Part 9 out of 14
Recipe for a milliner:
To a presence that's much more than queenly,
Add a manner that's quite Vere de Vere;
You feel like a worm in her sight when she says,
"Only $300, my dear!"
Recipe for a multi-millionaire:
Take a boy with bare feet as a starter
Add thrift and sobriety, mixed--
Flavor with quarts of religion,
And see that the tariff is fixed.
MILLIONAIRE (to a beggar)--"Be off with you this minute!"
BEGGAR--"Look 'ere, mister; the only difference between you and me is
that you are makin' your second million, while I am still workin' at my
"Now that you have made $50,000,000, I suppose you are going to keep
right on for the purpose of trying to get a hundred millions?"
"No, sir. You do me an injustice. I'm going to put in the rest of my
time trying to get my conscience into a satisfactory condition."
"When I was a young man," said Mr. Cumrox, "I thought nothing of working
twelve or fourteen hours a day."
"Father," replied the young man with sporty clothes, "I wish you
wouldn't mention it. Those non-union sentiments are liable to make you
No good man ever became suddenly rich.--_Syrus_.
And all to leave what with his toil he won,
To that unfeather'd two-legged thing, a son.
_See also_ Capitalists.
Stepping out between the acts at the first production of one of his
plays, Bernard Shaw said to the audience:
"What do you think of it?"
This startled everybody for the time being, but presently a man in the
pit assembled his scattered wits and cried:
Shaw made a curtsey and melted the house with one of his Irish smiles.
"My friend," he said, shrugging his shoulders and indicating the crowd
in front, "I quite agree with you, but what are we two against so many?"
There was an old man of Nantucket
Who kept all his cash in a bucket;
But his daughter, named Nan,
Ran away with a man--
And as for the bucket, Nantucket.
A mere madness, to live like a wretch, and die rich.--_Robert Burton_.
SHE--"Poor cousin Jack! And to be eaten by those wretched cannibals!"
HE--"Yes, my dear child; but he gave them their first taste in
At a meeting of the Women's Foreign Missionary Society in a large city
church a discussion arose among the members present as to the race of
people that inhabited a far-away land. Some insisted that they were not
a man-eating people; others that they were known to be cannibals.
However, the question was finally decided by a minister's widow, who
"I beg pardon for interrupting, Mrs. Chairman, but I can assure you that
they are cannibals. My husband was a missionary there and they ate him."
"What in the world are you up to, Hilda?" exclaimed Mrs. Bale, as she
entered the nursery where her six-year-old daughter was stuffing broken
toys, headless dolls, ragged clothes and general debris into an open
"Why, mother," cried Hilda, "can't you see? I'm packing a missionary box
just the way the ladies do; and it's all right," she added reassuringly,
"I haven't put in a single thing that's any good at all!"
There was a young fellow named Paul,
Who went to a fancy dress ball;
They say, just for fun
He dressed up like a bun,
And was "et" by a dog in the hall.
A Scottish woman, who was spending her holidays in London, entered a
bric-a-brac shop, in search of something odd to take home to Scotland
with her. After she had inspected several articles, but had found none
to suit her, she noticed a quaint figure, the head and shoulders of
which appeared above the counter.
"What is that Japanese idol over there worth?" she inquired of the
The salesman's reply was given in a subdued tone:
"About half a million, madam. That's the proprietor!"
The late James McNeil Whistler was standing bareheaded in a hat shop,
the clerk having taken his hat to another part of the shop for
comparison. A man rushed in with his hat in his hand, and, supposing
Whistler to be a clerk angrily confronted him.
"See here," he said, "this hat doesn't fit."
Whistler eyed the stranger critically from head to foot, and then
"Well, neither does your coat. What's more, if you'll pardon my saying
so, I'll be hanged if I care much for the color of your trousers."
The steamer was on the point of leaving, and the passengers lounged on
the deck and waited for the start. At length one of them espied a
cyclist in the far distance, and it soon became evident that he was
doing his level best to catch the boat.
Already the sailors' hands were on the gangways, and the cyclist's
chance looked small indeed. Then a sportive passenger wagered a
sovereign to a shilling that he would miss it. The offer was taken, and
at once the deck became a scene of wild excitement.
"He'll miss it."
"No; he'll just do it."
"He won't do it."
"Yes, he will. He's done it. Hurrah!"
In the very nick of time the cyclist arrived, sprang off his machine,
and ran up the one gangway left.
"Cast off!" he cried.
It was the captain.
Much to the curious little girl's disgust, her elder sister and her girl
friends had quickly closed the door of the back parlor, before she could
wedge her small self in among them.
She waited uneasily for a little while, then she knocked. No response.
She knocked again. Still no attention. Her curiosity could be controlled
no longer. "Dodo!" she called in staccato tones as she knocked once
again. "'Tain't me! It's Mamma!"
"Tommy, why don't you play with Frank any more?" asked Tommy's mother,
who noticed that he was cultivating the acquaintance of a new boy on the
block. "I thought you were such good chums."
"We was," replied Tommy superciliously, "but he's a mollycoddle. He paid
t' git into the ball-grounds."
In some of the college settlements there are penny savings banks for
One Saturday a small boy arrived with an important air and withdrew 2
cents from his account. Monday morning he promptly returned the money.
"So you didn't spend your 2 cents?" observed the worker in charge.
"Oh, no," he replied, "but a fellow just likes to have a little cash on
hand over Sunday."
_See also_ Domestic finance.
Two little boys, four and five years old respectively, were playing
quietly, when the one of four years struck the other on his cheek. An
interested bystander stepped up and asked him why he had hit the other
who had done nothing.
"Well," replied the pugilistic one, "last Sunday our lesson in
Sunday-school was about if a fellow hit you on the left cheek turn the
other and get another crack, and I just wanted to see if Bobbie knew his
Senator Gore, of Oklahoma, while addressing a convention in Oklahoma
City recently, told this story, illustrating a point he made:
"A northern gentleman was being entertained by a southern colonel on a
fishing-trip. It was his first visit to the South, and the mosquitoes
were so bothersome that he was unable to sleep, while at the same time
he could hear his friend snoring audibly.
"The next morning he approached the old darky who was doing the cooking.
"'Jim,' he said, 'how is it the colonel is able to sleep so soundly with
so many mosquitoes around?'
"'I'll tell yo', boss,' the darky replied, 'de fust part of de night de
kernel is too full to pay any 'tenshum to de skeeters, and de last part
of de night de skeeters is too full to pay any 'tenshum to de kernel.'"
_See also_ Applause; New Jersey.
While reconnoitering in Westmoreland County, Virginia, one of General
Washington's officers chanced upon a fine team of horses driven before a
plow by a burly slave. Finer animals he had never seen. When his eyes
had feasted on their beauty he cried to the driver: "Hello good fellow!
I must have those horses. They are just such animals as I have been
The black man grinned, rolled up the whites of his eyes, put the lash to
the horses' flanks and turned up another furrow in the rich soil.
The officer waited until he had finished the row; then throwing back his
cavalier cloak the ensign of the rank dazzled the slave's eyes.
"Better see missus! Better see missus!" he cried waving his hand to the
south, where above the cedar growth rose the towers of a fine old
The officer turned up the carriage road and soon was rapping the great
brass knocker of the front door.
Quickly the door swung upon its ponderous hinges and a grave,
majestic-looking woman confronted the visitor with an air of inquiry.
"Madam," said the officer doffing his cap and overcome by her dignity,
"I have come to claim your horses in the name of the Government."
"My horses?" said she, bending upon him a pair of eyes born to command.
"Sir, you cannot have them. My crops are out and I need my horses in the
"I am sorry," said the officer, "but I must have them, madam. Such are
the orders of my chief."
"Your chief? Who is your chief, pray?" she demanded with restrained
"The commander of the American army, General George Washington," replied
the other, squaring his shoulders and swelling his pride.
A smile of triumph softened the sternness of the woman's features. "You
go and tell General George Washington for me," said she, "that his
mother says he cannot have her horses."
The wagons of "the greatest show on earth" passed up the avenue at
daybreak. Their incessant rumbling soon awakened ten-year-old Billie and
five-year-old brother Robert. Their mother feigned sleep as the two
white-robed figures crept past her bed into the hall, on the way to
investigate. Robert struggled manfully with the unaccustomed task of
putting on his clothes. "Wait for me, Billie," his mother heard him beg.
"You'll get ahead of me."
"Get mother to help you," counseled Billie, who was having troubles of
Mother started to the rescue, and then paused as she heard the voice of
her younger, guarded but anxious and insistent.
"_You_ ask her, Billie. You've known her longer than I have."
A little girl, being punished by her mother flew, white with rage, to
her desk, wrote on a piece of paper, and then going out in the yard she
dug a hole in the ground, put the paper in it and covered it over. The
mother, being interested in her child's doings, went out after the
little girl had gone away, dug up the paper and read:
Please come and take my mamma away.
One morning a little girl hung about the kitchen bothering the busy cook
to death. The cook lost patience finally. "Clear out o' here, ye sassy
little brat!" she shouted, thumping the table with a rolling-pin.
The little girl gave the cook a haughty look. "I never allow any one but
my mother to speak to me like that," she said.
The public-spirited lady met the little boy on the street. Something
about his appearance halted her. She stared at him in her near-sighted
THE LADY--"Little boy, haven't you any home?"
THE LITTLE BOY--"Oh, yes'm; I've got a home."
THE LADY--"And loving parents?"
THE LITTLE BOY--"Yes'm."
THE LADY--"I'm afraid you do not know what love really is. Do your
parents look after your moral welfare?"
THE LITTLE BOY--"Yes'm."
THE LADY--"Are they bringing you up to be a good and helpful citizen?"
THE LITTLE BOY--"Yes'm."
THE LADY--"Will you ask your mother to come and hear me talk on 'When
Does a Mother's Duty to Her Child Begin?' next Saturday afternoon, at
three o'clock, at Lyceum Hall?"
THE LITTLE BOY (explosively)--"What's th' matter with you ma! Don't you
know me? I'm your little boy!"
Here's to the happiest hours of my life--
Spent in the arms of another man's wife:
With such a mother! faith in womankind
Beats with his blood, and trust in all things high
Comes easy to him, and though he trip and fall,
He shall not blind his soul with clay.
The way to rear up children (to be just);
They know a simple, merry, tender knack
Of tying sashes, fitting baby-shoes,
And stringing pretty words that make no sense,
And kissing full sense into empty words;
Which things are corals to cut life upon,
Although such trifles.
--_E. B. Browning_
Justice David J. Brewer was asked not long ago by a man.
"Will you please tell me, sir, what is the extreme penalty for bigamy?"
Justice Brewer smiled and answered:
SHE--"And so you are going to be my son-in-law?"
HE--"By Jove! I hadn't thought of that."
WAITER--"Have another glass, sir?"
HUSBAND (to his wife)--"Shall I have another glass, Henrietta?"
WIFE (to her mother)--"Shall he have another, mother?"
A blackmailer wrote the following to a wealthy business man: "Send me
$5,000 or I will abduct your mother-in-law."
To which the business man replied: "Sorry I am short of funds, but your
proposition interests me."
An undertaker telegraphed to a man that his mother-in-law had died and
asked whether he should bury, embalm or cremate her. The man replied,
"All three, take no chances."
The automobile was a thing unheard of to a mountaineer in one community,
and he was very much astonished one day when he saw one go by without
any visible means of locomotion. His eyes bulged, however, when a
motorcycle followed closely in its wake and disappeared like a flash
around a bend in the road.
"Gee whiz!" he said, turning to his son, "who'd 'a' s'posed that thing
had a colt?"
Some real-estate dealers in British Columbia were accused of having
victimized English and Scotch settlers by selling to them (at long
range) fruit ranches which were situated on the tops of mountains. It is
said that the captain of a steamboat on Kootenay Lake once heard a great
splash in the water. Looking over the rail, he spied the head of a man
who was swimming toward his boat. He hailed him. "Do you know," said the
swimmer, "this is the third time to-day that I've fallen off that bally
old ranch of mine?"
"Your soldiers look fat and happy. You must have a war chest." "Not
exactly, but things are on a higher plane than they used to be. This
revolution is being financed by a moving-picture concern."
The way of the transgressor is well written up.
Gen. O.O. Howard, as is well known, is a man of deep religious
principles, and in the course of the war he divided his time pretty
equally between fighting and evangelism. Howard's brigade was known all
through the army as the Christian brigade, and he was very proud of it.
There was one hardened old sinner in the brigade, however, whose ears
were deaf to all exhortation. General Howard was particularly anxious to
convert this man, and one day he went down in the teamsters' part of the
camp where the man was on duty. He talked with him long and earnestly
about religion and finally said:
"I want to see you converted. Won't you come to the mourners' bench at
the next service?"
The erring one rubbed his head thoughtfully for a moment and then
"General, I'm plumb willin' to be converted, but if I am, seein' that
everyone else has got religion, who in blue blazes is goin' to drive the
"What's the trouble in Plunkville?"
"We've tried a mayor and we've tried a commission."
"Now we're thinking of offering the management of our city to some good
It had been anything but an easy afternoon for the teacher who took six
of her pupils through the Museum of Natural History, but their
enthusiastic interest in the stuffed animals and their open-eyed wonder
at the prehistoric fossils amply repaid her.
"Well, boys, where have you been all afternoon?" asked the father of two
of the party that evening.
The answer came back with joyous promptness: "Oh, pop! Teacher took us
to a dead circus."
Two Marylanders, who were visiting the National Museum at Washington,
were seen standing in front of an Egyptian mummy, over which hung a
placard bearing the inscription. "B.C. 1187."
Both visitors were much mystified thereby. Said one:
"What do you make of that, Bill?"
"Well," said Bill, "I dunno; but maybe it was the number of the
motor-car that killed him."--_Edwin Tarrisse_.
The musical young woman who dropped her peekaboo waist in the piano
player and turned out a Beethoven sonata, has her equal in the lady who
stood in front of a five-bar fence and sang all the dots on her veil.
A thief broke into a Madison avenue mansion early the other morning and
found himself in the music-room. Hearing footsteps approaching, he took
refuge behind a screen.
From eight to nine o'clock the eldest daughter had a singing lesson.
From nine to ten o'clock the second daughter took a piano lesson.
From ten to eleven o'clock the eldest son had a violin lesson.
From eleven to twelve o'clock the other son had a lesson on the flute.
At twelve-fifteen all the brothers and sisters assembled and studied an
ear-splitting piece for voice, piano, violin and flute.
The thief staggered out from behind the screen at twelve-forty-five, and
falling at their feet, cried:
"For Heaven's sake, have me arrested!"
A lady told Swinburne that she would render on the piano a very ancient
Florentine retornello which had just been discovered. She then played
"Three blind mice" and Swinburne was enchanted. He found that it
reflected to perfection the cruel beauty of the Medicis--which, perhaps,
it does.--_Edmund Gosse_.
The accomplished and obliging pianist had rendered several selections,
when one of the admiring group of listeners in the hotel parlor
suggested Mozart's Twelfth Mass. Several people echoed the request, but
one lady was particularly desirous of hearing the piece, explaining that
her husband had belonged to that very regiment.
Dinner was a little late. A guest asked the hostess to play something.
Seating herself at the piano, the good woman executed a Chopin nocturne
with precision. She finished, and there was still an interval of waiting
to be bridged. In the grim silence she turned to an old gentleman on her
right and said:
"Would you like a sonata before going in to dinner?"
He gave a start of surprise and pleasure as he responded briskly:
"Why, yes, thanks! I had a couple on my way here, but I could stand
Music is the universal language of mankind.--_Longfellow_.
I even think that, sentimentally, I am disposed to harmony. But
organically I am incapable of a tune.--_Charles Lamb_.
There's music in the sighing of a reed;
There's music in the gushing of a rill;
There's music in all things, if men had ears:
Their earth is but an echo of the spheres.
FATHER--"Well, sonny, did you take your dog to the 'vet' next door to
your house, as I suggested?"
FATHER-"And what did he say?"
BOY--"'E said Towser was suffering from nerves, so Sis had better give
up playin' the pianner."
The "celebrated pianiste," Miss Sharpe, had concluded her recital. As
the resultant applause was terminating, Mrs. Rochester observed Colonel
Grayson wiping his eyes. The old gentleman noticed her look, and,
thinking it one of inquiry, began to explain the cause of his sadness.
"The girl's playing," he told the lady, "reminded me so much of the
playing of her father. He used to be a chum of mine in the Army of the
"Oh, indeed!" cooed Mrs. Rochester, with a conventional show of
interest. "I never knew her father was a piano-player."
"He wasn't," replied the Colonel. "He was a drummer."--_G.T. Evans_.
Recipe for an orchestra leader:
Four hundred and twenty-two movements--
Emanuel, Swedish and Swiss--
It's a wonder the hand can keep playing,
You'd think they'd die laughing at this!
'Tis God gives skill,
But not without men's hands: He could not make
Antonio Stradivari's violins
Israel Zangwill, the well-known writer, signs himself I. Zangwill. He
was once approached at a reception by a fussy old lady, who demanded,
"Oh, Mr. Zangwill, what is your Christian name?"
"Madame, I have none," he gravely assured her.--_John Pearson_.
FRIEND-"So your great Russian actor was a total failure?"
MANAGER-"Yes. It took all our profits to pay for running the electric
light sign with his name on it."--_Puck_.
A somewhat unpatriotic little son of Italy, twelve years old, came to
his teacher in the public school and asked if he could not have his name
"Why do you wish to change your name?" the teacher asked.
"I want to be an American. I live in America now. I no longer want to be
"What American name would you like to have?"
"I have it here," he said, handing the teacher a dirty scrap of paper on
which was written--Patrick Dennis McCarty.
A shy young man once said to a young lady: "I wish dear, that we were on
such terms of intimacy that you would not mind calling me by my first
"Oh," she replied, "your second name is good enough for me."
An American travelling in Europe engaged a courier. Arriving at an inn
in Austria, the man asked his servant to enter his name in accordance
with the police regulations of that country. Some time after, the man
asked the servant if he had complied with his orders.
"Yes, sir," was the reply.
"How did you write my name?" asked the master.
"Well, sir, I can't pronounce it," answered the servant, "but I copied
it from your portmanteau, sir."
"Why, my name isn't there. Bring me the book." The register was brought,
and, instead of the plain American name of two syllables, the following
entry was revealed:
"Monsieur Warranted Solid Leather."
The story is told of Helen Hunt, the famous author of "Ramona," that
one morning after church service she found a purse full of money and
told her pastor about it.
"Very well," he said, "you keep it, and at the evening service I will
announce it," which he did in this wise:
"This morning there was found in this church a purse filled with money.
If the owner is present he or she can go to Helen Hunt for it."
And the minister wondered why the congregation tittered!
A street-car "masher" tried in every way to attract the attention of the
pretty young girl opposite him. Just as he had about given up, the girl,
entirely unconscious of what had been going on, happened to glance in
his direction. The "masher" immediately took fresh courage.
"It's cold out to-day, isn't it?" he ventured.
The girl smiled and nodded assent, but had nothing to say.
"My name is Specknoodle," he volunteered.
"Oh, I am so sorry," she said sympathetically, as she left the car.
The comedian came on with affected diffidence.
"At our last stand," quoth he, "I noticed a man laughing while I was
doing my turn. Honest, now! My, how he laughed! He laughed until he
split. Till he split, mind you. Thinks I to myself, I'll just find out
about the man and so, when the show was over, I went up to him.
"My friend," says I, "I've heard that there's nothing in a name, but are
you not one of the Wood family?"
"I am," says he, "and what's more, my grandfather was a Pine!"
"No Wood, you know, splits any easier than a Pine."--_Ramsey Benson_.
"But Eliza," said the mistress, "your little boy was christened George
Washington. Why do you call him Izaak Walton? Walton, you know, was the
"Yes'm," answered Eliza, "but dat chile's repetashun fo' telling de
troof made dat change imper'tive."
The mother of the girl baby, herself named Rachel, frankly told her
husband that she was tired of the good old names borne by most of the
eminent members of the family, and she would like to give the little
girl a name entirely different. Then she wrote on a slip of paper
"Eugenie," and asked her husband if he didn't think that was a pretty
The father studied the name for a moment and then said: "Vell, call her
Yousheenie, but I don't see vat you gain by it."
There was a great swell in Japan,
Whose name on a Tuesday began;
It lasted through Sunday
Till twilight on Monday,
And sounded like stones in a can.
He was a young lawyer who had just started practicing in a small town
and hung his sign outside of his office door. It read: "A. Swindler." A
stranger who called to consult him saw the sign and said: "My goodness,
man, look at that sign! Don't you see how it reads? Put in your first
name--Alexander, Ambrose or whatever it is."
"Oh, yes I know," said the lawyer resignedly, "but I don't exactly like
to do it."
"Why not?" asked the client. "It looks mighty bad as it is. What is your
Who hath not own'd, with rapture-smitten frame,
The power of grace, the magic of a name.
FRIEND (admiring the prodigy)--"Seventh standard, is she? Plays the
planner an' talks French like a native, I'll bet."
FOND BUT "TOUCHY" PARENT--"I've no doubt that's meant to be very funny,
Bill Smith; but as it 'appens you're only exposin' your ignorance; they
ain't natives in France--they're as white as wot we are."--_Sketch_.
"Would you mind tooting your factory whistle a little?"
"For my father over yonder in the park. He's a trifle deaf and he hasn't
heard a robin this summer."
The fog was dense and the boat had stopped when the old lady asked the
Captain why he didn't go on.
"Can't see up the river, madam."
"But, Captain," she persisted, "I can see the stars overhead."
"Yes, ma'am," said the Captain, "but until the boilers bust we ain't
goin' that way."
The neatness of the New England housekeeper is a matter of common
remark, and husbands in that part of the country are supposed to
appreciate their advantages.
A bit of dialogue reported as follows shows that there may be another
side to the matter.
"Martha, have you wiped the sink dry yet?" asked the farmer, as he made
final preparations for the night.
"Yes, Josiah," she replied. "Why do you ask?"
"Well, I did want a drink, but I guess I can get along until morning."
A colored girl asked the drug clerk for "ten cents' wuth o'
"What color," he asked.
"Flesh cullah, suh."
Whereupon the clerk proffered a box of black court plaster.
The girl opened the box with a deliberation that was ominous, but her
face was unruffled as she noted the color of the contents and said:
"I ast for flesh cullah, an' you done give me skin cullah." A cart
containing a number of negro field hands was being drawn by a mule. The
driver, a darky of about twenty, was endeavoring to induce the mule to
increase its speed, when suddenly the animal let fly with its heels and
dealt him such a kick on the head that he was stretched on the ground in
a twinkling. He lay rubbing his woolly pate where the mule had kicked
"Is he hurt?" asked a stranger anxiously of an older negro who had
jumped from the conveyance and was standing over the prostrate driver.
"No, Boss," was the older man's reply; "dat mule will probably walk kind
o' tendah for a day or two, but he ain't hurt."
In certain parts of the West Indies the negroes speak English with a
broad brogue. They are probably descended from the slaves of the Irish
adventurers who accompanied the Spanish settlers.
A gentleman from Dublin upon arriving at a West Indian port was accosted
by a burly negro fruit vender with, "Th, top uv th' mornin' to ye, an'
would ye be after wantin' to buy a bit o' fruit, sor?"
The Irishman stared at him in amazement.
"An' how long have ye been here?" he finally asked.
"Goin' on three months, yer Honor," said the vender, thinking of the
time he had left his inland home.
"Three months, is it? Only three months an' as black as thot? Faith,
I'll not land!"
Dinah, crying bitterly, was coming down the street with her feet
"Why, what on earth's the matter?" she was asked. "How did you hurt your
"Dat good fo' nothin' nigger [sniffle] done hit me on de haid wif a club
while I was standin' on de hard stone pavement."
"'Liza, what fo' yo' buy dat udder box of shoe-blacknin'?"
"Go on, Nigga', dat ain't shoe-blacknin', dat's ma massage cream!"
"Johnny," said the mother as she vigorously scrubbed the small boy's
face with soap and water, "didn't I tell you never to blacken your face
again? Here I've been scrubbing for half an hour and it won't come off."
"I--I--ouch!" sputtered the small boy; "I ain't your little boy.
I--ouch! I'se Mose, de colored lady's little boy."
The day before she was to be married an old negro servant came to her
mistress and intrusted her savings to her keeping.
"Why should I keep your money for you? I thought you were going to be
married?" said the mistress.
"So I is, Missus, but do you 'spose I'd keep all dis yer money in de
house wid dat strange nigger?"
A southern colonel had a colored valet by the name of George. George
received nearly all the colonel's cast-off clothing. He had his eyes on
a certain pair of light trousers which were not wearing out fast enough
to suit him, so he thought he would hasten matters somewhat by rubbing
grease on one knee. When the colonel saw the spot, he called George and
asked if he had noticed it. George said, "Yes, sah, Colonel, I noticed
dat spot and tried mighty hard to get it out, but I couldn't."
"Have you tried gasoline?" the colonel asked.
"Yes, sah, Colonel, but it didn't do no good."
"Have you tried brown paper and a hot iron?"
"Yes, sah, Colonel, I'se done tried 'mos' everything I knows of, but dat
spot wouldn't come out."
"Well, George, have you tried ammonia?" the colonel asked as a last
"No, sah, Colonel, I ain't tried 'em on yet, but I knows dey'll fit."
A negro went into a hardware shop and asked to be shown some razors, and
after critically examining those submitted to him the would-be purchaser
was asked why he did not try a "safety," to which he replied: "I ain'
lookin' for that kind. I wants this for social purposes."
Before a house where a colored man had died, a small darkey was standing
erect at one side of the door. It was about time for the services to
begin, and the parson appeared from within and said to the darkey: "De
services are about to begin. Aren't you a-gwine in?"
"I'se would if I'se could, parson," answered the little negro, "but yo'
see I'se de crape."
_See also_ Chicken stealing.
THE MAN AT THE DOOR--"Madame, I'm the piano-tuner."
THE WOMAN--"I didn't send for a piano-tuner."
THE MAN--"I know it, lady; the neighbors did."
"You must have had a terrible experience with no food, and mosquitoes
swarming around you," I said to the shipwrecked mariner who had been
cast upon the Jersey sands.
"You just bet I had a terrible experience," he acknowledged. "My
experience was worse than that of the man who wrote 'Water, water
everywhere, but not a drop to drink.' With me it was bites, bites
everywhere, but not a bite to eat."
NEW YORK CITY
At a convention of Methodist Bishops held in Washington, the Bishop of
New York made a stirring address extolling the powers and possibilities
of his state. Bishop Hamilton, of California, like all good
Californians, is imbued with the conviction that it would be hard to
equal a place he knows of on the Pacific, and following the Bishop of
New York he gave a glowing picture of California, concluding:
"Not only is it the best place on earth to live in, but it has superior
advantages, too, as a place to die in; for there we have at our
threshold the beautiful Golden Gate, while in New York they only
have--well, you know which gate it is over at New York!" One night Dave
Warfield was playing at David Belasco's new theatre, supported by one of
Mr. Belasco's new companies. The performance ran with a smoothness of a
Standard Oil lawyer explaining rebates to a Federal court. A worthy
person of the farming classes, sitting in G 14, was plainly impressed.
In an interval between the acts he turned to the metropolitan who had
the seat next him.
"Where do all them troopers come from?" he inquired.
"I don't think I understand," said the city-dweller.
"I mean them actors up yonder on the stage," explained the man from
afar. "Was they brought on specially for this show, or do they live
"I believe most of them live here in town," said the New Yorker.
"Well, they do purty blamed well for home talent," said the stranger.
A traveler in Tennessee came across an aged negro seated in front of his
cabin door basking in the sunshine.
"He could have walked right on the stage for an Uncle Tom part without a
line of makeup," says the traveler. "He must have been eighty years of
"Good morning, uncle," says the stranger.
"Mornin', sah! Mornin'," said the aged one. Then he added, "Be you the
gentleman over yonder from New York?"
Being told that such was the case the old darky said; "Do you mind
telling me something that has been botherin' my old haid? I have got a
grandson--he runs on the Pullman cyars--and he done tell me that up thar
in New York you-all burn up youah folks when they die. He is a poherful
liar, and I don't believe him."
"Yes," replied the other, "that is the truth in some cases. We call it
"Well, you suttenly surprise me," said the negro and then he paused as
if in deep reflection. Finally he said: "You-all know I am a Baptist. I
believe in the resurrection and the life everlastin' and the coming of
the Angel Gabriel and the blowin' of that great horn, and Lawdy me, how
am they evah goin' to find them folks on that great mawnin'?"
It was too great a task for an offhand answer, and the suggestion was
made that the aged one consult his minister. Again the negro fell into a
brown study, and then he raised his head and his eyes twinkled merrily,
and he said in a soft voice:
"Meanin' no offense, sah, but from what Ah have heard about New York I
kinder calcerlate they is a lot of them New York people that doan'
wanter be found on that mornin'."
Soon after the installation of the telegraph in Fredericksburg,
Virginia, a little darky, the son of my father's mammy, saw a piece of
newspaper that had blown up on the telegraph wires and caught there.
Running to my grandmother in a great state of excitement, he cried,
"Miss Liza, come quick! Dem wires done buss and done let all the news
out!"--_Sue M.M. Halsey_.
"Our whole neighborhood has been stirred up," said the regular reader.
The editor of the country weekly seized his pen. "Tell me about it," he
said. "What we want is news. What stirred it up?"
"Plowing," said the farmer.
There is nothing new except what is forgotten.--_Mademoiselle Berlin_.
A kind old gentleman seeing a small boy who was carrying a lot of
newspapers under his arm said: "Don't all those papers make you tired,
"Naw, I don't read 'em," replied the lad.
VOX POPULI--"Do you think you've boosted your circulation by giving a
year's subscription for the biggest potato raised in the county?"
THE EDITOR--"Mebbe not; but I got four barrels of samples."
COLONEL HIGHFLYER--"What are your rates per column?"
EDITOR OF "SWELL SOCIETY"--"For insertion or suppression?"--_Life_.
EDITOR--"You wish a position as a proofreader?"
"Do you understand the requirements of that responsible position?"
"Perfectly, sir. Whenever you make any mistakes in the paper, just blame
'em on me, and I'll never say a word."
A prominent Montana newspaper man was making the round of the insane
asylum of that state in an official capacity as an inspector. One of the
inmates mistook him for a recent arrival.
"What made you go crazy?"
"I was trying to make money out of the newspaper business," replied the
editor, to humor the demented one.
"Rats, you're not crazy; you're just a plain darn fool," was the
"Did you write this report on my lecture, 'The Curse of Whiskey'?"
"Then kindly explain what you mean by saying, 'The lecturer was
evidently full of her subject!'"
We clip the following for the benefit of those who doubt the power of
"Owing to the overcrowded condition of our columns, a number of births
and deaths are unavoidably postponed this week."
"Binks has sued us for libel," announced the assistant editor of the
The managing editor's face brightened.
"Tell him," he said, "that if he will put up a strong fight we'll
cheerfully pay the damages and charge them up to the advertising
Booth Tarkington says that in no state have the newspapers more
"journalistic enterprise" than in his native Indiana. While stopping at
a little Hoosier hotel in the course of a hunting trip Mr. Tarkington
lost one of his dogs.
"Have you a newspaper in town?" he asked of the landlord.
"Right across the way, there, back of the shoemaker's," the landlord
told him. "The _Daily News_--best little paper of its size in the
The editor, the printer, and the printer's devil were all busy doing
justice to Mr. Tarkington with an "in-our-midst" paragraph when the
"I've just lost a dog," Tarkington explained after he had introduced
himself, "and I'd like to have you insert this ad for me: 'Fifty dollars
reward for the return of a pointer dog answering to the name of Rex.
Disappeared from the yard of the Mansion House Monday night.'"
"Why, we are just going to press, sir," the editor said, "but we'll be
only too glad to hold the edition for your ad."
Mr. Tarkington returned to the hotel. After a few minutes he decided,
however, that it might be well to add, "No questions asked" to his
advertisement, and returned to the _Daily News_ office.
The place was deserted, save for the skinny little freckle-faced devil,
who sat perched on a high stool, gazing wistfully out of the window.
"Where is everybody?" Tarkington asked.
"Gawn to hunt for th' dawg," replied the boy.
"You are the greatest inventor in the world," exclaimed a newspaper man
to Alexander Graham Bell.
"Oh, no, my friend, I'm not," said Professor Bell. "I've never been a
Not long ago a city editor in Ottumwa, Iowa, was told over the telephone
that a prominent citizen had just died suddenly. He called a reporter
and told him to rush out and get the "story." Twenty minutes later the
reporter returned, sat down at his desk, and began to rattle off copy on
"Well, what about it?" asked the city editor.
"Oh, nothing much," replied the reporter, without looking up. "He was
walking along the street when he suddenly clasped his hands to his heart
and said, 'I'm going to die!' Then he leaned up against a fence and made
Enraged over something the local newspaper had printed about him, a
subscriber burst into the editor's office in search of the responsible
reporter. "Who are you?" he demanded, glaring at the editor, who was
also the main stockholder.
"I'm the newspaper," was the calm reply.
"And who are you?" he next inquired, turning his resentful gaze on the
chocolate-colored office-devil clearing out the waste basket.
"Me?" rejoined the darky, grinning from ear to ear. "Ah guess ah's de
Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand
Newspapers always excite curiosity. No one ever lays one down without a
feeling of disappointment.--_Charles Lamb_.
If you have frequent fainting spells, accompanied by chills, cramps,
corns, bunions, chilblains, epilepsy and jaundice, it is a sign that you
are not well, but liable to die any minute. Pay your subscription in
advance and thus make yourself solid for a good obituary
_See_ also Epitaphs.
In his daily half hour confidential talk with his boy an ambitious
father tried to give some good advice.
"Be observing, my son," said the father on one occasion. "Cultivate the
habit of seeing, and you will be a successful man. Study things and
remember them. Don't go through the world blindly. Learn to use your
eyes. Boys who are observing know a great deal more than those who are
Willie listened in silence.
Several days later when the entire family, consisting of his mother,
aunt and uncle, were present, his father said:
"Well, Willie, have you kept using your eyes as I advised you to do?"
Willie nodded, and after a moment's hesitation said:
"I've seen a few things right around the house. Uncle Jim's got a bottle
of hair dye hid under his trunk, Aunt Jennie's got an extra set of teeth
in her dresser, Ma's got some curls in her hat, and Pa's got a deck of
cards and a box of chips behind the books in the secretary."
Mrs. Hennessey, who was a late arrival in the neighborhood, was
entertaining a neighbor one afternoon, when the latter inquired:
"An' what does your old man do, Mrs. Hennessey?"
"Sure, he's a di'mond-cuttter."
"Ye don't mane it!"
"Yis; he cuts th' grass off th' baseball grounds."--_L.F. Clarke_.
All business men are apt to use the technical terms of their daily
labors in situations outside of working hours. One time a railroad man
was entertaining his pastor at dinner and his sons, who had to wait
until their elders had finished got into mischief. At the end of the
meal, their father excused himself for a moment saying he had to "switch
"Professor," said Miss Skylight, "I want you to suggest a course in life
for me. I have thought of journalism--"
"What are your own inclinations?"
"Oh, my soul yearns and throbs and pulsates with an ambition to give the
world a life-work that shall be marvelous in its scope, and weirdly
entrancing in the vastness of its structural beauty!"
"Woman, you're born to be a milliner."
A woman, when asked her husband's occupation, said he was a mixologist.
The city directory called him a bartender.
"A good turkey dinner and mince pie," said a well-known after-dinner
orator, "always puts us in a lethargic mood--makes us feel, in fact,
like the natives of Nola Chucky. In Nola Chucky one day I said to a man:
"'What is the principal occupation of this town?'
"'Wall, boss,' the man answered, yawning, 'in winter they mostly sets on
the east side of the house and follers the sun around to the west, and
in summer they sets on the west side and follers the shade around to the
JONES--"How'd this happen? The last time I was here you were running a
fish-market, and now you've got a cheese-shop."
SMITH--"Yes. Well, you see the doctor said I needed a change of air."
The ugliest of trades have their moments of pleasure. Now, if I were a
grave-digger, or even a hangman, there are some people I could work for
with a great deal of enjoyment--_Douglas Jerrold_.
A resident of Nahant tells this one on a new servant his wife took down
"Did you sleep well, Mary?" the girl was asked the following morning.
"Sure, I did not, ma'am," was the reply; "the snorin' of the ocean kept
me awake all night."
Love the sea? I dote upon it--from the beach.--_Douglas Jerrold_.
I never was on the dull, tame shore,
But I loved the great sea more and more.
"Have you had any experience as an office-boy?"
"I should say I had, mister; why, I'm a dummy director in three
A gentleman, not at all wealthy, who had at one time represented in
Congress, through a couple of terms a district not far from the national
capitol, moved to California where in a year or so he rose to be
sufficiently prominent to become a congressional subject, and he was
visited by the central committee of his district to be talked to.
"We want you," said the spokesman, "to accept the nomination for
"I can't do it, gentlemen," he responded promptly.
"You must," the spokesman demanded.
"But I can't," he insisted. "I'm too poor."
"Oh, that will be all right; we've got plenty of money for the
"But that is nothing," contended the gentleman; "it's the expense in
Washington. I've been there, and know all about it."
"Well you didn't lose by it, and it doesn't cost any more because you
come from California."
The gentleman became very earnest.
"Doesn't it?" he exclaimed in a business-like tone. "Why my dear sirs, I
used to have to send home every month about half a dozen busted
office-seeker constituents, and the fare was only $3 apiece, and I could
stand it, but it would cost me over $100 a head to send them out here,
and I'm no millionaire; therefore, as much as I regret it, I must insist
"On a trip to Washington," said Col. W.F. Cody. "I had for a companion
Sousa, the band leader. We had berths opposite each other. Early one
morning as we approached the capital I thought I would have a little
fun. I got a morning paper, and, after rustling it a few minutes, I said
"'That's the greatest order Cleveland has just issued!'
"'What's that?' came from the opposite berth.
"'Why he's ordered all the office-seekers rounded up at the depot and
"You should have seen the general consternation that ensued. From almost
every berth on the car a head came out from between the curtains, and
with one accord nearly every man shouted:
Can the Burbanks of the glorious West
Either make or buy or sell
An onion with an onion's taste
But with a violet's smell?
SHE--"They say that an apple a day will keep the doctor away."
HE--"Why stop there? An onion a day will keep everybody away."
"Which do you consider the most melodious Wagnerian opera?" asked Mrs.
"There are several I haven't heard, aren't there?" rejoined her husband.
"Then I guess it's one of them."
Many a man creates his own lack of opportunities.--_Life_.
Who seeks, and will not take when once 'tis offer'd,
Shall never find it more.
In life's small things be resolute and great
To keep thy muscles trained; know'st thou when fate
Thy measure takes? or when she'll say to thee,
"I find thee worthy, do this thing for me!"
Optimism is Worry on a spree.--_Judge_.
An optimist is a man who doesn't care what happens just so is doesn't
happen to him.
An optimist is the fellow who doesn't know what's coming to him.--_J.J.
An optimist is a woman who thinks that everything is for the best, and
that she is the best.-_Judge_.
A political optimist is a fellow who can make sweet, pink lemonade out
of the bitter yellow fruit which his opponents hand him.
Mayor William S. Jordan, at a Democratic banquet in Jacksonville, said
"Let us cultivate optimism and hopefulness. There is nothing like it.
The optimistic man can see a bright side to everything--everything.
"A missionary in a slum once laid his hand on a man's shoulder and said:
"'Friend, do you hear the solemn ticking of that clock? Tick-tack;
tick-tack. And oh, friend, do you know what day it inexorably and
relentlessly brings nearer?"
"'Yes-pay day,' the other, an honest, optimistic workingman, replied."
A Scotsman who has a keen appreciation of the strong characteristics of
his countrymen delights in the story of a druggist known both for his
thrift and his philosophy.
Once he was aroused from a deep sleep by the ringing of his night bell.
He went down to his little shop and sold a dose of rather nauseous
medicine to a distressed customer.
"What profit do you make out of that?" grumbled his wife.
"A ha'penny," was the cheerful answer.
"And for that bit of money you'll lie awake maybe an hour," she said
"Never grumble o'er that, woman," was his placid answer. "The dose will
keep him awake all night. We must thank heaven we ha' the profit and
none o' the pain o' this transaction."
A German shoemaker left the gas turned on in his shop one night and upon
arriving in the morning struck a match to light it.
There was a terrific explosion, and the shoemaker was blown out through
the door almost to the middle of the street.
A passer-by rushed to his assistance, and, after helping him to rise,
inquired if he was injured.
The little German gazed at his place of business, which was now burning
quite briskly, and said:
"No, I ain't hurt. But I got out shust in time, eh?"
My own hope is, a sun will pierce
The thickest cloud earth ever stretched;
That, after Last, returns the First,
Tho' a wide compass round be fetched;
That what began best, can't prove worst,
Nor what God blessed once, prove accursed.
It is narrated that Colonel Breckenridge, meeting Majah Buffo'd on the
streets of Lexington one day asked: "What's the meaning, suh, of the
conco's befor' the co't house?"
To which the majah replied:
"General Buckneh is making a speech. General Buckneh suh, is a bo'n
"What do you mean by bo'n oratah?"
"If you or I, suh, were asked how much two and two make, we would reply
'foh.' When this is asked of a bo'n oratah, he replies: 'When in the
co'se of human events it becomes necessary to take an integah of the
second denomination and add it, suh, to an integah of the same
denomination, the result, suh--and I have the science of mathematics to
back me up in my judgment--the result, suh, and I say it without feah of
successful contradiction, suh-the result is fo'' That's a bo'n oratah."
When Demosthenes was asked what was the first part of Oratory, he
answered, "Action," and which was the second, he replied, "Action," and
which was the third, he still answered "Action."--_Plutarch_.
One day, in the spring of '74, Cap Smith's freight outfit pulled into
Helena, Montana. After unloading the freight, the "mule-skinners," to a
man, repaired to the Combination Gambling House and proceeded to load
themselves. Late in the afternoon, Zeb White, Smith's oldest skinner,
having exchanged all of his hard coin for liquid refreshment, zigzagged
into the corral, crawled under a wagon, and went to sleep. After supper,
Smith, making his nightly rounds, happened on the sleeping Zeb.
"Kinder chilly, ain't it?" he asked, after earnestly prodding Zeb with a
"I reckon 'tis," Zeb drowsily mumbled.
"Ain't yer 'fraid ye'll freeze?"
'"Tis cold, ain't it? Say, Cap, jest throw on another wagon, will yer?"
She had engaged a maid recently from the country, and was now employed
in showing her newly acquired treasure over the house and enlightening
her in regard to various duties, etc. At last they reached the best
room. "These," said the mistress of the house, pausing before an
extensive row of masculine portraits, "are very valuable, and you must
be very careful when dusting. They are old masters." Mary's jaw dropped,
and a look of intense wonder overspread her rubicund face.
"Lor', mum," she gasped, gazing with bulging eyes on the face of her new
employer, "lor', mum, who'd ever 'ave thought you'd been married all
A picture is a poem without words.--_Cornificus_.
One night at a theatre some scenery took fire, and a very perceptible
odor of burning alarmed the spectators. A panic seemed to be imminent,
when an actor appeared on the stage.
"Ladies and gentlemen," he said, "compose yourselves. There is no
The audience did not seem reassured.
"Ladies and gentlemen," continued the comedian, rising to the necessity
of the occasion, "confound it all--do you think if there was any danger
I'd be here?"
The panic collapsed.
William, aged five, had been reprimanded by his father for interrupting
while his father was telling his mother about the new telephone for
their house. He sulked awhile, then went to his mother, and, patting her
on the cheeks, said, "Mother dear, I love you."
"Don't you love me too?" asked his father.
Without glancing at him, William said disdainfully, "The wire's busy."
"What does your mother say when you tell her those dreadful lies?"
"She says I take after father."
"A little lad was desperately ill, but refused to take the medicine the
doctor had left. At last his mother gave him up.
"Oh, my boy will die; my boy will die," she sobbed.
But a voice spoke from the bed, "Don't cry, mother. Father'll be home
soon and he'll make me take it."
Mrs. White was undoubtedly the disciplinarian of the family. The master
of the house, a professor, and consequently a very busy man, was
regarded by the children as one of themselves, subject to the laws of
Mrs. White had been ill for some weeks and although the father felt that
the children were showing evidence of running wild, he seemed powerless
to correct the fault. One evening at dinner, however, he felt obliged to
reprimand Marion severely.
"Marion," he said, sternly, "stop that at once, or I shall take you from
the table and punish you soundly."
He experienced a feeling of profound satisfaction in being able to thus
reprove when it was necessary and glanced across the table expecting to
see a very demure little miss. Instead, Marion and her little brother
exchanged glances and then simultaneously a grin overspread their faces,
while Marion said in a mirthful tone:
"Oh, Francis, hear father trying to talk like mother!"
Robert has lately acquired a stepmother. Hoping to win his affection
this new parent has been very lenient with him, while his father,
feeling his responsibility, has been unusually strict. The boys of the
neighborhood, who had taken pains to warn Robert of the terrible
character of stepmothers in general, recently waited on him in a body,
and the following conversation was overheard:
"How do you like your stepmother, Bob?"
"Like her! Why fellers, I just love her. All I wish is I had a
"Well, Bobby, what do you want to be when you grow up?"
BOBBY (remembering private seance in the wood-shed)--"A orphan."
Little Eleanor's mother was an American, while her father was a German.
One day, after Eleanor had been subjected to rather severe disciplinary
measures at the hands of her father, she called her mother into another
room, closed the door significantly, and said: "Mother, I don't want to
meddle in your business, but I wish you'd send that husband of yours
back to Germany."
The lawyer was sitting at his desk absorbed in the preparation of a
brief. So bent was he on his work that he did not hear the door as it
was pushed gently open, nor see the curly head that was thrust into his
office. A little sob attracted his notice, and, turning he saw a face
that was streaked with tears and told plainly that feelings had been
"Well, my little man, did you want to see me?"
"Are you a lawyer?"
"Yes. What do you want?"
"I want"--and there was resolute ring in his voice--"I want a divorce
from my papa and mama."
Pat had but a limited knowledge of the bird kingdom. One day, walking
down the street, he noticed a green bird in a cage, talking and singing.
Thinking to pet it he stroked its head. The bird turned quickly,
screaming, "Hello! What do you want?" Pat shied off like a frightened
horse, lifting his hat and bowing politely as he stuttered out:
"Ex-excuse me s-sir, I thought you was a burrd!"
A West Virginia darky, a blacksmith, recently announced a change in his
business as follows: "Notice--De co-pardnership heretofore resisting
between me and Mose Skinner is hereby resolved. Dem what owe de firm
will settle wid me, and dem what de firm owes will settle wid Mose."
"I want to change my password," said the man who had for two years
rented a safety-deposit box.
"Very well," replied the man in charge. "What is the old one?"
"And what do you wish the new one to be?"
"Mabel. Gladys has gone to Reno."
Senator Tillman not long ago piloted a plain farmer-constituent around
the Capitol for a while, and then, having some work to do on the floor,
conducted him to the Senate gallery.
After an hour or so the visitor approached a gallery door-keeper and
said: "My name is Swate. I am a friend of Senator Tillman. He brought me
here and I want to go out and look around a bit. I though I would tell
you so I can get back in."
"That's all right," said the doorkeeper, "but I may not be here when you
return. In order to prevent any mistake I will give you the password so
you can get your seat again."
Swate's eyes rather popped out at this. "What's the word?" he asked.
"I guess I'll stay in," said Swate.
"Your husband seems to be very impatient lately."
"Yes, he is, very."
"What is the matter with him?"
"He is getting tired waiting for a chance to get out where he can sit
patiently hour after hour waiting for a fish to nibble at his bait."
General Gordon, the Confederate commander, used to tell the following
story: He was sitting by the roadside one blazing hot day when a
dilapidated soldier, his clothing in rags, a shoe lacking, his head
bandaged, and his arm in a sling, passed him. He was soliloquizing in
"I love my country. I'd fight for my country. I'd starve and go thirsty
for my country. I'd die for my country. But if ever this damn war is
over I'll never love another country!"
A snobbish young Englishman visiting Washington's home at Mount Vernon
was so patronizing as to arouse the wrath of guards and caretakers; but
it remained for "Shep" Wright, an aged gardener and one of the first
scouts of the Confederate army, to settle the gentleman. Approaching
"Shep," the Englishman said:
"Ah--er--my man, the hedge! Yes, I see, George got this hedge from dear
"Reckon he did," replied "Shep". "He got this whole blooming country
Speaking of the policy of the Government of the United States with
respect to its troublesome neighbors in Central and South America,
"Uncle Joe" Cannon told of a Missouri congressman who is decidedly
opposed to any interference in this regard by our country. It seems that
this spring the Missourian met an Englishman at Washington with whom he
conversed touching affairs in the localities mentioned. The westerner
asserted his usual views with considerable forcefulness, winding up with
"The whole trouble is that we Americans need a ---- good licking!"
"You do, indeed!" promptly asserted the Britisher, as if pleased by the
admission. But his exultation was of brief duration, for the Missouri
man immediately concluded with:
"But there ain't nobody can do it!"