PAUL PRY?

A busybody he was-but an amiable busybody. The general term Paul Pry, however, refers to any inquisitive and meddling person, whatever his or her motive may be. The character occurs in " Paul Pry," a comedy by John Poole. " I hope I don't intrude," was Paul Pry's favourite phrase, but despite this pious hope, his whole life was a constant intrusion. He had a sheer genius for thrusting himself into other people's affairs; the reason being that he seemed to have none of his own which called for his attention. With a bland smile on his face he would walk into the most intimate tete-a-tete, always waving a deprecating hand and hoping that he did not intrude. He was as familiar with the scandal and gossip of the town as a duck is familiar with water, and by the time his imagination had worked upon it the scandal would assume terrific dimensions. There is one thing, and one thing alone, which can be said in favour of this meddlesome busybody-he never made use of his propensities to harm his neighbours. !