THE JEST BOOK
UNIVERSITY PRESS: WELCH, BIGELOW, & CO.
THE JEST BOOK
THE CHOICEST ANECDOTES AND SAYINGS
SELECTED AND ARRANGED BY
SEVER AND FRANCIS
The Compiler of this new JEST BOOK is desirous to make known that it is composed mainly of old jokes,—some older than Joe Miller himself,—with a liberal sprinkling of new jests gathered from books and hearsay. In the course of his researches he has been surprised to find how many Jests, Impromptus, and Repartees have passed current, century after century, until their original utterer is lost in the "mist of ages"; a Good Joke being transferred from one reputed Wit to another, thus resembling certain rare Wines which are continually being rebottled but are never consumed. Dr. Darwin and Sir Charles Lyell, when they have satisfied themselves as to the Origin of Species and the Antiquity of Man, could not better employ their speculative minds than in determining the origin and antiquity of the venerable "joes" which have been in circulation beyond the remembrance of that mythical personage, "the Oldest Inhabitant."
A true Briton loves a good joke, and regards it like "a thing of beauty," "a joy forever," therefore we may opine that Yorick's "flashes of merriment, which were wont to set the table in a roar," when Hamlet was king in Denmark, were transported hither by our Danish invaders, and descended to Wamba, Will Somers, Killigrew, and other accredited jesters, until Mr. Joseph Miller reiterated many of them over his pipe and tankard, when seated with his delighted auditory at the Black Jack in Clare Market.
Modern Research has been busy with honest Joe's fame, decreeing the collection of his jests to Captain Motley, who wrote short-lived plays in the time of the First and Second Georges; but the same false Medium has affected to discover that Dick Whittington did not come to London City at the tail of a road wagon, neither was he be-ladled by a cross cook, and driven forth to Highgate, when Bow Bells invited him to return and make venture of his Cat, marry Fitzalwyn's daughter, and be thrice Lord Mayor of London, albeit it is written in City chronicles, that Whittington's statue and the effigy of his gold-compelling Grimalkin long stood over the door of New Gate prison-house. We would not have destroyed the faith of the Rising Generation and those who are to succeed it in that Golden Legend, to have been thought as wise as the Ptolemies, or to have been made president of all the Dryasdusts in Europe. No. Let us not part with our old belief in honest Joe Miller, but trust rather to Mr. Morley, the historian of Bartlemy Fair, and visit the Great Theatrical Booth over against the Hospital gate of St. Bartholomew, where Joe, probably, is to dance "the English Maggot dance," and after the appearance of "two Harlequins, conclude with a Grand Dance and Chorus, accompanied with Kettledrums and Trumpets." And when the Fair is over, and we are no longer invited to "walk up," let us march in the train of the great Mime, until he takes his ease in his inn,—the Black Jack aforesaid,—and laugh at his jibes and flashes of merriment, before the Mad Wag shall be silenced by the great killjoy, Death, and the jester's boon companions shall lay him in the graveyard in Portugal Fields, placing over him a friendly record of his social virtues.
Joe Miller was a fact, and Modern Research shall not rob us of that conviction!
The compiler of this volume has felt the importance of his task, and diligently sought how to distinguish true wit from false,—the pure gold from Brummagem brass. He has carefully perused the Eight learned chapters on "Thoughts on Jesting," by Frederick Meier, Professor of Philosophy at Halle, and Member of the Royal Academy of Berlin, wherein it is declared that a jest "is an extreme fine Thought, the result of a great Wit and Acumen, which are eminent Perfections of the Soul." ... "Hypocrites, with the appearance but without the reality of virtue, condemn from the teeth outwardly the Laughter and Jesting which they sincerely approve in their hearts; and many sincere virtuous Persons also account them criminal, either from Temperament, Melancholy, or erroneous Principles of Morality. As the Censure of such Persons gives me pain, so their Approbation would give me great pleasure. But as long as they consider the suggestions of their Temperament, deep Melancholy, and erroneous Principles as so many Dictates of real Virtue, so long they must not take it amiss if, while I revere their Virtue, I despise their Judgment."
Nor has he disregarded Mr. Locke, who asserts that "Wit lies in an assemblage of ideas, and putting them together with quickness and vivacity, whenever can be found any resemblance and congruity whereby to make up pleasant pictures and agreeable visions of fancy."
Neither has Mr. Addison been overlooked, who limits his definition by observing that "an assemblage of Ideas productive merely of pleasure does not constitute Wit, but of those only which to delight add surprise."
Nor has he forgotten Mr. Pope, who declares Wit "to consist in a quick conception of Thought and an easy Delivery"; nor the many other definitions by Inferior hands, "too numerous to mention."
The result of an anxious consideration of these various Opinions, was a conviction that to define Wit was like the attempt to define Beauty, "which," said the Philosopher, "was the question of a Blind man"; and despairing, therefore, of finding a Standard of value, the Compiler of the following pages has gathered from every available source the Odd sayings of all Times, carefully eschewing, however, the Coarse and the Irreverent, so that of the Seventeen Hundred Jests here collected, not one need be excluded from Family utterance. Of course, every one will miss some pet Jest from this Collection, and, as a consequence, declare it to be miserably incomplete. The Compiler mentions this probability to show that he has not been among the Critics for nothing.
"The gravest beast is an ass; the gravest bird is an owl; The gravest fish is an oyster; and the gravest man is a fool!"
says honest Joe Miller; and with that Apophthegm the Compiler doffs his Cap and Bells, and leaves you, Gentle Reader, in the Merry Company he has brought together.
THE JEST BOOK.
I.—THE RISING SON.
POPE dining once with Frederic, Prince of Wales, paid the prince many compliments. "I wonder, Pope," said the prince, "that you, who are so severe on kings, should be so complaisant to me."—"It is," said the wily bard, "because I like the lion before his claws are grown."
II.—SOMETHING FOR DR. DARWIN.
SIR WATKIN WILLIAMS WYNNE talking to a friend about the antiquity of his family, which he carried up to Noah, was told that he was a mere mushroom of yesterday. "How so, pray?" said the baronet. "Why," continued the other, "when I was in Wales, a pedigree of a particular family was shown to me: it filled five large skins of parchment, and near the middle of it was a note in the margin: 'About this time the world was created.'"
III.—A BAD EXAMPLE.
A CERTAIN 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?"
IV.—A CONFIRMED INVALID.
A POOR woman, who had attended several confirmations, was at length recognized by the bishop. "Pray, have I not seen you here before?" said his lordship. "Yes," replied the woman, "I get me conform'd as often as I can; they tell me it is good for the rheumatis."
V.—COMPARISONS ARE ODIOUS.
LORD CHANCELLOR HARDWICK'S bailiff, having been ordered by his lady to procure a sow of a particular description, came one day into the dining-room when full of company, proclaiming with a burst of joy he could not suppress, "I have been at Royston fair, my lady, and I have got a sow exactly of your ladyship's size."
VI.—AN INSCRIPTION ON INSCRIPTIONS.
THE following lines were written on seeing a farrago of rhymes that had been scribbled with a diamond on the window of an inn:—
"Ye who on windows thus prolong your shames, And to such arrant nonsense sign your names, The diamond quit—with me the pencil take, So shall your shame but short duration make; For lo, the housemaid comes, in dreadful pet, With red right hand, and with a dishclout wet, Dashes out all, nor leaves a wreck to tell Who 't was that wrote so ill!—and loved so well!"
VII.—NO HARM DONE.
A MAN of sagacity, being informed of a serious quarrel between two of his female relations, asked the persons if in their quarrels either had called the other ugly? On receiving an answer in the negative, "O, then, I shall soon make up the quarrel."
VIII.—BEARDING A BARBER.
A HIGHLANDER, who sold brooms, went into a barber's shop in Glasgow to get shaved. The barber bought one of his brooms, and, after having shaved him, asked the price of it. "Tippence," said the Highlander. "No, no," says the shaver; "I'll give you a penny, and if that does not satisfy you, take your broom again." The Highlander took it, and asked what he had to pay. "A penny," says Strap. "I'll gie ye a baubee," says Duncan, "and if that dinna satisfy ye, pit on my beard again."
IX.—CHANGING HIS COAT.
A WEALTHY merchant of Fenchurch Street, lamenting to a confidential friend that his daughter had eloped with one of his footmen, concluded, by saying, "Yet I wish to forgive the girl, and receive her husband, as it is now too late to part them. But then his condition; how can I introduce him?"—"Nonsense," replied his companion; "introduce him as a Liveryman of the city of London. What is more honorable?"
LADY —— spoke to the butler to be saving of an excellent cask of small beer, and asked him how it might be best preserved. "I know no method so effectual, my lady," replied the butler, "as placing a barrel of good ale by it."
A STRANGER to law courts hearing a judge call a sergeant "brother," expressed his surprise. "Oh," said one present, "they are brothers—brothers-in-law."
XII.—A SMALL INHERITANCE.
IT was the habit of Lord Eldon, when Attorney-General, to close his speeches with some remarks justifying his own character. At the trial of Horne Tooke, speaking of his own reputation, he said: "It is the little inheritance I have to leave my children, and, by God's help, I will leave it unimpaired." Here he shed tears; and, to the astonishment of those present, Mitford, the Solicitor-General, began to weep. "Just look at Mitford," said a by-stander to Horne Tooke; "what on earth is he crying for?" Tooke replied, "He is crying to think what a small inheritance Eldon's children are likely to get."
JERROLD one day met a Scotch gentleman, whose name was Leitch, and who explained that he was not the popular caricaturist, John Leech. "I'm aware of that; you're the Scotchman with the i-t-c-h in your name," said Jerrold.
XIV.—THE LIGHT SUBJECT.
THE government, having threatened to proceed rigorously against those who refused to pay the assessed taxes, offered to them a remission of one fourth. "This at least," said a sufferer, "may be called, giving them some quarter."
LORD NORTH, who was very corpulent before a severe sickness, said to his physician after it, "Sir, I am obliged to you for introducing me to some old acquaintances."—"Who are they, my lord?"—"My ribs," replied his lordship, "which I have not felt for many years until now."
XVI.—A FAIR SUBSTITUTE.
WHEN Lord Sandwich was to present Admiral Campbell, he told him, that probably the king would knight him. The admiral did not much relish the honor. "Well, but," said Lord S., "perhaps Mrs. Campbell will like it."—"Then let the king knight her," answered the rough seaman.
XVII.—A CONSTITUTIONAL PUN.
DANIEL PURCELL, the famous punster, was desired to make a pun extempore. "Upon what subject?" said Daniel. "The king," answered the other. "O, sir," said he, "the king is no subject."
A NOTORIOUS miser having heard a very eloquent charity sermon, exclaimed, "This sermon strongly proves the necessity of alms. I have almost a mind to turn beggar."
SHERIDAN made his appearance one day in a pair of new boots; these attracting the notice of some of his friends, "Now guess," said he, "how I came by these boots?" Many probable guesses then took place. "No!" said Sheridan, "no, you've not hit it, nor ever will,—I bought them, and paid for them!"
XX.—ALL THE DIFFERENCE.
IN a large party, one evening, the conversation turned upon young men's allowance at college. Tom Sheridan lamented the ill-judging parsimony of many parents in that respect. "I am sure, Tom," said his father, "you need not complain; I always allowed you eight hundred a year."—"Yes, father, I must confess you allowed it; but then it was never paid."
XXI.—SPIRITUAL AND SPIRITUOUS.
DR. PITCAIRN had one Sunday stumbled into a Presbyterian church, probably to beguile a few idle moments (for few will accuse that gentleman of having been a warm admirer of Calvinism), and seeing the parson apparently overwhelmed by the importance of his subject: "What makes the man greet?" said Pitcairn to a fellow that stood near him. "By my faith, sir," answered the other, "you would perhaps greet, too, if you were in his place, and had as little to say."—"Come along with me, friend, and let's have a glass together; you are too good a fellow to be here," said Pitcairn, delighted with the man's repartee.
XXII.—A WONDERFUL WOMAN.
WHEN a late Duchess of Bedford was last at Buxton, and then in her eighty-fifth year, it was the medical farce of the day for the faculty to resolve every complaint of whim and caprice into "a shock of the nervous system." Her grace, after inquiring of many of her friends in the rooms what brought them there, and being generally answered for a nervous complaint, was asked in her turn, "What brought her to Buxton?"—"I came only for pleasure," answered the healthy duchess; "for, thank God, I was born before nerves came into fashion."
XXIII.—A WISE SON WHO KNEW HIS OWN FATHER.
SHERIDAN was very desirous that his son Tom should marry a young woman of large fortune, but knew that Miss Callander had won his son's heart. Sheridan, expatiating on the folly of his son, at length exclaimed, "Tom, if you marry Caroline Callander, I'll cut you off with a shilling!" Tom could not resist the opportunity of replying, and looking archly at his father said, "Then, sir, you must borrow it." Sheridan was tickled at the wit, and dropped the subject.
XXIV.—A WRITTEN CHARACTER.
GEORGE III. having purchased a horse, the dealer put into his hands a large sheet of paper, completely written over. "What's this?" said his majesty. "The pedigree of the horse, sire, which you have just bought," was the answer. "Take it back, take it back," said the king, laughing; "it will do very well for the next horse you sell."
DR. BUSBY, whose figure was beneath the common size, was one day accosted in a public coffee-room by an Irish baronet of colossal stature, with, "May I pass to my seat, O Giant?" When the doctor, politely making way, replied, "Pass, O Pigmy!"—"O, sir," said the baronet, "my expression alluded to the size of your intellect."—"And my expression, sir," said the doctor, "to the size of yours."
XXVI.—A PARDONABLE MISTAKE.
A BUTCHER of some eminence was lately in company with several ladies at a game of whist, where, having lost two or three rubbers, one of the ladies addressing him, asked, "Pray, sir, what are the stakes now?" To which, ever mindful of his occupation, he immediately replied, "Madam, the best rump I cannot sell lower than tenpence halfpenny a pound."
THREE gentlemen being in a coffee-house, one called for a dram, because he was hot. "Bring me another," says his companion, "because I am cold." The third, who sat by and heard them, very quietly called out, "Here, boy, bring me a glass, because I like it."
A PERSON to whom the curiosities, buildings, &c., in Oxford were shown one very hot day, was asked by his companion if he would see the remainder of the University. "My dear sir," replied the connoisseur, "I am stone blind already."
A SATIRIC poet underwent a severe drubbing, and was observed to walk ever afterwards with a stick. "Mr. P. reminds me," says a wag, "of some of the saints, who are always painted with the symbols of their martyrdom."
XXX.—THE ONE THING WANTING.
IN a small party, the subject turning on matrimony, a lady said to her sister, "I wonder, my dear, you have never made a match; I think you want the brimstone";—she replied, "No, not the brimstone, only the spark."
XXXI.—A HORSE LAUGH.
A COACHMAN, extolling the sagacity of one of his horses, observed, that "if anybody was to go for to use him ill, he would bear malice like a Christian."
XXXII.—ONE GOOD TURN DESERVES ANOTHER.
DR. A., physician at Newcastle, being summoned to a vestry, in order to reprimand the sexton for drunkenness, he dwelt so long on the sexton's misconduct, as to draw from him this expression: "Sir, I thought you would have been the last man alive to appear against me, as I have covered so many blunders of yours!"
XXXIII.—A NOVEL COMPLAINT.
A RICH man sent to call a physician for a slight disorder. The physician felt his pulse, and said, "Do you eat well?"—"Yes," said the patient. "Do you sleep well?"—"I do."—"Then," said the physician, "I shall give you something to take away all that!"
XXXIV.—A CONJUGAL CAUTION.
SIR GEORGE ETHEREGE, having run up a score at Lockit's, absented himself from the ordinary. In consequence of this, Mrs. Lockit was sent to dun him and threaten him with an action. He told the messenger that he would certainly kiss her if she stirred a step in it! On this, the message being brought, she called for her hood and scarf, and told her husband, who interposed, "that she should see if there was any fellow alive that had the impudence!"—"Pr'ythee, my dear, don't be so rash," replied the good man; "you don't know what a man may do in a passion."
XXXV.—A PORTRAIT CAPITALLY EXECUTED.
IN a bookseller's catalogue lately appeared the following article: "Memoirs of Charles the First,—with, a head capitally executed."
XXXVI.—MATTER IN HIS MADNESS.
A LUNATIC in Bedlam was asked how he came there? He answered, "By a dispute."—"What dispute?" The bedlamite replied, "The world said I was mad; I said the world was mad, and they outwitted me."
SOME years ago, says Richardson, in his anecdotes of painting, a gentleman came to me to invite me to his house. "I have," says he, "a picture of Rubens, and it is a rare good one. Little H. the other day came to see it, and says it is a copy. If any one says so again, I'll break his head. Pray, Mr. Richardson, will you do me the favor to come, and give me your real opinion of it?"
"HOW does your new-purchased horse answer?" said the late Duke of Cumberland to George Selwyn. "I really don't know," replied George, "for I never asked him a question."
XXXIX.—"ONE FOR HIS NOB."
A BARRISTER entered the hall with his wig very much awry, of which he was not at all apprised, but was obliged to endure from almost every observer some remark on its appearance, till at last, addressing himself to Mr. Curran, he asked him, "Do you see anything ridiculous in this wig."—"Nothing but the head," was the answer.
XL.—SOUND AND FURY.
A LADY, after performing, with the most brilliant execution, a sonato on the pianoforte, in the presence of Dr. Johnson, turning to the philosopher, took the liberty of asking him if he was fond of music? "No, madam," replied the doctor; "but of all noises, I think music is the least disagreeable."
XLI.—COME OF AGE.
A YOUNG man met a rival who was somewhat advanced in years, and, wishing to annoy him, inquired how old he was? "I can't exactly tell," replied the other; "but I can inform you that an ass is older at twenty than a man at sixty!"
XLII.—A STRIKING NOTICE.
THE following admonition was addressed by a Quaker to a man who was pouring forth a volley of ill language against him: "Have a care, friend, thou mayest run thy face against my fist."
XLIII.—UP IN THE WORLD.
A FELLOW boasting in company of his family, declared even his own father died in an exalted situation. Some of the company looking incredulous, another observed, "I can bear testimony to the gentleman's veracity, as my father was sheriff for the county when his was hanged for horse-stealing."
XLIV.—REVERSE OF CIRCUMSTANCES.
WHEN General V—— was quartered in a small town in Ireland, he and his lady were regularly besieged as they got into their carriage by an old beggar-woman, who kept her post at the door, assailing them daily with fresh importunities. One morning, as Mrs. V. stepped into the carriage, the woman began: "Oh, my lady! success to your ladyship, and success to your honor's honor: for sure I did not dream last night that her ladyship gave me a pound of tea, and your honor gave me a pound of tobacco."—"My good woman," said the general, "dreams go by the rule of contrary."—"Do they so?" rejoined the old woman; "then it must mean, that your honor will give me the tea, and her ladyship the tobacco."
XLV.—A DOGGED ANSWER.
BOSWELL, dining one day with Dr. Johnson, asked him if he did not think that a good cook was more essential to the community than a good poet. "I don't suppose," said the doctor, "that there's a dog in the town but what thinks so."
A GENTLEMAN at an inn, seeing that the lights were so dim as only to render the darkness visible, called out, "Here, waiter, let me have a couple of decent candles to see how these others burn."
A GENTLEMAN, at whose house Swift was dining in Ireland, after dinner introduced remarkably small hock-glasses, and at length turning to Swift addressed him: "Mr. Dean, I shall be happy to take a glass of hic, haec, hoc, with you."—"Sir," rejoined the doctor, "I shall be happy to comply, but it must be out of a hujus glass."
XLVIII.—WORDS THAT BURN.
DR. ROBERTSON observed, that Johnson's jokes were the rebukes of the righteous, described in Scripture as being like excellent oil. "Yes," exclaimed Burke, "oil of vitriol!"
XLIX.—PASSING THE BOTTLE.
FOOTE being in company, and the wine producing more riot than concord, he observed one gentleman so far gone in debate as to throw the bottle at his antagonist's head; upon which, catching the missile in his hand, he restored the harmony of the company by observing, that "if the bottle was passed so quickly, not one of them would be able to stand out the evening."
MR. ROGERS was requested by Lady Holland to ask Sir Philip Francis whether he was the author of Junius. The poet approached the knight, "Will you, Sir Philip,—will your kindness excuse my addressing to you a single question?"—"At your peril, sir!" was the harsh and the laconic answer. The intimidated bard retreated to his friends, who eagerly asked him the result of his application. "I don't know," he answered, "whether he is Junius; but, if he be, he is certainly Junius Brutus."
LI.—A WEAK WOMAN.
A LOVING husband once waited on a physician to request him to prescribe for his wife's eyes, which were very sore. "Let her wash them," said the doctor, "every morning with a small glass of brandy." A few weeks after, the doctor chanced to meet the husband. "Well, my friend, has your wife followed my advice?"—"She has done everything in her power to do it, doctor"; said the spouse, "but she never could get the glass higher than her mouth."
LII.—TOO MANY COOKS.
ELWES, the noted miser, used to say, "If you keep one servant, your work is done; if you keep two, it is half done; and if you keep three, you may do it yourself."
LIII.—LOOK IN HIS FACE.
ADMIRAL LORD HOWE, when a captain, was once hastily awakened in the middle of the night by the lieutenant of the watch, who informed him with great agitation that the ship was on fire near the magazine. "If that be the case," said he, rising leisurely to put on his clothes, "we shall soon know it." The lieutenant flew back to the scene of danger, and almost instantly returning, exclaimed, "You need not, sir, be afraid, the fire is extinguished."—"Afraid!" exclaimed Howe, "what do you mean by that, sir? I never was afraid in my life"; and looking the lieutenant full in the face, he added, "Pray, how does a man feel, sir, when he is afraid? I need not ask how he looks."
LIV.—NOTHING BUT THE "BILL."
JOHN HORNE TOOKE'S opinion upon the subject of law was admirable. "Law," he said, "ought to be, not a luxury for the rich, but a remedy, to be easily, cheaply, and speedily obtained by the poor." A person observed to him, how excellent are the English laws, because they are impartial, and our courts of justice are open to all persons without distinction. "And so," said Tooke, "is the London Tavern, to such as can afford to pay for their entertainment."
WHILE Commodore Anson's ship, the Centurion, was engaged in close fight, with the rich Spanish galleon, which he afterwards took, a sailor came running to him, and cried out, "Sir, our ship is on fire very near the powder magazine."—"Then pray, friend," said the commodore, not in the least degree discomposed, "run back and assist in putting it out."
LVI.—A BAD SHOT.
A COCKNEY being out one day amusing himself with shooting, happened to fire through a hedge, on the other side of which was a man standing. The shot passed through the man's hat, but missed the bird. "Did you fire at me, sir?" he hastily asked. "O! no, sir," said the shrewd sportsman, "I never hit what I fire at."
IT is related of the great Dr. Clarke, that when in one of his leisure hours he was unbending himself with a few friends in the most playful and frolicsome manner, he observed Beau Nash approaching; upon which he suddenly stopped: "My boys," said he, "let us be grave: here comes a fool."
LVIII.—A TRUMP CARD.
AT one of the Holland-house Sunday dinner-parties, a year or two ago, Crockford's Club, then forming, was talked of; and the noble hostess observed, that the female passion for diamonds was surely less ruinous than the rage for play among men. "In short, you think," said Mr. Rogers, "that clubs are worse than diamonds." This joke excited a laugh; and when it had subsided, Sydney Smith wrote the following impromptu sermonet—most appropriately on a card:—
Thoughtless that "all that's brightest fades," Unmindful of that Knave of Spades, The Sexton and his Subs: How foolishly we play our parts! Our wives on diamonds set their hearts, We set our hearts on clubs!
A PHYSICIAN attending a lady several times, had received a couple of guineas each visit; at last, when he was going away, she gave him but one; at which he was surprised, and looking on the floor, "I believe, madam," said he, "I have dropt a guinea."—"No, sir," replied the lady, "it is I that have dropt it."
LX.—ALONE IN HIS GLORY.
A FACETIOUS fellow having unwittingly offended a conceited puppy, the latter told him he was no "gentleman."—"Are you a gentleman?" asked the droll one. "Yes, sir," bounced the fop. "Then, I am very glad I am not," replied the other.
LXI.—A CAPITAL LETTER.
DR. LLOYD, Bishop of Worcester, so eminent for his prophecies, when by his solicitations and compliance at court he got removed from a poor Welsh bishopric to a rich English one, a reverend dean of the Church said, that he found his brother Lloyd spelt Prophet with an F.
LXII.—A GOOD PARSON.
DR. HICKRINGAL, who was one of King Charles the Second's chaplains, whenever he preached before his Majesty, was sure to tell him of his faults from the pulpit. One day his Majesty met the doctor in the Mall, and said to him, "Doctor, what have I done to you that you are always quarrelling with me?"—"I hope your Majesty is not angry with me," quoth the doctor, "for telling the truth."—"No, no," says the king, "but I would have us for the future be friends."—"Well, well," quoth the doctor, "I will make it up with your Majesty on these terms,—as you mend I'll mend."
LXIII.—SUBTRACTION AND ADDITION.
A CHIMNEY-SWEEPER'S boy went into a baker's shop for a twopenny loaf, and conceiving it to be diminutive in size, remarked to the baker that he did not believe it was weight. "Never mind that," said the man of dough, "you will have the less to carry."—"True," replied the lad, and throwing three half-pence on the counter left the shop. The baker called after him that he had not left money enough. "Never mind that," said young sooty, "you will have the less to count."
LXIV.—THE DOCTRINE OF CHANCES.
LORD KAMES used to relate a story of a man who claimed the honor of his acquaintance on rather singular grounds. His lordship, when one of the justiciary judges, returning from the north circuit to Perth, happened one night to sleep at Dunkeld. The next morning, walking towards the ferry, but apprehending he had missed his way, he asked a man whom he met to conduct him. The other answered with much cordiality: "That I will do, with all my heart, my lord; does not your lordship remember me? My name's John ——; I have had the honor to be before your lordship for stealing sheep?"—"Oh, John, I remember you well; and how is your wife? she had the honor to be before me, too, for receiving them, knowing them to be stolen."—"At your lordship's service. We were very lucky, we got off for want of evidence; and I am still going on in the butcher trade."—"Then," replied his lordship, "we may have the honor of meeting again."
LXV.—A LATE EDITION.
IT was with as much delicacy as satire that Porson returned, with the manuscript of a friend, the answer, "That it would be read when Homer and Virgil were forgotten, but not till then."
LXVI.—VERSES WRITTEN ON A WINDOW IN THE HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND.
SCOTLAND! thy weather's like a modish wife, Thy winds and rains for ever are at strife; So termagant awhile her thunder tries, And when she can no longer scold, she cries.
AN ancient sage uttered the following apothegm:—"The goodness of gold is tried by fire, the goodness of women by gold, and the goodness of men by the ordeal of women."
SINCE my old friend is grown so great, As to be minister of state, I'm told (but 'tis not true I hope) That Craggs will be ashamed of Pope.
ALAS! if I am such a creature, To grow the worse for growing greater, Why, faith, in spite of all my brags, 'Tis Pope must be ashamed of Craggs.
LXIX.—BEAR AND VAN.
THE facetious Mr. Bearcroft told his friend Mr. Vansittart, "Your name is such a long one, I shall drop the sittart, and call you Van for the future."—"With all my heart," said he: "by the same rule, I shall drop croft, and call you Bear!"
LXX.—EPITAPH FOR SIR JOHN VANBRUGH.
LIE heavy on him, Earth! for he Laid many heavy loads on thee!
LXXI.—PROVING THEIR METAL.
WHEN the Prince of Orange, afterwards William the Third, came over to this country, five of the seven bishops who were sent to the Tower declared for his highness; but the other two would not come into the measures. Upon which Dryden said, that "the seven golden candlesticks them proved prince's metal."
LXXII.—A DISTANT PROSPECT.
THROUGH an avenue of trees, at the back of Trinity College, a church may be seen at a considerable distance, the approach to which affords no very pleasing scenery. Porson, walking that way with a friend, and observing the church, remarked, "That it put him in mind of a fellowship, which was a long dreary walk, with a church at the end of it."
A MAN meeting his friend, said, "I spoke to you last night in a dream."—"Pardon me," replied the other, "I did not hear you."
LXXIV.—A CHEAP CURE.
"PRAY, Mr. Abernethy, what is the cure for gout?" asked an indolent and luxurious citizen. "Live upon sixpence a day, and earn it!" was the pithy answer.
YOU say, without reward or fee, Your uncle cur'd me of a dang'rous ill; I say he never did prescribe for me, The proof is plain,—I'm living still.
LXXVI.—A GRAMMATICAL DISTINCTION.
SEVERAL young gentlemen once got up a play at Cambridge. On the day of representation one of the performers took it into his head to make an excuse, and his part was obliged to be read. Hobhouse came forward to apologize to the audience, and told them that a Mr. —— had declined to perform his part. The gentleman was highly indignant at the "a," and had a great inclination to pick a quarrel with Scrope Davies, who replied that he supposed Mr. —— wanted to be called the Mr. So-and-so. He ever afterwards went by the name of the "Definite Article."
LXXVII.—A BANKER'S CHECK.
ROGERS, when a certain M.P., in a review of his poems, said "he wrote very well for a banker," wrote, in return, the following:—
"They say he has no heart, and I deny it: He has a heart, and—gets his speeches by it."
LXXVIII.—A FILLIP FOR HIM.
THE present Lord Chancellor remarked of a young barrister who had just made a speech of more poetry than law, "Poor young man, he has studied the wrong Phillips."
"WHAT'S the matter?" inquired a passer-by, observing a crowd collected around a black fellow, whom an officer was attempting to secure, to put on board an outward-bound whale ship, from which he had deserted. "Matter! matter enough," exclaimed the delinquent, "pressing a poor negro to get oil."
LXXX.—A BAD CROP.
A SEEDSMAN being lately held to bail for using inflammatory language respecting the Reform Bill, a wag observed, it was probably in the line of his profession—to promote business, he wished to sow sedition.
LXXXI.—A GRAVE DOCTOR.
COUNSELLOR CRIPS being on a party at Castle-Martyr, one of the company, a physician, strolled out before dinner into the churchyard. Dinner being served, and the doctor not returned, some one expressed his surprise where he could be gone to. "Oh," says the counsellor, "he is but just stept out to pay a visit to some of his old patients."
DR. JOHNSON being asked his opinion of the title of a very small volume remarkable for its pomposity, replied, "That it was similar to placing an eight-and-forty pounder at the door of a pigsty."
LXXXIII.—THE SADDLE ON THE RIGHT HORSE.
AS a man who, deeply involved in debt, was walking in the street with a very melancholy air, one of his acquaintance asked him why he was so sorrowful. "Alas!" said he, "I am in a state of insolvency."—"Well," said his friend, "if that is the case, it is not you, but your creditors, who ought to wear a woful countenance."
LXXXIV.—BLACK AND WHITE.
DURING the short time that Lord Byron was in Parliament, a petition, setting forth the wretched condition of the Irish peasantry, was one evening presented, and very coldly received by the "hereditary legislative wisdom."—"Ah," said Lord Byron, "what a misfortune it was for the Irish that they were not born black! They would then have had plenty of friends in both houses."
LXXXV.—HOME IS HOME.
"I LIVE in Julia's eyes," said an affected dandy in Colman's hearing. "I don't wonder at it," replied George; "since I observed she had a sty in them when I saw her last."
LXXXVI.—A LIGHT STUDY.
AS a worthy city baronet was gazing one evening at the gas lights in front of the Mansion-house, an old acquaintance came up to him and said, "Well, Sir William, are you studying astronomy?"—"No, sir," replied the alderman, "I am studying gas-tronomy."
A VERY volatile young lord, whose conquests in the female world were numberless, at last married. "Now, my lord," said the countess, "I hope you'll mend."—"Madam," says he, "you may depend on it this is my last folly."
WHEN the Earl of Bradford was brought before the Lord Chancellor, to be examined upon application for a statute of lunacy against him, the chancellor asked him, "How many legs has a sheep?"—"Does your lordship mean," answered Lord Bradford, "a live sheep or a dead sheep?"—"Is it not the same thing?" said the chancellor. "No, my lord," said Lord Bradford, "there is much difference; a live sheep may have four legs; a dead sheep has only two: the two fore legs are shoulders; but there are but two legs of mutton."
WHEN George II. was once expressing his admiration of General Wolfe, some one observed that the General was mad. "Oh! he is mad, is he!" said the king, with great quickness, "then I wish he would bite some other of my generals."
TWO old ladies, who were known to be of the same age, had the same desire to keep the real number concealed; one therefore used upon a New-year's-day to go to the other, and say, "Madam, I am come to know how old we are to be this year."
A PRISONER being called on to plead to an indictment for larceny, was told by the clerk to hold up his right hand. The man immediately held up his left hand. "Hold up your right hand," said the clerk. "Please your honor," said the culprit, still keeping up his left hand, "I am left-handed."
DR. BURNEY, who wrote the celebrated anagram on Lord Nelson, after his victory of the Nile, "Honor est a Nilo" (Horatio Nelson), was shortly after on a visit to his lordship, at his beautiful villa at Merton. From his usual absence of mind, he neglected to put a nightcap into his portmanteau, and consequently borrowed one from his lordship. Before retiring to rest, he sat down to study, as was his common practice, having first put on the cap, and was shortly after alarmed by finding it in flames; he immediately collected the burnt remains, and returned them with the following lines:—
"Take your nightcap again, my good lord, I desire, I would not retain it a minute; What belongs to a Nelson, wherever there's fire, Is sure to be instantly in it."
XCIII.—"HE LIES LIKE TRUTH."
A PERSON who had resided for some time on the coast of Africa was asked if he thought it possible to civilize the natives. "As a proof of the possibility of it," said he, "I have known some negroes that thought as little of a lie or an oath as any European."
XCIV.—HAND AND GLOVE.
A DYER, in a court of justice, being ordered to hold up his hand, that was all black; "Take off your glove, friend," said the judge to him. "Put on your spectacles, my lord," answered the dyer.
A GENTLEMAN having a servant with a very thick skull, used often to call him the king of fools. "I wish," said the fellow one day, "you could make your words good, I should then be the greatest monarch in the world."
A LAWYER being sick, made his last will, and gave all his estate to fools and madmen: being asked the reason for so doing; "From such," said he, "I had it, and to such I give it again."
XCVII.—CHEESE AND DESSERT.
TWO city ladies meeting at a visit, one a grocer's wife, and the other a cheesemonger's, when they had risen up and took their departure, the cheesemonger's wife was going out of the room first, upon which the grocer's lady, pulling her back by the tail of her gown, and stepping before her, said, "No, madam, nothing comes after cheese."
SIR JOHN HAMILTON, who had severely suffered from the persecutions of the law, used to say, that an attorney was like a hedgehog, it was impossible to touch him anywhere without pricking one's fingers.
XCIX.—"THE MIXTURE AS BEFORE."
A GENTLEMAN who had an Irish servant, having stopped at an inn for several days, desired to have a bill, and found a large quantity of port placed to his servant's account, and questioned him about it. "Please your honor," cried Pat, "do read how many they charge me." The gentleman began, "One bottle port, one ditto, one ditto, one ditto,"—"Stop, stop, stop, master," exclaimed Paddy, "they are cheating you. I know I had some bottles of their port, but I did not taste a drop of their ditto."
AN Irish counsellor having lost his cause, which had been tried before three judges, one of whom was esteemed a very able lawyer, and the other two but indifferent, some of the other barristers were very merry on the occasion. "Well, now," says he, "I have lost. But who could help it, when there were an hundred judges on the bench?—one and two ciphers."
AN Irish clergyman having gone to visit the portraits of the Scottish kings in Holyrood House, observed one of the monarchs of a very youthful appearance, while his son was depicted with a long beard, and wore the traits of extreme old age. "Sancta Maria," exclaimed the good Hibernian, "is it possible that this gentleman was an old man when his father was born!!"
CII.—CHECK TO THE KING.
ONE day James the Second, in the middle of his courtiers, made use of this assertion: "I never knew a modest man make his way at court." To this observation one of the gentlemen present boldly replied: "And, please your majesty, whose fault is that?" The king was struck, and remained silent.
CIII.—A FALL IN MITRES.
ONE of the wooden mitres, carved by Grinly Gibbons over a prebend's stall in the cathedral church of Canterbury, happening to become loose, Jessy White, the surveyor of that edifice, inquired of the dean whether he should make it fast: "For, perhaps," said Jessy, "it may fall on your reverence's head."—"Well! Jessy," answered the humorous Cantab, "suppose it does fall on my head, I don't know that a mitre falling on my head would hurt it."
A PERSON, disputing with Peter Pindar, said, in great heat, that he did not like to be thought a scoundrel. "I wish," replied Peter, "that you had as great a dislike to being a scoundrel."
CV.—A BAD HARVEST.
THERE was much sound palpable argument in the speech of a country lad to an idler, who boasted his ancient family: "So much the worse for you," said the peasant; "as we ploughmen say, 'the older the seed the worse the crop.'"
MR. BETHEL, an Irish barrister, when the question of the Union was in debate, like all the junior barristers published pamphlets upon the subject. Mr. Lysaght met this pamphleteer in the hall of the Four Courts, and in a friendly way, said, "Zounds! Bethel, I wonder you never told me you had published a pamphlet on the Union. The one I saw contained some of the best things I have yet seen in any pamphlet upon the subject."—"I'm very proud you think so," said the other, rubbing his hands with satisfaction; "and pray, what are the things that pleased you so much?"—"Why," replied Lysaght, "as I passed by a pastry-cook's shop this morning, I saw a girl come out with three hot mince-pies wrapped up in one of your works."
CVII.—NECK OR NOTHING.
A RIGHT reverend prelate, himself a man of extreme good-nature, was frequently much vexed in the spirit by the proud, froward, perverse, and untractable temper of his next vicar. The latter, after an absence much longer than usual, one day paid a visit to the bishop, who kindly inquired the cause of his absence, and was answered by the vicar, that he had been confined to his house for some time past by an obstinate stiffness in his knee. "I am glad of that," replied the prelate; "'tis a good symptom that the disorder has changed place, for I had a long time thought it immovably settled in your NECK."
A FARM was lately advertised in a newspaper, in which all the beauty of the situation, fertility of the soil, and salubrity of the air were detailed in the richest flow of rural description, which was further enhanced with this,—N.B. There is not an attorney within fifteen miles of the neighborhood.
A PAINTER in the Waterloo Road had the following announcement displayed on the front of his house: "The Acme of Stencil!" A "learned Theban" in the same line in an adjoining street, in order to outdo the "old original" stenciller, thus set forth his pretensions: "Stencilling in all its branches performed in the very height of acme!"
CX.—THE LATE MR. COLLINS.
COLLINS the poet, coming into a town the day after a young lady, of whom he was fond, had left it, said, how unlucky he was that he had come a day after the fair.
CXI.—A FAMILY PARTY.
A CERTAIN lodging-house was very much infested by vermin. A gentleman who slept there one night, told the landlady so in the morning, when she said, "La, sir, we haven't a single bug in the house."—"No ma'am," said he, "they're all married, and have large families too."
CXII.—CALF'S HEAD SURPRISED.
A STUPID person one day seeing a man of learning enjoying the pleasures of the table, said, "So, sir, philosophers, I see, can indulge in the greatest delicacies."—"Why not," replied the other, "do you think Providence intended all the good things for fools?"
CXIII.—POPPING THE QUESTION.
A GIRL forced by her parents into a disagreeable match with an old man, whom she detested, when the clergyman came to that part of the service where the bride is asked if she consents to take the bridegroom for her husband, said, with great simplicity, "Oh dear, no, sir; but you are the first person who has asked my opinion about the matter."
IT was said of a great calumniator, and a frequenter of other person's tables, that he never opened his mouth but at another man's expense.
CXV.—THE PRINCE OF ORANGE AND JUDGE JEFFERIES.
WHEN Jefferies was told that the Prince of Orange would very soon land, and that a manifesto, stating his inducements, objects, &c., was already written, "Pray, my Lord Chief Justice," said a gentleman present, "what do you think will be the heads of this manifesto?"—"Mine will be one," replied he.
A GENTLEMAN travelling, was accosted by a man walking along the road, who begged the favor of him to put his great coat, which he found very heavy, into his carriage. "With all my heart," said the gentleman; "but if we should not be travelling to the same place, how will you get your coat?"—"Monsieur," answered the man with great naivete, "I shall be in it."
SIR THOMAS MORE, the famous Chancellor, who preserved his humor and wit to the last moment, when he came to be executed on Tower-hill, the headsman demanded his upper garment as his fee; "Ah! friend," said he, taking off his cap, "that, I think, is my upper garment."
CXVIII.—A PRETTY METAPHOR.
A YOUNG lady marrying a man she loved, and leaving many friends in town, to retire with him into the country, Mrs. D. said prettily, "She has turned one-and-twenty shillings into a guinea."
CXIX.—ON A STONE THROWN AT A VERY GREAT MAN, BUT WHICH MISSED HIM.
TALK no more of the lucky escape of the head From a flint so unluckily thrown; I think very diff'rent, with thousands indeed, 'Twas a lucky escape for the stone.
CXX.—A MAN OF LETTERS.
WHEN Mr. Wilkes was in the meridian of his popularity, a man in a porter-house, classing himself as an eminent literary character, was asked by one of his companions what right he had to assume such a title. "Sir," says he, "I'd have you know, I had the honor of chalking number 45 upon every door between Temple Bar and Hyde Park-corner."
AN Englishman and a Welshman, disputing in whose country was the best living, said the Welshman, "There is such noble housekeeping in Wales, that I have known above a dozen cooks employed at one wedding dinner."—"Ay," answered the Englishman, "that was because every man toasted his own cheese."
CXXII.—A SPRIG OF SHILLALAH.
A FELLOW on the quay, thinking to quiz a poor Irishman, asked him, "How do the potatoes eat now, Pat?" The Irish lad, who happened to have a shillalah in his hand, answered, "O! they eat very well, my jewel, would you like to taste the stalk?" and knocking the inquirer down, coolly walked off.
IN the great dispute between South and Sherlock, the latter, who was a great courtier, said, "His adversary reasoned well, but he barked like a cur." To which the other replied, "That fawning was the property of a cur as well as barking."
A LEARNED counsel in the Exchequer spoke of a nolle prosequi. "Consider, sir," said Baron Alderson, "that this is the last day of term, and don't make things unnecessarily long."
THE sloth, in its wild state, spends its life in trees, and never leaves them but from force or accident. The eagle to the sky, the mole to the ground, the sloth to the tree; but what is most extraordinary, he lives not upon the branches, but under them. He moves suspended, rests suspended, sleeps suspended, and passes his life in suspense,—like a young clergyman distantly related to a bishop.
CXXVI.—PORSON'S VISIT TO THE CONTINENT.
SOON after Professor Porson returned from a visit to the Continent, at a party where he happened to be present, a gentleman solicited a sketch of his journey. Porson immediately gave the following extemporaneous one:
"I went to Frankfort and got drunk With that most learned professor, Brunck; I went to Worts and got more drunken With that more learned professor, Ruhnken."
THE late Lord Kelly had a very red face. "Pray, my lord," said Foote to him, "come and look over my garden-wall,—my cucumbers are very backward."
MAN is a sort of tree which we are too apt to judge of by the bark.
CXXIX.—THE TWO SMITHS.
A GENTLEMAN, with the same Christian and surname, took lodgings in the same house with James Smith. The consequence was, eternal confusion of calls and letters. Indeed, the postman had no alternative but to share the letters equally between the two. "This is intolerable, sir," said our friend, "and you must quit."—"Why am I to quit more than you?"—"Because you are James the Second—and must abdicate."
THE advice given by an Irishman to his English friend, on introducing him to a regular Tipperary row, was, "Wherever you see a head, hit it."
LADY HARDWICKE, the lady of the Chancellor, loved money as well as he did, and what he got she saved. The purse in which the Great Seal is carried is of very expensive embroidery, and was provided, during his time, every year. Lady Hardwicke took care that it should not be provided for the seal-bearer's profit, for she annually retained them herself, having previously ordered that the velvet should be of the length of one of the state rooms at Wimpole. So many of them were saved, that at length she had enough to hang the state-room, and make curtains for the bed. Lord Hardwicke used to say, "There was not such a purser in the navy."
CXXXII.—A FOREIGN ACCENT.
WHEN Maurice Margarot was tried at Edinburgh for sedition, the Lord Justice asked him, "Hae you ony counsel, mon?"—"No."—"Do you want to hae ony appointed?"—"I only want an interpreter to make me understand what your lordships say."
CXXXIII—EASY AS LYING.
ERSKINE, examining a bumptious fellow, asked him, if he were not a rider? "I'm a traveller, sir," replied the witness, with an air of offended importance. "Indeed, sir. And, pray, are you addicted to the failing usually attributed to travellers?"
CXXXIV.—NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS.
A PRISONER in The Fleet sent to his creditor to let him know that he had a proposal to make, which he believed would be for their mutual benefit. Accordingly, the creditor calling on him to hear it: "I have been thinking," said he, "that it is a very idle thing for me to lie here, and put you to the expense of seven groats a week. My being so chargeable to you has given me great uneasiness, and who knows what it may cost you in the end! Therefore, what I propose is this: You shall let me out of prison, and, instead of seven groats, you shall allow me only eighteenpence a week, and the other tenpence shall go towards the discharging of the debt."
(On the column to the Duke of York's memory.)
IN former times the illustrious dead were burned, Their hearts preserved in sepulchre inurned; This column, then, commemorates the part Which custom makes us single out—the heart; You ask, "How by a column this is done?" I answer, "'Tis a hollow thing of stone."
CXXXVI.—FLATTERY TURNED TO ADVANTAGE.
A DEPENDANT was praising his patron for many virtues which he did not possess. "I will do all in my power to prevent you lying," answered he.
CXXXVII.—THE INTRUDER REBUKED.
JERROLD and some friends were dining in a private room at a tavern. After dinner the landlord informed the company that the house was partly under repair, and requested that a stranger might be allowed to take a chop at a separate table in the apartment. The company assented, and the stranger, a person of commonplace appearance, was introduced, ate his chop in silence, and then fell asleep, snoring so loudly and inharmoniously that conversation was disturbed. Some gentlemen of the party made a noise, and the stranger, starting from his sleep, shouted to Jerrold, "I know you, Mr. Jerrold; but you shall not make a butt of me!"—"Then don't bring your hog's head in here," was the prompt reply.
A YOUNG author reading a tragedy, perceived his auditor very often pull off his hat at the end of a line, and asked him the reason. "I cannot pass a very old acquaintance," replied the critic, "without that civility."
CXXXIX.—A GOOD PLACE.
A NOBLEMAN taking leave when going as ambassador, the king said to him, "The principal instruction you require is, to observe a line of conduct exactly the reverse to that of your predecessor."—"Sire," replied he, "I will endeavor so to act that you shall not have occasion to give my successor the like advice."
THE attempt to run over the King of the French with a cab, looked like a conspiracy to overturn monarchy by a common-wheel.
CXLI.—THE FIRE OF LONDON.
ONE speaking of the fire of London, said, "Cannon Street roared, Bread Street was burnt to a crust, Crooked Lane was burnt straight, Addle Hill staggered, Creed Lane would not believe it till it came, Distaff Lane had sprung a fine thread, Ironmonger Lane was redhot, Seacoal Lane was burnt to a cinder, Soper Lane was in the suds, the Poultry was too much singed, Thames Street was dried up, Wood Street was burnt to ashes, Shoe Lane was burnt to boot, Snow Hill was melted down, Pudding Lane and Pye Corner were over baked."
CXLII.—A DOUBTFUL COMPLIMENT.
THE speeches made by P—— are sound, It cannot be denied; Granted; and then it will be found, They're little else beside.
CXLIII.—AN HONEST HORSE.
A DEALER once, selling a nag to a gentleman, frequently observed, with emphatic earnestness, that "he was an honest horse." After the purchase the gentleman asked him what he meant by an honest horse. "Why, sir," replied the seller, "whenever I rode him he always threatened to throw me, and he certainly never deceived me."
CXLIV.—THE RETORT CUTTING.
BISHOPS SHERLOCK and HOADLY were both freshmen of the same year, at Catherine Hall, Cambridge. The classical subject in which they were first lectured was Tully's Offices, and one morning Hoadly received a compliment from the tutor for the excellence of his construing. Sherlock, a little vexed at the preference shown to his rival, said, when they left the lecture-room, "Ben, you made good use of L'Estrange's translation to-day."—"Why, no, Tom," retorted Hoadly, "I did not, for I had not got one; and I forgot to borrow yours, which, I am told, is the only one in the college."
MR. HENRY ERSKINE, being one day in London, in company with the Duchess of Gordon, said to her, "Are we never again to enjoy the honor and pleasure of your grace's society at Edinburgh?"—"O!" answered her grace, "Edinburgh is a vile dull place—I hate it."—"Madam," replied the gallant barrister, "the sun might as well say, there's a vile dark morning,—I won't rise to-day."
CXLVI.—A LOVE SONG, BY DEAN SWIFT.
A PUD IN is almi de si re, Mimis tres Ine ver require, Alo veri find it a gestis, His miseri ne ver at restis.
CXLVII.—BY THE SAME.
MOLLIS abuti, Has an acuti, No lasso finis, Molli divinis. O mi de armis tres, Imi nadis tres, Cantu disco ver Meas alo ver?
CXLVIII.—A HAPPY SUGGESTION.
WHEN Jenny Lind, the Swedish Nightingale, gave a concert to the Consumption Hospital, the proceeds of which concert amounted to 1,776l. 15s., and were to be devoted to the completion of the building, Jerrold suggested that the new part of the hospital should be called "The Nightingale's Wing."
CXLIX.—PLAYING ON A WORD.
LORD ORFORD was present in a large company at dinner, when Bruce, the celebrated traveller, was talking in his usual style of exaggeration. Some one asked him what musical instruments were used in Abyssinia. Bruce hesitated, not being prepared for the question, and at last said, "I think I saw a lyre there." George Selwyn, who was of the party, whispered his next man, "Yes, and there is one less since he left the country."
CL.—AN EYE TO PROFIT.
A PERSON speaking of an acquaintance, who, though extremely avaricious, was always abusing the avarice of others, added, "Is it not strange that this man will not take the beam out of his own eye before he attempts the mote in other people's?"—"Why, so I daresay he would," cried Sheridan, "if he was sure of selling the timber."
CLI.—"OUT, BRIEF CANDLE."
A VERY small officer struck an old grenadier of his company for some supposed fault in performing his evolutions. The grenadier gravely took off his cap, and, holding it over the officer by the tip, said, "Sir, if you were not my officer, I would extinguish you."
A LEARNED barrister, quoting Latin verses to a brother "wig," who did not appear to understand them, added, "Don't you know the lines? They are in Martial."—"Marshall. Oh, yes; Marshall, who wrote on underwriting."—"Not so bad," replied the other. "After all, there is not so much difference between an under writer and a minor poet."
CLIII.—QUALIFYING FOR BAIL.
A GENTLEMAN once appeared in the Court of King's Bench to give bail in the sum of 3,000l. Serjeant Davy, wanting to display his wit, said to him, sternly, "And pray, sir, how do you make out that you are worth 3,000l.?" The gentleman stated the particulars of his property up to 2,940. "That's all very good," said the serjeant, "but you want 60l. more to be worth 3,000."—"For that sum," replied the gentleman, in no ways disconcerted, "I have a note of hand of one Mr. Serjeant Davy, and I hope he will have the honesty soon to settle it." The serjeant looked abashed, and Lord Mansfield observed, in his usual urbane tone, "Well, brother Davy, I think we may accept the bail."
CLIV.—BARRY'S POWERS OF PLEASING.
SPRANGER BARRY, to his silver-toned voice, added all the powers of persuasion. A carpenter, to whom he owed some money for work at the Dublin Theatre, called at Barry's house, and was very clamorous in demanding payment. Mr. Barry overhearing him, said from above, "Don't be in a passion; but do me the favor to walk upstairs, and we'll speak on the business."—"Not I," answered the man; "you owe me one hundred pounds already, and if you get me upstairs, you won't let me leave you till you owe me two."
"IT is rumored that a certain Royal Duke has expressed a determination never to shave until the Reform Bill is crushed entirely."—Court Journal.
'Tis right that Cumberland should be In this resolve so steady, For all the world declare that he Is too bare-faced already!
CLVI.—SENTENCE OF DEATH.
THE following is a literal copy of a notice served by a worthy inhabitant of Gravesend upon his neighbor, whose fowl had eaten his pig's victuals.
"SIR,—I have sent to you as Coashon a gences Leting your fouls Coming Eting and destrowing My Pegs vettles and if so be you Let them Com on My Premses hafter this Noddes I will kil them.
JOHN was thought to be very stupid. He was sent to a mill one day, and the miller said, "John, some people say you are a fool! Now, tell me what you do know, and what you don't know."—"Well," replied John, "I know millers' hogs are fat!"—"Yes, that's well, John! Now, what don't you know?"—"I don't know whose corn fats 'em!"
CLVIII.—WORTH THE MONEY.
SIR ROBERT WALPOLE having misquoted a passage in Horace, Mr. Pulteney said the honorable gentleman's Latin was as bad as his politics. Sir Robert adhered to his version, and bet his opponent a guinea that he was right, proposing Mr. Harding as arbiter. The bet being accepted, Harding rose, and with ludicrous solemnity gave his decision against his patron. The guinea was thrown across the House; and when Pulteney stooped to pick it up, he observed, that "it was the first public money he had touched for a long time." After his death, the guinea was found wrapped up in a piece of paper on which the circumstance was recorded.
CLIX.—SUITED TO HIS SUBJECT.
THE ballot was, it seems, first proposed in 1795, by Major Cart-wright, who somewhat appropriately wrote a book upon the Common-Wheel.
CLX.—NOT versus NOTT.
A GENTLEMAN of Maudlin, whose name was Nott, returning late from his friend's rooms, attracted the attention of the proctor, who demanded his name and college. "I am Nott of Maudlin," was the reply, hiccupping. "Sir," said the proctor, in an angry tone, "I did not ask of what college you are not, but of what college you are."—"I am Nott of Maudlin," was again the broken reply. The proctor, enraged at what he considered contumely, insisted on accompanying him to Maudlin, and demanded of the porter, "whether he knew the gentleman."—"Know him, sir," said the porter, "yes, it is Mr. Nott of this college." The proctor now perceived his error in not understanding the gentleman, and wished him a good night.
CLXI.—A COCKNEY EPIGRAM.
In Parliament, it's plain enough, No reverence for age appears; For they who hear each speaker's stuff, Find there is no respect for (y) ears.
CLXII.—THE PINK OF POLITENESS.
LORD BERKELEY was once dining with Lord Chesterfield (the pink of politeness) and a large party, when it was usual to drink wine until they were mellow. Berkeley had by accident shot one of his gamekeepers, and Chesterfield, under the warmth of wine, said, "Pray, my Lord Berkeley, how long is it since you shot a gamekeeper?"—"Not since you hanged your tutor, my lord!" was the reply. You know that Lord Chesterfield brought Dr. Dodd to trial, in consequence of which he was hanged.
CLXIII.—HIGH AND LOW.
"I EXPECT six clergymen to dine with me on such a day," said a gentleman to his butler. "Very good, sir," said the butler. "Are they High Church or Low Church, sir?"—"What on earth can that signify to you?" asked the astonished master. "Every thing, sir," was the reply. "If they are High Church, they'll drink; if they are Low Church, they'll eat!"
IN making love let poor men sigh, But love that's ready-made is better For men of business;—so I, If madam will be cruel, let her. But should she wish that I should wait And miss the 'Change,—oh no, I thank her, I court by deed, or after date, Through my solicitor or banker.
CLXV.—INGENIOUS REPLY OF A SOLDIER.
A SOLDIER in the army of the Duke of Marlborough took the name of that general, who reprimanded him for it. "How am I to blame, general?" said the soldier. "I have the choice of names; if I had known one more illustrious than yours, I should have taken it."
WHEN Lord Chesterfield was in administration, he proposed a person to his late majesty as proper to fill a place of great trust, but which the king himself was determined should be filled by another. The council, however, resolved not to indulge the king, for fear of a dangerous precedent, and it was Lord Chesterfield's business to present the grant of office for the king's signature. Not to incense his majesty by asking him abruptly, he, with accents of great humility, begged to know with whose name his majesty would be pleased to have the blanks filled up. "With the devil's!" replied the king, in a paroxysm of rage. "And shall the instrument," said the Earl, coolly, "run as usual, Our trusty and well-beloved cousin and counsellor?"—a repartee at which the king laughed heartily, and with great good-humor signed the grant.
WHEN a very eminent special pleader was asked by a country gentleman if he considered that his son was likely to succeed as a special pleader, he replied, "Pray, sir, can your son eat saw-dust without butter?"
CLXVIII.—ON A NEW DUKE.
ASK you why gold and velvet bind The temples of that cringing thief? Is it so strange a thing to find A toad beneath a strawberry leaf?
CLXIX.—THE ZODIAC CLUB.
ON the occasion of starting a convivial club, somebody proposed that it should consist of twelve members, and be called "The Zodiac," each member to be named after a sign.
"And what shall I be?" inquired a somewhat solemn man, who was afraid that his name would be forgotten.
Jerrold.—"Oh, we'll bring you in as the weight in Libra."
CLXX.—QUIN'S SOLILOQUY ON SEEING THE EMBALMED BODY OF DUKE HUMPHREY, AT ST. ALBAN'S.
"A PLAGUE on Egypt's arts, I say— Embalm the dead—on senseless clay Rich wine and spices waste: Like sturgeon, or like brawn, shall I, Bound in a precious pickle lie, Which I can never taste! Let me embalm this flesh of mine, With turtle fat, and Bourdeaux wine, And spoil the Egyptian trade, Than Glo'ster's Duke, more happy I, Embalm'd alive, old Quin shall lie A mummy ready made."
IT being reported that Lady Caroline Lamb had, in a moment of passion, knocked down one of her pages with a stool, the poet Moore, to whom this was told by Lord Strangford, observed: "Oh! nothing is more natural for a literary lady than to double down a page."—"I would rather," replied his lordship, "advise Caroline to turn over a new leaf."
CLXXII.—A PRETTY PICTURE.
E—— taking the portrait of a lady, perceived that when he was working at her mouth she was trying to render it smaller by contracting her lips. "Do not trouble yourself so much, madam," exclaimed the painter; "if you please, I will draw your face without any mouth at all."
DURING the long French war, two old ladies in Stranraer were going to the kirk, the one said to the other, "Was it no a wonderfu' thing that the Breetish were aye victorious ower the French in battle?"—"Not a bit," said the other old lady, "dinna ye ken the Breetish aye say their prayers before ga'in into battle?" The other replied, "But canna the French say their prayers as weel?" The reply was most characteristic, "Hoot! jabbering bodies, wha could understan' them?"
CLXXIV.—DUNNING AND LORD MANSFIELD.
WHILST the celebrated Mr. Dunning, afterwards Lord Ashburton, was at the bar, he by his conduct did much to support the character and dignity of a barrister, which was frequently disregarded by Lord Mansfield, at that time Chief Justice. The attempts of the Chief Justice to brow-beat the counsel were on many occasions kept in check by the manly and dignified conduct of Mr. Dunning. Lord Mansfield possessed great quickness in discovering the gist of a cause, and having done so, used to amuse himself by taking up a book or a newspaper, whilst counsel was addressing the court. Whenever Mr. Dunning was speaking, and his Lordship seemed thus to hold his argument as of no consequence, the advocate would stop suddenly in his address, and on his Lordship observing, "Pray go on, Mr. Dunning," he would reply, "I beg your pardon, my Lord, but I fear I shall interrupt your Lordship's more important occupations. I will wait until your Lordship has leisure to attend to my client and his humble advocate."
(A good word for Ministers.)
THE Whigs 'tis said have often broke Their promises which end in smoke; Thus their defence I build; Granted in office they have slept, Yet sure those promises are kept Which never are fulfilled.
CLXXVI.—CHANGING HIS LINE.
A GENTLEMAN, inquiring of Jack Bannister respecting a man who had been hanged, was told that he was dead. "And did he continue in the grocery line?" said the former. "Oh no," replied Jack; "he was quite in a different line when he died."
CLXXVII.—TALL AND SHORT.
AT an evening party, Jerrold was looking at the dancers. Seeing a very tall gentleman waltzing with a remarkably short lady, he said to a friend at hand, "Humph! there's the mile dancing with the mile-stone."
CLXXVIII.—AN ODD COMPARISON.
SIR WILLIAM B—— being at a parish meeting, made some proposals, which were objected to by a farmer. Highly enraged, "Sir," says he to the farmer, "do you know, sir, that I have been at the two universities, and at two colleges in each university?"—"Well, sir," said the farmer, "what of that? I had a calf that sucked two cows, and the observation I made was, the more he sucked, the greater calf he grew."
CLXXIX.—ON THE RIGHT SIDE.
IT was said of one that remembered everything that he lent, but nothing that he borrowed, "that he had lost half of his memory."
CLXXX.—CAUSE OF ABSENCE.
WHEN the late Lord Campbell married Miss Scarlett, and departed on his wedding trip, Mr. Justice Abbott observed, when a cause was called on in the Bench, "I thought, Mr. Brougham, that Mr. Campbell was in this case?"—"Yes, my lord," replied Brougham, "but I understand he is ill—suffering from Scarlett fever."
CLXXXI.—THE SCOLD'S VOCABULARY.
THE copiousness of the English language perhaps was never more apparent than in the following character, by a lady, of her own husband:—
"He is," says she, "an abhorred, barbarous, capricious, detestable, envious, fastidious, hard-hearted, illiberal, ill-natured, jealous, keen, loathsome, malevolent, nauseous, obstinate, passionate, quarrelsome, raging, saucy, tantalizing, uncomfortable, vexatious, abominable, bitter, captious, disagreeable, execrable, fierce, grating, gross, hasty, malicious, nefarious, obstreperous, peevish, restless, savage, tart, unpleasant, violent, waspish, worrying, acrimonious, blustering, careless, discontented, fretful, growling, hateful, inattentive, malignant, noisy, odious, perverse, rigid, severe, teasing, unsuitable, angry, boisterous, choleric, disgusting, gruff, hectoring, incorrigible, mischievous, negligent, offensive, pettish, roaring, sharp, sluggish, snapping, snarling, sneaking, sour, testy, tiresome, tormenting, touchy, arrogant, austere, awkward, boorish, brawling, brutal, bullying, churlish, clamorous, crabbed, cross, currish, dismal, dull, dry, drowsy, grumbling, horrid, huffish, insolent, intractable, irascible, ireful, morose, murmuring, opinionated, oppressive, outrageous, overbearing, petulant, plaguy, rough, rude, rugged, spiteful, splenetic, stern, stubborn, stupid, sulky, sullen, surly, suspicious, treacherous, troublesome, turbulent, tyrannical, virulent, wrangling, yelping dog-in-a-manger."
CLXXXII.—A FAMILIAR ILLUSTRATION.
A MEDICAL student under examination, being asked the different effects of heat and cold, replied: "Heat expands and cold contracts."—"Quite right; can you give me an example?"—"Yes, sir, in summer, which is hot, the days are longer; but in winter, which is cold, the days are shorter."
HAPPINESS grows at our own firesides, and is not to be picked in strangers' gardens.
CLXXXIV.—TRANSPOSING A COMPLIMENT.
IT was said of a work (which had been inspected by a severe critic), in terms which at first appeared very flattering, "There is a great deal in this book which is new, and a great deal that is true." So far good, the author would think; but then came the negation: "But it unfortunately happens, that those portions which are new are not true, and those which are true are not new!"
CLXXXV.—A HANDSOME CONTRIBUTION.
A GENTLEMAN waited upon Jerrold one morning to enlist his sympathies in behalf of a mutual friend, who was constantly in want of a round sum of money.
"Well," said Jerrold, who had contributed on former occasions, "how much does —— want this time?"
"Why, just a four and two noughts will, I think, put him straight," the bearer of the hat replied.
Jerrold.—"Well, put me down for one of the noughts this time."
CLXXXVI.—WASTE OF TIME.
AN old man of ninety having recovered from a very dangerous illness, his friends congratulated him, and encouraged him to get up. "Alas!" said he to them, "it is hardly worth while to dress myself again."
AT Hawick, the people used to wear wooden clogs, which made a clanking noise on the pavement. A dying old woman had some friends by her bedside, who said to her, "Weel, Jenny, ye are gaun to Heeven, an' gin you should see our folks, ye can tell them that we're a weel." To which Jenny replied. "Weel, gin I shud see them I 'se tell them, but you manna expect that I am to gang clank clanking through Heeven looking for your folk."
SIR FLETCHER NORTON was noted for his want of courtesy. When pleading before Lord Mansfield on some question of manorial right, he chanced unfortunately to say, "My lord, I can illustrate the point in an instant in my own person: I myself have two little manors." The judge immediately interposed, with one of his blandest smiles, "We all know it, Sir Fletcher."
CLXXXIX.—NAT LEE AND SIR ROGER L'ESTRANGE.
THE author of "Alexander the Great," whilst confined in a madhouse, was visited by Sir Roger L'Estrange, of whose political abilities Lee entertained no very high opinion. Upon the knight inquiring whether the poet knew him, Lee answered:—
"Custom may alter men, and manners change: But I am still strange Lee, and you L'Estrange: I'm poor in purse as you are poor in brains."
CXC.—MAIDS AND WIVES.
WOMEN are all alike. When they're maids they're mild as milk: once make 'em wives, and they lean their backs against their marriage certificates, and defy you.—D.J.
LISTON, seeing a parcel lying on the table in the entrance-hall of Drury Lane Theatre, one side of which, from its having travelled to town by the side of some game, was smeared with blood, observed, "That parcel contains a manuscript tragedy." And on being asked why, replied, "Because the fifth act is peeping out at one corner of it."
CXCII.—A TRUE COURTIER.
ONE day, when Sir Isaac Heard was in company with George III., it was announced that his majesty's horse was ready for hunting. "Sir Isaac," said the king, "are you a judge of horses?"—"In my younger days, please your majesty, I was a great deal among them," was the reply. "What do you think of this, then?" said the king, who was by this time preparing to mount his favorite: and, without waiting for an answer, added, "we call him. Perfection."—"A most appropriate name," replied the courtly herald, bowing as his majesty reached the saddle, "for he bears the best of characters."
THE paucity of some persons' good actions reminds one of Jonathan Wild, who was once induced to be guilty of a good action, after fully satisfying himself, upon the maturest deliberation, that he could gain nothing by refraining from it.
A COXCOMB in a coffee-house boasted that he had written a certain popular song, just as the true author entered the room. A friend of his pointed to the coxcomb: "See, sir, the real author of your favorite song."—"Well," replied the other, "the gentleman might have made it, for I assure him I found no difficulty in doing it myself."
CXCV.—A SHEEPISH COMPLIMENT.
LORD COCKBURN, the proprietor of Bonaly, was sitting on the hillside with a shepherd, and, observing the sheep reposing in the coldest situation, he remarked to him, "John, if I were a sheep, I would lie on the other side of the hill." The shepherd answered, "Ah, my lord, but if ye had been a sheep ye would hae had mair sense."
SIR RICHARD JEBB being called to see a patient who fancied himself very ill, told him ingenuously what he thought, and declined prescribing for him. "Now you are here," said the patient, "I shall be obliged to you, Sir Richard, if you will tell me how I must live; what I may eat, and what I may not."—"My directions as to that point," replied Sir Richard, "will be few and simple! You must not eat the poker, shovel, or tongs, for they are hard of digestion; nor the bellows, because they are windy; but eat anything else you please!"
CXCVII.—FARMER AND ATTORNEY.
AN opulent farmer applied to an attorney about a lawsuit, but was told he could not undertake it, being already engaged on the other side; at the same time he gave him a letter of recommendation to a professional friend. The farmer, out of curiosity, opened it, and read as follows:—
"Here are two fat wethers fallen out together, If you'll fleece one, I'll fleece the other, And make 'em agree like brother and brother."
The perusal of this epistle cured both parties, and terminated the dispute.
CXCVIII.—A WIFE AT FORTY.
"MY notion of a wife at forty," said Jerrold, "is, that a man should be able to change her, like a bank-note, for two twenties."
AN actor played a season at Richmond theatre for the privilege only of having a benefit. When his night came, and having to sustain a principal part in the piece, the whole of his audience (thirty in number), hissed him whenever he appeared. When the piece ended, he came forward and said, "Ladies and gentlemen, I return you my sincere thanks for your kindness, but when you mean to hiss me again on my benefit night, I hope you will be at least six times as many as are here to-night."
COOKE and Dibdin went, at a tolerably steady quick-step, as far as the middle of Greek Street, when Cooke, who had passed his hand along all the palisades and shutters as he marched, came in contact with the recently-painted new front of a coachmaker's shop, from which he obtained a complete handful of wet color. Without any explanation as to the cause of his anger, he rushed suddenly into the middle of the street, and raised a stone to hurl against the unoffending windows; but Dibdin was in time to save them from destruction, and him from the watch-house. On being asked the cause of his hostility to the premises of a man who could not have offended him, he replied, with a hiccup, "what! not offend? A —— ignorant coachmaker, to leave his house out, new-painted, at this time of night!"
CCI.—MEASURING HIS DISTANCE.
A BROWBEATING counsel asked a witness how far he had been from a certain place. "Just four yards, two feet, and six inches," was the reply. "How came you to be so exact, my friend?"—"Because I expected some fool or other would ask me, and so I measured it."
"WHAT is light?" asked a schoolmaster of the booby of a class. "A sovereign that isn't full weight is light," was the prompt reply.
"AH!" said a conceited young parson, "I have this afternoon been preaching to a congregation of asses."—"Then that was the reason why you always called them beloved brethren," replied a strong-minded lady.
BY a friend of Sir Turncoat 'twas lately averr'd, The electors would find him as good as his word! "As good as his word," did you say, "gracious me! What a terrible scamp little Turncoat must be!"
IT has been said that a lady once asked Lord B—g—m who was the best debater in the House of Lords. His lordship modestly replied, "Lord Stanley is the second, madam."
CCVI.—A JOINT CONCERN.
A STUPID fellow employed in blowing a cathedral organ, said after the performance of a fine anthem, "I think we performed very well to-day."—"We performed!" answered the organist; "I think it was I performed, or I am much mistaken." Shortly after another celebrated piece of music was to be played. In the middle of the anthem the organ stopped; the organist cried out in a passion, "Why don't you blow?" The fellow popped out his head from behind the organ, and said, "Shall it be we then?"
AN editor at a dinner-table being asked if he would take some pudding, replied, in a fit of abstraction, "Owing to a crowd of other matter, we are unable to find room for it."
CCVIII.—A GOOD REASON.
A RICH peer resolved to make his will; and having remembered all his domestics except his steward, the omission was respectfully pointed out to him by the lawyer. "I shall leave him nothing," said the nobleman, "because he has served me these twenty years."
CCIX.—ON A BAD MAN.
BY imbecility and fears Will is restrain'd from doing ill; His mind a porcupine appears, A porcupine without a quill.
CCX.—A CLEVER DOG.
AFTER witnessing the first representation of a dog-piece by Reynolds, called the "Caravan," Sheridan suddenly came into the green-room, on purpose, it was imagined, to wish the author joy. "Where is he?" was the first question: "where is my guardian angel?"—"Here I am," answered Reynolds. "Pooh!" replied Sheridan, "I don't mean you, I mean the dog."
CCXI.—A KNOTTY POINT.
THE Bristol magistrates were at the time of the great riots scattered through the town. They argued that under the circumstances it was impossible they could have been collected.
THIS gentleman, travelling in a stage-coach, was interrupted by the frequent impertinence of a companion, who was constantly teazing him with questions and asking him how he did. "How are you now, sir?" said the impertinent. George, in order to get rid of his importunity, replied, "Very well; and I intend to continue so all the rest of the journey."
CCXIII.—EMPEROR OF CHINA.
SIR G. STAUNTON related a curious anecdote of old Kien Long, Emperor of China. He was inquiring of Sir George the manner in which physicians were paid in England. When, after some difficulty, his majesty was made to comprehend the system, he exclaimed, "Is any man well in England, that can afford to be ill? Now, I will inform you," said he, "how I manage my physicians. I have four, to whom the care of my health is committed: a certain weekly salary is allowed them, but the moment I am ill, the salary stops till I am well again. I need not inform you my illnesses are usually short."
CCXIV.—LANDLORD AND TENANTS.
SAYS his landlord to Thomas, "Your rent I must raise, I'm so plaguily pinch'd for the pelf." "Raise my rent!" replies Thomas; "your honor's main good; For I never can raise it myself."
CCXV.—AN UGLY DOG.
JERROLD had a favorite dog that followed him everywhere. One day in the country, a lady who was passing turned round and said, audibly, "What an ugly little brute!" whereupon Jerrold, addressing the lady, replied, "Oh, madam! I wonder what he thinks about us at this moment!"
CCXVI.—THE WRONG LEG.
MATHEWS being invited by D'Egville to dine one day with him at Brighton, D'Egville inquired what was Mathews's favorite dish? A roasted leg of pork, with sage and onions. This was provided; and D'Egville, carving, could not find the stuffing. He turned the joint about, but in vain. Poole was at table, and, in his quiet way, said, "Don't make yourself unhappy, D'Egville; perhaps it is in the other leg."
IT was customary in some parish churches for the men to be placed on one side, and the women on the other. A clergyman, in the midst of his sermon, found himself interrupted by the talking of some of the congregation, of which he was obliged to take notice. A woman immediately rose, and wishing to clear her own sex from the aspersion, said: "Observe, at least, your reverence, it is not on our side."—"So much the better, good woman, so much the better," answered the clergyman; "it will be the sooner over."
CCXVIII.—FIGHTING BY MEASURE.
THE usual place of resort for Dublin duellists was called the Fifteen Acres. An attorney of that city, in penning a challenge, thought most likely he was drawing a lease, and invited his antagonist to meet him at "the place called Fifteen Acres—'be the same more or less.'"
"DO you know what made my voice so melodious?" said a celebrated vocal performer, of awkward manners, to Charles Bannister. "No," replied the other. "Why, then, I'll tell you: when I was about fifteen, I swallowed, by accident, some train oil."—"I don't think," rejoined Bannister, "it would have done you any harm if, at the same time, you had swallowed a dancing-master!"
CCXX.—THE FORCE OF SATIRE.
JACOB JOHNSON, the publisher, having refused to advance Dryden a sum of money for a work upon which he was engaged, the incensed bard sent a message to him, and the following lines, adding, "Tell the dog that he who wrote these can write more":—
"With leering looks, bull-necked, and freckled face, With two left legs, and Judas-colored hair, And frowsy pores, that taint the ambient air!"
Johnson felt the force of the description; and, to avoid, a completion of the portrait, immediately sent the money.
CCXXI.—THE ANGLO-FRENCH ALLIANCE.
JERROLD was in France, and with a Frenchman who was enthusiastic on the subject of the Anglo-French alliance. He said that he was proud to see the English and French such good friends at last. "Tut! the best thing I know between France and England is—the sea," said Jerrold.
ON the 30th of January (the martyrdom of King Charles the First), Quin used to say, "Every king in Europe would rise with a crick in his neck."
CCXXIII.—A GOOD REASON.
A CERTAIN minister going to visit one of his sick parishioners, asked him how he had rested during the night. "Oh, wondrous ill, sir," replied he, "for mine eyes have not come together these three nights."—"What is the reason of that?" said the other. "Alas! sir," said he, "because my nose was betwixt them."
CCXXIV.—BILLY BROWN AND THE COUNSELLOR.
WHEN Mr. Sheridan pleaded in court his own cause, and that of the Drury Lane Theatre, an Irish laborer, known amongst the actors by the name of Billy Brown, was called upon to give his evidence. Previous to his going into court, the counsellor, shocked at the shabby dress of the witness, began to remonstrate with him on this point: "You should have put on your Sunday clothes, and not think of coming into court covered with lime and brick-dust; it detracts from the credit of your evidence."—"Be cool, Mr. Counsellor," said Billy, "only be cool, you're in your working-dress, and I am in mine; and that's that."
CCXXV.—THE RULING PASSION AFTER DEATH.
A DRUNKEN witness leaving the box, blurted out, "My Lord, I never cared for anything but women and horseflesh!" Mr. Justice Maule: "Oh, you never cared for anything but women and horseflesh? Then I advise you to go home and make your will, or, if you have made it, put a codicil to it, and direct your executors, as soon as you are dead, to have you flayed, and to have your skin made into side-saddles, and then, whatever happens, you will have the satisfaction of reflecting that, after death, some part of you will be constantly in contact with what, in life, were the dearest objects of your affections."
CCXXVI.—CUT AND COME AGAIN.
A GENTLEMAN who was on a tour, attended by an Irish servant-man, who drove the vehicle, was several times puzzled with the appearance of a charge in the man's daily account, entered as "Refreshment for the horse, 2d." At length he asked Dennis about it. "Och! sure," said he, "it's whipcord it is!"
A REMARKABLY ugly and disagreeable man sat opposite Jerrold at a dinner-party. Before the cloth was removed, Jerrold accidentally broke a glass. Whereupon the ugly gentleman, thinking to twit his opposite neighbor with great effect, said slily, "What, already, Jerrold! Now I never break a glass."—"I wonder at that," was Jerrold's instant reply, "you ought whenever you look in one."
CCXXVIII.—UNION IS STRENGTH.
A KIND-HEARTED, but somewhat weak-headed, parishioner in the far north got into the pulpit of the parish church one Sunday before the minister, who happened on that day to be rather behind time. "Come down, Jamie," said the minister, "that's my place."—"Come ye up, sir," replied Jamie; "they are a stiff-necked and rebellious generation the people o' this place, and it will take us baith to manage them."
THE late Mr. Petion, who was sent over into this country to acquire a knowledge of our criminal law, is said to have declared himself thoroughly informed upon the subject, after remaining precisely two-and-thirty minutes in the Old Bailey.
CCXXX.—MAKING IT UP.
AN attorney being informed by his cook that there was not dinner enough provided, upon one occasion when company were expected, he asked if she had brothed the clerks. She replied that she had done so. "Well then," said he, "broth 'em again."
CCXXXI.—OLD STORIES OVER AGAIN.
BUBB DODDINGTON was very lethargic. Falling asleep one day, after dinner with Sir Richard Temple and Lord Cobham, the latter reproached Doddington with his drowsiness. Doddington denied having been asleep; and to prove he had not, offered to repeat all Lord Cobham had been saying. Cobham challenged him to do so. Doddington repeated a story; and Lord Cobham owned he had been telling it. "Well," said Doddington, "and yet I did not hear a word of it; but I went to sleep, because I knew that about this time of day you would tell that story."