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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

Benjamin Penhallow Shillaber (1814–1890)

Mrs. Partington in Court

From “Life and Sayings of Mrs. Partington”

“I TOOK my knitting-work and went up into the gallery,” said Mrs. Partington, the day after visiting one of the city courts; “I went up into the gallery, and after I had adjusted my specs, I looked down into the room, but I couldn’t see any courting going on. An old gentleman seemed to be asking a good many impertinent questions—just like some old folks—and people were sitting around making minutes of the conversation. I don’t see how they made out what was said, for they all told different stories. How much easier it would be to get along if they were all made to tell the same story! What a sight of trouble it would save the lawyers! The case, as they call it, was given to the jury, but I couldn’t see it, and a gentleman with a long pole was made to swear that he’d keep an eye on ’em, and see that they didn’t run away with it. Bimeby in they came again, and they said somebody was guilty of something, who had just said he was innocent, and didn’t know nothing about it no more than the little baby that had never subsistence. I come away soon afterward; but I couldn’t help thinking how trying it must be to sit there all day, shut out from the blessed air!”