A considerable coal-owner in the north was instructing his daughter, a little girl, about eight years of age, in the principles of religion, and explaining to her the rewards and punishments of a future state. He told her, among other things, that the wicked would be sent to a large pit, where they would be burned in eternal fire by evil spirits. She was very attentive, and, after a pause, said, “Papa, what a good thing it would be if you could get them to take their coals of YOU!”
A Printer’s Toast
Women – the fairest work of creation. The edition being extensive, let no man be without a copy.
A Just Observation
A foppish parson going to read prayers at a village in the west of England, found some difficulty in putting on the surplice. “Confound the surplice!” said he to the clerk; “I think the devil is in it.” The clerk waited a moment till the parson had got it on, and then answered – “I think as how he be, sir.”
Praying for Rain
A clergyman, being requested by some of his parishioners to pray for rain, said he would do anything to oblige them; but it would be of no service so long as the wind continued in the same quarter. However, having obeyed the wish of his people, he was told by the beadle as he went out, that a heavy shower was coming on. “I hope not,” said he; “for I have not brought my umbrella.”
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 priest.
“Last night,” replied the timid man, “I was passing by the church, and up against the wall of it I did behold the spectre.”
“In what shape did it appear?” asked the priest.
“It appeared to be the shape of a great ass,” was the reply.
“Go home, and hold your tongue about it,” said the priest; “you are a very timid man, and have been frightened by your own shadow.”
Shall and Will
A Scotch gentleman having a conversation with Mr. Horne Tooke, observed that he, in common with his countrymen, was apt frequently to confound shall and will, and that he wished to have from so great a grammarian some rule respecting the use of those verbs. “I can give you,” said Mr. Tooke, “an extremely simple rule. When you sit down to write, go on as your pen leads you; then revise what you have written, and wherever you find will substitute shall; and wherever you find shall substitute will.”
As a late professor was one day walking near Aberdeen, he met a well-known “natural.” “Pray,” said the professor, “how long can a man live without brains?”
“I dinna ken,” said Jemmy, scratching his head; “but how old are ye yoursel’?”
What is that which, supposing its greatest breadth to be four inches, length nine inches, and depth three inches, contains a solid foot?
A popular writer says that a fine coat covers a multitude of sins. It is still truer that such coats cover a multitude of sinners.
The following example of mal-punctuation strongly illustrates the necessity of putting stops in their proper places: – “Caesar entering on his head, his helmet on his feet, armed sandals on his brow, there was a cloud in his right hand, his faithful sword in his eye, an angry glare saying nothing, he sat down.”
A greenhorn, seeing for the first time a pair of snuffers, asked, “What’s them for?”
“To snuff the candle.”
“To snuff the candle?”
The candle just then needed attention; and with his thumb and finger he pinched off the snuff, and carefully poked it into the snuffers, saying, “Well, now them is handy!”
A fashionable doctor lately informed his friends, in a large company, that he had been passing eight days in the country.
“Yes,” said one of the party; “it has been announced in one of the journals.”
“Ah!” said the doctor, stretching his neck; “pray, in what terms?”
“In what terms? Why, as well as I can remember, it is nearly in the following: – ‘There were last week seventy-seven interments less than the week before.’”
A man recently walked two days running and was weak for a fortnight afterwards!
There is a young man in York so bright that his mother can only look at him through smoked glass, for fear of hurting her eyes.
A Convenient Day of Payment
Mr. Fox, on one of his occasions for borrowing money, met with a good-natured Jew, who told him he might take his own time for payment. “”Then,” said Charles, “we’ll make it the day of judgment; or, as that will be rather a busy day, suppose we say the day after.”
A rogue asked charity, on pretence of being dumb. A lady having asked him, with equal simplicity and humanity, how long he had been dumb, he was thrown off his guard, and answered – “Five years, ma’am.”