From the pages of the Millennial Star, 1860 —
“Ahem! Ephraim, I heard something about you.” “La, now, Miss Sophrina, you don’t say so?” “Yes, indeed, that I did; and a great many said it, too.” “La, now, what was it, Miss Sophrina?” “O, dear, I can’t tell you” (turning away her head). “Oh! la, do now.” “Oh! no, I can’t.” “Oh! yes, Miss Sophrina.” “La, me, Ephraim, you do pester a body so!” “Well, do please to tell me, Sophrina.” “Well, I heard that — Oh! I can’t tell you.” “Ah! yes, come now, do!” (taking her hand). “Well, I didn’t say it, but I heard that —” “What?” (putting an arm round her waist). “Oh! don’t squeeze me so! I heard that – that (turning her blue eyes full. upon Ephraim’s) – that – you and I are to be married, Ephraim!”
A drunkard, hearing that the earth was round, said that accounted for his falling off so often.
“What do you know of the defendant, Mr. Thompson?” asked the counsel of a witness. “Do you consider him a good musician?”
“On that point I wish to be particular,” replied Thompson. “I don’t wish to insinuate that Mr. Slopes is not a good musician. Not at all. But I could not help observing that after he commenced playing on the clarionet, a saw-filer, who lived next door, suddenly left home, and has never since been heard of !”
Can a Man Be His Own Grandfather?
There was at a school at Norwich a boy who was his own grandfather! There was a widow and her daughter-in-law, and a man and his son. The widow married the son, and the daughter the old man; the widow was therefore mother to her husband’s father, and consequently grandmother to her own husband. They had a son, to whom she was great-grandmother. Now, as the son of a great-grandmother must be either a grandfather or a great-uncle, this boy was therefore his own grandfather!
A Cockney conducted two ladies to the Observatory to see an eclipse of the moon. They were too late; the eclipse was over, and the ladies were disappointed. “Oh,” exclaimed our hero, “don’t fret. I know the astronomer very well. He is a very polite man, and I am sure he will begin again.”
A Slander Refuted
A clergyman was charged with having violently dragged his wife from a revival meeting, and compelled her to go home with him. The clergyman let the story travel along until he had a fair opportunity to give it a broadside. Upon being charged with the offence, he replied as follows: – “In the first place, I have never attempted to influence my wife in her views, nor in a choice of a meeting. Secondly – My wife has not attended any of the revival meetings in Lowell. In the third place, I have not even attended any of the meetings for any purpose whatever. To conclude – neither my wife nor myself have any inclination to these meetings. Finally – I never had a wife.”
Two persons were once disputing so loudly on the subject of religion, that they awoke a big dog that had been sleeping on the hearth before them, and he forthwith barked most furiously. An old divine present, who had been sipping his tea while the disputants were talking, gave the dog a kick, and exclaimed, “Hold your tongue, you silly brute; you know no more about it than they do!”
In one of our colonies, a competitive examination was lately held for the purpose of appointing fit persons to some of the Government offices. One of the candidates inadvertently spelt the word Venice with two n’s – thus, Vennice. The examiner, a clever man, but not always a correct speaker, sternly inquired, “Do you not know, sir, that there is but one hen in Venice?” “Then eggs must be very scarce there!” was the ready reply. The candidate passed.
“Why did you leave your last place?” inquired a young housekeeper, about to engage a new servant.
“Why, you see, ma’am,” replied the applicant, “I was too good-looking; and when I opened the door, folks took me for the missus.”
“Henry, you ought to be ashamed to throw away bread like that. You may want it some day.”
“Well, mother, would I stand any better chance of getting it then, if I should eat it up now?”
A schoolmaster, who had an inveterate habit of talking to himself, was asked what motive he could have in doing so. He replied, that he had two good and substantial reasons: “In the first place, he liked to talk to a sensible man; in the next place, he liked to hear a sensible man talk.”
Among the articles announced for sale in an auction, was an article entitled a “mahogany child’s chair.” The father of this wonderful child must have been of the Wood family!
Giving Things Right Names
A woman had a man arraigned for coming into her house, and putting her in fear of some outrage. “Besides,” said she, “he called me out of my name.” “But that’s a civil action, madam,” said the counsel for the defendant. “No, it’s not a civil action!” cried the indignant lady; “and nobody but a lawyer would say so!”
A traveler once arrived at a village inn, after a hard day’s travel, and being very tired, requested a room to sleep in; but the landlord said they were entirely full, and it was utterly impossible to accommodate him, – that his wife had to sleep on the sofa, and himself on the floor; but he would see what his wife could do for him.
The good woman, on being applied to, said that there was a room which he might occupy, provided that he would agree to her conditions – namely, to enter the room late in the dark, and leave it early in the morning, to prevent scandal, as the room was occupied by a lady. This he agreed to.
About two o’clock that night, an awful noise was heard in the house, and our friend the traveler was found tumbling heels-over-head down stairs. On the landlord’s arriving at the spot and inquiring what the matter was, the traveler ejaculated, as soon as he was able to speak – “O dear! The woman’s dead!”
“I know that,” said the landlord; ”but how did you find that out?”
On a certain American railway, the following intelligible notice appears: – “Hereafter, when trains moving in an opposite direction are approaching each other, on separate lines, conductors and engineers will be required to bring their respective trains to a dead halt before the point of meeting, and be very careful not to proceed till each train has passed the other.”
An irritable man is somewhat like a hedgehog rolled up the wrong way, and pierced by his own prickles.
Language is used to give expression to thoughts, and sometimes to hide the want of them.
The first physician in a certain case was discharged by his patient because he was honest enough to tell him he had only a sore throat; and the second doctor having had some hint of the fact, answered the sick man, when questioned, that his case was highly abnormal, and had degenerated into synanche tonsilaris. “Why, only think, doctor,” said the patient; “that fool told me I had nothing but a sore throat, and I told him I had no use for such a dunce.”
Mrs. Jenkins was in the habit of saying “I say” to almost every sentence to which she gave utterance. On one occasion she rang the bell for her footman, and on his entering she said – “I say, James, I’ve been to Mrs. Thompson’s, and heard say that you said that I am in the habit of saying ‘I say’ to every word I say. Now, if I do say ‘I say’ to every word I say, it does not become you to say that I say ‘I say’ to every word I say, James.”
Not Caught There
“Jacob,” said a father, “yesterday I forbade you associating with the neighbouring children any more, and to-day you have disobeyed me. the next time I catch you there I shall be obliged to punish you.”
The next day Jake was there again, totally oblivious of the interdiction until he saw his father entering the neighbour’s yard, with a rod in his hand. Jake made for the fence, over which he leaped, pursued by his father, and ran home: there he was caught.
“Now, my son,” said the irritated father, “what did I tell you I would do yesterday?”
‘You told me, father, that if you caught me there again, you would punish me.”
“Well,” said the father –
“Hold on, father!” said the little reprobate, who knew that if he made his sire laugh, the matter would be right; “you didn’t catch me there – you catched me here!”
The desired effect was produced, and the rod was dropped; but the interdiction was renewed – “If I ever see you there, or hear of your being there, no matter where I catch you, you will catch a flogging.” Jake deemed it prudent not to transgress again.
Why is “B” like a hot fire?
Because it makes oil boil.
The following is an Irishman’s description of making a cannon: “Take a long hole, and pour brass or iron round it!”
On what meat did Dido feed? Dido et dux, according to Virgil.
In giving geographical lessons, a teacher asked a boy – “What state do you live in?” In answer to which he drawled out – “In a state of sin and misery, sir.”