[A14] "City Police," Spirit of the Times, April 9, 1842: A Curious Instance of Masquerading

Reported for the Spirit of the Times.

City Police.

Friday, April 8, 1842.

A Curious Instance of Masquerading.

            Miss Judith McMinn is the name owned by a nice tidy Irish lass, who does the work in a respectable family at the corner of Tenth street and Farnes' Court.  Miss Judith's property lies in two calico frocks, a pair of black eyes, rosy cheeks and lips, two mousseline de laines, a swelling bust, a black silk gown, with an enormous blue red shawl; and it must be confessed that Miss McMinn makes the best use of her property.  She has also two strings to her bow, or two beaux to her string, just as the reader likes; and last night, one of these beaux or strings, in the shape of a Market street clerk, dropped in to see Miss Judith in the kitchen, and it may be as well to observe that they had it all to themselves, for the family had gone out to church, and so on.

After Miss Judith had satiated her eyes with a fond view of Mr. Charles C. Stubb's blue coat, metal buttons, blue check pants and flashy vest, as well as his smooth features, black neckerchief, you must know that she observed a curious thickness in her sweetheart's tongue, as well as a bobbing of the head, and profane winking of the eyes.

"It's slewed he is," she observed to herself, and at that instant Mr. Charles Carlton Stubbs dropped fast asleep, with his legs extended horizontally, his body resting in a fearful slope on the chair, and his hands dropped listlessly by his side, while a curious noise emanated from his nostrils, like the creaking of a rheumatic barn door.

"It's grunting and snorting ye are darlint," said Miss McMinn; "but it's beautiful conduct in a leddy's kitchen, ye nicely dressed piece of corned pork, ye!  Och, I wonther where Dennis O'Donnell is!  Ochone!"

At that instant a step was heard, and the next instant Miss Judith received a smack on the lips—of course—and then a stout built Irishman, with a sunburnt face, and in the coarse roundabout of a hostler, stood before her.  This was the other string to Miss Judith's bow.

He looked at Miss Judy, then at the sleeping Clerk—"Aha, it's nice, we'll fix him off, Judy darlint-Och, be jabers, how the bull-calf snores!"

Then Dennis winked at Miss Judy, some whispering took place, and—

It might have been after the lapse of a quarter of an hour, that a respectably dressed working woman, in an old white leghorn bonnet, and calico frock, with a bucket on her arm and a white-wash brush in her hand, emerged from the gate of the house in which Miss McMinn does the work—and came along Farnes court, toward Tenth street, where a watchman was standing.

"There's old Missus Hubbs, that goes out white-washing," he exclaimed.  "It's a fine night Missus Hubbs.  How's business with you?  Eh?  You're out rather late, Missus Hubbs?"

"Who the d—l are yo' talkin' to?" replied the lady waving her white-wash brush, and she slapped her bucket down on the pavement, "Do you want anything?" she continued, squaring off.  "Say the word you sir, say the word."

"Well if that ain't good! You're a purty church going woman, Missus Hubbs! You go to meeting—you talk to me of morality! Pooh! You're drunk, Missus Hubbs!"

"Don't be callin' me Hubbs—I'm—I'm."

"Come pick up your bucket; be off with you!"

"Bucket, indeed!  It's as beautiful a piece of silk westins—I'll give it to you—with the yard stick—(waving brush) ee-cup!"

With that Missus Hubbs made a circuit round the pavement from the corner of the house to the lamp-post.  The watchman seized her, brought her to the lamp, and discovered a—nice young man, with his face streaked with charcoal, and as drunk as a crazy comet, which goes about the air setting clouds on fire, and kicking up a considerable row among the moon folks.

Charles Carlton Stubbs—the victim of Dennis and his sweetheart's cruelty—spent the night in the watch house, paid for the use of "Misses Hubbs'" working dress, which had been left in the kitchen over night by the lady herself—and got off with a reprimand.

Moral.  (Make one for yourself.)

Thomas Turner.  Overgrown boy in a check shirt. Had been begging checks at the door of the Walnut St. Theatre.  Discharged.  Why?  Mayor said the theatres must take care of their own checks, bars, and the consequent blackguardism.

Billy Brier.