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B. P. Shillaber-" Mrs. Partington "
"DISEASES is very various," said Mrs. Partington, as she returned from a street-door conversation with Doctor Bolus. "The Doctor tells me that poor old Mrs. Haze has got two buckles on her lungs! It is dreadful to think of, I declare. The diseases is so various! One way we hear of people's dying of hermitage of the lungs; another way, of the brown creatures; here they tell us of the elementary canal being out of order, and there about tonsors of the throat; here we hear of neurology in the head, there, of an embargo; one side of us we hear of men being killed by getting a pound of tough beef in the sarcofagus, and there another kills himself by discovering his jocular vein. Things change so that I declare I don't know how to subscribe for any diseases nowadays. New names and new nostrils takes the place of the old, and I might as well throw my old herb-bag away."
Fifteen minutes afterward Isaac had that herb-bag for a target, and broke three squares of glass in the cellar window in trying to hit it, before the old lady knew what he was about. She didn't mean exactly what she said.
"So our neighbor, Mr. Guzzle, has been arranged at the bar for drunkardice," said Mrs. Partington; and she sighed as she thought of his wife and children at home, with the cold
weather close at hand, and the searching winds intruding through the chinks in the windows, and waving the tattered curtain like a banner, where the little ones stood shivering by the faint embers. "God forgive him, and pity them!" said she, in a tone of voice tremulous with emotion.
"But he was bailed out," said Ike, who had devoured the residue of the paragraph, and laid the paper in a pan of liquid custard that the dame was preparing for Thanksgiving, and sat swinging the oven door to and fro as if to fan the fire that crackled and blazed within.
"Bailed out, was he?" said she; "well, I should think it would have been cheaper to have pumped him out, for, when our cellar was filled, arter the city fathers had degraded the street, we had to have it pumped out, though there wasn't half so much in it as he has swilled down."
She paused and reached up on the high shelves of the closet for her pie-plates, while Ike busied himself in tasting the various preparations. The dame thought that was the smallest quart of sweet cider she had ever seen.
Seeking a Comet
It was with an anxious feeling that Mrs. Partington, having smoked her specs, directed her gaze toward the western sky, in quest of the tailless comet of 1850.
"I can't see it," said she; and a shade of vexation was perceptible in the tone of her voice. "I don't think much of this explanatory system," continued she, "that they praise so, where the stars are mixed up so that I can't tell Jew Peter from Satan, nor the consternation of the Great Bear from the man in
the moon. comet at all. Who ever heard of a comet without a tail, I should like to know? It isn't natural; but the printers will make a tale for it fast enough, for they are always getting up comical stories.”
'Tis all dark to me. I don't believe there is any
With a complaint about the falling dew, and a slight murmur of disappointment, the dame disappeared behind the deal door like the moon behind a cloud.
Going to California
"DEAR me!" exclaimed Mrs. Partington sorrowfully, "how much a man will bear, and how far he will go, to get the soddered dross, as Parson Martin called it when he refused the beggar a sixpence for fear it might lead him into extravagance! Everybody is going to California and Chagrin arter gold. Cousin Jones and the three Smiths have gone; and Mr. Chip, the carpenter, has left his wife and seven children and a blessed old mother-in-law, to seek his fortin, too. This is the strangest yet, and I don't see how he could have done it; it looks so ongrateful to treat Heaven's blessings so lightly. But there, we are told that the love of money is the root of all evil, and how true it is! for they are now rooting arter it, like pigs arter ground-nuts. Why, it is a perfect money mania among everybody!"
And she shook her head doubtingly, as she pensively watched a small mug of cider, with an apple in it, simmering by the winter fire. She was somewhat fond of a drink made in this way.