The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun Part 42

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A RELIC.

A STUDENT, showing the Museum at Oxford to a party, among other things produced a rusty sword. "This," said he, "is the sword with which Balaam was going to kill his a.s.s." "I thought," said one of the company, "that Balaam had no sword, but only wished for one." "You are right, sir,"

replied the student, nowise abashed, "this is the very sword he wished for."

STUPIDITY PERSONIFIED.

M. BOURET, a French farmer-general, of immense fortune, _but stupid to a proverb_, being one day present, when two n.o.blemen were engaged, in a party, at piquet, one of them happening to play a wrong card, exclaimed, "Oh, what a Bouret I am!" Offended at this liberty, Bouret said instantly, "Sir, you are an a.s.s." "_The very thing I meant_," replied the other.

THE DIFFICULTY SURMOUNTED.

EXECUTIONS not being very frequent in Sweden there are a great number of towns in that country without an executioner. In one of these a criminal was sentenced to be hanged which occasioned some little embarra.s.sment, as it obliged them to bring a hangman from a distance at a considerable expense, besides the customary fee of two crowns. A young tradesman, belonging to the city council, giving his sentiments, said, "I think, gentlemen, we had best give the malefactor the two crowns, and let him go and be hanged where he pleases."

HUMOROUS MISTAKES.

THE humors of the telegraph are very amusing. A year or so since, the agent of the Delaware and Hudson Freighting Line, at Honesdale, Pennsylvania, sent the following dispatch to the agent at New York:

"D. Horton--Dear Sir: Please send me a s.h.i.+pping-book for 1859."

The dispatch received, read as follows:

"D. Horton:--Please send me a s.h.i.+pping-box eighteen feet by nine."

The following might have been more disastrous in its results; the same parties were concerned. Mr. Horton wrote to the proprietor of the line that he had been subpoenaed on a trial to be held in the Supreme Court of New York, and that as navigation was about to open, it would be necessary to send a man to perform his office duties. The following reply was entrusted to the tender care of the telegraph wire:

"See the Judge at once and get excused. I cannot send a man in your place."

When received, it read as follows:

"See the Judge at once and get executed; I can send a man in your place."

Mr. H. claims on the margin of the dispatch a stay of execution.

Not long since a gentleman telegraphed to a friend at Cleveland an interesting family affair, as follows:

"Sarah and little one are doing well."

The telegraph reached its destination, when it read thus:

"Sarah and litter are doing well."

The recipient telegraphed back the following startling query:

"For Heaven's sake, how many?"

SLEEPING IN CHURCH.

A CLERGYMAN observed in his sermon, that this was unpardonable, as people did it with their _eyes open_. Wrapt up in the admiration of his own discourse, he did not observe that from its tediousness his audience one by one had slipped away, until there only remained a natural.

Lifting up his eyes, he exclaimed, "What! All gone, except this poor idiot!" "Aye," says the lad, "and _if I had not been a poor idiot I had been gone too_."

ECONOMY.

A LADY asked her butler how she might best save a barrel of excellent small beer; he answered, "By placing a cask of strong beer by it."

A CONSTELLATION OF BULLS.

A letter written during the Irish rebellion.

_My dear Sir_:--Having now a little _peace and quietness_, I sit down to inform you of a dreadful _bustle and confusion_ we are in from these blood-thirsty rebels, most of whom are, however, thank G.o.d, _killed or dispersed_.

We are in a pretty _mess_; can get _nothing to eat_, nor any _wine_ to drink, _except whiskey_; and when we _sit down_ to dinner, we are obliged to _stand_ with arms in both hands: _whilst I write this letter, I hold a sword in one hand and a pistol in the other. I concluded_, from the _beginning_, that this would be the _end_ of it; and I see I was right, for _it is not half over yet_. At present there is such _goings on_, that every thing is _at a stand_.

I should have answered your letter _a fortnight ago_, but _it only came this morning_. Indeed, hardly a mail arrives _safe_, without being _robbed_. Yesterday the coach with the mails from Dublin was _robbed_ near this town: but the _bags_ had been judiciously _left behind_, for fear of accidents; and by good luck there was n.o.body _in the coach_, except _two outside_ pa.s.sengers, who had nothing for the thieves to take.

Last Thursday an alarm was given, that a gang of rebels were advancing hither, under the French _standard_; but they had no _colors_, nor any _drums_ except _bagpipes_. Immediately every _man_ in the place, including _women and children_, ran out to meet them. We soon found our force _much too little_; and they were _far_ too _near_ for us to think of retreating; so to it we went: _death_ was _in every face_; but by the time _half_ our little party was _killed_, we began to be _all alive_.

The rebels fortunately had no _guns_, except _cutla.s.ses and pikes_; and as we had plenty of _muskets and ammunition_, we put them all to the _sword_: not a soul of them _escaped_, except some that were _drowned_ in the adjoining bog; and in a very short time nothing was to be _heard_ but _silence_. Their _uniforms_ were _all_ of _different shapes_ and _colours_--in general they were green. After the action we rummaged their camp; all we found was a few _pikes without heads_, a parcel of _empty bottles full_ of water, and a bundle of _blank_ French commissions _filled up_ with Irishmen's names.

Troops are now stationed every where _round_ the country, which exactly _squares_ with my ideas. Nothing, however, can save us but a union, which would turn our _barren hills_ into fruitful _valleys_. I have only _leisure_ to add, that I am in _great haste_.

Yours truly, J. B.

P. S. If you do not _receive this in course_, it must have _miscarried_, therefore _write_ immediately to _let me know_.

The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun Part 42

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