The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun Part 39
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A CHARACTER SUPPORTED.
A BEGGAR asking alms under the character of a poor scholar, a gentleman put the question, _Quomodo vales?_ The fellow, shaking his head, said he did not understand his honor. "Why," said the gentleman, "did you not say you were a poor scholar?" "Yes," replied the other, "a very poor scholar; so much so that I don't understand a word of Latin."
AN ESPECIAL FAVOR.
A BARONET scientifically skilled in pugilism, enjoyed no pleasure so much as giving gratuitous instructions in his favorite art. A peer paying him a visit, they had a sparring-match, in the course of which he seized his lords.h.i.+p behind, and threw him over his head with a violent shock. The n.o.bleman not relis.h.i.+ng this rough usage, "My lord," said the baronet, respectfully, "I a.s.sure you that I never show this manoeuvre except to my particular friends."
BUCHANAN the historian was, from his learning, thought in his days of superst.i.tion to be a wizard. An old woman, who kept an ale-house in St.
Andrews, consulted George, in hopes that by necromantic arts he might restore her custom, which was unaccountably decreasing. He readily promised his aid. "Every time you brew, Maggy," says he, "go three times to the left round the copper, and at each round take out a ladle-full of water in the devil's name; then turn three times round to the right, and each time throw in a ladle-full of malt in G.o.d's name; but above all, wear this charm constantly on your breast, and never during your life attempt to open it, or dread the worst." She strictly conformed, and her business increased astonis.h.i.+ngly. On her death her friends ventured to open and examine the charm, when they found it to contain these words:
"If Maggy will brew good ale, Maggy will have good sale."
_Lady_: You can not imagine, captain, how deeply I feel the want of children, surrounded as I am by every comfort--nothing else is wanting to render me supremely happy.
_Captain O'Flinn_: Faith, ma'am, I've heard o' that complaint running in families; p'rhaps your mother had not any childer either?
A BLUNT WITNESS.
AT a late term of the Court of Sessions a man was brought up by a farmer, accused of stealing some ducks.
"How do you know they are your ducks?" asked the defendant's counsel.
"Oh, I should know them _any_ where," replied the farmer; and he went on to describe their different peculiarities.
"Why," said the prisoner's counsel, "those ducks can't be such a rare breed; I have some very like them in my own yard."
"That's not unlikely, Sir," replied the farmer; "they are not the _only_ ducks I have had stolen lately!"
"Call the _next_ witness!"
A MATHEMATICIAN being asked by a stout fellow,
"If two pigs weigh twenty pounds, how much will a large hog weigh?"
"Jump into the scales," was the reply, "and I'll tell you in a minute!"
The mathematician "had him there!"
A COMPANY of performers announced in their bills the opening of a theatre at Montrose, with the Farce of _The Devil to Pay_, to be followed with the Comedy of _The West Indian_. Adverse winds, however, prevented the arrival of their scenes from Aberdeen, in time for representation, on the evening appointed. It was therefore found necessary to give notice of the postponement of the performance, which was thus delivered by the town-crier:
"O yes! O yes! O yes! this is to let you to wit, that the play-ackers havena' got their screens up yet frae Aberdeen, and so canna begin the night; but on Monday night, G.o.d willing, there will be _the Deevil to pay in the West Indies_."
THE CUNNING FOOL.
A GENTLEMAN had a son who was deemed an idiot. The little fellow, when nine or ten years of age, was fond of drumming, and once dropt his drum-stick into the draw-well. He knew that his carelessness would be punished by its not being searched for, and therefore did not mention his loss, but privately took a large silver punch-ladle, and dropped it into the same well. Strict inquiry took place; the servants all pleaded ignorance, and looked with suspicion on each other; when the young gentleman, who had thrust himself into the circle, said he had observed something s.h.i.+ne at the bottom of the draw-well. A fellow was dropt down in the bucket, and soon bawled out from the bottom, "I have found the punch-ladle, so wind me up." "Stop," roared out the lad, "stop, _now your hand's in, you may as well bring up my drum-stick_."
THE DEAN INSTRUCTED.
A GENTLEMAN having sent a turbot as a present to Swift, the servant who carried it entered the doctor's study abruptly, and laying down the fish, said, "Master has sent you this turbot." "Heyday! young man,"
exclaimed the Dean, "is this the way you behave yourself? Let me teach you better. Sit down on this chair, and I will show you how to deliver such a message." The boy sat down, and the Dean going to the door, with the fish in his hand, came up to the table, and making a low bow, said, "Sir, my master presents his kind compliments, and begs your acceptance of this turbot." "Does he?" answered the boy, a.s.suming all the consequence of his situation. "Here, John! (_ringing_,) take this honest lad down to the kitchen, and let him have as much as he can eat and drink; then send him up to me, and I'll give him half a crown."
The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun Part 39
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