The Illustrated Answer to a 1770 Riddle

The page above is from a chapbook titled The Child’s New Year’s Gift published around the year 1770 that contained riddles for children. A chapbook was a cheap publication that folded up and sometimes consisted of only one sheet of paper. As such, there are only two original copies of this book surviving in libraries. This particular riddle is guaranteed to make kids laugh. In case you have a hard time reading the text, it says,

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Since the world first begun, I was never once seen,
Though everyone knows in their presence I’ve been.
No sooner I’m born than I give a loud cry,
And your noses inform you, I presently die.

The answer to this riddle is, of course, a fart. The picture added the provocative but unnecessary detail that the figure is farting toward a candle. One can imagine how this might have inspired children to try the dangerous deed.  -via Boing Boing and commenter allenk

Source: neatorama

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