The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun Part 28

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KIND FATHER.

AN old gentleman says, he is the last man in the world to tyrannize over a daughter's affections. So long as she marries the man of _his_ choice, he don't care who she loves.

DESTROYING THE ROMANCE.

A CAPITAL story is told of a young fellow who one Sunday strolled into a village church, and during the service was electrified and gratified by the sparkling of a pair of eyes which were riveted upon his face. After the service he saw the possessor of the s.h.i.+ning orbs leave the church alone, and emboldened by her glances, he ventured to follow her, his heart aching with rapture. He saw her look behind, and fancied she evinced some emotion at recognizing him. He then quickened his pace, and she actually slackened hers, as if to let him come up with her--but we will permit the young gentleman to tell the rest in his own way:

"n.o.ble young creature!" thought I, "her artless and warm heart is superior to the bonds of custom.

"I had reached within a stone's throw of her. She suddenly halted, and turned her face toward me. My heart swelled to bursting. I reached the spot where she stood, she began to speak, and I took off my hat as if doing reverence to an angel.

"'Are you a peddler?'

"'No, my dear girl, that is not my occupation.'

"'Well, I don't know,' continued she, not very bashfully, and eyeing me very sternly, 'I thought when I saw you in the meetin' house that you looked like a peddler who pa.s.sed off a pewter half dollar on me three weeks ago, an' so I just determined to keep an eye on you. Brother John has got home now, and says if he catches the fellow he'll wring his neck for him; and I ain't sure but you're the good-for-nothing rascal after all!'"

DOING A YANKEE.

SIR ALLEN MCNAB was once traveling by steamer, and as luck would have it, was obliged to occupy a state-room with a full blooded Yankee. In the morning, while Sir Allen was dressing, he beheld his companion making thorough researches into his (Sir Allen's) dressing case. Having completed his examination, he proceeded coolly to select the tooth-brush, and therewith to bestow on his long yellow teeth an energetic scrubbing. Sir Allen said not a word. When Jonathan had concluded, the old Scotchman gravely set the basin on the floor, soaped one foot well, and taking the tooth-brush, applied it vigorously to his toes and toe-nails.

"You dirty fellow," exclaimed the astonished Yankee, "what the mischief are you doing that for?"

"Oh," said Sir Allen coolly, "that's the brush I always do it with."

DROVERS _vs._ FOPS.

DINNER was spread in the cabin of that peerless steamer, the New World, and a splendid company were a.s.sembled about the table. Among the pa.s.sengers thus prepared for gastronomic duty, was a little creature of the genus Fop, decked daintily as an early b.u.t.terfly, with kids of irreproachable whiteness, "miraculous" neck-tie, and spider-like quizzing gla.s.s on his nose. The little delicate animal turned his head aside with,

"Waitah!"

"Sah!"

"Bwing me a pwopellah of a fwemale woostah!"

"Yes, Sah!"

"And, waitah, tell the steward to wub my plate with a vegetable, wulgarly called onion, which will give a delicious flavow to my dinnah."

While the refined exquisite was giving his order, a jolly western drover had listened with opened mouth and protruding eyes. When the diminutive creature paused, he brought his fist down upon the table with a force that made every dish bounce, and then thundered out:

"Here you darned ace-of-spades!"

"Yes, Sah!"

"Bring me a thunderin' big plate of skunk's gizzards!"

"Sah!"

"And, old ink pot, tuck a horse blanket under my chin, and rub me down with brickbats while I feed!"

The poor dandy showed a pair of straight coat-tails instanter, and the whole table joined in a "tremenjous" roar.

STORY OF AN ALMANAC MAKER.

DAVID DITSON was and is the great Almanac man, calculating the signs and wonders in the heavens, and furnis.h.i.+ng the astronomical matter with which those very useful annuals abound. In former years it was his custom, in all his almanacs, to utter sage predictions as to the weather, at given periods in the course of the revolving year. Thus he would say, 'About--this--time--look--out--for--a--change--of--weather; and by stretching such a prophecy half-way down the page, he would make very sure that in some one of the days included, the event foretold would come to pa.s.s. He got cured of this spirit of prophecy, in a very remarkable manner. One summer day, clear and calm as a day could be, he was riding on horseback; it was before railroads were in vogue, and being on a journey some distance from home, and wis.h.i.+ng to know how far it was to the town he was going to visit, he stopped at the roadside and inquired of a farmer at work in the field. The farmer told him it was six miles; "but," he added, "you must ride sharp, or you will get a wet jacket before you reach it."

"A wet jacket!" said the astronomer; "you don't think it is going to rain, do you?"

"No, I don't _think_ so, I know so," replied the farmer; "and the longer you sit there, the more likely you are to get wet."

David thought the farmer a fool, and rode on, admiring the blue sky uncheckered by a single cloud. He had not proceeded more than half the distance to the town before the heavens were overcast, and one of those sudden showers not unusual in this lat.i.tude came down upon him. There was no place for shelter, and he was drenched to the skin. But the rain was soon over, and David thought within himself, that old man must have some way of guessing the weather that beats all my figures and facts. I will ride back and get it out of him. It will be worth more than a day's work to learn a new sign. By the time he had reached the farmer's field again, the old man had resumed his labor, and David accosted him very respectfully:

"I say, my good friend, I have come all the way back to ask you how you were able to say that it would certainly rain to-day?"

"Ah," said the sly old fellow, "and wouldn't you like to know!"

"I would certainly; and as I am much interested in the subject, I will willingly give you five dollars for your rule."

The farmer acceded to the terms, took the money, and proceeded to say:

"Well, you see now, we all use David Ditson's almanacs around here, and he is the greatest liar that ever lived; for whenever he says 'it's going to rain,' we know it ain't; and when he says 'fair weather,' we look out for squalls. Now this morning I saw it put down for to-day _Very pleasant_, and I knew for sartin it would rain before night.

That's the rule. Use David's Almanac, and always read it just t'other way."

The crest-fallen astronomer plodded on his weary way, another example of a fool and his money soon parted. But that was the end of his prophesying. Since that he has made his almanacs without weatherwise sayings, leaving every man to guess for himself.

HOW TO BOARD AND LODGE IN NEW YORK.

The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun Part 28

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