The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun Part 31

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CONFESSION.

A PRIEST of Ba.s.se Bretagne, finding his duty somewhat arduous, particularly the number of his confessing penitents, said from the pulpit one Sunday:

"Brethren, to avoid confusion at the confessional this week, I will on Monday confess the liars, on Tuesday the thieves, Wednesday the gamblers, Thursday the drunkards, Friday the women of bad life, and Sat.u.r.day the libertines."

Strange to relate, n.o.body came that week to confess their sins.

A SLEEPY DEACON.

THERE are times and seasons when sleep is never appropriate, and with these may be cla.s.sed the sleep of the good old Cincinnati deacon.

The deacon was the owner and overseer of a large pork-packing establishment. His duty it was to stand at the head of the scalding trough, watch in hand, to "time" the length of the scald, crying "Hog in!" when the just slaughtered hog was to be thrown into the trough, and "Hog out!" when the watch told three minutes. One week the press of business compelled the packers to unusually hard labor, and Sat.u.r.day night found the deacon completely exhausted. Indeed, he was almost sick the next morning, when church time came; but he was a leading member, and it was his duty to attend the usual Sabbath service, if he could. He went. The occasion was of unusual solemnity, as a revival was in progress. The minister preached a sermon, well calculated for effect.

His peroration was a climax of great beauty. a.s.suming the att.i.tude of one intently listening, he recited to the breathless auditory:

"Hark, they whisper; angels say--

"_Hog in!_" came from the deacon's pew, in a stentorian voice. The astonished audience turned their attention from the preacher. He went on, however, unmoved--

"Sister spirit, come away."

"_Hog out!_" shouted the deacon, "_tally four_."

This was too much for the preacher and the audience. The latter smiled, some snickered audibly, while a few boys broke for the door, to "split their sides," laughing outside, within full hearing. The preacher was entirely disconcerted, sat down, arose again, p.r.o.nounced a brief benediction, and dismissed the anything else than solemn minded hearers.

The deacon soon came to a realizing sense of his unconscious interlude, for his brethren reprimanded him severely; while the boys caught the infection of the joke, and every possible occasion afforded an opportunity for them to say, "_Hog in!_" "_Hog out!_"

LOST IN A FOG.

"SUPPOSE you are lost in a fog," said Lord C---- to his n.o.ble relative, the Marchioness, "what are you most likely to be?" "Mist, of course,"

replied her ladys.h.i.+p.

NO MISTAKE.

"YOU don't seem to know how to take me," said a vulgar fellow to a gentleman he had insulted. "Yes, I do," said the gentleman, taking him by the nose.

RESPECT FOR APPEARANCES.

ON a Sunday, a lady called to her little boy, who was tossing marbles on the side walk, to come in the house.

"Don't you know you should not be out there, my son?" said she. "Go into the back yard, if you want to play marbles; it is Sunday."

"I will," answered the little boy; "but ain't it Sunday in the back yard, mother?"

MAKING THE RESPONSES.

AN ignorant fellow, who was about to get married, resolved to make himself perfect in the responses of the marriage service; but, by mistake, he committed the office of baptism for those of riper years; so when the clergyman asked him in the church, "Wilt thou have this woman to be thy wedded wife?" the bridegroom answered, in a very solemn tone, "I renounce them all." The astonished minister said, "I think you are a fool!" to which he replied, "All this I steadfastly believe."

PERSONAL IDENt.i.tY.

AN ill-looking fellow was asked how he could account for nature's forming him so ugly. "Nature was not to blame," said he; "for when I was two months old, I was considered the handsomest child in the neighborhood, but my nurse one day _swapped_ me away for another boy just to please a friend, whose child was rather plain looking."

IKE PARTINGTON AND PUGILISM.

MRS. PARTINGTON was much surprised to find Ike, one rainy afternoon, in the spare room, with the rag-bag hung to the bed-post, which he was belaboring very l.u.s.tily with his fists as huge as two one cent apples.

"What gymnastiness are you doing here?" said she, as she opened the door.

He did not stop, and merely replying, "Training," continued to pitch in.

She stood looking at him as he danced around the bag, busily punching its rotund sides.

"That's the Morrissey touch," said he, giving one side a dig; "and that," hitting the other side, "is the Benicia Boy."

"Stop!" she said, and he immediately stopped after he had given the last blow for Morrissey. "I am afraid the training you are having isn't good," said she, "and I think you had better train in some other company. I thought your going into compound fractures in school would be dilatorious to you. I don't know who Mr. Morrissey is, and I don't want to, but I hear that he has been whipping the Pernicious Boy, a poor lad with a sore leg, and I think he should be ashamed of himself." Ike had read the "_Herald_," with all about "the great prize fight" in it, and had become entirely carried away with it.

GEORGE SELWYN.

The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun Part 31

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