Ch. 42: Beelzebub in America -- bosom friends

  Message #37529 of 37531

Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:45 am   

"Out in the fields Elizabeth
happened to see not far off
a certain quadruped animal
called a 'bull,' and not
wishing her bosom friend,
Mary, to miss seeing this
dear animal, she shouted,

'Mary! Mary! Look,
there's a bull!'

"No sooner had she
uttered the word 'bull'
than all the what are
called mistresses
swarmed around
this poor Elizabeth,
vehemently upbraiding

"'How dare you utter
the word "bull"! Don't
you know that that quadruped
animal occupies itself with
what no well-brought-up
person would on any
account speak of,
still less a pupil
of such a genteel
institute as ours?'

"While the mistresses
were berating this poor
Elizabeth, all the pupils
of the institute gathered
around them, and the
headmistress herself
came up and, having
learned what it was
all about, began in
her turn to castigate

'Shame on you!' she cried,
'Using a word considered so
very, very indecent.'

"At last Elizabeth could
contain herself no longer
and, bursting into tears,
she asked:

'But what should I have
called that quadruped
animal if it actually
is a bull?'

"'The word you have used
for that animal,' said the
headmistress, 'is what
the riffraff call it.
But you, since you are
here in the institute,
are no longer one of
the riffraff, so you
should always find
out how to call
indecent things
by names that do
not sound indecent
to the ear.

'For instance, when you
saw that indecent animal
and wanted your friend to
look at it, you should have

"Look, Mary, there
goes a beefsteak,"


"Mary, look, there goes
something that is very
good to eat when we are
hungry," and so forth.

"All this made poor Elizabeth
so distraughtó-especially as
she was being reprimanded in
the presence of all her friendsó-
that she could contain herself
no longer, and cried out with
all her might.

"'Oh, you wretched old maids!
Striped hobgoblins! Spawn of
deepest hell! Just because I
called a thing by its name,