[A1] "City Police," Spirit of the Times, Jan. 5, 1842: Rosanna Strapple

Reported for the Spirit of the Times.


City Police — Tuesday, January 4 — I have a notion to collect my reports into a volume, to be called "Tony Blink's Class Book, No. 1," for the use of schools; especially boarding schools, where the female sex is educated. Nothing affects young minds like truthful narratives, showing how naughty people are punished. If I should carry out this plan,—I shall admonish the young buds and blossoms of womanhood against a fondness for fine clothes, which is about as bad a propensity as a girl can have. She had better wear no clothes at all, than to be always striving to dress beyond her means. But what's the use of making abstract speculations, when we have living examples?

Rosanna Strapple, a fresh heath-flower from the State of Delaware, came to this city several weeks ago in a domestic cotton gown, plaid shawl, and gingham bonnet. She obtained a situation of some sort in the family of an old bachelor, living in Filbert Street; and, for a month or so, gave great satisfaction to her employer. But the times change and we change with them:—old Square-toes began to get husky and crusty toward the damsel, merely because some small articles of trifling importance, such as silver spoons, sauce-pans, satin vest, spectacles, pencil-cases and such like knick-knacks thought proper to make themselves scarce. In the meanwhile, Rosanna's cotton frock, plaid shawl, &c, had disappeared and were replaced with articles much more costly and handsome. This showed that the girl was acquiring the refined notion of civilized life and was in the high road to celebrity—like many others who do things in a similar way, but have the art to take better care of their own safety. At length a cloak valued at sixty dollars, took a notion to sneak off unceremoniously, and the same evening Miss Rosy, "dressed to death," as the saying is, showed out in the second tier of Burton's theatre, having treated herself and another young lady to a ticket each. In walked a constable at the end of the second act. And arrested Miss R., scared her a little and made her acknowledge that the cloak was "spouted" in South street. Thither they went and recovered it. Poor Rosy was committed to answer for the larceny. Young ladies should not steal old bachelors' cloaks, vests, nor pantaloons; and the less they have to do in any way with the crabbed, crustaceous old animals, the better. Scarcely one of them knows how to take a joke, even from a lady!

Mrs. Maria Davis is not light-fingered, like Rosanna, but rather too heavy-handed with a certain blue case-bottle she keeps in her cup-board at home. If she would stay within doors and sleep it off, as a lady should do, all would work smoothly enough. But as soon as she begins to feel happy, she is seized with a benevolent wish to go abroad and communicate her delightful emotions to others. Unhappily, she met with no sympathetic good feeling on the part of the persons she encountered in the streets, but was locked up apart from all her soul held dear—namely, the case-bottle just mentioned, and her two children.

Both these examples would be potent with juvenile females, say from 15 to 18 years of age. I have studied their nature considerably, and know what they like, and what's good for them. Toney Blink.

[ . . .]

Mayor Scott, yesterday morning, committed Rosan the Staffle, a handsome Delaware girl, for stealing a splendid blue cloth Spanish cloak, worth $60, from No. 14 Filbert street—and, the Reporter had liked to have forgotten to mention, pawning the same for eight dollars, at an establishment kept by Joseph P. Donnelly, No. 352 South street, who was arrested and bound over by the Mayor on a charge of receiving the cloak, knowing it to be stolen.