expressions of piety

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Thu Feb 2 22:00:36 UTC 2006

        [3 young men had "been to the Allen street church to see the fun" on
New Year's Eve]
Magistrate. -- A pretty place indeed to go after fun! -- What sort of
fun did you see there?
Pris. -- [We heard] several curious kind of expressions made bags of fun
for us.
Mag. -- What were those "curious expressions?"
Pris. -- (laughing) -- One old lady said she felt as happy as a singed
cat.  (laughter)
Mag. -- (biting his lips) -- Well, what then?
Pris. -- An old man declared he felt as sleek as a wax candle.  And
another prayed the Lord to grease the axle-tree of the congregation with
the tar of righteousness.  O, your honor's own self would have died
laughing, had you been there.  (much laughter)
        The Sun, January 2, 1834, p. 2, col. 2


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.

The American Dialect Society -

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