The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun Part 72
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A n.o.bLE, but not a learned lord, having been suspected to be the author of a very severe but well written pamphlet against a gentleman high in office, he sent him a challenge. His lords.h.i.+p professed his innocence, a.s.suring the gentleman that he was not the author; but the other would not be satisfied without a denial under his hand. My lord therefore took the pen and began, "_This is to scratify, that the buk called the ----_"
"Oh, my lord!" said the gentleman, "I am perfectly satisfied that your lords.h.i.+p did not write the book."
CHARLES V., speaking of the different languages of Europe, thus described them: "The _French_ is the best language to speak to one's friend--the _Italian_ to one's mistress--the _English_ to the people--the _Spanish_ to G.o.d--and the _German_ to a horse."
CON. OF THE SILVER FORK SCHOOL.
WHY is a man eating soup with a fork like another kissing his sweetheart? Do you give it up?
Because it takes so long to get enough of it.
DOG-FANCYING; OR INJURED INNOCENCE.
BOB PICKERING, short, squat, and squinting, with a yellow "wipe" round his "squeeze," was put to the bar on violent suspicion of dog-stealing.
_Mr. Davis_, Silk-mercer, Dover-street, Piccadilly, said:--About an hour before he entered the office, while sitting in his parlor, he heard a loud barking noise, which he was convinced was made by a favorite little dog, his property. He went out, and in the pa.s.sage caught the prisoner in the act of conveying it into the street in his arms.
_Mr. Dyer:_ What have you to say? You are charged with attempting to steal the dog.
_Prisoner:_ (_affecting a look of astonishment_)--Vot, me _steal_ a dog?
Vy, I'm ready and villing to take my solomon hoth 'at I'm hinnocent of sitch an hadwenture. Here's the _factotal_ of the consarn as I'm a honest man. I vos a coming along Hoxfud-street, ven I seed this here poor dumb hanimal a running about vith not n.o.body arter him, and a looking jest as if he vas complete lost. Vhile I vos in this here sittivation, a perfect gentleman comes up to me, and says he, "Vot a cussed shame," says he, "that 'ere handsome young dog should be vithout a nateral pertectur! I'm blow'd, young man," says he, "if I vos you if I vouldn't pick it up and prewent the wehicles from a hurting on it; and,"
says he, "I'd adwise you, 'cause you looks so _werry honest_ and so werry respectable, to take pity on the poor dumb dog and go and buy it a ha'porth of wittles." Vell, my lord, you see I naterally complied vith his demand, and vos valking avay vith it for to look for a prime bit of _bowwow_ grub, ven up comes this here good gentleman, and vants to swear as how I vos arter _prigging_ on it!
_Mr. Dyer:_ How do you get your living?
_Prisoner:_ Vorks along vith my father and mother--and lives vith my relations wot's perticler respectable.
_Mr. Dyer:_ Policeman, do you know anything of the prisoner?
_Policeman:_ The prisoner's three brothers were transported last session, and his mother and father are now in Clerkenwell. The prisoner has been a dog-stealer for years.
_Prisoner:_ Take care vot you say--if you proves your vords, vy my carrecter vill be hingered, and I'm blowed if you shan't get a "little vun in" ven I comes out of _quod_.
_Mr. Dyer:_ What is the worth of the dog?
_Mr. Davis:_ It is worth five pounds, as it is of a valuable breed.
_Prisoner:_ There, your vers.h.i.+p, you hear it's a waluable dog--now is it feasible as I should go for to prig a dog wot was a waluable hanimal?
The magistrate appeared to think such an occurrence not at all unlikely, as he committed him to prison for three months.
A SCOTCHMAN'S CONSOLATION.
A SCOTCHMAN who put up at an inn, was asked in the morning how he slept.
"Troth, man," replied Donald, "no very weel either, but I was muckle better aff than the bugs, for deil a ane o' them closed an e'e the hale nicht."
THE COALHEAVER AND THE FINE ARTS.
A SMALL-MADE MAN, with a carefully cultivated pair of carroty-colored mustaches, whose style of seedy toggery presented a tolerably good imitation of a "Polish militaire," came before the commissioners to establish his legal right to fifteen pence, the price charged for a whole-length likeness of one _Mister_ Robert White, a member of the "black and thirsty" fraternity of coalheavers.
The complainant called himself Signor Johannes Benesontagi, but from all the genuine characteristics of c.o.c.kayne which he carried about him, it was quite evident he had Germanized his patronymic of John Benson to suit the present judicious taste of the "pensive public."
Signor Benesontagi, a peripatetic professor of the "fine arts," it appeared was accustomed to visit public-houses for the purpose of caricaturing the countenances of the company, at prices varying from five to fifteen pence. In pursuit of his vocation he stepped into the "Vulcan's Head," where a conclave of coalheavers were accustomed nightly to a.s.semble, with the double view of discussing politics and pots of Barclay's entire. He announced the nature of his profession, and having solicited patronage, he was beckoned into the box where the defendant was sitting, and was offered a s.h.i.+lling for a _full-length_ likeness.
This sum the defendant consented to enlarge to fifteen pence, provided the artist would agree to draw him in "full fig:"--red velvet smalls--nankeen gaiters--sky-blue waistcoat--canary wipe--and full-bottomed fantail. The bargain was struck and the picture finished, but when presented to the sitter, he swore "he'd see the man's back _open and shet_ afore he'd pay the wally of a farden piece for sitch a reg'lar 'sn.o.b' as he was made to appear in the portrait."
The defendant was hereupon required to state why he refused to abide by the agreement.
"Vy, my lords and gemmen," said Coaly, "my reasons is this here. That 'ere covey comes into the crib vhere I vos a sitting blowing a cloud behind a drop of heavy, and axes me if as how I'd have my picter draw'd.
Vell, my lords, being a little 'lumpy,' and thinking sitch a consarn vould please my Sall, I told him as I'd stand a 'bob,' and be my pot to his'n, perwising as he'd shove me on a pair of prime welwet breeches wot I'd got at home to vear a Sundays. He said he vould, and 'at it should be a 'nout-a-nout' job for he'd larnt to draw _phisogomony_ under _Sir Peter Laurie_."
"It's false!" said the complainant, "the brother artist I named was Sir Thomas Lawrence."
"Vere's the difference?" asked the coalheaver. "So, my lords, this here persecutor goes to vork like a Briton, and claps this here thingamy in my fist, vich ain't not a bit like me, but a blessed deal more likerer a _bull with a belly-ache_." (_Laughter._)
The defendant pulled out a card and handed it to the bench. On inspection it was certainly a monstrous production, but it did present an ugly likeness of the coalheaver. The commissioners were unanimously of opinion it was a good fifteen-penny copy of the defendant's countenance.
"'Taint a bit like me?" said the defendant, angrily. "Vy, lookee here, he's draw'd me vith a _bunch of ingans_ a sticking out of my pocket.
I'm werry fond of sitch wegetables, but I never carries none in my pockets."
"A bunch of onions!" replied the incensed artist--"I'll submit it to any gentleman who is a _real_ judge of the 'fine arts,' whether that (_pointing to the appendage_) can be taken for any thing else than the gentleman's _watch-seals_."
"Ha! ha! ha!" roared the coalheaver; "my votch-seals! Come, that's a good 'un--I never vore no votch-seals, 'cause I never had none--so the pictur can't be _like_ me."
The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun Part 72
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