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The Propriety of Pauline

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Author: Leonard Merrick
Published: 1906
Language: English
Wordcount: 3,577 / 11 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 75.8
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 465
Added to site: 2010.01.20 26396
Genres: Short Story, Humor

any. The young men's voices sawed her nerves, and the apparel of the young women set her teeth on edge. Almost she would have preferred elbow sleeves to virtuous garments that were so hideous. The negro waiters--ungloved in Illinois Street--clattered the crockery as freely as if the supper-table had been a sink; and when she sent away her plate, a black hand tossed her knife and fork back to her, to be retained for the next course.

"We shall get hardened in time," whispered Gardiner cheerfully, observing her despondence; "buck up!"

After supper some of the company adjourned to the parlor, where one of the young women strummed a selection from "The Belle of New York"--and Pauline spent the evening weeping in her bedroom.

She went to see her parents on the morrow, and proposed that her father should take Barry into partnership.

"The place is impossible," she explained; "we cannot hope to exist on twenty dollars a week! I think the least you might do, papa, is to pay Barry five thousa

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3 from 2 reviews: ***

Although the short story had a great dialogue, the story seems to imply that if a woman gets notions in her head of some kind of societal improvement league (seen silly by the men), all a man has to do is threaten her money supply and she'll behave nicely.


A short and lighthearted story of what happens when lofty morals meet low income. Enjoyable bit of puffery.



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