"Ay, ay, of course. But what do folks say?"
"They say their prayers every Sunday."
"That isn't what I mean. I want to know whether there is anything new and fresh."
"Yes; bread and herrings."
"Ah, you are a queer fellow. Pray, mister, may I ask your name?"
"Fools and clowns," said the gentleman, "call me 'Mister;' but I am in reality one of the clowns of Aristophanes; and my real name is Brekekekex Koax! Drive on, postilion!"
Now this is what we call a "pursuit of knowledge under difficulties" of the most obstinate kind.
THERE is a good story told recently of Baron Rothschild, of Paris, the richest man of his class in the world, which shows that it is not only "money which makes the mare go" (or horses either, for that matter), but "ready money," "unlimited credit" to the contrary notwithstanding. On a very wet and disagreeable day, the Baron took a Parisian omnibus, on his way to the Bourse or Exchange; near which the "Nabob of Finance" alighted, and was going away without paying. The driver stopped him, and demanded his fare. Rothschild felt in his pocket, but he had not a "red cent" of change. The driver was very wroth:
"Well, what did you get in for, if you could not pay? You must have known that you had no money!"
"I am Baron Rothschild!" exclaimed the great capitalist; "and there is my card!"
The driver threw the card in the gutter: "Never heard of you before," said the driver, "and don't want to hear of you again. But I want my fare—and I must have it!" The great banker was in haste. "I have only an order for a million," he said. "Give me change;" and he proffered a "coupon" for fifty thousand francs.
The conductor stared, and the passengers set up a horselaugh. Just then an "Agent de Change" came by, and Baron Rothschild borrowed of him the six sous.
The driver was now seized with a kind of remorseful respect; and turning to the Money-King, he said:
"If you want ten francs, Sir, I don't mind lending them to you on my own account!"
MRS. CAUDLE'S UMBRELLA.
ONE of the best chapters in "Mrs. Caudle's Curtain Lectures," is where that amiable and greatly abused angel reproaches her inhuman spouse with loaning the family umbrella:
"Ah! that's the third umbrella gone since Christmas! What were you to do? Why, let him go home in the rain. I don't think there was any thing about him that would spoil. Take cold, indeed! He does not look like one o' the sort to take cold. He'd better taken cold, than our only umbrella. Do you hear the rain, Caudle? I say do you hear the rain? Do you hear it against the windows? Nonsense; you can't be asleep with such a shower as that. Do you hear it, I say? Oh, you do hear it, do you? Well, that's a pretty flood, I think, to last six weeks, and no stirring all the time out of the house. Poh! don't think to fool me, Caudle: he return the umbrella! As if any body ever did return an umbrella! There—do you hear it? Worse and worse! Cats and dogs for six weeks—always six weeks—and no umbrella!
"I should like to know how the children are to go to school, to-morrow. They shan't go through such weather, that I'm determined. No; they shall stay at home, and never learn anything, sooner than go and get wet. And when they grow up, I wonder who they'll have to thank for knowing nothing. People who can't feel for their children ought never to be fathers.
"But I know why you lent the umbrella—I know very well. I was going out to tea to mother's, to-morrow;—you knew that very well; and you did it on purpose. Don't tell me; I know: you don't want me to go, and take every mean advantage to hinder me. But don't you think it, Caudle. No; if it comes down in buckets-full, I'll go all the more: I will; and what's more, I'll walk every step of the way; and you know that will give me my death," &c., &c., &c.
FOLLOW YOUR NOSE.
"PRAY, Sir, what makes you walk so crookedly?" "Oh, my nose, you see, is crooked, and I have to follow it!"
LORENZO DOW is still remembered by some of the "old fogies" as one of the most eccentric men that ever lived. On one occasion he took the liberty, while preaching, to denounce a rich man in the community, recently deceased. The result was an arrest, a trial for slander, and an imprisonment in the county jail. After Lorenzo got out of "limbo," he announced that, in spite of his (in his opinion) unjust punishment, he should preach, at a given time, a sermon about "another rich man." The populace was greatly excited, and a crowded house greeted his appearance. With great solemnity he opened the Bible, and read, "And there was a rich man who died and went to ——;" then stopping short, and seeming to be suddenly impressed, he continued: "Brethren, I shall not mention the place this rich man went to, for fear he has some relatives in this congregation who will sue me for defamation of character." The effect on the assembled multitude was irresistible, and he made the impression permanent by taking another text, and never alluding to the subject again.
THE following story, although latterly related of "a distinguished Southern gentleman, and former member of the cabinet," was formerly told, we are almost quite certain, of the odd and eccentric John Randoph of Roanoke, with certain omissions and additions. Be that as it may, the anecdote is a good one, and "will do to keep."
"The gentleman was a boarder in one of the most splendid of the New York hotels; and preferring not to eat at the table d'hote, had his meals served in his own parlor, with all the elegance for which the establishment had deservedly become noted.
"Being somewhat annoyed with the airs of the servant who waited upon him—a negro of 'the blackest dye'—he desired him at dinner one day to retire. The negro bowed, and took his stand behind the gentleman's chair. Supposing him to be gone, it was with some impatience that, a few minutes after, the gentleman saw him step forward to remove his soup.
"'Fellow!' said he, 'leave the room! I wish to be alone.'
"'Excuse me, Sah,' said Cuffee, drawing himself stiffly up, 'but I'se 'sponsible for de silver!'"
COULDN'T FIND IT OUT.
MR. SLOCUM was not educated in a university, and his life has been in by-paths, and out-of-the-way places. His mind is characterized by the literalness, rather than the comprehensive grasp of great subjects. Mr. Slocum can, however, master a printed paragraph, by dint of spelling the hard words, in a deliberate manner, and manages to gain a few glimpses of men and things, from his little rocky farm, through the medium of a newspaper. It is quite edifying to hear Mr. Slocum reading the village paper aloud, to his wife, after a hard day's work. A few evenings since, farmer Slocum was reading an account of a dreadful accident, which happened at the factory in the next town, and which the village editor had described in a great many words.
"I declare, wife, that was an awful accident over to the mills," said Mr. Slocum.
"What was it about, Mr. Slocum?"
"I'll read the 'count, wife, and then you'll know all about it."
Mr. S. began to read:
"Horrible and Fatal Accident.—It becomes our melancholy and painful duty, to record the particulars of an accident that occurred at the lower mill, in this village, yesterday afternoon, by which a human being, in the prime of life, was hurried to that bourne from which, as the immortal Shakspeare says, 'no traveler returns.'"
"Du tell!" exclaimed Mrs. S.
"Mr. David Jones, a workman, who has but few superiors this side of the city, was superintending one of the large drums—"
"I wonder if 'twas a brass drum, such as has 'Eblubust Unum' printed on't," said Mrs. Slocum.
—"When he became entangled. His arm was drawn around the drum, and finally his whole body was drawn over the shaft, at a fearful rate. When his situation was discovered, he had revolved with immense velocity, about fifteen minutes, his head and limbs striking a large beam a distinct blow at each revolution."
"Poor creeter! how it must have hurt him!"
"When the machinery had been stopped, it was found that Mr. Jones's arms and legs were macerated to a jelly."
"Well, didn't it kill him?" asked Mrs. S., with increasing interest.
"Portions of the dura mater, cerebrum, and cerebellum, in confused masses, were scattered about the floor; in short, the gates of eternity had opened upon him."
Here, Mr. Slocum paused to wipe his spectacles, and the wife seized the opportunity to press the question.
"Was the man killed?"
"I don't know—haven't come to that place yet; you'll know when I've finished the piece." And Mr. Slocum continued reading:
"It was evident, when the shapeless form was taken down, that it was no longer tenanted by the immortal spirit—that the vital spark was extinct."
"Was the man killed? that's what I want to come at," said Mrs. Slocum.
"Do have a little patience, old woman," said Mr. Slocum, eyeing his better half, over his spectacles, "I presume we shall come upon it right away." And he went on reading:
"This fatal casualty has cast a gloom over our village, and we trust that it will prove a warning to all persons who are called upon to regulate the powerful machinery of our mills."
"Now," said Mrs. Slocum, perceiving that the narration was ended, "now, I should like to know whether the man was killed or not?"
Mr. Slocum looked puzzled. He scratched his head, scrutinized the article he had been perusing, and took a graceful survey of the paper.
"I declare, wife," said he, "it's curious, but really the paper don't say."
CAUGHT ON A JURY.
THE following, which we have heard told as a fact, some time ago, may be beneficial to some gentleman who has a young and unsuspecting wife:
A certain man, who lived about ten miles from K——, was in the habit of going to town, about once a week, and getting on a regular spree, and would not return until he had time to "cool off," which was generally two or three days. His wife was ignorant of the cause of his staying out so long, and suffered greatly from anxiety about his welfare. When he would return, of course his confiding wife would inquire what had been the matter with him, and the usual reply was, that he was caught on the jury, and couldn't get off.
Having gathered his corn, and placed it in a large heap, he, according to custom, determined to call in his neighbors, and have a real corn-shucking frolic. So he gave Ned, a faithful servant, a jug and an order, to go to town and get a gallon of whiskey—a very necessary article on such occasions. Ned mounted a mule, and was soon in town, and, equipped with the whiskey, remounted to set out for home, all buoyant with the prospect of fun at shucking.
When he had proceeded a few hundred yards from town, he concluded to take the "stuff," and not satisfied with once, he kept trying until the world turned round so fast, that he turned off the mule, and then he went to sleep, and the mule to grazing. It was now nearly night, and when Ned awoke it was just before the break of day, and so dark, that he was unable to make any start towards home until light. As soon as his bewilderment had subsided, so that he could get the "point," he started with an empty jug, the whiskey having run out, and afoot, for the mule had gone home. Of course he was contemplating the application of a "two year old hickory," as he went on at the rate of two forty.
Ned reached home about breakfast time, and "fetched up" at the back door, with a decidedly guilty countenance.
"What in thunder have you been at, you black rascal?" said his master.
Ned knowing his master's excuse to his wife, when he went on a spree, determined to tell the truth, if he died for it, and said:
"Well, massa, to tell the truth, I was kotch on the jury, and couldn't get off."—Nashville News.
A CURE BY LAUGHTER.
AN aged widow had a cow, which fell sick. In her distress for fear of the loss of this her principal means of support, she had recourse to the rector, in whose prayers she had implicit faith, and humbly besought his reverence to visit her cow, and pray for her recovery. The worthy man, instead of being offended at this trait of simplicity, in order to comfort the poor woman, called in the afternoon at her cottage, and proceeded to visit the sick animal. Walking thrice round it, he at each time gravely repeated: "If she dies she dies, but if she lives she lives." The cow happily recovered, which the widow entirely attributed to the efficacy of her pastor's prayer. Some short time after, the rector himself was seized with a quinsy, and in imminent danger, to the sincere grief of his affectionate parishioners, and of none more than the grateful widow. She repaired to the parsonage, and after considerable difficulty from his servants, obtained admission to his chamber, when thrice walking round his bed, she repeated "If he dies he dies, but if he lives he lives;" which threw the doctor into such a fit of laughter, that the imposthume broke, and produced an immediate cure.
A WITTY lawyer once jocosely asked a boarding-house keeper the following question:
"Mr. ——, if a man gives you five hundred dollars to keep for him, and he dies, what do you do? Do you pray for him?"
"No, sir," replied ——, "I pray for another like him."
NON SUM QUALIS ERAM.
A NOBLE and learned lord, when attorney general, being at a consultation where there was considerable difference of opinion between him and his brother counsel, delivered his sentiments with his usual energy, and concluded by striking his hand on the table, and saying, "This, gentlemen, is my opinion." The peremptory tone with which this was spoken so nettled the solicitor, who had frequently consulted him when a young barrister, that he sarcastically repeated, "Your opinion! I have often had your opinion for five shillings." Mr. Attorney with great good humour said, "Very true, and probably you then paid its full value."
ONE SWALLOW DOES NOT MAKE A SUMMER.
ONE winter day, the Prince of Wales went into the Thatched House Tavern, and ordered a steak: "But," said his royal highness, "I am devilish cold, bring me a glass of hot brandy and water." He swallowed it, another, and another. "Now," said he, "I am comfortable, bring my steak." On which Mr. Sheridan took out his pencil, and wrote the following impromptu:
"The Prince came in, said it was cold, Then put to his head the rummer; Till swallow after swallow came, When he pronounced it summer."
CLASSICAL BULL. MILTON.
ADAM, the goodliest of men since born His sons; the fairest of her daughters Eve.
GIVE THE DEVIL HIS DUE.
AT the grand entertainment given at Vauxhall in July, 1813, to celebrate the victories of the Marquis of Wellington, the fire-works, prepared under the direction of General Congreve, were the theme of universal admiration. The General himself was present, and being in a circle where the conversation turned on monumental inscriptions, he observed that nothing could be finer than the short epitaph on Purcel, in Westminster Abbey.
"He has gone to that place where only his own Harmony can be exceeded."
"Why, General," said a lady, "it will suit you exactly, with the alteration of a single word.
"He is gone to that place, where only his own Fire-Works can be exceeded."
A SOUND REASON.
A CERTAIN cabinet minister being asked why he did not promote merit? "Because," answered he, "merit did not promote me."
AN eminent barrister arguing a cause respecting the infringement of a patent for buckles, took occasion to hold forth on its vast improvement; and by way of example, taking one of his own out of his shoe, "What," exclaimed he, "would my ancestors have said to see my feet ornamented with this?" "Aye," observed Mr. Mingay, "what would they have said to see your feet ornamented with either shoes or stockings?"
A HOOSIER AT THE ASTOR.
B. MET on the train an elderly Hoosier, who had been to the show-case exhibition at New York, and who had seen the hi po dro me, as he called it.
"Did you remain long in New York?" asked B.
"Well, no," he answered thoughtfully, "only two days, for I saw there was a right smart chance of starving to death, and I'm opposed to that way of going down. I put up at one of their taverns, and allowed I was going to be treated to the whole."
"Where did you stop?" said B., interrupting him.
"At the Astor House. I allow you don't ketch me in no such place again. They rung a gong, as they call it, four times after breakfast, and then, when I went to eat, there wasn't nary vittles on the table."
"What was there?" B. ventured to inquire.
"Well," said the old man, enumerating the items cautiously, as if from fear of omission—"there was a clean plate wrong side up, a knife, a clean towel, a split spoon, and a hand bill, and what was worse," added the old man, "the insultin' nigger up and asked me what I wanted. 'Vittles,' said I, 'bring in your vittles and I'll help myself!'"
"BUBBY, why don't you go home and have your mother sew up that awful hole in your trowsers?"
"Oh, you git eout, old 'oman," was the respectful reply, "our folks are economizing, and a hole will last longer than a patch any day."
QUAKER vs. QUAKER.
OLD JACOB J—— was a shrewd Quaker merchant in Burlington, New Jersey, and, like all shrewd men, was often a little too smart for himself.
An old Quaker lady of Bristol, Pennsylvania, just over the river, bought some goods at Jacob's store, when he was absent, and in crossing the river on her way home, she met him aboard the boat, and, as was usual with him upon such occasions, he immediately pitched into her bundle of goods and untied it to see what she had been buying.
"Oh now," says he, "how much a yard did you give for that, and that?" taking up the several pieces of goods. She told him the price, without, however, saying where she had got them.
"Oh now," says he again, "I could have sold you those goods for so much a yard," mentioning a price a great deal lower than she had paid. "You know," says he, "I can undersell every body in the place;" and so he went on criticising and undervaluing the goods till the boat reached Bristol, when he was invited to go to the old lady's store, and when there the goods were spread out on the counter, and Jacob was asked to examine the goods again, and say, in the presence of witnesses, the price he would have sold them at per yard, the old lady, meanwhile, taking a memorandum. She then went to the desk and made out a bill of the difference between what she had paid and the price he told her; then coming up to him, she said,
"Now, Jacob, thee is sure thee could have sold those goods at the price thee mentioned?"
"Oh now, yes," says he.
"Well, then, thy young man must have made a mistake; for I bought the goods from thy store, and of course, under the circumstances, thee can have no objection to refund me the difference."
Jacob, being thus cornered, could, of course, under the circumstances, have no objection. It is to be presumed that thereafter Jacob's first inquiry must have been, "Oh now, where did you get such and such goods?" instead of "Oh now, how much did you pay?"
HEM vs. HAW.
MR. OBERON (a man about town) was lately invited to a sewing party. The next day a friend asked him how the entertainment came off. "Oh, it was very amusing," replied Oberon, "the ladies hemmed and I hawed."
POETRY DONE TO ORDER.
ON one occasion a country gentleman, knowing Joseph Green's reputation as a poet, procured an introduction to him, and solicited a "first-rate epitaph" for a favorite servant who had lately died. Green asked what were the man's chief qualities, and was told that "Cole excelled in all things, but was particularly good at raking hay, which he could do faster than anybody, the present company, of course, excepted." Green wrote immediately—
"Here lies the body of John Cole: His master loved him like his soul; He could rake hay; none could rake faster, Except that raking dog, his master."
THE RIVAL CANDIDATES.
TWO candidates disputed the palm for singing, and left the decision to Dr. Arne, who having heard them exert their vocal abilities, said to the one, "You, Sir, are the worst singer I ever heard." On which the other exulting, the umpire, turning to him, said, "And as for you, Sir, you cannot sing at all."
A MEMBER of parliament took occasion to make his maiden speech, on a question respecting the execution of a particular statute. Rising solemnly, after three loud hems, he spoke as follows: "Mr. Speaker, have we laws, or have we not laws? If we have laws, and they are not executed, for what purpose were they made?" So saying, he sat down full of self-consequence. Another member then rose, and thus delivered himself: "Mr. Speaker, did the honourable member speak to the purpose, or not speak to the purpose? If he did not speak to the purpose, to what purpose did he speak?"
A BROAD HINT.
AN Irish gentleman, of tolerable assurance, obtruded his company where he was far from being welcome; the master of the house, indeed, literally kicked him down stairs. Returning to some acquaintance whom he had told his intention of dining at the above house, and being asked why he had so soon returned, he answered, "I got a hint that my company was not agreeable."
MR. ADDISON, whose abilities no man can doubt, was from diffidence totally unable to speak in the house. In a debate on the Union act, desirous of delivering his sentiments, he rose, and began, "Mr. Speaker, I conceive"—but could go no farther. Twice he repeated, unsuccessfully, the same attempt; when a young member, possessed of greater effrontery than ability, completely confused him, by rising and saying, "Mr. Speaker, the honourable gentleman has conceived three times, and brought forth nothing."
A SEVERE REPROOF.
THE late Duke of Grafton, one of the last of the old school of polished gentlemen, being seated with a party of ladies in the stage-box of Drury-lane theatre, a sprig of modern fashion came in booted and spurred. At the end of the act, the duke rose, and made the young man a low bow:
"I beg leave, Sir, in the name of these ladies, and for myself, to offer you our thanks for your forbearance."
"I don't understand you; what do you mean?"
"I mean, that as you have come in with your boots and spurs, to thank you for that you have not brought your horse too."
A FOREIGNER would be apt to suppose that all the dogs of England were literary, on reading a notice on a board stuck up in a garden at Millbank: "All dogs found in this garden will be shot."
A TRAVELER coming, wet and cold, into a country ale-house on the coast of Kent, found the fire completely blockaded. He ordered the landlord to carry his horse half a peck of oysters. "He cannot eat oysters," said mine host. "Try him," quoth the traveller. The company all ran out to see the horse eat oysters. "He won't eat them, as I told you," said the landlord. "Then," coolly replied the gentleman, who had taken possession of the best seat, "bring them to me, and I'll eat them myself."
A NECESSARY HINT.
OVER the chimney-piece, in the parlor of a public house, in Fleet street, is this inscription: "Gentlemen learning to spell, are requested to use yesterday's paper."
A COUNTRY parish clerk, being asked how the inscriptions on the tombs in the church-yard were so badly spelled? "Because," answered Amen, "the people are so niggardly, that they won't pay for good spelling."
WHILE a counsellor was pleading at the Irish bar, a louse unluckily peeped from under his wig. Curran, who sat next to him, whispered what he saw. "You joke," said the barrister. "If," replied Mr. Curran, "you have many such jokes in your head, the sooner you crack them the better."
A DIGNIFIED clergyman, possessor of a coal mine, respecting which he was likely to have a law-suit, sent for an attorney in order to have his advice. Our lawyer was curious to see a coal-pit, and was let down by a rope. Before he was lowered, he said to the parson, "Doctor, your knowledge is not confined to the surface of the world, but you have likewise penetrated to its inmost recesses; how far may it be from this to hell?" "I don't know, exactly," answered he, gravely, "but if you let go your hold, you'll be there in a minute."
A YOUNG officer being indicted for an assault on an aged gentleman, Mr. Erskine began to open the case thus: "This is an indictment against a soldier for assaulting an old man." "Sir," indignantly interrupted the defendant, "I am no soldier, I am an officer!" "I beg your pardon," said Mr. Erskine; "then, gentlemen of the jury, this is an indictment against an officer, who is no soldier, for assaulting an old man."
I ONCE met a free and easy actor, who told me he had passed three festive days at the Marquis and Marchioness of —— without any invitation, convinced (as proved to be the case) that my lord and my lady, not being on speaking terms, each would suppose the other had asked him.—Reynold's Life and Times.
WHEN Mr. Thelwell was on his trial for high treason, he wrote this note to his counsel, Mr. Erskine: "I am determined to plead my own cause." Erskine answered, "If you do, you'll be hanged." Thelwell replied, "I'll be hanged if I do."
THE HARDSHIPS OF LIFE.
A DRAMATIC author, not unconscious of his own abilities, observed, that he knew nothing so terrible as reading a play in the green-room, before so critical an audience. "I know something more terrible," said Mrs. Powell. "What is that?" "To be obliged to sit and hear it read."
SYMPTOMS OF CIVILIZATION.
WALKING STUART, being cast away on an unknown shore, where, after he and his companions had proceeded a long way without seeing a creature, at length, to their great delight, they descried a man hanging on a gibbet. "The joy," says he, "which this cheering sight excited, cannot be described; for it convinced us that we were in a civilized country."
A GENTLEMAN asked his black diamond merchant the price of coals. "Ah!" said he, significantly shaking his head, "coals are coals, now." "I am glad to hear that," observed the wit, "for the last I had of you, were half of them slates."
A SENTIMENTAL FOSSIL.
"WHAT is your name?" "My name is Norval, on the Grampian Hills."
"Where did you come from?" "I come from a happy land, where care is unknown."
"Where are you lodging now?" "I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls."
"Where are you going to?" "Far, far o'er hill and dell."
"What is your occupation?" "Some love to roam."
"Are you married?" "Long time ago. Polly put the kettle on."
"How many children have you?" "There's Doll, and Bet, and Moll, and Kate, and—"
"What is your wife's name?" "O no, we never mention her."
"Did your wife oppose your leaving her?" "She wept not, when we parted."
"In what condition did you leave her?" "A rose tree in full bearing."
"Is your family provided for?" "A little farm, well tilled."
"Did your wife drive you off?" "Oh, sublime was the warning."
"What did your wife say to you, that induced you to slope?" "Come, rest in this bosom."
"Was your wife good-looking?" "She wore a wreath of roses."
"Did your wife ever treat you badly?" "Oft in the stilly night."
"When you announced your intention of emigrating, what did she say?" "Oh, dear, what can the matter be?"
"And what did you reply?" "Sweet Kitty Clover, you bother me so!"
"Where did you last see her?" "Near the lakes, where drooped the willow."
"What did she say to you, when you were in the act of leaving?" "A place in thy memory, dearest!"
"Do you still love her?" "'Tis said that absence conquers love."
"What are your possessions?" "The harp that once through Tara's halls—"
"What do you propose to do with it?" "I'll hang my harp on a willow tree."
"Where do you expect to make a living?" "Over the water with Charley."
MR. CAMPBELL, a Highland gentleman, through whose estate in Argyleshire runs the military road which was made under the direction of General Wade, in grateful commemoration of its benefits, placed a stone seat on the top of a hill, where the weary traveler may repose, after the labour of his ascent, and on which is judiciously inscribed, Rest, and be thankful. It has, also, the following sublime distich:
"Had you seen this road, before it was made, You would lift up your hands, and bless General Wade."
"THERE was a man hanged this morning; one Vowel." "Well, let us be thankful, it was neither U nor I."
AN argument took place in a coffee-house, between two men of taste, as to the best method of dressing a beefsteak. They referred the matter to a comedian, who, having an eye to the shop, said he preferred Shakspeare's recipe to either of theirs, "Shakspeare's recipe!" they both exclaimed. "Aye, Shakspeare's recipe:
'If when 'twere done, 'twere well done, then 'twere well, It were done quickly.'"
MR. KING and Mr. Lewis walking together in Birmingham, a chimney sweeper and his boy passed them. The lad stared at them, exclaiming, "They be players!" "Hush! you dog," says the old sweep, "you don't know what you may come to yourself yet."
A REASONABLE BILL.
AN undertaker waited on a gentleman, with the bill for the burial of his wife, amounting to 67l. "That's a vast sum," said the widower, "for laying a silent female horizontally; you must have made some mistake!" "Not in the least," answered the coffin-monger, "handsome hearse—three coaches and six, well-dressed mutes, handsome pall—nobody, your honor, could do it for less." The gentleman rejoined: "It is a large sum, Mr. Crape; but as I am satisfied the poor woman would have given twice as much to bury me, I must not be behind her in an act of kindness; there is a check for the amount."
THE Marquis della Scallas, an Italian nobleman, giving a grand entertainment, his major domo informed him that there was a fisherman below with a remarkably fine fish, but who demanded for it a very uncommon price—he won't take any money, but insists on a hundred strokes of the strappado on his bare shoulders. The marquis surprised, ordered him in, when he persisted in his demand. To humor him the marquis complied, telling his groom not to lay on too hard. When he had received the fiftieth lash, he cried, "Hold! I have got a partner, to whom I have engaged that he should have half of whatever I was to receive for my fish—your lordship's porter, who would admit me only on that condition." It is almost unnecessary to add, that the porter had his share well paid, and that the fisherman got the full value for his prize.
JAMES II., when Duke of York, found his brother, King Charles, in Hyde-park, unattended, at what was considered a perilous time. The duke expressed his surprise that his majesty should venture alone in so public a place. "James," said the king, "take care of yourself; no man in England will kill me to make you king."
AN IRISH NOTICE.
IN a pool across a road in the county of Tipperary is stuck up a pole, having affixed to it a board, with this inscription: "Take notice, that when the water is over this board the road is impassable."
MOUTHS AND MEAT.
A POOR man, with a family of seven children, complained to his richer neighbor of his hard case, his heavy family, and the inequality of fortune. The other callously observed, that whenever Providence sent mouths it sent meat. "True," said the former, "but it has sent to you the meat, and me the mouths."
THE BENEFIT OF LYING.
A FELLOW was tried for stealing, and it was satisfactorily proved that he had acknowledged the theft to several persons, yet the jury acquitted him. The judge, surprised, asked their reason. The foreman said that he and his fellows knew the prisoner to be such an abominable liar, that they could not believe one word he said.
A BROAD HINT.
A GERMAN prince being one day on a balcony with a foreign minister, told him, "One of my predecessors made an ambassador leap down from this balcony." "Perhaps," said his excellency, "it was not the fashion then for ambassadors to wear swords."
AN auctioneer having turned publican, was soon after thrown into the King's Bench; on which the following paragraph appeared in the Morning Post: "Mr. A., who lately quitted the pulpit for the bar, has been promoted to the bench."
A LADY bespoke a pair of dress shoes from an eminent shoemaker in Jermyn-street. When they were brought home she was delighted with them. She put them on the same evening, and went to a ball, where she danced. Next day, examining her favorite shoes, she found them almost in pieces. She sent for the tradesman, and showed him them. "Good God!" said he, "it is not possible." At length, recollecting himself, he added, "How stupid I am! as sure as death your ladyship must have walked in them."
IN the time of the persecution of the protestants in France, the English ambassador solicited of Louis XIV. the liberation of those sent to the galleys on account of their religion. "What," answered the monarch, "would the king of England say, were I to demand the liberation of the prisoners in Newgate?" "The king, my master," replied the minister, "would grant them to your majesty, if you reclaimed them as brothers."
A CHARACTER SUPPORTED.
A BEGGAR asking alms under the character of a poor scholar, a gentleman put the question, Quomodo vales? The fellow, shaking his head, said he did not understand his honor. "Why," said the gentleman, "did you not say you were a poor scholar?" "Yes," replied the other, "a very poor scholar; so much so that I don't understand a word of Latin."
AN ESPECIAL FAVOR.
A BARONET scientifically skilled in pugilism, enjoyed no pleasure so much as giving gratuitous instructions in his favorite art. A peer paying him a visit, they had a sparring-match, in the course of which he seized his lordship behind, and threw him over his head with a violent shock. The nobleman not relishing this rough usage, "My lord," said the baronet, respectfully, "I assure you that I never show this manoeuvre except to my particular friends."
BUCHANAN the historian was, from his learning, thought in his days of superstition to be a wizard. An old woman, who kept an ale-house in St. Andrews, consulted George, in hopes that by necromantic arts he might restore her custom, which was unaccountably decreasing. He readily promised his aid. "Every time you brew, Maggy," says he, "go three times to the left round the copper, and at each round take out a ladle-full of water in the devil's name; then turn three times round to the right, and each time throw in a ladle-full of malt in God's name; but above all, wear this charm constantly on your breast, and never during your life attempt to open it, or dread the worst." She strictly conformed, and her business increased astonishingly. On her death her friends ventured to open and examine the charm, when they found it to contain these words:
"If Maggy will brew good ale, Maggy will have good sale."
Lady: You can not imagine, captain, how deeply I feel the want of children, surrounded as I am by every comfort—nothing else is wanting to render me supremely happy.
Captain O'Flinn: Faith, ma'am, I've heard o' that complaint running in families; p'rhaps your mother had not any childer either?
A BLUNT WITNESS.
AT a late term of the Court of Sessions a man was brought up by a farmer, accused of stealing some ducks.
"How do you know they are your ducks?" asked the defendant's counsel.
"Oh, I should know them any where," replied the farmer; and he went on to describe their different peculiarities.
"Why," said the prisoner's counsel, "those ducks can't be such a rare breed; I have some very like them in my own yard."
"That's not unlikely, Sir," replied the farmer; "they are not the only ducks I have had stolen lately!"
"Call the next witness!"
A MATHEMATICIAN being asked by a stout fellow,
"If two pigs weigh twenty pounds, how much will a large hog weigh?"
"Jump into the scales," was the reply, "and I'll tell you in a minute!"
The mathematician "had him there!"
A COMPANY of performers announced in their bills the opening of a theatre at Montrose, with the Farce of The Devil to Pay, to be followed with the Comedy of The West Indian. Adverse winds, however, prevented the arrival of their scenes from Aberdeen, in time for representation, on the evening appointed. It was therefore found necessary to give notice of the postponement of the performance, which was thus delivered by the town-crier:
"O yes! O yes! O yes! this is to let you to wit, that the play-ackers havena' got their screens up yet frae Aberdeen, and so canna begin the night; but on Monday night, God willing, there will be the Deevil to pay in the West Indies."
THE CUNNING FOOL.
A GENTLEMAN had a son who was deemed an idiot. The little fellow, when nine or ten years of age, was fond of drumming, and once dropt his drum-stick into the draw-well. He knew that his carelessness would be punished by its not being searched for, and therefore did not mention his loss, but privately took a large silver punch-ladle, and dropped it into the same well. Strict inquiry took place; the servants all pleaded ignorance, and looked with suspicion on each other; when the young gentleman, who had thrust himself into the circle, said he had observed something shine at the bottom of the draw-well. A fellow was dropt down in the bucket, and soon bawled out from the bottom, "I have found the punch-ladle, so wind me up." "Stop," roared out the lad, "stop, now your hand's in, you may as well bring up my drum-stick."
THE DEAN INSTRUCTED.
A GENTLEMAN having sent a turbot as a present to Swift, the servant who carried it entered the doctor's study abruptly, and laying down the fish, said, "Master has sent you this turbot." "Heyday! young man," exclaimed the Dean, "is this the way you behave yourself? Let me teach you better. Sit down on this chair, and I will show you how to deliver such a message." The boy sat down, and the Dean going to the door, with the fish in his hand, came up to the table, and making a low bow, said, "Sir, my master presents his kind compliments, and begs your acceptance of this turbot." "Does he?" answered the boy, assuming all the consequence of his situation. "Here, John! (ringing,) take this honest lad down to the kitchen, and let him have as much as he can eat and drink; then send him up to me, and I'll give him half a crown."
A GENTLEMAN, who used to frequent the Chapter Coffee-house, being unwell, thought he might make so free as to steal an opinion concerning his case; accordingly, one day he took an opportunity of asking one of the faculty, who sat in the same box with him, what he should take for such a complaint? "I'll tell you," said the doctor, "you should take advice."
MIRACLE OF MIRACLES.
THE author of the life of St. Francis Xavier, asserts, that "by one sermon he converted ten thousand persons in a desert island."
CREDAT JUDAEUS APELLA, NON EGO.
A GENTLEMAN, talking of the tenacity of life in turtles, asserted that he had himself seen the head of one, which had been cut off three weeks, open its jaws. The circle around did not exactly contradict him, but exhibited expressive appearances of incredulity. The historian referred himself to a stranger, whose polite attention to the tale flattered him that it had received his full credence, which was corroborated by the other observing that he had himself seen strong instances of the turtle's tenaciousness of life. The stranger answered, "Your account is a very extraordinary one; could you have believed it if you had not seen it yourself?" The narrator readily answered, "No." "Then," replied the other, to his infinite mortification, and the gratification of the company, "I hope you will pardon me if I do not believe it."
A SERVANT telling her master that she was going to give her mistress warning, as she kept scolding her from morning till night, he exclaimed with a sigh, "Happy girl! I wish I could give her warning too!"
A SERJEANT enlisted a recruit, who on inspection turned out to be a woman. Being asked by his officer how he made such a blunder, he said, "Plase your honor I could not help it; I enlisted this girl for a man, and he turns out to be a woman."
SCENE IN A POLICE OFFICE.
THE prisoner in this case, whose name was Dickey Swivel, alias "Stove Pipe Pete," was placed at the bar, and questioned by the Judge to the following effect:
Judge: Bring the prisoner into court.
Pete: Here I am, bound to blaze, as the spirits of turpentine said, when he was all a fire.
Judge: We'll take a little fire out of you. How do you live?
Pete: I ain't particular, as the oyster said when they asked if he'd be roasted or fried.
Judge: We don't want to know what the oyster said or the turpentine either. What do you follow?
Pete: Anything that comes in my way, as the engine said when he run over a little nigger.
Judge: Don't care anything about the locomotive. What's your business?
Pete: That's various, as the cat said when she stole the chicken off the table.
Judge: If I hear any more absurd comparisons, I will give you twelve months.
Pete: I am done, as the beef steak said to the cook.
Judge: Now, Sir, your punishment shall depend on the shortness and correctness of your answers. I suppose you live by going around the docks?
Pete: No, Sir. I can't go around docks without a boat, and I hain't got none.
Judge: Answer me now, Sir. How do you get your bread?
Pete: Sometimes at the baker's, and sometimes I eat taters.
Judge: No more of your stupid nonsense. How do you support yourself?
Pete: Sometimes on my legs, and sometimes on a cheer, (chair.)
Judge: How do you keep yourself alive?
Pete: By breathing, Sir.
Judge: I order you to answer this question correctly. How do you do?
Pete: Pretty well, thank you, Judge. How do you do?
Judge: I shall have to commit you.
Pete: Well, you have committed yourself first, that's some consolation.
A YOUTH of more vanity than talent, bragging that during his travels he never troubled his father for remittances, and being asked how he lived on the road, answered, "By my wits." "Then," replied his friend, "you must have traveled very cheaply."
TWO sailors on board of a man of war had a sort of religious dispute over their grog, in which one of them referred to the apostle Paul. "He was no apostle," said the other; and this minor question, after much altercation, they agreed to refer to the boatswain's mate, who after some consideration declared "that Paul was certainly never rated as an apostle on the books, because he is not in the list, which consisted only of twelve; but then he was an acting apostle."
THE BEST CUSTOMERS.
DR. RADCLIFF and Dr. Case being together in a jovial company over their bottle, the former, filling his glass, said, "Come, brother Case, here's to all the fools that are your patients." "I thank you, my wise brother Radcliff," answered Case, "let me have all the fools, and you are heartily welcome to all the rest of the practice."
A WEST INDIA LEGISLATOR.
IN the Jamaica House of Assembly, a motion being made for leave to bring in a bill to prevent the frauds of wharfingers, Mr. Paul Phipps, member for St. Andrew, rose and said, "Mr. Speaker, I second the motion; the wharfingers are to a man a set of rogues; I know it well; I was one myself for ten years."
THY OWN MOUTH SHALL CONDEMN THEE.
A PLAYER applied to the manager of a respectable country company for an engagement for himself and his wife, stating that his lady was capable of all the first line of business; but as to himself, he was the worst actor in the world. They were engaged, and the lady answered the character given of her. The husband having had the part of a mere walking gentleman sent him for his first appearance, asked the manager, indignantly, how he could put him into so paltry a part. "Sir," answered the other, "here is your own letter, stating that you are the worst actor in the world." "True," replied the other, "but then I had not seen you."
AVOID ALL OFFENCE.
DURING the riots of 1780, when most persons, to save their houses, wrote on their doors, No popery, Grimaldi, to avoid all mistakes, chalked up on his, No religion.
A LIBERAL PRICE.
LOUIS XI. in his youth used to visit a peasant, whose garden produced excellent fruit. When he ascended the throne, his friend presented him a turnip of extraordinary size. The king smiled, and remembering his past pleasures, ordered a thousand crowns to the peasant. The lord of the village hearing of this liberality, thus argued with himself: "If this fellow get a thousand crowns for his turnip, I have only to present a capital horse to the munificent monarch, and my fortune is made." Accordingly he carries to court a beautiful barb, and requests his majesty's acceptance of it. Louis highly praised the steed, and the donor's expectation was raised to the highest, when the king called out, "Bring me my turnip!" and presenting it to the seigneur, added, "This turnip cost me a thousand crowns, and I give it you for your horse."
IN a trial in the King's Bench, Mr. Erskine, counsel for the defendant, was charged by his opponent with traveling out of his way. Mr. Erskine in answer said, it reminded him of the celebrated Whitefield, who being accused by some of his audience of rambling in his discourse, answered, "If you will ramble to the devil, I must ramble after you."
A CONVENIENT NAP.
AN Oxford scholar, calling early one morning on another, when in bed, says,
"Jack, are you asleep?"
"Because, I want to borrow half a crown of you."
"Then I am asleep."
DR. JOHNSON, about the end of the year 1754, completed the copy of his dictionary, not more to his own satisfaction, than that of Mr. Millar, his bookseller, who, on receiving the concluding sheet, sent him the following note:
"Andrew Millar sends his compliments to Mr. Samuel Johnson, with the money for the last sheet of the copy of the dictionary, and thanks God he has done with him."
To which, the lexicographer returned the following answer:
"Samuel Johnson returns his compliments to Mr. Andrew Millar, and is very glad to find, as he does by his note, that Andrew Millar has the grace to thank God for anything."
A PROPER ADDRESS.
THE keeper of a mad-house, in a village near London, published an address in a newspaper, inviting customers, and commencing with, "Worthy the attention of the insane!"
A DEBT OF HONOR.
MOODY, the actor, was robbed of his watch and money. He begged the highwayman to let him have cash enough to carry him to town, and the fellow said, "Well, master Moody, as I know you, I'll lend you half a guinea; but, remember, honor among thieves!" A few days after, he was taken, and Moody hearing that he was at the Brown Bear, in Bow street, went to enquire after his watch; but when he began to speak of it, the fellow exclaimed, "Is that what you want? I thought you had come to pay the half guinea you borrowed of me."
A STUDENT, showing the Museum at Oxford to a party, among other things produced a rusty sword. "This," said he, "is the sword with which Balaam was going to kill his ass." "I thought," said one of the company, "that Balaam had no sword, but only wished for one." "You are right, sir," replied the student, nowise abashed, "this is the very sword he wished for."
M. BOURET, a French farmer-general, of immense fortune, but stupid to a proverb, being one day present, when two noblemen were engaged, in a party, at piquet, one of them happening to play a wrong card, exclaimed, "Oh, what a Bouret I am!" Offended at this liberty, Bouret said instantly, "Sir, you are an ass." "The very thing I meant," replied the other.
THE DIFFICULTY SURMOUNTED.
EXECUTIONS not being very frequent in Sweden there are a great number of towns in that country without an executioner. In one of these a criminal was sentenced to be hanged which occasioned some little embarrassment, as it obliged them to bring a hangman from a distance at a considerable expense, besides the customary fee of two crowns. A young tradesman, belonging to the city council, giving his sentiments, said, "I think, gentlemen, we had best give the malefactor the two crowns, and let him go and be hanged where he pleases."
THE humors of the telegraph are very amusing. A year or so since, the agent of the Delaware and Hudson Freighting Line, at Honesdale, Pennsylvania, sent the following dispatch to the agent at New York:
"D. Horton—Dear Sir: Please send me a shipping-book for 1859."
The dispatch received, read as follows:
"D. Horton:—Please send me a shipping-box eighteen feet by nine."
The following might have been more disastrous in its results; the same parties were concerned. Mr. Horton wrote to the proprietor of the line that he had been subpoenaed on a trial to be held in the Supreme Court of New York, and that as navigation was about to open, it would be necessary to send a man to perform his office duties. The following reply was entrusted to the tender care of the telegraph wire:
"See the Judge at once and get excused. I cannot send a man in your place."
When received, it read as follows:
"See the Judge at once and get executed; I can send a man in your place."
Mr. H. claims on the margin of the dispatch a stay of execution.
Not long since a gentleman telegraphed to a friend at Cleveland an interesting family affair, as follows:
"Sarah and little one are doing well."
The telegraph reached its destination, when it read thus:
"Sarah and litter are doing well."
The recipient telegraphed back the following startling query:
"For Heaven's sake, how many?"
SLEEPING IN CHURCH.
A CLERGYMAN observed in his sermon, that this was unpardonable, as people did it with their eyes open. Wrapt up in the admiration of his own discourse, he did not observe that from its tediousness his audience one by one had slipped away, until there only remained a natural. Lifting up his eyes, he exclaimed, "What! All gone, except this poor idiot!" "Aye," says the lad, "and if I had not been a poor idiot I had been gone too."
A LADY asked her butler how she might best save a barrel of excellent small beer; he answered, "By placing a cask of strong beer by it."
A CONSTELLATION OF BULLS.
A letter written during the Irish rebellion.
My dear Sir:—Having now a little peace and quietness, I sit down to inform you of a dreadful bustle and confusion we are in from these blood-thirsty rebels, most of whom are, however, thank God, killed or dispersed.
We are in a pretty mess; can get nothing to eat, nor any wine to drink, except whiskey; and when we sit down to dinner, we are obliged to stand with arms in both hands: whilst I write this letter, I hold a sword in one hand and a pistol in the other. I concluded, from the beginning, that this would be the end of it; and I see I was right, for it is not half over yet. At present there is such goings on, that every thing is at a stand.
I should have answered your letter a fortnight ago, but it only came this morning. Indeed, hardly a mail arrives safe, without being robbed. Yesterday the coach with the mails from Dublin was robbed near this town: but the bags had been judiciously left behind, for fear of accidents; and by good luck there was nobody in the coach, except two outside passengers, who had nothing for the thieves to take.
Last Thursday an alarm was given, that a gang of rebels were advancing hither, under the French standard; but they had no colors, nor any drums except bagpipes. Immediately every man in the place, including women and children, ran out to meet them. We soon found our force much too little; and they were far too near for us to think of retreating; so to it we went: death was in every face; but by the time half our little party was killed, we began to be all alive. The rebels fortunately had no guns, except cutlasses and pikes; and as we had plenty of muskets and ammunition, we put them all to the sword: not a soul of them escaped, except some that were drowned in the adjoining bog; and in a very short time nothing was to be heard but silence. Their uniforms were all of different shapes and colours—in general they were green. After the action we rummaged their camp; all we found was a few pikes without heads, a parcel of empty bottles full of water, and a bundle of blank French commissions filled up with Irishmen's names.
Troops are now stationed every where round the country, which exactly squares with my ideas. Nothing, however, can save us but a union, which would turn our barren hills into fruitful valleys. I have only leisure to add, that I am in great haste.
Yours truly, J. B.
P. S. If you do not receive this in course, it must have miscarried, therefore write immediately to let me know.
THE LOGICIAN REWARDED.
A FARMER'S son, who had been bred at the university, coming home to visit his parents, a couple of chickens were brought to the table for supper. "I can prove," said he, "by logic, that these two chickens are three." "Well, let us hear," said the old man. "This," cried the scholar, "is one; and this is two; one and two make three." "Very good," replied the father, "your mother shall have the first chicken, I will have the second, and you, for your great learning, shall have the third."
THE captain of the Magnanime found it necessary one day to order a negro on board a flogging. Being tied up, the captain harangued him on his offence. Quaco, naked and shivering in the month of December, exclaimed, "Massa! if you preachee, preachee; if you floggee, floggee; but no preachee and floggee too."
REASON AND A PROVERB EXPLAINED.
IN a party of wits an argument took place as to the definition of a reasonable animal. Speech was principally contended for; but on this Dr. Johnson observed, that parrots and magpies speak; were they therefore rational? "Women," he added, "we know, are rational animals; but would they be less so if they spoke less?" Jamie Boswell contended that cookery was the criterion of reason; for that no animal but man did cook. "That," observed Burke, "explains to me a proverb, which I never before could understand—There is reason in the roasting of eggs."
A GENERAL COMPLAINT.
THE lieutenant colonel of one of the Irish regiments in the French service being dispatched from Fort Keil by the Duke of Berwick to the King of France, with a complaint of some irregularities that had occurred in that regiment, his majesty observed passionately, that the Irish troops gave him more trouble than all his forces besides. "Sir," said the officer, "all your majesty's enemies make the same complaint."
COOLNESS IN ACTION.
IN the action off Camperdown, Admiral de Winter asked one of his lieutenants for a quid of tobacco. In the act of presenting it, the lieutenant was carried off by a cannon-ball. "I must be obliged to you then," said the admiral, turning to another officer, "for you see our friend is gone away with his tobacco box."
A TRAVELER coming into an inn in a very cold night, stood rather too close before the kitchen fire. A rogue in the chimney corner told him, "Sir, you'll burn your spurs." "My boots, you mean," said the gentleman. "No, Sir," replied the other, "they are burnt already."
A FRENCH marquis boasted of the inventive genius of his nation, especially in matters of dress and fashion; "For instance," said he, "the ruffle, that fine ornament of the hand, which has been followed by all other nations." "True," answered the Englishman, "but we generally improve on your inventions; for example, in adding the shirt to the ruffle."
AT the time of the jubilee, 1809, a meeting was held of the felons in Newgate to pray his majesty for their pardon and liberation on the auspicious occasion. One of them observed, that it would be better, for them and their successors, to petition that all felonies be tried in the Court of Chancery.
THE LEARNED DOG.
FRANK SIMS, the theatrical registrar, had a dog named Bob, and a sagacious dog he was; but he was a pusillanimous dog, in a word, an arrant coward, and above all things he dreaded the fire of a gun. His master having taken him once to the enclosed part of Hyde Park next to Kensington Gardens, when the guards were exercising, their first fire so alarmed Bob that he scampered off, and never after could be prevailed on to enter that ground. One day he followed his master cordially till he arrived at its entrance, where a board is placed, with this inscription: "Do shoot all dogs who shall be found within this inclosure;" when immediately he turned tail, and went off as fast as his legs could carry him. A French gentleman, surprised at the animal's rapid retreat, politely asked Mr. Sims what could be the cause. "Don't you see," said Sims, "what is written on the board?" to the utter astonishment of the Frenchman, who had never before seen a dog that could read.
CAUSE OF BULLS.
SIR RICHARD STEELE, being asked why his countrymen were so addicted to making bulls, said, he believed there must be something in the air of Ireland, adding, "I dare say, if an Englishman were born there he would do the same."
A NOTED miser boasted that he had lost five shillings without uttering a single complaint. "I am not at all surprised at that," said a wit, "extreme sorrow is mute."
AS THE FOOL THINKS THE BELL CLINKS.
A WIDOW, desirous of marrying her servant John, consulted the curate on the subject.
"I am not yet beyond the age of marriage."
"But people will say that my intended is too young for me."
"He would assist me in managing the business."
"But I am afraid he would soon despise me."
"But on the other hand a poor widow is despised who has no protector."
"I am sadly afraid, however, that he would take up with the wenches."
"Then don't marry."
Uncertain from these contradictory responses, the dame consulted the bells when ringing, and which seemed to repeat, "Marry your man John." She took this oracular advice, married, and soon repented. She again applied to the curate, who told her, "You have not observed well what the bells said; listen again." She did so, when they distinctly repeated, "Don't marry John."
A DOUBLE ENTENDRE.
A GENTLEMAN inspecting lodgings to be let, asked the pretty girl who showed them, "And are you, my dear, to be let with the lodgings?" "No," answered she, "I am to be let—alone."
REASON ON BOTH SIDES.
CHARLES II. asked Bishop Stillingfleet how it happened that he preached in general without book, but always read the sermons which he delivered before the court. The bishop answered, that the awe of seeing before him so great and wise a prince made him afraid to trust himself. "But will your majesty," continued he, "permit me to ask you a question in my turn? Why do you read your speeches to parliament?" "Why doctor," replied the king, "I'll tell you very candidly. I have asked them so often for money, that I am ashamed to look them in the face."
SELF TAUGHT GENIUS.
IN a company of artists, the conversation turned on the subject, whether self-taught men could arrive at the perfection of genius combined with instruction. A German musician maintained the affirmative, and gave himself as an example. "I have," said he, "made a fiddle, which turns out as good as any Cremona I ever drew a bow over, all out of my own head; aye, and I have got wood enough left to make another."
AN ARTFUL REQUEST.
A GENTLEMAN traveling from Paris to Calais, was accosted by a man walking along, who begged the favor of him to let him put his great coat in his carriage. "With all my heart," said the gentleman, "but if we should be going different ways, how will you get your great coat?" "Sir," answered the other, with apparent naivete, "I shall be in it."
A YOUNG gentleman, a clerk in the Treasury, used every morning, as he came from his lady mother's to the office, to pass by the canal in the Green Park, and feed the ducks then kept there, with bread and corn, which he carried in his pocket for the purpose. One day, having called his grateful friends, the ducky, ducky, duckies, he found unfortunately that he had forgotten them. "Poor duckies!" he cried, "I am sorry I have not brought your allowance, but here is sixpence for you to buy some," and threw in a sixpence, which one of them caught and gobbled up. At the office he very wisely told the story to the other gentlemen there, with whom he was to dine next day. One of the party putting the landlord up to the story, desired him to have ducks at the table, and put a sixpence in the body of one of them, which was taken care to be placed before our hero. On cutting it up, and discovering the sixpence in its belly, he ordered the waiter to send up his master, whom he loaded with the epithets of rascal and scoundrel, swearing that he would have him prosecuted for robbing the king of his ducks; "For," said he, "gentlemen, I assure you, on my honor, that yesterday morning, I gave this sixpence to one of the ducks in the Green Park."'
A CERTAIN clergyman having been examined as a witness in the King's Bench, the adverse counsel, by way of brow-beating, said, "If I be not mistaken, you are known as the bruising parson." "I am," said the divine, "and if you doubt it I will give it you under my hand."
A MAN who was sentenced to be hung was visited by his wife, who said: "My dear, would you like the children to see you executed?" "No," replied he. "That's just like you," said she, "for you never wanted the children to have any enjoyment."
IN the Irish Bank-bill, passed in June 1808, there is a clause, providing, that the profits shall be equally divided; and the residue go to the Governor.
IN a bill for pulling down the old Newgate in Dublin, and rebuilding it on the same spot, it was enacted, that the prisoners should remain in the old jail till the new one was completed.
CLASSICAL BULL. MILTON.
THE deeds themselves, though mute, spoke loud the doer.
I WILL strive with things impossible, Yea, get the better of them.
ANOTHER. DR. JOHNSON.
TURN from the glittering bribe your scornful eye, Nor sell for gold what gold can never buy.
CLASSICAL BULL. DR. JOHNSON.
EVERY monumental inscription should be in Latin; for that being a dead language, it will always live.
NOR yet perceived the vital spirit fled, But still fought on, nor knew that he was dead.
SHAKSPEARE has not only shown human nature as it is, but as it would be found in situations to which it cannot be exposed.
THESE observations were made by favor of a contrary wind.
A HORRID silence first invades the ear.
WHEN first young Maro, in his noble mind, A work t'outlast immortal Rome designed.
DEPRAVITY OF THE AGE.
AN itinerant clergyman preaching on this subject, said that little children, who could neither speak nor walk, were to be seen running about the street, cursing and swearing.
A MONK having intruded into the chamber of a nobleman, who was at the point of death, and had lost his speech, continued crying out, "My lord, will you make the grant of such and such a thing to our monastery? It will be for the good of your soul." The peer, at each question, nodded his head. The monk, on this, turned round to the son and heir, who was in the room: "You see, sir, my lord, your father, gives his assent to my request." To this, the son made no reply; but turning to his father, asked him, "Is it your will, sir, that I kick this monk down stairs?" The nod of assent was given, and the permission put in force with hearty good will.
A LONG BOW.
A DEALER in the marvellous was a constant frequenter of a house in Lambeth-walk, where he never failed to entertain the company with his miraculous tales. A bet was laid, that he would be surpassed by a certain actor, who, telling the following story, the palm was not only given to him by the company, but the story teller, ashamed, deserted the house:
"Gentlemen," said the actor, "when I was a lad, at sea, as we lay in the Bay of Messina, in a moonlight night, and perfectly calm, I heard a little splashing, and looking over the ship's bow, I saw, as I thought, a man's head, and to my utter surprise, there arose out of the water a man, extremely well-dressed, with his hair highly powdered, white silk stockings, and diamond buckles, his garment being embroidered with the most brilliant scales. He walked up the cable with the ease and elegance of a Richer. Stepping on deck, he addressed me in English, thus: 'Pray, young man, is the captain on board?' I, with my hair standing on end, answered, 'Yes, sir.' At this moment, the captain, overhearing our conversation, came on deck, and received the visitor very courteously, and without any apparent surprise. Asking his commands, the stranger said, 'I am one of the submarine inhabitants of this neighborhood. I had, this evening, taken my family to a ball, but on returning to my house, I found the fluke of your anchor jammed so close up to my street door, that we could not get in. I am come therefore, to entreat you, sir, to weigh anchor, so that we may get in, as my wife and daughters are waiting in their carriage, in the street.' The captain readily granted the request of his aquatic visitor, who took his leave with much urbanity, and the captain returned to bed."
GOOD HUMOR RESTORED.
ONE evening, at the Haymarket theatre, the farce of the Lying Valet was to be performed, Sharp, by Mr. Shuter; but that comedian being absent, an apology was made, and it was announced that the part would be undertaken by Mr. Weston, whose transcendent comic powers were not then sufficiently appreciated. Coming on with Mrs. Gardner, in the part of Kitty Pry, there was a tumultuous call of "Shuter! Shuter!" but Tom put them all in good temper, by asking, with irresistibly quaint humor, "Why should I shoot her? She plays her part very well."
THE Abbe Tegnier, secretary to the French academy, one day made a collection of a pistole a head from the members, for some general expense. Not observing that the President Rose, who was very penurious, had put his money in the hat, he presented it to him a second time. M. Rose assured him that he had put in his pistole. "I believe it," said the Abbe, "though I did not see it." "And I," said Fontenelle, "saw it, and could not believe it."
AT a party of noblemen of wit and genius, it was proposed to try their skill in composition, each writing a sentence on whatsoever subject he thought proper, and the decision was left to Dryden, who formed one of the company. The poet having read them all, said, "There are here abundance of fine things, and such as do honor to the noble writers, but I am under the indispensable necessity of giving the palm to my lord Dorset; and when I have read it, I am convinced your lordships will all be satisfied with my judgment—these are the inimitable words:
"'I promise to pay to John Dryden, on order, the sum of five hundred pounds.
A CARD PUN.
A BUTCHER'S boy, running against a gentleman with his tray, made him exclaim, "The deuce take the tray!" "Sir," said the lad, "the deuce can't take the tray."
A WHIMSICAL IDEA.
THE late Sir Thomas Robinson was a tall, uncouth figure, and his appearance was still more grotesque, from his hunting-dress: a postilion's cap, a tight green jacket, and buckskin breeches. Being at Paris, and going in this habit to visit his sister, who was married, and settled there, he arrived when there was a large company at dinner. The servant announced M. Robinson, and he entered, to the great amazement of the guests. Among others, an Abbe thrice lifted his fork to his mouth, and thrice laid it down, with an eager stare of surprise. Unable longer to restrain his curiosity, he burst out with, "Excuse me, Sir, are you the Robinson Crusoe so famous in history?"
AN IRISH SOLDIER'S QUARTERS.
TWO Irish soldiers being stationed in a borough in the west of England, got into a conversation respecting their quarters. "How," said the one, "are you quartered?" "Pretty well." "What part of the house do you sleep in?" "Upstairs." "In the garret, perhaps?" "The garret! no, Dennis O'Brien would never sleep in the garret." "Where then?" "Why, I know not what you call it; but if the house were turned topsy turvy, I should be in the cellar."
A DISTINGUISHED wag about town says, the head coverings the ladies wear now-a-days, are barefaced false hoods. The perpetrator of this is still at large.
A MARSHAL HUMBLED.
A FRENCH Field Marshal who had attained that rank by court favour, not by valour, received from a lady the present of a drum, with this inscription—"made to be beaten."
The same hero, going one evening to the Opera, forcibly took possession of the box of a respectable Abbe, who for this outrage brought a suit in a court of honour, established for such cases under the old government. The Abbe thus addressed the court: "I come not here to complain of Admiral Suffrein, who took so many ships in the East Indies. I come not to complain of Count de Grasse, who fought so nobly in the West; I come not to complain of the Duke de Crebillon, who took Minorca; but I come to complain of the Marshal B——, who took my box at the Opera, and never took any thing else." The court paid him the high compliment of refusing his suit, declaring that he had himself inflicted sufficient punishment.
A COURTLY COMPLIMENT.
A FRENCH officer, just arrived, and introduced to the Court at Vienna, the Empress told him she heard he had in his travels visited a lady renowned for her beauty; and asked if it was true that she was the most handsome princess of her time. The courtier answered, "I thought so yesterday."
AT a circuit dinner, a counsellor observed to another, "I shall certainly hang your client." His friend answered, "I give you joy of your new office."
A FRENCHMAN, taken into slavery by an Algerine, was asked what he could do. His answer was, that he had been used to a sedentary employment. "Well, then," said the pirate, "you shall have a pair of feather breeches, to sit and hatch chickens."
A ROYAL DECISION.
THE Princess of Prussia, having ordered some silks from Lyons, they were stopped for duties by an excise officer, whom she ordered to attend her with the silks, and receive his demand. On his entrance into her apartment, the princess flew at the officer, and seizing the merchandise, gave him two or three hearty cuffs on the face. The mortified exciseman complained to the king in a memorial, to which his majesty returned the following answer:
"The loss of the duties belonging to my account, the silks are to remain in the possession of the princess, and the cuffs with the receiver. As to the alleged dishonor, I cancel the same, at the request of the complainant; but it is, of itself, null; for the white hand of a fair lady cannot possibly dishonor the face of an exciseman.
Berlin, Nov. 30th, 1778.
A LADY'S favorite dog having bitten a piece out of a male visitor's leg, she exclaimed, "Poor dear little creature! I hope it will not make him sick."
TWO gentlemen, wishing to go into a tavern on one of the national fast-days, found the door shut; and on their knocking, the waiter told them from within, that his master would allow no one to enter during service on the fast-day. "Your master," said one of them, "might be contented to fast himself, without making his doors fast too."
A WHIMSICAL IDEA.
A NOBLE lord asked a clergyman at the foot of his table, why, if there was a goose at dinner, it was always placed next the parson. "Really," said he, "I can give no reason for it; but your question is so odd, that I shall never after see a goose without thinking of your lordship."
THE BREECHES-MAKER CAPTAIN.
A CAPTAIN in a volunteer corps, drilling his company, had occasion to desire one of the gentlemen to step farther out in marching. The order not being attended to, was repeated in a peremptory tone, when the private exclaimed, "I cannot, captain, you have made my breeches too tight."
TIT FOR TAT.
TWO contractors, who had made large fortunes, had a quarrel. One of them, in the midst of the altercation, asked the other contemptuously, "Do you remember, Sir, when you were my footman?" The other answered, "I do; and had you been my footman, you would have been a footman still."
A SAILOR being about to set out for India, a citizen asked him:
"Where did your father die?"
"And where did your grandfather die?"
"As he was fishing, a storm arose, and the bark foundering, all on board perished."
"And your great-grandfather?"
"He also perished on board a ship which struck on a rock."
"Then," said the citizen, "if I were you, I would never go to sea."
"And pray, Mr. Philosopher," observed the seaman, "where did your father die?"
"In his bed."
"And your grandfather?"
"In his bed."
"And your great-grandfather?"
"He and all my ancestors died quietly in their beds."
"Then, if I were you, I would never go to bed."
WHEN the School for Scandal was first performed, Mr. Cumberland sat in the front of the stage box with the most complete apathy; its wit and humor never affected his risible muscles. This being reported to Mr. Sheridan, he observed, "That was very ungrateful, for I am sure I laughed heartily at his tragedy of The Battle of Hastings."
REASONS FOR DRAM-DRINKING.
A GENTLEMAN in a coffee-house called, "Waiter! bring me a glass of brandy; I am very hot." Another, "Waiter! a glass of brandy; I am devilish cold." Mr. Quin, "Waiter! give me a glass of brandy; because I like it."
A LADY asked a silly but conceited Scotch nobleman, how it happened that the Scots who came out of their own country were in general of more abilities than those who remained at home. "Madam," said he, "the reason is obvious; at every outlet there are persons stationed to examine those who pass, that for the honor of the country no one be permitted to leave it who is not a person of understanding." "Then," said she, "I presume your lordship was smuggled."
A GENTLEMAN desired his boot-maker, as he took measure, to observe particularly that one of his legs was bigger than the other, and of course to make one of his boots bigger than the other. When they were brought home, trying the larger boot on the small leg, it went on easily, but when he attempted the other, his foot stuck fast. "You are a pretty tradesman," said he, "I ordered you to make one of the boots larger than the other; and, instead of that, you have made one of them smaller than the other."
THE DOUBLE BULL.
"HOW can you call these blackberries, when they are red?" "Don't you know that black berries are always red when they are green?"
WHEN General and Mrs. V. were in Dublin, they were perpetually teased by an old woman whom they had relieved, but whose importunity had no bounds; every time she could find an opportunity she had a fresh tale to extract money from their pockets. One day as they were stepping into their carriage, Molly accosted them: "Ah! good luck to your honor's honor, and your ladyship's honor,—to be sure I was not dreaming of you last night; I dreamt that your honor's honor gave me a pound of tobacco, and her ladyship gave me a pound of taa." "Aye, my good woman," says the general, "but you know dreams always go by contraries." "Do they so?" replied she, "then it must be that your honor will give me the taa, and her ladyship the tobacco."
THE PROVIDENT WIFE.
A TAILOR dying said to his wife, who was plunged in tears, "My dear, don't let my death afflict you too much. I would recommend you to marry Thomas, our foreman; he is a good lad and a clever workman, and would assist you to carry on the trade." "My love," answered the disconsolate dame, "make yourself easy on that score, for Tom and I have settled the matter already."
THE COCKNEY'S BAGGAGE.
SUT LOVINGOOD sends the following to an exchange. A full-blooded Cockney who is now taking notes on the United States, chanced to be on one of our southern trains, when a "run off" took place, and a general mixing up of things was the consequence. Cockney's first act, after straightening out his collapsed hat, was to raise a terrible 'ubbub about 'is baggage, and among other things, wanted to know, "hif railroads hin Hamerika wasn't responsible for baggage stolen, smashed, or missing?"
"Well, yes," said the Tennessean addressed, "but it is a deuce of a job to get your pay."
"They will perhaps admit your claim, but then they offer to fight you for it; that's a standing American rule. There is the man employed by this road to fight for baggage," pointing to a huge bewhiskered train-hand, who stood by with his sleeves rolled up, "I think, if my memory serves me, he has fought for sixty-nine lots, an' blamed if he haint won 'em all. They gave him the empty trunks for his pay, and he is making a hundred dollars a month in selling trunks, valises, carpet-bags, and satchels. Have you lost any baggage?"
"No, no, not hat hall. Hi just hasked to learn your custom hin case hi did lose hany. Hi don't think hi'll lose mine 'owever."
Here the train-hand who overheard the talk, stepped up, and inquired, "Have you lost anything?"
"Ho no! ho no!" replied Cockney, with unusual energy.
"Can't I sell you a trunk?"
"Thank you, Sir. No, I think I have a supply."
"Well, if you do either lose baggage or want to buy a trunk already marked, deuced if I ain't the man to call on."
It is needless to say that instead of raising Cain generally, as Cockney had been doing, he betook him to zealously writing notes on American customs during the remainder of the delay. Probably he indited something fully equal to the London Times Georgia railroad story.
A SCHOLAR put his horse into a field belonging to Morton College, on which the Master sent him a message, that if he continued his horse there, he would cut off his tail. "Say you so!" answered the scholar, "go tell your master, if he cuts off my horse's tail, I will cut off his ears." This being delivered to the Master, he in a passion sent for the scholar, who appearing before him, he said sternly, "How now, Sir, what mean you by that menace you sent me?" "Sir," said the youth, "I menaced you not; I only said, if you cut off my horse's tail, I would cut off his ears."
THE LOST FOUND.
A SERVANT being sent with half a dozen living partridges in a present, had the curiosity to open the lid of the basket containing them, when they all made their escape. He proceeded, however, with the letter: the gentleman to whom it was addressed having read it, said, "I find in this letter half a dozen of partridges." "Do you, indeed?" cried Pat, "I am glad you have found them in the letter, for they all flew out of the basket."
A FILLIP TO A KING.
THE Earl of St. Albans was, like many other staunch loyalists, little remembered by Charles II. He was, however, an attendant at court, and one of his majesty's companions in his gay hours. On one such occasion, a stranger came with an important suit for an office of great value, just vacant. The king, by way of joke, desired the earl to personate him, and ordered the petitioner to be admitted. The gentleman, addressing himself to the supposed monarch, enumerated his services to the royal family, and hoped the grant of the place would not be deemed too great a reward. "By no means," answered the earl, "and I am only sorry that as soon as I heard of the vacancy I conferred it upon my faithful friend the Earl of St. Albans [pointing to the king], who has constantly followed the fortunes both of my father and myself, and has hitherto gone unrewarded." Charles granted for this joke what the utmost real services looked for in vain.
A MERITED REWARD.
A PHYSICIAN, during his attendance on a man of letters, remarking that the patient was very punctual in observing his regimen and taking his prescriptions, exclaimed with exultation, "My dear sir, you really deserve to be ill!"
A LONDONER told his friend that he was going to Margate for a change of hair. "You had better," said the other, "go to the wig-maker's shop."
A STORY APPLIED.
MR. BALFOUR, a Scotch advocate of dry humour, but much pomposity, being in a large company, where the convivial Earl of Kelly presided, was requested to give a song, which he declined. Lord Kelly, with all the despotism of a chairman, insisted that if he would not sing, he must tell a story or drink a pint bumper of wine. Mr. Balfour, being an abstemious man, would not submit to the latter alternative, but consented to tell a story. "One day," said he, "a thief, prowling about, passed a church, the door of which was invitingly open. Thinking that he might even there find some prey, he entered, and was decamping with the pulpit-cloth, when he found his exit interrupted, the doors having been in the interim fastened. What was he to do to escape with his plunder? He mounted the steeple, and let himself down by the bell-rope; but scarcely had he reached the bottom when the consequent noise of the bell brought together people, who seized him. As he was led off to prison he addressed the bell, as I now address your lordship; said he, 'Had it not been for your long tongue and your empty head I had made my escape.'"
A DISPUTE arose as to the site of Goldsmith's Deserted Village. An Irish clergyman insisted that it was the little hamlet of Auburn, in the county of Westmeath. One of the company observed that this was improbable, as Dr. Goldsmith had never been in that part of the country. "Why, gentlemen," exclaimed the parson, "was Milton in hell when he wrote his Paradise Lost?"
A QUAKER JOKE.
A CORRESPONDENT sends the Buffalo Express the following good thing for the hot weather:
K——, the Quaker President of a Pennsylvania railroad, during the confusion and panic last fall, called upon the W—— Bank, with which the road had kept a large regular account, and asked for an extension of a part of its paper falling due in a few days. The Bank President declined rather abruptly, saying, in a tone common with that fraternity,
"Mr. K., your paper must be paid at maturity. We cannot renew it."
"Very well," our Quaker replied, and left the Bank. But he did not let the matter drop here. On leaving the Bank, he walked quietly over to the depot and telegraphed all the agents and conductors on the road, to reject the bills on the W—— Bank. In a few hours the trains began to arrive, full of panic, and bringing the news of distrust of the W—— Bank all along the line of the road. Stock-holders and depositors flocked into the Bank, making the panic, inquiring,
"What is the matter?"
"Is the Bank broke?"
A little inquiry by the officers showed that the trouble originated in the rejection of the bills by the railroad. The President seized his hat, and rushed down to the Quaker's office, and came bustling in with the inquiry:
"Mr. K., have you directed the refusal of our currency by your agents?"
"Yes," was the quiet reply.
"Why is this? It will ruin us!"
"Well, friend L., I supposed thy Bank was about to fail, as thee could not renew a little paper for us this morning."
It is needless to say Mr. L. renewed all the Quaker's paper, and enlarged his line of discount, while the magic wires carried all along the road to every agent the sedative message,
"The W—— Bank is all right. Thee may take its currency."
A ROYAL PHYSICIAN.
HENRY VIII. hunting in Windsor Forest, struck down about dinner to the abbey of Reading, where, disguising himself as one of the Royal Guards, he was invited to the abbot's table. A sirloin was set before him, on which he laid to as lustily as any beef-eater. "Well fare thy heart," quoth the abbot, "and here in a cup of sack I remember the health of his grace your master. I would give a hundred pounds that I could feed on beef as heartily as you do. Alas! my poor queasy stomach will scarcely digest the wing of a chicken." The king heartily pledged him, thanked him for his good cheer, and departed undiscovered. Shortly after, the abbot was sent to the Tower, kept a close prisoner, and fed on bread and water, ignorant of the cause, and terrified at his situation. At last, a sirloin of beef was set before him, on which his empty stomach made him feed voraciously. "My lord!" exclaimed the king entering from a private closet, "instantly deposit your hundred pounds, or no going hence. I have been your physician, and here, as I deserve it, I demand my fee."
A SELFISH PUN.
A CERTAIN tavern-keeper, who opened an oyster-shop as an appendage to his other establishment, was upbraided by a neighboring oyster-monger, as being ungenerous and selfish; "and why," said he, "would you not have me sell-fish?"
A GOOD deacon making an official visit to a dying neighbor, who was a very churlish and universally unpopular man, put the usual question—"Are you willing to go, my friend?"
"Oh, yes," said the sick man, "I am."
"Well," said the simple minded deacon, "I am glad you are, for all the neighbors are willing!"
A NOBLE Lord being in his early years much addicted to dissipation, his mother advised him to take example by a gentleman, whose food was herbs, and his drink water. "What! Madam," said he, "would you have me to imitate a man, who eats like a beast, and drinks like a fish!"
A "FAT and greasy citizen," having made a ridiculous motion in the Common Council, observed afterwards at a select dinner party, (or rather party dinner,) that he was afraid he should be hauled over the coals for it. An alderman present observed, "Then all the fat would be in the fire."
PROOF OF YORKSHIRE.
A LAD, seeing a gentleman in a public house eating eggs, said,
"Be so good, Sir, as give me a little salt."
"Salt, for what?"
"Perhaps, Sir, you'll ask me to eat an egg, and I should like to be ready."
"What country are you from, my lad?"
"I's Yorkshire, Sir."
"I thought so—Well, there take your egg."
"Thank you, Sir."
"Well, they are great horse-stealers in your country are not they?"
"Yes; my father, though an honest man, would think no more of taking a horse, than I would of drinking your glass of ale," taking it off.
"Yes, I see you are Yorkshire."
ON a very wet day in the west of Scotland, a traveler, who had been detained a week by bad weather, peevishly asked a native, if it always rained in that country? He replied, drily, "No, it snows sometimes."
AN OBSERVATION EXEMPLIFIED.
A BOY on the stage danced very finely and obtained much applause. A senior dancer enviously observed, that he never knew a clever boy turn out a great man. The boy said, "Sir, you must have been a very clever boy."
TIT FOR TAT.
DOBBS was up and doing, April Fool Day. A singular phenomenon was to be seen in the vicinity of his place of business. Dobbs went home from his store, the last evening in March, and while taking his tea, remarked to his wife, that his colored porter had been blessed with an increase in his family.
"Why," said Mrs. D., "that makes nine!"
"Exactly," said he; "but the singularity about this new comer, is, that one half of its face is black."
"Dear me!" exclaimed Mrs. D., "that is singular, indeed. How strange! What can be the cause of such disfigurement?"
"Can't say," replied Dobbs, "but it is a curiosity worth seeing, to say the least of it."
"So I should think," returned his better half. "I will go down in the morning, and take such delicacies as the woman needs, and see the child at the same time."
Dobbs knew she would, so he went out to smoke a cigar, and the subject was dropped for the evening. Next morning after he went to his store, the kind-hearted woman made up a basket of nice things, and taking the servant girl, went down to cheer up the mother, and see the singular child. When Dobbs came home to dinner, his wife looked surprised. Before he had time to seat himself, she said:
"Have you seen cousin John? He was here, this morning, to pay you the money you lent him, and as he could not wait for you, and must leave town again to-day; I told him you would be at the store, at half-past two.
"How fortunate!" said he; "I need just that amount to take up a note to-morrow. Just two, now," said Dobbs, looking at his watch, "I will go down at once, for fear of missing him."
"Can't you have dinner first?" said his affectionate wife, "you will be in time."
"No," said he, "I want that money, and would not like to miss him, so I will go at once."
"By the by," said the lady, "how came you to tell me such a story about one side of that child's face being white?"
"No, no," said he, as he put on his hat, "you are mistaken. I said one side was black. You did not ask me about the other side; that was black, too. First of April, my dear, first of April, you know."
Dobbs departed in haste, and did not return again until tea time, and then he looked disappointed.
"What is the matter, my dear?" said Mrs. D.
"Why, I missed cousin John, and I needed the thousand dollars to take up a note to-morrow. And every one is so short, I cannot raise it."
"Oh! is that all?" returned she, "then it's all right. Cousin John paid me the money, and said you could send him a receipt by mail."
"But," asked Dobbs, "why couldn't you tell me so at dinner time, and not say he would be at the store, to pay me, at half-past two, and so send me off without my dinner, besides causing me so much anxiety for nothing?"
"I am sorry you have had so much anxiety and trouble," returned his wife; "but you are mistaken in supposing I told you he would be at the store, at that time. I said I told him you would be there, at half-past two, and knowing you were in want of that money, I knew you would not fail. First of April, my dear, first of April, you know!"
Dobbs caved in; he acknowledged the corn, and Mr. and Mrs. Dobbs enjoyed a pleasant supper.
JOSEPH II. Emperor of Germany, traveling incognito, stopped at an inn in the Netherlands, where, it being fair time, and the house crowded, he readily slept in an outhouse, after a slender supper of bacon and eggs, for which, and bed, he paid the charge of about three shillings and sixpence, English. A few hours after, some of his majesty's suite coming up, the landlord appeared very uneasy at not having known the rank of his guest. "Pshaw! man," said one of the attendants, "Joseph is accustomed to such adventures, and will think nothing of it." "Very likely," replied mine host, "but I shall. I can never forgive myself for having an emperor in my house, and letting him off for three and sixpence."
NOT TO BE TWICE DECEIVED.
A PERSON, more ready to borrow than to pay, prevailed on a friend to lend him a guinea, on a solemn promise of returning it the ensuing week, which, to the surprise of the lender, he punctually kept. Shortly after, he made an application for a larger sum. "No," said the other, "you have deceived me once, and I will take care you shall not do so a second time."
MURDER AND SUICIDE.
A CLERGYMAN preaching against lending money on usury, asserted it to be as great a sin as murder. Some time after, he applied to a parishioner to lend him twenty pounds. "What!" said the other, "after declaring your opinion that to lend money on usury, was as bad as murder?" "I do not mean," answered the parson, "that you should lend it to me on usury, but gratis." "That," replied the parishioner, "would, in my opinion, be as bad as suicide."
A SON of Galen, when a company was making merry by ridicule on physicians, exclaimed, "I defy any person I ever attended, to accuse me of ignorance or neglect." "That you may do, doctor, dead men tell no tales."
A YOUNG nobleman, lately admitted a member of the Board of Agriculture, observed, as he took his seat, that he himself was an extensive farmer. The company knowing his lordship's pursuits to be very different, stared a little at the declaration; but he explained it, by saying, he had sowed a great deal of wild oats.
MRS. PARTINGTON, speaking of the rapid manner in which wicked deeds are perpetrated, said that it only required two seconds to fight a duel.
A CALM, blue-eyed, self-composed, and self-possessed young lady, in a village "down east," received a long call the other day, from a prying old spinster, who, after prolonging her stay beyond even her own conception of the young lady's endurance, came to the main question which brought her thither: "I've been asked a good many times if you was engaged to Dr. C——. Now, if folks enquire again whether you be or not, what shall I tell them I think?" "Tell them," answered the young lady, fixing her calm blue eyes in unblushing steadiness upon the inquisitive features of her interrogator, "tell them that you think you don't know, and you're sure it's none of your business."