Mrs. Partington we have depicted is no fancy
sketch, and no Malaprop imitation, as some have
thought who saw in it naught but distorted words
and queer sentences. We need no appeal to
establish this fact. Mrs. Partington is seen
everywhere, and as often without the specs and
cap as with them."
her childhood up, displayed in many ways. Her benev-
volence got far in advance of her grammar in her early
days, and in her sayings at times are detected certain
inaccuracies that some people are inclined to laugh at;
but if they will stop a little and see the yellow kernels
of wisdom gleaming out through the thickly-surrounding
verbiage, they will raise their hats in grateful respect for
the bounty afforded."
of her life, developing itself in a thousand and more
ways. It sought to make every one around her happy.
She commenced taking snuff with an eye solely to its
social tendencies, and her box was a continual offering
to friendship. When the "last war" broke out, she
headed a volunteer list of patriotic women to make shirts
for the soldiers, and gave them encouragement and
souchong tea to work for the brave men that were exposing
themselves to peril; and she scraped Paul's only linen
shirt -- an heir-loom, by the way, in the family -- up into
lint for the wounded soldiers. A fitting spouse was she
for Corporal Paul. Her reputation for benevolence was
spread all over the land, like butter upon a hot Johnny-
cake of her own baking, and her currant-wine for the sick
got a premium for three successive years in the cattle fair."
"Says Mrs. Part'nton, says she, `Mrs. Battle,' she
always calls me Battle, though my name is Battlegash
-- my husband's name, and his father's -- says she, `Mrs.
Battle, I 've seen an apprehension;' and I thought she
was agoing to have an asterisk, she was so very pale and
haggard like; and says I, `What's the matter?' for I felt
kind of skeered. I had heered a good deal about the
spirituous manifestations, and did n't know but they had
been a manifesting her. Says I, `What's the matter,' agin,
and then says she, as solum as a grave-yard, `I 've seen
Paul!' I felt cold chills a crawlin all over me, but I
mustard courage enough to say, `Do tell!' `Yes,' says
she, `I saw him with my mortal eyes, just as he looked
when he was a tenement of clay, with the very soger
clo'es and impertinences he had on the last day he sarved
his country in the auxillary.'
The Life and Sayings of Mrs Partington and Others of the Family, Edited by BP Shillaber 1854, is online as part of the University of Virginia Library Early American Fiction Series. They give no information about the detailed lithographs. It's quite hypnotic getting into the rhythm of the prose.