A selection of jokes from 1909, selected and arranged by Mark lemon

1.— THE PURSER. LADY HARDWICKE, the lady of the Chancellor, loved money as well as he did, and what he got she saved. The purse in which the Great Seal is carried is of very expensive emhroidery, and was provided, during his time, every year. Lady Hardwicke took care that it should not be provided for the seal-bearer's profit, for she annually retained them herself having previously ordered that the velvet should be of the length of one of the state rooms at Wimpole. So many of them were saved, that at length she had enough to hang the stateroom, and make curtains for the bed. Lord Hardwicke used to say, "There was not such a purser in the navy."

2.— A FOREIGN ACCENT. WHEN Maurice Margarot was tried at Edinburgh for sedition, the Lord Justice asked him, "Hae you ony counsel, mon?" — "No." — "Do you want to hae ony appointed?" — "I only want an interpreter to make me understand what your lordships say."

3.— EASY As LYING. ERSKINE, examining a bumptious fellow, asked him, if he were not a rider? "I'm a traveller, sir," replied the witness, with an air of offended importance. "Indeed, sir. And, pray, are you addicted to the failing usually attributed to travellers?"

4.— NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS. A PRISONER in The Fleet sent to his creditor to let him know that he had a proposal to make, which he believed would be for their mutual benefit. Accordingly, the creditor calling on him to hear it: "I have been thinking," said he, "that it is a very idle thing for me to lie here, and put you to the expense of seven groats a week. My being so chargeable to you has given me great uneasiness, and who knows what it may cost you in the end! Therefore, what I propose is this: You shall let use out of prison, and, instead of seven groats, you shall allow me only eighteenpence a week, and the other tenpence shall go towards the discharging of the debt."

5.— EPIGRAM. (On the column to the Duke of York's memory.)

IN former times the illustrious dead were burned,
Their hearts preserved in sepulchre inurned;
This column, then, commemorates the part
Which custom makes us single out — the heart;
You ask, "How by a column this is done?"
I answer, "'Tis a hollow thing of stone."

6.— FLATTERY TURNED TO ADVANTAGE. A DEPENDANT was praising his patron for many virtues which he did not possess. "I will do all in my power to prevent you lying," answered he.

7.— THE INTRUDER REBUKED. JERROLD and some friends were dining in a private room at a tavern. After dinner the landlord informed the company that the house was partly under repair, and requested that a stranger might be allowed to take a chop at a separate table in the apartment. The company assented, and the stranger, a person of commonplace appearance, was introduced, ate his chop in silence, and then fell asleep, snoring so loudly and inharmoniously that conversation was disturbed. Some gentlemen of the party made a noise, and the stranger, starting from his sleep, shouted to Jerrold, " I know you, Mr. Jerrold; but you shall not make a butt of me!" — "Then don't bring your hog's head in here," was the prompt reply.

8.— CRITICAL POLITENESS. A YOUNG author reading a tragedy, perceived his auditor very often pull off his hat at the end of a line, and asked him the reason. " I cannot pass a very old acquaintance," replied the critic, "without that civility."

9.— A GOOD PLACE. A NOBLEMAN taking leave when going as ambassador, the king said to him, "The principal instruction you require is, to observe a line of conduct exactly the reverse to that of your predecessor." Sire," replied he, "I will endeavour so to act, that you shall not have occasion to give my successor the like advice."

10.— A CABAL. THE attempt to run over the King of the French with a cab, looked like a conspiracy to overturn monarchy by a common-wheel.

11.— THE FIRE OF LONDON. ONE speaking of the fire of London, said "Cannon Street roared, Bread Street was burnt to a crust, Crooked Lane was burnt straight, Addle Hill staggered, Creed Lane would not believe it till it came, Distaff Lane had sprung a fine thread, Ironmonger Lane was redhot, Seacoal Lane was burnt to a cinder, Soper Lane was in the suds, the Poultry was too much singed, Thames Street was dried up, Wood Street was burnt to ashes, Shoe Lane was burnt to boot, Snow Hill was melted down, Pudding Lane and Pye Corner were over baked."


THE speeches made by P— are sound
It cannot he denied;
Granted; and then it will he found,
They're little else beside.

13.— LOST HIS BALANCE. "WHO is he?" said a passer-by to a policeman, who was endeavouriug to raise an intoxicated individual who had fallen into a gutter. "Can't say, sir," replied the policeman; "he can't give any account of himself." — "Of course not," replied the other; "how are you to expect an account from a man who has lost his balance?"

14.— THE RETORT CUTTING. BISHOPS SHERLOCK and HOADLY were both freshmen of the same year, at Catherine Hall, Cambridge. The classical subject in which they were first lectured was Tully's Offices, and one morning Hoadly received a compliment from the tutor for the excellence of his construing. Sherlock, a little vexed at the preference shown to his rival, said, when they left the lecture-room, "Ben, you made good use of L'Estrange's translation to-day." — "Why, no, Tom," retorted Hoadly, "I did not, for I had not got one; and I forgot to borrow yours, which, I am told, is the only one in the college."

15.— ELEGANT COMPLIMENT. MR. HENRY ERSKINE, being one day in London, in company with the Duchess of Gordon, said to her, "Are we never again to enjoy the honour and pleasure of your grace's society at Edinburgh?" — "O!" answered her grace, "Edinburgh is a vile dull place — I hate it." "Madam," replied the gallant barrister, "the sun might as well say, there's a vile dark morning, — I won't rise to-day."


A PUD IN is almi de si re,
Mimis tins Inc ver require,
Alo veri find it a gestis,
His miseri ne ver at rest is.


Mollis abuti,
Has an acuti,
No lasso finis,
Molli divinis.
Omi de armistress,
Imi na distress,
Cant udi scover
Meas alo ver?

18.— A HAPPY SUGGESTION. WHEN Jenny Lind, the Swedish Nightingale, gave a concert to the Consumption Hospital, the proceeds of which concert amounted to £1,776. 15s., and were to be devoted to the completion of the building, Jerrold suggested that the new part of the hospital should be called "The Nightingale's Wing."

19.— PLAYING ON A WORD. LORD ORFORD was present in a large company at dinner, when Bruce, the celebrated traveller, was talking in his usual style of exaggeration. Some one asked him what musical instruments were used in Abyssinia. Bruce hesitated not being prepared for the question: and at last said, "I think I saw a lyre there." George Selwyn, who was of the party, whispered his next man, "Yes, and there is one less since he left the country."

20.— AN EYE TO PROFIT. A PERSON speaking of an acquaintance, who, though extremely avaricious, was always abusing the avarice of others, added, "Is it not strange that this man will not take the beam oat of his own eye before he attempts the mote in other people's? "Why, so I daresay he would," cried Sheridan, "if he was sure of selling the timber."

21.— "OUT, BRIEF CANDLE." A VERY small officer struck an old grenadier of his company for some supposed fault in performing his evolutions. The grenadier gravely took off his cap, and, holding it over the officer by the tip, said, " Sir, if you were not my officer, I would extinguish you."

22.— A. I. A LEARNED barrister, quoting Latin verses to a brother "wig," who did not appear to understand them, added, "Don't you know the lines? They are in Martial." "Marshall. Oh, yes; Marshall, who wrote on underwriting." — "Not so bad," replied the other. "After all, there is not so much difference between an under writer and a minor poet."

23.— QUALIFYING FOR BAIL. A GENTLEMAN once appeared in the Court of King's Bench to give bail in the sum of £3,000. Serjeant Davy, wanting to display his wit, said to him, sternly, "And pray, sir, how do you make out that you are worth £3,000.?" The gentleman stated the particulars of his properly up to £2,940. "That's all very good," said the serjeant, "but you want £60. more to be worth £3,000." — "For that sum," replied the gentleman, in no ways disconcerted, "I have a note of hand of one Mr. Serjeant Davy, and I hope he will have the honesty soon to settle it." The serjeant looked abashed, and Lord Mansfield observed, in his usual urbane tone, "Well, brother Davy, I think we may accept the bail."

24.— BARRY'S POWERS OF PLEASING. SPRANGER BARRY, to his silver-toned voice, added all the powers of persuasion. A carpenter, to whom he owed some money for work at the Dublin Theatre, called at Barry's house, and was very clamorous in demanding payment. Mr. Barry overhearing him, said from above, "Don't be in a passion; but do me the favour to walk upstairs, and we'll speak on the business." — "Not I," answered the man; "you owe me one hundred pounds already, and if you get me upstairs, you won't let me leave you till you owe me two."

25.— EPIGRAM. "IT is rumoured that a certain Royal Duke has expressed a determination never to shave until the Reform Bill is crushed entirely." — Court Journal.

'Tis right that Cumberland should be
In this resolve so steady,
For all the world declare that he,
Is too bare-faced already!

26.— SENTENCE OF DEATH. THE following is a literal copy of a notice served by a worthy inhabitant of Gravesend upon his neighbour, whose fowl had eaten his pig's victuals.

"SIR,-I have sent to you as Coashon a gences Leting your fouls Coming Eting and destrowing My Pegs vettles and if so be you Let them Com on My Premses hafter this Noddes I will kil them. " RD. GOLD.

27.— NATIVE WIT. JOHN was thought to be very stupid. He was sent to a mill one day, and the miller said, "John, some people say you are a fool! Now, tell me what you do know, and what you don't know." — " Well," replied John, "I know millers' hogs are fat!" — "Yes, that's well, John! Now, what don't you know? " — "I don't know whose corn fats 'em.

28.— WORTH THE MONEY. SIR ROBERT WALPOLE having misquoted a passage in Horace, Mr. Pulteney said the honourable gentleman's Latin was as bad as his politics. Sir Robert adhered to his version, and bet his opponent a guinea that he was right, proposing Mr. Harding as arbiter. The bet being accepted, Harding rose, and with ludicrous solemnity gave his decision against his patron. The guinea was thrown across the House, and when Pulteney stooped to pick it up, he observed, that "it was the first public money he had touched for a long time." After his death, the guinea was found wrapped up in a piece of paper on which the circumstance was recorded.

29.— SUITED TO HIS SUBJECT. THE ballot was, it seems, first proposed in 1795, by Major Cart-wright, who somewhat appropriately wrote a book upon the Common- Wheel.

30.— NOTT versus NOTT. A GENTLEMAN of Maudlin, whose name was Nott, returning late from his friend's rooms, attracted the attention of the proctor, who demanded his name and college. "I am Nott of Maudlin," was the reply, hiccupping. "Sir," said the proctor, in an angry tone, "I did not ask of what college you are not, but of what college you are." — "I am Nott of Maudlin," was again the broken reply. The proctor, enraged at what he considered contumely, insisted on accompanying him to Maudlin, and demanded of the porter, whether he knew the gentleman" — " Know him, sir," said the porter, "yes, it is Mr. Nott of this college." The proctor no's' perceived his error in not understanding the gentleman, and, wished him a good night.


IN Parliament, it's plain enough,
No reverence for age appears
For they who hear each speaker's stuff,
Find there is no respect for (y)ears.

32.— THE PINK OF POLITENESS. LORD BERKELEY was once dining with Lord Chesterfield (the pink of politeness) and a large party, when it was usual to drink wine until they were mellow. Berkeley had by accident shot one of his gamekeepers, and Chesterfield, under the warmth of wine, said — " Pray, my lord Berkeley, how long is it since you shot a gamekeeper?" — " Not since you hanged your tutor, my lord!" was the reply. You know that Lord Chesterfield brought Dr. Dodd to trial, in consequence of which he was hanged.

33.— HIGH AND LOW. "I EXPECT six clergymen to dine with me on such a day," said a gentleman to his butler. " Very good, sir," said the butler. "Are they High Church or Low Church, sir?" — "What on earth can that signify to you?" asked the astonished master." — "Everything, sir," was the reply. "If they are High Church, they'll drink; if they are Low Church, they'll eat!"


IN making love let poor men sigh,
But love that's ready-made is better
For men of business; — so I,
If madam will he cruel, let her.
But should she wish that I should wait
And miss the 'Change — oh no, I thank her
I court by deed, or after date,
Through my solicitor or banker.

35.— INGENIOUS REPLY OF A SOLDIER. A SOLDIER in the army of the Duke of Marlborough took the name of that general, who reprimanded him for it. "How am I to blame, general?" said the soldier. "I have the choice of names; if I had known one more illustrious than yours, I should have taken it."

36.— LORD CHESTERFIELD. WHEN Lord Chesterfield was in administration, he proposed a person to his late majesty as proper to fill a place of great trust, but which the king himself was determined should be filled by another. The council, however, resolved not to indulge the king, for fear of a dangerous precedent, and it was Lord Chesterfield's business to present the grant of office for the king's signature. Not to incense his majesty by asking him abruptly, he, with accents of great humility, begged to know with whose name his majesty would be pleased to have the blanks filled up. "With the devil's!" replied the king, in a paroxysm of rage. "And shall the instrument," said the Earl, coolly, "run as usual, Our trusty and well-beloved cousin and counsellor?" — a repartee at which the king laughed heartily, and with great good-humour signed the grant.

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