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Title: Ever Heard This? - Over Three Hundred Good Stories
Author: Chambers, F. W.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Ever Heard This? - Over Three Hundred Good Stories" ***

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[Illustration: Cover art]



                            EVER HEARD THIS?

                    OVER THREE HUNDRED GOOD STORIES



                                   BY

                             F. W. CHAMBERS



                             THIRD EDITION



                           METHUEN & CO. LTD.
                          36 ESSEX STREET W.C.
                                 LONDON



                First Published ...... October 27th 1916
                  Second Edition ...... November 1916
                   Third Edition ...... December 1916



                                  ————



CONTENTS


    WHAT HE WANTED
    HIS CHOICE
    NOT IN THE REGULATIONS
    CHEAP TALK
    SWEET ARE THE USES OF ADVERTISEMENT
    A CANDID CRITIC
    WHAT’S IN A NAME
    WHY BROWN LEFT
    AN ASS’S SHADOW
    GRACE
    MISUNDERSTOOD
    TRUMPS
    THE STUTTERER
    PRESENT AND FUTURE
    THE VOICE OF IGNORANCE
    A PASSOVER STORY
    EXTRAORDINARY COMPROMISE
    BARBER SHAVED BY A LAWYER
    A GOOD PUN
    SOMETHING LIKE AN INSULT
    THE UNWELCOME GUEST
    A LOST BALANCE
    A BAD CROP
    NEGATIVES AND POSITIVES
    JAW-ACHE
    HER PROGRAMME
    THE PROUD FATHER
    A MIRACLE
    KEEPING TIME
    QUESTION AND ANSWER
    MOTHER’S JAM POTS
    WISDOM
    WHY NOT?
    THE OLD FARMER
    ANY CHANGE FOR THE BETTER
    TACT
    THE RETORT RUDE
    THE QUAKER AND HIS HORSE
    CERTAINLY NOT ASLEEP
    THE BEST JUDGE
    A THIRST FOR KNOWLEDGE
    A SHIPWRECK
    A SAFE CASE
    THE WATCH MENDER
    THE CITY CHURCHES--AND OTHERS
    HIGH PRINCIPLES
    THE MIXTURE AS BEFORE
    CANNY SCOT
    A NICE DISTINCTION
    NOT TWO-FACED
    CLERICAL WIT
    A COSTLY EXPERIMENT
    A GOOD REASON
    ECONOMY IN THE STABLE
    THE PATRIARCH
    HIGH AND LOW
    BEER
    NOT IMPORTUNATE
    THE RELATIONSHIP OF HOG TO BACON
    UNION IS STRENGTH
    COURTSHIP
    TO LET
    CUT AND COME AGAIN
    THE THOUGHTFUL PATIENT
    KISMET
    THE YOUNG IDEA
    THE NEW BABY
    HOOK AND AN INSPECTOR OF TAXES
    THE SHE BEAR
    KNOWLEDGE
    A STORY FOR BOOKSELLERS
    THE EARLY BIRD
    TABLE TALK
    TROUBLES
    A SOUTHERNER AND SCOTLAND
    DRY HUMOUR
    THE CHURCH ORGAN
    COMMON PRAYER
    SHORT COMMONS
    TRUTH
    A WRONG CHOICE
    FISH AS A BRAIN FOOD
    A CHARACTER
    HUSBAND OR COW
    A NEW METHOD
    GRATITUDE NOT APPRECIATED
    ON THE TREASURES OF THIS WORLD
    COLD FEET
    BUSYBODIES
    ALDERMANIC TASTES
    "WARRANTED TO KILL"
    PROFESSIONAL
    THE NEW VERSION
    DRAUGHTS
    TENDERNESS
    HOW TO ADDRESS A BISHOP
    HOOK AND PUTNEY BRIDGE
    A GOOD EXAMPLE
    A MISFIT
    A CHEERFUL INVITATION
    THE INEVITABLE RESULT
    JUSTICE
    THAT AWFUL CHILD
    A COSMOPOLITAN
    CLOTHES AND THE MAN
    A WITTY REPLY
    THE SOUND OF A TRUMPET
    GRAMMAR
    ONE SIDE AT A TIME
    COMPANY
    HER OWN FAULT
    A POSER
    YOUTHFUL PRECOCITY
    ABOVE PROOF
    ON DEATH
    ENVY
    A HAT FOR NOTHING
    AN OLD PROVERB
    PRO BONO PUBLICO
    A NEW RECIPE
    NOT A WAXWORK
    THEY NEVER SAY THANK YOU
    TIPS
    JUSTICE
    DEAD AS A DOORNAIL
    FAITH
    JOB’S CURSE
    A CONJUGAL CONCLUSION
    THE RULING PASSION
    FELO-DE-SE
    HOW TO GET WARM
    NO MATTER WHAT COLOUR
    OF COMPOSITIONS
    PETER’S WIFE’S MOTHER
    THE TRIALS OF THE DEAF
    ANTICIPATION
    HYMNS AND HERS
    HORS CONCOURS
    THE MARINE AND THE BOTTLE
    A UNITED COUPLE
    WET PAINT
    TICK, TICK, TICK
    DIFFIDENCE
    THE BAILIFF OUTWITTED
    IMAGINATION
    UNREMITTING KINDNESS
    A WARM PROSPECT
    A SOPORIFIC STORY
    ST. PETER AND HIS KEYS
    THE LOST JOINT
    THE RECRUITING SERGEANT AND THE COUNTRYMAN
    ALL MEN ARE LIARS
    AN OBJECT LESSON
    A DOUBTFUL COMPLIMENT
    "SOMEWHERE"
    THE SCOTSMAN AND THE JOKE
    WAR AND TAXES
    A MODERN ALFRED
    CHARITY ON CREDIT
    COURTING BY LAMPLIGHT
    THE INQUISITIVE ONLOOKER
    THE EMPTY BOTTLE
    H2O
    AN ACCIDENT
    TOUCH HIM UP
    A SMART BOY
    WEARING ROUGE
    THE POOR LANDLORD
    THE DAY OF REST
    NOT TO BE CAUGHT
    MOLECULES
    A THOUGHTLESS SAMARITAN
    TWINS
    A NATURAL OBJECTION
    BADLY PUT
    A DOUBTFUL MARKET
    SEQUENCES
    TWO POINTS OF VIEW
    A CANNIBAL
    TO LET--UNFURNISHED
    A FRIEND OF SATAN
    THE TEDDY BEAR
    BROTHERLY LOVE
    CHRISTIAN PRINCIPLES
    MULTIPLICATION
    A BIBLICAL STORY
    THE THOUGHTFUL MAID
    HEMP
    GOOD ADVICE
    CHANGE AND REST
    THE VOLUNTARY SYSTEM
    THE WAY TO YORK
    THE WAY TO DO IT
    LOT AND THE FLEA
    WHIST
    A NEW PRESCRIPTION
    JACOB’S LADDER
    A PORTRAIT
    BLOATERS
    A CONVENIENCE
    THE PRAYER MEETING
    TAKING TIME
    KING’S EVIDENCE
    A PLEASANT PROSPECT
    BALAAM’S SWORD
    THE HONORARIUM
    MANNERS
    SCOTCH UNDERSTANDING
    THE AVERAGE EGG
    FEELING IN THE RIGHT PLACE
    THE G.O.M.
    A NEAT RETORT
    A SYDNEY SMITH STORY
    A COMMON DIFFICULTY
    MARY JONES
    DONALD COMPLIED
    VEGETARIANISM
    FELLOW-FEELING
    JONAH AND THE WHALE
    WHOLLY GOOD
    "CAREFUL, NOW!"
    SAFETY
    O’BRIEN THE LUCID
    MERCY
    A BULL
    A GOOD REASON
    THE ARREST
    CHERUBIM AND SERAPHIM
    SOLITUDE
    A QUESTION OF NUMBERS
    AMERICAN POULTRY
    GRACE MAL A PROPOS
    THE POOR IDIOT
    A WELSH WIG-GING
    FORGIVENESS
    AN ODD COMPARISON
    ACOUSTICS
    SHARP, IF NOT PLEASANT
    BRIGHT AND SHARP
    SOFTNESS
    AN EASY QUALIFICATION
    MISER’S CHARITY
    ON TAKING A WIFE
    THE THIRTY-NINE ARTICLES
    THE DUCHESS AND THE CANONS
    HOW TO WIN
    PIGS
    BACON AND THE DEVIL
    HINTS TO MOTHERS
    GARRICK AND THE DOCTOR’S FEE
    A SAFE SHOT
    HOW TO INDUCE PERSPIRATION
    DIFFERENCES
    COALS
    MODESTY
    AN UNFORTUNATE REMARK
    MODERN EDUCATION
    THE RULING PASSION
    EDUCATION
    A LONG GRACE
    THE USE OF FALSE TEETH
    HOW TO COLLECT
    IMPERSONATION
    A SMART RETORT
    TRUTH WILL OUT
    SUNDAY AFTERNOON SERVICES
    A NEW DISH
    FULL OF PLUCK
    CANDID ON BOTH SIDES
    THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS
    THE ISLE OF MAN, AND A WOMAN
    A CUNNING ELDER
    AS YOU LIKE IT
    UNNECESSARY CIVILITY
    AT THE SIGN OF THE BARBER’S POLE
    AN IDENTIFICATION PLATE
    TABLE OF COMPARISON
    THE INTELLIGENT CAT
    HEAR!  HEAR!
    MISPLACING THE BLAME
    WHY HANGING CAUSES DEATH
    MORAL QUALIFICATIONS
    MEASURING HIS DISTANCE
    AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCES
    THE LATIN FOR COLD
    THE CUT DIRECT
    COMMON WANT
    NOT TO BE BEATEN
    AN ODD NOTION
    "IF----"
    LATE AND EARLY
    A SLIGHT DIFFERENCE
    SHARP BOY
    THE SENTRY AND HIS WATCH
    CREDIT
    UNKIND
    NOT COMPULSORY
    "YOU’LL GET THERE BEFORE I CAN TELL YOU!"
    AN UNHAPPY BENEDICT
    A DIFFICULT TASK
    NON-RUNNERS
    THE POLITE COUNTRYMAN
    A VIOLENT PARTNER
    WISDOM
    A DOUBTFUL POINT
    THE BETTER WAY
    A GOOD REASON
    A NEW TEXT
    AN AUCTION
    A REAL SPORT
    THE SCOTCHMAN’S SOUVENIR

                                  ————

                            EVER HEARD THIS?



WHAT HE WANTED


A lover and his lass sought a secluded lane, but to their disgust a
small boy arrived there too.  Said the lover:

"Here’s a penny.  Go and get some sweets."

"I don’t want any sweets."

"Well, here’s a shilling.  Run away."

"I don’t want a shilling."

"Then here’s half a crown."

"I don’t want half a crown."

"Well, what do you want?"

"I want to watch."



HIS CHOICE


A little boy, who had had some insight into the disposal of surplus
kittens, on being shown his mother’s newly arrived twins, laid his
finger on that which struck his fancy, and said, "That’s the one I’ll
have kept."



NOT IN THE REGULATIONS


A raw Highlander from a northern depot was put on guard at the C.O.’s
tent.  In the morning the Colonel looked out, and though he prided
himself on knowing all his men the sentry’s face was unfamiliar.

"Who are you?" he asked.

"A’am fine, thank ye," was the reply, "an’ hoo’s yerself?"



CHEAP TALK


Jones was proud of his virtues.  "Gentlemen, for twenty years I haven’t
touched whisky, cards, told a lie, done an unkind deed, or smoked, or
sworn," he said.

"By Jove!  I wish I could say that," Brown exclaimed enviously.

"Well, why don’t you?" said a mutual friend.  "Jones did."



SWEET ARE THE USES OF ADVERTISEMENT


A Scot and a minister were in a train together travelling through a
lovely part of Scotland.

Beautiful scenery--mountains, dales, rivers, and all the glories of
Nature.  When passing a grand mountain they saw a huge advertisement for
So-and-So’s whisky.

The Scot gave a snort of disgust.  The minister leant forward and said,
"I’m glad to see, sir, that you agree with me, that they should not be
allowed to desecrate the beauties of Nature by advertisement."

"It’s no’ that, sir," said the Scot bitterly, "it’s rotten whusky."



A CANDID CRITIC


Bishop Blomfield, having forgotten his written sermon, once preached _ex
tempore_, for the first and only time in his life, choosing as his text
"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God."  On his way home he
asked one of his congregation how he liked the discourse.  "Well, Mr.
Blomfield," replied the man, "I liked the sermon well enough, but I
can’t say I agree with you; I think there be a God!"



WHAT’S IN A NAME


A lawyer who was sometimes forgetful, having been engaged to plead the
cause of an offender, began by saying: "I know the prisoner at the bar,
and he bears the character of being a most consummate and impudent
scoundrel."  Here somebody whispered to him that the prisoner was his
client, when he immediately continued: "But what great and good man ever
lived who was not calumniated by many of his contemporaries?"



WHY BROWN LEFT


Mr. Brown expressed to his landlady his pleasure in seeing her place a
plate of scraps before the cat.  "Oh, yes, sir," she replied. "Wot I
says, Mr. Brown, is, be kind to the cats, and yer’ll find it saves yer
’arf the washin’-up."



AN ASS’S SHADOW


A foolish fellow went to the parish priest, and told him, with a very
long face, that he had seen a ghost.  "When and where?" said the pastor.
"Last night," replied the timid man, "I was passing by the church, and
up against the wall of it, did I behold the spectre."  "In what shape
did it appear?" replied the priest.  "It appeared in the shape of a
great ass."  "Go home and say not a word about it," rejoined the pastor;
"you are a very timid man, and have been frightened by your own shadow."



GRACE


A precocious child found the long graces used by his father before and
after meals very tedious.  One day, when the week’s provisions had been
delivered, he said, "I think, father, if you were to say grace over the
whole lot at once, it would be a great saving of time."



MISUNDERSTOOD


A farmer in the neighbourhood of Doncaster was thus accosted by his
landlord: "John, I am going to raise your rent."  John replied, "Sir, I
am very much obliged to you, for I cannot raise it myself."



TRUMPS


Ayrton, Charles Lamb’s friend, only made one joke in his life; it was
this.  Lamb had his usual Wednesday-evening gathering, and Martin Burney
and the rest were playing at whist.  Ayrton contented himself with
looking on.  Presently he said to Burney, in an undertone, the latter
not being notorious for his love of soap and water, "Ah!  Martin, if
dirt were trumps, what hands you’d hold!"



THE STUTTERER


An old woman received a letter from the post-office at New York.  Not
knowing how to read and being anxious to know the contents, supposing it
to be from one of her absent sons, she called on a person near to read
it to her. He accordingly began and read: "Charleston, June 23rd.  Dear
Mother"--then making a stop to find out what followed (as the writing
was rather bad), the old lady exclaimed: "Oh, ’tis my poor Jerry, he
always stuttered!"



PRESENT AND FUTURE


A rude young fellow seeing an aged hermit going by him barefoot said,
"Father, you are in a miserable condition if there is not another
world."  "True, son," said the hermit, "but what is thy condition if
there is?"



THE VOICE OF IGNORANCE


A London girl visited the country on May Day.  She came to a pond whose
shallows were full of tadpoles--thousands and thousands of little black
tadpoles flopping about in an inch of mud and water.  "Oh," she said,
"look at the tadpoles!  And to think that some day every one of the
horrid, wriggling things will be a beautiful butterfly!"



A PASSOVER STORY


A member of an impecunious family having hurried off to the Continent to
avoid the importunities of his creditors, a celebrated wit remarked, "It
is a pass-over that will not be much relished by the Jews."



EXTRAORDINARY COMPROMISE


At Durham assizes a deaf old lady, who had brought an action for damages
against a neighbour, was being examined, when the judge suggested a
compromise, and instructed counsel to ask what she would take to settle
the matter.  "His lordship wants to know what you will take?" asked the
learned counsel, bawling as loud as ever he could in the old lady’s car.
"I thank his lordship kindly," answered the ancient dame; "and if it’s
no illconwenience to him, I’ll take a little warm ale!"



BARBER SHAVED BY A LAWYER


"Sir," said a barber to an attorney who was passing his door, "will you
tell me if this is a good half-sovereign?"  The lawyer, pronouncing the
piece good, deposited it in his pocket, adding, with gravity, "If you’ll
send your lad to my office, I’ll return the three and fourpence."



A GOOD PUN


Sir G. Rose, the great punster, on observing someone imitating his gait,
said, "You have the stalk without the rose."



SOMETHING LIKE AN INSULT


The late Judge C---- one day had occasion to examine a witness who
stuttered very much in delivering his testimony.  "I believe," said his
Lordship, "you are a very great rogue." "Not so great a rogue as you, my
lord, t-t-t-takes me to be."



THE UNWELCOME GUEST


A man who was fond of visiting his friends and outstaying his welcome
had been cordially received by a Quaker who treated him with attention
and politeness for some days.  At last his host said, "My friend, I am
afraid thee wilt never visit me again."  "Oh, yes, I shall," he replied.
"I have enjoyed my visit very much; I will certainly come again."
"Nay," said the Quaker, "I think thee wilt not visit me again."  "What
makes you think I shall not come again?" asked the visitor.  "If thee
does never leave," said the Quaker, "how canst thee come again?"



A LOST BALANCE


A celebrated wit coming from a bank which had been obliged to close its
doors, slipped down the steps into the arms of a friend.

"Why, what’s the matter?" said the latter.

"Oh," was the quick reply, "I’ve only lost my balance."



A BAD CROP


After a long drought, there fell a torrent of rain: and a country
gentleman observed to Sir John Hamilton, "This is a most delightful
rain; I hope it will bring up everything out of the ground."  "By Jove,
sir," said Sir John, "I hope not; for I have buried three wives."



NEGATIVES AND POSITIVES


Mr. Pitt was discoursing at a Cabinet dinner on the energy and beauty of
the Latin language. In support of the superiority which he affirmed it
to have over the English, he asserted that two negatives made a thing
more positive than one affirmative possibly could.  "Then," said
Thurlow, "your father and mother must have been two complete negatives
to make such a positive fellow as you are!"



JAW-ACHE


"Why, you have never opened your mouth this session," said Sir Thomas
Lethbridge to Mr. Gye; replied Mr. Gye, "Your speeches have made me open
it very frequently.  My jaws have ached with yawning."



HER PROGRAMME


Jane had asked for an evening off to go to her first dance.  Returning
at a very early hour, she was asked by her master whether she had
enjoyed herself.  "No, indeed, sir," she replied, "I was most insulted."
"How was that, Jane?"  "I ’adn’t been there very long, sir, when a young
man comes up and hactually hasks whether my programme was full.  And I’d
only ’ad two sandwiches."



THE PROUD FATHER


"Shure an’ it’s married Oi am!" said Pat to an old friend he had not
seen for a long time.  "You don’t mane it?"  "Faith, an’ it’s true.  An’
Oi’ve got a fine healthy bhoy, an’ the neighbours say he’s the very
picture of me."  "Och, niver moind what they say," said Mick.  "What’s
the harm so long as the child is healthy."



A MIRACLE


An Irish parson of the old school, in whom a perception of the
ridiculous was developed with a Rabelaisian breadth of appreciation, was
asked by a clodhopper to explain the meaning of a miracle.  "Walk on a
few paces before me," said his reverence, which having done the peasant
was surprised to feel in the rear a kick, administered with decided
energy. "What did you do that for?" demanded the young man angrily.
"Simply to illustrate my meaning," replied the cleric blandly; "if you
had not felt it, it would have been a miracle."



KEEPING TIME


A gentleman at a musical party asked a friend, in a whisper, how he
should stir the fire without interrupting the music. "Between the bars,"
replied the friend.



QUESTION AND ANSWER


A Quaker was examined before the Board of Excise, respecting certain
duties; the commissioners thinking themselves disrespectfully treated by
his theeing and thouing, one of them with a stern countenance asked
him--"Pray, sir, do you know what we sit here for?"--"Yea," replied
Nathan, "I do; some of thee for a thousand, and others for seventeen
hundred and fifty pounds a year."



MOTHER’S JAM POTS


"Willy, why were you not at school yesterday?" asked the teacher.

"Please, mum," answered the absentee, "Muvver made marmalade yesterday
and she sent me to the cemetery."

"What on earth for?"

"To collect some jam pots, mum."



WISDOM


A country clergyman, meeting a neighbour, who never came to church,
although an old fellow above sixty, reproved him on that account, and
asked if he ever read at home? "No," replied the man, "I can’t read."
"I dare say," said the clergyman, "you don’t know who made you."  "Not
I, in troth," said the countryman.  A little boy coming by at the time,
"Who made you, child?" said the parson.  "God, sir," answered the boy.
"Why, look you there," quoth the honest parson.  "Are you not ashamed to
hear a child of five or six years old tell me who made him, when you,
that are so old a man, cannot?" "Ah!" said the countryman.  "It is no
wonder that he should remember; he was made but t’other day, it is a
great while, master, sin’ I was made."



WHY NOT?


Jimmy giggled when the teacher read the story of the man who swam across
the Tiber three times before breakfast.

"You do not doubt that a trained swimmer could do that, do you?"

"No, sir," answered Jimmy, "but I wonder why he did not make it four and
get back to the side where his clothes were."



THE OLD FARMER


An old farmer lay so dangerously ill that the doctor gave no hope of
recovery.

Whilst lying in an apparently semi-conscious state, he suddenly opened
his eyes, and said to his wife, who was watching by his bedside: "Mary,
that’s a nice smell, it’s just like a ham cooking.  I almost think I
could eat a little, if it is cooked."

The reply was, "Thee get on with the dying, that ham is for the
funeral."



ANY CHANGE FOR THE BETTER


In the course of the play one of the characters had to say to a very
plain actor, "My lord, you change countenance"; whereupon a young fellow
in the pit cried, "For heaven’s sake, let him!"



TACT


Little Jimmy had been sent early to bed, but he could not sleep.
Presently he called out to his mother in plaintive tones, "Mummy, bring
me a glass of water, I’m so thirsty."  No reply being vouchsafed him, he
repeated his request after a short interval.  And this time received an
abrupt answer, "If you don’t be quiet I’ll come up to slap you."
Suddenly a thought struck him and still in plaintive voice he cried,
"Mummy, when you come to slap me, bring me a glass of water."



THE RETORT RUDE


A young dude (with a monocle) and very irregular features while
travelling by train was at first much amused by the grimaces of a boy
who was sitting facing him.  The boy, however, was obviously laughing at
him so the dude asked him if he could share the joke.

"Joke!" said the boy, "it’s your face I’m laughing at."

"Well, I can’t help my face, can I?"

"No," replied the boy, leaving the train, "but you _could_ stay at
home."



THE QUAKER AND HIS HORSE


A man once went to purchase a horse of a Quaker.  "Will he draw well?"
asked the buyer.  "Thee wilt be pleased to see him draw."  The bargain
was concluded, and the farmer tried the horse, but he would not stir a
step.  He returned and said, "That horse will not draw an inch."  "I did
not tell thee that it would draw, friend, I only remarked that it would
please thee to see him draw, so it would me, but he would never gratify
me in that respect."



CERTAINLY NOT ASLEEP


A country schoolmaster had two pupils, to one of whom he was partial,
and to the other severe.  One morning it happened that these two boys
were late, and were called up to account for it.  "You must have heard
the bell, boys; why did you not come?" "Please, sir," said the
favourite, "I was dreaming that I was going to Margate, and I thought
the school-bell was the steamboat-bell."  "Very well," said the master,
glad of any pretext to excuse his favourite.  "And now, sir," turning to
the other, "what have you to say?"  "Please, sir," said the puzzled boy,
"I--I--was waiting to see Tom off!"



THE BEST JUDGE


A lady said to her husband, in a friend’s presence:

"My dear, you certainly want a pair of new trousers."  "No, I think
not," replied the husband.

"Well," interposed the friend, "I think the lady who always wears them,
ought to know."



A THIRST FOR KNOWLEDGE


"Young man," said an inquisitive old lady, to a tram conductor, "if I
put my foot on that rail shall I receive an electric shock?"

"No, mum," he replied, "unless you place your other foot on the overhead
wire."



A SHIPWRECK


An Irish fisherman passed himself off to the captain of a ship near the
coast of Ireland as a qualified pilot.  He knew nothing of the coast.
"This is a very dangerous shore here," said the captain to him, when he
was on board.  "Yes, it is, your honour," replied the fellow.  "There
are a great many dangerous rocks about here, I believe," observed the
captain.  "Yes, there are, and," a dreadful crash coming, "_this is one
of them,_" coolly returned the fisherman.



A SAFE CASE


A briefless barrister was spending his time at the Courts when his clerk
came to him with the news that a man was at his chambers with a brief.
The barrister immediately hurried from the Courts for fear the client
should escape him.  "Stop, sir, stop," cried his clerk.  "You needn’t
hurry, sir, I’ve locked him in."



THE WATCH MENDER


A private in a company of engineers gained a certain reputation for
mending his comrades’ watches.  His reputation reached his captain’s
ears, who one day said to him, "Jones, I hear you are clever at
watch-mending, here take this one of mine and see what you can make of
it."  Some few days after, Jones took back the watch.  "Well, Jones, how
much do I owe you?"  "Three shillings," was the reply.  "Well, here you
are, and thank you," said the captain.  "Oh!  I forgot," said Jones,
"here are three wheels which I had over."



THE CITY CHURCHES--AND OTHERS


"Do people ever take advantage of the invitation to use this church for
meditation and prayer?" a City verger was once asked. "Yes," he replied,
"I catched two of ’em at it the other day!"



HIGH PRINCIPLES


A Methodist who kept a grocer’s shop was heard one day to say to his
assistant, "John, have you watered the rum?"  "Yes."  "Have you sanded
the brown sugar?"  "Yes." "Have you damped the tobacco?"  "Yes."  "Then
come in to prayers."



THE MIXTURE AS BEFORE


A gentleman who had an Irish servant, having stopped at an inn for
several days, desired to have the bill.  Finding a large quantity of
port placed to his servant’s account he questioned him about it.
"Please your honour," cried Pat, "do read how many they charge for."
"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 port, but I did not taste a drop of their ditto."



CANNY SCOT


Robbie met a neighbour smoking some fine tobacco sent by his son in
America.  He took out his own pipe ostentatiously.  "Hae ye a match,
Sandy?" he queried.  The match was forthcoming, but nothing more.  "I do
believe," said Robbie, "I hae left ma tobacco at hame."  "Then," said
Sandy, after a silence, "ye micht gie me back ma match."



A NICE DISTINCTION


_The Vicar_ (discussing the Daylight Saving Bill): "But why have you put
the small clock on and not the big one?"  _Old Man_: "Well, it’s like
this, sir; grandfeyther’s clock ’ave been tellin’ th’ truth for ninety
year, and I can’t find it i’ my heart to make a _liar_ o’ he now; but
li’le clock, ’e be a German make, so it be all right for ’e."



NOT TWO-FACED


"Well, you’re not two-faced anyway," said one man who had been
quarrelling with another: "I’ll say that for you."

"That’s a very handsome acknowledgment," said the other, mollified.

"Because if you were," the first one continued, "you wouldn’t be seen
with that one."



CLERICAL WIT


An old gentleman of eighty-four having taken to the altar a young damsel
of about sixteen, the clergyman said to him--"The font is at the other
end of the church."  "What do I want with the font?" said the old
gentleman.  "Oh!  I beg your pardon," said the clerical wit, "I thought
you had brought this child to be christened."



A COSTLY EXPERIMENT


An Irishman was once brought up before a magistrate, charged with
marrying six wives. The magistrate asked him how he could be so hardened
a villain?  "Please, your worship," says Paddy, "I was just trying to
get a good one."



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, "my eyes have not come together these three nights."  "What
is the reason of that?" said the other.  "Alas! sir," says he, "because
my nose was between them."



ECONOMY IN THE STABLE


Jones, who was a student of economy, lamented the death of his horse.
His friend sympathised and enquired the cause.  "He was a wonderful
horse, and if he had lived another day he would have proved a theory I
have been pursuing."  "How is that?"  "Well, you see," replied Jones, "I
reckon that it’s all nonsense about having to spend so much on a horse’s
keep.  I started this one with the ordinary feed, but gradually reduced
the quantity."  "And what did he have yesterday?"  "Well, I’d got him
down to one oat."



THE PATRIARCH


Three young fellows were strolling along a country lane, and saw
approaching them a very patriarchal-looking old man.  Thinking to take a
rise out of him, they accosted him thus: "Hail, Father Abraham, Father
Isaac, or Father Jacob."  "Nay, my sons," the old man replied, "I am
none of these, but rather Saul seeking his father’s asses, and lo! here
have I found them."



HIGH AND LOW


"I expect six clergymen to dine with me on Sunday next," 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.  "Everything, sir," was the reply.
"If they are High Church, they’ll drink; if they are Low Church, they’ll
eat!"



BEER


A gentleman, calling for small beer at another gentleman’s table,
finding it very hard, gave it to the servant again without drinking.
"What!" said the master of the house, "don’t you like the beer?"  "It is
not to be found fault with," answered the other, "for one should never
speak ill of the dead."



NOT IMPORTUNATE


A lady having invited a gentleman to dinner on a particular day, he had
accepted, with the reservation, "If I am spared." "Weel, weel," replied
she, "if ye’re dead, I’ll no’ expect ye."



THE RELATIONSHIP OF HOG TO BACON


A story of a Tudor judge is told of Sir Nicholas Bacon, who in the time
of Elizabeth was importuned by a criminal to spare his life on account
of kinship.

"How so?" demanded the judge.

"Because my name is Hog and yours is Bacon; and hog and bacon are so
near akin that they cannot be separated."

"Ay," responded the judge dryly, "but you and I cannot yet be
kindred--for the hog is not bacon until it be well hanged."



UNION IS STRENGTH


A country traveller was asked by the landlord of the inn at which he had
put up how he had slept.  "Well," he replied, "union is strength--a fact
of which your inmates seem to be unaware; for had the fleas been
unanimous last night they might have pushed me out of bed."  "Fleas!"
said the landlord, in astonishment, "I was not aware that I had a single
one in the house."  "I don’t believe you have," retorted the traveller,
"they are all married and have uncommonly large families."



COURTSHIP


"Martha, dost thou love me?" asked a Quaker youth of one at whose shrine
his heart’s holiest feelings had been offered up.  "Why, Seth," she
answered, "we are commanded to love one another, are we not?"  "Ay,
Martha, but dost thee regard me with the feeling the world calls love?"
"I hardly know what to tell thee, Seth, I have greatly feared that my
heart was an erring one.  I have tried to bestow my love on all, but I
have sometimes thought, perhaps, that thee was getting rather more than
thy share."



TO LET


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."



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!"



THE THOUGHTFUL PATIENT


A Scotch minister was once sent for to visit a sick man.  On arriving at
the house he enquired:

"What church do you attend?"

"Barry kirk," replied the invalid.

"Why, then, did you not send for your own minister?"

"Na, na," replied the sick man, "we would not risk him.  Do you no’ ken
it’s a dangerous case of typhoid?"



KISMET


A lady who had named her house Kismet engaged an Irish servant.  Bridget
desiring to know the meaning of Kismet was told it signified "Fate."
Shortly after, Bridget was painfully and laboriously descending the
stairs. "What is the matter?" asked her mistress. "I’ve got fearful
corns on my Kismet," was the reply.



THE YOUNG IDEA


A small boy, asked to name the four seasons, replied: "Pepper, salt,
mustard, and vinegar."  Another, asked for the principal gases, said:
"Oxygen and Cambridgen."



THE NEW BABY


Jack was rather put out on the arrival of a new little brother.  "But,
Mummy, he has no hair."  "No, Jack, he has no hair."  "Mummy, he has no
teeth."  "Oh, no, Jack, no teeth now."  "Oh, Mummy, dear, you’ve been
had; they have given you an old ’un."



HOOK AND AN INSPECTOR OF TAXES


One of the best remembered of Hook’s efforts in extemporising is that
recorded of his improvising at a party when Mr. Winter was announced, a
well-known inspector of taxes.  Without a moment’s break in his
performance Hook went on:--

    "Here comes Mr. Winter, inspector of taxes, I’d advise you to
    give him whatever he axes, I’d advise ye to give him without any
    flummery-- For though his name’s Winter his actions are
    summary."



THE SHE BEAR


A thoughtful child said to her mother on the way to church: "Mummy,
dear!  Shall we have that hymn to-day about the she bear?" "I don’t
remember any hymn about a she bear, darling," replied the perplexed
mother. "Whatever do you mean, child?"  "I mean the hymn that goes, ’Can
a mother’s tender care, Cease towards the child she bear?’"



KNOWLEDGE


A girl of tender age was a witness at a trial.

"Do you know what an oath is, my child?" asked the judge.

"Yes, sir, I am obliged to tell the truth."

"And what will happen if you tell lies?"

"I shall go to the naughty place," replied the child.

"Are you sure of that?"

"Yes, sir, quite sure."

"Let her be sworn," said the judge; "it is clear she knows a great deal
more than I do."



A STORY FOR BOOKSELLERS


Calling one day at Saunders and Otley’s library, a subscriber was very
angry because certain books that he had ordered had not been sent.  He
was so heated in his indignation that one of the partners could stand it
no longer, and told him so.

"I don’t know who you are," was the customer’s retort, "and I don’t want
to annoy you _personally_, as you may not be the one in fault; it’s your
confounded house I blame.  You may be Otley, or you may be Saunders; if
you are Saunders, damn Otley! if you are Otley, damn Saunders!  I mean
nothing personal to _you_."



THE EARLY BIRD


A father chiding his son for not getting up early, told him as an
inducement, that a certain man being up in good time, found a purse
containing money.  "That may be," replied the son, "but he that lost it
was up before him."



TABLE TALK


An ingenious gentleman had been showing at a dinner-table how he could
cut a pig out of orange peel.  A guest who was present tried again and
again to do the same, but after strewing the table with the peel of a
dozen oranges exclaimed, "Hang the pig! I can’t make him."  "Why no,"
said the performer, "you have done more--instead of one pig you have
made a litter."



TROUBLES


"I’m sorry to see you giving way to drink like this, Pat," said the
village priest, "you that were always such a respectable boy, too."
"Shure, an’ Oi’m obleeged to do it, your ’anner," replied Pat.  "Oi have
to dhrink to droun me trubles."  "H’m," said his interrogator, "and do
you succeed in drowning them?"  "No, begorra," cried Pat, "shure an’
that’s the warst uv it.  The divvles can shwim!"



A SOUTHERNER AND SCOTLAND


A Southerner with no love for Scotland returned from his first trip to
the North, and was asked by a Scot if he had not acquired a better
opinion of Scotland.  What did he now think of it?  "That it is a very
vile country to be sure," answered the traveller. "Well, sir!" retorted
the nettled Scot, "God made it!"  "Certainly he did!" came the instant
acknowledgment; "but we must always remember that He made it for
Scotsmen."



DRY HUMOUR


An Irish post-boy having driven a gentleman many miles during torrents
of rain, was asked if he was not very wet?  "Arrah!  I wouldn’t care
about being very wet, if I wasn’t so very dry, your honour."



THE CHURCH ORGAN


"Friend Maltby, I am pleased that thou hast got such a fine organ in thy
church." "But," said the clergyman, "I thought you were strongly opposed
to having an organ in a church?"  "So I am," said Friend Obadiah, "but
then if thou wilt worship the Lord by machinery, I would like thee to
have a first-rate instrument."



COMMON PRAYER


A little boy had been brought up with much care.  On his eighth birthday
he was given a nicely bound Prayer Book by his aunt.  After a brief
examination he pushed the book on one side disappointedly.  On being
asked the reason he said, "I don’t like anything ’Common.’"



SHORT COMMONS


At a shop-window in the Strand there appeared the following notice:
"Wanted, two apprentices, who will be treated as one of the family."



TRUTH


"My lord," said a witness, "you may believe me or not, but I have stated
not a word that is false, for I have been wedded to truth from infancy."

"Yes, sir," replied the Judge drily, "but the question is, how long have
you been a widower."



A WRONG CHOICE


"I can’t stand the missus, sir," said a servant in a complaining voice
to her master.

"It’s a pity, Mary," said the master sarcastically, "that I couldn’t
have selected a wife to suit you."

"Sure, sir," replied Mary, "we all make mistakes."



FISH AS A BRAIN FOOD


A visitor at a Devonshire fishing village asked the parson what was the
principal diet of the villagers.  "Fish mostly," said the Vicar.  "But I
thought fish was a brain food, and these are the most unintelligent folk
I ever saw," remarked the tourist.  "Well," replied the parson, "just
think what they would look like if they didn’t eat fish!"



A CHARACTER


A gentleman lately dismissed a clever but dishonest gardener.  For the
sake of his wife and family he gave him a character, and this is how he
worded it: "I hereby certify that A. Brown has been my gardener for over
two years, and that during that time he got more out of my garden than
any man I ever employed."



HUSBAND OR COW


The wife of a small farmer in Perthshire went to a chemist with two
prescriptions--one for her husband, and the other for her cow. Finding
she had not money to pay for both, the chemist asked her which she would
take. "Gie me that for the coo," said the wife; "if my man were to dee,
I could sune get another; but I am not sae sure if I would sune get
another coo."



A NEW METHOD


It was baking day and mother was very busy with other duties also.
"May," she cried, "see if the cake is done.  Put a knife in it and if it
comes out clean you’ll know that it is finished."  "Yes," added father,
"and if it comes out clean stick the others in too."



GRATITUDE NOT APPRECIATED


"You have saved my life," said the old man whom the young hero had just
pulled out of the river.  "As a reward you may marry my daughter there."
The hero glanced at the daughter, then grasped the old man. "What are
you doing?" asked the perplexed father.  "Going to drop you in again,"
he replied.



ON THE TREASURES OF THIS WORLD


A merchant dying greatly in debt, it coming to his creditors’ ears,
"Farewell," said one, "there is so much of mine gone with him." "And he
carried so much of mine," said another.  One hearing them make their
several complaints said, "Well, I see now, that though a man can carry
nothing of his own out of the world, yet he may carry a great deal of
other men’s."



COLD FEET


"Do you suffer from cold feet?" the doctor asked the young wife.

"Yes," she replied.

He promised to send her some medicine to take.

"Oh," she said nervously.  "They’re--not--not mine."



BUSYBODIES


A master of a ship called out, "Who is below?"  A boy answered, "Will,
sir." "What are you doing?"  "Nothing, sir." "Is Tom there?"  "Yes,"
said Tom. "What are you doing?"  "Helping Will, sir."



ALDERMANIC TASTES


_Freddy_: "Papa, may I study elocution?"

_Proud Father_: "Indeed you may, my boy, if you wish.  You desire to
become a great orator, do you?"

"Yes, that’s it."

"And some day perhaps have your voice ringing in the vaulted chamber of
the first legislative assembly in the world?"

"I shouldn’t care for that.  I want to be an after-dinner speaker."

"Ah, you are ambitious for social distinction, then?"

"No--I want the dinners."



"WARRANTED TO KILL"


An itinerant "old-clo" woman on reaching a village in an irritated
condition proceeded to the general shop with a request for a certain
useful powder.  The shopkeeper expressed his ability to supply her need
either in packet form or loose.  "Don’t you worry about no packet, young
man," she said.  "Jest pour it down here," indicating her open collar.



PROFESSIONAL


An editor being asked at dinner 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."



THE NEW VERSION


A class of boys were undergoing an examination in Scripture.  The
subject was the Good Samaritan.  "And why do you consider the Pharisee,
after looking at him, passed by on the other side?"  "Because he saw he
had been robbed already," was the answer given.



DRAUGHTS


A well-known judge was so afraid of draughts that the air of his courts
was always of a very high temperature.  One of his colleagues once
explained this habit by saying that he was preparing the bar for a
future state.



TENDERNESS


A beggar in Dublin had been a long time besieging an old gouty, testy,
limping gentleman, who refused his mite with much irritability; on which
the mendicant said, "Ah, plase your honour’s honour, I wish your heart
were as tender as your toes."



HOW TO ADDRESS A BISHOP


Little May was going to tea, and her mother was giving her some words of
advice. "There will be a Bishop, dear; remember always to address him as
My Lord when you speak."

During the afternoon the Bishop approached May, and, patting her on the
head, said, "Well, little girl, how old are you?"

The Bishop’s surprise was great when she replied, "My God, I’m eight."



HOOK AND PUTNEY BRIDGE


One of the best known of Hook’s puns was uttered to a visitor to his
house at Fulham. The visitor, looking at Putney Bridge, said that he had
heard that it was a good investment, and turning to his host asked if
that was really so.  "I really don’t know," was the answer, "but you
have only to cross it and you will certainly be tolled."



A GOOD EXAMPLE


A Welsh parson, in his sermon, told his congregation how kind and
respectful we ought to be towards each other, and added, that in this
respect we were greatly inferior to animals.  To prove this, he
mentioned as an example the circumstance of two goats, which met one
another upon a narrow plank across a river, so that they could not pass
by without one thrusting the other off, "Now, how do you think they did?
Why, I’ll tell you.  One lay down, and let the other leap over him.  Ah,
my beloved, let us live like goats."



A MISFIT


_Assistant_: "Do the shoes fit, madam?"

_Madam_: "Oh, yes, they fit me perfectly; but they hurt me terribly when
I try to walk."



A CHEERFUL INVITATION


An odd instance of the force of technical training is afforded by a
story of one of the official attendants at a funeral.  Having been
charged with a message from a relative of the departed to another guest,
he came across the room, and translating it into his own language, said,
"If you please, sir, the corpse’s brother would be happy to take wine
with you."



THE INEVITABLE RESULT


The fervent temperance orator stopped in the midst of his speech, and
said, impressively: "I wish all the pubs were at the bottom of the sea."
Voice in crowd, "Hear, hear!"  "Ah, there speaks a noble teetotaller!"
"Not at all, I’m a diver."



JUSTICE


An Irishman, who was to undergo trial for theft, was being comforted by
his priest. "Keep up your heart, Dennis, my boy.  Take my word for it,
you’ll get justice."  "Troth, yer riverence," replied Dennis in an
undertone, "and that’s just what I am afraid of."



THAT AWFUL CHILD


"What does God have for His dinner, mother?" asked Willy.

"Sh-h.  You must not ask such questions. God does not need any dinner."

"Then I suppose he has an egg for his tea."



A COSMOPOLITAN


Speaking of the different languages of Europe, a professor thus
described them: "The French is the best language to speak to one’s
friend; the Italian to one’s mistress; the English to the people; the
Spanish to God, and the German to a horse."



CLOTHES AND THE MAN


_Debt Collector_: "Is your master at home?"

_Servant_ (curtly): "No, he isn’t."

_Debt Collector_ (suspiciously): "But I can see his hat hanging up in
the hall."

_Servant_: "Well, what’s that got to do with it?  One of my dresses is
hanging on the line in the back garden, but I’m not there!"



A WITTY REPLY


One day a celebrated advocate was arguing before a very stupid and very
rude Scotch judge who, to express his contempt of what he was saying,
pointed with one forefinger to one of his ears, and with the other to
the opposite one.

"You see this, Mr. ----?"

"I do, my lord," said the advocate.

"Well, it just goes in here and comes out there!" and his lordship
smiled with the hilarity of a judge who thinks he has actually said a
good thing.

"I do not doubt it, my lord.  What is there to prevent it?"



THE SOUND OF A TRUMPET


An old inhabitant of Kilmarnock had taken more whiskey than was good for
him.  On his way home, feeling very tired, he lay down in the churchyard
for a rest, with his head against a tombstone.  He was suddenly aroused
from his sleep by the blast of a trumpet.  He woke in a fright, thinking
the end of the world had come, but when he found himself alone,
exclaimed, "Well, this is a poor show for Kilmarnock."



GRAMMAR


A waggish curate overheard the schoolmaster giving lessons in grammar.
"You cannot place a, the singular article," said the preceptor, "before
plural nouns.  No one can say _a_ pigs, _a_ women, _a_----"  "Nonsense,"
cried the curate, "the prayerbook teaches us to say _a_-men."



ONE SIDE AT A TIME


A juryman asked to be excused as he was deaf in one ear.  "I don’t think
that matters," said the judge; "let him be sworn, we only hear one side
of a case at a time."



COMPANY


"Bridget, I don’t think it looks well for you to entertain company in
the kitchen the way you do," said the young mistress.

"Thanks, mum," replied the cook; "but I wouldn’t like t’ take him int’
th’ parlour--he spits t’baccy."



HER OWN FAULT


_Mistress_: "Mary, don’t let me catch you kissing the grocer’s boy
again."

_Mary_: "Lor’, mum, I don’t mean to, but you do bob around so."



A POSER


A new sentry was on guard outside the residence of a general; a small
green was in front of the house and the strict orders were that no one
was to cross it, human or otherwise, save the General’s cow.  An old
lady coming to visit, bent her steps across the lawn as a short cut, but
was called on by the sentry asking her to return.  She was not
unnaturally somewhat put out and said, with a stately air, "But do you
know who I am?"  "I don’t know who you be, ma’am," replied the immovable
sentry, "but I knows you b’aint--you b’aint the General’s cow!"



YOUTHFUL PRECOCITY


A youth asked permission of his mother to go to a ball.  She told him it
was a bad place for little boys.  "Why, mother, didn’t you and father
use to go to balls when you were young?"  "Yes, but we have seen the
folly of it," said the mother.  "Well, mother," exclaimed the son, "I
want to see the folly of it too!"



ABOVE PROOF


An East-India Governor having died abroad his body was put in spirit, to
preserve it for internment in England.  A sailor on board the ship being
frequently drunk, the captain forbade the purser, and indeed all in the
ship, to let him have any liquor.  Shortly after the fellow appeared
very drunk.  How he obtained the liquor, no one could guess. The captain
resolved to find out, promising to forgive him if he would tell from
whom he got the liquor.  After some hesitation, he hiccupped out, "Why,
please your honour, I tapped the Governor."



ON DEATH


Two recruits were discussing the Great War and the possible date of
their being sent to the front.  Said one to the other, "I wouldn’t mind
getting killed, Charlie, if it wasn’t so d----d permanent."



ENVY


A drunken man was found by the roadside in the suburbs of Dublin, lying
on his face, apparently in a state of physical unconsciousness. "He is
dead," said a countryman of his, who was looking at him.  "Dead!"
replied another, who had perceived him to be merely intoxicated; "by the
powers, I wish I had just half his disease!"



A HAT FOR NOTHING


An honest rustic went into the shop of a Quaker to buy a hat, for which
fifteen shillings were demanded.  He offered twelve shillings. "As I
live," said the Quaker, "I cannot afford to give it thee at that price."
"As you live!" exclaimed the countryman, "then live more moderately, and
be hanged to you."  "Friend," said the Quaker, "thou shalt have the hat
for nothing.  I have sold hats for twenty years, and my ’As I live’
trick has never been found out till now."



AN OLD PROVERB


A Chinaman was much worried by a vicious-looking dog which barked at him
in an angry manner.  "Don’t be afraid of him," said a friend.  "You know
the old proverb: ’A barking dog never bites.’"

"Yes," said the Chinaman, "you know proverb, I know proverb, but does
d--n dog know proverb?"



PRO BONO PUBLICO


It was just before the opening of the Academy and Swiper was growling as
usual.

"I wish I had a fortune," he said, "I’d never paint again."

"By Jove, old man," replied his visitor, "I wish I had one.  I’d give it
to you!"



A NEW RECIPE


At one of the meetings of a literary club a dish of peas was brought in,
become almost grey with age.  "You ought to carry these peas to
Kensington," said one of the party. "Why?" asked another.  "Because it’s
the way to Turn ’em Green."

Goldsmith hearing this is delighted and made a note of the joke.  The
next evening, dining out, he was pleased to find a dish of yellow peas
on the table.  "These ought to be sent to Kensington," he said.  "Why?"
he was asked.  "Because that’s the way to make them green," he replied.



NOT A WAXWORK


A farmer once took his son into an Assize Court.  The lad gaped with
open mouth at the resplendent figure of the judge, arrayed in scarlet
and ermine.  Suddenly the judge made a sign to the usher, and the lad
exclaimed, "Why, father, it’s alive.  I thought he were a waxwork."



THEY NEVER SAY THANK YOU


_Mike_: "I did an extraordinary thing to-day. I had the last word with a
woman."

_Ike_: "That so?  How’d it occur?"

_Mike_: "Coming home on the car I said, ’Won’t you have my seat,
madam?’"



TIPS


A foreign lord, who resided for a time in England, had his own way of
dealing with the question of tips.  When his friends, who had dined with
him, were going away, he always attended them to the door; and if they
offered any money to the servant who opened it (for he never suffered
but one servant to appear), he always prevented them, saying, in his
manner of speaking English, "If you do give it, give it to me, for it
was I that did buy the dinner."



JUSTICE


At a temperance lecture the speaker told of a Dutchman and his companion
who went into Delmonico’s in New York to get a lunch.  They were
surprised at being charged nine dollars! The Dutchman began to swear.
"Don’t you swear," said the other, "God has already punished Delmonico.
I have got my pocket full of his spoons."



DEAD AS A DOORNAIL


An Irish farmer was asked by his landlord if the report of his intended
second marriage was true, and replied--"It is, yer honner." "But your
first wife has only been dead a week, Pat," said the landlord.  "An’
shure," retorted Pat, "she’s as dead now as she ever will be, yer
honner."



FAITH


A cleric, whose name was Mountain, being a candidate for a vacant see in
the gift of the Lord Chancellor, waited upon his lordship to present his
application.  Said the Chancellor, "What influence do you possess?"
"None," said the candidate, "except faith.  You will remember, my lord,
that, if thou have faith, and shall say to this mountain, Be thou cast
into the sea, verily it shall be done."  Said the Chancellor, "Brother
Mountain, go into that see."



JOB’S CURSE


"Mother," said little Eva on the way from church, "babies aren’t so good
as they used to be, are they?"  "Whatever makes you think that?" replied
her mother.  "Well, little Willie can’t talk yet, and he’s nearly two,
but Job could talk when he was a baby."  "Where does it tell you that,
dear?" asked mother. "Don’t you remember the lesson this morning,
mother?  It said that Job cursed the day he was born!"



A CONJUGAL CONCLUSION


A woman having fallen into a river, her husband went to look for her,
proceeding up the stream from the place where she fell in. The
bystanders asked him if he was mad--she could not have gone against the
stream.  The man answered, "She was obstinate and contrary in her life,
and no doubt she was the same at her death."



THE RULING PASSION


Lazarus Goldstein the auctioneer, being somewhat run down, was ordered
on a sea voyage by his doctor.  After several days on board during which
period nothing had occurred to break the monotony of this to him
overpeaceful existence, he was suddenly aroused from his afternoon
siesta by the cry "A sail, a sail."  His eyes brightened and calling his
wife, he said, "Sarah, where is dot catalogue?"



FELO-DE-SE


An under officer of the Customs at the port of Liverpool, running
heedlessly along the ship’s gunnel, happened to slip overboard, and was
drowned.  The body soon being recovered, the coroner’s jury was
summoned.  One of the jurymen returning home, was asked what verdict
they brought in, and whether they found it "felo-de-se"?  "Ay, ay!" says
the juryman, shaking his noddle.  "He fell into the sea, sure enough."



HOW TO GET WARM


A Quaker gentleman, riding in a carriage with a fashionable lady decked
with a profusion of jewellery, heard her complain of the cold.
Shivering in her lace bonnet and shawl, as light as a cobweb, she
exclaimed, "What shall I do to get warm?"  "I really don’t know,"
replied the Quaker solemnly, "unless thee should put on another
breast-pin."



NO MATTER WHAT COLOUR


An eminent Scottish divine met two of his own parishioners at the house
of a lawyer, whom he considered too sharp a practitioner. The lawyer
ungraciously put the question, "Doctor, these are members of your flock;
may I ask, do you look upon them as white sheep or as black sheep?"  "I
don’t know," answered the divine drily, "whether they are black or white
sheep; but I know, if they are long here, they are pretty sure to be
fleeced."



OF COMPOSITIONS


A lady at a dinner-party was sitting next to a musician, and, thinking
she ought to say something about music, turned to her neighbour and
said: "Has Bach been composing much of late?"  "No, madam, but I hear he
has been decomposing for some time!"



PETER’S WIFE’S MOTHER


A parson in the country, taking his text from St. Matthew, chap. viii.
14, "And Peter’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever," preached for three
Sundays together on the same subject.  Soon after, two country fellows
going across the churchyard and hearing the bell toll, one asked the
other, who it was for. "Perhaps," replied he, "it is for Peter’s wife’s
mother, for she has been sick of a fever these three weeks."



THE TRIALS OF THE DEAF


An old gentleman went out to tea, and being somewhat deaf was unable to
join in the general conversation.  A kind-hearted lady wishing to make
him feel at home, said: "Do you like bananas?"  To which he replied,
"No; I prefer the old-fashioned nightshirt."



ANTICIPATION


Towards the close of a meeting at Exeter Hall at which Bishop
Wilberforce had made an eloquent speech the audience began to go away.
A gentleman whose name was on the programme said to the Bishop, "I need
not speak; I hardly think they expect me." "To be sure they do," said
Wilberforce; "don’t you see they are all going."



HYMNS AND HERS


On seeing a large picture by Watts from _Theodore and Honoria_ a friend
once asked Lord Houghton what it represented.  "Oh!" he replied, "you
have heard of Watts’s Hymns.  These are Watts’s Hers!"



HORS CONCOURS


At an evening party a new game was suggested.  The guests were each to
make the most hideous grimaces that they could and the prize was to go
to the ugliest effort.

After long scrutiny the judge awarded the prize to a lady seated away
from the others. "I’m not playing," she replied indignantly.



THE MARINE AND THE BOTTLE


A story told of William the Fourth, if genuine, shows that king
possessed on occasion of a ready tact which is so happy as to be wit.
The story runs that when dining with several officers he ordered a
waiter to "take away that marine," pointing to an empty bottle.  "Your
Majesty!" exclaimed one of the officers, "do you compare an empty bottle
to a member of our branch of the service?"  "Yes," answered the king.
"I mean to say that it has done its duty once and is ready to do it
again."



A UNITED COUPLE


    John’s wife complains, that John discourses
    And thinks of nothing else but horses.
      Whilst John, a caustic wag,
    Says it’s wonderful to see
    How thoroughly their tastes agree,--
    For, that his wife, as well as he,
      Most dearly loves a nag.



WET PAINT


It was a dark wintry night, when a belated traveller, in a lonely
country district, found himself entirely lost as to his locality.

He wandered aimlessly for some time, till at last he found himself
against what he considered a signpost.

All efforts to find out any name on the same failing, he climbed the
post and read the words, "Wet paint."



TICK, TICK, TICK


Sheridan had taken a new house and meeting Lord Guildford, he mentioned
his change of residence, and also a change in his own habits. "My lord,
everything is carried on in my new house with the greatest
regularity--everything in short goes like clockwork."  "Ah!" replied
Lord Guildford meaningly, "tick, tick, tick, I suppose."



DIFFIDENCE


An Irishman charged with an assault, was asked by the judge whether he
was guilty or not.  "How can I tell," was the reply, "till I have heard
the evidence?"



THE BAILIFF OUTWITTED


A bailiff who had tried numerous expedients in vain to arrest a Quaker,
resolved to adopt the habit and manner of one, in hope of catching the
primitive Christian.  In this disguise, he knocked at the Quaker’s door
and inquired if he was at home.  The housekeeper replied, "Yes."  "Can I
see him?" "Walk in, friend," she said, "and he shall see thee."  The
bailiff, confident of success, walked in, and after waiting nearly an
hour, rung a bell, and on the housekeeper appearing, said, "Thou
promised me I should see friend Aminadab."  "No, friend," answered the
housekeeper, "I promised _he_ should see _thee_. He hath seen thee, but
he doth not like thee."



IMAGINATION


A small boy walking across a common with his mother espied a bunny.
"Look, mother, there goes a rabbit!"  "Nonsense, my boy, it must have
been imagination."  "Mother, is imagination white behind?"



UNREMITTING KINDNESS


"Call that a kind man," said an actor, speaking of an absent
acquaintance; "a man who is away from his family, and never sends them a
farthing!  Call that kindness!" "Yes, unremitting kindness," Jerrold
replied.



A WARM PROSPECT


A well-known judge was credited with being parsimonious.  A friend once
asked him, "What are you going to do with your money?  You cannot take
it with you, and if you could it would melt!"



A SOPORIFIC STORY


The celebrated Bubb Doddington was very lethargic.  Falling asleep one
day after dinner with Sir Richard Temple and Lord Cobham, the general,
the latter reproached Doddington with his drowsiness.  Doddington denied
having been asleep; and to prove that 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.  "And
yet," said Doddington, "I did not hear a word of it but I went to sleep
because I knew that about this time you would tell that story."



ST. PETER AND HIS KEYS


Curran and Father O’Leary were dining with Michael Kelly when the
barrister said: "Reverend Father, I wish you were St. Peter." "And why,
Counsellor, would you wish I were St. Peter?" asked O’Leary.  "Because,
Reverend Father, in that case you would have the keys of heaven, and
could let me in." "By my honour and conscience, Counsellor," answered
O’Leary, "it would be better for you if I had the keys of the other
place, for then I could let you out."



THE LOST JOINT


The serving-maid was awkward and the joint fell on the floor.  The young
mistress was naturally upset and cried, "Now we’ve lost our dinner."

"Indeed you haven’t," said Jane, "I’ve got my foot on it."



THE RECRUITING SERGEANT AND THE COUNTRYMAN


A recruiting sergeant addressing an honest country bumpkin with--"Come,
my lad, thou’lt fight for thy King, won’t thou?" "Voight for my King,"
answered Hodge, "why, has he fawn out wi’ onybody?"

IRELAND FOR EVER

An Irishman homeward bound from America frequently expressed his delight
by shouting, "Hurrah for Ireland!"  "Hurrah for Ireland!" to the intense
amusement of most of the passengers.  One irascible old fellow, however,
barely concealed his irritation at Pat’s outbursts, and at last,
exasperated beyond endurance, retorted, "Hurrah for Hell!" "That’s
right," said Pat.  "Every man for his own country."



ALL MEN ARE LIARS


Thackeray was fond of telling the story of two men relating their
adventures.  One of them had told his companion something as having
happened to him which was extremely improbable; the other capped it by a
statement still more outrageous.  "What a liar you must be, Jack," said
his friend, to which he replied, "Well, _we are telling lies_, aren’t
we?"



AN OBJECT LESSON


The diner-out had waited a quarter of an hour for his soup.  Calling the
waiter he asked, "Have you ever been to the Zoo?"

"No, sir," was the reply.

"Well, you ought to go.  You’d enjoy watching the tortoises whiz past."

AN UNKNOWN TONGUE

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."



A DOUBTFUL COMPLIMENT


"Did you present your account to the defendant?" inquired a lawyer of
his client. "I did, your Honour."  "And what did he say?"  "He told me
to go to the devil." "And what did you say then?"  "Why, then I came to
you."



"SOMEWHERE"


A lady who gave herself great airs of importance, on being introduced to
a gentleman for the first time, said, with much cool indifference, "I
think, sir, I have seen you somewhere."  "Very likely," replied the
gentleman, "you may, ma’am, as I have often been there."



THE SCOTSMAN AND THE JOKE


An Englishman and a Scotsman were on a walking tour in the Highlands
when they came to a signpost which said, "Five miles to Stronachlachar."
Underneath this was written, "If you cannot read inquire at the
baker’s." The Englishman laughed heartily when he read it, but refused
to tell the Scotsman the joke.  That night the Englishman was surprised
at being woke up by his companion, who seemed much amused at something.
Asking the reason, the Scotsman replied, "Och, mon, I hae just seen the
joke--the baker might not be in."



WAR AND TAXES


Shortly after the commencement of the Peninsular War, a tax was laid on
candles, which, as a political economist would prove, made them dearer.
A Scotch wife in Greenock remarked to her chandler, Paddy Macbeth, that
the price was raised, and asked why? "It’s a’ awin’ to the war," said
Paddy.  "The war!" said the astonished matron.  "Gracious me! are they
gaun to fecht by candlelicht?"



A MODERN ALFRED


A woman gave her little child a cloth to warm while she was otherwise
busied.  The child held it to the fire, but so near that it changed
colour presently, and began to look like tinder; upon which the child
called to its mother, "Mamma, is it done enough when it looks brown?"



CHARITY ON CREDIT


A certain rich laird in Fife, whose weekly contribution to the church
collection never exceeded one penny, one day, by mistake, dropped into
the plate at the door a five-shilling piece; but discovering his error
before he was seated in his pew, hurried back, and was about to replace
the coin by his customary penny, when the elder in attendance cried out,
"Stop, laird, ye may put in what ye like, but ye maun take naething
out!"  The laird, finding his explanations went for nothing, at last
said, "A weel, I suppose I’ll get credit for it in heaven."  "Na, na,
laird," said the elder, "ye’ll only get credit for the penny."



COURTING BY LAMPLIGHT


The carter was going out with a lantern one evening, when he met the
farmer who employed him; he was asked where he was going.  "Courting,"
was the reply.  The farmer replied, "You don’t want a lantern to go
courting with.  When I went courting I never took a lantern."  "I can
quite believe you," said the man, "when I look at your missus!"



THE INQUISITIVE ONLOOKER


An old gentleman was observed earnestly looking on the sands, evidently
for some object he had lost.

An inquisitive onlooker asked, "Have you lost something?"  "Yes," was
the reply.

Not quite satisfied, the inquisitive one said, "Is it anything
important?"  "Yes," again came the answer, "I have lost my toffee."
"But, surely, the toffee would be useless if you found it, as it would
be full of sand."  "But my teeth are in it," was the prompt reply.



THE EMPTY BOTTLE


In a dark room in an Irish cabin Biddy was searching for the whisky
bottle, when her husband enquired, "What is’t yer lookin’ for?"
"Nuthin’, Pat," answered Biddy. "Sure," replied the husband, "you’ll
find it in the bottle where the whisky was."



H2O


The elementary class was being instructed in chemistry, and the master,
after several lessons, asked: "What is water?"  One very young but
bright pupil promptly replied: "A colourless fluid that turns black when
you wash your hands."



AN ACCIDENT


Two Irish porters meeting at Dublin, one addressed the other with, "Och,
Thady my jewel, is it you?  Are you just come from England?  Pray did
you see anything of our old friend Pat Murphy?"  "The devil a sight," he
replied, "and what’s worse I’m afraid I never shall."  "How so?"  "Why
he met with a very unfortunate accident lately." "Amazing!  What was
it?"  "Oh, indeed nothing more than this; he was standing on a plank
talking devoutly to a priest, at a place in London which I think they
call Brixton, when the plank suddenly gave way, and poor Murphy got his
neck broke."



TOUCH HIM UP


Mackintosh was once taking Parr for a drive when the horse became
restive and the scholar became nervous.  "Gently, Jemmy," said Parr,
"don’t irritate him; always soothe your horse, Jemmy.  You’ll do better
without me.  Let me down, Jemmy."  The horse was stopped enough for the
purpose, and no sooner had Parr safely descended than his advice
changed.  "Now, Jemmy, touch him up. Never let a horse get the better of
you.  Touch him up, conquer him, don’t spare him.  And now I’ll leave
you to manage him--I’ll walk home."



A SMART BOY


A boy of only nine years old was asked many questions by a bishop, and
gave very prompt answers to them all.  At length the prelate said, "I
will give you an orange if you will tell me where God is."  "My Lord,"
replied the boy, "I will give you two if you will tell me where He is
not."



WEARING ROUGE


There was a certain Bishop of Amiens who was a saint and yet had a good
deal of wit. A lady went to consult him whether she might wear rouge;
she had been with several directeurs, but some were so severe, and some
so relaxed, that she could not satisfy her conscience, and therefore was
come to Monseigneur to decide for her, and would rest by his sentence.
"I see, Madam," said the good prelate, "what the case is: some of your
casuists forbid rouge totally; others will permit you to wear as much as
you please. Now, for my part, I love a medium in all things, and
therefore I permit you to wear rouge on one cheek only."



THE POOR LANDLORD


Father Healy was talking to a friend in the street when a youth came up
begging alms; having received a penny he scampered off, revealing in his
retreat a very tattered apparel. "That is a nice cut of an Irish
landlord," said the priest.  "How so?" asked the friend, "Because he has
rents in a rear."



THE DAY OF REST


"Well, Master Jackson," said the minister, walking homeward after
service with an industrious labourer, who was a constant attendant,
"well, Master Jackson, Sunday must be a blessed day of rest for you who
work so hard all the week.  And you make a good use of the day, for you
are always to be seen at church."  "Ah, sir," replied Jackson, "it is
indeed a blessed day; I works hard enough all the week, and then I comes
to church o’ Sundays, and sets me down, and lays my legs up, and thinks
o’ nothing!"



NOT TO BE CAUGHT


It was examination day at one of the R.A.M.C. headquarters.

"And if a man suffering from trench feet were brought to you, how would
you treat him?" asked the examiner.

The recruit, a Londoner with a good knowledge of the licensing laws,
quickly answered: "You won’t catch me that way, sir.  We should both pay
for our own."



MOLECULES


"What are you studying now?" asked Mrs. Johnson.

"We have taken up the subject of molecules," answered her son.

"I hope you will be very attentive and practise constantly," said the
mother.  "I tried to get your father to wear one, but he could not keep
it in his eye."



A THOUGHTLESS SAMARITAN


Professor Johnson, the antiquary, returning meditatively from a learned
discourse, came upon the recumbent body of a man in front of a house.
Being a Samaritan he proffered his services, and discovered that the man
lived on the first floor.  Thither he piloted him and opening a door
pushed him gently in. Reaching again the ground floor another human
being confronted him and he also needed help to the first floor.  But
when our Professor found yet another fellow-creature in distress his
curiosity was aroused and he said:

"It is strange that there should be three men needing help to the first
floor of the same house."

"Not so strange, mister," replied the prone figure, "seeing as ’ow
you’ve dropped me down the lift ’ole twice."



CHAPS


A pretty girl was complaining to a young Quaker that she was dreadfully
troubled by chaps on her lips.  "Friend Mary!" replied the Quaker, "thou
shouldst not permit the chaps to come so near the lips."



TWINS


A farmer became the father of twins and on learning the news he was so
delighted that he hurried to the nearest post-office and sent this
telegram to his sister-in-law.

"Twins to-day.  More to-morrow."



A NATURAL OBJECTION


The Daylight Saving Bill has its detractors as well as its advocates.
Of the former it is said that milkmen are the chief, but as Jones said
to William: "It’s but natural.  A milkman would pour cold water on
anything."



BADLY PUT


A doctor of eminence was called up on the telephone by an anxious lady.
"Are you a baby specialist?" he was asked.

"No," was the reply, "I’m a full-grown man."



A DOUBTFUL MARKET


A boy in an office was dissatisfied with his prospects and gave notice.
"You are making a mistake," said his employer, "you will do better to
remain here.  Remember, a rolling stone gathers no moss."

"Who wants moss?" replied the youth. "Where’s the market for it, I
should like to know?"



SEQUENCES


An old gentleman engaged a footman, and having instructed him in his
duties asked him if he understood sequences.

"I don’t know, sir," replied the man; "will you please explain?"

"Why," he said, "when I ask you to lay the cloth, you are to put the
knives, forks, salt, etc., on the table."

"Oh, sir," replied the footman, "if that’s all, no doubt I shall please
you."

His master, being ill one morning, ordered him to fetch a nurse with all
speed.  He did not return until late at night, and on being reproached
explained the delay by telling that he went and found the nurse who was
below; the sequences of a nurse, he thought, were a chemist, a doctor, a
surgeon, and an undertaker; and he had asked them all to attend--in fact
they were now waiting below.



TWO POINTS OF VIEW


A lawyer travelling by the Great Western to his circuit, wished to be
alone in order to study a brief, and having for his single companion a
mild clergyman, he got rid of him by affecting insanity.  This he did so
naturally that all the clergyman’s efforts, after the first quarter of
an hour, were directed to soothe and conciliate his fellow-passenger.
As they passed the great Middlesex Asylum, he observed, like a nurse
with a fractious child, "How pretty Hanwell looks from the railway."
"Ah," answered the lawyer, with a slight bark, "you should see how the
railway looks from Hanwell."  At the next station the divine got out
precipitately, and left the lawyer to himself.



A CANNIBAL


Willie had reached the tender and somewhat difficult age of six when his
uncle Edward came on a visit.  His first conversation proved rather
trying.

"Uncle, you must be a sort o’ cannibal.

"A what, sir?  What d’yer mean, sir?" returned the uncle.

"’Cause mamma said you was always livin’ on somebody!"



TO LET--UNFURNISHED


When it was suggested that the squire’s son should enter Parliament he
was asked which side he would take.  The young man replied that he would
vote with those who had the most to offer him, and that he should wear
on his forehead a label "To Let."  "Do, Tom," commented his father, "and
write underneath those words ’unfurnished.’"



A FRIEND OF SATAN


A clergyman who was an enthusiastic geologist always carried his
specimens about in a handkerchief such as navvies use to carry their
dinners in.  One day, as he was returning home with the handkerchief
full of specimens, he saw a navvy seated at the top of a well swearing
vigorously because he could not make the windlass work.

"My friend," said the clergyman gravely, "do you know Satan?"

"Satan," said the man; "who’s he? Wait a moment, sir," he added, "I’ll
ask my mate.  Bill," he called, "do you know Satan?"

The answer came from down the well: "No.  Why?"

"Well," said the one at the top, eyeing the handkerchief, "there’s a
bloke up here wot’s got his dinner!"



THE TEDDY BEAR


A little girl received a present of a Teddy Bear.  Unfortunately one of
its eyes was injured in the post.  Asked what name she had given it, the
child said, "I call it Gladly, because I read in a book the other day,
’Gladly my cross I’d bear.’"



BROTHERLY LOVE


"Ah!" said a conceited young parson, "I have this afternoon been
preaching to a congregation of asses."  "Was that the reason why you
always called them beloved brethren?" a lady inquired.



CHRISTIAN PRINCIPLES


On his removal to Bath after his retirement, Quin, the actor, found
himself extravagantly charged for everything, and at the end of the week
complained of this to Beau Nash, saying that he had invited him to Bath
as being the cheapest place in England for a man of taste and a bon
vivant.  Nash, himself no mean utterer of wit, replied saying that his
townsmen had acted upon truly Christian principles. "How so?" demanded
Quin.  "Why!" concluded the Beau, "you were a stranger and they took you
in."



MULTIPLICATION


The little boy was discovered in front of the rabbit-hutch with a
perplexed frown on his forehead.  "What’s twice two?" he shouted. No
response.  "What’s twice two?" he repeated.  "There, I knew teacher was
wrong when he said rabbits multiply quickly."



A BIBLICAL STORY


A clergyman during his first curacy found the ladies of the parish too
helpful.  He soon left the place.  Some while later he met his
successor.  "How are you getting on with the ladies?" asked the escaped
curate.  "Oh, very well," was the answer, "there’s safety in numbers."
"I found it in Exodus," was the reply.



THE THOUGHTFUL MAID


"Bridget," said the mistress in a reproving tone of voice, "breakfast is
very late this morning.  I noticed last night that you had company in
the kitchen, and it was nearly twelve o’clock when you went to bed."

"It was, ma’am," admitted Bridget.  "I knew you was awake, for I heard
ye movin’ about; an’ I said to meself ye’d need sleep this mornin’, an’
I wouldn’t disturb ye wid an early breakfast, ma’am."



HEMP


Two "nuts" were passing a field where a labourer was sowing.  "Well, old
man," said one of them to him, "it’s your business to sow, but we reap
the fruits of your labour."  To which the countryman replied, "’Tis very
likely you may, truly; for I am sowing hemp."



GOOD ADVICE


"George," said the farmer half-way through the first banquet in which
his son took part, "be careful of the drink.  When you see those two
lights at the end of the room appear to be four, you may be sure you
have had enough, and stop."  "But, father," replied the interested son,
"I see only one light at present."



CHANGE AND REST


Bishop Creighton used to tell a story of the ready wit of Magee, his
predecessor in the see of Peterborough.  Magee had been staying at some
country place, and on his leaving, the innkeeper had presented an
extortionate bill, at the same time expressing the hope that his visitor
had had change and rest.  "No, indeed," was Magee’s reply, "the waiter
has got the change and you have got the rest."



THE VOLUNTARY SYSTEM


A young recruit was somewhat perturbed regarding a regulation about
which his comrades had told him.  "If you please, sergeant," he said,
"the other fellows say I’ve got to grow a moustache."  "Oh, there’s no
compulsion about growing a moustache, my lad; but you mustn’t shave your
upper lip," was the reply.



THE WAY TO YORK


A traveller, lost on a Yorkshire moor, met a member of a shrewd and
plain-speaking sect.  "This is the way to York, is it not?" said the
traveller.  To which the other replied, "Friend, first thou tellest me a
lie, and then thou askest me a question."



THE WAY TO DO IT


A gentleman, having a light sovereign which he could not pass, gave it
to his Irish servant, and asked him to pass it.  At night he asked him
if he had got rid of the coin. "Yes, sir," replied the man, "but I was
forced to be very sly; the people refused it at breakfast and at dinner;
so, at a cinema where the admission was threepence, I whipped it in
between two halfpence, and the man put it in his pocket and never saw
it."



LOT AND THE FLEA


"Children," said the Sunday school superintendent, "this picture
illustrates to-day’s lesson: Lot was warned to take his wife and
daughters and flee out of Sodom.  Here is Lot and his daughters, with
his wife just behind them; and there is Sodom in the background. Now has
any girl or boy a question before we take up the study of the lesson?
Well, Susie?"

"Pleathe, thir," lisped the latest graduate from the infant class,
"where ith the flea?"



WHIST


Dr. Parr was very fond of whist and very impatient of any want of skill
on the part of those with whom he was playing.  Taking a hand with three
poor players he was asked by a friend how he was getting on, and replied
with cutting sarcasm, "Pretty well, considering that I have three
adversaries."



A NEW PRESCRIPTION


An American doctor being called upon to prescribe for a child, whose
ailment was not clear to him, said to the nurse, "I’ll give the little
cuss a powder, then it’ll have a fit, and I’m a dab at fits."



JACOB’S LADDER


A clergyman had preached on the subject of Jacob’s ladder, and his son,
who was present, was much impressed.  A few days later he told his
father that he had dreamed about his father’s discourse.  "And what did
you see, my son?"  "I dreamt," replied the boy, "that I saw a ladder
reaching from the ground up into the clouds.  At the foot of the ladder
were many pieces of chalk and no one was allowed to ascend without
taking a piece for the purpose of placing a mark on each rung for each
sin committed."  "Very interesting, my boy, and what else?"  "Well,
father, I thought I would go up and I marked the rungs as I went, but I
hadn’t got very far when I heard someone coming down."  "Yes," said the
father, "and who was that?"  "You, father," replied the boy.  "I,
whatever was I coming down for?"  "More chalk," was the reply.



A PORTRAIT


A photographer went with a friend to an exhibition of paintings.  The
latter called his attention to a portrait of an angular lady in evening
dress.  "Ha," he exclaimed in professional tones, "over-exposed and
underdeveloped."



BLOATERS


"If a bloater and a half cost three ha’pence, what would thirteen cost?"
Tommy did not know and was sent into an adjoining classroom to work out
the problem.  The boy was very quiet, and on looking to see what he was
doing the master discovered him before a blackboard covered with
figures.  "How are you getting on, Tommy?" he asked.  "What was the
question, sir?" he replied.  "If a bloater and a half----"  "Oh,
bloaters--I’ve been working it out in kippers!"



A CONVENIENCE


During a cross-examination an undertaker produced his business card, on
which was a telegraphic address.  He was asked why the latter should be
necessary.

"Oh," interposed the judge, "I suppose it is for the convenience of
people who want to be buried in a hurry."



THE PRAYER MEETING


A clergyman met a parishioner of dissolute habits.  "I was surprised but
very glad to see you at the prayer meeting last evening," he said.  "So
that’s where I was!" replied the man.



TAKING TIME


An old negro was taken ill, and called in a physician of his own race.
After a time, as there were no signs of improvement, he asked for a
white doctor.  Soon after arriving, the doctor felt the old man’s pulse,
and then examined his tongue.  "Did your other doctor take your
temperature?" he asked. "I don’t know, boss," replied the ailing negro,
"I hain’t missed nothing but my watch as yet."



KING’S EVIDENCE


When Whitfield first went to America, observing, during his voyage, the
dissolute manners of the crew, he invited them to one of his pious
declamations, and took occasion to reprehend them for their loose manner
of living.  "You will certainly," says he, "go to hell.  Perhaps you may
think I will be an advocate for you; but, believe me, I will tell of all
your wicked actions."  Upon this one of the sailors, turning to his
messmate, observed, "Ay, Jack, that’s just the way at the Old Bailey;
the greatest rogue always turns king’s evidence."



A PLEASANT PROSPECT


"Grandma, shall I have a face like you when I get old?" asked the
_enfant terrible_.

"Yes, my dear, if you’re good."



BALAAM’S SWORD


A student, showing the Museum at Oxford to a party, produced, among many
other curiosities, a rusty sword.  "This," said he, "is a sword with
which Balaam was going to kill his ass."  One of the company observed
that he thought Balaam had no sword, but only wished for one.  "You are
right," replied the student, "and this is the very sword he wished for."



THE HONORARIUM


The local Council had decided that in consequence of untiring and
devoted service they would grant an honorarium to one of their staff.

One of the oldest and most energetic members rose to speak in favour of
the presentation, but expressed his opinion that the Council certainly
ought to ascertain first whether the young man could play the
instrument.



MANNERS


A well-known cleric came to a stile occupied by a farm lad, who was
eating his bread and bacon luncheon.  The boy making no attempt to allow
his reverence to pass, was told that he seemed to be "better fed than
taught." "Very likely," answered the lad, "for ye teaches Oi, but Oi
feeds meself."



SCOTCH UNDERSTANDING


A lady asked a very silly Scotch nobleman, how it happened that the
Scots who came out of their own country were, generally speaking, men of
more abilities than those who remained at home.  "Oh, madam," said he,
"the reason is obvious.  At every outlet there are persons stationed to
examine all who pass, that, for the honour of the country, no one be
permitted to leave it who is not a man of understanding."  "Then," said
she, "I suppose your lordship was smuggled."



THE AVERAGE EGG


The teacher asked the arithmetic class: "What is the meaning of the word
average?" A small boy replied: "It’s a thing that hens lay eggs on."
"Why?"  "Because I’ve read that a hen lays an egg on an average once a
day."



FEELING IN THE RIGHT PLACE


A gentleman was one day relating to a Quaker a tale of deep distress,
and concluded very pathetically by saying, "I could not but feel for
him."  "Verily, friend," replied the Quaker, "thou didst right in that
thou didst feel for thy neighbour; but didst thou feel in the right
place--didst thou feel in thy pocket?"



THE G.O.M.


A clergyman calling at Hawarden, while Mr. Gladstone still held the
reins, Mrs. Gladstone entertained him, till her husband, who was
upstairs writing, was disengaged.  The minister lamented the terrible
state of affairs in Ireland and elsewhere, but added consolingly, "There
is One above us who will set all right."  "Oh, yes," exclaimed Mrs. G.,
"he’ll be down directly."



A NEAT RETORT


A member of a celebrated theatrical family made his first appearance on
the operatic stage.  His voice, however, was so bad that the conductor
of the orchestra called out to him at rehearsal: "Mr. Kemble, Mr.
Kemble, you are murdering the music."  "My dear Sir," came the retort,
"it is far better to murder it outright than to keep on beating it as
you do."



A SYDNEY SMITH STORY


To a country squire, who having been worsted in an argument with his
rector, remarked, "If I had a son who was an idiot, by Jove!  I’d make
him a parson," Sydney Smith quietly replied, "I see that your father was
of a different mind."



A COMMON DIFFICULTY


A man who had a large family, and but very moderate means to support
them, was lamenting to an acquaintance of no family and a large fortune
how difficult it was to make both ends meet.  "We should not repine,"
replied his friend; "He that sends mouths, sends food."  "That I do not
deny," replied the other; "only permit me to observe, He has sent me the
mouths, and you the food."



MARY JONES


The Vicar, conducting a Sunday afternoon service, was trying to interest
the children in the Burial Service.

He was dealing with the part which speaks of the changing of the earthly
body: but found several of his audience busily engaged in conversation.

Determined to secure better attention if possible, he asked the
following question, "And now, Mary Jones, who made your vile body?"  To
which came the ready answer, "Please, sir, mother did, and I made the
skirt."



DONALD COMPLIED


A gentleman having an estate in the Highlands advertised the shootings
to let, and told his gamekeeper, Donald, to praise the place for all it
was worth.

An Englishman, inquiring of Donald as to how it was stocked with game,
first asked if it had any deer.

Donald’s reply was, "Thoosands of them."

"Any grouse?"

"Thoosands of them, too."

"Any partridges?"

"Thoosands of them, too."

"Any woodcock?"

"Thoosands of them, too."

The Englishman, thinking Donald was drawing the long bow, asked if there
were any gorillas.  Donald drew himself up.

"Well, they are no’ so plentifu’; they jist come occasionally, noo and
again, like yoursel’."



VEGETARIANISM


It is related of a coachman that his medical adviser prescribed animal
food as the best means of restoring health and activity. "Patrick," said
he, "you’re run down a bit, that’s all.  What you need is animal food."
Remembering his case a few days afterwards, he called upon Pat at his
stable.  "Well, Pat," he asked, "how are you getting on with the
treatment?"  "Oh, shure, sir," Pat replied, "Oi manage all right with
the grain and oats, but it’s mighty hard with the chopped hay."



FELLOW-FEELING


A doctor, being summoned to a vestry, in order to reprimand the sexton
for drunkenness, dwelt so long on the sexton’s misconduct that the
latter was constrained to say: "Sir, I was in hopes you would have
treated my failings with more gentleness, and that you would have been
the last man alive to appear against me, as I have covered so many
blunders of yours."



JONAH AND THE WHALE


"I cannot conceive how Jonah could live in the stomach of a whale,"
someone said to Father Healy one day.

"Oh, that’s nothing," was the reply, "I saw a friend coming out of a fly
this morning."



WHOLLY GOOD


At a religious meeting a lady persevered in standing on a bench, and
thus intercepting the view of others, though repeatedly requested to sit
down.  A reverend old gentleman at last rose, and said gravely, "I think
if the lady knew that she had a large hole in each of her stockings, she
would not exhibit them in this way."  This had the desired effect--she
immediately sat down.  A young minister standing by, blushed to the
temples, and said, "O brother! how could you say what was not the fact."
"Not the fact!" replied the old gentleman; "if she had not a large hole
in each of her stockings, I should like to know how she gets them on."



"CAREFUL, NOW!"


"How is it, Mary, that whenever I enter the kitchen I always find a man
there?" enquired a mistress.

"I don’t know, ma’am, indeed, unless it be them there soft shoes ye
wears, that don’t make no noise," replied Mary.



SAFETY


An English gentleman, travelling through the county of Kilkenny, came to
a ford, and hired a boat to take him across.  The water being rather
more agitated than was agreeable to him, he asked the boatman if any
person was ever lost in the passage!  "Never," replied Terence; "never.
My brother was drowned here last week; but we found him again the next
day."



O’BRIEN THE LUCID


"You are not opaque, are you?" sarcastically asked one man of another
who was standing in front of him at the theatre. "Faith, an’ Oi’m not,"
replied the other. "It’s O’Brien that Oi am."



MERCY


An old woman walking down the church aisle during service in a large red
cloak, heard the minister say, "Lord, have mercy upon us!" then the
clerk repeated, "Lord, have mercy upon us!" and then the whole
congregation echoed, "Lord, have mercy upon us!"  "Bless my heart!"
cried she, stopping short, "did ye never see an old woman in a red cloak
before."



A BULL


"Pat, can you tell me what is an Irish ’bull’?" asked an inquiring
tourist.  "Well, if your honour has seen four cows lying down in a
field, an’ one of them standing up, that ’ud be a bull!" retorted Pat
triumphantly.



A GOOD REASON


"That’s a pretty bird, grandma," said a little boy.  "Yes, and he never
cries," replied the old lady.  "That’s because he’s never washed,"
rejoined the youngster.



THE ARREST


"Now, Pat," said a magistrate sympathetically to an "old offender,"
"what brought you here again?"  "Two policemen, sor," was the laconic
reply.  "Drunk, I suppose?" queried the magistrate.  "Yes, sor," said
Pat, without relaxing a muscle, "both av them."



CHERUBIM AND SERAPHIM


"As you are well up in biblical points, will you tell us the difference
between the cherubim and seraphim?" Father Healy was once asked.

"Well, I believe there was a difference between them a long time ago,
but they have since made it up."



SOLITUDE


An amusing anecdote is told by Schopenhauer in support of his theory of
the ridiculous. One man said to another, "I am very fond of taking long
walks by myself."  "So am I," said the other; "our tastes are congenial,
so let us take long walks together."



A QUESTION OF NUMBERS


A nursery-maid was leading a little child up and down a garden.  "Is’t a
laddie or a lassie?" asked the gardener.  "A laddie," said the maid.
"Weel," said he, "I’m glad o’ that, for there’s ower mony women in the
world."  "Heck, mon," said Jess, "did ye no ken there’s ay maist sown o’
the best crop?"



AMERICAN POULTRY


A wealthy Irish-American was proud of the opportunity to do the honours
and "show off" on the occasion of a visit to New York of one of his
compatriots from the "Ould Counthry." To dazzle him he invited him to
dine at one of the most notable and "toniest" of restaurants. "Now, me
bhoy," he said, "just you follow my lead, and I’ll order everything of
the best." Seated at table, the host led off with--"Waiter, fetch a
couple of cocktails."  His friend gave himself away, however, when he
whispered audibly--"Waiter, if ye don’t moind, I’d rather have a wing."



GRACE MAL A PROPOS


A milliner’s apprentice, about to wait upon a duchess, was fearful of
committing some error in her deportment.  She therefore consulted a
friend as to the manner in which she should consult this great
personage, and was told that, on going before the duchess, she must say
her Grace, and so on.  Accordingly, away went the girl, and, on being
introduced, after a very low curtsey, she said: "For what I am going to
receive, the Lord make me truly thankful."  To which the duchess
answered: "Amen!"



THE POOR IDIOT


A dull preacher in a country church sent all the congregation to sleep,
except an idiot, who sat with open mouth, listening.  The parson became
enraged, and, thumping the pulpit, exclaimed, "What! all asleep but this
poor idiot!"  "Aye," replied the lad, "and if I had not been a poor
idiot, I should have been asleep too."



A WELSH WIG-GING


An Englishman and a Welshman were 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."



FORGIVENESS


"I intend to pray that you may forgive Casey for having thrown that
brick at you," said the parson, when he called to see a man who had been
worsted in a mêlée.  "Mebbe yer riv’rence ’ud be saving toime if ye’d
just wait till Oi git well, an’ then pray for Casey," replied the
patient.



AN ODD COMPARISON


Sir William B----, speaking 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 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 more he
sucked, the greater calf he grew."



ACOUSTICS


When Sir Richard Steele was fitting up his great room in York Buildings,
for public orations, he happened at that time to be behindhand in his
payments to his workmen; and coming one day among them to see how they
were working, he ordered one of them to get into the rostrum and make a
speech, that he might observe how it could be heard.  The fellow
mounting and scratching his pate, told him he knew not what to say, for
in truth he was no orator.  "Oh!" said the knight, "no matter for that,
speak any thing that comes uppermost."  "Why here, Sir Richard," says
the fellow, "we have been working for you these six months, and cannot
get one penny of money.  Pray, Sir, when do you intend to pay us?"
"Very well, very well," said Sir Richard; "pray come down; I have heard
enough; I cannot but own that you speak very distinctly, though I don’t
much admire your subject."



SHARP, IF NOT PLEASANT


A boy was feeding a magpie when a gentleman in the neighbourhood, who
had an impediment in his speech, coming up, said, "T-T-T-Tom, can your
mag t-t-talk yet?" "Ay, sir," says the boy, "better than you, or I’d
wring his head off."



BRIGHT AND SHARP


A little boy having been much praised for his quickness of reply, a
gentleman present observed, that when children were keen in their youth,
they were generally stupid and dull when they were advanced in years,
and vice versa.  "What a very sensible boy, sir, must you have been!"
returned the child.



SOFTNESS


A lady and gentleman conversing together, the latter observed that he
always slept in gloves, because it made his hands so soft. "Do you sleep
in your hat, too?" the lady asked.



AN EASY QUALIFICATION


Residence in the parish is, of course, required of those who desire
their banns to be proclaimed, and an expectant bride and bridegroom must
qualify themselves by staying several nights in the parish where such
banns are published.

"Do you sleep in the parish?" asked a rector of an intending benedict.

"Yes, sir, I have slept through several of your sermons," was the
surprising answer.



MISER’S CHARITY


An illiterate person, who always volunteered to "go round with the hat,"
but was suspected of sparing his own pocket, overhearing once a hint to
that effect, replied, "Other gentlemen puts down what they thinks
proper, and so do I.  Charity’s a private concern, and what I give is
nothing to nobody."



ON TAKING A WIFE


The great Sheridan, giving his son Tom a lecture, said, "You have been
fooling about as a bachelor quite long enough.  You ought to settle down
and take a wife."  Tom innocently asked, "Whose wife shall I take?"



THE THIRTY-NINE ARTICLES


A Bishop, arriving at the end of a railway journey, the porter began
collecting his luggage, and said: "How many articles are there, sir?"
"Thirty-nine," replied the Bishop imperturbably.  The porter hunted
round, then said in despair: "There are only fourteen here, sir."  "Ah,"
said the Bishop, smiling, "you are evidently a dissenter."



THE DUCHESS AND THE CANONS


A good story of the late portly Duchess of Teck was told by Canon
Teignmouth Shore. Her Royal Highness was seated at dinner between Shore
and another canon when the former said that she must find herself in
rather an alarming position:--

    "Canon to right of you, Canon to left of you, Volleys and
    thunders."

"Well," replied the Duchess, "this is the very first time I have been
connected with the Light Brigade."



HOW TO WIN


"Why is it, Dennis, that you are always fighting with Willie Simpkins?
I never hear of you quarrelling with any of the other boys in the
neighbourhood."  "He’s the only one I can lick," answered Dennis.



PIGS


The squire rides up to a farmhouse, and, seeing the small son of the
farmer outside, asks the youngster where his father is, and gets the
following reply: "Father is in yonder field with the pigs.  You’ll know
him--he’s got a ’at on!"



BACON AND THE DEVIL


A Quaker bought from one Bacon a horse which proved to be unsound.
Meeting the seller shortly after he taxed him with bad faith and asked
him to take the horse back again.  But this he refused to do, and
finding his remonstrances in vain the Quaker addressed him thus very
calmly, "Friend, thou hast doubtless heard of the devil entering the
herd of swine, and I find that he still sticks fast to the bacon.  Good
morning to thee, friend."



HINTS TO MOTHERS


The inventor of a new feeding bottle for infants sent out the following
among his directions for using: "When the baby is done drinking it must
be unscrewed and laid in a cool place under the hydrant.  If the baby
does not thrive on fresh milk, it should be boiled."



GARRICK AND THE DOCTOR’S FEE


A doctor accustomed to high fees had been attending Garrick, charging
two guineas a visit.  The patient began to grudge this sum and at length
decided to halve it, and on the termination of a visit handed the doctor
the fee which he had resolved was sufficient.  The physician began
looking about him as though in search of something.  He was asked if he
had lost anything.  "Sir," replied the doctor, "I believe I have dropped
a guinea."  "No, doctor," said the patient with quiet significance, "it
is I that have dropped a guinea."



A SAFE SHOT


A City gentleman was invited down to the country for "a day with the
birds."  His aim was not remarkable for its accuracy, to the great
disgust of the man in attendance, whose tip was generally regulated by
the size of the bag.  "Dear me!" at last exclaimed the sportsman, "but
the birds seem exceptionally strong on the wing this year!"  "Not all of
them, sir," was the answer.  "You’ve shot at the same bird about a dozen
times.  ’E’s a-follering you about, sir."  "Following me about?
Nonsense!  Why should a bird do that?"  "Well, sir," came the reply, "I
dunno, I’m sure, unless it’s for safety."



HOW TO INDUCE PERSPIRATION


It is well known that the veterans who preside at the examinations of
surgeons question minutely those who wish to become qualified.  After
answering very satisfactorily the numerous enquiries made, a young
gentleman was asked, if he wished to give his patient a profuse
perspiration, what would he prescribe?  He mentioned many diaphoretic
medicines in case the first failed, but the unmerciful questioner thus
continued, "Pray, sir, suppose none of those succeeded, what step would
you take next?"  "Why, sir," enjoined the harassed young Esculapius, "I
would send him here to be examined; and if that did not give him a
sweat, I do not know what would."



DIFFERENCES


Someone was endeavouring to convince a certain old lady by quotations
from Scripture on some point or other.  "You see, Madam," said he, "St.
Paul in his Epistle to the Ephesians says," and he repeated the passage
to her (as he thought, very impressively). "Yes," replied the lady, very
collectedly, "I know all about that; but that’s just where Paul and I
differ!"



COALS


During the high price of coals, a gentleman, meeting his coal-merchant,
asked whether it was a good time to lay in a stock?  The knight of the
black diamonds shook his head, saying, "Coals are coals now, sir."  To
which his customer replied, "I am very glad to hear it, for the last you
sent me were all slates."



MODESTY


Uncle George gave a children’s party. Janet, aged eight, after a silence
asked him to help her to some more jam.  "Certainly, Janet, but why not
help yourself?"  The answer came pat, "Because I thought you’d give me
more."



AN UNFORTUNATE REMARK


Two ladies, sisters, of whom one was a widow and the other with a
husband still living in India, called at a house, and on the former
leaving, a gentleman offered to escort her to her carriage.  But the
sisters resembled each other so much that he mistook the widow for the
married one, and when she remarked to him, on the way to the door, how
very hot it was, he replied, "Yes, but not so hot as where your husband
is!"



MODERN EDUCATION


Two navvies were arguing on education of the present day.

One was of opinion that it was practically of little use, the other that
it was of the greatest value.  "Look at my boy Jack," he said, "he can
answer any question you like to ask him.  Here he comes, bringing my
dinner. You ask him anything you like."  "Jack," said the other, "your
father tells me you are getting on well at school.  How many are seven
and four?"  "Twelve," was the prompt reply.

"There you are," said the proud father, "right, within one, first
blooming guess."



THE RULING PASSION


One of the chosen people, who was condemned to be hanged, was brought to
the gallows, and was just on the point of being turned off, when a
reprieve arrived.  Moses was informed of this, and it was expected he
would instantly have quitted the cart, but he stayed to see his two
fellow-prisoners hanged; and being asked why he did not get about his
business, he said, "He waited to see if he could bargain with the
hangman for the two shentlemen’s clo’."



EDUCATION


"Education is a good thing, Tim, an’ don’t you run it down."  "Ever had
any of it, Pat?" "Me?  Well, I should say yes.  I went to night school
all one winter."  "An’ what did you get to show for it, Pat?"  "What did
I get?  I got four overcoats, three hats, and seven umbrellas.  Don’t
you tell me that going to school is a waste of time."



A LONG GRACE


A parish minister was in the habit of preaching two sermons on a Sunday
morning to save his parishioners another journey to church. A young girl
in the congregation became so tired and hungry that at the beginning of
the second sermon she whispered to her grandmother, who accompanied her,
"Come awa’, granny, and gang hame, this is a lang grace, and na meat."



THE USE OF FALSE TEETH


The dinner had been a huge success, and a highly ornamented pie was much
praised. The cook having been complimented was asked how she had managed
to impart so much artistic taste into the design.  "Well, mum," she
replied, "I did it with your false teeth."



HOW TO COLLECT


A public man was appealing on behalf of a certain charity, when a note
was handed up to him asking if it would be right for a bankrupt to
contribute in response to his appeal. The speaker referred to this in
the course of his lecture and said decidedly that such a person could
not do so in Christian honesty. "But, my friends," he added, "I would
advise you who are not insolvent not to pass the plate this evening, as
if you do the people will be sure to say: ’There’s another bankrupt!’"



IMPERSONATION


_Captain_: "What’s he charged with, Casey?"

_Officer_: "I don’t know the regular name fer it, captain; but I caught
him a-flirting in the park."

_Captain_: "Ah, that’s impersonatin’ an officer."



A SMART RETORT


_Facetious Doctor_ (to artist): "The pictures which hang on the walls
are your failures, I suppose?"

_Dyspeptic Artist_: "Yes.  And that’s where you doctors have the pull
over us.  You can bury yours."



TRUTH WILL OUT


Jim was being chastised by his father, and a passer-by stopped to
enquire the reason for the punishment.  He was informed that Jim had not
locked up the chicken house the previous night.  "But surely that’s not
a very bad offence: the chickens are sure to come home again."  The
father replied hurriedly, "That’s just where the trouble is, Mister,
they wouldn’t _come_ home; they’d _go_ home."



SUNDAY AFTERNOON SERVICES


A young and energetic curate suggested to the vicar that Sunday
afternoon services should be held in the church for the school children.

The Vicar gave his consent, and on the following Sunday afternoon the
curate marshalled the children in the churchyard four a-breast to march
into the church.

He selected the hymn "Onward, Christian soldiers," and decided to
conduct them into the church, in real Salvation Army style, walking
backwards.

On entering the church they commenced the verse, "See the mighty army,
Satan leading on;" and he wondered why the congregation laughed.



A NEW DISH


A shoemaker in Dublin, getting on well in the way of business, became
proud.  One day there were customers in the shop when the shop-boy came
in to say that the mistress bid him say dinner was ready.  "What’s for
dinner, sir?" asked the shoemaker.  "Herrings, sir," answered the boy.
"All right," said the shoemaker, and when he went up to dinner he
reprimanded the boy for not mentioning something decent and big, telling
the boy always to mention a good feed when there were any people in the
shop.  A few days afterwards the boy came to say that dinner was ready.
"What’s for dinner, sir?" asked the shoemaker.  "Fish, sir," answered
the boy.  "What sort of fish?" asked the shoemaker.  "A whale, sir,"
answered the boy.



FULL OF PLUCK


_Countryman_ (to dentist): "I wouldn’t pay nothin’ extra for gas.  Jest
pull her out, even if it does hurt."

_Dentist_: "You are plucky, sir.  Let me see the tooth."

_Countryman_: "Oh, ’tain’t me that’s got the toothache; it’s me wife.
She’ll be here in a minute."



CANDID ON BOTH SIDES


"I rise for information," said a member of the legislative body.  "I am
very glad to hear it," said a bystander, "for no man wants it more."



THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS


A dispute about precedence once arose between a Bishop and a Judge, and,
after some altercation, the latter thought he would quite confound his
opponent by quoting the passage, "For on these two hang all the Law and
the Prophets."  "Do you not see," said the lawyer in triumph, "that even
in this passage of Scripture, _we_ are mentioned first?" "I grant you,"
said the Bishop, "_you_ hang first."

LUCUS A NON LUCENDO

A man living in a quiet country place invited a neighbour to dine and
spend the evening with him.  The night being dark, when it was time to
go, the guest, who had done himself very well, begged to be allowed to
borrow a large lantern in the hall to light him on his way.  The next
day the host sent his servant round with the following note: "Dear old
chap, I shall be glad to have back my parrot and cage if you have
finished with it."



THE ISLE OF MAN, AND A WOMAN


A lady was telling her doctor that her maid objected to going to the
Isle of Wight again, as the climate "was not embracing enough," and
added, "What am I to do with such a woman?"  The doctor replied, "You
had better take her to the Isle of Man."



A CUNNING ELDER


A canny Scot had got himself installed in the eldership of the church,
and, in consequence, had for some time carried round the ladle for the
collections.  He had accepted the office of elder because some wag had
made him believe that the remuneration was six-pence each Sunday, with a
bag of meal on New Year’s Day.  When the time arrived, he claimed his
reward, but was told he had been hoaxed.  "It may be sae wi’ the meal,"
he said coolly, "but I took care of the saxpences mysel’."



AS YOU LIKE IT


An old Scotch laird used to say he didn’t care how he dressed when in
London, "because nobody knew him."  And he didn’t care how he dressed
when at home, "because everybody knew him."



UNNECESSARY CIVILITY


Said the youth, in a triumphant tone, to the maid he was about to marry,
"Weel, Jenny, haven’t I been unco ceevil?" alluding to the circumstance
that during their whole courtship he had never even given her a kiss.
Her quiet reply was, "Oo, ay, man--senselessly ceevil."



AT THE SIGN OF THE BARBER’S POLE


The scene was a hairdresser’s, the front of which was so arranged that
passers-by could see what was taking place.  A small boy approached and
observed the process of hair-cutting with some interest; the singeing of
a customer surprised the lad, who called to his chum, "Blimey, Charley,
they’re looking for ’em with a light now."



AN IDENTIFICATION PLATE


Two Cockney boys were examining the mummies at the British Museum for
the first time, and one of them was much puzzled by the labels denoting
the age of the contents. "I wonder what those figures mean?" said
Charley, stopping before an exhibit marked B.C. 1500.  "Garn, silly,
don’t you know? That’s the number of the motor what run over ’im."



TABLE OF COMPARISON


To instil into the mind of his son sound wisdom and business precepts
was Cohen senior’s earnest endeavour.  He taught his offspring much,
including the advantages of bankruptcy, failures, and fires.  "Two
bankruptcies equal one failure, two failures equal one fire," etc.  Then
Cohen junior looked up brightly.

"Fadder," he asked, "is marriage a failure?"

"Vell, my poy," was the parent’s reply, "if you marry a really wealthy
woman, marriage is almost as good as a failure."



THE INTELLIGENT CAT


Two suburban gardeners were swearing vengeance on cats.

"It appears to me," one said, that "they seem to pick out the choicest
plants to scratch out of the ground."

"There’s a big tomcat," the other said, "that fetches my plants out and
then sits and actually defies me."

"Why don’t you hurl a brick at him?" asked the first speaker.

"That’s what makes me mad," was the reply.  "I can’t.  He gets on top of
my greenhouse to defy me."



HEAR!  HEAR!


At a local "Parliament" a member much annoyed the House by continually
interrupting the speakers with cries of "Hear!  Hear!" One of the latter
took the opportunity of alluding to a well-known political character of
the times, whom he represented as a person who wished to play the rogue,
but had only sense enough to play the fool.  "Where," he exclaimed with
emphatic continuation, "where shall we find a more foolish knave or a
more knavish fool than this?"  "Hear!  Hear!" was instantly shouted from
the usual seat.  The speaker bowed and sat down amidst convulsions of
laughter.



MISPLACING THE BLAME


"O-o-oo-oh!  Bo-o-o-ho-oo!"

As the childish wail rang through the house the anxious mother sprang to
her feet.  Rushing into the hall, she met her little daughter coming in
from the garden and carrying a broken doll by the leg.

"What’s the matter, darling?" she asked tenderly.

"O-o-oh, m-o-ther," howled the child, "Willie’s broken my do-oll!"

"The naughty boy!  How did he do it?"

"I-I-I hit him on the head wiv it!" was the slow response.



WHY HANGING CAUSES DEATH


A humorist asked a medical man, with an air of great seriousness, "Why
does hanging kill a man?"  "Because," began, the explanation,
"inspiration is checked, circulation is stopped, and blood suffuses and
congests the brain----"  "Bosh!" interrupted the wag, "it is because the
rope is not long enough to let his feet touch the ground."



MORAL QUALIFICATIONS


A very strong-minded Scotchwoman had been asking the character of a cook
she was about to engage.  The lady whom the servant was leaving
naturally entered a little upon her moral qualifications, and described
her as a very decent woman.  To which the first-named replied, "Oh, d--n
her decency, can she make good porridge?"



MEASURING HIS DISTANCE


A brow-beating 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."



AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCES


A Suffolk clergyman asked a schoolboy what was meant in the Catechism by
succouring his father and mother.  "Giving on ’em milk," was the prompt
reply.



THE LATIN FOR COLD


A schoolmaster asked one of his scholars, in the winter time, what was
the Latin for cold. "Oh! sir," answered the lad, "I forget at this
moment, although I have it at my fingers’ ends."



THE CUT DIRECT


A gentleman having his hair cut was asked by the garrulous operator how
he would have it done?--"If possible," replied the gentleman, "in
silence."



COMMON WANT


In the midst of a stormy discussion, a gentleman rose to settle the
matter in dispute. Waving his hands majestically over the excited
disputants, he began:

"Gentlemen, all I want is common sense----"

"Exactly," interrupted the chairman, "that is precisely what you _do_
want!"

The discussion was lost in a burst of laughter.



NOT TO BE BEATEN


A Highlander who prided himself on being able to play any tune on the
pipes perched himself on the side of one of his native hills one Sunday
morning and commenced blowing for all he was worth.

Presently the minister came along and, going up to MacDougall with the
intention of severely reprimanding him, asked in a very harsh voice,
"MacDougall, do you know the Ten Commandments?"

MacDougall scratched his chin for a moment and then, in an equally harsh
voice, said:

"D’ye think you’ve beat me?  Just whistle the first three or four bars,
and I’ll hae a try at it."



AN ODD NOTION


A lady the other day meeting a girl who had lately left her service,
inquired, "Well, Mary, where do you live now?"

"Please, ma’am, I don’t live nowhere now," replied the girl; "I’m
married!"



"IF----"


"Faith, and it’s meself as ’ill niver foind my shilling by the loight of
a match.  If I ’adn’t ’ave lost it I could ’ave bought a flashloight to
foind it with."



LATE AND EARLY


The regular routine of clerkly business ill suited the literary tastes
and the wayward habits of Charles Lamb.  Once, at the India House, a
superior said to him, "I have remarked, Mr. Lamb, that you come very
late to the office."  "Yes, sir," replied the wit, "but see how early I
go!"



A SLIGHT DIFFERENCE


"I keep an excellent table," said a lady, disputing with one of her
boarders.  "That may be true, ma’am," says he, "but you put very little
upon it."



SHARP BOY


A mother admonishing her son (a lad about seven years of age), told him
he should never defer till to-morrow what he could do to-day. The little
urchin replied, "Then, mother, let’s eat the remainder of the
plum-pudding tonight."



THE SENTRY AND HIS WATCH


"Soldiers must be fearfully dishonest," said a dear old lady in a
country village, "as it seems to be a nightly occurrence for a sentry to
be relieved of his watch."



CREDIT


A beautiful girl stepped into an American store and asked for a pair of
gloves.  "Why," said a gallant but impudent clerk, "you may have them
for a kiss."  "Agreed," said the young lady, pocketing the gloves, and
her eyes speaking daggers; "agreed; and as I see you give credit, you
may charge it in your books, and collect it the best way you can."



UNKIND


An indifferent artist, who thought himself an excellent painter, was
talking pompously about decorating the ceiling of his drawing-room.  "I
am white-washing it," said he, "and in a short time I shall begin
painting." "I think," replied one of his audience, "you had better paint
it first, and white-wash it afterwards."



NOT COMPULSORY


A haughty gentleman entering a restaurant was accosted by the waiter
with the inquiry, "Soup, sir?  Soup, sir?"  The customer took no notice
and calmly removed his overcoat, on which the waiter reiterated his
question.  Becoming angry, the gentleman said, "Is it compulsory?"
"No," was the reply, "It’s oxtail, sir."



"YOU’LL GET THERE BEFORE I CAN TELL YOU!"


A Fellow of Jesus College was handicapped by stammering, but when he
used bad words he could talk fluently.  In one of his solitary rambles a
countryman met him and inquired the road.  "Tu-u-rn," was the reply,
"to-to-to--" and so on for a minute or two; at last he burst out,
"Confound it, man! you’ll get there before I can tell you!"



AN UNHAPPY BENEDICT


A poor man came to his minister and begged to be unmarried, for he was
very unhappy. The minister assured him that was out of the question, and
urged him to put away the notion of anything so absurd.  The man
insisted that the marriage could not hold good, for the wife was worse
than the devil.  The minister demurred saying that was quite impossible.
"Na," said the poor man, "the Bible tells ye that if ye resist the deil
he flees frae ye, but if ye resist her she flees at ye."



A DIFFICULT TASK


A school inspector, finding that the boys whom he was examining were
inattentive, endeavoured to pull them together.

"Now then," said he, "will somebody please give me a number and watch
how I make the figures?"

"74," called out a youth, and the class gazed while the inspector wrote
on the board 47.

Another number was called for and a boy cried out "65" the inspector
turned round and wrote 56.  As the class took no notice the inspector
became annoyed, and asked the boys if they noticed nothing different in
the figures. Nobody replied, so he thought he would make another attempt
and called again for a number. A long pause ensued, but at last a boy
stood up and said 33, adding in a low tone, "See what you can do to
twist that round."



NON-RUNNERS


An old lady wrote to the S.P.C.A. to protest against the cruel practice
of scratching horses. She called special attention to a reference in the
morning paper saying that three horses had been scratched on the day of
the race--a most cruel and barbarous thing to do.



THE POLITE COUNTRYMAN


An Englishman being doubtful of his way inquired if he were on the right
road to Dunkeld.  With the national inquisitiveness about strangers the
countryman asked his inquirer where he came from.  Offended at the
liberty as he considered it, the traveller reminded the man that where
he came from was nothing to him, but all the reply he got was the quiet
rejoinder.  "Indeed, it’s just as little to me whar ye’r gaen."



A VIOLENT PARTNER


A gentleman well-known for the violence of his temper had occasion to
escort a lady down to dinner one evening.  Unfortunately the lady was
extremely deaf, of which fact her partner was unaware.

After they were seated, the gentleman addressed the lady, "Madam, may I
have the honour to help you to some fish?"  But he got no reply; after a
pause but still in the most courteous accents, "Madam, have I your
permission to send you some fish?"  Then a little quicker, "Are you
inclined to take fish?" Very quick, and rather peremptory, "Madam, do
you choose fish?"  At last the storm burst, and to everybody’s
consternation, with a loud thump on the table and stamp on the floor,
"D---- you, will you have any fish!"



WISDOM


An Irishman, being asked the meaning of the phrase "posthumous works"
readily answered, "Why, to be sure, they are the books that a man writes
after he is dead."



A DOUBTFUL POINT


A minister engaged in visiting members in his parish came to the door of
a house where his gentle tapping could not be heard for the noise of
discussion within.  After waiting a little, he opened the door and
walked in, saying in an authoritative voice, "I should like to know who
is the head of this house."

"Well, sir," said the husband, and father, "if you will sit down for a
little while, maybe we’ll be able to tell you, for that is the very
point we are now trying to settle."



THE BETTER WAY


A loin of mutton was on a table, and the gentleman opposite to it took
the carving knife in hand.  "Shall I cut it _saddlewise_?" he asked.
"You had better cut it _bridlewise_," replied the master of the house,
"for then we shall all stand a better chance to get a bit in our
mouths."



A GOOD REASON


"Janet, I think you hardly behave very respectfully to your own minister
in one respect," said the minister of a Scottish church to an
inattentive member of his congregation.

"Me, sir," exclaimed Janet, "I wad like to see ony man, no to say ony
woman, but yoursel say that o’ me! what can you mean, sir?"

"Well, Janet, ye ken when I preach, you’re almost always fast asleep
before I’ve well given out my text; but when any of these young men from
other parishes preach for me, I see you never sleep a wink.  Now, that’s
what I call no using me as you should do."

"Hoot, sir," was the reply, "is that a’? I’ll sune tell you the reason
of that.  When you preach we a’ ken the word of God’s safe in your
hands; but when these young birkies tak’ it in haun, my certie, but it
tak’s us a’ to look after them."



A NEW TEXT


A man having been to church and slept through the greater part of the
service was asked by his wife on reaching home what text had been used
for the sermon.  The husband, confused at the question and unwilling to
show his ignorance stuttered out, "What profiteth it a man if he lose
the whole world and gain his own soul."



AN AUCTION


Among the conditions of sale by an Irish auctioneer was the following:
"The highest bidder to be the buyer, unless some gentleman bids more."



A REAL SPORT


A man went out rabbit-shooting, but could not get any sport.  "So," said
he, "I lay down where they could not see me, and made a noise like a
turnip."



THE SCOTCHMAN’S SOUVENIR


An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotchman who had been on holidays were
comparing the souvenirs they had collected.  The Englishman had a bust
of Shakespeare from Stratford-on-Avon, the Irishman a matchbox of bog
oak.  "Oh," said the Scotchman, "you can’t beat this," and he produced a
tea-spoon marked "L.&N.W.R."



                       PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY
                        WM. BRENDON AND SON. LTD.,
                                PLYMOUTH.





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