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Borrowed Finery; Or, Killed Off By A Ballet Girl
by [?]

Shakspeare has written–“let him that’s robbed–not wanting what is stolen, not know it, and he’s not robbed at all! ” Now this fact often becomes very apparent, especially so in the case of Mrs. Pompaliner,–a lady of whom we have had occasion to speak before, the same who sent Mrs. Brown, the washerwomen, sundry boxes of perfume to mix in her suds, while washing the pyramids of dimity and things of Mrs. P. There never was a lady–no member of the sex, that ever suffered more, from dread of contagion, fear of dirt, and the contamination of other people, than Mrs. Pompaliner.

“Olivia,” said she, one morning, to one of her waiting maids, for Mrs. Pompaliner kept three, alternating them upon the principle of varying her handkerchiefs, gloves and linen, as they–in her double-distilled refined idea of things, became soiled by use, from time to time. “Olivia, come here–Jessamine, you can leave:” she was so intent upon odor and nature’s purest loveliness, that she either sought sweet-scented cognomened waiting-maids, or nick-named them up to the fanciful standard of her own.

“Olivia, here, take this handkerchief away, take the horrid thing away. I believe my soul somebody has touched it after it was ironed. Do take it away,” and the poor victim of concentrated, double extract of human extravagance, almost fainted and fell back upon her lounge, in a fit of abhorrence at the idea of her mouchoir being touched, tossed, or opened, after it entered her camphorated drawers in her highly-perfumed boudoir.


“Yes’m,” was the response of the fine, ruddy, and wholesome looking maid.

“Olivia, put on your gloves.”


“Go down to Mrs. Brown’s,” she faintly says–“tell her to come here this very day.”



“Yes’m,” replied the fine-eyed, real woman.

“Got your gloves on?”


“Well, take this key, go to my boudoir, in the fifth drawer of my papier mache black bureau, you will find a case of handkerchiefs.”


“Take out three, yes, four, close the case, lock the drawer, close the boudoir door, and bring down the handkerchiefs upon my rosewood tray. Do you comprehend, Olivia?”

“Yes’m,” said the girl.

“But come here; let me see your hands. O, horror! such gloves! touch my handkerchiefs or bureau drawers with those horrid gloves! Poison me!” cries the terrified woman.

“Olivia,” she again ejaculates, after a moment’s pause, from overtasked nature!

“Yes’m,” the blushing, tickled blonde replies.

“Go call Vanilla, you are quite soiled now. I want a fresh servant, retire.”

“Ah, Vanilla, girl, have you got your gloves on?”

“Yes’m,” the yellow girl modestly answers.

“Then do go and bring me six handkerchiefs from my boudoir, in the fifth drawer of my black papier mache bureau. Let me see your gloves, dear.

“Ah, Vanilla, you are to be depended upon; your gloves are clean–now run along, dear, for I’m suffering for a fresh, new, and untouched handkerchief.

“Ah, that’s well. Now, Vanilla, go to Mrs. Brown’s, my laundress–say that I wish her to come here, immediately.”

“Yes’m,” says the bright quadroon, and away she spins for the domicil of democratic Mrs. Brown, the laundress.

“Now what’s up, I’d like to know?” quoth the old woman.

“Dunno, missus wants to see you–guess you better come,” says Vanilla.

“Deuce take sich fussy people,” says Mrs. Brown; “I wouldn’t railly put up with all her dern’d nonsense, ef she wa’n’t so poorly, so weak in her mind and body, and so good about paying for her work. No, I declare I wouldn’t,” said the strong-minded woman.

“Bring the creature up,” said Mrs. Pompaliner, as one of her fresh attendants announced the washerwoman.

“Ah, you are here?”

“Yes,” said the fat, hardy, and independent, if awkward, Mrs. Brown, as she stood in the august presence of Mrs. Pompaliner, and the gorgeous trappings of her own private drawing-room.

“Yes, I believe I am, ma’am!” says the she-democrat.