THE JEST BOOK 2
A selection of jokes from 1909, selected and arranged by Mark lemon

1.—PRIMOGENITURE. AN Irish clergyman having gone to visit the portraits of the Scottish kings in Holyrood House, observed one of the monarchs of a very youthful appearance, while his son was depicted with a long heard, and wore the traits of extreme old age. "Sancta Maria," exclaimed the good Hibernian, "is it possible that this gentleman was an old man when his father was born!!

2.—CHECK TO THE KING. ONE day James the Second, in the middle of his courtiers, made use of this assertion : "I never knew a modest man make his way at court." To this observation one of the gentlemen present boldly replied: "And, please your majesty, whose fault is that?" The king was struck, and remained silent.

3.— A FALL IN MITRES. ONE of the wooden mitres, carved by Grinling Gibbons over a prebend's stall in the cathedral church of Canterbury, happening to become loose, Jessy While, the surveyor of that edifice, inquired of the dean whether he should make it fast — "for, perhaps," said Jessy, "it may fall on your reverence s head."—" — "Well Jessy," answered Ihe humorous Cantab, "suppose it does fall on my head, I don't know that a mitre falling on my head would hurt it."

4.— FALSE DELICACY. A PERSON disputing with Peter Pindar, said, in great heat, that he did not like to he thought a scoundrel. —"I wish" replied Peter, "that you had as great a dislike to being a scoundrel."

5.— A BAD HARVEST. THERE was much sound palpable argument in the speech of a country lad to an idler, who boasted his ancient family "So much the worse for you," said the peasant; "as we ploughmen say, 'the older the seed the worse the crop.'"

6.— PROOF IMPRESSION. Mr. BETHEL, an Irish barrister, when the question of the Union was in debate, like all the junior barristers published pamphlets upon the subject. Mr. Lysaght met this pamphleteer in the hall of the Four Courts, and in a friendly way, said, "Zounds Bethel, I wonder you never told me you had published a pamphlet on the Union. The one I saw contained some of the best things I have yet seen in any pamphlet upon the subject." —" I'm very proud you think so," said the other, rubbing his hands with satisfaction; "and, pray, what are the things that pleased you so much? "—"Why," replied Lysaght, "as I passed by a pastry-cook's shop this morning, I saw a girl come out with three hot mince-pies wrapped up in one of your works."

7.— NECK OR NOTHING. A RIGHT reverend prelate, himself a man of extreme good-nature, was frequently much vexed in the spirit by the proud, froward, perverse, and untractable temper of his next vicar. The latter, after an absence much longer than usual, one day paid a visit to the bishop, who kindly inquired the cause of his absence, and was answered by the vicar, that he had been confined to his house for some time past by an obstinate stiffness in his knee. "I am glad of that," replied the prelate, "'tis a good symptom that the disorder has changed place, for I had a long time thought it immovably settled in your NECK."

8.— ARCADIA. A FARM was lately advertised in a newspaper, in which all the beauty of the situation, fertility of the soil, and salubrity of the aie were detailed in the richest flow of rural description, which was further enhanced with this — N. B. There is not an attorney within fifteen miles of the neighbourhood.

9.— QUITE PERFECTION. A PAINTER in the Waterloo Road had the following announcement displayed on the front of his house :— " The Acme of Stencil! " A "learned Theban" in the same line in an adjoining street, in order to outdo the "old original" stenciller, thus set forth his pretensions : "Stencilling in all its branches performed in the very height of acme!"

10.— THE LATE Mr. COLLINS. COLLINS the poet, coming into a town the day after a young lady, of whom he was fond, had left it, said, how unlucky he was that he had come a day after the fair.

11.— A FAMILY PARTY. A CERTAIN lodging-house was very much infested by vermin. A gentleman who slept there one night, told the landlady so in the morning, when she said, "La, sir, we haven't a single bug in the house."— "No, ma'am," said he, "they're all married, and have large families too."

12.— CALF'S HEAD SURPRISED. A STUPID person one day seeing a man of learning enjoying the pleasures of the table, said— "So, sir, philosophers, I see, can indulge in the greatest delicacies." — "Why not," replied the other, "do you think Providence intended all the good things for fools?"

13.— POPPING THE QUESTION. A GIRL forced by her parents into a disagreeable match with an old man, whom she detested, when the clergyman came to that part of the service where the bride is asked if she consents to take the bridegroom for her husband, said, with great simplicity— " Oh dear, no, sir; but you are the first person who has asked my opinion about the matter."

14.— SCANDALOUS. IT was said of a great calumniator, and a frequenter of other persons' tables, that he never opened his mouth but at another man's expense.

15.— THE PRINCE OF ORANGE AND JUDGE JEFFERIES. WHEN Jefferies was told that the Prince of Orange would very soon land, and that a manifesto, stating his inducements, objects, etc., was already written, "Pray, my Lord Chief Justice," said a gentleman present, "what do you think will be the heads of this manifesto?"— " Mine will be one," replied he.

16.— MODEST REQUEST. A GENTLEMAN travelling, was accosted by a man walking along the road, who begged the favour of him to put his great coat, which he found very heavy, into his carriage. "With all my heart," said the gentleman, "but if we should not he travelling to the same place, how will you get your coat?" "Oh! easily," answered the man with great naivete, "I shall be in it."

17.— CAP THIS. SIR THOMAS MORE, the famous Chancellor, who preserved his humour and wit to the last moment, when he came to be executed on Tower-hill, the headsman demanded his upper garment as his fee; "Ah! friend," said he, taking off his cap, "that, I think, is my upper garment."

18.— A PRETTY METAPHOR. A YOUNG lady marrying a man she loved, and leaving many friends in town, to retire with him into the country, Mrs. D. said prettily, "She has turned one-and-twenty shillings into a guinea."

19.— ON A STONE THROWN AT A VERY GREAT MAN, BUT WHICH MISSED HIM. TALK no more of the lucky escape of the head from a flint so unluckily thrown I think very different, with thousands indeed, 'Twas a lucky escape for the stone.

20.— A MAN OF LETTERS. WHEN Mr. Wilkes was in the meridian of his popularity, a man in a porter-house, classing himself as an eminent literary character, was asked by one of his companions what right he had to assume such a title. ''Sir," says be, ''I'd have you know, I had the honour of chalking number 45 upon every door between Temple Bar and Hyde Park-corner."

21.— A WELSH WIG-GING. AN Englishman and a Welshman disputing in whose country was the best living, said the Welshman, "There is such noble housekeeping in Wales, that I have known above a dozen cooks employed at one wedding dinner."— " Ay," answered the Englishman, "that was because every man toasted his own cheese."

22.— A SPRIG OF SHILLALAH. A FELLOW on the quay, thinking to quiz a poor Irishman, asked him, "How do the potatoes eat now, Pat?" The Irish lad, who happened to have a shillalak in his hand, answered, "0! they eat very well, my jewel, would you like to taste the stalk?" and knocking the inquirer down, coolly walked off.

23.— DOG-MATIC. IN the great dispute between South and Sherlock, the latter, who was a great courtier, said, '' His adversary reasoned well, but he barked like a cur." To which the other replied, "That fawning was the property of a cur as well as barking."

24.— FALSE QUANTITY.; A LEARNED counsel in the Exchequer spoke of a nolle prosequi. "Consider, sir," said Baron Alderson, "that this is the last day of term, and don't make things unnecessarily long."

25.— IN SUSPENSE. THE sloth, in its wild state, spends its life in trees, and never leaves them but from force or accident. The eagle to the sky, the mole to the ground, the sloth to the tree; but what is most extraordinary, he lives not upon the branches, but under them. He moves suspended, rests suspended, sleeps suspended, and passes his life in suspense— like a young clergyman distantly related to a bishop.

26.— PORSON'S VISIT TO THE CONTINENT. Soon after Professor Porson returned from a visit to the Continent, at a party where he happened to he present, a gentleman solicited a sketch of his journey. Porson immediately gave the following extemporaneous one

"I went to Frankfort and got drunk
With that most learned professor, Brunck
I went to Worts and got more drunken
With that more learned professor, Ruhnken."

27. — ARTIFICIAL HEAT. THE late Lord Kelly had a very red face. "Pray, my lord," said Foote to him, "come and look over my garden-wall— my cucumbers are very backward."

28.— OUTWARD APPEARANCE. MAN is a sort of tree of which we are too apt to judge by the bark.

29.— THE TWO SMITHS. A GENTLEMAN, with the same Christian and surname, took lodgings in the same house with James Smith. The consequence was eternal confusion of calls and letters. Indeed, the postman had no alternative but to share the letters equally between the two. "This is intolerable, sir," said our friend, "and you must quit." "Why am I to quit more than you?" "Because you are James the Second— and must abdicate."

30.— SAGE ADVICE. THE advice given by an Irishman to his English friend, on introducing him to a regular Tipperary row, was, "Wherever you see a head, hit it."

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