Part 7 out of 14
An hour later the mother went upstairs. The child was sitting
complacently on the window seat, looking out at the other children.
"Well, little girl," the mother began, "did you tell God all about how
naughty you'd been?"
The youngster shook her head, emphatically. "Guess I didn't," she
gurgled; "why, it'd be all over heaven in no time."
Get a gossip wound up and she will run somebody down.--_Life_.
"Papa, mamma says that one-half the world doesn't know how the other
"Well, she shouldn't blame herself, dear, it isn't her fault."
It is only national history that "repeats itself." Your private history
is repeated by the neighbors.
"You're a terrible scandal-monger, Linkum," said Jorrocks.
"Why in thunder don't you make it a rule to tell only half what you
"That's what I do do," said Linkum. "Only I tell the spicy half."
"What," asked the Sunday-school teacher, "is meant by bearing false
witness against one's neighbor?"
"It's telling falsehoods about them," said the one small maid.
"Partly right and partly wrong," said the teacher.
"I know," said another little girl, holding her hand high in the air.
"It's when nobody did anything and somebody went and told about
MAUD--"That story you told about Alice isn't worth repeating."
KATE--"It's young yet; give it time."
SON--"Why do people say 'Dame Gossip'?"
FATHER--"Because they are too polite to leave off the 'e.'"
I cannot tell how the truth may be;
I say the tale as 'twas said to me.
Never tell evil of a man, if you do not know it for a certainty, and if
you do know it for a certainty, then ask yourself, "Why should I tell
"Don't you think the coal-mines ought to be controlled by the
"I might if I didn't know who controlled the
The governor of a western state was dining with the family of a
Representative in Congress from that state, and opposite him at table
sat the little girl of the family, aged ten. She gazed at the Governor
solemnly throughout the repast.
Finally the youngster asked, "Are you really and truly a governor?"
"Yes," replied the great man laughingly; "I really and truly am."
"I've always wanted to see a governor," continued the child, "for I've
heard Daddy speak of 'em."
"Well," rejoined the Governor, "now that you have seen one, are you
"No, sir," answered the youngster, without the slightest impertinence,
but with an air of great conviction, "no, sir; I'm disappointed."
"What is meant by graft?" said the inquiring foreigner.
"Graft," said the resident of a great city, "is a system which
ultimately results in compelling a large portion of the population to
apologize constantly for not having money, and the remainder to explain
how they got it."
LADY--"I guess you're gettin' a good thing out o' tending the rich Smith
boy, ain't ye, doctor?"
DOCTOR--"Well, yes; I get a pretty good fee. Why?"
LADY--"Well, I hope you won't forget that my Willie threw the brick that
Every man has his price, but some hold bargain sales.--_Satire_.
The Democrats had a clear working majority in ----, Illinois, for a
number of years. But when the Fifteenth Amendment went into effect it
enfranchised so many of the "culled bredren" as to make it apparent to
the party leaders that unless a good many black votes could be bought
up, the Republicans would carry the city election. Accordingly advances
were made to the Rev. Brother ----, whose influence it was thought
desirable to secure, inasmuch as he was certain to control the votes of
his entire church.
He was found "open to conviction," and arrangements progressed
satisfactorily until it was asked how much money would be necessary to
secure his vote and influence.
With an air of offended dignity, Brother ---- replied:
"Now, gemmen, as a regular awdained minister ob de Baptist Church dis
ting has gone jes as far as my conscience will 'low; but, gemmen, my son
will call round to see you in de mornin'."
A well-known New York contractor went into the tailor's, donned his new
suit, and left his old one for repairs. Then he sought a cafe and
refreshed the inner man; but as he reached in his pocket for the money
to settle his check, he realized that he had neglected to transfer both
purse and watch when he left his suit. As he hesitated, somewhat
embarrassed, he saw a bill on the floor at his feet. Seizing it
thankfully, he stepped to the cashier's desk and presented both check
"That was a two dollar bill," he explained when he counted his change.
"I know it," said the cashier, with a toss of her blond head. "I'm
dividing with you. I saw it first."
After O'Connell had obtained the acquittal of a horse-stealer, the
thief, in the ecstasy of his gratitude, cried out, "Och, counsellor,
I've no way here to thank your honor; but I wish't I saw you knocked
down in me own parish--wouldn't I bring a faction to the rescue?"
Some people are never satisfied. For example, the prisoner who
complained of the literature that the prison angel gave him to read.
"Nutt'n but continued stories," he grumbled. "An I'm to be hung next
It was a very hot day and a picnic had been arranged by the United
Society of Lady Vegetarians.
They were comfortably seated, and waiting for the kettle to boil, when,
horror of horrors! a savage bull appeared on the scene.
Immediately a wild rush was made for safety, while the raging creature
pounded after one lady who, unfortunately, had a red parasol. By great
good fortune she nipped over the stile before it could reach her. Then,
regaining her breath, she turned round.
"Oh, you ungrateful creature!" she exclaimed. "Here have I been a
vegetarian all my life. There's gratitude for you!"
Miss PASSAY--"You have saved my life, young man. How can I repay you?
How can I show my gratitude? Are you married?"
YOUNG MAN--"Yes; come and be a cook for us."
One of the stories told by Mr. Spencer Leigh Hughes in his speech in the
House of Commons one night tickled everybody. It is the story of the
small boy who was watching the Speaker's procession as it wended its way
through the lobby. First came the Speaker, and then the chaplain, and
next the other officers.
"Who, father, is that gentleman?" said the small boy, pointing to the
"That, my son," said the father, "is the chaplain of the House."
"Does he pray for the members?" asked the small boy.
The father thought a minute and then said: "No, my son; when he goes
into the House he looks around and sees the members sitting there and
then he prays for the country."--_Cardiff Mail_.
There is a lad in Boston, the son of a well-known writer of history, who
has evidently profited by such observations as he may have overheard his
father utter touching certain phases of British empire-building. At any
rate the boy showed a shrewd notion of the opinion not infrequently
expressed in regard to the righteousness of "British occupation." It was
he who handed in the following essay on the making of a British colony:
"Africa is a British colony. I will tell you how England does it. First
she gets a missionary; when the missionary has found a specially
beautiful and fertile tract of country, he gets all his people round him
and says: 'Let us pray,' and when all the eyes are shut, up goes the
Jim, who worked in a garage, had just declined Mr. Smith's invitation to
ride in his new car.
"What's the matter, Jim?" asked Mr. Smith. "Are you sick?"
"No, sah," he replied. "Tain't that--I done los' $5, sah, an' I jes'
nacherly got tuh sit an' grieve."
TRAVELER (on an English train)--"Shall I have time to get a drink?"
TRAVELER--"Can you give me a guarantee that the train won't start?"
GUARD--"Yes, I'll take one with you!"
"Look here, Dinah," said Binks, as he opened a questionable egg at
breakfast, "is this the freshest egg you can find?"
"Naw, suh," replied Dinah. "We done got a haff dozen laid diss mornin',
suh, but de bishop's comin' down hyar in August, suh, and we's savin'
all de fresh aigs for him, suh."
"Here's a health to thee and thine
From the hearts of me and mine;
And when thee and thine
Come to see me and mine,
May me and mine make thee and thine
As welcome as thee and thine
Have ever made me and mine."
Among the new class which came to the second-grade teacher, a young
timid girl, was one Tommy, who for naughty deeds had been many times
spanked by his first-grade teacher. "Send him to me any time when you
want him spanked," suggested the latter; "I can manage him."
One morning, about a week after this conversation, Tommy appeared at the
first-grade teacher's door. She dropped her work, seized him by the arm,
dragged him to the dressing-room, turned him over her knee and did her
When she had finished she said: "Well, Tommy, what have you to say?"
"Please, Miss, my teacher wants the scissors."
In reward of faithful political service an ambitious saloon keeper was
appointed police magistrate.
"What's the charge ag'in this man?" he inquired when the first case was
"Drunk, yer honor," said the policeman.
The newly made magistrate frowned upon the trembling defendant.
"Guilty, or not guilty?" he demanded.
"Sure, sir," faltered the accused, "I never drink a drop."
"Have a cigar, then," urged his honor persuasively, as he absently
polished the top of the judicial desk with his pocket handkerchief.
"We had a fine sunrise this morning," said one New Yorker to another.
"Did you see it?"
"Sunrise?" said the second man. "Why, I'm always in bed before sunrise."
A traveling man who was a cigarette smoker reached town on an early
train. He wanted a smoke, but none of the stores were open. Near the
station he saw a newsboy smoking, and approached him with:
"Say, son, got another cigarette?"
"No, sir," said the boy, "but I've got the makings."
"All right," the traveling man said. "But I can't roll 'em very well.
Will you fix one for me?"
The boy did.
"Don't believe I've got a match," said the man, after a search through
The boy handed him a match. "Say, Captain," he said "you ain't got
anything but the habit, have you?"
Habit with him was all the test of truth;
"It must be right: I've done it from my youth."
_See_ Future life.
Lord Tankerville, in New York, said of the international school
"The subject of the American versus the English school has been too much
discussed. The good got from a school depends, after all, on the
schoolboy chiefly, and I'm afraid the average schoolboy is well
reflected in that classic schoolboy letter home which said:
"'Dear parents--We are having a good time now at school.
George Jones broke his leg coasting and is in bed. We went
skating and the ice broke and all got wet. Willie Brown was
drowned. Most of the boys here are down with influenza. The
gardener fell into our cave and broke his rib, but he can work
a little. The aviator man at the race course kicked us because
we threw sand in his motor, and we are all black and blue. I
broke my front tooth playing football. We are very happy.'"
Mankind are always happier for having been happy; so that if you make
them happy now, you make them happy twenty years hence by the memory of
The story is told of two Trenton men who hired a horse and trap for a
little outing not long ago. Upon reaching their destination, the horse
was unharnessed and permitted peacefully to graze while the men fished
for an hour or two.
When they were ready to go home, a difficulty at once presented itself,
inasmuch as neither of the Trentonians knew how to reharness the horse.
Every effort in this direction met with dire failure, and the worst
problem was properly to adjust the bit. The horse himself seemed to
resent the idea of going into harness again.
Finally one of the friends, in great disgust, sat down in the road.
"There's only one thing we can do, Bill," said he.
"What's that?" asked Bill.
"Wait for the foolish beast to yawn!"
"Well, I'll tell you this," said the college man, "Wellesley is a match
"That's quite true," assented the girl. "At Wellesley we make the heads,
but we get the sticks from Harvard."--_C. Stratton_.
"George," said the Titian-haired school marm, "is there any connecting
link between the animal kingdom and the vegetable kingdom?"
"Yeth, ma'am," answered George promptly. "Hash."
The ferry-dock was crowded with weary home-goers when through the crowd
rushed a man--hot, excited, laden to the chin with bundles of every
shape and size. He sprinted down the pier, his eyes fixed on a ferryboat
only two or three feet out from the pier. He paused but an instant on
the string-piece, and then, cheered on by the amused crowd, he made a
flying leap across the intervening stretch of water and landed safely on
the deck. A fat man happened to be standing on the exact spot on which
he struck, and they both went down with a resounding crash. When the
arriving man had somewhat recovered his breath he apologized to the fat
man. "I hope I didn't hurt you," he said. "I am sorry. But, anyway I
caught the boat!"
"But you idiot," said the fat man, "the boat was coming in!"
"Where've you been, Murray?"
"To a health resort. Finest place I ever struck. It was simply great."
"Then why did you come away?"
"Oh, I got sick and had to come home."
"Are you going back?"
"You bet. Just as soon as I get well enough."
The Ladies' Aid ladies were talking about a conversation they had
overheard before the meeting, between a man and his wife.
"They must have been to the Zoo," said Mrs. A., "because I heard her
mention 'a trained deer.'"
"Goodness me!" laughed Mrs. B. "What queer hearing you must have! They
were talking about going away, and she said, 'Find out about the train,
"Well did anybody ever?" exclaimed Mrs. C. "I am sure they were talking
about musicians, for she said 'a trained ear,' as distinctly as could
The discussion began to warm up, and in the midst of it the lady herself
appeared. They carried their case to her promptly, and asked for a
"Well, well, you do beat all!" she exclaimed, after hearing each one.
"I'd been out to the country overnight, and was asking my husband if it
rained here last night."
After which the three disputants retired, abashed and in silence.--_W.J.
"Tom," said an Indiana youngster who was digging in the yard, "don't you
make that hole any deeper, or you'll come to gas."
"Well, what if I do? It won't hurt."
"Yes, 't will too. If it spouts out, we'll be blown clear up to heaven."
"Shucks, that would be fun! You an' me would be the only live ones up
_See also_ Future life.
HE (wondering if his rival has been accepted)--"Are both your rings
SHE (concealing the hand)--"Oh, dear, yes. One has been in the family
since the time of Alfred, but the other is newer"--(blushing)--"it only
dates from the conquest."
"My grandfather was a captain of industry."
"He left no sword, but we still treasure the stubs of his check-books."
_See_ Future life.
"Papa, what does hereditary mean?"
"Something which descends from father to son."
"Is a spanking hereditary?"
William had just returned from college, resplendent in peg-top trousers,
silk hosiery, a fancy waistcoat, and a necktie that spoke for itself. He
entered the library where his father was reading. The old gentleman
looked up and surveyed his son. The longer he looked, the more disgusted
"Son," he finally blurted out, "you look like a d--- fool!"
Later, the old Major who lived next door came in and greeted the boy
heartily. "William," he said with undisguised admiration, "you look
exactly like your father did twenty-five years ago when he came back
"Yes," replied William, with a smile, "so Father was just telling me."
"There seems to be a strange affinity between a darky and a chicken. I
wonder why?" said Jones.
"Naturally enough," replied Brown. "One is descended from Ham and the
other from eggs."
"So you have adopted a baby to raise?" we ask of our friend. "Well, it
may turn out all right, but don't you think you are taking chances?"
"Not a chance," he answers. "No matter how many bad habits the child may
develop, my wife can't say he inherits any of them from my side of the
_See also_ Ancestry.
THE PASSER-BY--"You took a great risk in rescuing that boy; you deserve
a Carnegie medal. What prompted you to do it?"
THE HERO--"He had my skates on!"--_Puck_.
MR. HENPECK--"Are you the man who gave my wife a lot of impudence?"
MR. SCRAPER--"I reckon I am."
MR. HENPECK--"Shake! You're a hero."
Each man is a hero and an oracle to somebody.--_Emerson_.HIGH COST OF
_See_ Cost of living.
Little James, while at a neighbor's, was given a piece of bread and
butter, and politely said, "Thank you."
"That's right, James," said the lady. "I like to hear little boys say
"Well," rejoined James, "If you want to hear me say it again, you might
put some jam on it."
Home is a place where you can take off your new shoes and put on your
Who hath not met with home-made bread,
A heavy compound of putty and lead--
And home-made wines that rack the head,
And home-made liquors and waters?
Home-made pop that will not foam,
And home-made dishes that drive one from home--
* * * * * *
Home-made by the homely daughters.
_See_ Beauty, Personal.
"Malachi," said a prospective homesteader to a lawyer, "you know all
about this law. Tell me what I am to do."
"Well," said the other, "I don't remember the exact wording of the law,
but I can give you the meaning of it. It's this: The government is
willin' to bet you one hundred and sixty acres of land against fourteen
dollars that you can't live on it five years without starving to
"He's an honest young man" said the saloon keeper, with an approving
smile. "He sold his vote to pay his whiskey bill."
VISITOR--"And you always did your daring robberies single-handed? Why
didn't you have a pal?"
PRISONER--"Well, sir, I wuz afraid he might turn out to be dishonest."
Ex-District Attorney Jerome, at a dinner in New York, told a story about
honesty. "There was a man," he said, "who applied for a position in a
dry-goods house. His appearance wasn't prepossessing, and references
were demanded. After some hesitation, he gave the name of a driver in
the firm's employ. This driver, he thought, would vouch for him. A clerk
sought out the driver, and asked him if the applicant was honest.
'Honest?' the driver said. 'Why, his honesty's been proved again and
again. To my certain knowledge he's been arrested nine times for
stealing and every time he was acquitted.'"
"How is it, Mr. Brown," said a miller to a farmer, "that when I came to
measure those ten barrels of apples I bought from you, I found them
nearly two barrels short?"
"Singular, very singular; for I sent them to you in ten of your own
"Ahem! Did, eh?" said the miller. "Well, perhaps I made a mistake. Let's
The stranger laid down four aces and scooped in the pot.
"This game ain't on the level," protested Sagebush Sam, at the same time
producing a gun to lend force to his accusation. "That ain't the hand I
A dumpy little woman with solemn eyes, holding by the hand two dumpy
little boys, came to the box-office of a theater. Handing in a quarter,
she asked meekly for the best seat she could get for that money.
"Those boys must have tickets if you take them in," said the clerk.
"Oh, no, mister," she said. "I never pay for them. I never can spare
more than a quarter, and I just love a show. We won't cheat you any,
mister, for they both go sound asleep just as soon as they get into a
seat, and don't see a single bit of it."
The argument convinced the ticket man, and he allowed the two children
to pass in.
Toward the end of the second act an usher came out of the auditorium and
handed a twenty-five-cent piece to the ticket-seller.
"What's this?" demanded the latter.
"I don't know," said the usher. "A little chunk of a woman beckoned me
clear across the house, and said one of her kids had waked up and was
looking at the show, and that I should bring you that quarter."
In the smoking compartment of a Pullman, there were six men smoking and
reading. All of a sudden a door banged and the conductor's voice cried:
"All tickets, please!"
Then one of the men in the compartment leaped to his feet, scanned the
faces of the others and said, slowly and impressively:
"Gentlemen, I trust to your honor."
And he dived under the seat and remained there in a small, silent knot
till the conductor was safely gone.
Titles of honour add not to his worth,
Who is himself an honour to his titles.
FRED--"My dear Dora, let this thought console you for your lover's
death. Remember that other and better men than he have gone the same
BEREAVED ONE--"They haven't all gone, have they?"--_Puck_.
A city man, visiting a small country town, boarded a stage with two
dilapidated horses, and found that he had no other currency than a
five-dollar bill. This he proffered to the driver. The latter took it,
looked it over for a moment or so, and then asked:
"Which horse do you want?"
A traveler in Indiana noticed that a farmer was having trouble with his
horse. It would start, go slowly for a short distance, and then stop
again. Thereupon the farmer would have great difficulty in getting it
started. Finally the traveler approached and asked, solicitously:
"Is your horse sick?"
"Not as I knows of."
"Is he balky?"
"No. But he is so danged 'fraid I'll say whoa and he won't hear me, that
he stops every once in a while to listen."
A German farmer was in search of a horse.
"I've got just the horse for you," said the liveryman. "He's five years
old, sound as a dollar and goes ten miles without stopping."
The German threw his hands skyward.
"Not for me," he said, "not for me. I live eight miles from town, und
mit dot horse I haf to valk back two miles."
There's a grocer who is notorious for his wretched horse flesh.
The grocer's boy is rather a reckless driver. He drove one of his
master's worst nags a little too hard one day, and the animal fell ill
"You've killed my horse, curse you!" the grocer said to the boy the next
"I'm sorry, boss," the lad faltered.
"Sorry be durned!" shouted the grocer. "Who's going to pay me for my
"I'll make it all right, boss," said the boy soothingly. "You can take
it out of my next Saturday's wages."
Before Abraham Lincoln became President he was called out of town on
important law business. As he had a long distance to travel he hired a
horse from a livery stable. When a few days later he returned he took
the horse back to the stable and asked the man who had given it to him:
"Keep this horse for funerals?"
"No, indeed," answered the man indignantly.
"Glad to hear it," said Lincoln; "because if you did the corpse wouldn't
get there in time for the resurrection."
Night was approaching and it was raining hard. The traveler dismounted
from his horse and rapped at the door of the one farmhouse he had struck
in a five-mile stretch of traveling. No one came to the door.
As he stood on the doorstep the water from the eaves trickled down his
collar. He rapped again. Still no answer. He could feel the stream of
water coursing down his back. Another spell of pounding, and finally the
red head of a lad of twelve was stuck out of the second story window.
"Watcher want?" it asked.
"I want to know if I can stay here over night," the traveler answered
The red-headed lad watched the man for a minute or two before answering.
"Ye kin fer all of me," he finally answered, and then closed the window.
The old friends had had three days together.
"You have a pretty place here, John," remarked the guest on the morning
of his departure. "But it looks a bit bare yet."
"Oh, that's because the trees are so young," answered the host
comfortably. "I hope they'll have grown to a good size before you come
A youngster of three was enjoying a story his mother was reading aloud
to him when a caller came. In a few minutes his mother was called to the
telephone. The boy turned to the caller and said "Now you beat it
home." Ollie James, the famous Kentucky Congressman and raconteur, hails
from a little town in the western part of the state, but his patriotism
is state-wide, and when Louisville made a bid for the last Democratic
national convention she had no more enthusiastic supporter than James. A
Denver supporter was protesting.
"Why, you know, Colonel," said he, "Louisville couldn't take care of the
crowds. Even by putting cots in the halls, parlors, and the dining-rooms
of the hotels there wouldn't be beds enough."
"Beds!" echoed the genial Congressman, "why, sir, Louisville would make
her visitors have such a thundering good time that no gentleman would
think of going to bed!"
I thank you for your welcome which was cordial,
And your cordial which was welcome.
Here's to the host and the hostess,
We're honored to be here tonight;
May they both live long and prosper,
May their star of hope ever be bright.
In a Montana hotel there is a notice which reads: "Boarders taken by the
day, week or month. Those who do not pay promptly will be taken by the
A man was telling about an exciting experience in Russia. His sleigh was
pursued over the frozen wastes by a pack of at least a dozen famished
wolves. He arose and shot the foremost one, and the others stopped to
devour it. But they soon caught up with him, and he shot another, which
was in turn devoured. This was repeated until the last famished wolf was
almost upon him with yearning jaws, when--
"Say, partner," broke in one of the listeners, "according to your
reckoning that last famished wolf must have had the other 'leven inside
"Well, come to think it over," said the story teller, "maybe he wasn't
so darned famished after all."
A gentleman from London was invited to go for "a day's snipe-shooting"
in the country. The invitation was accepted, and host and guest
shouldered guns and sallied forth in quest of game.
After a time a solitary snipe rose, and promptly fell to the visitor's
The host's face fell also.
"We may as well return," he remarked, gloomily, "for that was the only
snipe in the neighborhood."
The bird had afforded excellent sport to all his friends for six weeks.
"Is she making him a good wife?"
"Well, not exactly; but she's making him a good husband."
A husband and wife ran a freak show in a certain provincial town, but
unfortunately they quarreled, and the exhibits were equally divided
between them. The wife decided to continue business as an exhibitor at
the old address, but the husband went on a tour.
After some years' wandering the prodigal returned, and a reconciliation
took place, as the result of which they became business partners once
more. A few mornings afterward the people of the neighborhood were sent
into fits of laughter on reading the following notice in the papers:
"By the return of my husband my stock of freaks has been permanently
An eminent German scientist who recently visited this country with a
number of his colleagues was dining at an American house and telling how
much he had enjoyed various phases of his visit.
"How did you like our railroad trains?" his host asked him.
"Ach, dhey are woonderful," the German gentleman replied; "so swift, so
safe chenerally--und such luxury in all dhe furnishings und
opp'indmends. All is excellent excebt one thing--our wives do not like
dhe upper berths."
A couple of old grouches at the Metropolitan Club in Washington were one
night speaking of an old friend who, upon his marriage, took up his
residence in another city. One of the grouches had recently visited the
old friend, and, naturally, the other grouch wanted news of the
"Is it true that he is henpecked?" asked the second grouch.
"I wouldn't say just that," grimly responded the first grouch, "but I'll
tell you of a little incident in their household that came within my
observation. The very first morning I spent with them, our old friend
answered the letter carrier's whistle. As he returned to us, in the
breakfast room, he carried a letter in his hand. Turning to his wife, he
"'A letter for me, dear. May I open it?'"--_Edwin Tarrisse_.
"Your husband says he leads a dog's life," said one woman.
"Yes, it's very similar," answered the other. "He comes in with muddy
feet, makes himself comfortable by the fire, and waits to be fed."
NEIGHBOR--"I s'pose your Bill's 'ittin' the 'arp with the hangels now?"
LONG-SUFFERING WIDOW--"Not 'im. 'Ittin' the hangels wiv the 'arp's
nearer 'is mark!"
"You say you are your wife's third husband?" said one man to another
during a talk.
"No, I am her fourth husband," was the reply.
"Heavens, man!" said the first man; "you are not a husband--you're a
MR. HENPECK--"Is my wife going out, Jane?"
MR. HENPECK--"Do you know if I am going with her?"
A happily married woman, who had enjoyed thirty-three years of wedlock,
and who was the grandmother of four beautiful little children, had an
amusing old colored woman for a cook.
One day when a box of especially beautiful flowers was left for the
mistress, the cook happened to be present, and she said: "Yo' husband
send you all the pretty flowers you gits, Missy?"
"Certainly, my husband, Mammy," proudly answered the lady.
"Glory!" exclaimed the cook, "he suttenly am holdin' out well."
An absent-minded man was interrupted as he was finishing a letter to his
wife, in the office. As a result, the signature read:
Your loving husband,
_Winifred C. Bristol_.
Mrs. McKinley used to tell of a colored widow whose children she had
helped educate. The widow, rather late in life, married again.
"How are you getting on?" Mrs. McKinley asked her a few months after her
"Fine, thank yo', ma'am," the bride answered.
"And is your husband a good provider?"
"'Deed he am a good providah, ma'am," was the enthusiastic reply. "Why,
jes' dis las' week he got me five new places to wash at."
"I suffer so from insomnia I don't know what to do."
"Oh, my dear, if you could only talk to my husband awhile."
"Did Hardlucke bear his misfortune like a man?"
"Exactly like one. He blamed it all on his wife."--_Judge_.
A popular society woman announced a "White Elephant Party." Every guest
was to bring something that she could not find any use for, and yet too
good to throw away. The party would have been a great success but for
the unlooked-for development which broke it up. Eleven of the nineteen
women brought their husbands.
A very man--not one of nature's clods--
With human failings, whether saint or sinner:
Endowed perhaps with genius from the gods
But apt to take his temper from his dinner.
--_J. G. Saxe_.
A woman mounted the steps of the elevated station carrying an umbrella
like a reversed saber. An attendant warned her that she might put out
the eye of the man behind her.
"Well, he's my husband!" she snapped.
OLD MONEY (dying)--"I'm afraid I've been a brute to you sometimes,
YOUNG WIFE--"Oh, never mind that darling; I'll always remember how very
kind you were when you left me."
An inveterate poker player, whose wife always complained of his late
hours, stayed out even later than usual one night and tells in the
following way of his attempt to get in unnoticed:
"I slipped off my shoes at the front steps, pulled off my clothes in the
hall, slipped into the bedroom, and began to slip into bed with the ease
"My wife has a blamed fine dog that on cold nights insists on jumping in
the bed with us. So when I began to slide under the covers she stirred
in her sleep and pushed me on the head.
"'Get down, Fido, get down!' she said.
"And, gentlemen, I just did have presence of mind enough to lick her
hand, and she dozed off again!"
MR. HOMEBODY--"I see you keep copies of
all the letters you write to your wife. Do you do it to avoid repeating
MR. FARAWAY--"No. To avoid contradicting myself."
There is gladness in his gladness, when he's glad,
There is sadness in his sadness, when he's sad;
But the gladness in his gladness,
Nor the sadness in his sadness,
Isn't a marker to his madness when he's mad.
_See also_ Cowards; Domestic finance.
We used to think that the smartest man ever born was the Connecticut
Yankee who grafted white birch on red maples and grew barber poles. Now
we rank that gentleman second. First place goes to an experimenter
attached to the Berlin War Office, who has crossed carrier pigeons with
parrots, so that Wilhelmstrasse can now get verbal messages through the
enemy's lines.--_Warwick James Price_.
"Speakin' of fertile soil," said the Kansan, when the others had had
their say, "I never saw a place where melons growed like they used to
out in my part of the country. The first season I planted 'em I thought
my fortune was sure made. However, I didn't harvest one."
He waited for queries, but his friends knew him, and he was forced to
"The vines growed so fast that they wore out the melons draggin' 'em
'round. However, the second year my two little boys made up their minds
to get a taste of one anyhow, so they took turns, carryin' one along
with the vine and--"
But his companions had already started toward the barroom door.
News comes from Southern Kansas that a boy climbed a cornstalk to see
how the sky and clouds looked and now the stalk is growing faster than
the boy can climb down. The boy is clear out of sight. Three men have
taken the contract for cutting down the stalk with axes to save the boy
a horrible death by starving, but the stalk grows so rapidly that they
can't hit twice in the same place. The boy is living on green corn alone
and has already thrown down over four bushels of cobs. Even if the corn
holds out there is still danger that the boy will reach a height where
he will be frozen to death. There is some talk of attempting his rescue
with a balloon.--_Topeka Capital_.
Hypocrisy is all right if we can pass it off as politeness.
TEACHER-"Now, Tommy, what is a hypocrite?"
TOMMY-"A boy that comes to school with a smile on his face."--_Graham
The fact that his two pet bantam hens laid very small eggs troubled
little Johnny. At last he was seized with an inspiration. Johnny's
father, upon going to the fowl-run one morning, was surprised at seeing
an ostrich egg tied to one of the beams, with this injunction chalked
"Keep your eye on this and do your best."
ILLUSIONS AND HALLUCINATIONS
A doctor came up to a patient in an insane asylum, slapped him on the
back, and said: "Well, old man, you're all right. You can run along and
write your folks that you'll be back home in two weeks as good as new."
The patient went off gayly to write his letter. He had it finished and
sealed, but when he was licking the stamp it slipped through his fingers
to the floor, lighted on the back of a cockroach that was passing, and
stuck. The patient hadn't seen the cockroach--what he did see was his
escaped postage stamp zig-zagging aimlessly across the floor to the
baseboard, wavering up over the baseboard, and following a crooked track
up the wall and across the ceiling. In depressed silence he tore up the
letter he had just written and dropped the pieces on the floor.
"Two weeks! Hell!" he said. "I won't be out of here in three years."
One day a mother overheard her daughter arguing with a little boy about
their respective ages.
"I am older than you," he said, "'cause my birthday comes first, in May,
and your's don't come till September."
"Of course your birthday comes first," she sneeringly retorted, "but
that is 'cause you came down first. I remember looking at the angels
when they were making you."
The mother instantly summoned her daughter. "It's breaking mother's
heart to hear you tell such awful stories," she said. "Don't you
remember what happened to Ananias and Sapphira?"
"Oh, yes, mamma, I know; they were struck dead for lying. I saw them
carried into the corner drug store!"
Not long ago a company was rehearsing for an open-air performance of _As
You Like It_ near Boston. The garden wherein they were to play was
overlooked by a rising brick edifice.
One afternoon, during a pause in the rehearsal, a voice from the
building exclaimed with the utmost gravity:
"I prithee, malapert, pass me yon brick."
A wife after the divorce, said to her husband: "I am willing to let you
have the baby half the time."
"Good!" said he, rubbing his hands. "Splendid!"
"Yes," she resumed, "you may have him nights."
"Is the baby strong?"
"Well, rather! You know what a tremendous voice he has?"
"Well, he lifts that five or six times an hour!"--_Comic Cuts_.
Recipe for a baby:
Clean and dress a wriggle, add a pint of nearly milk,
Smother with a pillow any sneeze;
Baste with talcum powder and mark upon its back--
"Don't forget that you were one of these."
_See_ Editors; Love.
She was from Boston, and he was not.
He had spent a harrowing evening discussing authors of whom he knew
nothing, and their books, of which he knew less.
Presently the maiden asked archly: "Of course, you've read 'Romeo and
He floundered helplessly for a moment and then, having a brilliant
thought, blurted out, happily:
"I've--I've read Romeo!"
Half the world doesn't know how many things the other half is paying
A lively looking porter stood on the rear platform of a sleeping-car in
the Pennsylvania station when a fussy and choleric old man clambered up
the steps. He stopped at the door, puffed for a moment, and then turned
to the young man in uniform.
"Porter," he said. "I'm going to St. Louis, to the Fair. I want to be
well taken care of. I pay for it. Do you understand?"
"Yes, sir, but--"
"Never mind any 'buts.' You listen to what I say. Keep the train boys
away from me. Dust me off whenever I want you to. Give me an extra
blanket, and if there is any one in the berth over me slide him into
another. I want you to--"
"But, say, boss, I--"
"Young man, when I'm giving instructions I prefer to do the talking
myself. You do as I say. Here is a two-dollar bill. I want to get the
good of it. Not a word, sir."
The train was starting. The porter pocketed the bill with a grin and
swung himself to the ground. "All right, boss!" he shouted. "You can do
the talking if you want to. I'm powerful sorry you wouldn't let me tell
you--but I ain't going out on that train."
A man went to an insurance office to have his life insured the other
"Do you cycle?" the insurance agent asked.
"No," said the man.
"Do you motor?"
"Do you, then, perhaps, fly?"
"No, no," said the applicant, laughing; "I have no dangerous--"
But the agent interrupted him curtly.
"Sorry, sir," he said, "but we no longer insure pedestrians."
_See_ Irish bulls.
"And what," asked a visitor to the North Dakota State Fair, "do you call
that kind of cucumber?"
"That," replied a Fargo politician, "is the Insurgent cucumber. It
doesn't always agree with a party."
"Haven't your opinions on this subject undergone a change?"
"No," replied Senator Soghum.
"But your views, as you expressed them some time ago?"
"Those were not my views. Those were my interviews."
"Recently," says a Richmond man, "I received an invitation to the
marriage of a young colored couple formerly in my employ. I am quite
sure that all persons similarly favored were left in little doubt as to
the attitude of the couple. The invitation ran as follows:
"You are invited to the marriage of Mr. Henry Clay Barker and Miss
Josephine Mortimer Dixon at the house of the bride's mother. All who
cannot come may send."--_Howard Morse_.
One day a Chinese poor man met the head of his family in the street.
"Come and dine with us tonight," the mandarin said graciously.
"Thank you," said the poor relation. "But wouldn't tomorrow night do
just as well?"
"Yes, certainly. But where are you dining tonight?" asked the mandarin
"At your house. You see, your estimable wife was good enough to give me
MARION (just from the telephone)--"He wanted to
know if we would go to the theater with him, and I said we would."
MADELINE--"Who was speaking?"
MARION--"Oh, gracious! I forgot to ask."
Little Willie wanted a birthday party, to which his mother consented,
provided he ask his little friend Tommy. The boys had had trouble, but,
rather than not have the party, Willie promised his mother to invite
On the evening of the party, when all the small guests had arrived
except Tommy, the mother became suspicious and sought her son.
"Willie," she said, "did you invite Tommy to your party tonight?"
"And did he say he would not come?"
"No," explained Willie. "I invited him all right, but I dared him to
Two Irishmen were among a class that was being drilled in marching
tactics. One was new at the business, and, turning to his companion,
asked him the meaning of the command "Halt!" "Why," said Mike, "when he
says 'Halt,' you just bring the foot that's on the ground to the side av
the foot that's in the air, an' remain motionless."
"Dear teacher," wrote little Johnny's mother, "kindly excuse John's
absence from school yesterday afternoon, as he fell in the mud. By doing
the same you will greatly oblige his mother."
An Irishman once was mounted on a mule which was kicking its legs rather
freely. The mule finally got its hoof caught in the stirrup, when the
Irishman excitedly remarked: "Well, begorra, if you're goin' to git on
I'll git off."
"The doctor says if 'e lasts till moring 'e'll 'ave some 'ope, but if 'e
don't, the doctor says 'e give 'im up."
For rent--A room for a gentleman with all conveniences.
A servant of an English nobleman died and her relatives telegraphed him:
"Jane died last night, and wishes to know if your lordship will pay her
A pretty school teacher, noticing one of her little charges idle, said
sharply: "John, the devil always finds something for idle hands to do.
Come up here and let me give you some work."
A college professor, noted for strict discipline, entered the classroom
one day and noticed a girl student sitting with her feet in the aisle
and chewing gum.
"Mary," exclaimed the indignant professor, "take that gum out of your
mouth and put your feet in."
MAGISTRATE--"You admit you stole the pig?"
PRISONER--"I 'ave to."
MAGISTRATE--"Very well, then. There has been a lot of pig-stealing going
on lately, and I am going to make an example of you, or none of us will
be safe."--_M.L. Hayward_.
"In choosing his men," said the Sabbath-school superintendent, "Gideon
did not select those who laid aside their arms and threw themselves down
to drink; but he took those who watched with one eye and drank with the
"If you want to put that song over you must sing louder."
"I'm singing as loud as I can. What more can I do?"
"Be more enthusiastic. Open your mouth, and throw yourself into it."
A little old Irishman was trying to see the Hudson-Fulton procession
from Grant's Tomb. He stood up on a bench, but was jerked down by a
policeman. Then he tried the stone balustrade and being removed from
that vantage point, climbed the railing of Li Hung Chang's gingko-tree.
Pulled off that, he remarked: "Ye can't look at annything frum where ye
can see it frum."
MRS. JENKINS--"Mrs. Smith, we shall be neighbors now. I have bought a
house next you, with a water frontage."
MRS. SMITH--"So glad! I hope you will drop in some time."
In the hall of a Philharmonic society the following notice was posted:
"The seats in this hall are for the use of the ladies. Gentlemen are
requested to make use of them only after the former are seated."
Sir Boyle Roche is credited with saying that "no man can be in two
places at the same time, barring he is a bird."
A certain high-school professor, who at times is rather blunt in speech,
remarked to his class of boys at the beginning of a lesson. "I don't
know why it is--every time I get up to speak, some fool talks." Then he
wondered why the boys burst out into a roar of laughter.--_Grub S.
Once, at a criminal court, a young chap from Connemara was being tried
for an agrarian murder. Needless to say, he had the gallery on his side,
and the men and women began to express their admiration by stamping, not
loudly, but like muffled drums. A big policeman came up to the gallery,
scowled at the disturbers then, when that had no effect, called out in a
"Wud ye howld yer tongues there! Howld yer tongues wid yer feet!"
The ways in which application forms for insurance are filled up are
often more amusing than enlightening, as The British Medical Journal
shows in the following excellent selection of examples:
Mother died in infancy.
Father went to bed feeling well, and the next morning woke up dead.
Grandmother died suddenly at the age of 103. Up to this time she bade
fair to reach a ripe old age.
Applicant does not know anything about maternal posterity, except that
they died at an advanced age.
Applicant does not know cause of mother's death, but states that she
fully recovered from her last illness.
Applicant has never been fatally sick.
Applicant's brother who was an infant died when he was a mere child.
Mother's last illness was caused from chronic rheumatism, but she was
cured before death.
A Peoria merchant deals in "Irish confetti." We take it that he runs a
Here are some words, concerning the Hibernian spoken by a New England
preacher, Nathaniel Ward, in the sober year of sixteen hundred--a spark
of humor struck from flint. "These Irish, anciently called
'Anthropophagi,' man-eaters, have a tradition among them that when the
devil showed Our Savior all the kingdoms of the earth and their glory,
he would not show Him Ireland, but reserved it for himself; it is
probably true, for he hath kept it ever since for his own peculiar."
An Irishman once lined up his family of seven giant-like sons and
invited his caller to take a look at them.
"Ain't they fine boys?" inquired the father.
"They are," agreed the visitor.
"The finest in the world!" exclaimed the father. "An' I nivver laid
violent hands on any one of 'em except in silf-difince."--_Popular
_See also_ Fighting; Irish bulls.
There were three young women of Birmingham,
And I know a sad story concerning 'em:
They stuck needles and pins
In the reverend shins
Of the Bishop engaged in confirming 'em.
--_Gilbert K. Chesterton_.
A few years ago Henry James reviewed a new novel by Gertrude Atherton.
After reading the review Mrs. Atherton wrote to Mr. James as follows:
"Dear Mr. James: I have read with much pleasure your review of
my novel. Will you kindly let me know whether you liked it or
The girl with the ruby lips we like,
The lass with teeth of pearl,
The maid with the eyes like diamonds,
The cheek-like-coral girl;
The girl with the alabaster brow,
The lass from the Emerald Isle.
All these we like, but not the jade
With the sardonyx smile.
What is the difference between a banana and a Jew? You can skin the
He was quite evidently from the country and he was also quite evidently
a Yankee, and from behind his bowed spectacles he peered inquisitively
at the little oily Jew who occupied the other half of the car seat with
The little Jew looked at him deprecatingly. "Nice day," he began
"You're a Jew, ain't you?" queried the Yankee.
"Yes, sir, I'm a clothing salesman," handing him a card.
"But you're a Jew?"
"Yes, yes, I'm a Jew," came the answer.
"Well," continued the Yankee, "I'm a Yankee, and in the little village
in Maine where I come from I'm proud to say there ain't a Jew."
"Dot's why it's a village," replied the little Jew quietly.
The men were arguing as to who was the greatest inventor. One said
Stephenson, who invented the locomotive. Another declared it was the man
who invented the compass. Another contended for Edison. Still another
for the Wrights,
Finally one of them turned to a little man who had remained silent:
"Who do you think?"
"Vell," he said, with a hopeful smile, "the man who invented interest
was no slouch."
Levinsky, despairing of his life, made an appointment with a famous
specialist. He was surprised to find fifteen or twenty people in the
After a few minutes he leaned over to a gentleman near him and
whispered, "Say, mine frient, this must be a pretty goot doctor, ain't
"One of the best," the gentleman told him.
Levinsky seemed to be worrying over something.
"Vell, say," he whispered again, "he must be pretty exbensive, then,
ain't he? Vat does he charge?"
The stranger was annoyed by Levinsky's questions and answered rather
shortly: "Fifty dollars for the first consultation and twenty-five
dollars for each visit thereafter."
"Mine Gott!" gasped Levinsky--"Fifty tollars the first time und
twenty-five tollars each time afterwards!"
For several minutes he seemed undecided whether to go or to wait. "Und
twenty-five tollars each time afterwards," he kept muttering. Finally,
just as he was called into the office, he was seized with a brilliant
inspiration. He rushed toward the doctor with outstretched hands.
"Hello, doctor," he said effusively. "Vell, here I am _again_."
The Jews are among the aristocracy of every land; if a literature is
called rich in the possession of a few classic tragedies what shall we
say to a national tragedy lasting for fifteen hundred years, in which
the poets and the actors were also the heroes.--_George Eliot_.
_See also_ Failures; Fires.
A nut and a joke are alike in that they can both be cracked, and
different in that the joke can be cracked again.--_William J.
JOKELY--"I got a batch of aeroplane jokes ready and sent them out last
BOGGS--"What luck did you have with them?"
JOKELY--"Oh, they all came flying back."--_Will S. Gidley_.
"I ne'er forget a joke I have
Once heard!" Augustus cried.
"And neither do you let your friends
Forget it!" Jane replied.
A negro bricklayer in Macon, Georgia, was lying down during the noon
hour, sleeping in the hot sun. The clock struck one, the time to pick up
his hod again. He rose, stretched, and grumbled: "I wish I wuz daid.
'Tain' nothin' but wuk, wuk from mawnin' tell night."
Another negro, a story above, heard the complaint and dropped a brick on
the grumbler's head.
Dazed he looked up and said:
"De Lawd can' stan' no jokes. He jes' takes ev'ything in yearnist."
The late H.C. Bunner, when editor of _Puck_, once received a letter
accompanying a number of would-be jokes in which the writer asked: "What
will you give me for these?"
"Ten yards start," was Bunner's generous offer, written beneath the
NEW CONGRESSMAN--"What can I do for you, sir?"
SALESMAN (of Statesmen's Anecdote Manufacturing Company)--"I shall be
delighted if you'll place an order for a dozen of real, live, snappy,
humorous anecdotes as told by yourself, sir."
Jokes were first imported to this country several hundred years ago from
Egypt, Babylon and Assyria, and have since then grown and multiplied.
They are in extensive use in all parts of the country and as an antidote
for thought are indispensable at all dinner parties.
There were originally twenty-five jokes, but when this country was
formed they added a constitution, which increased the number to
twenty-six. These jokes have married and inter-married among themselves
and their children travel from press to press.
Frequently in one week a joke will travel from New York to San
The joke is no respecter of persons. Shameless and unconcerned, he tells
the story of his life over and over again. Outside of the ballot-box he
is the greatest repeater that we have.
Jokes are of three kinds--plain, illustrated and pointless. Frequently
they are all three.
No joke is without honor, except in its own country. Jokes form one of
our staples and employ an army of workers who toil night and day to turn
out the often neatly finished product. The importation of jokes while
considerable is not as great as it might be, as the flavor is lost in
Jokes are used in the household as an antiseptic. As scenebreakers they
have no equal.--_Life_.
Here's to the joke, the good old joke,
The joke that our fathers told;
It is ready tonight and is jolly and bright
As it was in the days of old.
When Adam was young it was on his tongue,
And Noah got in the swim
By telling the jest as the brightest and best
That ever happened to him.
So here's to the joke, the good old joke--
We'll hear it again tonight.
It's health we will quaff; that will help us to laugh,
And to treat it in manner polite.
A jest's prosperity lies in the ear
Of him that hears it, never in the tongue
Of him that makes it.
A Louisville journalist was excessively proud of his little boy. Turning
to the old black nurse, "Aunty," said he, stroking the little pate,
"this boy seems to have a journalistic head." "Oh," cried the untutored
old aunty, soothingly, "never you mind 'bout dat; dat'll come right in
John R. McLean, owner of the Cincinnati _Enquirer_ and the Washington
_Post_, tells this story of the days when he was actively in charge of
the Cincinnati newspaper: An _Enquirer_ reporter was sent to a town in
southwestern Ohio to get the story of a woman evangelist who had been
greatly talked about. The reporter attended one of her meetings and
occupied a front seat. When those who wished to be saved were asked to
arise, he kept his seat and used his notebook. The evangelist
approached, and, taking him by the hand, said, "Come to Jesus."
"Madam," said the newspaper man, "I'm here solely on business--to report
"Brother," said she, "there is no business so important as God's."
"Well, may be not," said the reporter; "but you don't know John R.
A newspaper man named Fling
Could make "copy" from any old thing.
But the copy he wrote
Of a five dollar note
Was so good he is now in Sing Sing.
"Come in," called the magazine editor.
"Sir, I have called to see about that article of mine that you bought
two years ago. My name is Pensnink--Percival Perrhyn Pensnink. My
composition was called 'The Behavior of Chipmunks in Thunderstorms,' and
I should like to know how much longer I must watch and wait before I
shall see it in print."
"I remember," the editor replied. "We are saving your little essay to
use at the time of your death. When public attention is drawn to an
author we like to have something of his on hand."
Hear, land o' cakes, and brither Scots,
Frae Maidenkirk to Johnny Groat's;
If there's a hole in a' your coats,
I rede you tent it:
A chiel's amang you taking notes,
And, faith, he'll prent it.
_See also_ Newspapers.