Part 3 out of 14
young gentleman what I've got it in for. But I've changed my mind,' says
he. 'If it's all the same to you, Mr. Sullivan, I'll send this young
gentleman down here to take the rest of my lessons for me.'"
A certain island in the West Indies is liable to the periodical advent
of earthquakes. One year before the season of these terrestrial
disturbances, Mr. X., who lived in the danger zone, sent his two sons to
the home of a brother in England, to secure them from the impending
Evidently the quiet of the staid English household was disturbed by the
irruption of the two West Indians, for the returning mail steamer
carried a message to Mr. X., brief but emphatic:
"Take back your boys; send me the earthquake."
Aunt Eliza came up the walk and said to her small nephew: "Good morning,
Willie. Is your mother in?"
"Sure she's in," replied Willie truculently. "D'you s'pose I'd be
workin' in the garden on Saturday morning if she wasn't?"
An iron hoop bounded through the area railings of a suburban house and
played havoc with the kitchen window. The woman waited, anger in her
eyes, for the appearance of the hoop's owner. Presently he came.
"Please, I've broken your window," he said, "and here's Father to mend
And, sure enough, he was followed by a stolid-looking workman, who at
once started to work, while the small boy took his hoop and ran off.
"That'll be four bits, ma'am," announced the glazier when the window was
whole once more.
"Four bits!" gasped the woman. "But your little boy broke it--the little
fellow with the hoop, you know. You're his father, aren't you?"
The stolid man shook his head.
"Don't know him from Adam," he said. "He came around to my place and
told me his mother wanted her winder fixed. You're his mother, aren't
And the woman shook her head also.--_Ray Trum Nathan_.
_See also_ Egotism; Employers and employees; Office boys.
Pharaoh had just dreamed of the seven full and the seven blasted ears of
"You are going to invent a new kind of breakfast food," interpreted
One day a teacher was having a first-grade class in physiology. She
asked them if they knew that there was a burning fire in the body all of
the time. One little girl spoke up and said:
"Yes'm, when it is a cold day I can see the smoke."
Said the bibulous gentleman who had been reading birth and death
statistics: "Do you know, James, every time I breathe a man dies?"
"Then," said James, "why don't you chew cloves?"
An after-dinner speaker was called on to speak on "The Antiquity of the
Microbe." He arose and said, "Adam had 'em," and then sat down.
A negro servant, on being ordered to announce visitors to a dinner
party, was directed to call out in a loud, distinct voice their names.
The first to arrive was the Fitzgerald family, numbering eight persons.
The negro announced Major Fitzgerald, Miss Fitzgerald, Master
Fitzgerald, and so on.
This so annoyed the master that he went to the negro and said, "Don't
announce each person like that; say something shorter."
The next to arrive were Mr. and Mrs. Penny and their daughter. The negro
solemnly opened the door and called out, "Thrupence!"
Dr. Abernethy, the famous Scotch surgeon, was a man of few words, but he
once met his match--in a woman. She called at his office in Edinburgh,
one day, with a hand badly inflamed and swollen. The following dialogue,
opened by the doctor, took place.
The next day the woman called, and the dialogue was as follows:
Two days later the woman made another call.
"Nothing. Most sensible woman I ever saw."
A judge, disgusted with a jury that seemed unable to reach an agreement
in a perfectly evident case, rose and said, "I discharge this jury."
One sensitive talesman, indignant at what he considered a rebuke,
obstinately faced the judge.
"You can't discharge me," he said in tones of one standing upon his
"And why not?" asked the surprised judge.
"Because," announced the juror, pointing to the lawyer for the defense,
"I'm being hired by that man there!"
"My dear," said the young husband as he took the bottle of milk from the
dumb-waiter and held it up to the light, "have you noticed that there's
never cream on this milk?"
"I spoke to the milkman about it," she replied, "and he explained that
the company always fill their bottles so full that there's no room for
cream on top."
"Do you think only of me?" murmured the bride. "Tell me that you think
only of me."
"It's this way," explained the groom gently. "Now and then I have to
think of the furnace, my dear."
"How about the sermon?"
"The minister preached on the sinfulness of cheating at bridge."
"You don't say! Did he mention any names?"
At the Brooklyn Bridge.--"Madam, do you want to go to Brooklyn?"
"No, I have to."--_Life_.
BRYAN, WILLIAM JENNINGS
Some time after the presidential election of 1908, one of Champ Clark's
friends noticed that he still wore one of the Bryan watch fobs so
popular during the election. On being asked the reason for this, Champ
replied: "Oh, that's to keep my watch running."
Pat had gone back home to Ireland and was telling about New York.
"Have they such tall buildings in America as they say, Pat?" asked the
"Tall buildings ye ask, sur?" replied Pat. "Faith, sur, the last one I
worked on we had to lay on our stomachs to let the moon pass."
A burglar was one night engaged in the pleasing occupation of stowing a
good haul of swag in his bag when he was startled by a touch on the
shoulder, and, turning his head, he beheld a venerable, mild-eyed
clergyman gazing sadly at him.
"Oh, my brother," groaned the reverend gentleman, "wouldst thou rob me?
Turn, I beseech thee--turn from thy evil ways. Return those stolen goods
and depart in peace, for I am merciful and forgive. Begone!"
And the burglar, only too thankful at not being given into custody of
the police, obeyed and slunk swiftly off.
Then the good old man carefully and quietly packed the swag into another
bag and walked softly (so as not to disturb the slumber of the inmates)
out of the house and away into the silent night.
A Boston lawyer, who brought his wit from his native Dublin, while
cross-examining the plaintiff in a divorce trial, brought forth the
"You wish to divorce this woman because she drinks?"
"Do you drink yourself?"
"That's _my_ business!" angrily.
Whereupon the unmoved lawyer asked: "Have you any other business?"
At the Boston Immigration Station one blank was recently filled out as
It happened in Topeka. Three clothing stores were on the same block. One
morning the middle proprietor saw to the right of him a big
sign--"Bankrupt Sale," and to the left--"Closing Out at Cost." Twenty
minutes later there appeared over his own door, in larger letters, "Main
In a section of Washington where there are a number of hotels and cheap
restaurants, one enterprising concern has displayed in great illuminated
letters, "Open All Night." Next to it was a restaurant bearing with
equal prominence the legend:
"We Never Close."
Third in order was a Chinese laundry in a little, low-framed, tumbledown
hovel, and upon the front of this building was the sign, in great,
"Me wakee, too."
A boy looking for something to do saw the sign "Boy Wanted" hanging
outside of a store in New York. He picked up the sign and entered the
The proprietor met him. "What did you bring that sign in here for?"
asked the storekeeper.
"You won't need it any more," said the boy cheerfully. "I'm going to
take the job."
A Chinaman found his wife lying dead in a field one morning; a tiger had
The Chinaman went home, procured some arsenic, and, returning to the
field, sprinkled it over the corpse.
The next day the tiger's dead body lay beside the woman's. The Chinaman
sold the tiger's skin to a mandarin, and its body to a physician to make
fear-cure powders, and with the proceeds he was able to buy a younger
A rather simple-looking lad halted before a blacksmith's shop on his way
home from school and eyed the doings of the proprietor with much
The brawny smith, dissatisfied with the boy's curiosity, held a piece of
red-hot iron suddenly under the youngster's nose, hoping to make him
beat a hasty retreat.
"If you'll give me half a dollar I'll lick it," said the lad.
The smith took from his pocket half a dollar and held it out.
The simple-looking youngster took the coin, licked it, dropped it in his
pocket and slowly walked away whistling.
"Do you know where Johnny Locke lives, my little boy?" asked a
gentle-voiced old lady.
"He aint home, but if you give me a penny I'll find him for you right
off," replied the lad.
"All right, you're a nice little boy. Now where is he?"
"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need,"
would seem to be the principle of the Chinese storekeeper whom a
traveler tells about. The Chinaman asked $2.50 for five pounds of tea,
while he demanded $7.50 for ten pounds of the same brand. His business
philosophy was expressed in these words of explanation: "More buy, more
rich--more rich, more can pay!"
In a New York street a wagon loaded with lamp globes collided with a
truck and many of the globes were smashed. Considerable sympathy was
felt for the driver as he gazed ruefully at the shattered fragments. A
benevolent-looking old gentleman eyed him compassionately.
"My poor man," he said, "I suppose you will have to make good this loss
out of your own pocket?"
"Yep," was the melancholy reply.
"Well, well," said the philanthropic old gentleman, "hold out your
hat--here's a quarter for you; and I dare say some of these other people
will give you a helping hand too."
The driver held out his hat and several persons hastened to drop coins
in it. At last, when the contributions had ceased, he emptied the
contents of his hat into his pocket. Then, pointing to the retreating
figure of the philanthropist who had started the collection, he
observed: "Say, maybe he ain't the wise guy! That's me boss!"
"Johnny," said his teacher, "if coal is selling at $6 a ton and you pay
your dealer $24 how many tons will he bring you?"
"A little over three tons, ma'am," said Johnny promptly.
"Why, Johnny, that isn't right," said the teacher.
"No, ma'am, I know it ain't," said Johnny, "but they all do it."
Wanted--A housekeeping man by a business woman. Object matrimony.
_See_ Candidates; Public speakers.
Camp life is just one canned thing after another.
"When I first decided to allow the people of Tupelo to use my name as a
candidate for Congress, I went out to a neighboring parish to speak,"
said Private John Allen recently to some friends at the old Metropolitan
Hotel in Washington.
"An old darky came up to greet me after the meeting. 'Marse Allen,' he
said, 'I's powerful glad to see you. I's known ob you sense you was a
babby. Knew yoh pappy long befo' you-all wuz bohn, too. He used to hold
de same office you got now. I 'members how he held dat same office fo'
years an' years.'
"'What office do you mean, uncle?' I asked, as I never knew pop held any
"'Why, de office ob candidate, Marse John; yoh pappy was candidate fo'
A good story is told on the later Senator Vance. He was traveling down
in North Carolina, when he met an old darky one Sunday morning. He had
known the old man for many years, so he took the liberty of inquiring
where he was going.
"I am, sah, pedestrianin' my appointed way to de tabernacle of de
"Are you an Episcopalian?" inquired Vance.
"No, sah, I can't say dat I am an Epispokapillian."
"Maybe you are a Baptist?"
"No, sah, I can't say dat I's ever been buried wid de Lord in de waters
"Oh, I see you are a Methodist."
"No, sah, I can't say dat I's one of dose who hold to argyments of de
faith of de Medodists."
"What are you, then, uncle?"
"I's a Presbyterian, Marse Zeb, just de same as you is."
"Oh nonsense, uncle, you don't mean to say that you subscribe to all the
articles of the Presbyterian faith?"
"'Deed I do sah."
"Do you believe in the doctrine of election to be saved?"
"Yas, sah, I b'lieve in the doctrine of 'lection most firmly and
"Well then tell me do you believe that I am elected to be saved?"
The old darky hesitated. There was undoubtedly a terrific struggle going
on in his mind between his veracity and his desire to be polite to the
Senator. Finally he compromised by saying:
"Well, I'll tell you how it is, Marse Zeb. You see I's never heard of
anybody bein' 'lected to anything for what they wasn't a candidate. Has
A political office in a small town was vacant. The office paid $250 a
year and there was keen competition for it. One of the candidates,
Ezekiel Hicks, was a shrewd old fellow, and a neat campaign fund was
turned over to him. To the astonishment of all, however, he was
"I can't account for it," said one of the leaders of Hicks' party,
"With that money we should have won. How did you lay it out, Ezekiel."
"Well," said Ezekiel, slowly pulling his whiskers, "yer see that office
only pays $250 a year salary, an' I didn't see no sense in paying $900
out to get the office, so I bought a little truck farm instead."
The little daughter of a Democratic candidate for a local office in
Saratoga County, New York, when told that her father had got the
nomination, cried out, "Oh, mama, do they ever die of it?"
"I am willing," said the candidate, after he had hit the table a
terrible blow with his fist, "to trust the people."
"Gee!" yelled a little man in the audience. "I wish you'd open a
"Now, Mr. Blank," said a temperance advocate to a candidate for
municipal honors, "I want to ask you a question. Do you ever take
"Before I answer the question," responded the wary candidate,
"I want to know whether it is put as an inquiry or as an invitation!"
_See also_ Politicians.
CANNING AND PRESERVING
A canner, exceedingly canny,
One morning remarked to his granny,
"A canner can can
Anything that he can;
But a canner can't can a can, can he?"
Of the late Bishop Charles G. Grafton a Fond du Lac man said: "Bishop
Grafton was remarkable for the neatness and point of his pulpit
utterances. Once, during a disastrous strike, a capitalist of Fond du
Lac arose in a church meeting and asked leave to speak. The bishop gave
him the floor, and the man delivered himself of a long panegyric upon
captains of industry, upon the good they do by giving men work, by
booming the country, by reducing the cost of production, and so forth.
When the capitalist had finished his self-praise and, flushed and
satisfied, had sat down again, Bishop Grafton rose and said with quiet
significance: 'Is there any other sinner that would like to say a
Michael Dugan, a journeyman plumber, was sent by his employer to the
Hightower mansion to repair a gas-leak in the drawing-room. When the
butler admitted him he said to Dugan:
"You are requested to be careful of the floors. They have just been
"They's no danger iv me slippin' on thim," replied Dugan. "I hov spikes
in me shoes."--_Lippincott's_.
While building a house, Senator Platt of Connecticut had occasion to
employ a carpenter. One of the applicants was a plain Connecticut
Yankee, without any frills.
"You thoroughly understand carpentry?" asked the senator.
"You can make doors, windows, and blinds?"
"Oh, yes sir!"
"How would you make a Venetian blind?"
The man scratched his head and thought deeply for a few seconds. "I
should think, sir," he said finally, "about the best way would be to
punch him in the eye."
To Our National Birds--the Eagle and the Turkey--(while the host is
May one give us peace in all our States,
And the other a piece for all our plates.
In some parts of the South the darkies are still addicted to the old
style country dance in a big hall, with the fiddlers, banjoists, and
other musicians on a platform at one end.
At one such dance held not long ago in an Alabama town, when the
fiddlers had duly resined their bows and taken their places on the
platform, the floor manager rose.
"Git yo' partners fo' de nex' dance!" he yelled. "All you ladies an'
gennulmens dat wears shoes an' stockin's, take yo' places in de middle
of de room. All you ladies an' gennulmens dat wears shoes an' no
stockin's, take yo' places immejitly behim' dem. An' yo' barfooted
crowd, you jes' jig it roun' in de corners."--_Taylor Edwards_.
There was a young lady whose dream
Was to feed a black cat on whipt cream,
But the cat with a bound
Spilt the milk on the ground,
So she fed a whipt cat on black cream.
There once were two cats in Kilkenny,
And each cat thought that there was one cat too many,
And they scratched and they fit and they tore and they bit,
'Til instead of two cats--there weren't any.
CAUSE AND EFFECT
Archbishop Whately was one day asked if he rose early. He replied that
once he did, but he was so proud all the morning and so sleepy all the
afternoon that he determined never to do it again.
A man who has an office downtown called his wife by telephone the other
morning and during the conversation asked what the baby was doing.
"She was crying her eyes out," replied the mother.
"I don't know whether it is because she has eaten too many strawberries
or because she wants more," replied the discouraged mother.
BANKS--"I had a new experience yesterday, one you might call
unaccountable. I ate a hearty dinner, finishing up with a Welsh rabbit,
a mince pie and some lobster a la Newburgh. Then I went to a place of
amusement. I had hardly entered the building before everything swam
BINKS--"The Welsh rabbit did it."
BUNKS--"No; it was the lobster."
BONKS--"I think it was the mince pie."
BANKS--"No; I have a simpler explanation than that. I never felt better
in my life; I was at the Aquarium."--_Judge_.
Among a party of Bostonians who spent some time in a hunting-camp in
Maine were two college professors. No sooner had the learned gentlemen
arrived than their attention was attracted by the unusual position of
the stove, which was set on posts about four feet high.
This circumstance afforded one of the professors immediate opportunity
to comment upon the knowledge that woodsmen gain by observation.
"Now," said he, "this man has discovered that heat emanating from a
stove strikes the roof, and that the circulation is so quickened that
the camp is warmed in much less time than would be required were the
stove in its regular place on the floor."
But the other professor ventured the opinion that the stove was elevated
to be above the window in order that cool and pure air could be had at
The host, being of a practical turn, thought that the stove was set high
in order that a good supply of green wood could be placed under it.
After much argument, they called the guide and asked why the stove was
in such a position.
The man grinned. "Well, gents," he explained, "when I brought the stove
up the river I lost most of the stove-pipe overboard; so we had to set
the stove up that way so as to have the pipe reach through the roof."
Jack Barrymore, son of Maurice Barrymore, and himself an actor of some
ability, is not over-particular about his personal appearance and is a
He was in San Francisco on the morning of the earthquake. He was thrown
out of bed by one of the shocks, spun around on the floor and left
gasping in a corner. Finally, he got to his feet and rushed for a
bathtub, where he stayed all that day. Next day he ventured out. A
soldier, with a bayonet on his gun, captured Barrymore and compelled him
to pile bricks for two days.
Barrymore was telling his terrible experience in the Lambs' Club in New
"Extraordinary," commented Augustus Thomas, the playwright. "It took a
convulsion of nature to make Jack take a bath, and the United States
Army to make him go to work."
Marshall Field, 3rd, according to a story that was going the rounds
several years ago, bids fair to become a very cautious business man when
he grows up. Approaching an old lady in a Lakewood hotel, he said:
"Can you crack nuts?"
"No, dear," the old lady replied. "I lost all my teeth ages ago."
"Then," requested Master Field, extending two hands full of pecans,
"please hold these while I go and get some more."
MR. HILTON--"Have you opened that bottle of champagne, Bridget?"
BRIDGET--"Faith, I started to open it, an' it began to open itself.
Sure, the mon that filled that bottle must 'av' put in two quarts
instead of wan."
Sir Andrew Clark was Mr. Gladstone's physician, and was known to the
great statesman as a "temperance doctor" who very rarely prescribed
alcohol for his patients. On one occasion he surprised Mr. Gladstone by
recommending him to take some wine. In answer to his illustrious
patient's surprise he said:
"Oh, wine does sometimes help you get through work! For instance, I have
often twenty letters to answer after dinner, and a pint of champagne is
a great help."
"Indeed!" remarked Mr. Gladstone; "does a pint of champagne really help
you to answer the twenty letters?"
"No," Sir Andrew explained; "but when I've had a pint of champagne I
don't care a rap whether I answer them or not."
The Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon was fond of a joke and his keen wit was,
moreover, based on sterling common sense. One day he remarked to one of
"Can you tell me the reason why the lions didn't eat Daniel?"
"No sir. Why was it?"
"Because the most of him was backbone and the rest was grit."
They were trying an Irishman, charged with a petty offense, in an
Oklahoma town, when the judge asked: "Have you any one in court who will
vouch for your good character?"
"Yis, your honor," quickly responded the Celt, "there's the sheriff
Whereupon the sheriff evinced signs of great amazement.
"Why, your honor," declared he, "I don't even know the man."
"Observe, your honor," said the Irishman, triumphantly, "observe that
I've lived in the country for over twelve years an' the sheriff doesn't
know me yit! Ain't that a character for ye?"
We must have a weak spot or two in a character before we can love it
much. People that do not laugh or cry, or take more of anything than is
good for them, or use anything but dictionary-words, are admirable
subjects for biographies. But we don't care most for those flat pattern
flowers that press best in the herbarium.--_O.W. Holmes_.
"Charity," said Rev. B., "is a sentiment common to human nature. A never
sees B in distress without wishing C to relieve him."
Dr. C.H. Parkhurst, the eloquent New York clergyman, at a recent
banquet said of charity:
"Too many of us, perhaps, misinterpret the meaning of charity as the
master misinterpreted the Scriptural text. This master, a pillar of a
western church, entered in his journal:
"'The Scripture ordains that, if a man take away thy coat, let him have
thy cloak also. To-day, having caught the hostler stealing my potatoes,
I have given him the sack.'"
THE LADY--"Well, I'll give you a dime; not because you deserve it, mind,
but because it pleases me."
THE TRAMP--"Thank you, mum. Couldn't yer make it a quarter an' thoroly
Porter Emerson came into the office yesterday. He had been out in the
country for a week and was very cheerful. Just as he was leaving, he
said: "Did you hear about that man who died the other day and left all
he had to the orphanage?"
"No," some one answered. "How much did he leave?"
"I made a mistake," said Plodding Pete. "I told that man up the road I
needed a little help 'cause I was lookin' for me family from whom I had
been separated fur years."
"Didn't that make him come across?"
"He couldn't see it. He said dat he didn't know my family, but he wasn't
goin' to help in bringing any such trouble on 'em."
"It requires a vast deal of courage and charity to be philanthropic,"
remarked Sir Thomas Lipton, apropos of Andrew Carnegie's giving. "I
remember when I was just starting in business. I was very poor and
making every sacrifice to enlarge my little shop. My only assistant was
a boy of fourteen, faithful and willing and honest. One day I heard him
complaining, and with justice, that his clothes were so shabby that he
was ashamed to go to chapel.
"'There's no chance of my getting a new suit this year,' he told me.
'Dad's out of work, and it takes all of my wages to pay the rent.'
"I thought the matter over, and then took a sovereign from my carefully
hoarded savings and bought the boy a stout warm suit of blue cloth. He
was so grateful that I felt repaid for my sacrifice. But the next day he
didn't come to work. I met his mother on the street and asked her the
"'Why, Mr. Lipton,' she said, curtsying, 'Jimmie looks so respectable,
thanks to you, sir, that I thought I would send him around town today to
see if he couldn't get a better job.'"
"Good morning, ma'am," began the temperance worker. "I'm collecting for
the Inebriates' Home and--"
"Why, me husband's out," replied Mrs. McGuire, "but if ye can find him
anywhere's ye're welcome to him."
Charity is a virtue of the heart, and not of the hands.--_Addison_.
You find people ready enough to do the Samaritan, without the oil and
A western bookseller wrote to a house in Chicago asking that a dozen
copies of Canon Farrar's "Seekers after God" be shipped to him at once.
Within two days he received this reply by telegraph:
"No seekers after God in Chicago or New York. Try Philadelphia."
Senator Money of Mississippi asked an old colored man what breed of
chickens he considered best, and he replied:
"All kinds has merits. De w'ite ones is de easiest to find; but de black
ones is de easiest to hide aftah you gits 'em."
Ida Black had retired from the most select colored circles for a brief
space, on account of a slight difficulty connected with a gentleman's
poultry-yard. Her mother was being consoled by a white friend.
"Why, Aunt Easter, I was mighty sorry to hear about Ida--"
"Marse John, Ida ain't nuvver tuk dem chickens. Ida wouldn't do sich a
thing! Ida wouldn't demeange herse'f to rob nobody's hen-roost--and, any
way, dem old chickens warn't nothing't all but feathers when we picked
"Does de white folks in youah neighborhood keep eny chickens, Br'er
"Well, Br'er Johnsing, mebbe dey does keep a few."
Henry E. Dixey met a friend one afternoon on Broadway.
"Well, Henry," exclaimed the friend, "you are looking fine! What do they
feed you on?"
"Chicken mostly," replied Dixey. "You see, I am rehearsing in a play
where I am to be a thief, so, just by way of getting into training for
the part I steal one of my own chickens every morning and have the cook
broil it for me. I have accomplished the remarkable feat of eating
thirty chickens in thirty consecutive days."
"Great Scott!" exclaimed the friend. "Do you still like them?"
"Yes, I do," replied Dixey; "and, what is better still, the chickens
like me. Why they have got so when I sneak into the hen-house they all
begin to cackle, 'I wish I was in Dixey.'"--_A. S. Hitchcock_.
A southerner, hearing a great commotion in his chicken-house one dark
night, took his revolver and went to investigate.
"Who's there?" he sternly demanded, opening the door.
"Who's there? Answer, or I'll shoot!"
A trembling voice from the farthest corner:
"'Deed, sah, dey ain't nobody hyah ceptin' us chickens."
A colored parson, calling upon one of his flock, found the object of his
visit out in the back yard working among his hen-coops. He noticed with
surprise that there were no chickens.
"Why, Brudder Brown," he asked, "whar'r all yo' chickens?"
"Huh," grunted Brother Brown without looking up, "some fool niggah lef
de do' open an' dey all went home."
"What's up old man; you look as happy as a lark!"
"Happy? Why shouldn't I look happy? No more hard, weary work by yours
truly. I've got eight kids and I'm going to move to Alabama."--_Life_.
Two weary parents once advertised:
"WANTED, AT ONCE--Two fluent and well-learned persons, male or female,
to answer the questions of a little girl of three and a boy of four;
each to take four hours per day and rest the parents of said children."
Another couple advertised:
"WANTED: A governess who is good stenographer, to take down the clever
sayings of our child."
A boy twelve years old with an air of melancholy resignation, went to
his teacher and handed in the following note from his mother before
taking his seat:
"Dear Sir: Please excuse James for not being present
"He played truant, but you needn't whip him for it, as the boy
he played truant with and him fell out, and he licked James;
and a man they threw stones at caught him and licked him; and
the driver of a cart they hung onto licked him; and the owner
of a cat they chased licked him. Then I licked him when he
came home, after which his father licked him; and I had to
give him another for being impudent to me for telling his
father. So you need not lick him until next time.
"He thinks he will attend regular in future."
MRS. POST--"But why adopt a baby when you have three children of your
own under five years old?"
MRS. PARKER--"My own are being brought up properly. The adopted one is
The neighbors of a certain woman in a New England town maintain that
this lady entertains some very peculiar notions touching the training of
children. Local opinion ascribes these oddities on her part to the fact
that she attended normal school for one year just before her marriage.
Said one neighbor: "She does a lot of funny things. What do you suppose
I heard her say to that boy of hers this afternoon?"
"I dunno. What was it?"
"Well, you know her husband cut his finger badly yesterday with a
hay-cutter; and this afternoon as I was goin' by the house I heard her
"'Now, William, you must be a very good boy, for your father has injured
his hand, and if you are naughty he won't be able to whip you.'"--_Edwin
Childhood has no forebodings; but then, it is soothed by no memories of
outlived sorrow.--_George Eliot_.
Better to be driven out from among men than to be disliked of
_See also_ Boys; Families.
William Phillips, our secretary of embassy at London, tells of an
American officer who, by the kind permission of the British Government,
was once enabled to make a week's cruise on one of His Majesty's
battleships. Among other things that impressed the American was the
vessel's Sunday morning service. It was very well attended, every sailor
not on duty being there. At the conclusion of the service the American
chanced to ask one of the jackies:
"Are you obliged to attend these Sunday morning services?"
"Not exactly obliged to, sir," replied the sailor-man, "but our grog
would be stopped if we didn't, sir."--_Edwin Tarrisse_.
A well-known furniture dealer of a Virginia town wanted to give his
faithful negro driver something for Christmas in recognition of his
unfailing good humor in toting out stoves, beds, pianos, etc.
"Dobson," he said, "you have helped me through some pretty tight places
in the last ten years, and I want to give you something as a Christmas
present that will be useful to you and that you will enjoy. Which do you
prefer, a ton of coal or a gallon of good whiskey?"
"Boss," Dobson replied, "Ah burns wood."
A man hurried into a quick-lunch restaurant recently and called to the
waiter: "Give me a ham sandwich."
"Yes, sir," said the waiter, reaching for the sandwich; "will you eat it
or take it with you?"
"Both," was the unexpected but obvious reply.
While waiting for the speaker at a public meeting a pale little man in
the audience seemed very nervous. He glanced over his shoulder from time
to time and squirmed and shifted about in his seat. At last, unable to
stand it longer, he arose and demanded, in a high, penetrating voice,
"Is there a Christian Scientist in this room?"
A woman at the other side of the hall got up and said, "I am a Christian
"Well, then, madam," requested the little man, "would you mind changing
seats with me? I'm sitting in a draft."
At a dinner, when the gentlemen retired to the smoking room and one of
the guests, a Japanese, remained with the ladies, one asked him:
"Aren't you going to join the gentlemen, Mr. Nagasaki?"
"No. I do not smoke, I do not swear, I do not drink. But then, I am not
A traveler who believed himself to be sole survivor of a shipwreck upon
a cannibal isle hid for three days, in terror of his life. Driven out by
hunger, he discovered a thin wisp of smoke rising from a clump of bushes
inland, and crawled carefully to study the type of savages about it.
Just as he reached the clump he heard a voice say: "Why in hell did you
play that card?" He dropped on his knees and, devoutly raising his
"Thank God they are Christians!"
"As you don't seem to know what you'd like for Christmas, Freddie," said
his mother, "here's a printed list of presents for a good little boy."
Freddie read over the list, and then said:
"Mother, haven't you a list for a bad little boy?"
'Twas the month after Christmas,
And Santa had flit;
Came there tidings for father
Which read: "Please remit!"
Little six-year-old Harry was asked by his Sunday-school teacher:
"And, Harry, what are you going to give your darling little brother for
Christmas this year?"
"I dunno," said Harry; "I gave him the measles last year."
For little children everywhere
A joyous season still we make;
We bring our precious gifts to them,
Even for the dear child Jesus' sake.
I will, if you will,
devote my Christmas giving to the children and the needy,
reserving only the privilege of, once in a while,
giving to a dear friend a gift which then will have
the old charm of being a genuine surprise.
I will, if you will,
keep the spirit of Christmas in my heart, and,
barring out hurry, worry, and competition,
will consecrate the blessed season, in joy and love,
to the One whose birth we celebrate.
--_Jane Porter Williams_.
TOURIST--"They have just dug up the corner-stone of an ancient library
in Greece, on which is inscribed '4000 B.C.'"
ENGLISHMAN--"Before Carnegie, I presume."
"Tremendous crowd up at our church last night."
"No it was burned down."
"I understand," said a young woman to another, "that at your church you
are having such small congregations. Is that so?"
"Yes," answered the other girl, "so small that every time our rector
says 'Dearly Beloved' you feel as if you had received a proposal!"
"Are you a pillar of the church?"
"No, I'm a flying buttress--I support it from the outside."
Pius the Ninth was not without a certain sense of humor. One day, while
sitting for his portrait to Healy, the painter, speaking of a monk who
had left the church and married, he observed, not without malice: "He
has taken his punishment into his own hands."
A well-known theatrical manager repeats an instance of what the late W.
C. Coup, of circus fame, once told him was one of the most amusing
features of the show-business; the faking in the "side-show."
Coup was the owner of a small circus that boasted among its principal
attractions a man-eating ape, alleged to be the largest in captivity.
This ferocious beast was exhibited chained to the dead trunk of a tree
in the side-show. Early in the day of the first performance of Coup's
enterprise at a certain Ohio town, a countryman handed the man-eating
ape a piece of tobacco, in the chewing of which the beast evinced the
The word was soon passed around that the ape would chew tobacco; and the
result was that several plugs were thrown at him. Unhappily, however,
one of these had been filled with cayenne pepper. The man-eating ape bit
it; then, howling with indignation, snapped the chain that bound him to
the tree, and made straight for the practical joker who had so cruelly
"Lave me at 'im!" yelled the ape. "Lave me at 'im, the dirty villain!
I'll have the rube's loife, or me name ain't Magillicuddy!"
Fortunately for the countryman and for Magillicuddy, too, the man-eating
ape was restrained by the bystanders in time to prevent a killing.
Willie to the circus went,
He thought it was immense;
His little heart went pitter-pat,
For the excitement was in tents.
A child of strict parents, whose greatest joy had hitherto been the
weekly prayer-meeting, was taken by its nurse to the circus for the
first time. When he came home he exclaimed:
"Oh, Mama, if you once went to the circus you'd never, never go to a
prayer-meeting again in all your life."
Johnny, who had been to the circus, was telling his teacher about the
wonderful things he had seen.
"An' teacher," he cried, "they had one big animal they called the
"Hippopotamus, dear," prompted the teacher.
"I can't just say its name," exclaimed Johnny, "but it looks just like
9,000 pounds of liver."
An officer of the Indian Office at Washington tells of the patronizing
airs frequently assumed by visitors to the government schools for the
On one occasion a pompous little man was being shown through one
institution when he came upon an Indian lad of seventeen years. The
worker was engaged in a bit of carpentry, which the visitor observed in
silence for some minutes. Then, with the utmost gravity, he asked the
"Are you civilized?"
The youthful redskin lifted his eyes from his work, calmly surveyed his
questioner, and then replied:
"No, are you?"--_Taylor Edwards_.
"My dear, listen to this," exclaimed the elderly English lady to her
husband, on her first visit to the States. She held the hotel menu
almost at arm's length, and spoke in a tone of horror: "'Baked Indian
pudding!' Can it be possible in a civilized country?"
"The path of civilization is paved with tin cans."--_The Philistine_.
"Among the tenements that lay within my jurisdiction when I first took
up mission work on the East Side." says a New York young woman, "was one
to clean out which would have called for the best efforts of the
renovator of the Augean stables. And the families in this tenement were
almost as hopeless as the tenement itself.
"On one occasion I felt distinctly encouraged, however, since I observed
that the face of one youngster was actually clean.
"'William,' said I, 'your face is fairly clean, but how did you get such
"'Washin' me face,' said William."
A woman in one of the factory towns of Massachusetts recently agreed to
take charge of a little girl while her mother, a seamstress, went to
another town for a day's work.
The woman with whom the child had been left endeavored to keep her
contented, and among other things gave her a candy dog, with which she
played happily all day.
At night the dog had disappeared, and the woman inquired whether it had
"No, it ain't lost," answered the little girl. "I kept it 'most all day,
but it got so dirty that I was ashamed to look at it; so I et
"How old are you?" once asked Whistler of a London newsboy. "Seven," was
the reply. Whistler insisted that he must be older than that, and
turning to his friend he remarked: "I don't think he could get as dirty
as that in seven years, do you?"
If dirt was trumps, what hands you would hold!--_Charles Lamb_.
"Now, children," said the visiting minister who had been asked to
question the Sunday-school, "with what did Samson arm himself to fight
against the Philistines?"
None of the children could tell him.
"Oh, yes, you know!" he said, and to help them he tapped his jaw with
one finger. "What is this?" he asked.
This jogged their memories, and the class cried in chorus: "The jawbone
of an ass."
All work and no plagiarism makes a dull parson.
Bishop Doane of Albany was at one time rector of an Episcopal church in
Hartford, and Mark Twain, who occasionally attended his services, played
a joke upon him, one Sunday.
"Dr. Doane," he said at the end of the service, "I enjoyed your sermon
this morning. I welcomed it like on old friend. I have, you know, a book
at home containing every word of it."
"You have not," said Dr. Doane.
"I have so."
"Well, send that book to me. I'd like to see it."
"I'll send it," the humorist replied. Next morning he sent an unabridged
dictionary to the rector.
The four-year-old daughter of a clergyman was ailing one night and was
put to bed early. As her mother was about to leave her she called her
"Mamma," she said, "I want to see my papa."
"No, dear," her mother replied, "your papa is busy and must not be
"But, mamma," the child persisted, "I want to see my papa."
As before, the mother replied: "No, your papa must not be disturbed."
But the little one came back with a clincher:
"Mamma," she declared solemnly, "I am a sick woman, and I want to see my
PROFESSOR--"Now, Mr. Jones, assuming you were called to attend a patient
who had swallowed a coin, what would be your method of procedure?"
YOUNG MEDICO--"I'd send for a preacher, sir. They'll get money out of
Archbishop Ryan was once accosted on the streets of Baltimore by a man
who knew the archbishop's face, but could not quite place it.
"Now, where in hell have I seen you?" he asked perplexedly.
"From where in hell do you come, sir?"
A Duluth pastor makes it a point to welcome any strangers cordially, and
one evening, after the completion of the service, he hurried down the
aisle to station himself at the door.
He noticed a Swedish girl, evidently a servant, so he welcomed her to
the church, and expressed the hope that she would be a regular
attendant. Finally he said if she would be at home some evening during
the week he would call.
"T'ank you," she murmured bashfully, "but ay have a fella."
A minister of a fashionable church in Newark had always left the
greeting of strangers to be attended to by the ushers, until he read the
newspaper articles in reference to the matter.
"Suppose a reporter should visit our church?" said his wife.
"Wouldn't it be awful?"
"It would," the minister admitted.
The following Sunday evening he noticed a plainly dressed woman in one
of the free pews. She sat alone and was clearly not a member of the
flock. After the benediction the minister hastened and intercepted her
at the door.
"How do you do?" he said, offering his hand, "I am very glad to have you
"Thank you," replied the young woman.
"I hope we may see you often in our church home," he went on. "We are
always glad to welcome new faces."
"Do you live in this parish?" he asked.
The girl looked blank.
"If you will give me your address my wife and I will call on you some
"You wouldn't need to go far, sir," said the young woman, "I'm your
Bishop Goodsell, of the Methodist Episcopal church, weighs over two
hundred pounds. It was with mingled emotions, therefore that he read the
following in _Zion's Herald_ some time ago:
"The announcement that our New England bishop, Daniel A. Goodsell, has
promised to preach at the Willimantic camp meeting, will give great
pleasure to the hosts of Israel who are looking forward to that feast of
It is a standing rule of a company whose boats ply the Great Lakes that
clergymen and Indians may travel on its boats for half-fare. A short
time ago an agent of the company was approached by an Indian preacher
from Canada, who asked for free transportation on the ground that he was
entitled to one-half rebate because he was an Indian, and the other half
because he was a clergyman.--_Elgin Burroughs_.
Booker Washington, as all the world knows, believes that the salvation
of his race lies in industry. Thus, if a young man wants to be a
clergyman, he will meet with but little encouragement from the head of
Tuskegee; but if he wants to be a blacksmith or a bricklayer, his
welcome is warm and hearty.
Dr. Washington, in a recent address in Chicago, said:
"The world is overfull of preachers and when an aspirant for the pulpit
comes to me, I am inclined to tell him about the old uncle working in
the cotton field who said:
"'De cotton am so grassy, de work am so hard, and de sun am so hot, Ah
'clare to goodness Ah believe dis darkey am called to preach.'"
On one occasion the minister delivered a sermon of but ten minutes'
duration--a most unusual thing for him.
Upon the conclusion of his remarks he added: "I regret to inform you,
brethren, that my dog, who appears to be peculiarly fond of paper, this
morning ate that portion of my sermon that I have not delivered. Let us
After the service the clergyman was met at the door by a man who as a
rule, attended divine service in another parish. Shaking the good man by
the hand he said:
"Doctor, I should like to know whether that dog of yours has any pups.
If so I want to get one to give to my minister."
Recipe for a parson:
To a cupful of negative goodness
Add the pleasure of giving advice.
Sift in a peck of dry sermons,
And flavor with brimstone or ice.
A pompous Bishop of Oxford was once stopped on a London street by a
"Well, my little man, and what can I do for you?" inquired the
"The time o' day, please, your lordship."
With considerable difficulty the portly bishop extracted his timepiece.
"It is exactly half past five, my lad."
"Well," said the boy, setting his feet for a good start, "at 'alf past
six you go to 'ell!"--and he was off like a flash and around the
corner. The bishop, flushed and furious, his watch dangling from its
chain, floundered wildly after him. But as he rounded the corner he ran
plump into the outstretched arms of the venerable Bishop of London.
"Oxford, Oxford," remonstrated that surprised dignitary, "why this
Puffing, blowing, spluttering, the outraged Bishop gasped out:
"That young ragamuffin--I told him it was half past five--he--er--told
me to go to hell at half past six."
"Yes, yes," said the Bishop of London with the suspicion of a twinkle in
his kindly old eyes, "but why such haste? You've got almost an hour."
Skilful alike with tongue and pen,
He preached to all men everywhere
The Gospel of the Golden Rule,
The New Commandment given to men,
Thinking the deed, and not the creed,
Would help us in our utmost need.
_See also_ Burglars; Contribution box; Preaching; Resignation.
In a certain town the local forecaster of the weather was so often wrong
that his predictions became a standing joke, to his no small annoyance,
for he was very sensitive. At length, in despair of living down his
reputation, he asked headquarters to transfer him to another station.
A brief correspondance ensued.
"Why," asked headquarters, "do you wish to be transferred?"
"Because," the forecaster promptly replied, "the climate doesn't agree
One morning as Mark Twain returned from a neighborhood morning call,
sans necktie, his wife met him at the door with the exclamation: "There,
Sam, you have been over to the Stowes's again without a necktie! It's
really disgraceful the way you neglect your dress!"
Her husband said nothing, but went up to his room.
A few minutes later his neighbor--Mrs. S.--was summoned to the door by a
messenger, who presented her with a small box neatly done up. She opened
it and found a black silk necktie, accompanied by the following note:
"Here is a necktie. Take it out and look at it. I think I stayed half an
hour this morning. At the end of that time will you kindly return it, as
it is the only one I have?--Mark Twain."
A man whose trousers bagged badly at the knees was standing on a corner
waiting for a car. A passing Irishman stopped and watched him with great
interest for two or three minutes; at last he said:
"Well, why don't ye jump?"
"The evening wore on," continued the man who was telling the story.
"Excuse me," interrupted the would-be-wit; "but can you tell us what the
evening wore on that occasion?"
"I don't know that it is important," replied the story-teller. "But if
you must know, I believe it was the close of a summer day."
"See that measuring worm crawling up my skirt!" cried Mrs. Bjenks.
"That's a sign I'm going to have a new dress."
"Well, let him make it for you," growled Mr. Bjenks. "And while he's
about it, have him send a hookworm to do you up the back. I'm tired of
Dwellers in huts and in marble halls--
From Shepherdess up to Queen--
Cared little for bonnets, and less for shawls,
And nothing for crinoline.
But now simplicity's _not_ the rage,
And it's funny to think how cold
The dress they wore in the Golden Age
Would seem in the Age of Gold.
--_Henry S. Leigh_.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man.
Belle and Ben had just announced their engagement.
"When we are married," said Belle, "I shall expect you to shave every
morning. It's one of the rules of the club I belong to that none of its
members shall marry a man who won't shave every morning."
"Oh, that's all right," replied Ben; "but what about the mornings I
don't get home in time? I belong to a club, too."--_M.A. Hitchcock_.
The guest landing at the yacht club float with his host, both of them
wearing oilskins and sou'-westers to protect them from the drenching
"And who are those gentlemen seated on the veranda, looking so spick and
span in their white duck yachting caps and trousers, and keeping the
waiters running all the time?"
"They're the rocking-chair members. They never go outside, and they're
One afternoon thirty ladies met at the home of Mrs. Lyons to form a
woman's club. The hostess was unanimously elected president. The next
day the following ad appeared in the newspaper:
"Wanted--a reliable woman to take care of a baby. Apply to Mrs. J. W.
In a Kansas town where two brothers are engaged in the retail coal
business a revival was recently held and the elder of the brothers was
converted. For weeks he tried to persuade his brother to join the
church. One day he asked:
"Why can't you join the church like I did?"
"It's a fine thing for you to belong to the church," replied the younger
brother, "If I join the church who'll weigh the coal?"
The speaker was waxing eloquent, and after his peroration on woman's
rights he said: "When they take our girls, as they threaten, away from
the coeducational colleges, what will follow? What will follow, I
And a loud, masculine voice in the audience replied: "I will!"
Among the coffee-drinkers a high place must be given to Bismarck. He
liked coffee unadulterated. While with the Prussian Army in France he
one day entered a country inn and asked the host if he had any chicory
in the house. He had. Bismarck said--"Well, bring it to me; all you
have." The man obeyed and handed Bismarck a canister full of chicory.
"Are you sure this is all you have?" demanded the Chancellor. "Yes, my
lord, every grain." "Then," said Bismarck, keeping the canister by him,
"go now and make me a pot of coffee."
He had just returned from Paris and said to his old aunt in the country:
"Here, Aunt, is a silver franc piece I brought you from Paris as a
"Thanks, Herman," said the old lady. "I wish you'd thought to have
brought me home one of them Latin quarters I read so much about."
COLLECTING OF ACCOUNTS
An enterprising firm advertised: "All persons indebted to our store are
requested to call and settle. All those indebted to our store and not
knowing it are requested to call and find out. Those knowing themselves
indebted and not wishing to call, are requested to stay in one place
long enough for us to catch them."
"Sir," said the haughty American to his adhesive tailor, "I object to
this boorish dunning. I would have you know that my great-great-grandfather
was one of the early settlers."
"And yet," sighed the anxious tradesman, "there are people who believe
A retail dealer in buggies doing business in one of the large towns in
northern Indiana wrote to a firm in the east ordering a carload of
buggies. The firm wired him:
"Cannot ship buggies until you pay for your last consignment."
"Unable to wait so long," wired back the buggy dealer, "cancel order."
The saddest words of tongue or pen
May be perhaps, "It might have been,"
The sweetest words we know, by heck,
Are only these "Enclosed find check!"
COLLECTORS AND COLLECTING
Sir Walter Raleigh had called to take a cup of tea with Queen Elizabeth.
"It was very good of you, Sir Walter," said her Majesty, smiling sweetly
upon the gallant Knight, "to ruin your cloak the other day so that my
feet should not be wet by that horrid puddle. May I not instruct my Lord
High Treasurer to reimburse you for it?"
"Don't mention it, your Majesty," replied Raleigh. "It only cost two and
six, and I have already sold it to an American collector for eight
"Can't I take your order for one of our encyclopedias!" asked the dapper
"No I guess not," said the busy man. "I might be able to use it a few
times, but my son will be home from college in June."
"Say, dad, remember that story you told me about when you were expelled
"Well, I was just thinking, dad, how true it is that history repeats
WANTED: Burly beauty-proof individual to read meters in sorority houses.
We haven't made a nickel in two years. The Gas Co.--_Michigan
FRESHMAN--"I have a sliver in my finger."
SOP--"Been scratching your head?"
STUDE--"Do you smoke, professor?"
PROF.--"Why, yes, I'm very fond of a good cigar."
STUDE--"Do you drink, sir?"
PROF.--"Yes, indeed, I enjoy nothing better than a bottle of wine."
STUDE--"Gee, it's going to cost me something to pass this
Three boys from Yale, Princeton and Harvard were in a room when a lady
entered. The Yale boy asked languidly if some fellow ought not to give a
chair to the lady; the Princeton boy slowly brought one, and the Harvard
boy deliberately sat down in it.--_Life_.
A college professor was one day nearing the close of a history lecture
and was indulging in one of those rhetorical climaxes in which he
delighted when the hour struck. The students immediately began to slam
down the movable arms of their lecture chairs and to prepare to leave.
The professor, annoyed at the interruption of his flow of eloquence,
held up his hand:
"Wait just one minute, gentlemen. I have a few more pearls to cast."
When Rutherford B. Hayes was a student at college it was his custom to
take a walk before breakfast.
One morning two of his student friends went with him. After walking a
short distance they met an old man with a long white beard. Thinking
that they would have a little fun at the old man's expense, the first
one bowed to him very gracefully and said: "Good morning, Father
The next one made a low bow and said: "Good morning, Father Isaac."
Young Hayes then made his bow and said: "Good morning Father Jacob."
The old man looked at them a moment and then said: "Young men, I am
neither Abraham, Isaac nor Jacob. I am Saul, the son of Kish, and I am
out looking for my father's asses, and lo, I have found them."
A western college boy amused himself by writing stories and giving them
to papers for nothing. His father objected and wrote to the boy that he
was wasting his time. In answer the college lad wrote:
"So, dad, you think I am wasting my time in writing for the local papers
and cite Johnson's saying that the man who writes, except for money, is
a fool. I shall act upon Doctor Johnson's suggestion and write for
money. Send me fifty dollars."
The president of an eastern university had just announced in chapel that
the freshman class was the largest enrolled in the history of the
institution. Immediately he followed the announcement by reading the
text for the morning: "Lord, how are they increased that trouble me!"
STUDE.--"Is it possible to confide a secret to you?"
FRIEND--"Certainly. I will be as silent as the grave."
STUDE--"Well, then, I have a pressing need for two bucks."
FRIEND--"Do not worry. It is as if I had heard nothing." --_-Michigan
"Why did you come to college, anyway? You are not studying," said the
"Well," said Willie, "I don't know exactly myself. Mother says it is to
fit me for the Presidency; Uncle Bill, to sow my wild oats; Sis, to get
a chum for her to marry, and Pa, to bankrupt the family."
A young Irishman at college in want of twenty-five dollars wrote to his
uncle as follows:
"Dear Uncle.--If you could see how I blush for shame while I
am writing, you would pity me. Do you know why? Because I have
to ask you for a few dollars, and do not know how to express
myself. It is impossible for me to tell you. I prefer to die.
I send you this by messenger, who will wait for an answer.
Believe me, my dearest uncle, your most obedient and
"P.S.--Overcome with shame for what I have written, I have
been running after the messenger in order to take the letter
from him, but I cannot catch him. Heaven grant that something
may happen to stop him, or that this letter may get lost."
The uncle was naturally touched, but was equal to the emergency. He
replied as follows:
"My Dear Jack--Console yourself and blush no more. Providence
has heard your prayers. The messenger lost your letter. Your
The professor was delivering the final lecture of the term. He dwelt
with much emphasis on the fact that each student should devote all the
intervening time preparing for the final examinations.
"The examination papers are now in the hands of the printer. Are there
any questions to be asked?"
Silence prevailed. Suddenly a voice from the rear inquired: