"Excuse me, sir," he said at length, "I'm in a hurry."
"Well, what do you want?" asked the business man.
"But why the hurry?"
"Got to hurry," replied the lad briefly. "Left school yesterday, and haven't struck anything suitable yet. The only place where I can stay long is where they pay me for it."
"How much do you want?"
"Fifteen dollars a week for a start."
"And when can you come?"
"Don't need to come; I'm here. I could have been at work five minutes ago if you'd only said so."
BOSS (to new boy)—"You're the slowest youngster we've ever had. Aren't you quick at anything?"
BOY—"Yes, sir; nobody can get tired as quickly as I can."
A small boy went into a business office that displayed a sign, "Boy Wanted."
"What kind of a boy does youse want?" he asked of the manager.
"Why, a decent boy," said the manager. "One who is quick, doesn't swear, smoke cigarettes, whistle round the office, shoot craps—"
"Aw, gee, boss," interrupted the boy, "youse don't want a boy; youse wants a girl."
"How does your boy Josh like his job in the city?"
"First-rate," replied the father. "He knows more about the business than the man that owns it."
"Who told you that?"
"Josh did. All he's got to do now is to convince the boss of it, an' git promoted."
"Why, look here," said the merchant who was in need of a boy, "aren't you the same boy who was in here a week ago?"
"Yes, sir," said the applicant.
"I thought so. And didn't I tell you then that I wanted an older boy?"
"Yes, sir. That's why I'm back. I'm older now."
Mayor Mitchel of New York was talking at a dinner about office-seekers.
"A good man had just died," he said, "and with unseemly haste an office-seeker came after his job.
"Yes, sir, tho the dead man hadn't been buried, yet this office-seeker came to me and said, breathlessly:
"'Mr. Mayor, do you see any objection to my being put in poor Tom Smith's place?'
"'Why, no,' said I. 'Why, no, I see no objection, if the undertaker doesn't.'"
No matter how hard a man runs for office he is perfectly satisfied to win in a walk.
There is seldom a collision between the office seeking the man and the man seeking the office.
"There goes a fellow who chased around for years trying to land a political job."
"Well, what does he do now?"
"Nothing—he's got the job."
Uncle Mose aspired to the elective office of justice of the peace in the "black bottom" part of town. One bar there was to his preferment: he could neither read nor write. His master advised him to go to the commissioner of elections and ask whether he was eligible. Mose went and returned.
"What did he tell you, Mose?" inquired the master.
"It's all right, sah," answered Mose; "dat gen'lemun suttinly was kind, yas, suh. He tole me Ah was illegible fo' dat office."
OFFICER—"I ketched this here mut pinchin' bananas off a fruit-stand."
MAGISTRATE—"Aha! 'personating an officer! Two years."—Life.
COMMANDER—"What's his character apart from this leave-breaking?"
PETTY OFFICER—"Well, sir, this man 'e goes ashore when 'e likes; 'e comes off when 'e likes; 'e uses 'orrible language when 'e's spoken to; in fact, from 'is general be'avior, 'e might be a orficer!"—Punch.
PROFESSOR—"What! Forgotten your pencil again, Jones! What would you think of a soldier without a gun?"
JONES (an ex-service man)—"I'd think he was an officer."
"But didn't Opportunity ever knock at your door?"
"And you didn't answer it?"
"I? Of course not. What do you think the servants are for?"
Lazyman, Contentedman, and Busyman lived together in the same house. One day, when only Lazyman and Contentedman were at home, Opportunity knocked.
As Lazyman made not the slightest move to go to the door, Contentedman went and opened it.
"I am Opportunity," said the visitor, "and I have something very wonderful for you."
Lazyman yawned and said nothing.
Contentedman courteously explained that he was not interested, for the very good reason that he had everything he wanted.
"I believe Busyman also lives here," said Opportunity. "Where is he? I know he would be glad to see me."
"Indeed he would, but he's out. He's always busy running around. You're not the first Opportunity that he's missed. Opportunities have been knocking here regularly for years, but he's never at home. I tell him it doesn't pay to be so busy."
Opportunity walked away with dejected mien.—Life.
How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds, Makes ill deeds done!
A part of what we might term the optimist's philosophy is—If you can mend a situation mend it; if you can't mend it forget it.—Ralph Waldo Trine.
If your confidence needs buttressing, just stop for a moment and consider that this old world in which we have found such happiness has throughout the past ages been visited by every catastrophe of which the human mind can conceive, and from each of these dark periods it has emerged always and eternally a progressive world.
Finally, I say, cheer up. Let's look on the bright side rather than the dark side, and above all let us understand that there are no insurmountable obstacles standing in the path of our progress, that we are competent to solve the things that confront us, that they will be solved, and that humankind will be benefited by the virtue of our assuming an optimism in which we are fully justified.—Lewis L. Clark.
LANDLADY—"Just when are you going to pay your arrears of room rent?"
HARD-UP AUTHOR—"As soon as I receive the check which the publisher will send me if he accepts the novel I am about to commence when I have found a suitable subject and the necessary inspiration."
An optimist is anybody who thinks he can write a new humorous definition of an optimist or a pessimist. A pessimist is the same person after he has made a serious attempt to do so.
An optimist looks at an oyster and expects a pearl. A pessimist looks at an oyster and expects ptomaine poisoning.
THE OPTIMIST (who has just been struck by a passing motor-car)—"Glory be! If this isn't a piece o' luck! Sure, 'tis the docther himself that's in ut."—Punch.
"What's an optimist?"
"An optimist is a person who'll go into a restaurant without a cent in his pocket and figure on paying for the meal with the pearl he hopes to find in the oyster."
"An optimist is a man who cherishes vain hopes, and a pessimist a man who nurses vain regrets."
"And what is a man who does both?"
"Oh, he's just a plain ordinary human."
A certain little girl was discovered by her mother engaged in a spirited encounter with a small friend who had got considerably worsted in the engagement.
"Don't you know, dear," said the mother, "that it is very wicked to behave so? It was Satan that put it into your head to pull Elsie's hair."
"Well, perhaps it was," the child admitted, "but kicking her shins was entirely my own idea."
The ostrich is a foolish bird, With scarcely any mind, He often runs away so fast, He leaves himself behind.
And when he gets there, has to stand And wait around till night, Without a single thing to do, Until he comes in sight.
—Mary Wilkins Freeman.
"Do you think Mrs. Spinnix cheated at the ouija board?"
"I wouldn't go so far as to say she cheated," replied Miss Cayenne, "But I couldn't help noticing that it mispelled some of its words the same way she does."
Harry came home about five o'clock and his face and hands were very clean and his hair stood on end. His mother took one look and exclaimed: "Harry, I told you not to go swimmin' with Bob Ross."
"How do you know that I have been swimmin'?" asked Harry.
"Never mind who told me, but I know that you have been swimmin'," replied his mother.
After a while Harry said: "I'll just bet you anything that Mrs. Ross was over here this afternoon, and you and Mrs. Ross had that ouija board out."—Judge.
Breathlessly the spiritualistically inclined lady bent over the ouija spelling out the communications from her departed spouse.
"John, are you happy there?" she asked.
"Are you happier than you were on the earth."
"Ah," she breathed. "Heaven must be a wonderful place."
"I g-u-e-s-s s-o, b-u-t I-m n-o-t t-h-e-r-e y-e-t."
"Well," said Farmer Corntossel, "I reckon I've done a pretty good afternoon's work."
"But all you did," commented Jud Tunkins, contemptuously, "was to sit on the fence and whittle."
"Yes; but what I whittled up was the family ouija board."
When Ma Is Sick
When Ma is sick she pegs away; She's quiet, though; not much t' say. She goes right on a-doin' things, An' sometimes laughs and even sings. She says she don't feel extra well. But then it's just a kind o' spell. She'll be all right tomorrow sure, A good old sleep will be the cure. An' Pa he sniffs an' makes no kick, For women folks is always sick, An' Ma, she smiles, lets on she's glad— When Ma is sick it ain't so bad.
When Pa Is Sick When Pa is sick, he's scared to death, An' Ma an' us just holds our breath. He crawls in bed, an' puffs and grunts, And does all kinds of crazy stunts. He wants "Doc" Brown, an' mighty quick, For when Pa's ill he's mighty sick. He gasps and groans, an' sort o' sighs, He talks so queer, an' rolls his eyes. Ma jumps an' runs, an' all of us, An' all the house is in a fuss. An' peace and joy is mighty skeerce— When Pa is sick, it's something fierce.
"Come upstairs, and let me wash your hands," said mother, when she arrived with her little daughter for tea at granny's.
"I don't want to go up," wailed Winnie, aged four.
"Let her wash them down in the kitchen," called grand-mamma. "She can do it just as well."
"No," her mother said firmly. "I want her to come up with me!"
Winnie went upstairs as slowly as possible.
"Oh," said she, turning a wrathful tearful face to her mother, "Why don't you obey your mother?"
Three Children Three children sliding on the ice Upon a summer's day. As it fell out they all fell in, The rest they ran away. Now, had these children been at home, Or sliding on dry ground, Ten thousand pounds to one penny They had not all been drowned. You parents all that children have, And you too that have none, If you would have them safe abroad Pray keep them safe at home.
WILLIE—"I guess my dad must have been a pretty bad boy."
TOMMIE—"What makes you think that?"
WILLIE—"Because he knows exactly what questions to ask me when he wants to know what I have been doing."—Puck.
Daddy came home from the office early one evening and mother had not returned from some friends whom she had been visiting for tea.
Little four-year-old Gwennie ran up to her father's side. "Daddy," she cried, "I've been wanting to see you for a long time when mother's not near."
"Why, my little girl?" asked father.
"Well, dad," answered Gwennie, "please don't tell mother, because she's an awful dear, but I don't think she knows much about bringing up children."
"What makes you think that?" asked her father.
"Well," replied Gwennie, "she makes me go to bed when I am wide awake and she makes me get up when I am awfully sleepy."
BOBBY—"Daddy, look! There's an aeroplane."
ABSORBED DADDY—"Yes, dear—don't touch it."
"Mercy! How that bird swears!" exclaimed the would-be purchaser. "What would my husband say?"
"I dunno, ma'am," replied the dealer. "But whatever it was this 'ere parrot could repeat it right over after him."
OLD LADY—"I want you to change that parrot I bought from you—he doesn't speak at all, and you said he'd repeat every word he heard."
SHOPMAN—"Yes, madam, and so he would—but you took him in such a hurry that I hadn't time to tell you he was deaf."
A.E. Clark, editor of The City Bulletin, of Columbus, Ohio, was with a friend who was campaigning for the Red Cross. The friend knocked at a door and a voice said, "Come in."
His friend tried the door, then shouted, "It's locked!"
"Come in," repeated the voice, and the campaigner replied:
At that point a woman put her head out of a window next door and said:
"There's no one at home. You're talking to the parrot."
The partners of a well-known Stock Exchange house were having a dinner conference at an uptown hotel. One of them appeared worried during the progress of the meal, and finally he was queried as to the cause of his fit of abstraction.
"I just happened to remember that I neglected to lock the safe before I left the office," he replied.
"Why worry?" said another member of the firm. "We are all here."
"I'll clean th' snow off yer walk for a quarter."
"Why, I just paid a quarter to have it cleaned."
"Tain't half done."
"Come, come, that isn't a nice way to abuse a fellow worker."
"Oh, dat's all right—he's me pardner."
A bright German gentleman, retired from business, relates the following little anecdote:
"Going down to New York the other night on the boat," said he, "I got chatting with a German acquaintance, and asked him what he was doing.
"'Veil', he replied, 'shoost now I am doing nodings, but I have made arrangements to go into pizness.'
"'Glad to hear it. What are you going into?'
"'Veil, I guess into partnership mit a man.'
"'Do you put in much capital?'
"'No; I doesn't put in no gabital.'
"'Don't want to risk it, eh?'
"'No; but I puts in de experience.'
"'And he puts in the capital?'
"'Yes, dot is it. We goes into pizness for dree year; he puts in de gabital, I puts in de experience. At the end of de dree year I will have de gabital, and he will have de experience!'"
"Why were all the nations fighting, papa?"
"To make the world safe for democracy, my son."
"Is the world safe for democracy now, papa?"
"It will be, when we have peace."
"When will we have peace, papa?"
"When the world is safe for democracy."
"Will the nations always fight to have peace, papa?"
"Yes, always, my son."
A certain people were much given to deploring war. War, they kept insisting, was poor business.
Their King heard them, but he didn't take them seriously. The very first chance he got he picked a quarrel with a neighboring Power, and, that done, he lifted up his voice in the old way.
"The fatherland is in danger!" he cried. "The honor of the nation is assailed! My children, be patriots!"
But they couldn't see him. "Not on your life!" they made answer. "You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can not fool all the people all the time!"
Whereupon the King made haste to patch up his quarrel and was very careful forever after not to pick another.
This fable teaches that we have still some distance to go before universal peace can be anything but a joke.
"You know," said the lady whose motor-car had run down a man, "you must have been walking very carelessly. I am a very careful driver. I have been driving a car for seven years."
"Lady, you've got nothing on me. I've been walking for fifty-four years."
Chug-Chug! Br-r! Br-r-r! Honk! Honk! Gilligillug-gilligillug!
The pedestrian paused at the intersection of two busy cross streets.
He looked about. A motor-car was rushing at him from one direction, a motorcycle from another, a steam truck was coming from behind, and a taxicab was speedily approaching.
He looked up, and saw directly above him an air-ship in rapid descent.
There was but one chance. He was standing upon a manhole cover. Quickly seizing it, he lifted the lid and jumped into the hole just in time to be run over by an underground train.
Mr. Brown had just registered and was about to turn away when the clerk asked:
"Beg pardon, but what is your name?"
"Name!" echoed the indignant guest. "Don't you see my signature there on the register?"
"I do," returned the clerk calmly. "That is what aroused my curiosity."
Vigor, vitality, vim and punch— That's Pep! The courage to act on a sudden hunch— That's Pep! The nerve to tackle the hardest thing With feet that climb and hands that cling, And a heart that never forgets to sing— That's Pep.
Sand and grit in a concrete base— That's Pep! Friendly smile on an honest face— That's Pep! The spirit that helps when another's down, That knows how to scatter the blackest frown, That loves its neighbor, and loves its town— That's Pep.
To say "I will," for you know you can— That's Pep! To look for the best in every man— That's Pep! To meet each thundering knock-out blow, And come back strong, because you know You'll get the best of the whole damned show— That's Pep.
—Henry W. Stern.
"Speaking of percentages." said the old-time politician, "reminds me of Tom Bledsoe, who had the butcher shop in our town. He used to buy rabbits from the boys. One day he hung up a sign announcing rabbit sausage for sale. People wondered what it was, took a hack at it, and liked it. Pretty soon he was selling rabbit sausage by the wagon-load.
"But the pure-food inspectors came prying around, and asked Tom how he could make so much sausage when he got only a few dozen rabbits a day. Finally he admitted that there was some horse-meat in the sausage. Then they wanted to know how much horse-meat. After a long grilling he said it was fifty per cent. When pressed further by his questioners, he explained that fifty per cent meant one rabbit to one horse."
Persistence can accomplish two things—it can make one either a success or a bore.
"Supposin" fish don't bite at first, What are you goin' to do? Throw down your pole, chuck out your bait And say your fishin's through?
"You bet you ain't; you're goin' to fish An' fish, an' fish, an' wait Until you've ketched a bucketful Or used up all your bait.
"Suppose success don't come at first, What are you goin' to do? Throw up the sponge and kick yourself And growl, and fret, and stew?
"You bet you ain't; you're goin' to fish An' bait, an' bait ag'in, Until success will bite your hook. For grit is sure to win."
"Mother," said a twelve-year-old of Baltimore, "did you tell father I wanted a new bicycle?"
"Yes, dear," said the mother, "I told him; but he said he couldn't afford to buy you one."
"Of course he'd say that; but what did you do?"
"I told him how badly you wanted it, and argued in favor of it, but he refused."
"Argued! Oh, mother, if it had been something you wanted yourself you'd have cried a little and then you'd have got it."
Persuasion tips his tongue whene'er he talks.—Colley Gibber.
Few are open to conviction, but the majority of men are open to persuasion.—Goethe.
TED—"What's the difference between a pessimist and a cynic?"
NED—"The pessimist is without hope, while the cynic is sure you'll always be able to get a drink if you have the price."—Life.
Nothing to do but work, Nothing to eat but food, Nothing to wear but clothes, To keep one from going nude.
Nothing to breathe but air, Quick as a flash 'tis gone; Nowhere to fall but off, Nowhere to stand but on.
Nothing to comb but hair, Nowhere to sleep but in bed, Nothing to weep but tears, Nothing to bury but dead.
Nothing to sing but songs, Ah, well, alas! alack! Nowhere to go but out, Nowhere to come but back.
Nothing to see but sights, Nothing to quench but thirst, Nothing to have but what we've got Thus through life we are cursed.
Nothing to strike but a gait; Everything moves that goes. Nothing at all but common sense Can ever withstand these woes.
It was a mile over Mount Clemens.
The pilot of the plane from Selfridge Field was giving a visiting officer his first air voyage.
He cut off the motor.
"See those people?" shouted the pilot. "Fifty per cent of them think we are going to fall."
"They've got nothing on us," was the reply that streamed for a half a mile back of the plane; "fifty per cent of us do."
THE PESSIMIST—"The best luck any man can have is never to have been born; but that seldom happens to any one."
Said the weather prophet, "I think it is safest always to predict bad weather."
"Well, people are ready to forgive you if you turn out to be wrong."
Out at the front two regiments, returning to the trenches, chanced to meet. There was the usual exchange of wit.
"When's the bloomin' war goin' to end?" asked one north-country lad.
"Dunno," replied one of the southshires. "We've planted some daffydils in front of our trench."
"Bloomin' optimists!" snorted the man from the north. "We've planted acorns."
See also Irish bulls; Optimism.
The city of Philadelphia offers a liberal reward for the most important contribution toward civic improvement. A fine opportunity for manufacturers of alarm clocks.
WEALTHY BENEFACTRESS (stopping in at the hospital)—"Well, we'll bring the car tomorrow, and take some of your patients for a drive. And, by the bye, nurse, you might pick out some with bandages that show—the last party might not have been wounded at all, as far as anybody in the streets could see."—Punch.
Rube Wilkins says—"You can't get ahead while you're kickin' any more than a mule can."
All philosophy lies in two words, "sustain" and "abstain." —Epictetus.
The philosophy of one century is the common sense of the next.—Henry Ward Beecher.
Philosophy, while it soothes the reason, damps the ambition. —Bulwer-Lytton.
PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS
PITTSBURG MAN (telephoning to Long Island from New York)—"Ten cents? Why, in Pittsburg we can telephone to Hades for a nickel."
CENTRAL—"But this is a long-distance call."
Pleasures are like liqueurs: they must be drunk but in small glasses.—Romainville.
EDITOR—"This isn't poetry, my dear man; it's merely an escape of gas."
WOULD-BE CONTRIBUTOR—"Ah, I see! Something wrong with the meter."
Your poem must eternal be, Dear sir, it can not fail, For 'tis incomprehensible, And wants both head and tail.
"What is poetry of motion?"
"The kind that's always going from one editor to another."
They were dancing the one-step. The music was heavenly. The swish of her silken skirts was divine. The fragrance of the roses upon her bosom was really intoxicating.
"Ah," she smiled, sweetly, with an arch look up into his face, "you remind me of one of Whitman's poems."
A sudden dizziness seemed to seize him. It was as if he were floating in a dream. When he had sufficiently gained his breath he spoke:
"Oh, any one," she replied. "The feet are mixed in all of them."—Everybody's.
Sir, I admit your general rule, That every poet is a fool, But you yourself may serve to show it, That every fool is not a poet.
Witter Bynner is said to have worked off a pretty good one at the Poetry Society banquet. Some one asked him if Burns and Noyes could not be likened to each other. Bynner replied: "Well, you can feel Burns, while you can only hear Noyes."
When Masefield, the British poet, visited Yale, he finished his evening's talk and readings earlier than was expected, and the chairman of the meeting suggested that the poet should read any poem requested by the audience. The audience, as usually happens, was dumb. It was an awkward moment. Finally, one of the younger English Department members rushed agitatedly into the breach.
"Won't you please read 'The Tewksbury Road,' Mr. Masefield?"
The poet looked amazed, then puzzled, and at last said with a hesitating desire not to offend "these singular Americans": "Ah—er—I—ah!—would be charmed to do so—really—but I've just read it!"
Professor Alfred Noyes, the English poet, it is known, likes very much to read his works aloud to his friends, and at Princeton, with so many young men under him, he is usually able to gratify this liking to the full. The other day Professor Noyes said to a junior who had called about an examination: "Wait a minute. Don't go yet. I want to show you the proofs of my new book of poems." But the junior made for the door frantically. "No, no," he said. "I don't need proofs. Your word is enough for me, professor."
HE—"I tore up that poem I wrote last week."
SHE—"Tore it up? Why, that was the best thing you ever did."
The little agricultural village had been billed with "Lecture on Keats" for over a fortnight. The evening arrived at length, bringing the lecturer ready to discourse on the poet. The advertised chairman, taken ill at the last moment, was replaced by a local farmer. This worthy introduced the lecturer and terminated his remarks by saying:
"And now, my friends, we shall soon all know what 1 personally have often wondered—what are Keats?"
"Why doesn't the policeman pay his fare?" inquired the old gentleman on the twopenny tram, observing that no money passed between the constable and the conductor.
"Well, you know, sir," explained the conductor, "you can't get twopence out of a copper."
"Gent up-town telephones for an officer at once. Burglar in the house."
"Let me see," said the captain, reflectively. "I've got four men censoring plays, two inspecting the gowns at a society function, and two more supervising a tango tea. Tell him I can send him an officer in about two hours."
JUDGE—"You let the burglar go to arrest an automobilist?"
POLICEMAN—"Yes. The autoist pays a fine and adds to the resources of the State; the burglar goes to prison, and the State has to pay for his keep."—Life.
Politeness is the art of getting what you want.
MRS. SMITH—"Politeness costs nothing, I am sure, my dear."
SMITH—"No; but if it was advertised at $1.98, a lot more people would have it."
"Hum, ho!" sighed the New-Hampshire farmer as he came in from down-town. "Deacon Jones wants me to be pall-bearer again to his wife's funeral."
"Wal, you're goin' to be, ain't ye?" asked the farmer's better half.
"I dunno. Y' know, when Deacon Jones's fust wife died, he asked me to be a pall-bearer, an' I did; and then his second wife died, an' I was the same again. An' then he married thet Perkins gal, and she died, and I was pall-bearer to that funeral. An' now—wal, I don't like to be all the time acceptin' favors without bein' able to return 'em."
Dickie's father was shocked to see his son kick his little playmate.
"Why did you kick John?" he asked, severely.
"I am tired of playing with him. I want him to go home," was Dickie's answer.
"Then why didn't you ask him to go home?"
"Oh"—it was Dickie's turn to be shocked—"why, daddy, that wouldn't be polite!"
See also Etiquet.
Kane, Pa., May 21.—During a circus parade here today one of the elephants, as if to relieve the monotony, flung its trunk in the air and brought it down with a resounding thump on a mule at the curb quietly watching the sights.
Altho hitched to a delivery-wagon the mule wheeled about, took aim, and kicked twice. His hoofs caught the elephant squarely on the knees. The elephant stopped for an instant, but sought no further interchanges with the mule and finished the parade with a decided limp.
When Colonel Roosevelt was making a political speech in Maine he asked if there was a Democrat in the audience. An old long whiskered man rose in the back of the room and said, "I am a Democrat." Roosevelt then asked him why he was a Democrat and he said: "I've always been a Democrat, my father was a Democrat and my grandfather was a Democrat." Roosevelt then said: "Then if your father had been a horsethief and your grandfather had been a horsethief you would be a horsethief?" "No," he said, "I would be a Republican."
In an Americanization class in one of our large cities, Achilles Bonglis, a Greek, about fifty years old, was called upon to recite the oath of allegiance, and did so promptly:
"I pledge allegiance to our flag and the Republicans for which it stands."
MEMBROOKE—"Backus seems to be a very popular candidate. Is he running on the Progressive ticket?"
YISTLEY—"No, the Retrogressive, His platform is five-cent trolleys, ten-cent bread, three-dollar shoes and 1913 rents."
A prominent Chicago politician, when a candidate for an important municipal office, related the following story of his campaign.
"Once I told three negroes that I'd give a big turkey to the one who'd give the best reason for his being a Republican.
"The first one said: 'I'se a 'publican kase de 'publican set us niggers free.'
"'Very good, Pete,' said I. 'Now, Bill, let me hear from you.'
"'Well, I'se a 'publican kase dey don' gib us a pertective tariff.'
"'Fine!' I exclaimed. 'Now, Sam, what have you to say?'
"'Boss," said Sam, scratching his head and shifting from one foot to the other, 'boss, I'se a 'publican kase I wants dat turkey.'
"And he got it."
"And why is he here?" we inquired, stopping in front of Padded Cell No. 44.
"He was a politician and when he finally got in office he really tried to carry out his campaign pledges," replied the attendant.—Judge.
"Do you find public office an easy berth?"
"I shouldn't exactly call it a berth," said Senator Sorghum, thoughtfully. "It's more like a hammock: hard to get into comfortably, and still harder to get out of gracefully."
Here lies Mr. Blank, who, on politics bent, Was at first quite unable to say what he meant; But schooled by experience, he soon went ahead, Once he saw that he never need mean what he said.
"I hope that Wilhelm has not decided to take up politics," mused Senator Sorghum.
"Because a military man can be definitely disposed of, but a politician never quits."
In Colorado, remember, the women vote as well as the men.
In the fall of 1910 a man named Smith was running for sheriff against a man named Jones. One evening just before election Smith rode up to the barn-yard of an old farmer. The farmer was milking a cow and was having difficulty with a lusty calf that continually tried to "butt in." The candidate, to gain the favor of the farmer, took the calf between his legs and held it until the milking was done. He then introduced himself: "I am Mr. Smith, the Republican candidate for sheriff of the county. I suppose you know the man who's running against me?"
The farmer's eyes twinkled as he slowly drawled: "Waal, I reckon I do. He's in the house now, holding the baby."—Everybody's.
"Some of your constituents are disagreeing with you," said the trusted lieutenant.
"Well, keep tab on them," replied Senator Sorghum; "when enough disagree with me to constitute a reliable majority, I'm going to turn around and agree with them."
"Are you sure your auditors understood all of your arguments?"
"If they did," answered Senator Sorghum, "I wish they'd come around and explain some of 'em to me."
"Who can furnish a clear definition of a politician?" inquired the Professor.
"I can," said the son of a Congressman. "To which party do you refer?"
"My proudest boast," declared the politician, who expected this statement to be greeted with cheers, "is that I was one of the men behind the guns."
"How many miles behind?" piped a voice from the gallery.
"What is your opinion of relativity?"
"I approve of it," replied Senator Sorghum.
"Then you understand it thoroughly?"
"Friend, if I had always been required to understand thoroughly everything I approved of I should have transacted considerable less political business."
"I'm sorry you were defeated," said a sympathetic friend of the candidate.
"Perhaps it is better so."
"That's the better way to look at it."
"Yes, according to an elderly aunt of mine who keeps up with all the family connections, I have no fewer than four hundred living relatives. I couldn't have possibly provided jobs for more than half of them."
See also Public speakers.
GREEN—"What is the hardest work you ever did?"
CITY EMPLOYEE—"The work I did landing this job, and the next hardest is the work of keeping it from being taken away from me."—Judge.
"I am out of politics for good," announced the Political Boss.
"Whose?" questioned the Green Reporter.
POLITICAL BOSS—"So you wish to enter politics, madam. What are your qualifications?"
LADY APPLICANT—"Well, I have served three terms as a member of the Board of Education."
YOUNG 'UN—"I'm taking political economy at college."
OLD 'UN—"That's a useless course. Why learn to economize in politics? It's not being done."
FIRST PASSENGER—"I understand that your city has the rottenest political ring in the country."
SECOND PASSENGER—"That's right. But how did you know where I'm from?"
FIRST PASSENGER—"I don't."
PROSECUTING ATTORNEY (investigating election fund)—"Dave, what happened to you before you reached the polls?"
DAVE (an old negro)—"Well suh, the fust thing, suh, a man stopped me an' said: 'Dave, heah's four dollahs; I want you to go right down to de polls an' vote for Mr. Brown; he's the Republican candidate for Congress and a very fine man.'"
PROSECUTOR—"Did you take the money?"
DAVE—"O, yassir, I took de money. And then, as I wuz goin' on down de street another man stops me and says: 'Dave, heah's seven dollahs; I want you to go right down to de polls an' vote for Mr. Rogers; he's the Democratic nominee for Congress and a very fine man.'"
PROSECUTOR—"Did you take that money, too, Dave?"
DAVE—"O, yassir, I took dat money, too, suh."
PROSECUTOR—"Then, Dave, how did you vote?"
DAVE—"Well, suh, after speculatin' quite a spell, suh, as to what a niggah ought to do in a case ob dat kind, suh, I walks right into de polls and votes de straight Republican ticket, suh, 'cause I figgered, suh, dat dis here Republican man, he war de least corrupt ob de two."
"Don't you think our friend Crossum might loom up as a dark horse?"
"No," declared Senator Sorghum, "record's too shady. It would require a great deal of whitewashing to qualify him as a dark horse."
YOUNG HOPEFUL—"Father, what is a traitor in politics?"
VETERAN POLITICIAN—"A traitor is a man who leaves our party and goes over to the other one."
YOUNG HOPEFUL—"Well, then, what is a man who leaves his party and comes over to yours?"
VETERAN POLITICIAN—"A convert, my son."
During a municipal campaign in Chicago a politician dropped in one morning to see a certain grocer. During the conversation that took place, the politician asked, "And I may count upon your support, may I not?"
"Why, no, I am sorry to say," replied the grocer. "The fact is, I have promised my support to the other candidate."
The politician laughed. "Ah," said he, "in politics, promising and performing are two different things."
"In that case," said the grocer cordially, "I shall be glad to give you my promise, sir."
STRANGER—"Upon what plan are your city institutions conducted?"
CITIZEN-"A sort of let-George-do-it system—without any George."—Puck.
WILLIS—"What did you think of that fellow's carrying the message to Garcia?"
GILLIS—"Don't blame him a bit. With our poor Post Office service, it was the only way he could get it to him."
COUNTRY LADY—"I've been expecting a packet of medicine by post for a week, and haven't received it yet."
POST-OFFICE CLERK—"Yes, madam. Kindly fill in this form, and state the nature of your complaint."
LADY—"Well, if you must know, it's indigestion."
Aunt Mehitable Trusalive wants to know why it is every letter she gets somebody is always printing on the outside: "Join the Navy." She declares to goodness she never thought of such a thing and if they don't stop she'll have the law on them.
DASHER—"This parcel-post package is being delivered in unusually quick time. How do you account for it?"
MAIL-CARRIER—"The department thought it contained a time-bomb, sir."-Judge.
FANNING—"What's become of that rubber stamp, 'Dictated, but not read,' that you used to use on your letters?"
DASHER—"I threw it away and got one that prints, 'Mailed, but not delivered.'"
Poverty is the greatest of physicians. His method is prophylactic rather than therapeutic, but in point of results he is in a class by himself.
His practice attests the efficacy of the ounce of prevention in big doses.
Poverty ranks high as a surgeon, too. Nobody else cuts out so many things that are not good for us.
In a way he has the respect of the profession. Where he is in charge of a case no other practitioner is apt to interfere.
We should not so much esteem our poverty as a misfortune, were it not that the world treats it so much as a crime.—Boree.
Not to be able to bear poverty is a shameful thing, but not to know how to chase it away by work is a more shameful thing yet.—Pericles.
Want is a bitter and a hateful good, Because its virtues are not understood; Yet many things, impossible to thought, Have been by need to full perfection brought.
Ned Shuter thus explained his reasons for preferring to wear stockings with holes to having them darned: "A hole," said he, "may be the accident of a day, and will pass upon the best gentleman, but a darn is premeditated poverty."
The highest praise for a man is to give him responsibility.
A playwright and an actor were in conversation when the former, who has been none too successful of late, exclaimed gloomily:
"People will praise my work after I am dead."
"Well," said the actor, in a consoling tone, "perhaps you are right, but don't you think it's a great deal of a sacrifice to make for a little praise?"
"Well, there's one thing about the man who sings his own praises."
"And what's that?"
"He never has to give the excuse that he has left his music home and can't play without his notes."
The love of praise, howe'er conceal'd by art, Reigns, more or less, and glows, in ev'ry heart: The proud, to gain it, toils on toils endure; The modest shun it, but to make it sure.
Praising what is lost, Makes the remembrance dear.
A very nice and gentle minister accepted a call to a new church in a town where many of the members bred horses and sometimes raced them. A few weeks later he was asked to invite the prayers of the congregation for Lucy Grey. Willingly and gladly he did so for three Sundays. On the fourth one of the deacons told the minister he need not do it any more.
"Why," asked the good man, with an anxious look, "is she dead?"
"Oh, no," said the deacon; "she's won the steeplechase."
The two men were adrift in an open boat and it looked bad for them. Finally one of them, frightened, began to pray.
"O Lord," he prayed, "I've broken most of Thy commandments. I've been a hard drinker, but if my life is spared now I'll promise Thee never again—"
"Wait a minute, Jack," said, his friend. "Don't go too far. I think I see a sail."
Lindsley had the little hen fast and was trying to bring her head close to the ground.
"What might you be trying to do?" exclaimed her father coming upon the small girl in the yard.
"I'm trying to make this hen say her prayers."
"Well," said the parent sadly, "I hope she'll say: 'Now I lay me.'"
BROWN (on fishing trip)—"Boys, the boat is sinking! Is there any one here who knows how to pray?"
JONES (eagerly)—"I do."
BROWN—"All right. You pray and the rest of us will put on life belts. They's one shy."
A small boy, whose father is now on the other side with the Y.M.C.A., was taught to say at the end of his prayer, "Please, God, make Graham a good boy." One night he did not say it, and when his mother asked him if he had not forgotten something, he said, "No; I thought I was asking too much of God. I'd better do more myself."
GRANDSON (who hasn't decided yet just what branch of the service will have the benefit of his talents)—"There seems to be quite a diversity of opinion regarding what prayer to say in response to the Senate's request for daily prayer for victory."
GRANDMA (industriously knitting)—"Guess any of 'em will do, so long as it isn't 'Now I lay me down to sleep.'"
"The proper way for a man to pray," Said Deacon Lemuel Keyes, "And the only proper attitude Is down upon his knees."
"No, I should say the way to pray," Said Rev. Doctor Wise, "Is standing straight with outstretched arms And rapt and upturned eyes."
"Oh, no, no, no," said Elder Slow, "Such posture is too proud; A man should pray with eyes fast closed And head contritely bowed."
"It seems to me his hands should be Austerely clasped in front, With both thumbs pointing to the ground," Said Rev. Doctor Blunt.
"Last year I fell in Hodgkin's well Head first," said Cyrus Brown, "With both my heels a-stickin' up, My head a-pinting down;
"An' I made a prayer right then an' there— Best prayer I ever said, The prayingest prayer I ever prayed, A-standing on my head."
—Sam Walter Foss.
A young mother was about to hear her small girl's prayers when a neighbor called and said she must see the mother right away. They had been talking at the front door several minutes when a reproachful little voice came from the top of the stairway:
"Mamma, aren't you 'shamed to keep God waiting so long?"
It was the week before little Willie's birthday, and he was on his knees at his bedside petitioning Divine Providence for presents in a very loud voice.
"Please send me," he shouted, "a bicycle, a tool chest, a—"
"What are you praying so loud for?" his younger brother interrupted. "God ain't deaf."
"I know he ain't," said little Willie, winking toward the next room, "but grandma is."
MARJORIE—"Will I get everything I pray for, mama?"
MOTHER (cautiously)—"Everything that's good for you, dear."
MARJORIE (disgustedly)—"Oh, what's the use, then; I get that anyway."—Life.
One day little Flora was taken to have an aching tooth removed. That night, while she was saying her prayers, her mother was surprised to hear her say: "And forgive us our debts as we forgive our dentists."—Everybody's.
SMALL YOUTH—"I ain't goin' to say my prayers tonight, mother. I'm goin' to take a chance."—Life.
Bobby had been taught to remember all his relatives when he said his prayers. One night, as he knelt at his mother's knee, he did not mention the name of a favorite aunt.
"Why, Bobby," said the mother, "you didn't say 'God bless Aunt Beatrice and make her happy.'"
"Well, mother," replied the little boy, "I don't have to say that any more. Aunt Beatrice's engaged."
Two prominent senators, boyhood friends, were discussing how strict had been their early religious training and how they had departed from it in late years. Said A to B: "I don't believe you even remember the Lord's Prayer, do you?" B answered: "Oh, yes, I do; I'm not such a backslider as that." Then A said: "I'll bet a dollar you cannot say the Lord's Prayer straight through." B promptly declared that he would win that dollar and, after a moment's thoughtful hesitation, repeated slowly:
Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.
"By Jove," said A, "here is your dollar; I didn't believe you could do it."
"We'd have more prayers answered," said Bishop Hoss, of Muskogee, "if we had more faith."
"Too many of us are like Willie. Willie, on a visit to his uncle's in the country, admired a fine colt.
"'Uncle, give me that colt, will you?' he asked.
"'Why, no, Willie,' said his uncle. 'That's a very valuable colt, and I couldn't afford to give him to you. Do you want a colt so very badly?'
"'I'd rather have a colt than anything else in the world,' said Willie.
"'Then,' said his uncle. 'I'll tell you what you ought to do. Since you want a colt that much, you ought to pray for one. Whenever I want a thing I always pray for it, and then it is sure to come to me.'
"'Is that so, uncle?' said Willie, eagerly. 'Won't you please give me this colt, then, and pray for one for yourself?'"
An old darkey who was asked if, in his experience, prayer was ever answered, replied:
"Well, sah! some pra'rs is ansud, an' some isn't—'pends on wa't you axes fo'. Jest arter de wah, w'en it was mighty hard scratchin' fo' de cullud breddern, I 'bsarved dat w'eneber I pway de Lord to sen' one o' Marse Peyton's fat turkeys fo' de old man, dere was no notis took ob de partition; but w'en I pway dat He would sen' de ole man fo' de turkey, de matter was t'ended to befo' sun-up nex' morning', dead sartin."
The railroad official invited the stern citizen to communicate his troubles.
"I want you to give orders," demanded the visitor, "that the engineer of the express which passes through Elm Grove at 11:55 be restrained from blowing his whistle Sunday mornings."
"Impossible!" exploded the official. "What prompts you to make such a ridiculous request?"
"Well, you see," explained the citizen in an undertone, "our pastor preaches until he hears the whistle blow and that confounded express was twenty minutes late last Sunday."
The American in England affords cause for much perplexity and astonishment to his English kinsmen.
A Yankee soldier was being shown over an old church wherein hundreds of people were buried.
"A great many people sleep between these walls," said the guide, indicating the inscription-covered floor with a sweep of his hand.
"So?" said the Sammy. "Same way over in our country. Why don't you get a more interesting preacher?"
A colored preacher called on a white minister.
He found the white man busy writing.
"What you-all doin'?" he asked.
"I'm preparing notes for my sermon for next Sunday."
The colored gentleman shook his head.
"I certainly would nebber do dat, sir," he said. "De debbil am a-lookin' right over your shoulder and knows everything you gwine to say and he am prepared for you. Now, I don't make no notes and when I gets up to talk, neder me nor de debbil hisself don't know what I'm goin' to say."
Bishop Partridge is a collector of anecdotes about ministers, and in an anecdotal mood he said the other day:
"I once asked a minister how he had got through a certain service. He answered grimly:
"'Well, bishop, the service was soothing, moving and satisfactory.'
"'Yes,' I said a little puzzled.
"'Yes, exactly,' said he. 'It was soothing because over half the congregation went to sleep. It was moving because half of the other half left before I was through. And it must have been satisfactory, inasmuch as I wasn't asked to come again.'"
The minister had just preached his farewell sermon to the congregation with whom he had had much trouble.
"How beautiful!" said a visitor to one of the deacons, "and how appropriate for a farewell sermon!"
"Think so?" said the deacon gruffly.
"Why, yes. What better text could he find than 'In My Father's house are many mansions.... I go to prepare a place for you.' By the way, where is he going?"
The deacon smiled sourly as he answered: "He becomes chaplain of the State penitentiary."
While a certain Scottish minister was conducting religious services in an asylum for the insane, one of the inmates cried out wildly:
"I say, have we got to listen to this?"
The minister, surprised and confused, turned to the keeper and said:
"Shall I stop speaking?"
The keeper replied:
"No, no; gang along, gang along; that will not happen again. That man only has one lucid moment every seven years."
Mr. Bryan says his next statement will be divided into three parts. Instinctively we recall the announcement of a mountaineer preacher who said to his flock:
"Brethren, I hev decided t' divide my sermon in three parts. Th' fust part I'll understand an' you won't. Th' second part you'll understand an' I won't. Th' third part nobody'll understand."
The teacher had asked, "Why did David say he would rather be a door-keeper in the house of the Lord?"
"Because," answered a boy, "he could then walk outside while the sermon was being preached."
"It was hot last Sunday night when the preacher started his Sunday sermon," says the Fort Scott (Kan.) Tribune.
"He observed that his sermon would be brief; that to be immortal, it is not necessary to be eternal."
The critical instinct grows by what it is fed upon. No matter how well you do, some people are never satisfied and this is especially true in families.
A Philadelphia divine was entertaining a couple of clergymen from New York at dinner. The guests spoke in praise of a sermon their host had delivered the Sunday before. The host's son was at the table, and one of the New York clergymen said to him: "My lad, what did you think of your father's sermon?"
"I guess it was very good," said the boy, "but there were three mighty fine places where he could have stopped."
See also Clergy.
Prejudice means "judging before" you have the facts. Never judge till after you have the facts. Nothing is so utterly devoid of reason as a passionate hatred of any race or class. All men are much the same when you come to know them. Class or race faults are superficial. The human qualities strike deep.—Dr. Frank Crane.
A prejudice is a conviction not shared by you.
"Do you like codfish?"
"No, I don't like codfish, and I'm glad I don't like it, because if I liked it I'd eat it, and I hate the damn stuff."
GRUBBS—"Are you planning to make any good resolutions?"
STUBBS—"No, I am already pretty well stocked up in that way. You see, I never used those I made last year."
"You must give up coffee and—"
"I never drink it, doctor."
"And stop smoking."
"I don't smoke."
"Humph! that's bad. If you haven't anything to give up, I'm afraid I can't do much for you."
"Why do you bring a check with the cocktails?"
"That isn't a check. That's the house chemist's certificate."
The curator of the museum was classifying Egyptian curios. He observed a perplexed expression on the face of his young assistant.
"What seems to be the matter, Jones?" he asked. "Is there anything you don't understand?"
"Yes, sir," answered the helper. "Here is a papyrus on which the characters are so badly traced that they are indecipherable. How shall I classify it?"
"Let me see," said the curator, examining the piece. "Just call it a doctor's prescription in the time of Pharaoh."
Spirit writing—the modern doctor's prescription—Life.
See also Names, Personal.
Pretension is a kind of velvet cloak I wear to hide my real self from view, And yet where'er I meet with other folk I always find they wear this garment too.
Pretension is a kind of golden veil Behind whose mesh I seek to hide my face, And yet where'er I go I never fail To see that others wear it too with grace.
Pretension is a thing I say I hate In both myself and in my dearest friend, And yet whene'er I slyly watch and wait I find in some regard we all pretend.
Where there is much pretension, much has been borrowed: Nature never pretends.—Lavater.
When half-gods go, the gods arrive.—Emerson.
"Have any trouble in getting your money back?"
"Not a bit," replied the dissatisfied purchaser. "But I got the worst of it, as usual. The price of the article had jumped so by the time I got back to the store that they made a profit by getting it in stock again."
Jean longed for a kitten. When illness made it necessary for Jean to go to the hospital, her mother said:
"I will make a bargain with you, Jean. If you will be a brave little girl about your operation, you shall have the nicest kitten I can find."
Jean took the ether, but later, as she came out from under the anesthetic, she realized how very wretched she felt. The nurse leaned over to catch her first spoken word.
"What a bum way to get a cat!" moaned the child.—Harper's.
The most cheerful sign is that counterfeiters are again finding it worth while to make money.
Randolph Bourne, a brilliant American writer who recently died, left many thoughts that stand out like cut diamonds. Here is one: "Only Pride is creation."
Pride forms one of the towering pillars in the structure of efficient performance.
Not until you feel the worth of what you do, are you able freely to dominate and achieve. Through the hard days of darkness and discouragement, up and beyond the gruelling grades of steep ways, are you asked to go if you desire substantial reward. It takes pride to endure.
It is pride in a man's heart that makes him a willing gift, in mind and body, to be taken in hand by some great idea or noble cause.
Pride does not stoop to littleness. Rather does it see in the signs of unselfishness and sacrifice the elements that lead to eternal character.
Life is but a link in the chain of everlasting good.
If a man dies, does lie live again? Yes, for a man lives forever in the deeds and thoughts of his life expression. And every man who shall pass his thought through every age that has been, shall be whitened and renewed, to go on his way the better for every creative thought left behind.
It's the pride in a man's soul that leads him on!
Pride creates first—then contributes in natural turn.
Until we become too proud to stoop to mean ways and unworthy ends, we shall have tasted of but a sample of what life holds in substance and bigness.—George Matthew Adams.
To acknowledge our faults when we are blamed is modesty; to discover them to one's friends in ingenuousness, is confidence; but to preach them to all the world, if one does not take care, is pride.—Confucius.
Some of the finest jokes extant come through the fact that the printer's finger slips. Here are some which, like all others, are funny a long, long, long time afterward—never at the time.
A Chicago paper reported that the propeller Alaska was leaving port with a cargo of 40,000 bushels of cats.
A Buffalo paper, in describing the scene when Roosevelt took the oath of office as President, said it was a spectacle never to be forgotten when Roosevelt, before the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and a few witnesses, took his simple bath.
BILL—"I see the authorities seriously object to the prisoners forging checks while in Sing Sing."
TILL—"Well, I suppose they think it is particularly bad form for the prisoners to do that sort of thing while enjoying the hospitality of the State."
VISTOR (at the jail)—"Poor man! What are you locked up here for?"
PRISONER (wearily)—"I suppose they think I'd get out if I wasn't."
When father came home to dinner he observed a vacant chair at the table. "Where's the boy?" he asked, nodding to the chair.
"Harry is up-stairs," came in a tone of painful precision from the mother.
"I hope he is not sick."
There was an anxious pause. "No, he is not sick," continued the mother. "It grieves me to say, Richard, that our son, your son, has been heard swearing on the street. I heard him myself."
"Swearing!" exclaimed the father. "I'll teach him to swear!"
And with that the angry parent started up-stairs in the dark. Half-way up he stumbled and came down with his chin on the top step.
When the confusion had subsided Harry's mother was heard saying from the hallway: "That will do, Richard, dear. You have given him enough for one lesson."
Sometime ago a pious young clerical prevailed on a rather profane aviator to take him for a flight. After attaining several thousand feet the motor suddenly stopped, revealing to the uttermost the aviator's gift of profanity.
The alarmed pastor excitedly demanded if there was any danger. The pilot replied sarcastically that there would be prayer instead of profanity if there was any danger.
The motor "cut in" again and the flight continued. Suddenly the motor stopped again and notwithstanding the pilot's efforts, accompanied by the usual lurid language, he was forced to alight. Just as he flattened out for his landing, the pilot was disconcerted by hearing the parson exclaim in fervid tones: "Thank God the aviator is still swearing."
Small Ann's mother had been disturbed to hear her using the word "devil." "My dear," said she, "that is a word we do not use in polite society, and I never want to hear you say it again."
She noticed that her admonition was carefully heeded. Then on Sunday evening, about two weeks later, the mother inquired what the day's lesson had been about. "Why, mother," was Ann's answer, "it was about when our Lord was tempted by the—by—by—the—the gentleman that keeps hell!"
Young William was evincing much interest in the evening paper, but finally a puzzled look came over his countenance.
"Mother," said he, finally, "what does D—d stand for?"
"Doctor of Divinity, my son. Don't they teach you the common abbreviations in school?"
"Sure; but that don't seem to sound right here."
"Read it out aloud."
"WITNESS: I heard the defendant say, I'll make you suffer for this. I'll be doctor of divinity if I don't!'"
"Say, Sam, why do you-all carry that parrot around with you on the wagon?"
"Well, yo' see, boss, I'se a membah of the chu'ch, but de mule ain't, so I hauls the pa'ot to fu'nish the cussin' fo' de mule."
FATHER—"I'm ashamed to see you crying because a bee stung you. Act like a man."
BOBBIE—"Y-yes, and th-then you-you'd gim-me a li-lickin', like you s-said y-you would i-if yon ever h-heard m-me usin' that k-kind of l-language."
An ambitious young man went to a university professor and said: "Sir, I desire a course of training which will fit me to become the superintendent of a great railway system. How much will such a course cost, and how long will it take?"
"Young man," replied the professor, "such a course would cost you twenty thousand dollars, and require twenty years of your time. But, on the other hand, by spending three hundred dollars of your money and three months of your time you may be elected to Congress. Once there you will feel yourself competent to direct not one but all the great railroad systems of our country."
The reform warden always made it a point to give each new arrival a chance to do the work with which he was familiar, if the penitentiary dealt in his line. A tailor named Levinski arrived, and it was ordered that he be employed at that trade, if there was an opening. There wasn't. He was asked if he was adept at anything else. "Yes," he replied, with a smile, "I am a crackerjack traveling salesman."
The wicked garage-keeper was trying to figure out his income tax.
"If a man brings his car to me to be repaired, and it costs me sixty cents, and I charge him sixteen dollars, what per cent profit would I be making?" he demanded of his son and heir.
"I'm sure I don't know, pop," answered that young hopeful. "You'll have to get somebody who knows the rules of grand larceny to tell you that. The rules for percentage wouldn't cover it!"
"Say, Cy, I jest found out what a rube is."
"Thet so, Hiram? What is it?"
"Why, it's one o' them forty-one hour, ninety-five dollar a week labor guys that thinks a farmer is goin' to sell him food cheap."
Old Omar doubtless had us in mind when he spoke of the profit's paradise to come.
Another reason why pickpockets seem to be on the increase may be because profiteering isn't what it was a few months ago.
I was explaining the other day, to a member of our organization, that there was no such thing as "standing still" in this world—that we lost ground immediately we ceased to make progress. Quick as a flash he put my thought in a few words when he remarked, "We're either coming or going." That's it exactly. When we do not improve, learn, develop old ideas or find new ones—we go backwards. And you and I know how fast we go, when there's no driving power to keep us going forward.—E. M. Statler.
"No, sah, Ah doan't neber ride on dem things," said an old colored lady looking in on the merry-go-round. "Why, de other day I seen dat Rastus Johnson git on an' ride as much as a dollah's worth an' git off at the very same place he got on at, an' I sez to him, 'Rastus,' I sez, 'yo' spent yo' money, but whar yo' been?'"
Beneath this starry arch, Naught resteth or is still; But all things hold their march As if by one great will. Move one, move all: Hark to the footfall! On, on, forever.
A bone-dry nation means a life full of sorrows without any chance of drowning them.
Classic Thoughts on Prohibition
I love fools' experiments.—Darwin. The rising world of waters dark and deep.—Milton. Earth a failure, God-forsaken, Ante-room of Hell!—Kingsley. If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.—Shakespeare. The law is a ass, a idiot.—Dickens. Lean, hungry, savage anti-everythings.—Holmes. The remedy is worse than the disease.—Bacon. O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts. And men have lost their reason.—Shakespeare. Drink today, and drown all sorrow; You shall perhaps not do't tomorrow.—Fletcher. The Hell of waters!—Byron. The frigid theories of a generalizing age.—Disraeli. O, happy, happy Liver!—Wordsworth.
"Do you think there's a chance of prohibition's being repealed, after all?"
"I hope not," answered Uncle Bill Bottletop; "anyhow, not soon."
"I thought you didn't quite approve of prohibition."
"I don't, quite. But for years folks have been talking about a lot o' chaps that 'ud be such wonders if they didn't drink, an' I want to see 'em get a little more time to make good."
"It is indeed a pleasure," remarked the man who approves of prohibition, "to be able to walk the streets without seeing a saloon on every corner."
"And yet," returned the unregenerate one, "it's a great comfort to know they are there, even if you don't see them."
Prohibition doesn't prohibit; it just provokes.
"Mamma, what does it mean when you're wined and dined?"
"That's an obsolete term, Harold. Now you are only grape-juiced and cornbreaded."
"This Prohibition outlook is a trifle expensive."
"Why, I've just had to build an addition to my wine cellar."
"Well," said the first clubman, "we may have to drink water pretty soon."
"Yes, that's the stuff the waiter brings you with your napkin."
When It Comes We Shall Miss
That appointment with an old business acquaintance. Calendars from our favorite brewery. Blotters from same. Reunion dinners. (a) College. (b) Fraternity. Scientific dissertations on the only non-refillable bottle. Stories about how Broadway spent New Year's eve. The real mint julep. The 5:15—without being unjustly accused.
We Shall Not Miss
Sermons against rum. Sermons against Prohibition. The free lunch. The Southern gentleman who says he's the only man who can make the real mint julep. German beer gardens. The man who never drinks without offering a toast. New Year's eve on Broadway. Comic-opera drinking songs. A vote on the next Constitutional amendment.
BLUCK—"Why do vessels leaving New York make the greatest speed the first three miles?"
BLYNK—"The bartenders help stoke."
"Do you find that prohibition has deprest Crimson Gulch?"
"No," answered Cactus Joe. "We're more cheerful than usual. Everybody seems to think it's a great joke on all the rest of the boys."
SMITH—"Do you realize that we are beholding the completion of a great cycle in history?"
"Three hundred and six years ago the island of Manhattan was bought from the Indians for six quarts of whisky."
"Well?—Within six months, maybe, the descendants of those Indians will be able to buy it back for the same price."
I, U.S. Boose, realizing that the jag is up, declare this to be my last will and testament: To my beloved Cocktail I bequeath three-fourths of my evil estate, and to my faithful Highball I leave a large share of the blame. To my sister, Wine, I give the family grapevine and kitchen still. To my cousin, Cider, I bequeath the old apple orchard and enough wormy fruit to keep the country moist and my memory green.
"So you're a moonshiner?" remarked the interested tourist. The lanky mountaineer drew himself up haughtily.
"Mister, you got me wrong," he asserted. "Since prohibition come in we-uns call ourselves irrigation engineers."
I met a man Who knows a woman Who has a sister Who is married to a man Who is related to a girl Who knows a man Who knows a man Who has never pulled a prohibition joke. I shall try to trace him.
And when the nations disarm, some statesman will slip in a joker permitting the building of battleships for medicinal purposes.
A drunkard of long standing has been reformed by an operation which removed a bone that pressed against the brain. The Detroit News also reports a number of cures effected by the removal of a brass rail that was pressing against the foot.
"Having any success with your garden?"
"The best ever," replied Mr. Jagsby.
"What are you raising?"
"Nothing. But if I hadn't had a row with one of my new neighbors over his chickens and then a reconciliation I might not have discovered that he had a well-stocked cellar."
The man who was selling oil stock was asked if there were any indications of oil where his company was drilling.
"Indications!" he said. "Why, I should say so. We have three thousand acres leased, have a standard rig up, have three hundred feet of casing on the ground and more ordered, have our company organized and incorporated and a million shares of stock printed, have opened offices in three cities, have two hundred people selling stock, are only forty miles from a pipe line, and there was no oil found in those other wells about there, so it must be in our well. Oh, we have plenty of indications. How many shares do you want?"
"Pop, what is a promoter?"
"A promoter, my son, is a man who can make either a dollar or a penny look like thirty cents."—Life.
On the occasion of the death of a chief of one of the department bureaus in Washington, a clerk in that bureau was dashing madly down the street when he was stopped by a friend, who asked: "Why the deuce are you in such a tearing hurry?"
"I am going," explained the clerk, "to the funeral of my chief, and there is nothing he hates like unpunctuality."
"I'm sorry to find the baroness out. Don't forget to tell her I called, will you?"
"No, sir, I'll tell her at once."
"Wasn't it fearful about the Reims cathedral?"
"Don't say Reems; it sounds horribly ignorant."
"Well, how do you pronounce it?"
"Hn—Hranhss! Just as if you were clearing your throat. See? Hranss!"
"Well, you sound as if you had a dreadful influenza, threatened with grip!"
"Well, that's right, anyhow. H—hn—hnh—hrahnhss!"
"You'd better go to Arizona! You'll never get well here! I don't believe you, anyway. Everybody says Reems."
"They don't, either!"
"They do so!"
"Oh, well, it depends on the sort of people you associate with—"
"Well, I don't go with a lot of fake highbrows, anxious to show off the French they learned in a course of lessons by mail—"
"Better than a lot of country junks who don't know how to pronounce—"
"Oh, well, the church wasn't hurt much, anyhow."
"No, they say it can be repaired. How do you like my hat?"
"Heavenly! What do you think of mine?"
"Adorable! Let's go in and have soda."
"Property is the fruit of labor; property is desirable; is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him work diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built."—Abraham Lincoln.
"No," said the positive girl, "I will never tie myself down to one man."
"Perhaps," he replied sarcastically, "if I organize a syndicate you will consider our offer."
MERCHANT (to applicant for job)—"Sorry, but I only employ married men."
APPLICANT-"Do you happen to have a daughter, sir?"
"I love you! I love you!" he murmured for the nineteenth time. "Speak! Answer me!"
The maiden coyly hung her head.
"I—oh, Tom, this is so sudden!" she pleaded.
He drew her close to him.
"Don't be afraid, darling!" he said gently. "Would you like me to ask your mother first?"
With a sudden cry of alarm she threw her arms around his neck.
"No, no!" she gasped. "Mother is a widow. I want you myself!"
"Yes, she rejected me, but she did it in a most encouraging way."
"How was that?"
"As I went away, she pointed to the footprints that I had made on the carpet, and said: 'The next time you come to propose to me, I want you to wipe your shoes clean!'"
Long had he worshipped her at a distance, but his shyness prevented him from proposing. Then, one evening, for the sake of sweet charity, a theatrical performance took place, in which the charmer was leading lady and more adorable than ever. Afterward the shy admirer drew near, his love made valiant by the sight of her beauty. "You are the star of the evening," he said as they stood alone in a corner.
"You are the first to tell me so," said the damsel with a happy blush.
"Then," he retorted promptly, "may I not claim my reward as an astronomer?"
The lady looked puzzled. "What reward?" she asked.
"Why, the right to give my name to the star I have discovered!"
"So you want to marry Alice, do you?" asked the girl's father of her young man.
"Very much indeed," replied the youth.
"Can you support a family?"
The young man reflected a moment, and then asked, "How many are there of you, sir?"
FRANK—"When you proposed to her I suppose she said: 'This is so sudden?'"
ERNEST—"No, she was honest and said: 'This suspense has been terrible.'"
One evening some time since John Henry called on the darling of his heart, and while talking to the fair one he casually referred to some of the hardships of the present day.
"I see, Gladys," he remarked, "that the price of coal has gone up again, and that it is hard to get at any price."
"Has it?" responded Gladys, without showing any great concern.
"Yes," answered John Henry, "and they say they are also advancing house rents, while sugar—"
"Look here, John Henry!" suddenly interjected the fair one, with a withering expression. "If you want to break off our engagement, say so, but don't try to beat around the bush in such a cowardly way."
"Will you have me for your wife?" said the leap-year maiden, sweetly.
"Since you have suggested it, I will," he replied. "But just remember, Mame, if I don't turn out to be all you expect you have only yourself to blame."
The pretty girl of the party was bantering the genial bachelor on his reasons for remaining single.
"No-o-o, I never was exactly disappointed in love," he meditated. "I was more what you might call discouraged. You see, when I was very young I became very much enamored of a young lady of my acquaintance; I was mortally afraid to tell her of my feeling, but at last I screwed up my courage to the proposing point. I said, 'Let's get married.'
"And she said, 'Good Lord! Who'd have us!'"—Everybody's.
HE (cautiously)—"Would you say 'Yes' if I asked you to marry me?"
SHE (still more cautiously)—"Would you ask me to marry you if I said I would say 'Yes' if you asked me to marry you?"
"Congratulate me, Freddy. Last night your sister promised to marry me."
"Oh, she promised mother she'd marry you long ago."—Life.
HE-"I called to see your father this afternoon."
SHE (fluttering visibly)-"Oh, did you?"
HE—"Yes; he has been owing our firm a little bill for some time."
"So you want to marry my daughter," said Mr. Cumrox.
"Yes," replied the young man. "I hope to hear you say take her and be happy!"
"No, sir. I'm not going to shoulder any implied responsibilities. All I am going to say is 'take her.'"
HARRY—"Marry me and your smallest wishes will always be fulfilled."
CARRIE—"I am able to do that myself. What I want is a man who will gratify my biggest wishes."
"I was speaking with your father last night," he said at last, somewhat inanely.
"Oh, were you?" answered the sweet young thing, lowering her eyes. "Er—what were you—er—talking about?"
"About the war in Europe. Your father said that he hoped the fighting would soon be over."
The sweet young thing smiled.
"Yes," she remarked. "I know he's very much opposed to long engagements."
For some people half the battle consists in looking prosperous; the other half, in getting credit on the strength of such prosperity.
We all "ketch" 'em at the psychological moment:
The doctor, when they think they are going to die.
The lawyer, when they think they are going to be sent to jail.
The dentist, when they think a tooth is going to blow off their heads.
The tax collector, when they think they are going to be sold out.
The garage man, when they think they are going to have a blow-out.
The captain, when they think the major is on their trail.
The undertaker, when they don't think any more!
"Father," said the small boy, "what is psychology?"
"Psychology, my son, is a word of four syllables that you ring in to distract attention when the explaining gets difficult."
A small boy seated on the curb by a telephone-pole, with a tin can by his side, attracted the attention of an old gentleman who happened to be passing.
"Going fishing?" he inquired, good-naturedly.
"Nope," the youngster replied. "Take a peek in there."
An investigation showed the can to be partly filled with caterpillars of the tussock moth.
"What in the world are you doing with them?"
"They crawl up trees and eat off the leaves."
"So I understand."
"Well, I'm fooling a few of them."
"Sending 'em up this telephone-pole."—Judge.
What the country needs is not a phonographic record to preserve a candidate's voice, but something to preserve what's left of the voice of the people.
The Ultimate Victim
When capital wants extra gains. On profits tightens all the reins, Who has to suffer all the pains? The public.
When labor gets dissatisfied, And would conditions override, Who gets submerged beneath the tide? The public.
When strikes put up the price of food, And each side holds firm attitude, Who always has to make loss good? The public.
When street-cars cease to run, and balk At all conciliation talk, Who has to pay the freight and walk? The public.
When managers and actors fight And theaters are closed at night, Who sees amusement out of sight? The public.
Who in disputes which rise each day, Is not permitted any say, But always loses either way? The public.
The public! the public! How many fools does it take to make up a public?—Chamfort.
At a teachers' institute in an Eastern city a speaker said that, in his opinion, "the trouble with the public-school system of today is: The teachers are afraid of the principals, the principals are afraid of the superintendent, he is afraid of the school committee, they are afraid of the parents, the parents are afraid of the children, and the children are afraid of nobody!"
A captain in the merchant marine who received much commendation for his wonderful courage and endurance during the war was asked to address a meeting in the West. Ex-President Taft spoke first and at considerable length, and when he had finished the audience rose, almost to a man, to leave the building. The chairman sprang to his feet, rushed to the edge of the platform, and called excitedly: "Come back and take your seats. Come back, every one of you! This man went through hell for us during the war, and it is up to us now to do the same for him."
"Ladies and gentlemen," said the chairman of the evening, "in a few minutes I shall introduce the gentleman who is to address you. It is not my function to deliver a speech at this time, but I shall just use up five or ten minutes so that you may know how good a speech you would have had to listen to were I the speaker and he the chairman."
"Have you ever taken a tail-spin in an airplane?"
"No, but I've been called upon unexpectedly to make a speech, and I guess the sensation is about the same."
"It must break the theme of your lecture to be interrupted by your audience."
"The secret of success for a lecturer, my boy," replied the foreign visitor, "is not to have a theme."
"That speaker certainly made a hit."
"What did he talk about?"
"About ten minutes."
EMPLOYER (coming upon colored porter looking through the dictionary)—"What are you doing, Sam; looking up some more big words for another speech?"
"No, sah. 'Tain't that. Ah's jes' translatin' the speech ah made las' night."
CHAIRMAN (of public banquet)—"Gentlemen, before I introduce the next speaker, there will be a short recess, giving you all a chance to go out and stretch your legs."
GUEST—"Who is the next speaker?"
CHAIRMAN—"Before telling you who he is, I would rather wait until you come back."—Life.
William Lyon Phelps, professor of English Literature at Yale, declares he gets credit for only 25 per cent of the after-dinner speeches he actually makes. "Every time I accept an invitation to speak, I really make four addresses. First, is the speech I prepare in advance. That is pretty good. Second, is the speech I really make. Third, is the speech I make on the way home, which is the best of all; and fourth, is the speech the newspapers next morning say I made, which bears no relation to any of the others."
"What would be a good way to raise revenue and still benefit the people?"
"Tax every speech made in this country."
"Many's de speech I has listened to," said Uncle Eben, "dat left me wonderin' whether I was gettin' infohmation or entertainment."
A noted Frenchman, on visiting England was asked to speak at a banquet. Being interested in his subject he spoke at great length. Suddenly realizing another speaker was to follow him he closed his remarks with an apology, saying "I am very sorry but there is another speaker and I am afraid I have cockroached on his time."
A burst of laughter greeted this remark and in much confusion he turned to the Englishman next to him and asked what break he had made.
The Englishman, in a reassuring manner, said "It wasn't exactly a break only here in England we don't say cockroach, we say 'h—encroach.'"
A political meeting was on in a certain Iowa town and Thomas R. Marshall, Vice-President of the United States, was to speak. The hall was packed and the air was stifling. For some reason, it was impossible to open the windows, and one had to be broken.
It was feared that the noise would startle the audience and perhaps throw them into a panic. The mayor of the town stepped forward to give warning. The audience, however, had not assembled to listen to the mayor, and overwhelmed him with cries of "Marshall! Marshall!"
Silence was not restored till the infuriated official yelled at the top of his voice:
"I'm not going to make a speech! I have something to say!"
"Do you know what it is to go before an audience?"
"No. I spoke before an audience once, but most of it went before I did."
A lank, disconsolate-looking farmer, stood on the steps of the town hall during the progress of a political meeting.
"Do you know who's talking in there now?" demanded a stranger, briskly, pausing for a moment beside the farmer. "Or are you just going in?"
"No, sir; I've just come out," said the farmer, decidedly. "Congressman Smiffkins is talking in there."
"What about?" asked the stranger.
"Well," continued the countryman, passing a knotted hand across his forehead, "he didn't say."
"You haven't had much to say lately," commented the old friend.
"True," replied Senator Sorghum. "But you must give me credit for one thing—I realized the fact and kept still."
Captain "Ian Hay," on one of his war lecture tours, entered a barber's shop in a small town to have his hair cut.
"Stranger in the town, sir?" the barber asked.
"Yes, I am," Ian Hay replied. "Anything going on here tonight?"
"There's a war lecture by an English fighter named Hay," said the barber: "but if you go you'll have to stand, for every seat in the hall is sold out."
"Well, now," said Ian Hay, "isn't that provoking? It's always my luck to have to stand when that Hay chap lectures."
See also Politicians.
He was a typical gamin, so diminutive in stature that I had to stoop to interrogate him, which I did in this way:
"Where do you get your papers, my little man?"
"Oh, I buy 'em in the Times alley."
"What do you pay for them?"
"What do you sell them for?"
"You don't make anything at that?"
"Then what do you sell them for?"
"Oh, just to get a chance to holler."
Epitaph for Any New Yorker
I, who all my life had hurried, Came to Peter's crowded gate; And, as usual, was worried, Fearing that I might be late
So, when I began to jostle (I forgot that I was dead) Patient smiled the old Apostle: "Take your Eternity," he said.
See also Alarm clocks.
"Can't you stretch a point?"
"Certainly," said the period. And thus was born the comma.
A high-school girl said to her father the other night:
"Daddy, I've got a sentence here I'd like you to punctuate. You know something about punctuation, don't you?"
"A little," said her cautious parent, as he took the slip of paper she handed him.
This is what he read:
"A five-dollar bill flew around the corner"
He studied it carefully.
"Well," he finally said, "I'd simply put a period after it, like this."
"I wouldn't," said the high-school girl; "I'd make a dash after it!"
In one of the many navy schools a young instructor was attempting to teach English to a gruff old sailor. "What is a complete sentence?" he said.
"Solitary confinement, bread and water," was the grim reply.
Among the Monday morning culprits haled before a Baltimore police magistrate was a darky with no visible means of support.
"What occupation have you here in Baltimore?" asked his Honor.
"Well, jedge," said the darky, "I ain't doin' much at present—jest circulatin' round, suh."
His Honor turned to the clerk of the court and said:
"Please enter the fact that this gentleman has been retired from circulation for sixty days."
"Germany is going to be badly surprised when the Allies' peace terms are read to her. The peace terms are very severe—just, but very severe."