The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun Part 43
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THE LOGICIAN REWARDED.
A FARMER'S son, who had been bred at the university, coming home to visit his parents, a couple of chickens were brought to the table for supper. "I can prove," said he, "by logic, that these two chickens are three." "Well, let us hear," said the old man. "This," cried the scholar, "is one; and this is two; one and two make three." "Very good,"
replied the father, "your mother shall have the first chicken, I will have the second, and you, for your great learning, shall have the third."
THE captain of the Magnanime found it necessary one day to order a negro on board a flogging. Being tied up, the captain harangued him on his offence. Quaco, naked and s.h.i.+vering in the month of December, exclaimed, "Ma.s.sa! if you preachee, preachee; if you floggee, floggee; but no preachee and floggee too."
REASON AND A PROVERB EXPLAINED.
IN a party of wits an argument took place as to the definition of a reasonable animal. Speech was princ.i.p.ally contended for; but on this Dr.
Johnson observed, that parrots and magpies speak; were they therefore rational? "Women," he added, "we know, are rational animals; but would they be less so if they spoke less?" Jamie Boswell contended that cookery was the criterion of reason; for that no animal but man did cook. "That," observed Burke, "explains to me a proverb, which I never before could understand--_There is reason in the roasting of eggs_."
A GENERAL COMPLAINT.
THE lieutenant colonel of one of the Irish regiments in the French service being dispatched from Fort Keil by the Duke of Berwick to the King of France, with a complaint of some irregularities that had occurred in that regiment, his majesty observed pa.s.sionately, that the Irish troops gave him more trouble than all his forces besides. "Sir,"
said the officer, "all your majesty's enemies make the same complaint."
COOLNESS IN ACTION.
IN the action off Camperdown, Admiral de Winter asked one of his lieutenants for a quid of tobacco. In the act of presenting it, the lieutenant was carried off by a cannon-ball. "I must be obliged to _you_ then," said the admiral, turning to another officer, "for you see our friend is gone away with his tobacco box."
A TRAVELER coming into an inn in a very cold night, stood rather too close before the kitchen fire. A rogue in the chimney corner told him, "Sir, you'll burn your spurs." "My boots, you mean," said the gentleman.
"No, Sir," replied the other, "they are burnt already."
A FRENCH marquis boasted of the inventive genius of his nation, especially in matters of dress and fas.h.i.+on; "For instance," said he, "the ruffle, that fine ornament of the hand, which has been followed by all other nations." "True," answered the Englishman, "but we generally improve on your inventions; for example, _in adding the s.h.i.+rt to the ruffle_."
AT the time of the jubilee, 1809, a meeting was held of the felons in Newgate to pray his majesty for their pardon and liberation on the auspicious occasion. One of them observed, that it would be better, for them and their successors, to pet.i.tion that all felonies be tried in the _Court of Chancery_.
THE LEARNED DOG.
FRANK SIMS, the theatrical registrar, had a dog named Bob, and a sagacious dog he was; but he was a pusillanimous dog, in a word, an arrant coward, and above all things he dreaded the fire of a gun. His master having taken him once to the enclosed part of Hyde Park next to Kensington Gardens, when the guards were exercising, their first fire so alarmed Bob that he scampered off, and never after could be prevailed on to enter that ground. One day he followed his master cordially till he arrived at its entrance, where a board is placed, with this inscription: "Do shoot all dogs _who_ shall be found within this inclosure;" when immediately he turned tail, and went off as fast as his legs could carry him. A French gentleman, surprised at the animal's rapid retreat, politely asked Mr. Sims what could be the cause. "Don't you see," said Sims, "what is written on the board?" to the utter astonishment of the Frenchman, who had never before seen a dog that could read.
CAUSE OF BULLS.
SIR RICHARD STEELE, being asked why his countrymen were so addicted to making bulls, said, he believed there must be something in the air of Ireland, adding, "I dare say, _if an Englishman were born there_ he would do the same."
A NOTED miser boasted that he had lost five s.h.i.+llings without uttering a single complaint. "I am not at all surprised at that," said a wit, "_extreme sorrow is mute_."
AS THE FOOL THINKS THE BELL CLINKS.
A WIDOW, desirous of marrying her servant John, consulted the curate on the subject.
The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun Part 43
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