertisements and advertising matter were beyond the probability of accomplishment."
In all truth it is, indeed, but rarely that the Vagabond has the good fortune to encounter humor of this type: certainly it would scarcely be appropriate for example in the echoing halls where a bronze Emerson stares through the dusky gloom. And, lest some should say that he has descended wholly from the "quality group" literarily or intellectually he will hasten to suggest the following lectures to those whom let us say the spring, has made less frivolously minded.
"Thought", Professor Boring, Emerson D.
"American Drama since 1830", Professor Murdock, Harvard 2.
"Refraction and Speed of Light", Professor Black, Jefferson Laboratory 1.
"Hormones", Professor Crozier, Zoological Laboratory 46.
"Embryology of Animals", Dr. Parker, Geology Lecture Room.
"John Rubyan", Mr. McLane, Sever 1S.
"Problems of the State Civil Service", Mr. E.HGoodwin, Harvard 6.
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