The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun Part 46
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"Gentlemen," said the actor, "when I was a lad, at sea, as we lay in the Bay of Messina, in a moonlight night, and perfectly calm, I heard a little splas.h.i.+ng, and looking over the s.h.i.+p's bow, I saw, as I thought, a man's head, and to my utter surprise, there arose out of the water a man, extremely well-dressed, with his hair highly powdered, white silk stockings, and diamond buckles, his garment being embroidered with the most brilliant scales. He walked up the cable with the ease and elegance of a Richer. Stepping on deck, he addressed me in English, thus: 'Pray, young man, is the captain on board?' I, with my hair standing on end, answered, 'Yes, sir.' At this moment, the captain, overhearing our conversation, came on deck, and received the visitor very courteously, and without any apparent surprise. Asking his commands, the stranger said, 'I am one of the submarine inhabitants of this neighborhood. I had, this evening, taken my family to a ball, but on returning to my house, I found the fluke of your anchor jammed so close up to my street door, that we could not get in. I am come therefore, to entreat you, sir, to weigh anchor, so that we may get in, as my wife and daughters are waiting in their carriage, in the street.'
The captain readily granted the request of his aquatic visitor, who took his leave with much urbanity, and the captain returned to bed."
GOOD HUMOR RESTORED.
ONE evening, at the Haymarket theatre, the farce of the _Lying Valet_ was to be performed, _Sharp_, by Mr. Shuter; but that comedian being absent, an apology was made, and it was announced that the part would be undertaken by Mr. Weston, whose transcendent comic powers were not then sufficiently appreciated. Coming on with Mrs. Gardner, in the part of _Kitty Pry_, there was a tumultuous call of "Shuter! Shuter!" but Tom put them all in good temper, by asking, with irresistibly quaint humor, "Why should I _shoot her_? She plays her part very well."
THE Abbe Tegnier, secretary to the French academy, one day made a collection of a pistole a head from the members, for some general expense. Not observing that the President Rose, who was very penurious, had put his money in the hat, he presented it to him a second time. M.
Rose a.s.sured him that he had put in his pistole. "I believe it," said the Abbe, "though I did not see it." "And I," said Fontenelle, "saw it, and could not believe it."
AT a party of n.o.blemen of wit and genius, it was proposed to try their skill in composition, each writing a sentence on whatsoever subject he thought proper, and the decision was left to Dryden, who formed one of the company. The poet having read them all, said, "There are here abundance of fine things, and such as do honor to the n.o.ble writers, but I am under the indispensable necessity of giving the palm to my lord Dorset; and when I have read it, I am convinced your lords.h.i.+ps will all be satisfied with my judgment--these are the inimitable words:
"'I promise to pay to John Dryden, on order, the sum of five hundred pounds.
A CARD PUN.
A BUTCHER'S boy, running against a gentleman with his tray, made him exclaim, "The _deuce_ take the _tray_!" "Sir," said the lad, "the _deuce can't take the tray_."
A WHIMSICAL IDEA.
THE late Sir Thomas Robinson was a tall, uncouth figure, and his appearance was still more grotesque, from his hunting-dress: a postilion's cap, a tight green jacket, and buckskin breeches. Being at Paris, and going in this habit to visit his sister, who was married, and settled there, he arrived when there was a large company at dinner. The servant announced M. Robinson, and he entered, to the great amazement of the guests. Among others, an Abbe thrice lifted his fork to his mouth, and thrice laid it down, with an eager stare of surprise. Unable longer to restrain his curiosity, he burst out with, "Excuse me, Sir, are you the _Robinson Crusoe_ so famous in history?"
AN IRISH SOLDIER'S QUARTERS.
TWO Irish soldiers being stationed in a borough in the west of England, got into a conversation respecting their quarters. "How," said the one, "are you quartered?" "Pretty well." "What part of the house do you sleep in?" "Upstairs." "In the garret, perhaps?" "The garret! no, Dennis...o...b..ien would never sleep in the garret." "Where then?" "Why, I know not what you call it; but if the house were turned topsy turvy, I should be in the cellar."
A DISTINGUISHED wag about town says, the head coverings the ladies wear now-a-days, are barefaced false hoods. The perpetrator of this is still at large.
A MARSHAL HUMBLED.
A FRENCH Field Marshal who had attained that rank by court favour, not by valour, received from a lady the present of a drum, with this inscription--"_made to be beaten_."
The same _hero_, going one evening to the Opera, forcibly took possession of the box of a respectable Abbe, who for this outrage brought a suit in a court of honour, established for such cases under the old government. The Abbe thus addressed the court: "I come not here to complain of Admiral Suffrein, who took so many s.h.i.+ps in the East Indies. I come not to complain of Count de Gra.s.se, who fought so n.o.bly in the West; I come not to complain of the Duke de Crebillon, who took Minorca; but I come to complain of the Marshal B----, who _took my box_ at the Opera, and _never took any thing else_." The court paid him the high compliment of refusing his suit, declaring that he had himself inflicted sufficient punishment.
A COURTLY COMPLIMENT.
A FRENCH officer, just arrived, and introduced to the Court at Vienna, the Empress told him she heard he had in his travels visited a lady renowned for her beauty; and asked if it was true that she was the most handsome princess of her time. The courtier answered, "_I thought so yesterday._"
AT a circuit dinner, a counsellor observed to another, "I shall certainly hang your client." His friend answered, "I give you joy of your new office."
A FRENCHMAN, taken into slavery by an Algerine, was asked what he could do. His answer was, that he had been used to a _sedentary_ employment.
"Well, then," said the pirate, "you shall have a pair of feather breeches, to sit and hatch chickens."
The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun Part 46
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