The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun Part 75

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The effect was decided, and Charles, having thus in one brief sentence delivered an ill.u.s.trative essay on human vanity, was the hero of the evening.

BOY ALL OVER.

A DISTINGUISHED lawyer says, that in his young days, he taught a boy's school, and the pupils wrote compositions; he sometimes received some of a peculiar sort. The following are specimens:

"_On Industry._--It is bad for a man to be _idol_. Industry is the best thing a man can have, and a wife is the next. Prophets and kings desired it long, and without the site. Finis."

"_On the Seasons._--There is four seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. They are all pleasant. Some people may like the Spring best, but as for me,--give me liberty, or give me death. The End."--_Olive Branch._

PREPARATION FOR DINING.

AN Irish housemaid who was sent to call a gentleman to dinner, found him engaged in using a tooth-brush. "Well, is he coming?" said the lady of the house, as the servant returned. "Yes, Ma'am, directly," was the reply; "he's just sharpening his teeth."

POETRY AND PRIGGING.

BETWEEN POETS and prigs, though seemingly "wide as the poles asunder" in character, a strong a.n.a.logy exists--and that list of "petty larceny rogues" would certainly be incomplete, which did not include the Parna.s.sian professor. The difference, however, between Prigs and Poets appears to be--that the former hold the well-known maxim of "Honor among thieves" in reverence, and steal only from the public, while the latter, less scrupulous, steal unblus.h.i.+ngly from one another. This truth is as old as Homer, and its proofs are as capable of demonstration as a mathematical axiom. Should the alliance between the two professions be questioned, the following case will justify our a.s.sertion.

Mike Smith, a ragged urchin, who, though hardly able to peep over a police bar, has been in custody more than a dozen times for petty thefts, was charged by William King, an industrious cobbler and ginger-beer merchant, with having stolen a bottle of "ginger-pop" from his stall.

The prosecutor declared the neighborhood in which his stall was situated--that more than Cretan Labyrinth called the "Dials"--was so infested with "young _warmint_" that he found it utterly impossible to turn one honest penny by his ginger-pop, for if his eyes were off his board for an instant, the young brigands who were eternally on the look-out, took immediate advantage of the circ.u.mstance, and on his next inspection, he was sure to discover that a bottle or two had vanished.

While busily employed on a pair of boots that morning, he happened to cast his eyes where the ginger-pop stood, when, to his very great astonishment, he saw a bottle move off the board just for all the world as if it had possessed the power of locomotion. A second was about to follow the first, when he popped his head out at the door and the mystery was cleared up, for there he discovered the young delinquent making a rapid retreat on all-fours, with the "ginger-pop," the cork of which had flown out, fizzing from his breeches-pocket. After a smart administration of the strappado, he proceeded to examine the contents of his pinafore, which was bundled round him. This led to the discovery that the young urchin had been on a most successful forage for a dinner that morning. He had a delicate piece of pickled pork, a couple of eggs, half a loaf, part of a carrot, a china basin, and the lid of a teapot; all of which, on being closely pressed, he admitted were the result of his morning's legerdemain labor.

Mr. Dyer inquired into the parentage of the boy, and finding that they were quite unable, as well as unwilling, to keep him from the streets, ordered that he should be detained for the present.

The boy when removed to the lock-up room--a place which familiarity with had taught him to regard with indifference--amused himself by giving vent to a poetical inspiration in the following admonitory distich, which he scratched on the wall:

"Him as prigs wot isn't _his'n_-- Ven he's cotched--vill go to _pris'n_."

NAUTICAL SERMON.

WHEN Whitefield preached before the seamen at New York, he had the following bold apostrophe in his sermon:

"Well, my boys, we have a clear sky, and are making fine headway over a smooth sea, before a light breeze, and we shall soon lose sight of land.

But what means this sudden lowering of the heavens, and that dark cloud arising from beneath the western horizon? Hark! Don't you hear distant thunder? Don't you see those flashes of lightning? There is a storm gathering! Every man to his duty! How the waves rise and dash against the s.h.i.+p! The air is dark! The tempest rages! Our masts are gone! The s.h.i.+p is on her beam ends! What next?"

It is said that the unsuspecting tars, reminded of former perils on the deep, as if struck by the power of magic, arose with united voices and minds, and exclaimed, "_Take to the long boat._"

BREVET MAJOR.

A n.o.bLEMAN having given a grand party, his tailor was among the company, and was thus addressed by his lords.h.i.+p: "My dear Sir, I remember your face, but I forget your name." The tailor whispered in a low tone--"I made your breeches." The n.o.bleman, taking him by the hand, exclaimed--"Major Breeches, I am happy to see you."

ADVERTIZING HIGH.

A TIPSY loafer mistook a globe lamp with letters on it, for the queen of night: "I'm blessed," said he, "if somebody haint stuck an advertis.e.m.e.nt on the moon!"

COULDN'T BELIEVE IT.

GOVERNOR S---- was a splendid lawyer, and could talk a jury out of their seven senses. He was especially noted for his success in criminal cases, almost always clearing his client. He was once counsel for a man accused of horse-stealing. He made a long, eloquent, and touching speech. The jury retired, but returned in a few moments, and, with tears in their eyes, proclaimed the man not guilty. An old acquaintance stepped up to the prisoner and said:

"Jim, the danger is past; and now, honor bright, didn't you steal that horse?"

"Well, Tom, I've all along thought I took that horse; but since I've heard the Governor's speech, I don't believe I did!"

LARGE SNAKE.

AN Indian came to a certain "agency," in the northern part of Iowa, to procure some whiskey for a young warrior that had been bitten with a rattlesnake. At first the agent did not credit the story, but the earnestness of the Indian, and the urgency of the case, overcame his scruples, and turning to get the liquor, he asked the Indian how much he wanted.

"Four quarts," answered the Indian.

"Four quarts?" asked the agent in surprise; "so much as that?"

"Yes," replied the Indian, speaking through his set teeth, and frowning as savagely as though about to wage war against the snake tribe, "four quarts--_snake very big_."

DANGERS OF DUSTING; OR, MORE BEAUTIES OF MODERN LEGISLATION.

The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun Part 75

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