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Punchinello, Volume 2, No. 32, November 5, 1870

by Various

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Miss CARROWTHERS having gone out with Mrs. SKAMMERHORN to skirmish with the world of dry-goods clerks for one of those alarming sacrifices in feminine apparel which woman unselfishly, yet never needlessly, is always making, FLORA sat alone in her new home, working the latest beaded pin-cushion of her useful life. Frequently experiencing the truth of the adage, that as you sew so shall you rip, the fair young thing was passing half her valuable time in ripping out the mistaken stitches she had made in the other half; and the severe moral discipline thus endured, made her mad, as equivalent vexation would have made a man the reverse of that word. Flippant social satirists cannot dwell with sufficient sarcasm upon the difference between the invincible amiability affected by artless girls in society and their occasional bitterness of aspect in the privacy of home; never stopping to reflect that there are sore private trials for these industrious young crochet creatures in which the thread of the most equable female existence is necessarily worsted. Miss POTTS, then, although looking up from her trying worsted occupation at the servant who entered with a rather snappish expression of countenance, was guilty of no particularly hypocritical assumption in at once suffering her features to relax into a sweetly pensive smile upon learning that there was a gentleman to see her in the parlor.

"'MONTGOMERY PENDRAGON,'" she softly read from the card presented. "Is he alone, BRIDGET, dear?"

"Sorra any wan with him but his cane, Miss; and that he axed me wud I sthand it behind the dure for him."

There was a look of desperate purpose about this. When a sentimental young man seeks a private interview with a marriageable young woman, and recklessly refuses at the outset to retain at least his cane for the solution of the intricate conversational problem of what to do with his hands, it is an infallible sign that some madly rash intention has temporarily overpowered his usual sheepish imbecility, and that he may be expected to speak and act with almost human intelligence.

With hand instinctively pressed upon her heart, to moderate its too sanguine pulsations and show the delicate lace around her cuffs, FLORA shyly entered the parlor, and surprised Mr. PENDRAGON striding up and down the apartment like one of the more comic of the tragic actors of the day.

"Miss POTTS!" ejaculated the wild young Southern pedestrian, pausing suddenly at her approach, with considerable excitement of manner, "scorn me, spurn me, if you will; but do not let sectional embitterment blind you to the fact that I am here by the request of Mr DIBBLE."

"I wasn't scorning and spurning anybody," explained the startled orphan, coyly accepting the chair he pushed forward. "I'm sure I don't feel any sectional hatred, nor any other ridiculous thing."

"Forgive me!" pleaded MONTGOMERY. "I reckon I'm a heap too sensitive about my Southern birth; but only think, Miss POTTS, what I've had to go through since I've been amongst you Yankees!...