Posts Tagged ‘Age’

The Census Taker and the “Young” Widow

January 28, 2009
The Census Taker

The Census Taker

The Young Widow.

A census-taker, going his round, stopped at an elegant brick dwelling-house, the exact locality of which is no business of ours.

He was received by a stiff, well dressed lady, who could be well recognized as a widow of some years’ standing.

On learning the mission of her visitor, the lady invited him to take a seat in the hall. Having arranged himself into a working position, he inquired for the number of persons in the family of the lady.

“Eight, sir,” replied the lady, “including myself.”

“Very well — your age, madam?”

“My age, sir,” replied the lady with a piercing, dignified look, “I conceive it’s none of your business what my age might be; you are inquisitive, sir.”

“The law compels me, madam, to take the age of every person in the ward; it’s my duty to make the inquiry.”

“Well, if the law compels me to answer, I am between the age of thirty and forty.”

“I presume that means thirty-five.”

“No, sir, it means no such thing — I am only thirty-three years of age.”

“Very well, madam,” putting down the figures; “just as you say. Now for the ages of the children, commencing with the youngest, if you please.”

“Josephine, my youngest, is ten years of age.”

“Josephine — pretty name — ten.”

“Minerva, was twelve last week.”

“Minerva — captivating — twelve.”

“Cleopatra Elvira has just turned fifteen.”

“Angelina is eighteen, sir; just eighteen.”

“Angelina — favorite name — eighteen.”

“My eldest and only married daughter, sir, Anna Sophia, is a little over twenty-five.”

“Twenty-five did you say?”

“Yes, sir. Is there anything remarkable in her being that age?”

“Well, no, I can’t say that there is; but is it not remarkable that you should be her mother when you were only eight years of age.

About that time the census taker was observed running out of the house — why, we cannot say, it was the last time he pressed a lady to give her exact age.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Sep 2,  1871