Punchinello, Volume 1, No. 16, July 16, 1870

One morning, in a stage,
She rode to STEWART’S store—
A young man soon got in,
And sat down near the door.

Then, leaning towards the man,
While passengers did stare,
She smiling said, “Good sir,
Shall I pass up your fare?”

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The young man started back
As if he had been shot.
Said he, “This dollar bill?
I think I’d rather not!”

The poor girl sat abashed,
While every one began
To have suspicions of
This female gentleman.

One morning, hast’ning home,
It rained—to her regret,
And just before her walked
A young man getting wet.

She stepped up to him quick,
And said, with courtesy rare,
“It’s raining, sir; will you
My large umbrella share?”

The young man sprang aside,
Beneath a leaky spout;
The water from his clothes
Ran like a stream for trout.

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His hand upon his watch
He clapped, and cried, “Don’t stop!
Just travel on, I say,
Or I shall call a ‘cop!'”

This sort of thing she tried
In many such a case;
But every time she met
Deplorable disgrace.

At last she said, “Oh, ho!
My plan it is no use;
When I politeness show
I always get abuse.

The day is yet to come
When female courtesy
Is wanted by the men;
No more of it for me!”

She straight sought SUSAN A.,
And joined her haughty clan
And tried no more to be
A female gentleman.

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DEAR PUNCHINELLO: Having been appointed by the Committee of the “American Universal Protection Society,” of which you are chairman, to call upon our honored Secretary of State, with the view of obtaining protection for the interests of our merchants who are now endeavoring to create a trade in ant-eaters with the inhabitants of the Chickadiddle Islands in the South Sea, I have the honor to submit the following synopsis of what took place at the interview:

I found Mr. FISH in a state of partial exhaustion, owing to the unusual heat of the weather, and the perusal of a fresh batch of compliments forwarded to him by his particular friend in New York, the Hon. C. ANDERSON DANA.

Three negresses stood about him with palm-leaf fans, endeavoring to accelerate the movement of the atmosphere in the very close room to which the privacy of his feelings sometimes drives him. He was reclining upon a sofa when I entered, but immediately arose and motioned me to take a seat. I had scarcely occupied a comfortable looking stuffed back-piece of furniture, when a pricking sensation in the region of my coat-tails caused me to resume the perpendicular with amazing rapidity, and, upon looking down, I observed the point of a pin protruding through the cushion of the chair. The Secretary did not lose his gravity, but very heartily apologized for what he called the “little contretemps.” The smarting sensation made me a little lax in speech, so that I did not choose my words with that regard for the majesty of a Premier which I came there at first disposed to do. He listened to my recital of the application with perfect equanimity, until I mentioned the name of PUNCHINELLO. At this point he colored slightly, bit his nether lip, and exclaimed, with evident vexation:

“What! the editor of a sheet that has dared to speak of me as a “scaly” fellow, and hold my policy up to the laughter of the nation?”

“Pardon me, Mr. Secretary,” I interposed, with all the courtesy of manner I could muster, “but I think you mistake the motive of Mr. PUNCHINELLO in applying that description to a person so august.”

“Fire and fiddlesticks, sir! do you take me for a fool?”

I pressed my hand in the vicinity of the fifth rib on my left side, and solemnly asseverated that I did not.

“It makes no difference,” added the great man, in an excited tone. “I can entertain no application coming from such a quarter.”

“But will you permit me to explain what Mr. PUNCHINELLO intended by the epithet ‘scaly’? It was only his peculiar way of saying that an officer appointed to administer the responsible duties of your august office could not impartially do so without the ‘Scales’—of Justice.”

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