Project Gutenberg's Quips and Quiddities, by William Davenport Adams

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Title: Quips and Quiddities
       A Quintessence of Quirks Quaint, Quizzical and Quotable

Author: William Davenport Adams

Release Date: December 27, 2012 [EBook #41713]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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Post 8vo, cloth limp, 2s. 6d. per volume.


OLD STORIES RE-TOLD. By Walter Thornbury.
PUNIANA. By the Hon. Hugh Rowley.
MORE PUNIANA. By the Hon. Hugh Rowley.
BY STREAM AND SEA. By William Senior.
JEUX D'ESPRIT. Collected and Edited by Henry S. Leigh.
THE MUSES OF MAYFAIR. Edited by H. Cholmondeley Pennell.
PUCK ON PEGASUS. By H. Cholmondeley Pennell.
ORIGINAL PLAYS by W. S. Gilbert. First Series. Containing—The Wicked World, Pygmalion and Galatea, Charity, The Princess, The Palace of Truth, Trial by Jury.
ORIGINAL PLAYS by W. S. Gilbert. Second Series. Containing—Broken Hearts, Engaged, Sweethearts, Dan'l Druce, Gretchen, Tom Cobb, The Sorcerer, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance.
QUIPS AND QUIDDITIES. Selected by W. Davenport Adams.
MELANCHOLY ANATOMISED: a Popular Abridgment of "Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy."
THE AGONY COLUMN OF "THE TIMES," FROM 1800 TO 1870. Edited by Alice Clay.
LATTER-DAY LYRICS. Edited by W. Davenport Adams.

 Other Volumes are in preparation.







Publisher's logo

"How now, how now, mad wag? what, in thy Quips and thy Quiddities?"

I Henry IV., i. 2




[All rights reserved.]


This is a modest little volume. It consists but of selections from the Editor's note-book, and its object is but to amuse. It does not even aspire to be read consecutively. The Compiler's hope is only that it may be found a pleasant companion at spare moments—that it may be considered handy for the pocket, and be thought agreeable to dip into.

To that end, two things have been aimed at in selecting—brevity and variety. There is scarcely anything in the volume that cannot be read almost at a glance, and the matter ranges over a wide extent of literary effort—over play and poem, over essay and novel, over maxim and epigram, over memoir and diary. There is pun, and there is parody; there is satire, and there is sarcasm. In a word, the little book may say, with Lafontaine, "Diversité c'est ma devise." There is diversity even in the arrangement, which consists merely of a general alternation of the prose and verse. For the rest, the quips and quiddities are in intentional disorder.

Let it be added that, though there are a few anonymous passages, most are duly attributed to their writers, together with references to the volumes from which they have been taken. In this, every care has been exercised to arrive at accuracy. The idea of completeness is, of course, foreign to a selection of this sort, and it may be mentioned that the Editor has been specially anxious to avoid as much as possible the ground covered by Mr. Leigh in his "Jeux d'Esprit," and by Mr. Dobson in his "Literary Frivolities." His aim, indeed, has been to take the freshest and least hackneyed of the passages in his collection, though he has not hesitated to include a venerable saying when it has seemed to him as good as it is venerable.

In conclusion, the Compiler desires to express in the most hearty manner his indebtedness to those numerous living writers whose bright and airy fancies form, in his opinion, one of the chief attractions of the book. He ought, perhaps, to apologize to those writers for presenting their fancies in a manner so generally fragmentary and disconnected. But that the contents of the book should be thus disconnected and fragmentary was part and parcel of its plan and origin, and, that being the case, the Editor hopes to be excused. He may state that, in those few cases where a piece of verse is given entire, it is distinguished by the presence of a heading. The epigrams, maxims, and anecdotes are, of course, reproduced as written—being, in their very nature, of the brevity essential to a quip.

Further: on the principle that no book, however unpretending, should be without an Index, the Compiler has supplied one for the present volume.


"Shall I tell thee one thing, Poins?"
"Yes, faith; and let it be an excellent good thing."

I Henry IV., ii. 2.



W HEN Miss Callender, afterwards Mrs. Sheridan, published a novel, the hero of which commits forgery, that wicked wit, Sydney Smith, said he knew she was a Callender, but did not know till then that she was a Newgate Calendar.

Fanny Kemble, Record of a Girlhood.


A N estate and beauty joined, are of an unlimited, nay, a power pontifical; make one not only absolute, but infallible. A fine woman's never in the wrong.

Lady Betty, in Cibber's Careless Husband.


W HEN I'm drinking my tea
I think of my The;
When I'm drinking my coffee
I think of my Offee;
So, whether I'm drinking my tea or my coffee,
I'm always a-thinking of thee, my Theoffy.

Rogers, apud Moore.


B OBUS was very amusing. He is a great authority on Indian matters. We talked of the insects and the snakes, and he said a thing which reminded me of his brother Sydney: "Always, sir, manage to have at your table some fleshy blooming young writer or cadet, just come out, that the mosquitoes may stick to him, and leave the rest of the company alone."

Lord Macaulay, Life.

L ADY GREENWICH, in a conversation with Lady Tweeddale, named the Saxons. "The Saxons, my dear," cried the Marchioness; "who were they?" "Lord, madam, did your ladyship never read the History of England?" "No, my dear; pray, who wrote it?"

Horace Walpole, Correspondence.


B ECAUSE on her way she chose to halt,
Lot's wife, in the Scriptures, was turned into salt;
But though in her course she ne'er did falter,
This young Lot's wife, strange to say, was Salter.

Hicks, apud J. C. Young.

H OOK was dining at Powell's one day, and the talk fell upon feu Jack Reeve. "Yes," said Theodore, when they were speaking of his funeral, "I met him in his private box, going to the pit."

H. F. Chorley, Life and Letters.



O LD Orpheus played so well, he moved old Nick,
While thou mov'st nothing but thy fiddlestick!

A Collection of Epigrams (1727).

A   LADY from China who was dining with the Archbishop [Whately] told him that English flowers reared in that country lose their perfume in two or three years. "Indeed!" was the immediate remark, "I had no idea that the Chinese were such de-scent-ers."

E. J. Whately's Life of Whately.


T HAT Picture-Raffles will conduce to nourish
Design, or cause good colouring to flourish,
Admits of logic-chopping and wise-sawing:
But surely Lotteries encourage Drawing?

Thomas Hood, Whims and Oddities.

R OBERT SMITH (brother of Sydney, and familiarly called "Bobus") was a lawyer and an ex-Advocate-General, and happened on one occasion to be engaged in argument with an excellent physician touching the merits of their respective professions. "You must admit," urged Dr. ——, "that your profession does not make angels of men." "No," was the retort, "there you have the best of it; yours certainly gives them the first chance."

Abraham Hayward, Essays.


I N London I never know what I'd be at,
Enraptured with this, and enchanted by that;
I'm wild with the sweets of variety's plan,
And Life seems a blessing too happy for man.

But the Country, Lord help me! sets all matters right;
So calm and composing from morning to night;
Oh! it settles the spirits when nothing is seen
But an ass on a common, a goose on a green.

Charles Morris, Lyra Urbanica.

P ARLER d'amour, c'est faire amour.

Balzac, Physiologie du Mariage.

A T the Polish ball, the Lord Mayor said to Lady Douglas, who squints, "Which do you prefer, my lady, Gog or Magog?" "Of the three," said Lady Douglas, "I prefer your lordship!"

B. R. Haydon, Diary.


A  VIPER bit a Cappadocian's hide;
But 'twas the viper, not the man, that died.

Anon., from the Greek.

T HE merits of a certain American diplomatist being on the tapis, [Washington Irving] said, in allusion to his pomposity, "Ah, he is a great man; and, in his own estimation, a very great man—a man of great weight. When he goes to the West, the East tips up."

J. C. Young, Diary.


W HEN a rapt audience has encored "Fra Poco"
Or "Casta Diva," I have heard that then
The Prima Donna, smiling herself out,
Recruits her flagging powers with bottled stout.

C. S. Calverley, Verses and Translations.

I  believe everything. It saves one such a world of bore from intelligent people who are anxious to explain things you doubt about.

Lucy Forrester, in Brooks' Aspen Court.

R ANK so friendly now with trade is,
Bill discounters titled ladies
Stoop to raise.
Manners used to make the man,
It is only money can

J. Jemmett Browne, Songs of Many Seasons.

B LACK is a great fact. Want of fashion in the cut; want of richness in the material; want of chic in the wearer—all these it covers, like charity. There's a sentiment about it which appeals to the feelings, and it is becoming to the skin.

Anna C. Steele.

A RE you quite sure that Pygmalion is the only person who ever fell in love with his own handiwork?

Guesses at Truth.


D UTY,—that's to say the complying
With whate'er's expected here,
On your unknown cousin's dying,
Straight be ready with the tear;
Upon etiquette relying,
Unto usage nought denying,
Lend your waist to be embraced,
Blush not even, never fear.

A. H. Clough, Poems.

W HAT Jenner said on hearing in Elysium that complaints had been made of his having a statue in Trafalgar Square:—

England, ingratitude still blots
The escutcheon of the brave and free:
I saved you many million spots,
And now you grudge one spot to me.

Shirley Brooks, Wit and Humour.

D EH! what are we sinners doing all our lives? Making soup in a basket, and getting nothing but the scum for our stomachs.

Machiavelli, in George Eliot's Romola.

M Y idea of an agreeable person is a person who agrees with me.

Hugo Bohun, in Lord Beaconsfield's Lothair.


"W ILL you walk a little faster?" said a whiting to a snail,
"There's the porpoise close behind us, and he's treading on my tail.
See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance!
They are waiting on the shingle—will you come and join the dance?"

"You can really have no notion how delightful it will be
When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea!"
But the snail replied, "Too far, too far!" and gave a look askance,
Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would not join the dance.

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.

I  COULD draw on wood at a very tender age. When a mere child I once drew a small cartload of turnips over a wooden bridge. The people of the village noticed me. I drew their attention.

C. F. Browne, Artemus Ward's Lecture.

T HAT all-softening over-powering knell,
The tocsin of the soul—the dinner-bell.

Lord Byron, Don Juan.


N OW Darwin proves as clear as mud,
That, endless ages ere the Flood,
The Coming Man's primeval form
Was simply an Ascidian worm:
And having then the habit got
Of passing liquor down his throat,
He keeps it still, and shows full well
That Man—was—once——a leather bottèl.

Lord Neaves, Songs and Verses.

"T HE ancients," quoth Paul, "were very great men, Mr. MacGrawler."
"They were so, sir," returned the critic;
"we make it a rule in our profession to assert that fact."
"But, sir," said Paul, "they are wrong now and then.
"Never, Ignoramus, never."
"They praised poverty, Mr. MacGrawler," said Paul, with a sigh.
"Hem," quoth the critic, a little staggered; but presently recovering his characteristic acumen, he observed,
"It is true, Paul, but that was the poverty of other people."

Lord Lytton, Paul Clifford.

Y ES, Fortune deserves to be chidden,
It is a coincidence queer—
Whenever one wants to be hidden
Some blockhead is sure to appear!

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.


O NE day in the country [Sheridan Knowles] said to Abbot, with whom he had been acting there, "My dear fellow, I'm off to-morrow. Can I take any letters for you?" "You're very kind," answered Abbot; "but where are you going to?"  "I haven't made up my mind."

J.R.PlanchÉ, Recollections.


T HE newspapers lately have taught us to know
How some strong-minded hens are beginning to crow.
But, dear ladies, beware: take the word of a friend,
That when rivalry comes, all affection must end.
With the brightest of spoons would be war to the knife
In political contests 'twixt husband and wife;
And the sentence of doom might be sudden and brief
If a feminine subaltern jilted her chief.
We men take a pride in concealing our chains,
And would like to be thought to monopolize brains;
So I'll give you this maxim, my counsels to crown—
If the stockings are blue, keep the petticoats down.

Once a Week.

T ALKING of Kean, I mentioned his having told me that he had eked out his means of living, before he emerged from obscurity, by teaching dancing, fencing, elocution, and boxing. "Elocution and boxing!" (repeated Bobus Smith)—"a word and a blow."

Thomas Moore, Diary.



S MART soldiers like to be well tightened in:
Loose habits would destroy all discipline.

H. J. Byron, in English Epigrams.

F ONTAINE, the architect, who built the triumphal arch in the Carrousel, placed upon it an empty car, drawn by the famous bronze Venetian horses. Talleyrand asked him, "Qui avez vous l'intention de mettre dans le char?" The answer was, "L'Empereur Napoléon, comme de raison." Upon which Talleyrand said, "Le char l'attend."

Gronow, Recollections.

'T IS doubtless well to be sometimes awake—
Awake to duty, and awake to truth,—
But when, alas! a nice review we take
Of our best deeds and days, we find, in sooth,
The hours that leave the slightest cause to weep
Are those we passed in childhood or asleep!

John Godfrey Saxe, Poems.

S IR TOBY. "Does not our life consist of the four elements?"

Sir Andrew. "Faith, so they say; but I think it rather consists of eating and drinking."

Twelfth Night, Act II., Scene 3.


S HE thought "Wives and Daughters" "so jolly;"
"Had I read it?" She knew that I had:
Like the rest, I should dote upon "Molly;"
And "poor Mrs. Gaskell—how sad!"
"Like Browning?" "But so-so." His proof lay
Too deep for her frivolous mood,
That preferred your mere metrical soufflé
To the stronger poetical food;
Yet at times he was good—"as a tonic:"
Was Tennyson writing just now?
And was this new poet Byronic,
And clever, and naughty, or how?

Austin Dobson, Vignettes in Rhyme.

O LD friends are best. King James used to call for his old shoes; they were easiest for his feet.

Selden, Table Talk.

L ET a coach be called,
And let the man who called it be the caller;
And in his calling let him nothing call,
But coach, coach, coach! Oh for a coach, ye gods!

Carey, Chrononhotonthologos.

I F you could make a pudding wi' thinking o' the batter, it 'ud be easy getting dinner.

Mrs. Poyser, in George Eliot's Adam Bede.


T HERE'S somewhat on my breast, father,
There's somewhat on my breast;
The livelong day I sigh, father,
And at night I cannot rest.
'Tis not the lack of gold, father,
Nor want of worldly gear;
My lands are broad, and fair to see,
My friends are kind and dear.

'Tis not that Janet's false, father,
'Tis not that she's unkind;
Though busy flatterers swarm around,
I know her constant mind.
'Tis not her coldness, father,
That chills my labouring breast:
It's that confounded cucumber
I've eat and can't digest.

R. H. Barham, Ingoldsby Lyrics.

I NSOLENCE is a charming quality, when, like mercy, it is not strained.

Once a Week.

A NCIENT Phillis has young graces,
'Tis a strange thing, but a true one!
Shall I tell you how?
She, herself, makes her own faces,
And each morning wears a new one;
Where's the wonder now?

Lord Froth, in Congreve 's Double Dealer.


C ÉLÉBRITÉ—l'avantage d'être connu de ceux que vous ne connaissez pas.

Chamfort, Maximes.

'T IS past all bearing, when a husband slights his bride,
Who last Christmas still was blushing at her elder sister's side;
Still on some minute allowance finding collars, boots, and gloves,
Still to cousinly flirtations limiting her list of loves,
Still by stern domestic edict charged on no account to read
Any of Miss Brontë's novels, or to finish Adam Bede.

First Lady, in Trevelyan's Ladies in Parliament.

I  DIFFER from all the ordinary biographers of that independent gentleman Don't Care. I believe Don't Care came to a good end. At any rate he came to some end. Whereas numbers of people never have beginning, or ending, of their own.

Ellesmere, in Helps's Friends in Council.


W ISELY a woman prefers to a lover a man who neglects her.
This one may love her some day; some day the lover will not.

John Hay, Poems.


O NE morning [Jerrold and Compton] proceeded together to view the pictures in the Gallery of Illustration. On entering the ante-room, they found themselves opposite to a number of very long looking-glasses. Pausing before one of these, [Compton] remarked to Jerrold, "You've come here to admire works of art! Very well, first feast your eyes on that work of nature!"—pointing to his own figure reflected in the glass; "look at it, there's a picture for you!" "Yes," said Jerrold, regarding it intently, "very fine, very fine indeed!" Then, turning to his friend: "Wants hanging, though!"

Memoir of Henry Compton.

S ING for the garish eye,
When moonless brandlings cling!
Let the froddering crooner cry,
And the braddled sapster sing.
For never, and never again,
Will the tottering beechlings play,
For bratticed wrackers are singing aloud,
And the throngers croon in May!

W. S. Gilbert.

S YDNEY SMITH said of a certain quarrelsome person that his very face was a breach of the peace.

J. T. Fields, Yesterdays with Authors.


K ERCHIEF in hand I saw them stand;
In every kerchief lurked a lunch;
When they unfurl'd them it was grand
To watch bronzed men and maidens crunch
The sounding celery-stick, or ram
The knife into the blushing ham.

Dash'd the bold fork through pies of pork;
O'er hard-boil'd eggs the saltspoon shook;
Leapt from its lair the playful cork:
Yet some there were, to whom the brook
Seemed sweetest beverage, and for meat
They chose the red root of the beet.

C. S. Calverley, Fly Leaves.

O F all virtues, magnanimity is the rarest. There are a hundred persons of merit for one who willingly acknowledges it in another.

W. Hazlitt, Characteristics.

B ISNESS first, pleasure artervards, as King Richard the Third said ven he stabbed the tother king in the Tower, afore he murdered the babbies.

Charles Dickens, apud J. T. Fields.

W E are all of us liable to this error of imagining that we are grieved at a fault, when we are only grieved at having done something to lower ourselves in our own estimation.

E. M. Sewell, Margaret Percival.


I  TREMBLED once beneath her spell
Whose spelling was extremely so-so.

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.

I T'S easy finding reasons why other folks should be patient.

Bartle Massey, in George Eliot's Adam Bede.


I F thou wouldst stand on Etna's burning brow,
With smoke above, and roaring flames below;
And gaze adown that molten gulf reveal'd
Till thy soul shudder'd, and thy senses reel'd;—
If thou wouldst beard Niagara in his pride,
Or stem the billows of Propontic tide;
Scale all alone some dizzy Alpine haut,
And shriek "Excelsior!" amidst the snow;—
Wouldst tempt all deaths, all dangers that may be,
Perils by land, and perils on the sea,—
This vast round world, I say, if thou wouldst view it,
Then why the dickens don't you go and do it?

H. Cholmondeley Pennell, Puck on Pegasus.

I  AM saddest when I sing; so are those who hear me. They are sadder even than I am.

C. F. Browne, Artemus Ward's Lecture.


A N ape with a pliable thumb and big brain,
When the gift of the gab he had managed to gain,
As a lord of creation established his reign,
Which nobody can deny.

But I'm sadly afraid, if we do not take care,
A relapse to low life may our prospects impair,
So of beastly propensities let us beware,
Which nobody can deny.

Their lofty position our children may lose,
And, reduced to all-fours, must then narrow their views,
Which would shortly unfit them for wearing our shoes,
Which nobody can deny.

Their vertebræ next might be taken away,
When they'd sink to an oyster, or insect, some day,
Or the pitiful part of a polypus play,
Which nobody can deny.

Lord Neaves, Songs and Verses.

I T'S dreadful to think on, people playing with their own insides in that way! And it's flying i' the face o' Providence; for what are the doctors for, if we aren't to call 'em in?

Mrs. Pullet, in George Eliot's Mill on the Floss.

B RIEF, in two rules he summed the ends of man—
Keep all you have, and try for all you can!

Lord Lytton, King Arthur.



W HAT mistress half so dear as mine,
Half so well dressed, so pungent, fragrant,
Who can such attributes combine,
To charm the constant, fix the vagrant?
Who can display such varied arts,
To suit the taste of saint and sinner,
Who go so near to touch their hearts,
As thou, my darling dainty dinner?

Still my breast holds a rival queen,
A bright-eyed nymph of sloping shoulders,
Whose ruddy cheeks and graceful mien
Entrance the sense of all beholders.
Oh! when thy lips to mine are pressed,
What transports titillate my throttle!
My love can find new life and zest,
In thee, and thee alone, my bottle!

Horace Smith, The Tin Trumpet.

F ASHION with us is like the man in one of Le Sage's novels, who was constantly changing his servants, and yet had but one suit of livery, which every newcomer, whether he was tall or short, fat or thin, was obliged to wear.

Wormwood, in Lord Lytton's Pelham.


U NMARKETABLE maidens of the mart,
Who, plumpness gone, fine delicacy feint,
And hide your sins in piety and paint.

Alfred Austin, The Season.

S EEING O. Smith, the popular melodramatic actor, on the opposite side of the Strand, Knowles rushed across the road, seized him by the hand, and inquired eagerly after his health. Smith, who only knew him by sight, said, "I think, Mr. Knowles, you are mistaken; I am O. Smith." "My dear fellow," cried Knowles, "I beg you ten thousand pardons: I took you for your namesake, T. P. Cooke!"

J. R. Planché, Recollections.


S AYS Hyam to Moses,
"Let's cut off our noses,"
Says Moses to Hyam,
"Ma tear, who would buy 'em?"

Shirley Brooks, Wit and Humour.

T URNIPS should never be pulled: it injures them. It is much better to send a boy up and let him shake the tree.

Mark Twain, Choice Works.


H H lived in a cave by the seas,
He lived upon oysters and foes,
But his list of forbidden degrees
An extensive morality shows;
Geological evidence goes
To prove he had never a pan,
But he shaved with a shell when he chose,—
'Twas the manner of Primitive Man.

He worshipped the rain and the breeze,
He worshipped the river that flows,
And the dawn, and the moon, and the trees,
And bogies, and serpents, and crows;
He buried his dead with their toes
Tucked-up, an original plan,
Till their knees came right under their nose,—
'Twas the manner of Primitive Man.

Andrew Lang, Ballades in Blue China.

O N ne loue d'ordinaire que pour être loué.

La Rochefoucauld, Réflexions.

W OULD you adopt a strong logical attitude,
Bear this in mind, and, whatever you do,
Always allow your opponent full latitude,
Whether or not his assumption be true.
Then, when he manifests feelings of gratitude
Merely because you've not shut him up flat,
Turn his pet paradox into a platitude
With the remark, "Oh, of course, we know that!"

Godfrey Turner.


T HE gentle reader, who may wax unkind,
And, caring little for the author's ease,
Insist on knowing what he means—a hard
And hapless situation for a bard.

Lord Byron, Beppo.

M Y dear, when you have a clergyman in your family you must accommodate your tastes: I did that very early. When I married Humphrey, I made up my mind to like sermons, and I set out by liking the end very much. That soon spread to the middle and the beginning, because I couldn't have the end without them.

Mrs. Cadwallader, in George Eliot's Middlemarch.

G REAT theologians, talk not of Trinity:
Heretics, plague us no more with your fibs;
One question only, Which is the Divinity,—
Willcox or Gibbs?

Mortimer Collins, The British Birds.

"I S that the contents you are looking at?" inquired an anxious author, who saw Rogers's eye fixed on a table or list at the commencement of a presentation copy of a new work. "No," said Rogers, pointing to the list of subscribers, "the dis-contents."

A. Hayward, Essays.


T HE river's like glass—
As slowly I pass,
This sweet little lass
Raises two
Forget-me-not eyes
In laughing surprise—
From canoe.
And as I float by,
Said I, "Miss, O why?
O why may not I
Drift with you?"
Said she, with a start,
"I've no room in my heart—
Or canoe!"

J. Ashby Sterry, Boudoir Ballads.

K ENNY one day mentioned Charles Lamb's being once bored by a lady praising to him "such a charming man!" etc., etc.; ending with, "I know him, bless him!" On which Lamb said, "Well, I don't, but d—— him at a hazard."

Thomas Moore, Diary.

T HEY sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
They pursued it with forks and hope;
They threatened its life with a railway share;
They charmed it with smiles and soap.

Lewis Carroll, Hunting of the Snark.


I  REMEMBER being present at a dinner in London, when a very severe and saturnine Scotch Presbyterian was abusing Sunday newspapers, and concluded a violent tirade by saying, "I am determined to set my face against them." "So am I," said Theodore Hook, "every Sunday morning."

Gronow, Recollections.


T OMKINS will clear the land, they say,
From every foul abuse;
So chimneys in the olden time
Were cleansèd by a goose.

James Hannay, Sketches and Characters.

I  WAS mentioning that some one had said of Sharpe's very dark complexion that he looked as if the dye of his old trade (hat making) had got engrained into his face. "Yes," said Luttrell, "darkness that may be felt!"

Thomas Moore, Diary.

I T seems that poor Bruin has never had peace
'Twixt bald men in Bethel, and wise men in grease.

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.


T HE term sound divine being used, I said, "I do not know what is a sound divine," quoting Pope—

"'Dulness is sacred in a sound divine.'"

"But I do," said Donaldson. "It is a divine who is vox et præterea nihil."

Crabb Robinson, Diary.

P LAIN food is quite enough for me;
Three courses are as good as ten;
If Nature can subsist on three,
Thank heaven for three—Amen!
I always thought cold victual nice—
My choice should be vanilla-ice.

I care not much for gold or land;
Give me a mortgage here or there;
Some good bank-stock, some note of hand,
Or trifling railroad share:—
I only ask that fortune send
A little more than I shall spend.

Oliver Wendell Holmes.

S OME one saying to Sir F. Gould, "I am told you eat three eggs every day at breakfast,"—"No," answered Gould, "on the contrary." Some of those present asked, "What was the contrary of eating three eggs?" "Laying three eggs, I suppose," said Luttrell.

Thomas Moore, Diary.


B LOSSOM of hawthorn whitens in May:
Never an end to true love's sway!
Blossom of hawthorn fades in June:
I shall be tired of my true love soon!
Blossom of hawthorn's gone in July:
Darling, I must be off,—good-bye!


T HE late Mr. Nightingale was telling Horace Smith of his having given a late royal duke an account of an accident he had met with when he had been run away with, and of the duke's exclaiming aloud to himself, when he heard he had jumped out of the carriage, "Fool! fool!" "Now," said the narrator to his auditor, "it's all very well for him to call me a fool, but I can't conceive why he should. Can you?" "No," replied the wag, as if reflecting, "because he could not suppose you ignorant of the fact."

J. C. Young, Diary.

S UCH are the sylvan scenes that thrill
This heart! The lawns, the happy shade
Where matrons, whom the sunbeams grill,
Stir with slow spoon their lemonade;
And maidens flirt (no extra charge)
In comfort at the fountain's marge!

C. S. Calverley, Fly Leaves.


T HE crow!—the crow!—the great black crow!
He loves the fat meadow—his taste is low;
He loves the fat worms, and he dines in a row
With fifty fine cousins all black as a sloe.
Sloe—sloe! you great black crow!
But it is jolly to fare like a great black crow!

P. J. Bailey, Festus.

I F a man's got a bit of property, a stake in the country, he'll want to keep things square. Where Jack isn't safe, Tom's in danger.

Mr. Wace, in George Eliot's Felix Holt.

T URN not from poor pussy in disdain,
Whose pride of ancestry may equal thine;
For is she not a blood descendant of
The ancient Catty line?

R. H. Newell, Orpheus C. Kerr Papers.

I  HEARD the other day of Jekyll making the following pun. He said, "Erskine used to hesitate very much, and could not speak very well after dinner. I dined with him once at the Fishmongers' Company. He made such a sad work of speechifying that I asked him whether it was in honour of the Company that he floundered so?"

Crabb Robinson, Diary.


W HO knows if what Adam might speak
Was mono- or poly-syllabic;
Was Gothic, or Gaelic, or Greek,
Tartàric, Chinese, or Aràbic?
It may have been Sanskrit or Zend—
It must have been something or other;
But thus far I'll stoutly contend,—
It wasn't the tongue of his mother.

Lord Neaves, Songs and Verses.

M EN'S natures are neither black nor white, but brown.

Charles Buxton, Notes of Thought.

O H, Love's but a dance,
Where Time plays the fiddle!
See the couples advance,—
Oh, Love's but a dance!
A whisper, a glance,—
"Shall we twirl down the middle?"
Oh, Love's but a dance,
Where Time plays the fiddle!

Austin Dobson, Proverbs in Porcelain.

I  MET a man in Oregon who hadn't any teeth—not a tooth in his head—yet that man could play on the bass drum better than any man I ever met.

C. F. Browne, Artemus Ward's Lecture.


T HE Duke of Rutland, at one of his levées, being at a loss for something to say to every person he was bound in etiquette to notice, remarked to Sir John Hamilton that there was a prospect of an excellent crop. "The timely rain," observed the duke, "will bring everything above ground." "God forbid, your excellency!" exclaimed the courtier. His excellency stared, whilst Sir John continued, sighing heavily as he spoke, "Yes, God forbid! for I have three wives under it!"

Sir Jonah Barrington, Memoirs.

"Y OU are old," said the youth, "and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak,—
Pray, how did you manage to do it?"

"In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength which it gave to my jaw
Has lasted the rest of my life."

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.

L E monde récompense plus souvent les apparances du mérite que le mérite même.

La Rochefoucauld, Réflexions.


C URRAN told an anecdote of an Irish parliament man, who was boasting in the House of Commons of his attachment to trial by jury. "Mr. Speaker, by the trial by jury I have lived, and by the blessing of God, with the trial by jury I will die!" Curran sat near him, and whispered audibly, "What, Jack! do you mean to be hanged?"

Crabb Robinson, Diary.

T HEY roused him with muffins—they roused him with ice—
They roused him with mustard and cress—
They roused him with jam and judicious advice—
They set him conundrums to guess.

Lewis Carroll, Hunting of the Snark.

M Y old friend Maltby, the brother of the bishop, was a very absent man. One day at Paris, in the Louvre, we were looking at the pictures, when a lady entered who spoke to me, and kept me some minutes in conversation. On rejoining Maltby, I said, "That was Mrs. ——. We have not met so long, she had almost forgotten me, and asked me if my name was Rogers." Maltby, still looking at the pictures, "And was it?"

Rogers, apud J. R. Planché.

N O one likes to be disturbed at meals
  Or love.

Lord Byron, Don Juan.


W HAT is man's end? To know and to be free.
Think you to compass it by tracts and tea?

Alfred Austin, The Season.

T O preach long, loud, and damnation, is the way to be cried up. We love a man that damns us, and we run after him again to save us.

Selden, Table Talk.

I T'S such a very serious thing
To be a funny man!

John Godfrey Saxe, Poems.

A  BORE cannot be a good man: for the better he is, the greater bore he will be, and the more hateful he will make goodness.

Lady Ashburton, apud Lord Houghton.

P ARSON WILBUR sez he never heerd in his life
Thet th' Apostles rigged out in their swaller-tail coats,
An' marched round in front of a drum and a fife,
To get some on 'em office, an' some on 'em votes;
But John P.
Robinson he
Sez they didn't know everythin' down in Judee.

J. R. Lowell, Biglow Papers.


I  COULD resign that eye of blue,
Howe'er its splendour used to thrill me;
And e'en that cheek of roseate hue—
To lose it, Chloe, would not kill me.

That sunny neck I ne'er should miss,
However much I raved about it;
And sweetly as that lip can kiss,
I think I could exist without it.

In short, so well I've learned to fast,
That, sooth, my love, I know not whether
I might not bring myself at last
To do without you altogether.

Thomas Moore.

L 'ART de plaire est l'art de tromper.

Vauvenargues, Réflexions.

W E don't marry beggars, said she: why, no:
It seems that to make 'em is what you do;
And as I can cook, and scour, and sew,
I needn't pay half my victuals for you.
A man for himself should be able to scratch,
But tickling's a luxury:—love, indeed!
Love burns as long as a lucifer-match,
Wedlock's the candle! Now that's my creed.

George Meredith, Modern Love.


A ND while my schoolmates studied less,
I resolutely studied Moore.

Songs of Singularity.

"O NE of my aides-de-camp," said Lord Wellesley to Plunket on one occasion, "has written a personal narrative of his travels,—pray, Chief Justice, what is your definition of 'personal'?" "My lord," replied Plunket, "we lawyers always consider personal as opposed to real."

Lord Albemarle, Fifty Years of my Life.

I  MAKE the butter fly, all in an hour:
I put aside the preserves and cold meats,
Telling my master his cream has turned sour,
Hiding his pickles, purloining his sweets.
I never languish for husband or dower,
I never sigh to see gyps at my feet:
I make the butter fly, all in an hour,
Taking it home for my Saturday treat.

Lydia, in G. O. Trevelyan's Horace at Athens.

E NGLISH is an expressive language, but not difficult to master. Its range is limited. It consists, so far as I can observe, of four words: "nice," "jolly," "charming," and "bore;" and some grammarians add "fond."

Pinto, in Lord Beaconsfield's Lothair.


W HEN Sir George Rose was appointed one of the four judges of the now extinct Court of Review, he came to Lincoln's Inn with his colleagues to be sworn in. Some friend congratulating him on his access of dignity, he observed, "Yes! here we are, you see—four by honours!"

Macmillan's Magazine.

A H! who has seen the mailèd lobster rise,
Clap her broad wings, and, soaring, claim the skies?
When did the owl, descending from her bower,
Crop, 'midst the fleecy flocks, the tender flower;
Or the young heifer plunge, with pliant limb,
In the salt wave, and fish-like strive to swim?
The same with plants—potatoes 'tatoes breed,
The costly cabbage springs from cabbage-seed;
Lettuce to lettuce, leeks to leeks, succeed;
Nor e'er did cooling cucumbers presume
To flower like myrtle, or like violets bloom.

The Anti-Jacobin.

U NE femme d'esprit m'a dit un jour un mot qui pourrait bien être le secret de son sexe; c'est que toute femme, en prenant un amant, tient plus de compte de la manière dont les autres femmes voient cet homme que de la manière dont elle le voit elle-même.

Chamfort, Maximes.


H ERE, waiter, I'll dine in this box;
I've looked at your long bill of fare:
A Pythagorean it shocks
To view all the rarities there.

I'm not o'erburdened with cash,
Roast beef is the dinner for me;
Then why should I eat calipash,
Or why should I eat calipee?

Your trifle's no trifle, I ween,
To customers prudent as I am;
Your peas in December are green,
But I'm not so green as to buy 'em.

With ven'son I seldom am fed—
Go, bring me a sirloin, you ninny;
Who dines at a guinea a head
Will ne'er by his head get a guinea.

James Smith, Horace in London.

O NE of Lord Dudley's eccentric habits was that of speaking to himself or thinking aloud. Soon after he succeeded to the title of Dudley and Ward, a lady asked Lord Castlereagh how he accounted for the custom. "It is only Dudley speaking to Ward," was the ready answer to her inquiry.

Sinclair, Old Times and Distant Places.

L E secret d'ennuyer est celui de tout dire.

Voltaire, Discours, vi.


I  NEVER heard Rogers volunteer an opinion upon Campbell, except after his death, when he had been to see the poet's statue. "It is the first time," said he, "that I have seen him stand straight for many years."

Bryan Waller Procter.

"V EXATION of spirit"—that is the part that belongs to us; we leave the "vanity" to the women.

Vanecourt, in L. Oliphant's Piccadilly.

I  WATCHED her as she stoop'd to pluck
A wild flower in her hair to twine;
And wish'd that it had been my luck
To call her mine.

Anon I heard her rate, with mad
Mad words, her babe within its cot;
And felt particularly glad
That it had not.

C. S. Calverley, Fly Leaves.

P RACTICE does not always make perfect. Curran, when told by his physician that he seemed to cough with more difficulty, replied, "That is odd enough, for I have been practising all night."

Horace Smith, The Tin Trumpet.


W E talk little if we do not talk about ourselves.

W. Hazlitt, Characteristics.

A ND how was the Devil drest?
O, he was in his Sunday's best;
His jacket was red and his breeches were blue,
And there was a hole where the tail came through.

The Devil's Walk.

A  CLOSED glass bookcase provoked from Dr. Drake the remark that he never could stand "Locke on the Human Understanding."

Lord Teignmouth, Reminiscences.

T HERE was a time, ere Trollope learned to spell,
 When S. G. O. wrote seldom or wrote well;
 When Swinburne only lusted after tarts,
When Beales was yet a Bachelor of Arts;
Ere Broad Church rose to make logicians stare,
That medley of St. Paul and St. Voltaire.

Richard Crawley, Horse and Foot.

[R EDMOND BARRY] said once to Corry, who was praising Crompton's performance of some particular character a night or two before, "Yes, he played the part pretty well; he hadn't time to study it!"

Thomas Moore, Diary.


I F a daughter you have, she's the plague of your life,
No peace shall you know, though you've buried your wife!
At twenty she mocks at the duty you've taught her—
O, what a plague is an obstinate daughter!
Sighing and whining,
Dying and pining,
O, what a plague is an obstinate daughter!

When scarce in their teens, they have wit to perplex us,
With letters and lovers for ever they vex us;
While each still rejects the fair suitor you've brought her;
O, what a plague is an obstinate daughter!
Wrangling and jangling,
Flouting and pouting,
O, what a plague is an obstinate daughter!

R. B. Sheridan, The Duenna.

K ITTY: What is your ladyship so fond of?
Lady Bab's Servant: Shickspur. Did you never read Shickspur?
Kitty: Shickspur! Shickspur! Who wrote it? No, I never read Shickspur.

High Life Below Stairs, Act II. Scene 1.

N UL n'est content de sa fortune
Ni mécontent de son esprit.

Madame Deshoulières, Réflexions.


I N courtship suppose you can't sing
Your Cara, your Liebe, your Zoë,
A kiss and a sight of the ring
Will more quickly prevail with your Chloe.

Or if you in twenty strange tongues
Could call for a beef-steak and bottle,
A purse with less learning and lungs
Would bring them much nearer your throttle.

Lord Neaves, Songs and Verses.

T HE father of C——, a distinguished artist, was complimented by a friend on the talents and reputation of his son, and on the comfort he must be to his father. "Yes," was the reply, "he is a very good son—a very good son, if he did not swear at his mother so."

W. H. Harrison, University Magazine.

T HE old, old tale! ay, there's the smart;
Her heart, or what she call'd her heart,
Was hard as granite:
Who breaks a heart, and then omits
To gather up the broken bits
Is heartless, Janet.

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.

T HE French don't know what they want, and will never be satisfied till they get it.

William Harness, Life.


S HE played the accordion divinely—accordionly I praised her.

C. F. Browne, Artemus Ward's Lecture.

S HOULD yours (kind heaven, avert the omen!)
Like the cravats of vulgar, low men,
Asunder start—and, yawning wide,
Disclose a chasm on either side;
Or should it stubbornly persist
To take some awkward tasteless twist,
Some crease, indelible, and look
Just like a dunce's dog-eared book,
How would you parry the disgrace?
In what assembly show your face?
How brook your rival's scornful glance,
Or partners' titter in the dance?
How in the morning dare to meet
The quizzers of the park and street?
Your occupation's gone; in vain
Hope to dine out, or flirt again.
The ladies from their lists would put you,
And even I, my friend, must cut you!

H. Luttrell, Letters to Julia.

A  MAN can never manage a woman. Till a woman marries, a prudent man leaves her to women; when she does marry, she manages her husband, and there's an end of it.

Kenelm Chillingly, in Lord Lytton's novel.



I T seems that the Scots
Turn out much better shots
At long distance, than most of the Englishmen are:
But this we all knew
That a Scotchman could do—
Make a small piece of metal go awfully far.

Shirley Brooks, Wit and Humour.

S OME one peevishly complaining, "You take the words out of my mouth," Donaldson replied, "You are very hard to please; would you have liked it better if I had made you swallow them?"

Crabb Robinson, Diary.

I  AM lying, we'll say, in the nook I love,
Screened from the sunlight's scorching glow,
Watching the big clouds up above,
And blowing a lazy cloud below;

Blowing a cloud from my meerschaum black,
And thinking or not as I feel inclined,
With a light alpaca coat on my back,
And nothing particular on my mind.

Once a Week.


T HERE was a Presbyterian minister who married a couple of his rustic parishioners, and had felt exceedingly disconcerted, on his asking the bridegroom if he were willing to take the woman for his wedded wife, by his scratching his head and saying, "Ay, I'm wullin'; but I'd rather hae her sister."

J. C. Young, Diary.

T HE prospect's always fine in the Prospectus!

J. R. Planché, Songs and Poems.

A NIMALS are such agreeable friends—they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.

George Eliot, Mr. Gilfil's Love Story.

T HERE is a tact,
Which keeps, when pushed by questions rather rough,
A lady always distant from the fact:
The charming creatures lie with such a grace,
There's nothing so becoming to the face.

Lord Byron, Don Juan.

W ALKED Corry over to Bowood. In looking at the cascade, he mentioned what Plunket said, when some one, praising his waterfall, exclaimed, "Why, it's quite a cataract." "Oh, that's all my eye," said Plunket.

Thomas Moore, Diary.


T HESE panting damsels, dancing for their lives,
Are only maidens waltzing into wives.

Alfred Austin, The Season.

A NOTHER friend assured me it was policy to "feed a cold and starve a fever." I had both. So I thought it best to feed myself up for the cold, and then keep dark and let the fever starve awhile. In a case of this kind, I seldom do things by halves. I ate pretty heartily. I conferred my custom upon a stranger who had just opened his restaurant that morning. He waited near me in respectful silence, until I had finished feeding my cold, when he inquired if the people about Virginia were much afflicted with colds? I told him I thought they were. He then went out and took in his sign.

Mark Twain, Choice Works.

A  FINE lady is like a cat; when young, the most gamesome and lively of all creatures—when old, the most melancholy.

Alexander Pope, in Locker's Patchwork.

'T IS the voice of the lobster; I heard him declare
"You have baked me quite brown, I must sugar my hair."
As a duck with its eyelids, so he with his nose
Trims his belt and his buttons, and turns out his toes.

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.


P OOR relations are undeniably irritating—their existence is so entirely uncalled for on our part, and they are almost always very faulty people.

George Eliot, Mill on the Floss.

T HERE was an Ape in the days that were earlier;
Centuries passed, and his hair became curlier:
Centuries more gave a thumb to his wrist—
  Then he was Man, and a Positivist.

Mortimer Collins, The British Birds.

I T was observed he never gave an opinion on any subject, and never told an anecdote. Indeed, he would sometimes remark, when a man fell into his anecdotage it was a sign for him to retire from the world.

Lord Beaconsfield, Lothair.

Y OU cannot eat breakfast all day,
Nor is it the act of a sinner,
When breakfast is taken away,
To turn your attention to dinner;
And it's not in the range of belief,
That you could hold him as a glutton,
Who, when he is tired of beef,
Determines to tackle the mutton.

Defendant, in W. S. Gilbert's Trial by Jury.


H AD the Romans public dinners? Answer me that. Imagine a Roman—whose theory at least of a dinner was that it was a thing for enjoyment, whereas we often look on it as a continuation of the business of the day,—I say, imagine a Roman girding himself up, literally girding himself up, to make an after dinner speech.

Ellesmere, in Helps's Friends in Council.

F OLKS will teach you when at school—
"Never tell a lie!"
Nonsense: if you're not a fool
You may always break the rule,
But you must be sly;
For they'll whip you, past a doubt,
If they ever find you out.

Folks say, "Children should not let
Angry passions rise."
Humbug! When you're in a pet
Why on earth should you regret
Blacking some one's eyes?
Children's eyes are made, in fact,
Just on purpose to be black'd.

H. S. Leigh, Carols of Cockayne.

I T is not now "We have seen his star in the East," but "We have seen the star on his breast, and are come to worship him."

Shenstone, Essays.



N EARLY one hundred years ago, my grandfather, Captain William Locker, was at dinner, and a servant-boy, lately engaged, was handing him a tray of liqueurs, in different-sized glasses. Being in the middle of an anecdote to his neighbour, he mechanically held out his hand towards the tray, but, as people often do when they are thinking of something else, he did not take a glass. The boy thought he was hesitating which liqueur he would have, and, like a good fellow, wishing to help his master, he pointed to one particular glass, and whispered, "That's the biggest, sir."

Frederick Locker, Patchwork.

A LL men are equal, the Frenchman says;
Most men will gladly receive
What a fervid fool, with a flattering phrase,
Tricks out for fools to believe;
But these men have less brains than a wren!
When a larch is a lily,
And Bessy like Billy
A beard shall achieve,
Then I will believe
That equality reigns among men!

J. S. Blackie, Musa Burschicosa.

I 'M not one o' those who can see the cat i' the dairy, an' wonder what she's come after.

Mrs. Poyser, in George Eliot's Adam Bede.


I  called him Selim, to express
The marked s(e)limness of his form.

Songs of Singularity.

"Y ES," he exclaimed, "as the sublime Tyndall tells us, let us struggle to attain to a deeper knowledge of matter, and a more faithful conformity to its laws!"
The professor would have proceeded, but the weather had been rapidly growing rough, and he here became violently sea-sick.
"Let us," he exclaimed hurriedly, "conform to the laws of matter and go below."

W. H. Mallock, The New Paul and Virginia.

W HAT can Tommy Onslow do?
He can drive a curricle and two.
Can Tommy Onslow do no more?
Yes, he can drive a phaeton and four.

Anon., in Gronow's Recollections.

H ICKS and Thackeray, walking together, stopped opposite a doorway, over which was inscribed in gold letters these words: "Mutual Loan Office." They both seemed equally puzzled. "What on earth can that mean?" asked Hicks. "I don't know," answered Thackeray, "unless it means, that two men, who have nothing, agree to lend it to one another."

J. C. Young, Diary.


A  CLOD—a piece of orange-peel—
An end of a cigar,—
Once trod on by a princely heel,
How beautiful they are!

C. S. Calverley, Fly Leaves.

I N the onion is the hope of universal brotherhood. Look at Italy. In the churches all are alike; there is one faith, one smell.

C. D. Warner, My Summer in a Garden.

H E was "free to confess" (whence comes this phrase? Is't English? No—'tis only parliamentary).

Lord Byron, Don Juan.

"A H!" says my languid Oxford gentleman, "nothing new, and nothing true, and no matter."

R. W. Emerson.

H E dropt a tear on Susan's bier,
He seem'd a most despairing swain;
Yet bluer sky brought newer tie,
And would he wish her back again?
The moments fly, and when we die
Will Philly Thistletop complain?
She'll cry and sigh, and—dry her eye,
And let herself be woo'd again.

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.


O NE 'ud think, an hear some folks talk, as the men war 'cute enough to count the corns in a bag o' wheat wi' only smelling at it. They can see through a barn door, they can. Perhaps that's the reason they see so little o' this side on't.

Mrs. Poyser, in George Eliot's Adam Bede.

T HY flattering picture, Phryne, 's like to thee
Only in this—that you both painted be.

John Donne.

W ITHOUT black velvet breeches, what is man?

John Bramston, Man of Taste.


R OSE kissed me to-day,—
Will she kiss me to-morrow?
Let it be as it may,
Rose kissed me to-day.
But the pleasure gives way
To a savour of sorrow;—
Rose kissed me to-day,—
Will she kiss me to-morrow?

Austin Dobson, Proverbs in Porcelain.

H UMILITY is a virtue all preach, none practise, and yet everybody is content to hear.

Selden, Table Talk.


S OME say that the primitive tongue
Expressed but the simplest affections;
And swear that the words said or sung
Were nothing but mere interjections.
Oh! Oh! was the signal of pain;
Ha! Ha! was the symptom of laughter;
Pooh! Pooh! was the sign of disdain,
And Hillo! came following after.

Some, taking a different view,
Maintain the old language was fitted
To mark out the objects we knew,
By mimicking sounds they emitted.
Bow, wow, was the name of a dog,
Quack, quack, was the word for a duckling,
Hunc, hunc, would designate a hog,
And wee, wee, a pig and a suckling.

Lord Neaves, Songs and Verses.

A  PRACTICAL MAN.—One whose judgment is not distracted by the power of seeing far before him.

Anne Evans, Poems and Music.

F OR conversation well endued,
She thinks it witty to be rude,
And, placing raillery in railing,
Proclaims aloud your greatest failing.

Swift, A Woman's Mind.


I  HAVE always been more or less mixed up with Art. I have an uncle who takes photographs—and I have a servant who takes anything he can get his hands on.

C. F. Browne, Artemus Ward's Lecture.

I F a man who turnips cries
Cry not when his father dies,
'Tis a proof that he would rather
Have a turnip than a father.

Dr. Johnson.

T HE greatest happiness of the greatest number is best secured by a prudent consideration for Number One.

Kenelm Chillingly, in Lord Lytton's novel.

"Y OU are old, Father William," the young man said,
"And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head—
Do you think, at your age, it is right?"

"In my youth," Father William replied to his son,
"I feared it might injure my brain;
But now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again."

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.


W HEN the question arose how the title of Herold's charming opera, "Le Pré aux Clercs," should be rendered into English, [Beazley] quietly suggested "Parson's Green."

J. R. Planché, Recollections.

W HEN I left the man in gaiters,
He was grumbling, o'er his gin,
At the charges of the hostess
Of that famous Flemish inn;
And he looked a very Briton
(So, methinks, I see him still)
As he pocketed the candle
That was mentioned in the bill!

John Godfrey Saxe, Poems.

M ORALITY—keeping up appearances in this world, or becoming suddenly devout when we imagine that we may be shortly summoned to appear in the next.

Horace Smith, The Tin Trumpet.


A  MINISTER'S answer is always so kind!
I starve, and he tells me he'll keep me in mind.
Half his promise, God knows, would my spirits restore—
Let him keep me, and, faith, I will ask for no more.

Lord Holland, in Moore's Diary.


I  KNOW there's a stage of speculation in which a man may doubt whether a pickpocket is blameworthy—but I'm not one of your subtle fellows who keep looking at the world through their own legs.

Felix Holt, in George Eliot's novel.

"A  KNOCK-ME-DOWN sermon, and worthy of Birch,"
Says I to my wife, as we toddle from church.
"Convincing, indeed!" is the lady's remark;
"How logical, too, on the size of the Ark!"
Then Blossom cut in, without begging our pardons,
"Pa, was it as big as the 'Logical Gardens?"

"Miss Blossom," says I, to my dearest of dearies,
"Papa disapproves of nonsensical queries;
The Ark was an Ark, and had people to build it,
Enough we are told Noah built it and fill'd it:
Mamma does not ask how he caught his opossums."
—Said she, "That remark is as foolish as Blossom's!"

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.

B OOKS are fatal: they are the curse of the human race. Nine-tenths of existing books are nonsense, and the clever books are the refutation of that nonsense. The greatest misfortune that ever befell man was the invention of printing.

Phœbus, in Lord Beaconsfield's Lothair.


W E can't assume, so Comte declares, a first or final cause, sir;
Phenomena are all we know, their order and their laws, sir;
While Hegel's modest formula, a single line to sum in,
Is "Nothing is, and nothing's not, but everything's becomin'."

F. D., in Pall Mall Gazette.

I F you wish particularly to gain the good graces and affection of certain people, men or women, try to discover their most striking merit, if they have one, and their dominant weakness, for every one has his own. Then do justice to the one, and a little more than justice to the other.

Lord Chesterfield, Letters to his Son.

T ENDER ten may dote on toys,
While for twelve jam tarts have joys,
Feat fourteen's in love with boys—
Not a few.

J. Ashby Sterry, Boudoir Ballads.

J Juliet was a fool to kill herself. In three months she'd have married again, and been glad to be quit of Romeo.

Charles Buxton, Notes of Thought.


A  CORNET waltzes, but a colonel weds.

Alfred Austin, The Season.

I N the days when Pam retained the wheel,
We knew the men with whom we had to deal;
Then sucking statesmen seldom failed in seeing
The final cause and import of their being.
They dressed; they drove a drag; nor sought to shirk
Their portion of the matrimonial work.
They flocked to rout and drum by tens and twelves;
Danced every dance, and left their cards themselves,
While some obliging senatorial fag
Slipped their petitions in the Speaker's bag.

Lady Matilda, in G. O. Trevelyan's Ladies in Parliament.

M ONK LEWIS was a great favourite at Oatlands. One day after dinner, as the duchess was leaving the room, she whispered something in Lewis's ear. He was much affected, his eyes filling with tears. We asked him what was the matter. "Oh," replied Lewis, "the duchess spoke so very kindly to me!" "My dear fellow," said Colonel Armstrong, "pray don't cry; I dare say she didn't mean it."

Rogers, Table Talk.

S WEET is revenge—especially to women.

Lord Byron, Don Juan.


A  plain leg of mutton, my Lucy,
I prithee get ready at three;
Have it smoking and tender and juicy,
And what better meat can there be?

And when it has feasted the master,
'Twill amply suffice for the maid;
Meanwhile, I will smoke my canaster,
And tipple my ale in the shade.

W. M. Thackeray.

L 'AMOUR est comme les maladies épidémiques; plus on les craint, plus on y est exposé.

Chamfort, Maximes.


A  FELLOW that's single, a fine fellow's he;
But a fellow that's married's a felo de se.

Shirley Brooks, Wit and Humour.

A  BROTHER actor, who had not exactly "taken the house by storm" at his first appearance in London, very stupidly asked Compton: "Was my acting good?" "Well," was the reply, delivered in his inimitable style, "hum! ha! Good is not the word!"

H. Howe, in Memoir of Henry Compton.


S O when two dogs are fighting in the streets,
When a third dog one of the two dogs meets,
With angry tooth he bites him to the bone,
And this dog smarts for what that dog has done.

Fielding, Tom Thumb.

I  RECOLLECT a humorous M.P. pointing out to me a retired West Indian judge not very remarkable for sagacity on the bench. There was a ball at Government House, and the judge began to criticise the dancing of a witty member of the Indian bar. "Ah, my friend, you are a bad waltzer!" "Ah, but you are a bad judge."

Mark Boyd, Reminiscences.

M rs. Cripps: Things are seldom what they seem:
Skim milk masquerades as cream;
Highlows pass as patent leathers;
Jackdaws strut in peacocks' feathers.

Captain: Very true,
So they do.

Mrs. Cripps: Black sheep dwell in every fold;
All that glitters is not gold;
Storks turn out to be but logs;
Bulls are but inflated frogs.

Captain: So they be,

W. S. Gilbert, H.M.S. Pinafore.


A  FRIEND meeting Sir George Rose one day in Lincoln's Inn Fields, with his left eye greatly swollen and inflamed, remonstrated with him, adding that he was surprised Lady Rose should have let him go out of doors in such a condition. "Ah," replied Sir George, "I am out jure mariti" (my right eye).

Macmillan's Magazine.

I T is no comfort to the short
To know you cannot love at all!

Robert Reece, in Comic Poets.

"'E DWIN and Morcar, the Earls of Mercia and Northumbria, declared for him; and even Stigand, the patriotic Archbishop of Canterbury, found it advisable——' "

"Found what?" said the Duck.

"Found it," the Mouse replied, rather crossly; "of course you know what 'it' means."

"I know what 'it' means well enough, when I find a thing," said the Duck; "it's generally a frog or a worm. The question is, what did the archbishop find?"

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.

I 'VE read in many a novel, that, unless they've
souls that grovel,
Folks prefer, in fact, a hovel
to your dreary marble halls.

C. S. Calverley, Fly Leaves.


M ARRIAGE is a Bishop, choral service, Messrs. Hancock, and Brussels lace.

Anna C. Steele.

H OW beautifully blue the sky,
The glass is rising very high,
Continue fine I hope it may,
And yet it rained but yesterday;
To-morrow it may pour again
(I hear the country wants some rain);
Yet people say, I know not why,
That we shall have a warm July.

W. S. Gilbert, Pirates of Penzance.

T HE Dowager-Duchess of Richmond went one Sunday with her daughter to the Chapel Royal at St. James's, but, being late, they could find no places. After looking about some time, and seeing the case was hopeless, she said to her daughter, "Come away, Louisa; at any rate we have done the civil thing."

R. R. Haydon, Diary.


T O roar and bore of Northern wights
The tendency so frail is,
That men do call those Northern Lights
Au-ror-a Bor-ealis.

Jekyll, in Miss Mitford's Letters.


I 'M forced to wink a good deal, for fear of seeing too much, for a neighbourly man must let himself be cheated a little.

Parson Lingon, in George Eliot's Felix Holt.

D ULCE it is, and decorum, no doubt, for the country to fall,—to
Offer one's blood an oblation to Freedom, and die for the Cause; yet
Still, individual culture is also something, and no man
Finds quite distinct the assurance that he of all others is called on,
Or would be justified even, in taking away from the world that
Precious creature himself.

Claude, in Clough's Amours de Voyage.

N OTRE repentir n'est pas tant un regret du mal que nous avons fait, qu'une crainte de celui qui nous en peut arriver.

La Rochefoucauld, Réflexions.


T HOU hast a score of parts not good,
But two divinely shown:
Thy Daphne a true piece of wood,
Thy Niobe a stone.

Palladas, trans. by R. Garnett.


W E as often repent the good we have done as the ill.

W. Hazlitt, Characteristics.

T HE speech of Old England for me;
It serves us on every occasion;
Henceforth, like our soil, let it be
Exempted from foreign invasion.
It answers for friendship and love,
For all sorts of feeling and thinking,
And lastly, all doubt to remove—
It answers for singing and drinking.

Lord Neaves, Songs and Verses.

A  COMPLIMENT is usually accompanied with a bow, as if to beg pardon for paying it.

Guesses at Truth.


T HE gifts by Nature boon supplied
This pair unequally divide:
The traveller's tale is far from small,
The monkey has no tail at all.

R. Garnett, Idylls and Epigrams.

T HE more a man's worth, the worthier man he must be.

Dudley Smooth, in Lord Lytton's Money.


N OW to the banquet we press,
Now for the eggs and the ham!
Now for the mustard and cress,
Now for the strawberry jam!
Now for the tea of our host,
Now for the rollicking bun,
Now for the muffin and toast,
And now for the gay Sally Lunn!

W. S. Gilbert, The Sorcerer.

I T was in my schoolboy days that I failed as an actor. The play was the "Ruins of Pompeii." I played the Ruins. It was not a very successful performance, but it was better than the "Burning Mountains." He was not good. He was a bad Vesuvius.

C. F. Browne, Artemus Ward's Lecture.

H E cannot be complete in aught
Who is not humorously prone,—
A man without a merry thought
Can hardly have a funny bone.

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.

A N actor named Priest was playing at one of the principal theatres. Some one remarked at the Garrick Club that there were a great many more in the pit—"Probably clerks who have taken Priest's orders."

Abraham Hayward, Essays.


A ND she? she marries money and a man.

Alfred Austin, The Season.

A  LADY of my acquaintance, a brunette, happened to show her maid one of those little sticking-plaster profiles which they used to call silhouettes. It was the portrait of the lady's aunt, whom the girl had never seen, and she said quite innocently, "La, ma'am, I always thought as how you had some black relations, you are so dark-like yourself, you know!"

Frederick Locker, Patchwork.

H E pored upon the leaves, and on the flowers,
And heard a voice in all the winds; and then,
He thought of wood nymphs and immortal bowers,
And how the goddesses came down to men:
He miss'd the pathway, he forgot the hours,
And when he look'd upon his watch again,
He found how much old Time had been a winner—
He also found that he had lost his dinner.

Lord Byron, Don Juan.

W ARD had been a Whig, and became ministerial. "I wonder what could make me turn Whig again," said Ward. "That I can tell you," said [Lord] Byron. "They have only to re-Ward you."

Crabb Robinson, Diary.



A S the meek beasts in the Garden came flocking for Adam to name them,
Men for a title to-day crawl to the feet of a king.

John Hay, Poems.

Y OU cannot have everything, as the man said when he was down with small-pox and cholera, and the yellow fever came into the neighbourhood.

C. D. Warner, My Summer in a Garden.

W HENE'ER I take my walks abroad,
How many rich I see!
There's A. and B. and C. and D.
All better off than me!

R. H. Barham, Life.

A T one period of his boyhood, Macaulay's fancy was much exercised by the threats and terrors of the law. He had a little plot of ground at the back of the house, marked out as his own by a row of oyster-shells, which a maid one day threw away as rubbish. He went straight to the drawing-room, where his mother was entertaining some visitors, walked into the circle, and said very solemnly: "Cursed be Sally; for it is written, 'Cursed is he that removeth his neighbour's landmark.'"

G. O. Trevelyan, Life of Macaulay.


I F care were not the waiter
Behind a fellow's chair,
When easy-going sinners
Sit down to Richmond dinners,
And life's swift stream flows straighter—
By Jove, it would be rare,
If care were not the waiter
Behind a fellow's chair.

If wit were always radiant,
And wine were always iced,
And bores were kicked out straightway
Through a convenient gateway;
Then down the years' long gradient
'Twere sad to be enticed,
If wit were always radiant,
And wine were always iced.

Mortimer Collins, in The Owl.

B UILDING a staircase for Sir Henry Meux, [Beazley] called it making a new "Gradus ad Parnassum," because it was steps for the muses.

J. R. Planché, Recollections.

I  CANNOT clear the five-bar gate,
But, trying first its timber's state,
Climb stiffly up, take breath, and wait
To trundle over.

Walter Savage Landor.


L A constance est la chimère de l'amour.

Vauvenargues, Réflexions.


W HENCE comes it that in Clara's face
The lily only has a place?
Is it because the absent rose
Has gone to paint her husband's nose?

A Collection of Epigrams (1727).

[C HARLES] SHERIDAN told me that his father, being a good deal plagued by an old maiden relation of his always going out to walk with him, said one day that the weather was bad and rainy; to which the old lady answered that, on the contrary, it had cleared up. "Yes," said Sheridan, "it has cleared enough for one, but not for two."

Thomas Moore, Diary.

T O Urn, or not to Urn? that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler for our frames to suffer
The shows and follies of outrageous custom,
Or to take fire—against a sea of zealots—
And, by consuming, end them? To Urn—to keep—
No more: and while we keep, to say we end
Contagion and the thousand graveyard ills
That flesh is heir to—'tis a consume-ation
Devoutly to be wished!

William Sawyer.



"Y OUNG AUTHOR."—Yes, Agassiz does recommend authors to eat fish, because the phosphorus in it makes brains. So far you are correct. But I cannot help you to a decision about the amount you need to eat—at least, not with certainty. If the specimen composition you send is about your fair usual average, I should judge that perhaps a couple of whales would be all you would want for the present. Not the largest kind, but simply good, middling-sized whales.

Mark Twain, Choice Works.

T HE firm of Baxter, Rose, and Norton,
Deny the plaintiffs Arthur Orton;
But can't deny, what's more important,
That he has done what Arthur oughtn't.


H UME and his wife and several of their children were with me. Hume repeated the old saying, "One fool makes many." "Ay, Mr. Hume," said I, pointing to the company, "you have a fine family."

Charles Lamb, apud Crabb Robinson.

P LUS on juge, moins on aime.

Balzac, Physiologie du Mariage.


G EORGE THE THIRD scolded Lord North for never going to the concert of antient music: "Your brother, the bishop," said the king, "never misses them, my lord." "Sir," answered the premier, "if I were as deaf as my brother, the bishop, I would never miss them either!"

R. H. Barham, Life.


"M ISS Neilson's 'benefit'," one says;
I ask to what the phrase refers;
For, sure, when such an artist plays,
The "benefit" is ours, not hers.

W. D. A.

O UR king [William IV.] is ultra-popular. Have you heard Lord Alvanley's bon mot concerning him? He was standing at the window at White's, when the king, with a thousand of his loving subjects at his heels, was walking up St. James's Street. A friend said to him, "What are you staring at, Alvanley?" "I am waiting to see his Majesty's pocket picked," was the reply.

Miss Mitford, Life and Letters.

M ETHINKS the lays of now-a-days
Are painfully in earnest.

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.


H ICKS was talking to Thackeray of a certain gentleman's strange addiction to beer. "It's a great pity," said Hicks, "that he does not keep a check-rein on himself, for he is a marvellous fellow otherwise—I mean, for talent I hardly know his equal." "No," retorted Thackeray, "he is a remarkable man. Take him for half-and-half, we ne'er shall look upon his like again."

J. C. Young, Diary.

P RO conibus calidis, conibus frigidis,
Pro conibus mollibus, conibus rigidis,
Pro conibus senibus
Atque juvenibus,
Gratias agimus fatis,
Habuimus satis.


O NE of the "Hooks and Eyes" was expatiating on the fact that he had dined three times at the Duke of Devonshire's, and that on neither occasion had there been any fish at table. "I cannot account for it," he added. "I can," said Jerrold: "they ate it all upstairs."

Charles Mackay, Recollections.

V ERACITY is a plant of paradise, and its seeds have never flourished beyond the walls.

Machiavelli, in George Eliot's Romola.


I  KNOW not why my soul is rack'd:
Why I ne'er smile as was my wont:
I only know that, as a fact,
I don't.

I used to roam o'er glen and glade,
Buoyant and blithe as other folk:
And not unfrequently I made
A joke.

All day I sang; of love, of fame,
Of fights our fathers fought of yore,
Until the thing almost became
A bore.

I cannot sing the old songs now
It is not that I deem them low;
'Tis that I can't remember how
They go.

C. S. Calverley, Fly Leaves.

D URING [a] drive, Lord William L——, a man of fashion, but, like other of the great men of the day, an issuer of paper money discounted at high rates by the usurers, was thrown off his horse. Mr. and Mrs. King immediately quitted the carriage, and placed the noble lord within. On this circumstance being mentioned in the clubs, Brummell observed it was only "a Bill Jewly (duly) taken up and honoured."

Gronow, Recollections.


S HE made the cleverest people quite ashamed,
And even the good with inward envy groaned,
Finding themselves so very much exceeded
In their own way by all the things that she did.

Lord Byron, Don Juan.

O N the elevation of some childless person to the peerage, [Lady Charlotte Lindsay] remarked that he was "of the new Order, which seemed the popular one, not of the Barons, but the Barrens."

Lord Houghton, Monographs.

O FT when petty annoyances ruffle the soul,
And the temper defies philosophic control,
The emotion is quelled, and a calm will succeed,
Through the simple device of inhaling the Weed:
Such magical power has the soothing Canaster
To bring balmy content and good humour to Gaster.

Lord Neaves, Songs and Verses.

M ORGAN JOHN O'CONNELL had the ready wit of his country in a remarkable degree. We were walking by the Wey one day, when an Oxford graduate, who had a taste for botany, plucked a flower (Balsamum impatiens) from the river, remarking that it was a very rare plant. "It is an out-of-the-Wey one, at any rate," was the instantaneous reply.

W. H. Harrison, University Magazine.


O H! 'tis the most tremendous bore
Of all the bores I know,
To have a friend who's lost his heart
A short time ago.

Bon Gaultier Ballads.

I  NEVER on any account allow my business to interfere with my drinking.

C. F. Browne, Artemus Ward's Lecture.


W HAT is an Englishman made of?
Roast beef and jam tart,
And a pint of good Clar't,
And that's what an Englishman's made of.

What is a Frenchman, pray, made of?
Horse steak, and frog fritter,
And absinthe so bitter,
And that's what a Frenchman is made of.

Shirley Brooks, Wit and Humour.

M ARRIAGE is a desperate thing. The frogs in Æsop were extreme wise; they had a great mind to some water, but they would not leap into the well, because they could not get out again.

Selden, Table Talk.


("D ON'T speak so hard of ——; he lives on your good graces.") That accounts for his being so thin.

Lady Ashburton, apud Lord Houghton.

W E are wise—and we make ourselves hazy;
We are foolish—and so, go to church;
While Sambo but laughs, and is lazy
(Vile discipline! lend me thy birch);
He dreams of no life save the present,
His virtue is but when it suits;
Sometimes, which is not quite so pleasant,
I miss coat or boots.

Once a Week.

Y OU remember Thurlow's answer to some one complaining of the injustice of a company, "Why, you never expected justice from a company, did you? They have neither a soul to save, nor a body to kick."

Sydney Smith, Life and Letters.

E LLISTON, the actor, a self-educated man, was playing cribbage one evening, with Lamb, and on drawing out his first card, exclaimed, "When Greek meets Greek, then comes the tug of war." "Yes," replied Lamb, "and when you meet Greek, you don't understand it."

Life of Rev. W Harness.


T O Justice Park's brother, who was a great church-goer, some one applied the words, "Parcus deorum cultor."

Thomas Moore, Diary.

"Y OU'LL soon get used to her looks," said he,
"And a very nice girl you'll find her;
She may very well pass for forty-three,
In the dusk, with a light behind her!"

Judge, in W. S. Gilbert's Trial by Jury.

"M Y brethren," said Swift in a sermon, "there are three sorts of pride—of birth, of riches, and of talents. I shall not now speak of the latter, none of you being liable to that abominable vice."

Horace Smith, The Tin Trumpet.

N O doubt this patience, when the world is damning us,
Is philosophic in our former friends;
It is also pleasant to be deem'd magnanimous,
The more so in obtaining our own ends.
Revenge in person's certainly no virtue,
But then 'tis not my fault if others hurt you.

Lord Byron, Don Juan.

H E was not an intellectual Crœsus, but his pockets were full of sixpences.

Lord Beaconsfield, Lothair.


I T'S after a dinner at Freemason's Hall
That the orator's talent shines brightest of all;
When his eye becomes glazed, and his voice becomes thick,
And he's had so much hock he can only say hic.
So the company leave him to slumber and snore
Till he's put in a hat and conveyed to the door;
And he finds, upon reaching his home in a cab,
That his wife rather shines in the gift of the gab.

H. S. Leigh, Carols of Cockayne.

O NE of our countrymen having been introduced by M. de la Rochefoucauld to Mademoiselle Bigottini, the beautiful and graceful dancer, in the course of conversation with this gentleman, asked him in what part of the theatre he was placed; upon which he replied, "Mademoiselle, dans un loge róti," instead of "grillé." The lady could not understand what he meant, until his introducer explained the mistake, observing, "Ces diables d'Anglais pensent toujours à leur Rosbif."

Gronow, Recollections.

T HE sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry,
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead—
There were no birds to fly.

Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass.


A  MAN of business should always have his eyes open, but must often seem to have them shut.

Lord Chesterfield, Maxims.

N EXT morning twelve citizens came
('Twas the coroner bade them attend)
To the end that it might be determined
How the man had determined his end!

John Godfrey Saxe, Poems.

I  REMEMBER on one occasion acting in "Venice Preserved." A long and rather drowsy dying speech of my poor friend Jaffier was "dragging its slow length along," when one of the gallery, in a tone of great impatience, called out very loudly, "Ah now, die at once;" to which another from the other side immediately replied, "Be quiet, you blackguard," then, turning with a patronizing tone to the lingering Jaffier, "Take your time!"

W. C. MacReady, Diary.

T HE days they grow shorter and shorter,
The town's worse than ever for smoke,
Invention, Necessity's daughter!
How long must we blacken and choke?
Much longer we ne'er can endure it,
The smother each resident damns;
Unless something's done to cure it,
'Twill cure us like so many hams.

J. R. Planché, Songs and Poems.


A  KIND Providence furnishes the limpest personality with a little gum or starch in the form of tradition.

George Eliot, Middlemarch.

O IL and water—woman and a secret—
Are hostile properties.

Baradas, in Lord Lytton's Richelieu.

A T a musical soirée in Paris, a lady, possessing a magnificent soprano voice and remarkable facility of execution, sang the great Maestro's well-known aria, "Una Voce," with great effect, but overladen with fiorituri of the most elaborate description. Rossini, at its conclusion, advanced to the piano and complimented the lady most highly upon her vocal powers, terminating his encomiums with the cruel inquiry: "Mais de qui est la musique?"

J. R. Planché, Recollections.


S WANS sing before they die; 'twere no bad thing
Did certain persons die before they sing.

S. T. Coleridge.

"I S life worth living?" That depends upon the liver.

The World.



"T HEN, you liked little Bowes."—
"And you liked Jane Raby!"
"But you like me now, Rose?"—
"As I liked 'little Bowes'!"
"Am I then to suppose——"
"Hush!—you mustn't wake baby!"
"Did you like little Bowes?"—
"If you liked Jane Raby!"

Austin Dobson, Proverbs in Porcelain.

W OMEN, when left to themselves, talk chiefly about their dress; they think more about their lovers than they talk about them.

W. Hazlitt, Characteristics.

O   IF billows and pillows, and bowers and flowers,
And all the brave rhymes of an elder day,
Could be furled together, this genial weather,
And carted, or carried on "wafts" away,
Nor ever again trotted out—ah me!
How much fewer volumes of verse there'd be!

C. S. Calverley, Fly Leaves.

M ISS PRUE. Must I tell a lie, then?
Tattle. Yes, if you'd be well-bred. All well-bred persons lie.

Congreve, Love for Love.


S OME attacks on the lungs, that of woe would be full,
Are repelled by a filter of loose Cotton Wool;
But a barrier of brass, or a chevaux-de-frise,
Won't exclude some descriptions of Dust and Disease.

Lord Neaves, Songs and Verses.

W HEN an acquaintance came up to him and said, "Why, Jerrold, I hear you said my nose was like the ace of clubs!" Jerrold returned, "No, I didn't; but now I look at it, I see it is very like."

Mrs. Cowden Clarke.


W US, ever wus! By freak of Puck's
My most exciting hopes are dashed;
I never wore my spotless ducks
But madly—wildly!—they were splashed.

I never roved by Cynthia's beam,
To gaze upon the starry sky,
But some old stiff-backed beetle came,
And charged into my pensive eye.

And oh! I never did the swell
In Regent Street, amongst the beaus,
But smuts the most prodigious fell,
And always settled on my nose!

H. Cholmondeley Pennell, Puck on Pegasus.


L 'HYMEN vient après l'amour, comme la fumée après la flamme.

Chamfort, Maximes.

I T may be so—perhaps thou hast
A warm and loving heart;
I will not blame thee for thy face,
Poor devil as thou art.
That thing thou fondly deem'st a nose,
Unsightly though it be—
In spite of all the cold world's scorn,
It may be much to thee.

Those eyes—among thine elder friends
Perhaps they pass for blue;
No matter—if a man can see,
What more have eyes to do?
Thy mouth—that fissure in thy face,
By something like a chin,
May be a very useful place
To put thy victuals in.

Oliver Wendell Holmes.

N OTHING shows one who his friends are, like prosperity and ripe fruit. I had a good friend in the country whom I almost never visited except in cherry time. By your fruits you shall know them.

C. D. Warner, My Summer in a Garden.



A  LOVELY young lady I mourn in my rhymes:
She was pleasant, good-natured, and civil sometimes.
Her figure was good: she had very fine eyes,
And her talk was a mixture of foolish and wise.
Her adorers were many, and one of them said,
"She waltzed rather well! It's a pity she's dead!"

G. J. Cayley, in Comic Poets.

A NYBODY amuses me for once. A new acquaintance is like a new book. I prefer it, even if bad, to a classic.

Lady Montfort, in Lord Beaconsfield's Endymion.

N OW I hold it is not decent for a scientific gent
To say another is an ass,—at least, to all intent;
Nor should the individual who happens to be meant
Reply by heaving rocks at him to any great extent.

Bret Harte, Complete Works.

S TORY of Edward Walpole, who, being told, one day at the "Garrick," that the confectioners had a way of discharging the ink from old parchment by a chemical process, and then making the parchment into isinglass for their jellies, said, "Then I find a man may now eat his deeds as well as his words."

R. H. Barham, Life.


W HAT is the spell that 'twixt a saint and sinner
The diff'rence makes?—a sermon? Bah! a dinner.

Alfred Austin, The Season.

"I  VENT to the club this mornin', sir. There vorn't no letters, sir." "Very good, Topping." "How's missus, sir?" "Pretty well, Topping." "Glad to hear it, sir. My missus ain't very well, sir." "No!" "No, sir, she's agoin', sir, to have a hincrease werry soon, and it makes her nervous, sir; and ven a young voman gets down at sich a time, sir, she goes down werry deep, sir." To this sentiment I reply affirmatively, and then he adds, as he stirs the fire (as if he were thinking out loud), "Wot a mystery it is! Wot a go is natur'!"

Charles Dickens, apud J. T. Fields.

T HE most forlorn—what worms we are!—
Would wish to finish this cigar
Before departing.

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.

M RS. CADWALLADER says it is nonsense, people going a long journey when they are married. She says they get tired to death of each other, and can't quarrel comfortably, as they would at home.

Celia Brooke, in George Eliot's Middlemarch.


S OME think that man from a monkey grew
By steps of long generation,
When, after many blunders, a few
Good hits were made in creation;
But I can't comprehend this at all;
Of blind groping forces
Though Darwin discourses,
I rather incline
To believe in design
With Plato, and Peter, and Paul.

J. S. Blackie, Musa Burschicosa.

I N a trial, where a German and his wife were giving evidence, the former was asked by the counsel, "How old are you?" "I am dirty." "And what is your wife?" "Mine wife is dirty-two." "Then, sir, you are a very nasty couple, and I wish to have nothing further to say to either of you."

Horace Smith, The Tin Trumpet.

H E'D better be apt with his pen
Than well-dressed, and well-booted and gloved,
Who likes to be liked by the men,
By the women who loves to be loved:
And Fashion full often has paid
Her good word in return for a gay word,
For a song in the manner of Praed,
Or an anecdote worthy of Hayward.

G. O. Trevelyan, Ladies in Parliament.


O H, my Maria! Alas! she married another. They frequently do. I hope she is happy—because I am.

C. F. Browne, Artemus Ward's Lecture.

R ISE up, cold reverend, to a see;
Confound the unbeliever!
Yet ne'er 'neath thee my seat shall be
For ever and for ever.

Preach, softly preach, in lawn and be
A comely, model liver,
But ne'er 'neath thee my seat shall be
For ever and for ever.

And here shall sleep thy Alderman,
And here thy pauper shiver,
And here by thee shall buzz the "she,"
For ever and for ever.

A thousand men shall sneer at thee,
A thousand women quiver,
But ne'er 'neath thee my seat shall be
For ever and for ever.

The Shotover Papers.

F OR people to live happily together, the real secret is, that they should not live too much together.

Ellesmere, in Helps's Friends in Council.


L ORD ELLENBOROUGH'S saying to a witness; "Why, you are an industrious fellow; you must have taken pains with yourself; no man was ever naturally so stupid."

Thomas Moore, Diary.

I F you've a thousand a year or a minute;
If you're a D'Orsay, whom every one follows;
If you've a head (it don't matter what's in it)
Fair as Apollo's;
If you approve of flirtations, good dinners,
Seascapes divine which the merry winds whiten,
Nice little saints and still nicer young sinners,—
Winter in Brighton!

Mortimer Collins.

H E [Bagehot] used to say, banteringly, to his mother, by way of putting her off at a time when she was anxious for him to marry, "A man's mother is his misfortune, but his wife is his fault!"

R. H. Hutton, Memoir of W. Bagehot.


M Y dress, you'll aver, is Economy's own,
Designed with most exquisite taste;
From zone unto hem, and from tucker to zone,
You can't find a vestige of waist!

J. Ashby Sterry, in English Epigrams.


L ORD PALMERSTON, during his last attack of gout, exclaimed, playfully, "Die, my dear doctor! That's the last thing I think of doing."

J. C. Jeaffreson, About Lawyers.


H E who in his pocket has no money
Should, in his mouth, be never without honey.

Epigrams in Distich.

T AVERN—a house kept for those who are not housekeepers.

Horace Smith, The Tin Trumpet.

W HEN the breakfast is spread,
When the topers are mellow,
When the foam of the bride-cake is white, and
the fierce orange-blossoms are yellow.

Lewis Carroll, Phantasmagoria.

O N [one] occasion, at a concert, a very indifferent tenor, who sang repeatedly out of tune, was indiscreet enough to express his regret to Rossini that he should have heard him for the first time in that room, as, he complained, "Le plafond est si sourd." Rossini raised his eyes to the abused ceiling, and simply ejaculated, "Heureux plafond!"

J. R. Planché, Recollections.


I F, sick of home and luxuries,
You want a new sensation,
And sigh for the unwonted ease
Of unaccommodation,—
If you would taste, as amateur,
And vagabond beginner,
The painful pleasures of the poor—
Get up a picnic dinner.

Horace Smith, The Tin Trumpet.

A  COUNTRY rector, coming up to preach at Oxford in his turn, complained to Dr. Routh, the venerable Principal of Maudlin, that the remuneration was very inadequate, considering the travelling expenses and the labour necessary for the composition of the discourse. "How much did they give you?" inquired Dr. Routh. "Only five pounds," was the reply. "Only five pounds?" repeated the doctor; "why, I would not have preached that sermon for fifty!"

Life of Rev. W. Harness.

D EY vented to de Voman's Righds,
Vere laties all agrees,
De gals should pe de voters,
And deir beaux all de votées.
"For efery man dat nefer vorks,
Von frau should vranchised pe:
Dat ish de vay I solf dis ding,"
Said Breitmann, said he.

C. G. Leland, Breitmann Ballads.


T HERE is nothing more universally commended than a fine day; the reason is, that people can commend it without envy.

Shenstone, Essays.

L ET the singing singers,
With vocal voices, most vociferous,
In sweet vociferation out-vociferize
Even sound itself.

Chrononhotonthologos, in Carey's farce.

G IVING advice is, many times, only the privilege of saying a foolish thing one's self, under pretence of hindering another from doing one.

Pope, Thoughts on Various Subjects.

O F pay or play may preach this knot—
Of death or duns or love's devotion—
I tied it yesterday, but what
It means, I've not the faintest notion.

H. Cholmondeley Pennell, Pegasus Resaddled.

R ENÉ. Qu'est ce que c'est donc que les affaires, Monsieur Giraud?
Giraud. Les affaires? c'est bien simple; c'est l'argent des autres.

Dumas fils, La Question d'Argent.

T OUS les méchants sont buveurs d'eau.

Comte de Ségur.


M ISS PELLINGLE commences "Rousseau's Dream," with variations. Beautiful melody, by itself first, clear and distinct.

Now the air tries to break out between alternate notes, like a prisoner behind bars. Then we have a variation entirely bass.

Happy thought.—Rousseau snoring.

Then a scampering up, a meeting with the right hand, a scampering down, and a leap off one note into space. Then both in the middle, wobbling; then down into the bass again.

Happy thought.—Rousseau after a heavy supper.

A plaintive variation.—Rousseau in pain.

Light strain: Mazurka time.—Rousseau kicking in his sleep.

F. C. Burnand, Happy Thoughts.

S AD is that woman's lot who, year by year,
Sees, one by one, her beauties disappear,
When Time, grown weary of her heart-drawn sighs,
Impatiently begins to "dim her eyes!"
Compelled at last, in life's uncertain gloamings,
To wreathe her wrinkled brow with well-saved "combings,"
Reduced with rouge, lip-salve, and pearly gray,
To "make up" for lost time, as best she may!

Lady Jane, in W. S. Gilbert's Patience.


N O coinage in circulation so fluctuates in value as the worth of a marriageable man.

Lord Lytton, What will he do with it?


C REED of St. Anathasius? No, indeed.
Call it, good priests, the Anathemasian Creed.

Shirley Brooks, Wit and Humour.

M ISTRUST all those who love you extremely upon a very slight acquaintance, and without any visible reason.

Lord Chesterfield, Maxims.


W HEN man and wife at odds fall out,
Let Syntax be your tutor;
'Twixt masculine and feminine,
What should one be but neuter?


M Y friend the late Sam Phillips one day met Douglas Jerrold, and told him he had seen, the day before, Payne Collier looking wonderfully gay and well—quite an evergreen. "Ah," said Jerrold, "he may be evergreen, but he's never read." On my repeating this to Hicks, he smiled and said, "Now that's what I call 'ready wit.' "

J. C. Young, Diary.


O NE day, when conversing with [a] friend, something was said on the subject of religious persecution, on which [Whately] remarked, "It is no wonder that some English people have a taste for persecuting on account of religion, since it is the first lesson that most are taught in their nurseries." His friend expressed his incredulity, and denied that he, at least, had been taught it. "Are you sure?" replied Dr. Whately. "What think you of this—
      Old Daddy Longlegs won't say his prayers,
      Take him by the left leg, and throw him downstairs'?
If that is not religious persecution, what is?"

E. J. Whately, Life of Whately.


O F this establishment how can we speak?
Its cheese is mity, and its ale is weak.


A T a fête at Hatfield House, tableaux vivants were among the chief amusements, and scenes from Ivanhoe were among the selections. All the parts were filled up but that of Isaac of York. Lady Salisbury begged Lord Alvanley "to make the set complete, by doing the Jew." "Anything in my power your ladyship may demand," replied Alvanley; "but though no man in England has tried oftener, I never could do a Jew in my life."

R. H. Barham, Life.


T HERE'S nothing we read of in torture's inventions,
Like a well-meaning dunce with the best of intentions.

J. R. Lowell, A Fable for Critics.


M ISS D., on her return to the Highlands of Scotland, from Rome, went to see an auld Scottish wife, and said, to interest the old woman, "I have been to Rome since I saw you—I have seen all sorts of great people—I have seen the Pope." The sympathetic old dame replied with animation, "The Pope of Rome!—Honest marn!—haze he ony family?"

Frederick Locker, Patchwork.

N AY, tempt me not, Arab, again to stay;
Since I crave neither Echo nor Fun to-day,
For thy hand is not Echoless—there they are,
Fun, Glowworm, and Echo, and Evening Star:
And thou hintest withal that thou fain wouldst shine,
As I con them, these bulgy old boots of mine.
But I shrink from thee, Arab! Thou eat'st eel-pie,
Thou evermore hast at least one black eye;
There is brass on thy brow, and thy swarthy hues
Are due not to nature but handling shoes;
And the bit in thy mouth, I regret to see,
Is a bit of tobacco-pipe—Flee, child, flee!

C. S. Calverley, Fly Leaves.


T HE bulk of men in our days are just as immoral as they were in Charles the Second's; the only difference is that they are incomparably more stupid, and that instead of decking their immorality with the jewels of wit, they clumsily try to cover it with the tarpaulin of respectability.

Mr. Luke, in Mallock's New Republic.


M EN dying make their wills, why cannot wives?
Because wives have their wills during their lives.

R. Hugman (circa 1628).

W HAT the mischief do you suppose you want with a post-office at Baldwin's Ranch? It would not do you any good. If any letters came there, you couldn't read them, you know; and besides, such letters as ought to pass through, with money in them, for other localities, would not be likely to get through, you must perceive at once; and that would make trouble for us all. No; don't bother about a post-office at your camp. What you want is a nice jail, you know—a nice, substantial jail, and a free school. These will be a lasting benefit to you. These will make you really contented and happy.

Mark Twain, Choice Works.

N OUS avons tous assez de force pour supporter les maux d'autrui.

La Rochefoucauld, Réflexions.


R OGERS happened to ask Macaulay what he thought of Miss Harriet Martineau's wonderful cures by mesmerism. He said, with one of his rare smiles, "Oh, it's all my eye, and Hetty Martineau!"

Lady Chatterton, Life.

T Tame is Virtue's school;
Paint, as more effective,
Villain, knave, and fool,
With always a Detective.
Hate for Love may sit;
Gloom will do for Gladness;
Banish Sense and Wit,
And dash in lots of Madness.

Stir the broth about;
Keep the furnace glowing;
Soon we'll pour it out
In three bright volumes flowing.
Some may jeer and jibe:
We know where the shop is,
Ready to subscribe
For a thousand copies!

Lord Neaves, Songs and Verses.

T H' young men noo-a-days, they're poor squashy things—the' looke well anoof, but the' woon't wear, the' woon't wear.

"Mester" Ford, in George Eliot's Mr. Gilfil.


"W HERE are the boys of my youth?" I assure you this is not a conundrum. Some are amongst you here—some in America—some are in gaol.

Hence arises a most touching question: "Where are the girls of my youth?" Some are married—some would like to be.

C. F. Browne, Artemus Ward's Lecture.

M ARK how the lorgnettes cautiously they raise
Lest points, no pose so thoughtless but displays,
A too quick curiosity should hide—
For they who gaze must gazed-at be beside.

Alfred Austin, The Season.

I  SENT the book down to the Dean, from Saunders and Otley's. Speaking of that firm, I don't know whether I told you of young Sutton, Lord Canterbury's son, calling there one day very angry, because they had not sent him some books he had ordered. He was, as usual, pretty warm, and so much so that one of the partners could bear it no longer, and told him as much. "I don't know who you are," was the answer, "but I don't want to annoy you personally, as you may not be the one in fault: it's your confounded house that I blame. You may be Otley, or you may be Saunders; if you are Saunders, d—— Otley; if you are Otley, d—— Saunders. I mean nothing personal to you."

R. H. Barham, Life.


O F all actions of a man's life, his marriage does least concern other people, yet of all actions of our life 'tis most meddled with by other people.

Selden, Table Talk.

A  GRAVE and quiet man was he,
Who loved his book and rod,—
So even ran his line of life
His neighbours thought it odd.

He ne'er aspired to rank or wealth,
Nor cared about a name,
For though much famed for fish was he,
He never fished for fame!

Let others bend their necks at sight
Of Fashion's gilded wheels,
He ne'er had learned the art to "bob"
For anything but eels!

John Godfrey Saxe, Poems.

A  LITTLE knowledge of the world is a very dangerous thing, especially in literature.

Lord Montfort, in Lord Beaconsfield's Endymion.

S I les hommes ne se flattaient pas les uns les autres, il n'y aurait guère de société.

Vauvenargues, Réflexions.


T HE gravest aversion exists among bears
From rude forward persons who give themselves airs,—
We know how some graceless young people were maul'd
For plaguing a Prophet, and calling him bald.

Strange ursine devotion! their dancing-days ended,
Bears die to "remove" what, in life, they defended:
They succour'd the Prophet, and, since that affair,
The bald have a painful regard for the bear.

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.

H EAVEN knows what would become of our sociality if we never visited people we speak ill of; we should live, like Egyptian hermits, in crowded solitude.

George Eliot, Janet's Repentance.

M ETHINKS the older that one grows
Inclines us more to laugh than scold, though laughter
Leaves us so doubly serious shortly after.

Lord Byron, Beppo.

W E ought never to contend for what we are not likely to obtain.

Cardinal de Retz, Memoirs.


"I  WILL never marry a woman who cannot carve," said M——. "Why?" "Because she would not be a help-meat for me."

Literary Gazette.

T WINKLE, twinkle, little bat!
How I wonder what you're at!
Up above the world you fly,
Like a tea-tray in the sky.

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.

W E had for dinner, among other things, a ham which was not well flavoured; and Mrs. Frederick Mackenzie, who was annoyed about it, began apologizing, and saying that Ellerton, the local grocer, had sold it to her as something very excellent, and as a genuine Westphalia. "Ah!" said Compton, "I cannot determine precisely whether it is east or west, but it is a failure of some sort."

R. B. Carter, in Memoir of H. Compton.

O NE of the company asserting that he had seen a pike caught, which weighed thirty-six pounds, and was four feet in length,—"Had it been a sole," said Harry [Sandford], "it would have surprised me less, as Shakespeare tells us, 'All the souls that are, were four feet (forfeit) once.'"

R. H. Barham, Life.


T HERE is safety in numbers, especially in odd numbers. The Three Graces never married, neither did the Nine Muses.

Kenelm Chillingly, in Lord Lytton's novel.


T HERE are three species of creatures who when they seem coming are going,
When they seem going they come: Diplomats, women, and crabs.

John Hay, Poems.

I F a man might know
The ill he must undergo,
And shun it so,
Then were it good to know.
But if he undergo it,
Though he know it,
What boots him know it?
He must undergo it.

Sir John Suckling.

B ARRY CORNWALL told me that when he and Charles Lamb were once making up a dinner-party together, Charles asked him not to invite a certain lugubrious friend of theirs. "Because," said Lamb, "he would cast a damper even over a funeral."

J. T. Fields, Yesterdays with Authors.


L 'AMOUR plaît plus que le mariage, par la raison que les romans sont plus amusants que l'histoire.

Chamfort, Maximes.

T HE farmers daughter hath frank blue eyes;
(Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese)
She hears the rooks caw in the windy skies,
As she sits at her lattice and shells her peas.

The farmer's daughter hath ripe red lips;
(Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese)
If you try to approach her, away she skips
Over tables and chairs with apparent ease.

The farmer's daughter hath soft brown hair;
(Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese)
And I met with a ballad, I can't say where,
Which wholly consisted of lines like these.

C. S. Calverley, Fly Leaves.

m ACREADY told a story of George B——, the actor, who, it seems, was not popular in the profession, being considered a sort of time-server: "There goes Georgius," said some one. "Not Georgium Sidus?" replied Keeley. "Yes," added Power, "Georgium Any-sidus."

R. H. Barham, Life.


I 'M weary, and sick, and disgusted
With Britain's mechanical din;
Where I'm much too well known to be trusted,
And plaguily pestered for tin;
Where love has two eyes for your banker,
And one chilly flame for yourself;
Where souls can afford to be franker,
But where they're well garnished with pelf.

I'm sick of the whole race of poets,
Emasculate, misty, and fine;
They brew their small beer, and don't know its
Distinction from full-bodied wine.
I'm sick of the prosers, that house up
At drowsy St. Stephen's—ain't you?
I want some strong spirits to rouse up
A good resolution or two!

Bon Gaultier Ballads.

"O n one occasion," said Brummell, "I called to inquire after a young lady who had sprained her ankle. Lewis, on being asked how she was, had said in the black's presence, 'The doctor has seen her, put her legs straight, and the poor chicken is doing well.' The servant, therefore, told me, with a very mysterious and knowing look, 'Oh, sir, the doctor has been here; she has laid eggs, and she and the chickens are doing well.'"

Gronow, Recollections.


A  SCOTTISH Scottish clergyman had some years since been cited before the Ecclesiastical Assembly at Edinburgh, to answer to a charge brought against him of great irreverence in religious matters, and Sir Walter [Scott] was employed by him to arrange his defence. The principal fact alleged against him was his having asserted, in a letter which was produced, that "he considered Pontius Pilate to be a very ill-used man, as he had done more for Christianity than all the other nine Apostles put together." The fact was proved, and suspension followed.

R. H. Barham, Life.


P ARNASSUS' peaks still catch the sun;
But why—O lyric brother!—
Why build a Pulpit on the one,
A Platform on the other?

Austin Dobson, in Latter-Day Lyrics.

M Y old fellow-traveller in Germany, himself an Irishman, being on the box of an Irish mail-coach on a very cold day, and observing the driver enveloping his neck in the voluminous folds of an ample "comforter," remarked, "You seem to be taking very good care of yourself, my friend." "Och, to be shure I am, sir," answered the driver; "what's all the world to a man when his wife's a widdy?"

J. R. Planché, Recollections.


---- has nothing truly human about him; he can't even yawn like a man.

Lady Ashburton, apud Lord Houghton.

W E are apt to be kinder to the brutes that love us than to the women that love us. Is it because the brutes are dumb?

George Eliot, Adam Bede.

A FRONTISPIECE of a new magazine,
With all the fashions which the last month wore,
Colour'd, and silver-paper leaved between
That and the title page, for fear the press
Should soil with parts of speech the parts of dress.

Lord Byron, Beppo.

"I  WISH to consult you upon a little project I have formed," said a noodle to his friend. "I have an idea in my head——" "Have you?" interposed the friend, with a look of great surprise; "then you shall have my opinion at once: keep it there!—it may be some time before you get another."

Horace Smith, The Tin Trumpet.

O N aime mieux dire du mal de soi-même que de n'en point parler.

La Rochefoucauld, Réflexions.


A ND I said, "Why is this thus? What is the reason of this thusness?"

C. F. Browne, Artemus Ward's Lecture.


T HERE'S this to say about the Scotch,
So bother bannocks, braes, and birks,
They can't produce a decent watch,
For Calvinists despise good works.

Shirley Brooks, Wit and Humour.

D AWSON told a good story about the Irish landlord counting out the change of a guinea. "12, 13, 14" (a shot heard); "Bob, go and see who's that that's killed; 15, 16, 17" (enter Bob). "It's Kelly, sir." "Poor Captain Kelly, a very good customer of mine; 18, 19, 20—there's your change, sir."

Thomas Moore, Diary.

C AN this be Balbus, household word for all,
Whose earliest exploit was to build a wall:
Who, with a frankness that I'm sure must charm ye,
Declared it was all over with the army?
Can this be he who feasted, as 'twas said,
The town at forty sesterces a head?
But, while the thankless mob his bounty quaffed,
Historians add—that there were some who laughed.

Horace, in G. O. Trevelyan's Horace at Athens.


I  SHOULD never like scolding any one else so well; and that is a point to be thought of in a husband.

Mary Garth, in George Eliot's Middlemarch.

I N Logic a woman may seldom excel;
But in Rhetoric always she bears off the bell.
Fair Portia will show woman's talent for law,
When in old Shylock's bond she could prove such a flaw.
She would blunder in physic no worse than the rest,
She could leave things to Nature as well as the best,
She could feel at your wrist, she could finger your fee;
Then why should a woman not get a degree?

Lord Neaves, Songs and Verses.

Q UAM parvâ sapientiâ regitur mundus. Say rather, quam magnâ stultitiâ.

Charles Buxton, Notes of Thought.

T HE padded corsage and the well-matched hair,
Judicious jupon spreading out the spare,
Sleeves well designed soft plumpness to impart,
Leave vacant still the hollows of the heart.

Alfred Austin, The Season.

A  TAILOR is partly an alchemist, for he extracteth his own apparel out of other men's clothes.

Sir Thomas Overbury, Characters.


I  AM quite ashamed to take people into my garden, and have them notice the absence of onions. In onion is strength; and a garden without it lacks flavour.

C. D. Warner, My Summer in a Garden.

T ORBAY had incurred a good deal of expense
To make him a Scotchman in every sense
But this is a matter, you'll readily own,
That isn't a question of tailors alone.

A Sassenach chief may be bonily built,
He may purchase a sporran, a bonnet, and kilt,
Stick a skean in his hose—wear an acre of stripes—
But he cannot assume an affection for pipes.

W. S. Gilbert, Bab Ballads.

W HEN you have found the master-passion of a man, remember never to trust him where that passion is concerned.

Lord Chesterfield, Letters to his Son.


"I  HARDLY ever ope my lips," one cries:
"Simonides, what think you of my rule?"
"If you're a fool, I think you're very wise;
If you are wise, I think you are a fool."

R. Garnett, Idylls and Epigrams.


N OUS aimons mieux voir ceux à qui nous faisons du bien que ceux qui nous en font.

La Rochefoucauld, Réflexions.


I N a church which is furnish'd with mullion and gable,
With altar and reredos, with gargoyle and groin,
The penitents' dresses are sealskin and sable,
The odour of sanctity's eau-de-Cologne.
But only could Lucifer, flying from Hades,
Gaze down on this crowd with its panniers and paints,
He would say, as he look'd at the lords and the ladies,
"Oh, where is All Sinners', if this is All Saints'?"

Edmund Yates.

I F we are long absent from our friends, we forget them; if we are constantly with them, we despise them.

W. Hazlitt, Characteristics.

A  WELL-KNOWN litterateur, on seeing [Lady Ruthven], after breakfast, feeding her pheasants with crumbs and milk, exclaimed, "Ah! I see your ladyship is preparing them here, for bread-sauce hereafter."

J. C. Young, Diary.


T HE second canto of the "Pleasures of Memory," as published in the first edition, commenced with the lines—

"Sweet memory, wafted by thy gentle gale,
Oft up the tide of Time I turn my sail."

[A] critic remarked on this passage that it suggested the alliteration—

"Oft up the tide of Time I turn my tail."

Rogers, Table Talk.

I  LIKE the man who makes a pun,
Or drops a deep remark;
I like philosophy or fun—
A lecture or a lark;
But I despise the men who gloat
Inanely over anecdote.

Ah me! I'd rather live alone
Upon a desert isle,
Without a voice except my own
To cheer me all the while,
Than dwell with men who learn by rote
Their paltry funds of anecdote.

H. S. Leigh, Carols of Cockayne.

N O woman is too silly not to have a genius for spite.

Anna C. Steele.


T HAT'S what a man wants in a wife mostly; he wants to make sure o' one fool as 'ull tell him he's wise.

Mrs. Poyser, in George Eliot's Adam Bede.

T HE characters of great and small
Come ready-made, we can't bespeak one;
Their sides are many, too,—and all
(Except ourselves) have got a weak one.
Some sanguine people love for life,
Some love their hobby till it flings them.—
How many love a pretty wife
For love of the éclat she brings them!

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.

C ONSCIENCE, in most souls, is like an English Sovereign—it reigns, but it does not govern. Its function is merely to give a formal assent to the Bills passed by the passions; and it knows, if it opposes what those are really bent upon, that ten to one it will be obliged to abdicate.

Leslie, in Mallock's New Republic.

I F you are pious (mild form of insanity),
Bow down and worship the mass of humanity.
Other religions are buried in mists;
We're our own Gods, say the Positivists.

Mortimer Collins, The British Birds.


W E were sitting in the green-room one evening during the performance, chatting and laughing, she [Mrs. Nesbitt] having a book in her hand which she had to take on the stage with her in the next scene, when Brindal, a useful member of the company, but not particularly remarkable for wit or humour, came to the door, and, leaning against it, in a sentimental manner drawled out,—

"If to her share some female errors fall,
Look in her face——

He paused. She raised her beautiful eyes to him, and consciously smiled—her smile—in anticipation of the well-known complimentary termination of the couplet, when, with a deep sigh, he added—

"——and you'll believe them all!"

J. R. Planché, Recollections.


P ERHAPS, O lovers, if we did our hair
A la Medea, and if our garments were
Draped classically, we should seem more fair.


By doing this ye would not us befool;
Medea! the idea makes our blood run cool;
Besides, of classics we'd enough at school.

Once a Week.


P LEDGE me round, I bid ye declare,
All good fellows whose beards are grey,
Did not the fairest of the fair
Common grow and wearisome ere
Ever a month was passed away?

The reddest lips that ever have kissed,
The brightest eyes that ever have shone,
May pray and whisper, and we not list,
Or look away, and never be missed,
Ere yet ever a month is gone.

W. M. Thackeray.

I T was known that Lord St. Jerome gave at his ball suppers the same champagne that he gave at his dinners, and that was of the highest class: in short, a patriot. We talk with wondering execration of the great poisoners of past ages, the Borgias, the inventor of Aqua tofana, and the amiable Marchioness de Brinvilliers; but Pinto was of opinion that there were more social poisoners about in the present day than in the darkest and most demoralized periods, and then none of them are punished; which is so strange, he would add, as they are all found out.

Lord Beaconsfield, Lothair.

S EARED is, of course, my heart:—but unsubdued
Is, and shall be, my appetite for food.

C. S. Calverley, Verses and Translations.


S HEIL had learnt and forgotten the exordium of a speech which began with the word "Necessity." This word he had repeated three times, when Sir Robert Peel broke in—"is not always the mother of invention."

Abraham Hayward, Essays.


F ROUDE informs the Scottish youth
Parsons have small regard for truth;
The Reverend Canon Kingsley cries
That History is a pack of lies.
What cause for judgment so malign?
A brief reflection solves the mystery:
Froude believes Kingsley a divine,
And Kingsley goes to Froude for history.


D INED with Sydney Smith. He said that his brother Robert had, in King George III.'s time, translated the motto, "Libertas sub rege pio," "The pious king has got liberty under."

R. H. Barham, Life.

L ANDLORD: He's only a genus.
Glavis: A what?
Landlord: A genus!—a man who can do everything
in life except anything that's useful—that's a genus.

Lord Lytton, The Lady of Lyons.


F IRST love is a pretty romance,
But not half so sweet as 'tis reckoned;
And when one wakes from the trance,
There's a vast stock of bliss in the second.

And e'en should a second subside,
A lover should never despair;
The world is uncommonly wide,
And the women uncommonly fair.

The poets their raptures may tell,
Who have never been put to the test;
A first love is all very well,
But, believe me, the last love's the best.

Mr. Bernal.

I 'VE nothing to say again' her piety, my dear; but I know very well I shouldn't like her to cook my victual. When a man comes in hungry an' tired, piety won't feed him, I reckon. Hard carrots 'ull lie heavy on his stomach, piety or no piety. It's right enough to be speritial—I'm no enemy to that; but I like my potatoes mealy.

Mrs. Linnet, in George Eliot's Janet's Repentance.

S OMEHOW, sitting cosily here,
I think of the sunny summertide hours,
When the what-do-you-call-'em warbles clear,
And the breezes blow—likewise the flowers.

Once a Week.


A  LAWYER'S brief will be brief, before a freethinker thinks freely.

Guesses at Truth.

J UXTAPOSITION, in fine; and what is juxtaposition?
Look you, we travel along in the railway, carriage or steamer,
And, pour passer le temps, till the tedious journey be ended,
Lay aside paper or book, to talk to the girl who is next one;
And, pour passer le temps, with the terminus all but in prospect,
Talk of eternal ties and marriages made in heaven.

Claude, in Clough's Amours de Voyage.

W E measure the excellency of other men by some excellency we conceive to be in ourselves.

Selden, Table Talk.

O H! spare those Gardens where the leafy glade
Prompts the proposal dalliance delayed;
Where tear-dewed lids, choked utterance, sobs suppressed,
Tear the confession from a doubting breast;
Whence they, who vainly haunted rout and ride,
Emerge triumphant from a suitor's side.

Alfred Austin, The Season.


T HEY have queer hotels in Oregon. I remember one where they gave me a bag of oats for a pillow. I had night mares, of course.

C. F. Browne, Artemus Ward's Lecture.

T HE man who would Charybdis shun
Must make a cautious movement,
Or else he'll into Scylla run—
Which would be no improvement.
The fish that left the frying-pan,
On feeling that desire, sir,
Took little by their change of plan,
When floundering in the fire, sir.

Lord Neaves, Songs and Verses.

T HE flattery which is most pleasing to really beautiful or decidedly ugly women is that which is addressed to the intellect.

Lord Chesterfield, Letters to his Son.

J OHNSON'S folly—to be candid—was a wild desire to treat
Every able male white citizen he met upon the street;
And there being several thousand—but this subject why pursue?
'Tis with Perkins, and not Johnson, that to-day we have to do.

Bret Harte, Complete Works.


G OOD little girls ought not to make mouths at their teachers for every trifling offence. This kind of retaliation should only be resorted to under peculiarly aggravating circumstances.

If you have nothing but a rag-doll stuffed with sawdust, while one of your more fortunate little playmates has a costly china one, you should treat her with a show of kindness nevertheless. And you ought not to attempt to make a forcible swap with her, unless your conscience would justify you in it, and you know you are able to do it.

If your mother tells you to do a thing, it is wrong to reply that you won't. It is better and more becoming to intimate that you will do as she bids you, and then afterwards act quietly in the matter according to the dictates of your better judgment.

Mark Twain, Choice Works.

W E count mankind, and keep our census still,
We count the stars that populate the night;
But who, with all his computation, can
Con catty nations right?

R. H. Newell, Orpheus C. Kerr Papers.

I  THINK it was Jekyll who used to say that "the further he went West, the more convinced he was that the wise men did come from the East."

Sydney Smith, Life and Letters.


C E qui nous empêche souvent de nous abandonner à un seul vice est que nous en avons plusieurs.

La Rochefoucauld, Réflexions.

I  HAVE observed that if people's vanity is pleased, they live well enough together. Offended vanity is the great separator.

Ellesmere, in Helps's Friends in Council.


P OMPOUS the boast, and yet a truth it speaks:
A "Modern Athens"—fit for modern Greeks.

James Hannay, Sketches and Characters.

L ORD ANDOVER, a very fat man, was greatly plagued at a fancy bazaar to buy some trifle or other from the ladies' stalls. At length he rather rudely said, "I am like the Prodigal Son, persecuted by ladies." "No, no," retorted Mrs. ——, "say, rather, the fatted calf."

B. R. Haydon, Diary.

A  QUIET conscience makes one so serene!
Christians have burnt each other, quite persuaded,
That all the Apostles would have done as they did.

Lord Byron, Don Juan.


"W ERE you born in wedlock?" asked a counsel of a witness. "No, sir, in Devonshire," was the reply.

Horace Smith, The Tin Trumpet.

E VANSON, in his "Dissonance of the Gospels," thinks Luke is most worthy of credence. P—— said that Evanson was a luke-warm Christian.

Crabb Robinson, Diary.


R EADING the paper Laura sat,
"Greenwich mean time, mamma, what's that?"
"My love, it's when your stingy Pa
Won't take us to the Trafalgàr."

Shirley Brooks, Wit and Humour.

I  WAS once as desperately in love as you are now. I adored, and was rejected. "You are in love with certain attributes," said the lady. "Damn your attributes, madam," said I; "I know nothing of attributes." "Sir," she said, with dignity, "you have been drinking." So we parted. She was married afterwards to another, who knew something about attributes, I suppose. I have seen her once, and only once. She had a baby in a yellow gown. I hate a baby in a yellow gown!

Berkley, in Longfellow's Hyperion.


A  MAN has generally the good or ill qualities which he attributes to mankind.

Shenstone, Essays.

H OW doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every shining scale!

How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.

A PROPOS of cutlets, I once called upon an old lady, who pressed me so urgently to stay and dine with her that, as I had no engagement, I could not refuse. On sitting down, the servant uncovered a dish which contained two mutton chops; and my old friend said, "Mr. Hook, you see your dinner." "Thank you, ma'am," said I; "but where is yours?"

Theodore Hook, apud Planché.

I N all distresses of our friends,
We first consult our private ends;
While nature, kindly bent to ease us,
Points out some circumstance to please us.

Swift, Verses on his own Death.


O N ne donne rien si libéralement que ses conseils.

La Rochefoucauld, Réflexions.




A  WINNING wile,
A sunny smile,
A feather:
A tiny talk,
A pleasant walk,


A playful pout,
A merry miss,
A stolen kiss,


You ask mamma,
Consult papa,
With pleasure:
And both repent
This rash event,
At leisure!!!

J. Ashby Sterry, Boudoir Ballads.


W OMAN consoles us, it is true, while we are young and handsome! When we are old and ugly, woman snubs and scolds us.

Lord Lytton, What will he do with it?

L A société est composée de deux grandes classes: ceux qui ont plus de dîners que d'appétit, et ceux qui ont plus d'appétit que de dîners.

Chamfort, Maximes.

H AS she wedded some gigantic shrimper,
That sweet mite with whom I loved to play?
Is she girt with babes that whine and whimper,
That bright being who was always gay?

Yes—she has at least a dozen wee things!
Yes—I see her darning corduroys,
Scouring floors, and setting out the tea-things,
For a howling herd of hungry boys.

C. S. Calverley, Fly Leaves.

"Y OU may report to your Government that the British youth of the present day, hot from the University, are very often prigs."
"Most certainly I will," said Mr. Wog; "the last word, however, is one with which I am not acquainted."
"It is an old English term for profound thinker," I replied.

L. Oliphant, Piccadilly.


W OMAN takes the lead in all the departments, leaving us politics only. While we are being amused by the ballot, woman is quietly taking things into her own hands.

C. D. Warner, My Summer in a Garden.

W OULD it were wind and wave alone!
The terrors of the torrid zone,
The indiscriminate cyclone,
A man might parry;
But only faith, or "triple brass,"
Can help the "outward-bound" to pass
Safe through that eastward-faring class
Who sail to marry.

For him fond mothers, stout and fair,
Ascend the tortuous cabin stair
Only to hold around his chair
Insidious sessions;
For him the eyes of daughters droop
Across the plate of handed soup,
Suggesting seats upon the poop,
And soft confessions.

Austin Dobson, Vignettes in Rhyme.

I T'S poor work allays settin' the dead above the livin'. It 'ud be better if folks 'ud make much of us beforehand, isted o' beginnin' when we're gone.

Mrs. Poyser, in George Eliot's Adam Bede.


T HE authoress of the "Wild Irish Girl," Lady Morgan, justly proud of her gifted sister Olivia, was in the habit of addressing every new-comer with, "I must make you acquainted with my Livy." She once used this form of words to a gentleman who had just been worsted in an encounter of wits with the lady in question. "Yes, ma'am," was the reply; "I happen to know your Livy, and I would to Heaven your Livy was Tacitus."

Lord Albemarle, Fifty Years of my Life.

"R ISE with the lark, and with the lark to bed,"
Observes some solemn, sentimental owl;
Maxims like these are very cheaply said;
But e'er you make yourself a fool or fowl,
Pray just inquire about his rise and fall,
And whether larks have any bed at all!

The "time for honest folks to be in bed"
Is in the morning, if I reason right;
And he who cannot keep his precious head
Upon its pillow till it's fairly light,
And so enjoy his forty morning winks,
Is up to knavery; or else—he drinks!

John Godfrey Saxe, Poems.

A  POPULAR MAN.—One who is so boldly vulgar that the timidly vulgar admire him.

Anne Evans, Poems and Music.


W E can't for a certainty tell
What mirth may molest us on Monday;
But, at least, to begin the week well,
Let us all be unhappy on Sunday.

These gardens, their walks and green bowers,
Might be free to the poor man for one day;
But no, the glad plants and gay flowers
Mustn't bloom or smell sweetly on Sunday.

Abroad we forbid folks to roam
For fear they get social or frisky;
But of course they can sit still at home,
And get dismally drunk upon whiskey.

Lord Neaves, Songs and Verses.

L A haine des faibles n'est pas si dangereuse que leur amitié.

Vauvenargues, Réflexions.

T O Matthew Arnold we must go to put us in the right, sir,
About his elevating scheme of "sweetness" and of "light," sir,
Which some folks say will one fine day achieve a marked ascendancy,
Though "Providence" it waters down into a "stream of tendency."

F. D., in Pall Mall Gazette.


C HAMBERMAIDS use up more hair-oil than any six men. If charged with purloining the same, they lie about it. What do they care about a hereafter? Absolutely nothing.

Mark Twain, Choice Works.

W HEN sorely tempted to purloin
Your pietà of Marc Antoine,
Fair virtue doth fair play enjoin,
Fair Virtuoso!

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.

N O man can be wise on an empty stomach.

Bartle Massey, in George Eliot's Adam Bede.

A LL tragedies are finished by a death,
All comedies are ended by a marriage;
The future states of both are left to faith,
For authors fear description might disparage
The worlds to come of both, or fall beneath.

Lord Byron, Don Juan.

T HE Bailli de Ferrette was always dressed in knee-breeches, with a cocked hat and sword, the slender proportions of which greatly resembled those of his legs. "Do tell me, my dear Bailli," said Montrond one day, "have you got three legs or three swords?"

Gronow, Recollections.


A  MEXICAN lady's hair never curls—it's as straight as an Indian's. Some people's hair won't curl under any circumstances. My hair won't curl under two shillings.

C. F. Browne, Artemus Ward's Lecture.

I 'VE read the poets of our land,
Who sing of beauty and of love,
Who rave about a dimpled hand,
And write sweet sonnets on a glove.
But sweeter far than maiden's kiss,
And fairer far than Jouvin's best,
Is one red-labelled quart, I wis,
With Bass's well-known mark imprest.

And years may come, and years may go,
And fortune change as fortune will,
But may my Burton fountain flow,
In shade and sunshine clearly still,
And till life's night is closing grey,
My heart shall ever hold most dear
The liquor that I sing to-day—
My childhood's friend! my Bass's beer!

H. Savile Clarke.

W OMEN are much more like each other than men; they have, in truth, but two passions: vanity and love: these are their universal characteristics.

Lord Chesterfield, Letters to his Son.


"A FTER all, are not women necessary to your happiness?"
"Alas!" sighed Maximilian, "it is but too true. But women have unfortunately only one way of making us happy, whilst they have thirty thousand different modes of rendering us miserable."

Heinrich Heine, The Florentine Nights.

I  LOVE you! ay! it seems absurd,
Altho' to prove it I was sedulous;
The ink is black that writes the word,
Yet you will read it all inc-red-ulous.
Where was my sense, once so acute,
To dream myself a hopeful suitor?
I should have been much more astute;
I came to you, you know, as tutor!
My passion on an instant grew—
(Spontaneous love is scarce a crime!).
How swift those early minutes flew!
And, odd to say, 'twas even-time!
Maddened with love, I penned a note,
And placed it where 'twould catch your sight;
Alas for me! but when I wrote,
Of course I thought that I did right!

Robert Reece, in Comic Poets.

T HE most dreadful thing against women is the character of the men that praise them.

Lady Ashburton, apud Lord Houghton.


T HERE'S one Thomas Buckle, a London youth,
Who taught that the world was blind
Till he was born to proclaim the truth,
That matter is moulder of mind;
But I really can't fancy at all
How wheat, rice, and barley,
Made Dick, Tom, and Charlie
So tidy and trim,
Without help from Him
Who was preached both by Plato and Paul.

J. S. Blackie, Musa Burschicosa.

S HERIDAN'S answer to Lord Lauderdale was excellent, on the latter saying he would repeat some good thing I had mentioned to him: "Pray don't, my dear Lauderdale; a joke in your mouth is no laughing matter."

Thomas Moore, Diary.

D O you know why the rabbits are caught in the snare,
Or the tabby cat's shot on the tiles?
Why the tigers and lions creep out of their lair?
Why an ostrich will travel for miles?
Do you know why a sane man will whimper and cry,
And weep o'er a ribbon or glove?
Why a cook will put sugar for salt in a pie?
Do you know? Well, I'll tell you—it's Love.

Flapper, in H. P. Stephens's Billee Taylor.


I  REMEMBER Curran once—in an action for breach of promise of marriage, in which he was counsel for the defendant, a young clergyman—thus appealing to the jury: "Gentlemen, I entreat of you not to ruin this young man by a vindictive verdict, for though he has talents, and is in the Church, he may rise!"

Phillips, Life of Curran.

T HERE are female women, and there are male women.

Charles Buxton, Notes of Thought.

I  OWN fair faces not more fair
In Ettrick than in Portman Square,
And silly danglers just as silly
In Sherwood, as in Piccadilly.

W. M. Praed.

I  HEARD an anecdote at Oxford, of a porter encountering on his rounds two undergraduates, who were without their gowns, or out of bounds, or out of hours. He challenged one: "Your name and college?" They were given. Turning to the other: "And pray, sir, what might your name be?" "Julius Cæsar," was the reply. "What, sir, do you mean to say your name is Julius Cæsar?" "Sir, you did not ask me what it is, but what it might be."

W. H. Harrison, Reminiscences.


I  ALWAYS can tell a
Preoccupied man by his tumbled umbrella.

Lady Matilda, in G. O. Trevelyan's Ladies
in Parliament

T ALKING of Doctor [Parr's] illegible manuscript, "Ay," said [Basil Montagu], "his letters are illegible, except they contain a commission or an announcement that he is coming to see you, and then no man can write plainer."

Miss Mitford, Life and Letters.

I  NEVER nursed a dear gazelle;
But I was given a parroquet—
(How I did nurse him if unwell!)
He's imbecile, but lingers yet.
He's green, with an enchanting tuft;
He melts me with his small black eye;
He'd look inimitable stuff'd,
And knows it—but he will not die!

C. S. Calverley, Fly Leaves.

S OME reformer was clamouring for the expulsion of the Bishops from the House of Lords, but said he would not have them all go; he would leave two. "To keep up the breed, I suppose," said Alvanley.

Charles Greville, Diary.


Y OU women regard men just as you buy books—you never care about what is in them, but how they are bound and lettered.

Damas, in Lord Lytton's Lady of Lyons.


H ERE lies L.'s body, from his soul asunder:
He once was on the turf, and now is under.

Scrope Davies, apud Moore.


M Y friend Admiral E. E., shortly after his return from a cruise, met an old acquaintance in the streets of ——, who said, after the usual salutations had passed, "They telt me, Admiral, that ye had got married." The Admiral, hoping for a compliment, replied, "Why, Bailie, I am getting on; I'm not so young as I was, you see, and none of the girls will have me." On which the Bailie, with perfect good faith and simplicity, replied, "'Deed, Admiral, I was na evenin' yer to a lassie, but there's mony a fine, respeckit, half-worn wumman wad be glad to tak ye."

Frederick Locker, Patchwork.


T HEY come from the Lakes—an appropriate quarter
For poems diluted with plenty of water.

Rev. Henry Townshend.


A ND I whispered, "I guess
The sweet secret thou keepest,
And the dainty distress
That thou wistfully weepest;
And the question is, 'Licence or banns?' though undoubtedly banns are the cheapest."

Then her white hand I clasped,
And with kisses I crowned it.
But she glared and she gasped,
And she muttered, "Confound it!"
Or at least it was something like that, but the noise of the omnibus drowned it.

Lewis Carroll, Phantasmagoria.

I T was Lady Cork who had originated the idea that, after all, heaven would perhaps turn out very dull to her when she got there; sitting on damp clouds, and singing "God save the King," being her idea of the principal amusements there.

Fanny Kemble, Record of a Girlhood.


H OW wisely Nature, ordering all below,
Forbade a beard on woman's chin to grow!
For how could she be shaved, whate'er the skill,
Whose tongue would never let her chin be still?



W HEN Tennyson entered the Oxford Theatre to receive his honorary degree of D.C.L., his locks hanging in admired disorder on his shoulders, dishevelled and unkempt, a voice from the gallery was heard crying out to him, "Did your mother call you early, dear?"

J. C. Young, Diary.

"H A! HA!" he said, "you loathe your ways,
You writhe at these my words of warning,
In agony your hands you raise!"
(And so they did, for they were yawning.)

"Ho! ho!" he cries, "you bow your crests—
My eloquence has set you weeping;
In shame you bend upon your breasts!"
(And so they did, for they were sleeping.)

W. S. Gilbert, Bab Ballads.

Y OU may safely flatter any woman, from her understanding down to the exquisite taste of her fan.

Lord Chesterfield, Letters to his Son.


Y OUR dressing, dancing, gadding, where's the good in?
Sweet lady, tell me—can you make a pudding?

Epigrams in Distich.


L ORD BRAXFIELD, at whist, exclaimed to a lady with whom he was playing, "What are ye doing, ye damned auld ——?" and then, recollecting himself, "Your pardon's begged, madam; I took ye for my ain wife."

Lord Macaulay, Life.

T HEN life was thornless to our ken,
And, Bramble-Rise, thy hills were then
A rise without a bramble.

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.

J OHN HAMILTON REYNOLDS was specially distinguished for the aptness of his quotations. Finding him one day lunching at the Garrick, I asked him if the beef he was eating was good. "It would have been," he answered, "if damned custom had not brazed it so."

J. R. Planché, Recollections.

W HILE spending an evening at [Mendelssohn's] house, a note, with a ticket enclosed, was put in my hands. The note ran thus: "The Directors of the Leipzig Concerts beg leave to present to Mr. Shurely a ticket of the concert of to-morrow." Whereupon Mendelssohn ran to the pianoforte, and immediately began to play the subject from the chorus of the "Messiah," "Surely he hath borne," etc.

H. F. Chorley, Life.


F HAIRSHON had a son,
Who married Noah's daughter,
And nearly spoilt ta flood,
By trinking up ta water:
Which he would have done,
I at least believe it,
Had ta mixture peen
Only half Glenlivet.

Bon Gaultier Ballads.

A FTER the execution of the eighteen malefactors [in 1787], a female was bawling an account of them, but called them nineteen. A gentleman said to her, "Why do you say nineteen? There were but eighteen hanged." She replied, "Sir, I did not know you had been reprieved."

Horace Walpole, Correspondence.


J OB, wanting a partner, thought he'd be blest,
If, of all womankind, he selected the Best;
For, said he, of all evils that compass the globe,
A bad wife would most try the patience of Job.
The Best, then, he chose, and made bone of his bone,
Though 'twas clear to his friends she'd be Best left alone;
For, though Best of her sex, she's the weakest of all,
If it's true that the weakest must go to the Wall.

Hicks, apud J. C. Young.


L A vertu des femmes est peut-être une question du tempérament.

Balzac, Physiologie du Mariage.


L IGHT-FINGERED Catch, to keep his hands in ure,
Stole anything,—of this you may be sure,
That he thinks all his own that once he handles,—
For practice' sake did steal a pound of candles;
Was taken in the act:—oh, foolish wight!
To steal such things as needs must come to light!

A Collection of Epigrams (1727).

A T Hook's, one day the conversation turned on the Duke of Cumberland, and a question asked who he married. "Don't you know?" said Cannon; "the Princess de Psalms (Salms),—good enough for Hymn (him)."

W. Jerdan, Memoirs.

F OR me, I neither know nor care
Whether a parson ought to wear
A black dress or a white dress;
Fill'd with a trouble of my own—
A wife who preaches in her gown,
And lectures in her night-dress!

Thomas Hood.


M ADAME DE —— having said, in her intense style, "I should like to be married in English, in a language in which vows are so faithfully kept," some one asked Frere, "What language, I wonder, was she married in?" "Broken English, I suppose," answered Frere.

Thomas Moore, Diary.

Y OUR magpies and stock-doves may flirt among trees,
And chatter their transports in groves, if they please;
But a house is much more to my taste than a tree,
And for groves, O! a good grove of chimneys for me.

Charles Morris, Lyra Urbanica.

A GAIN they asked me to marry them, and again I declined, when they cried,—"Oh, cruel man! This is too much—too much!" I told them that it was on account of the muchness that I declined.

C. F. Browne, Artemus Ward's Lecture.

O N one of the country gentlemen saying in Parliament, "We must return to the food of our ancestors," somebody asked, "What food does he mean?" "Thistles, I suppose," said Tierney.

Thomas Moore, Diary.


M AIDENS then were innocent,
Blushing at a compliment,
Or a gaze.
But a blush a vanish'd grace is,
For young ladies paint their faces

Black their eyelids till they stare,
Wash with soda, till their hair
Looks like maize;
'Tis the fashion to be blonde
À la mode du demi-monde

J. Jemmett Browne, Songs of Many Seasons.


[L ADY CHARLOTTE LINDSAY] said she had "sprained her ankle so often, and been told that it was worse than breaking her leg, that she said she had come to look upon a broken leg as a positive advantage."

Lord Houghton, Monographs.

B LOWS are sarcasms turned stupid.

George Eliot, Felix Holt.

T HEY grieved for those who perished with the cutter,
And also for the biscuit-casks and butter.

Lord Byron, Don Juan.


S OCIAL arrangements are awful miscarriages;
Cause of all crime is our system of marriages.
Poets with sonnets, and lovers with trysts,
Kindle the ire of the Positivists.

Husbands and wives should be all one community:
Exquisite freedom with absolute unity.
Wedding-rings worse are than manacled wrists—
Such is the creed of the Positivists.

Mortimer Collins, The British Birds.

F OX, whose pecuniary embarrassments were universally recognized, being attacked by a severe indisposition, which confined him to his apartment, Dudley frequently visited him. In the course of conversation, Fox, alluding to his complaints, remarked that he was compelled to observe much regularity in his diet and hours; adding, "I live by rule, like clockwork." "Yes," replied Dudley; "I suppose you mean you go by tick, tick, tick."

Sir Nathaniel Wraxall, Memoirs.


O NE loss has a companion always. Semper,
When people lose their train, they lose their temper.

Shirley Brooks, Wit and Humour.


W ORKING by the hour tends to make one moral. A plumber working by the job, trying to unscrew a rusty, refractory nut, in a cramped position, where the tongs continually slipped off, would swear; but I never heard one of them swear, or exhibit the least impatience at such a vexation, working by the hour. Nothing can move a man who is paid by the hour. How sweet the flight of time seems to his calm mind!

C. D. Warner, My Summer in a Garden.

I T greets me in my festal hours,
It brings my gloom relief;
It sprinkles life with loveliest flowers
And plucks the sting from grief.
I'd smile at poverty and pain;
I'd welcome death with glee—
If to the last I might retain
My own—my upper G!

H. S. Leigh, Carols of Cockayne.

"M ILTON Perkins," said the Siren, "not thy wealth do I admire,
But the intellect that flashes from those eyes of opal fire;
And methinks the name thou bearest cannot surely be misplaced;
And—embrace me, Mister Perkins!" Milton Perkins her embraced.

Bret Harte, Complete Works.


T RUTH-VENDORS and medicine-vendors usually recommend swallowing. When a man sees his livelihood in a pill or a proposition, he likes to have orders for the dose, and not curious inquiries.

Felix Holt, in George Eliot's novel.

S TUART MILL on Mind and Matter
All our old Beliefs would scatter:
Stuart Mill exerts his skill
To make an end of Mind and Matter.

But had I skill, like Stuart Mill,
His own position I could shatter:
The weight of Mill I count as Nil—
If Mill has neither Mind nor Matter.

Lord Neaves, Songs and Verses.

"A ND how many hours a day did you do lessons?" said Alice.
"Ten hours the first day," said the Mock Turtle; "nine the next, and so on."
"What a curious plan!" exclaimed Alice.
"That's the reason they're called lessons," the Gryphon remarked "because they lessen from day to day."

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.

Q UICONQUE n'a pas de caractère n'est pas un homme: c'est une chose.

Chamfort, Maximes.


I T'S hard work to tell which is Old Harry when everybody's got boots on.

Mrs. Poyser, in George Eliot's Adam Bede.

I  WANT you to come and pass sentence
On two or three books with a plot;
Of course you know "Janet's Repentance"?
I'm reading Sir Waverley Scott,
The story of Edgar and Lucy,
How thrilling, romantic, and true!
The Master (his bride was a goosey!)
Reminds me of you.

They tell me Cockayne has been crowning
A poet whose garland endures:
It was you who first spouted me Browning—
That stupid old Browning of yours!
His vogue and his verve are alarming;
I'm anxious to give him his due,
But, Fred, he's not nearly so charming
A poet as you!

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.

J OSEPH Gillon was a Writer to the Signet. Calling on him one day in his writing office, Sir Walter Scott said, "Why, Joseph, this place is as hot as an oven." "Well," quoth Gillon, "and isn't it here that I make my bread?"

Lockhart, Life of Scott.



F OREVER! 'tis a single word!
Our rude forefathers deem'd it two;
Can you imagine so absurd
A view?
Forever! what abysms of woe
The word reveals, what frenzy, what
Despair! For ever (printed so)
Did not.
And nevermore must printer do
As men did longago; but run
"For" into "ever," bidding two
Be one.
Forever! passion-fraught, it throws
O'er the dim page a gloom, a glamour:
It's sweet, it's strange, and I suppose
It's grammar.

C. S. Calverley, Fly Leaves.

W ALKING down St. James's Street, Lord Chelmsford was accosted by a stranger, who exclaimed, "Mr. Birch, I believe?" "If you believe that, sir, you'll believe anything," replied the ex-chancellor, as he passed on.

Berkeley, Life and Recollections.

Y OU snared me, Rose, with ribbons,
Your rose-mouth made me thrall.
Brief—briefer far than Gibbon's,
Was my "Decline and Fall."

Austin Dobson, Vignettes in Rhyme.


T HE reason we dislike vanity in others is because
it is perpetually hurting our own.

Lord Lytton's Pelham.

T HEN nymphs had bluer eyes than hose,
England then measured men by blows,
And measured time by candles.

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.

A  WOMAN'S choice usually means taking the only man she can get.

Mrs. Cadwallader, in George Eliot's Middlemarch.

T O charm the girls he never spoke—
Although his voice was fine;
He found the most convenient way
Was just to drop a line.

And many a gudgeon of the pond,
If they could speak to-day,
Would own, with grief, this angler had
A mighty "taking" way.

John Godfrey Saxe, Poems.

I  AM always afraid of a fool: one cannot be sure that he is not a knave as well.

W. Hazlitt, Characteristics.


T HE people is much given to stoning its prophets that it may worship their reliques with the greater fervency: dogs that bark at us to-day lick our bones to-morrow with true canine fidelity.

Heinrich Heine, Ludwig Beorne.

M ONEY makes a man laugh. A blind fiddler playing to a company, and playing but scurvily, the company laughed at him. His boy that led him, perceiving it, cried, "Father, let us begone; they do nothing but laugh at you." "Hold peace, boy," said the fiddler; "we shall have their money presently, and then we will laugh at them."

Selden, Table Talk.

I N candent ire the solar splendour flames;
The foles, languescent, pend from arid rames;
His humid front the cive, anheling, wipes,
And dreams of erring on ventiferous ripes.

How dulce to vive occult from mortal eyes,
Dorm on the herb with none to supervise,
Carp the suave berries from the crescent vine,
And bibe the flow from longicaudate kine!

Me wretched! Let me curr to quercine shades!
Effund your albid hausts, lactiferous maids!
Oh, might I vole to some umbrageous clump,—
Depart—be off—exude—evade—erump!

Oliver Wendell Holmes.


H E slaps me gently on the back. He's stopped too long in the wine-cellar. A little tasting is a dangerous thing.

F. C. Burnand, Happy Thoughts.


L OVERS, we pray you, gaining our consents,
Let us, too, have our mediæval bents;
Give us, for cricket matches, tournaments.


We are stout, nor will uncomfortably truss
Our arms and legs, like fowls; no jousts for us;
In armour we should look ridiculous.


Of money, tournaments would cost a heap;
Humour your sweethearts, sons, with something cheap;
But look to settlements before you leap.

Once a Week.

H E [Samuel Beazley] suffered considerably a short time before his decease, and, his usual spirits occasionally forsaking him, he one day wrote so melancholy a letter that the friend to whom it was addressed, observed, in his reply, that it was "like the first chapter of Jeremiah." "You are mistaken, my dear fellow," retorted the wit; "it is the last chapter of Samuel."

J. R. Planché, Recollections.


N O one can perceive, as I'm a sinner,
A very marked improvement in the dinner.
We still consume, with mingled shame and grief,
Veal that is tottering on the verge of beef,
Veal void of stuffing, widowed of its ham,
Or the roast shoulder of an ancient ram.

Decius Mus, in G. O. Trevelyan's Horace at Athens.

"A S for that," said Waldershare, "sensible men are all of the same religion."
"And pray what is that?" inquired the prince.
"Sensible men never tell."

Lord Beaconsfield, Endymion.


U PON the cabin stairs we met, the voyage nearly over;
You leant upon his arm, my pet, from Calais unto Dover!
And he is looking very glad, tho' I am feeling sadder,
That I'm not your companion-lad on that companion-ladder!

J. Ashby Sterry, in English Epigrams.

I T strikes me that one mother-in-law is about enough to have in a family—unless you're very fond of excitement.

C. F. Browne, Artemus Ward's Lecture.


"C OME here, my boy, hould up your head,
And look like a jintleman, sir;
Jist tell me who King Jonah was;
Now tell me, if you can, sir."
"King Jonah was the strongest man
That ever wore a crown, sir;
For though the whale did swallow him,
It couldn't keep him down, sir."

"You're right, my boy, hould up your head,
And look like a jintleman, sir;
Just tell me who that Moses was;
Now tell me, if you can, sir."
"Shure Moses was the Christian name
Of good King Pharaoh's daughter;
She was a milkmaid, and she took
A profit from the water."

J. A. Sidey, Mistura Curiosa.

A  LITTLE incident Charlotte Cushman once related to me. She said a man in the gallery of a theatre made such a disturbance that the play could not proceed. Cries of "Throw him over" arose from all parts of the house, and the noise became furious. All was tumultuous above until a sweet and gentle female voice was heard in the pit, exclaiming, "No! I pray you, don't throw him over! I beg of you, dear friends, don't throw him over, but—kill him where he is."

J. T. Fields, Yesterdays with Authors.


W ITH all his conscience and one eye askew,
So false, he partly took himself for true;
Whose pious talk, when most his heart was dry,
Made wet the crafty crowsfoot round his eye;
Who, never naming God except for gain,
So never took that useful name in vain;
Made Him his catspaw and the Cross his tool,
And Christ the bait to trap his dupe and fool;
Nor deeds of gift, but deeds of grace he forged,
And snake-like slimed his victim ere he gorged;
And oft at Bible meetings, o'er the rest
Arising, did his holy oily best,
Dropping the too rough H in Hell and Heaven,
To spread the Word by which himself had thriven.

Alfred Tennyson, Sea Dreams.

P LEASE the eyes and the ears, they will introduce you to the heart, and, nine times in ten, the heart governs the understanding.

Lord Chesterfield, Letters to his Son.

T HE cup with trembling hands he grasps,
Close to his thirsty lips he clasps,
Ringed with its pewter rim—he gasps.

The eddying floor beneath him crawls,
He clutches at the flying walls,
Then like a lump of lead he falls.

The Shotover Papers.


O N fait souvent du bien pour pouvoir impunément faire du mal.

La Rochefoucauld, Réflexions.

T HERE'S a joy without canker or cark,
There's a pleasure eternally new,
'Tis to gloat on the glaze and the mark
Of china that's ancient and blue;
Unchipp'd all the centuries through
It has pass'd, since the chime of it rang,
And they fashion'd it, figure and hue,
In the reign of the Emperor Hwang.

Andrew Lang, Ballades in Blue China.

C EREMONY.—All that is considered necessary by many in religion and friendship.

Horace Smith, The Tin Trumpet.

R OGUES meet their due when out they fall,
And each the other blames, sir,
The pot should not the kettle call
Opprobrious sorts of names, sir.

Lord Neaves, Songs and Verses.

I  HAVE nothing to say again' Craig, on'y it is a pity he couldna be hatched o'er again, an' hatched different.

Mrs. Poyser, in George Eliot's Adam Bede.


L ET us have wine and women, mirth and laughter,
Sermons and soda-water the day after.

Lord Byron, Don Juan.

[D R. Busby] was once invited, during a residence at Deal, by an old Westminster—who, from being a very idle, well-flogged boy, had, after a course of distinguished service, been named to the command of a fine frigate in the Downs—to visit him on board his ship. The doctor accepted the invitation; and, after he had got up the ship's side, the captain piped all hands for punishment, and said to the astonished doctor, "You d—d old scoundrel, I am delighted to have the opportunity of paying you off at last. Here, boatswain, give him three dozen."

Gronow, Recollections.


G OOD Luck is the gayest of all gay girls;
Long in one place she will not stay:
Back from your brow she strokes the curls,
Kisses you quick and flies away.

But Madame Bad Luck soberly comes
And stays—no fancy has she for flitting—
Snatches of true-love songs she hums,
And sits by your bed, and brings her knitting.

John Hay, Poems.


I  WISH nine-tenths of the pictures that have been painted had never been preserved; it is such a nuisance having to go and see them.

Ellesmere, in Helps's Friends in Council.

V ICTOR HUGO is an Egoist, or, to use a stronger term, he is a Hugoist.

Heinrich Heine, Musical Notes from Paris.


A MONG the men, what dire divisions rise—
For "Union" one, "No Union" t'other cries.
Shame on the sex that such dispute began—
Ladies are all for union—to a man!


S I c'est un crime de l'aimer,
On n'en doit justement blâmer
Que les beautés qui sont en elle;
La faute en est au dieux
Qui la firent si belle,
Et non pas à mes yeux.

Jean de Lingendes.

"W AS —— very disagreeable?" "Why, he was as disagreeable as the occasion would permit," Luttrell said.

Sydney Smith, Life and Letters.


"I  BELIEVE that nothing in the newspapers is ever true," said Madame Phoebus.
"And that is why they are so popular," added Euphrosyne; "the taste of the age being so decidedly for fiction."

Lord Beaconsfield, Lothair.

H E that would shine, and petrify his tutor,
Should drink draught Allsopp in its "native pewter."

C. S. Calverley, Verses and Translations.

L AUK, sir! Love's all in the fancy. One does not eat it, nor drink it: and as for the rest—why, it's a bother.

Corporal Bunting, in Lytton's Eugene Aram.

"M R. O——'s affairs turn out so sadly that he cannot have the pleasure of waiting upon his lordship at his agreeable house on Monday next.—N.B. His wife is dead."

J. C. Young, Diary.

W HY, the Scotch tunes are just like a scolding, nagging woman. They go on with the same thing over and over again, and never come to a reasonable end. Anybody 'ud think the Scotch tunes had always been asking a question of somebody as deaf as old Taft, and had never got an answer yet.

Bartle Massey, in George Eliot's Adam Bede.



T ELL me, in this night of snow,
Of happy Almack's, or the Row!
Say in what carriages what fair
Consume the ice in Berkeley Square;
Or who in shops, with doubtful eye,
Explore the silks they never buy;
And how the hair is dressed in town,
And what the shape of boot and gown?


Snow-mantled shadow, would you know
The fashions of the world below?
Still the coiled chignon starward towers,
Still false back-hair falls down in showers;
But now all subtle souls revert
To the abbreviated skirt,
Whose velvet paniers just denote
The gown, that else were petticoat.
Nor is such naïve attire enough:
Elizabeth's archaic ruff
Rings every neck; besides, they rival,
With a High-Gothic-Hat-Revival,
Old Mother Hubbard, and renew
Arcadianly the buckled shoe,
To show, what's just a trifle shocking,
The dimple of a snowy stocking.

W. J. Courthope, The Paradise of Birds.

B E virtuous, and you will be eccentric.

Mark Twain, Choice Works.



W E'RE informed that, in Happy Japan,
Folks are free to believe what they can;
But if they come teaching,
And preaching and screeching,
They go off to gaol in a van.
Don't you wish this was Happy Japan?

Shirley Brooks, Wit and Humour.

I  HOPE I appreciate the value of children. We should soon come to nothing without them. Without them the common school would languish. But the problem is, what to do with them in a garden. For they are not good to eat, and there is a law against making away with them. The law is not very well enforced, it is true; for people do thin them out with constant dosing, paregoric, and soothing-syrups, and scanty clothing. But I, for one, feel it would not be right, aside from the law, to take the life, even of the smallest child, for the sake of a little fruit, more or less, in the garden. I may be wrong; but these are my sentiments, and I am not ashamed of them.

C. D. Warner, My Summer in a Garden.


M IND but thy preaching, Trapp; translate no further:
Is it not written, "Thou shall do no murder"?

The Poetical Farrago (1794).


S HORTLY before his death, being visited by a clergyman whose features as well as language were more lugubrious than consoling, Hood looked up at him compassionately, and said, "My dear sir! I'm afraid your religion doesn't agree with you."

J. R. Planché, Recollections.


I N Spain, that land of monks and apes,
The thing called wine doth come from grapes;
But, on the noble river Rhine,
The thing called gripes doth come from wine.

S. T. Coleridge, apud J. C. Young.

O F Diggle, Barham used to tell many absurd stories. The most amusing of his practical jokes was one in which Barham had a share. The two boys having, in the course of one of their walks, discovered a Quakers' meeting-house, forthwith procured a penny tart of a neighbouring pastry-cook; furnished with this, Diggle marched boldly into the building, and, holding up the delicacy in the midst of the grave assembly, said with perfect solemnity, "Whoever speaks first shall have this pie." "Friend, go thy way," commenced a drab-coloured gentleman, rising, "go thy way, and——" "The pie's yours, sir!" exclaimed Master Diggle, politely, and placing it before the astounded speaker, hastily effected his escape.

R. H. D. Barham, Life of Barham.


T ALKING of some poor relations who had been recipients of his bounty for years, Compton said, "Yes, sir, the whole tribe of them leaned on me for years;" and then added, in his own peculiar manner, "Forty years long was I grieved with this generation."

Memoir of Henry Compton.


I T ripen'd by the river banks,
Where, mask and moonlight aiding,
Dons Blas and Juan play their pranks,
Dark Donnas serenading.

By Moorish damsel it was pluck'd,
Beneath the golden day there;
By swain 'twas then in London suck'd—
Who flung the peel away there.

He could not know in Pimlico,
As little she in Seville,
That I should reel upon that peel,
And—wish them at the devil.

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.

K ENNY said that Anthony Pasquin (who was a very dirty fellow) "died of a cold caught by washing his face."

Thomas Moore, Diary.



T HE Regent, sir, is taken ill;
And all depends on Halford's skill;
"Pray what," inquired the sage physician,
"Has brought him to this sad condition?"
When Bloomfield ventured to pronounce,
"A little too much Cherry Bounce,"
The Regent, hearing what was said,
Raised from his couch his aching head,
And cried, "No, Halford, 'tis not so!
Cure us, O doctor,—Curaçoa!"

H. Luttrell, apud Barham.

B RIGHAM YOUNG has two hundred wives. He loves not wisely, but two hundred well. He's dreadfully married. He's the most married man I ever saw in my life. He says that all he wants now is to live in peace for the remainder of his days, and have his dying pillow soothed by the loving hands of his family. Well, that's all right, I suppose; but if all his family soothe his dying pillow, he'll have to go out-doors to die.

C. F. Browne, Artemus Ward's Lecture.

A ND I said, "What is written, sweet sister,
At the opposite end of the room?"
She sobbed, as she answered, "All liquors
Must be paid for ere leaving the room."

Bret Harte, Complete Works.


B E wiser than other people if you can, but do not tell them so.

Lord Chesterfield, Letters to his Son.

T HE Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
"If this were only cleared away,"
They said, "It would be grand!"

"If seven maids, with seven mops,
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it;" said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass.

W E easily convert our own vices into other people's virtues, the virtues of others into vices.

W. Hazlitt, Characteristics.

Y OU'D better keep clear of love-letters,
Or write them with caution and care;
In faith, they may fasten your fetters,
If wearing a conjugal air.

Lord Neaves, Songs and Verses.


A GAINST stupidity the gods themselves combat in vain.

Heinrich Heine, Art Notes from Paris.


'T IS highly rational, we can't dispute,
That Love, being naked, should promote a suit;
But doth not oddity to him attach
Whose fire's so oft extinguished by a match?

R. Garnett, Idylls and Epigrams.

L ORD SHELBURNE could say the most provoking things, and yet appear unconscious of their being so. In one of his speeches, alluding to Lord Carlisle, he said, "The noble lord has written a comedy." "No, a tragedy." "Oh, I beg pardon, I thought it was a comedy."

Rogers, Table Talk.

T HERE'S nought, no doubt, so much the spirit calms
As rum and true religion.

Lord Byron, Don Juan.

S HE never speaks to any one, which is of course a great advantage to any one.

Lady Ashburton, apud Lord Houghton.



I 'M not denyin' the women are foolish: God Almighty made 'em to match the men.

Mrs. Poyser, in George Eliot's Adam Bede.

"Y OU didn't know I drew? I learnt at school."
"Perhaps you only learnt to draw your sword?"
"Why, that I can, of course—and also corks—
And covers—haw! haw! haw! But what I mean,
Fortification—haw!—in Indian ink,
That sort of thing—and though I draw it mild,
Yet that—haw! haw!—that may be called my forte."
"Oh fie! for shame! where do you think you'll go
For making such a heap of foolish puns?"
"Why, to the Punjaub, I should think—haw! haw!
That sort of job, you know, would suit me best."

C. J. Cayley, Las Alforgas.

T OUT le monde se plaint de sa mémoire, et personne ne se plaint de son jugement.

La Rochefoucauld, Réflexions.


W HEN lately Pym descended into Hell,
Ere he the cups of Lethè did carouse,
What place that was, he callèd loud to tell;
To whom a Devil—"This is the Lower House."

William Drummond (1585-1649).


T HE working-man is a noble creature—when he is quite sober.

Alexis, in W. S. Gilbert's Sorcerer.


w HEN first my old, old love I knew,
My bosom swelled with joy;
My riches at her feet I threw,—
I was a love-sick boy!
No terms seemed too extravagant
Upon her to employ—
I used to mope, and sigh, and pant,
Just like a love-sick boy!

But joy incessant palls the sense,
And love, unchanged, will cloy,
And she became a bore intense
Unto her love-sick boy!
With fitful glimmer burnt my flame,
And I grew cold and coy,
At last, one morning, I became
Another's love-sick boy!

W. S. Gilbert, Trial by Jury.

D INING one day where the host became exceedingly excited and angry at not being able to find any stuffing in a roasted leg of pork, Poole quietly suggested, "Perhaps it is in the other leg?"

J. R. Planché, Recollections.


I N 1848, Feargus O'Connor was charged in the House with being a republican. He denied it, and said he did not care whether the Queen or the Devil was on the throne. Peel replied: "When the honourable gentleman sees the sovereign of his choice on the throne of these realms, I hope he'll enjoy, and I'm sure he'll deserve, the confidence of the Crown."

Abraham Hayward, Essays.

I  LOITER down by thorp and town;
For any job I'm willing;
Take here and there a dusty brown,
And here and there a shilling.

I deal in every ware in turn,
I've rings for buddin' Sally,
That sparkle like those eyes of her'n;
I've liquor for the valet.

The things I've done 'neath moon and stars
Have got me into messes;
I've seen the sky through prison bars,
I've torn up prison dresses.

But out again I come, and show
My face, nor care a stiver;
For trades are brisk and trades are slow,
But mine goes on for ever.

C. S. Calverley, Fly Leaves.


T HEY may talk of the devotion of the sex, but the most faithful attachment in life is that of a woman in love—with herself.

Damas, in Lord Lytton's Lady of Lyons.

T HEY may talk as they please about what they call pelf,
And how one ought never to think of one's self,
And how pleasures of thought surpass eating and drinking—
My pleasure of thought is the pleasure of thinking
How pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!
How pleasant it is to have money!

Spirit, in A. H. Clough's Dipsychus.

W OMEN are generally consistent in their insincerity, if in nothing else.

Anna C. Steele.

L A plus perdue de toutes les journées est celle où l'on n'a pas ri.

Chamfort, Maximes.

O H, how can a modest young man
E'er hope for the smallest progression—
The profession's already so full
Of lawyers so full of profession?

John Godfrey Saxe, Poems.


I  WAS speaking [to Charles Lamb] of my first brief, when he asked, "Did you not exclaim—'Thou great first cause, least understood'?"

Crabb Robinson, Diary.


E YE-GLASS—a toy which enables a coxcomb to see others, and others to see that he is a coxcomb.

Horace Smith, The Tin Trumpet.

S OME brag of telegraphs and rails,
Coals, steam, and gas, and a' that,
But rattling mails and cotton bales
Ne'er made a man for a' that;
For a' that, and a' that,
Their figures, facts, and a' that,
The first of facts is Thought, and what
High Thought begets, for a' that!

J. S. Blackie, Musa Burschicosa.

V IRGINIA city—the wild young metropolis of the new Silver State. Fortunes are made there in a day. There are instances on record of young men going to this place without a shilling—poor and friendless—yet by energy, intelligence, and a careful disregard to business, they have been enabled to leave there, owing hundreds of pounds.

C. F. Browne, Artemus Ward's Lecture.


N OTHING is accounted so proper in England as property.

Guesses at Truth.

A S the husband is, the wife is,—he is stomach-plagued and old;
And his curry soups will make thy cheek the colour of his gold.

When his feeble love is sated, he will hold thee surely then
Something lower than his hookah,—something less than his cayenne.

What is this? His eyes are pinky. Was't the claret? Oh, no, no—
Bless your soul! it was the salmon—salmon always makes him so.

Bon Gaultier Ballads.

A  CLERGYMAN had commenced an able discourse, when one of the hearers exclaimed, "That's Tillotson!" This was allowed to pass; but very soon another exclamation followed, "That's Paley." The preacher then addressed the disturber: "I tell you, sir, if there is to be a repetition of such conduct, I shall call on the churchwarden to have you removed from the church." "That's your own," was the ready reply.

Mark Boyd, Reminiscences.



C OLLEGE mostly makes people like bladders—just good for nothing but t' hold the stuff as is poured into 'em.

Bartle Massey, in George Eliot's Adam Bede.

W ERTHER had a love for Charlotte
Such as words could never utter;
Would you know how first he met her?
She was cutting bread and butter.

So he sighed and pined and ogled,
And his passion boiled and bubbled,
Till he blew his silly brains out,
And no more was by it troubled.

Charlotte, having seen his body
Borne before her on a shutter,
Like a well-conducted person,
Went on cutting bread and butter.

W. M. Thackeray.

P ERHAPS the best illustration I can give of [Bagehot's] more sardonic humour, was his remark to a friend who had a church on the grounds near his house:—"Ah, you've got the church in the grounds! I like that. It's well the tenants shouldn't be quite sure that the landlord's power stops with this world."

R. H. Hutton, Memoir of W. Bagehot.



A LL wives are bad,—yet two blest hours they give,
When first they wed, and when they cease to live.

Palladas, trans. by J. H. Merivale.

"Y ES, my dear curate," said the Professor, "what I am enjoying is the champagne that you drink, and what you are enjoying is the champagne that I drink. This is altruism; this is benevolence; this is the sublime outcome of enlightened modern thought. The pleasures of the table, in themselves, are low and beastly ones; but if we each of us are only glad because the others are enjoying them, they become holy and glorious beyond description."

"They do," cried the curate rapturously, "indeed they do. I will drink another bottle for your sake."

W. H. Mallock, The New Paul and Virginia.

S OME d—d people have come in, and I must stop. By d—d, I mean deuced.

Lamb to Wordsworth.

O URS is so far-advanced an age!
Sensation-tales, a classic stage,
Commodious villas!
We boast high art, an Albert Hall,
Australian meats, and men who call
Their sires gorillas!

Austin Dobson, Vignettes in Rhyme.


I T being asked at Paris whom they would have as godfather for Rothschild's baby—"Talleyrand," said a Frenchman. "Pourquoi, monsieur?" "Parcequ'il est le moins chrétien possible."

B. R. Haydon, Diary.

B EFORE the blast are driven the flying clouds—
(And I should like to blow a cloud as well,)
The vapours wrap the mountain-tops in shrouds—
(I left my mild cheroots at the hotel.)
Dotting the glassy surface of the stream,
(Oh, here's a cigarette—my mind's at ease.)
The boats move silently, as in a dream—
(Confound it! where on earth are my fusees?)

H. S. Leigh, Carols of Cockayne.

E MILE de Girardin, the famous political writer, a natural son of Alexandre de Girardin, becoming celebrated, Montrond said to his father, "Dépêchez-vous de le reconnaître, ou bientôt il ne vous reconnaîtra pas."

Gronow, Recollections.

M ARRIAGE from love, like vinegar from wine—
A sad, sour, sober beverage,—by time
Is sharpen'd from its high celestial flavour,
Down to a very homely household savour.

Lord Byron, Don Juan.


L ettuce is like conversation; it must be fresh, and crisp, so sparkling that you scarcely notice the bitter in it. Lettuce, like conversation, requires a good deal of oil, to avoid friction, and keep the company smooth; a pinch of attic salt; a dash of pepper; a quantity of mustard and vinegar, by all means, but so mixed that you will notice no sharp contrasts; and a trifle of sugar.

C. D. Warner, My Summer in a Garden.


E XQUISITE wine and comestibles
From Slater, and Fortnum and Mason;
Billiards, écarté, and chess-tables;
Water in vast marble basin;
Luminous books (not voluminous)
To read under beech-trees cacuminous;
One friend, who is fond of a distich,
And doesn't get too syllogistic;
A valet who knows the complete art
Of service—a maiden, his sweetheart;—
Give me these, in some rural pavilion,
And I'll envy no Rothschild his million.

Mortimer Collins, in The Owl.

H E was much too disliked not to be sought after. Whatever is once notorious, even for being disagreeable, is sure to be coveted.

Lord Lytton's Pelham.



Y OU ask me if I think your poems good;
If I could praise your poems, Gibbs,—I would.

Egerton Webbe, apud Leigh Hunt.

W HAT I admire in the order to which you belong [the aristocracy], is that they do live in the air, that they excel in athletic sports; that they can only speak one language; and that they never read. This is not a complete education, but it is the highest education since the Greek.

Phœbus, in Lord Beaconsfield's Lothair.


S HUT up a party who uses "Reliable"
When he means "Trustworthy;" 'tis undeniable
That his excuses are flimsy and friable,
And his conceptions of grammar most pliable.
No doubt he'd pronounce this line's last word "enviable:"
Invent, for bad fish (which he'd sell) the word "criable,"
Say that his faded silk hat might be dyeable,
And accent French vilely—allude to le diable.
If his name's William, 'twould be most enj'yable
To see Mr. Calcraft preparing to tie a Bill.
Now let Punch hope he has stamped out "Reliable."

Shirley Brooks, Wit and Humour.


"I  SEE," said my clerical neighbour, addressing myself, "you stick to port." "Yes," I said, "and so am safe from being half-seas over."

W. H. Harrison, Reminiscences.

A LL tradesmen cry up their own wares:
In this they agree well together:
The Mason by stone and lime swears;
The Tanner is always for leather;
The Smith still for iron would go;
The Schoolmaster stands up for teaching;
And the Parson would have you to know
There's nothing on earth like his preaching.

Lord Neaves, Songs and Verses.

M ATRIMONY—the high sea for which no compass has yet been invented.

Heinrich Heine, Musical Notes from Paris.

O  DAUGHTERS! make your markets while you can,
For bloom soon groweth as the water wan;
The early bird picks up the marrying man.

Once a Week.

H E was the most even-tempered man I ever knew: he was always cross.

Mrs. Jenkins, Within an Ace.


I  HAVE a horse—a ryghte good horse—
Ne doe I envie those
Who scour ye plaine in headie course,
Tyll soddaine on theyre nose
They lyghte wyth unexpected force—
It ys—a horse of clothes.

I have a saddel—"Sayst thou soe?
With styrruppes, knyghte, to boote?"
I sayde not that—I answere "Noe,"—
Yt lacketh such, I woot—
It ys a mutton-saddel, loe!
Parte of ye fleecie brute.

Lewis Carroll, Phantasmagoria.

S TORY of Lord Middleton, out hunting, calling to Gunter the confectioner to "Hold hard," and not ride over the hounds. "My horse is so hot, my Lord, that I don't know what to do with him." "Ice him, Gunter, ice him."

R. H. Barham, Life.

S HE'S rising now, and taking off her bonnet,
And probably will end by sitting on it;
For oft, as sad experiences teach,
The novice, trembling from his maiden speech,
Drops flustered in his place, and crushes flat
His innocent and all-unconscious hat.

2nd Lady, in G. O. Trevelyan's Ladies in Parliament.



T HOUGH Nature thee of thy right hand bereft,
Right well thou writest with the hand that's left.

Francis Fuller, apud Nicholls.

W E are never so much disposed to quarrel with others, as when we are dissatisfied with ourselves.

W. Hazlitt, Characteristics.

T HE cockney, met in Middlesex, or Surrey,
Is often cold, and always in a hurry.

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.

S PEAKING one day of a newly risen sect of religionists who proscribed the use of animal food, the Archbishop [Whately] said to Dr. Wilson, "Do you know anything, Wilson, of this new sect?" "Yes, my Lord; I have seen their confession of faith, which is a book of cookery."

E. J. Whately's Life of Whately.

A ND I do think the amateur cornopean
Should be put down by law—but that's perhaps Utopian.

C. S. CALVERLEY, Verses and Translations.


L E premier soupir de l'amour est le dernier de la sagesse.

Charron, La Sagesse.

F OR he himself has said it,
And it's greatly to his credit,
That he is an Englishman!
For he might have been a Roosian,
A French, or Turk, or Proosian,
Or perhaps Italian!
But in spite of all temptations
To belong to other nations,
He remains an Englishman!

W. S. Gilbert, H.M.S. Pinafore.

B ARON ALDERSON being asked by the chaplain of the High Sheriff at the assizes over which he was to preside, how long he would like him to preach, replied, "About half an hour, with a leaning to mercy."

J. C. Young, Diary.


W HEN dress'd for the evening, girls, nowadays,
Scarce an atom of dress on them leave;
Nor blame them—for what is an Evening Dress,
But a dress that is suited to Eve?



I T'S the silliest lie a sensible man like you ever believed, to say a woman makes a house comfortable. It's a story got up, because the women are there, and something must be found for 'em to do. I tell you there isn't a thing under the sun that needs to be done at all, but what a man can do better than a woman, unless it's bearing children, and they do that in a poor make-shift way. It had better ha' been left to the men.

Bartle Massey, in George Eliot's Adam Bede.

T O sniggle or to dibble, that's the question!
Whether to bait a hook with worm or bumble,
Or to take up arms of any sea, some trouble
To fish, and then home send 'em. To fly—to whip—
To moor and tie my boat up by the end
To any wooden post, or natural rock
We may be near to, on a Preservation
Devoutly to be fished. To fly—to whip—
To whip! perchance two bream;—and there's the chub!

F. C. Burnand, Happy Thoughts.

A NECDOTE of Phil Stone, the property-man of Drury Lane:—"Will you be so good, sir, as to stand a little backer?" said Phil to a gentleman behind the scenes, who had placed himself so forward as to be seen by the audience. "No, my fine fellow," returned the exquisite, who quite mistook his meaning; "but here is a pinch of snuff at your service."

R. H. Barham, Life.


A T a friend's house Charles Lamb was presented with a cheese; it was a very ripe, not to say a lively cheese, and, as Lamb was leaving, his friend offered him a piece of paper in which to wrap it, so that he might convey it more conveniently. "Thank you," said Charles, "but would not several yards of twine be better, and then, you know, I could lead it home?"

Frederick Locker, Patchwork.

"A  LOAF of bread," the Walrus said,
"Is what we chiefly need;
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed—
Now, if you're ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed."

"But not on us," the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
"After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!"
"The night is fine," the Walrus said;
"Do you admire the view?"

Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass.

R ELIGION is like the fashion. One man wears his doublet slashed, another laced, another plain; but every man has a doublet: so every man has his religion. We differ about the trimming.

Selden, Table Talk.


R OMANCES paint at full length people's wooings,
But only give a bust of marriages;
For no one cares for matrimonial cooings,
There's nothing wrong in a connubial kiss.

Lord Byron, Don Juan.

A  YOUNG lady decorously brought up should only have two considerations in her choice of a husband: first, is his birth honourable? secondly, will his death be advantageous? All other trifling details should be left to parental anxiety.

Madame Deschappelles, in Lord Lytton's Lady of Lyons.

 T HE doctor's as drunk as the d——," we said,
And we managed a shutter to borrow;
We rais'd him, and sigh'd at the thought that his head
Would consumedly ache on the morrow.

We bore him home and we put him to bed,
And we told his wife and his daughter
To give him next morning a couple of red-
Herrings with soda-water.

Slowly and sadly we all walked down
From his room in the uppermost story;
A rush-light we placed on the cold hearth-stone,
And left him alone in his glory.

R. H. Barham, Ingoldsby Lyrics.


B ENJAMIN FRANKLIN was always proud of telling how he entered Philadelphia, for the first time, with nothing in the world but two shillings in his pocket and four rolls of bread under his arm. But really, when you come to examine it critically, it was nothing. Anybody could have done it.

Mark Twain, Choice Works.

I 'VE thought very often 'twould be a good thing
In all public collections of books, if a wing
Were set off by itself, like the seas from the dry lands,
Marked "Literature suited to desolate islands,"
And filled with such books as could never be read
Save by readers of proofs, forced to do it for bread,—
Such books as one's wrecked on in small country taverns,
Such as hermits might mortify over in caverns,
Such as Satan, if printing had then been invented,
As a climax of woe, would to Jove have presented,
Such as Crusoe might dip in, although there are few so
Outrageously cornered by fate as poor Crusoe.

J. R. Lowell, A Fable for Critics.

B ELLMOUR Ah! courtship to marriage is but as the music in the play-house till the curtain's drawn; but that once up, then opens the scene of pleasure.

Belinda. Oh, foh—no; rather, courtship to marriage is a very witty prologue to a very dull play.

Congreve, The Old Bachelor.



I  CANNOT praise the Doctor's eyes;
I never saw his glance divine;
He always shuts them when he prays,
And when he preaches he shuts mine.

G. Outram, Lyrics: Legal, etc.

T HIS picture is a great work of art. It is an oil painting—done in petroleum. It is by the Old Masters. It was the last thing they did before dying. They did this and then they expired.

Some of the greatest artists in London come here every morning before daylight with lanterns to look at it. They say they never saw anything like it before—and they hope they never shall again.

C. F. Browne, Artemus Ward's Lecture.


T HE world is like a rink, you know:
You lose your wheel, and come to woe!

J. Ashby Sterry, in English Epigrams.

M EN will sooner forgive an injury than an insult.

Lord Chesterfield, Letters to his Son.

W HY is it that stupid people are always so much more anxious to talk to one, than clever people?

Charles Buxton, Notes of Thought.


A ND Darwin, too, who leads the throng "in vulgum voces spargere,"
Maintains Humanity is nought except a big menagerie,
The progeny of tailless apes, sharp-eared but puggy-nosed, sir,
Who nightly climbed their "family trees," and on the top reposed, sir.

There's Carlyle, on the other hand, whose first and last concern it is
To preach up the "immensities" and muse on the "eternities";
But if one credits what one hears, the gist of all his brag is, sir,
That "Erbwürst," rightly understood, is transcendental haggis, sir.

F. D., in Pall Mall Gazette.

D UNSFORD. Travelling is a great trial of people's inability to live together.
Ellesmere. Yes. Lavater says that you do not know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him; but I think a long journey with him will do.

Arthur Helps, Friends in Council.


T HAT he was born it cannot be denied;
He ate, drank, slept, talk'd politics, and died.

John Cunningham (1729-1773).


A T a large dinner party at Jerdan's, one of the guests indulged in some wonderful accounts of his shooting. The number of birds he had killed, and the distances at which he had brought them down, were extraordinary. Hood quietly remarked,—

"What he hit is history,
What he missed is mystery."

J. R. Planché, Recollections.

I 'M very fond of water:
It ever must delight
Each mother's son or daughter—
When qualified aright.

Lord Neaves, Songs and Verses.

A N epicure, while eating oysters, swallowed one that was not fresh. "Zounds, waiter!" he ejaculated, making a wry face; "what sort of an oyster do you call this?" "A native, sir," replied the wielder of the knife. "A native!—I call it a settler, so you need not open any more."

Horace Smith, The Tin Trumpet.

O NCE Uncle went astray,
Smoked, joked, and swore away—
Sworn by he's now, by a
Large congregation.

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.


Y OU'VE heard what a lady in Italy did—
How to vex a cross husband she buried a "kid!"
Sam swears she'd have managed things better by half
If, instead of the "kid," she had buried the calf!

R. H. Barham, Ingoldsby Lyrics.

I L est plus facile de légaliser certaines choses que de les légitimer.

Chamfort, Maximes.

W ILT thou love me, fairest?
Though thou art not fair,
And I think thou wearest
Some one else's hair.
Thou couldst love, though, dearly:
And, as I am told,
Thou art very nearly
Worth thy weight, in gold.

Dost thou love, sweet one?
Tell me if thou dost!
Women fairly beat one,
But I think thou must.
Thou art loved so dearly:
I am plain, but then
Thou (to speak sincerely)
Art as plain again.

C. S. Calverley, Fly Leaves.


"C ERTAINLY, my Lord," said the attendant. "He knows me," thought Lothair; but it was not so. When the British nation is at once grateful and enthusiastic, they always call you "my Lord."

Lord Beaconsfield's Lothair.


H OME they brought her sailor son,
Grown a man across the sea,
Tall and broad and black of beard,
And hoarse of voice as man may be.

Hand to shake and mouth to kiss,
Both he offered ere he spoke;
And she said—"What man is this
Comes to play a sorry joke?"

Then they praised him—call'd him "smart,"
"Tightest lad that ever stept;"
But her son she did not know,
And she neither smiled nor wept.

Rose, a nurse of ninety years,
Set a pigeon-pie in sight;
She saw him eat—"'Tis he! 'tis he!"
She knew him—by his appetite!

Willam Sawyer.


L ORD ALLEN, being rather the worse for drinking too much wine at dinner, teased Count D'Orsay, and said some very disagreeable things, which irritated him; when suddenly John Bush entered the club and shook hands with the Count, who exclaimed, "Voilà, la différence entre une bonne bouche et une mauvaise haleine."

Gronow, Recollections.


W HEN lovely woman, Lump of Folly,
Would show the world her vainest trait;
Would treat herself as child her dolly,
And warn each man of sense away;
The surest method she'll discover
To prompt a wink from every eye,
Degrade a spouse, disgust a lover,
And spoil a scalp-skin, is—to dye.

Shirley Brooks, Wit and Humour.

T HE bean is a graceful, confiding, engaging vine; but you can never put beans into poetry, nor into the highest sort of prose. Corn is the child of song. It waves in all literature. But mix it with beans, and its high tone is gone. The bean is a vulgar vegetable, without culture, or any flavour of high society among vegetables.

C. D. Warner, My Summer in a Garden.


T HEN Abner Dean of Angel's raised a point of order, when
A church of old red sandstone took him in the abdomen,
And he smiled a kind of sickly smile, and curled up on the floor,
And the subsequent proceedings interested him no more.

Bret Harte, Complete Works.

"I  was born, Signora, on New Year's Night, 1800." "Did I not tell you," said the Marquis, "that he is one of the first men of our century?"

Heinrich Heine, Travel Pictures.

W HEN dinner has opprest one,
I think it is perhaps the gloomiest hour
Which turns up out of the sad twenty-four.

Lord Byron, Don Juan.

A S a boy, George Washington gave no promise of the greatness he was one day to achieve. He was ignorant of the commonest accomplishments of youth. He could not even lie. But then he never had any of those precious advantages which are within the reach of the humblest of the boys of the present day. Any boy can lie now. I could lie before I could stand.

Mark Twain, Choice Works.


B Y the way, Shakespeare endorses polygamy. He speaks of the Merry Wives of Windsor. How many wives did Mr. Windsor have?

C. F. Browne, Artemus Ward's Lecture.

I  DARE say she's like the rest o' the women— thinks two and two'll come to make five, if she cries and bothers enough about it.

Bartle Massey, in George Eliot's Adam Bede.

D ON'T you see a hint of marriage
In his sober-sided face,
In his rather careless carriage
And extremely rapid pace?

If he's not committed treason,
Or some wicked action done,
Can you see the faintest reason
Why a bachelor should run?

Why should he be in a flurry?
But a loving wife to greet,
Is a circumstance to hurry
The most dignified of feet!

John Godfrey Saxe, Poems.

M R. LUTTRELL once said to me, "Sir, the man who says he does not like a good dinner, is either a fool or a liar."

J. R. Planché, Recollections.



"G ENTLE, modest little flower,
Sweet epitome of May,
Love me but for half an hour,
Love me, love me, little fay."
Sentences so swiftly flaming
In your tiny shell-like ear,
I should always be exclaiming
If I loved you, Phœbe dear:

"Smiles that thrill from any distance
Shed upon me while I sing!
Please ecstaticize existence,
Love me, oh thou, fairy thing!"
Words like these outpouring sadly
You'd perpetually hear,
If I loved you fondly, madly;—
But I do not, Phœbe dear.

W. S. Gilbert, Bab Ballads.

O N one occasion, when Power the actor was present, Hood was asked to propose his health. After enumerating the various talents that popular comedian possessed, he requested the company to observe that such a combination was a remarkable illustration of the old proverb, "It never rains but it powers."

J. R. Planché, Recollections.


I  DREAMED that somebody was dead. It was a private gentleman, and a particular friend; and I was greatly overcome when the news was broken to me (very delicately) by a gentleman in a cocked hat, top boots, and a sheet. Nothing else. "Good God!" I said, "is he dead?" "He is as dead, sir," rejoined the gentleman, "as a door nail. But we must all die, Mr. Dickens, sooner or later, my dear sir." "Ah!" I said; "yes, to be sure. Very true. But what did he die of?" The gentleman burst into a flood of tears, and said, in a voice broken by emotion, "He christened his youngest child, sir, with a toasting fork!"

Charles Dickens, apud J. T. Fields.

I  SUPPOSE all phrases of mere compliment have their turn to be true. A man is occasionally thankful when he says "thank you."

Stephen Guest, in George Eliot's Mill on the Floss.


W HEN the young Greek for Atalanta sigh'd,
He might have fool'd and follow'd till he died!
He learn'd the sex, the bribe before her roll'd,
And found, the short way to the heart, is—Gold.

George Croly (1780-1860).

D E mortuis nil nisi bene: of the living speak nothing but evil.

Heinrich Heine, Thoughts and Fancies.


I  ONCE met a man who had forgiven an injury. I hope some day to meet the man who has forgiven an insult.

Charles Buxton, Notes of Thought.

W ALK in the Park—you'll seldom fail
To find a Sybaris on the rail
By Lydia's ponies,
Or hap on Barrus, wigged, and stayed,
Ogling some unsuspecting maid.

The great Gargilius, then, behold!
His "long-bow" hunting tales of old
Are now but duller;
Fair Neobule too! Is not
One Hebrus here—from Aldershot?
Aha, you colour!
Be wise. There old Canidia sits;
No doubt she's tearing you to bits.

Here's Pyrrha, "golden-haired" at will;
Prig Damasippus, preaching still;
Asterie flirting,—
Radiant, of course. We'll make her black,—
Ask her when Gyges' ship comes back.

Austin Dobson, Vignettes in Rhyme.

L A reconnaissance de la plupart des hommes n'est qu'une secrète envie de recevoir de plus grands bienfaits.

La Rochefoucauld, Réflexions.


T HE surest way to make ourselves agreeable to others is by seeming to think them so.

W. Hazlitt, Characteristics.


W HEN other lips and other eyes
Their tales of love shall tell,
Which means the usual sort of lies
You've heard from many a swell;
When, bored with what you feel is bosh,
You'd give the world to see
A friend whose love you know will wash,
Oh, then remember me!

When Signor Solo goes his tours,
And Captain Craft's at Ryde,
And Lord Fitzpop is on the moors,
And Lord knows who beside;
When to exist you feel a task
Without a friend at tea,
At such a moment I but ask
That you'll remember me.

J. R. Planché, Songs and Poems.

W HEN a man is called stingy, it is as much as calling him rich; and when a man's called rich, why he's a man universally respected.

Sir John Vesey, in Lord Lytton's Money.


C URSED be the Bank of England notes, that tempt the soul to sin!
Cursed be the want of acres,—doubly cursed the want of tin!

Cursed be the marriage-contract, that enslaved thy soul to greed!
Cursed be the sallow lawyer, that prepared and drew the deed!

Cursed be his foul apprentice, who the loathsome fees did earn!
Cursed be the clerk and parson—cursed be the whole concern!

Bon Gaultier Ballads.

N EVER hold anybody by the button, or the hand, in order to be heard out; for, if people are not willing to hear you, you had much better hold your tongue than them.

Lord Chesterfield, Letters to his Son.

I  HAVE learned to love Lucy, though faded she be;
If my next love be lovely, the better for me;
By the end of next summer, I'll give you my oath,
It was best, after all, to have flirted with both.

Charles Godfrey Leland.


G ENERAL ORNANO, observing a certain nobleman—who, by some misfortune in his youth, lost the use of his legs—in a Bath chair, which he wheeled about, and inquiring the name of the English peer, D'Orsay answered, "Père la Chaise."

Gronow, Recollections.

P OET-PROFESSOR! Now my brain thou kindlest:
I am become a most determined Tyndallist.
If it is known a fellow can make skies,
Why not make bright blue eyes?

This to deny the folly of a dunce it is:
Surely a girl as easy as a sunset is?
If you can make a halo or eclipse,
Why not two laughing lips?

Why should an author scribble rhymes or articles?
Bring me a dozen tiny Tyndall-particles:
Therefrom I'll coin a dinner, Nash's wine,
And a nice girl to dine.

Mortimer Collins, The British Birds.

T HEY now speak of the peculiar difficulties and restrictions of the Episcopal Office. I only read in Scripture of two inhibitions—boxing and polygamy.

Sydney Smith, apud Lord Houghton.



A T Christ Church "Marriage," play'd before the King,
Lest these learn'd mates should want an offering,
The King himself did offer—what, I pray?
He offer'd, once or twice—to go away.

A Collection of Epigrams (1727).

---- has only two ideas, and they are his legs, and they are spindle-shanked.

Lady Ashburton, apud Lord Houghton.

D RY as Compton's fun,
Dry as author's pocket;
Bright as that loved one
Whose face adorns my locket;
At the beaker's brim
Beading brittle bubbles,
Sea in which to swim,
And cast away all troubles;
Sea where sorrow sinks,
Ne'er to rise again—oh,
Blessedest of drinks,
Welcome, "Pommery Gréno!"

Edmund Yates.



T HE charity of Close-Fist, give to fame:—
He has at last subscrib'd—how much?—his name.


T HE late Bishop of Exeter and Baron Alderson were sitting next each other at a public dinner. After the usual toasts had been drunk, the health of "The Navy" was proposed. Lord Campbell, expecting to have to return thanks for "The Bar," and not having heard the toast distinctly, got up. On which the late bishop whispered to Baron Alderson, "What is Campbell about? What is he returning thanks for the Navy for?" "Oh," answered the witty judge, "he has made a mistake. He thinks the word is spelt with a K."

J. C. Young, Diary.

S ONG-birds darted about, some inky
As coal, some snowy (I ween) as curds;
Or rosy as pinks, or as roses pinky—
They reck of no eerie To-come, these birds!

But they skim over bents which the mill-stream washes,
Or hang in the lift 'neath a white cloud's hem;
They need no parasols, no goloshes;
And good Mrs. Trimmer she feedeth them.

C. S. Calverley, Fly Leaves.


T HE man who's fond precociously of stirring
Must be a spoon.

Thomas Hood.


O UTRAGEOUS hourly with his wife was Peter;
Some do aver he has been known to beat her.
"She seems unhappy," said a friend one day;
Peter turn'd sharply: "What is that you say?
Her temper you have there misunderstood:
She dares not be unhappy if she would."

Walter Savage Landor.

A  MAN who puts a non-natural strained sense on a promise is no better than a robber.

Rev. A. Debarry, in George Eliot's Felix Holt.


W HAT is a first love worth except to prepare for a second?
What does the second love bring? Only regret for the first.

John Hay, Poems.

I N [Lady Charlotte Lindsay's] later days, when once complimented on looking very well, she replied, "I dare say it's true—the bloom of ugliness is past."

Lord Houghton, Monographs.



V IRTUE we praise, yet practise not her good.
(Athenian-like) we act not what we know.
So many men do talk of Robin Hood
Who never yet shot arrow from his bow.

Thomas Freeman (circa 1591-1614).

S CANDAL—what one half the world takes a pleasure in inventing, and the other half in believing.

Horace Smith, The Tin Trumpet.

a LL'S for the best, indeed
Such is My simple creed;
Still I must go and weed
Hard in my garden.

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.

W HERE'S the use of talking to a woman with babbies? She's got no conscience—no conscience—it's all run to milk.

Bartle Massey, in George Eliot's Adam Bede.

T OGETHER must we seek
That undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No uncommercial travellers return.

Brutus, in G. O. Trevelyan's Horace at Athens.


T HE Mormon's religion is singular, and his wives are plural.

C. F. Browne, Artemus Ward's Lecture.

A T morning's call
The small-voiced pug-dog welcomes in the sun,
And flea-bit mongrels, wakening one by one,
Give answer all.

When evening dim
Draws round us, then the lovely caterwaul,
Tart solo, sour duet, and general squall,
These are our hymn.

Oliver Wendell Holmes.

C HARLES LAMB was sitting next some chattering woman at dinner. Observing he didn't attend to her, "You don't seem," said the lady, "to be at all the better for what I have been saying to you." "No, ma'am," he answered, "but this gentleman on the other side of me must, for it all came in at one ear and went out at the other."

Thomas Moore, Diary.

F ORTY times over let Michaelmas pass,
Grizzling hair the brain doth clear—
Then you know a boy is an ass,
Then you know the worth of a lass,
Once you have come to Forty Year.

W. M. Thackeray.


M EN are not troubled to hear a man dispraised, because they know, though he be naught, there's worth in others. But women are mightily troubled to hear any one of them spoken against, as if the sex itself were guilty of some untrustworthiness.

Selden, Table Talk.


I  NEVER rear'd a young gazelle,
(Because, you see, I never tried);
But, had it known and loved me well,
No doubt the creature would have died.
My rich and aged uncle John
Has known me long and loves me well,
But still persists in living on—
I would he were a young gazelle.

I never loved a tree or flower;
But, if I had, I beg to say
The blight, the wind, the sun, or shower,
Would soon have wither'd it away.
I've dearly loved my uncle John,
From childhood till the present hour,
And yet he will go living on,—
I would he were a tree or flower!

H. S. Leigh, Carols of Cockayne.

A  DOMESTIC WOMAN.—A woman like a domestic.

Anne Evans, Poems and Music.


"T he time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things;
Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
Of cabbages—and kings—
And why the sea is boiling hot—
And whether pigs have wings."

"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
"Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!"
"No hurry!" said the Carpenter:
They thanked him much for that.

Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass.

I GNORANCE is not so damnable as humbug, but when it prescribes pills it may happen to do more harm.

Felix Holt, in George Eliot's novel.

I  PUSH aside the blinding books;
The reverend pages seem to wink;
Each letter like a dozen looks,
Which doesn't let a student think.
Within my ears I hear a "thrum;"
Before my eyes there floats a haze;
And mocking shadows flit and come,
And make my nights a constant daze!

Robert Reece, in Comic Poets.


O RTHODOXY is at a low ebb. Only two clergymen accepted my offer to come and help hoe my potatoes for the privilege of using my vegetable total-depravity figure about the snake-grass, or quash-grass, as some call it; and these two did not bring hoes. There seems to be a lack of disposition to hoe among our educated clergy.

C. D. Warner, My Summer in a Garden.


H OME they brought her lap-dog dead,
Just run over by a fly;
Jeames to Buttons, winking, said,
"Won't there be a row? oh my!"

Then they called the flyman low,
Said his baseness could be proved,
How she to the Beak should go,—
Yet she neither spoke nor moved.

Said her maid (and risked her place)
"In the 'ouse it should have kept,
Flymen drives at such a pace"—
Still the lady's anger slept.

Rose her husband, best of dears,
Laid a bracelet on her knee,
Like a playful child she boxed his ears,—
"Sweet old pet!—let's have some tea!"

Shirley Brooks, Wit and Humour.



H E is most happy, sure, that knoweth nought,
Because he knows not that he knoweth not.

Robert Heath (circa 1585-1607).

A LONE amid the festive throng
One infant brow is sad!
One cherub face is wet with grief,—
What ails you, little lad?

Why still with scarifying sleeve
That woful visage scrub?
Ah, much I fear, my gentle boy,
You don't enjoy your grub.

Here, on a sympathetic heart,
Your tale of suffering pour.
Come, darling! Tell me all. "Boo—boo—
I can't eat any more!"

H. Cholmondeley Pennell, Puck on Pegasus.

N EVER take a sheet-bath—never. Next to meeting a lady acquaintance who, for reasons best known to herself, don't see you when she looks at you, and don't know you when she sees you, it is about the most uncomfortable thing in the world.

Mark Twain, Choice Works.


T HE critic's lot is passing hard—
Between ourselves, I think reviewers,
When call'd to truss a crowing bard,
Should not be sparing of the skewers.

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.

T O-MORROW the critics will commence. You know who the critics are? The men who have failed in literature and art.

Phœbus, in Lord Beaconsfield's Lothair.

T HAT climax of all human ills—
The inflammation of his weekly bills.

Lord Byron, Don Juan.

O N n'a guère de défauts qui ne soient plus pardonnables que les moyens dont on se sert pour les cacher.

La Rochefoucauld, Réflexions.

M EETING a friend one day, when the weather had taken a most sudden and unaccountable turn from cold to warmth, the subject was mooted as usual, and characterized by the gentleman as being "most extraordinary." "Yes," replied [Compton], "it is a most unheard of thing; we've jumped from winter into summer without a spring."

Memoir of Henry Compton.


"P RAY what is this Permissive Bill,
That some folks rave about?
I can't with all my pains and skill,
Its meaning quite make out?"
O! it's a little simple Bill,
That seeks to pass incog.,
To permit ME—to prevent YOU
From having a glass of grog.

Lord Neaves, Songs and Verses.

Q UELQUE mal qu'un homme puisse penser des femmes, il n'y a pas de femme qui n'en pense encore plus mal que lui.

Chamfort, Maximes.

W ITH thy fogs, all so thick and so yellow,
The most approved tint for ennui,
Oh, when shall a man see thy fellow,
November, for felo-de-se?

J. R. Planché, Songs and Poems.

"L IFE," continued Mr. Rose, "is a series of
moments and emotions."
"And a series of absurdities, too, very
often," said Dr. Jenkinson.
"Life is a solemn mystery," said Mr. Stocks, severely.
"Life is a damned nuisance," muttered Leslie to himself.

W. H. Mallock, The New Republic.


T HE world's an ugly world. Offend
Good people, how they wrangle!
Their manners that they never mend,—
The characters they mangle!
They eat, and drink, and scheme, and plod,—
They go to church on Sunday;
And many are afraid of God—
And more of Mrs. Grundy.

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.

I  WENT away the first, in order to give the men an opportunity of abusing me; for whenever the men abuse, the women, to support alike their coquetry and the conversation, think themselves called upon to defend.

Pelham, in Lord Lytton's novel.

T HERE'S one John Bright, a Manchester man,
Who taught the Tories to rule,
By setting their stamp on his patent plan
For renewing the youth of John Bull;
But I say that it won't do at all.
To seek for salvation
By mere numeration
Of polls would surprise,
If they were to rise,
Not a little both Plato and Paul.

J. S. Blackie, Musa Burschicosa.


U NE femme vertueuse a dans le cœur une fibre du moins ou de plus que les autres femmes; elle est stupide ou sublime.

Balzac, Physiologie du Mariage.


S COTLAND! thy weather's like a modish wife;
Thy winds and rains for ever are at strife;
Like thee the termagants their blustering try,
And, when they can no longer scold, they cry.

Aaron Hill (1685-1750).

W ENT with Lamb to Richman's. Richman produced one of Chatterton's forgeries. In one manuscript there were seventeen different kinds of e's. "Oh," said Lamb, "that must have been written by one of the—
'Mob of gentlemen who write with ease.'"

Crabb Robinson, Diary.


T O have a thing is little, if you're not allowed to show it,
And to know a thing is nothing, unless others know you know it.

Lord Neaves.


Y OU'RE at an evening party, with
A group of pleasant folks,—
You venture quietly to crack
The least of little jokes,—
A lady doesn't catch the point,
And begs you to explain,—
Alas! for one who drops a jest
And takes it up again!

You drop a pretty jeu-de-mot
Into a neighbour's ears,
Who likes to give you credit for
The clever things he hears;
And so he hawks your jest about,
The old, authentic one,
Just breaking off the point of it,
And leaving out the pun!

John Godfrey Saxe, Poems.

[M ONTROND'S] death was a very wretched one. Left alone to the tender mercies of a well-known "lorette" of those days, Desirée R——, as he lay upon his bed, between fits of pain and drowsiness, he could see his fair friend picking from his shelves the choicest specimens of his old Sèvres china, or other articles of vertu. Turning to his doctor, he said, with a gleam of his old fun, "Qu'elle est attachante, cette femme-là!"

Gronow, Recollections.


W E love thee, Ann Maria Smith,
And in thy condescension
We see a future full of joys
Too numerous to mention.

There's Cupid's arrow in thy glance,
That by thy love's coercion
Has reached our melting heart of hearts,
And asked for one insertion.

There's music in thy honest tone,
And silver in thy laughter;
And truth—but we will give the full
Particulars hereafter.

R. H. Newell, Orpheus C. Kerr Papers.

"O F course you know the three reasons which take
men into society in London?" I said, after a pause.
"No, I don't. What are they?"
"Either to find a wife, or to look after one's wife, or to look after somebody else's."

L. Oliphant, Piccadilly.


"T HE reason why Doctor Dash squints, I suppose,
Is because his two eyes are afraid of his nose.

Anon., in Moore's Diary.


N EVER attack whole bodies of any kind. Individuals forgive sometimes; but bodies and societies never do.

Lord Chesterfield, Letters to his Son.


S TURDY Tom Paine, biographers relate,
Once with his friends engaged in warm debate.
Said they, "Minorities are always right;"
Said he, "The truth is just the opposite."
Finding them stubborn, "Frankly, now," said he,
"In this opinion do ye all agree;
All, every one, without exception?" When
They thus affirmed unanimously, "Then,
Correct," said he, "my sentiment must be,
For I myself am the minority."

R. Garnett, Idylls and Epigrams.

T HE Indians on the Overland Route live on route and herbs. They are an intemperate people. They drink with impunity, or anybody who invites them.

C. F. Browne, Artemus Ward's Lecture.


T HEY say that thou dost tinge (O monstrous lie!)
The hair that thou so raven-black dost buy.

Lucilius, trans. by R. Garnett.


A  NATION does wisely if not well, in starving her men of genius. Fatten them, and they are done for.

Charles Buxton, Notes of Thought.

W HEN the enterprising burglar's not a-burgling,
When the cut-throat isn't occupied with crime
He loves to hear the little brook a-gurgling,
And listen to the merry village chime.
When the coster's finished jumping on his mother,
He loves to lie a-basking in the sun—
Oh! take one consideration with another,
The policeman's lot is not a happy one!

W. S. Gilbert, Pirates of Penzance.

T HE young girl said: "The gentleman must be very rich, for he is very ugly." The public judges in a similar manner: "The man must be very learned, for he is very tiresome."

Heinrich Heine, Thoughts and Fancies.

A ND he chirped and sang, and skipped about, and laughed with laughter hearty,
He was so wonderfully active for so very stout a party.

And I said, "O gentle pie-man, why so very, very merry?
Is it purity of conscience, or your one-and-seven sherry?"

W. S. Gilbert, Bab Ballads.


S PECULATION—a word that sometimes begins with its second letter.

Horace Smith, The Tin Trumpet.

H E remembers the ball at the Ferry,
And the ride, and the gate, and the vow,
And the rose that you gave him—that very
Same rose he is treasuring now
(Which his blanket he's kicked on his trunk, Miss,
And insists on his legs being free;
And his language to me from his bunk, Miss,
Is frequent and painful and free).

Bret Harte, Complete Works.

N OUS ne trouvons guère de gens de bons sens que ceux qui sont de notre avis.

La Rochefoucauld, Réflexions.


T HE French excel us very much in millinery;
They also bear the bell in matters culinary.
The reason's plain: French beauty and French meat
With English cannot of themselves compete.
Thus, an inferior article possessing,
Our neighbours help it by superior dressing;
They dress their dishes, and they dress their dames,
Till Art, almost, can rival Nature's claims.

Lord Neaves, Songs and Verses.


P RIORITY is a poor recommendation in a husband if he has got no other.

Mrs. Cadwallader, in George Eliot's Middlemarch.

I F spirits you would lighten
Consult good Doctor Brighton,
And swallow his prescriptions and abide by his decree:
If nerves be weak or shaken
Just try a week with Bacon,
His physic soon is taken—
At our London-by-the-Sea.

J. Ashby Sterry, Boudoir Ballads.

T HE then Duke of Cumberland (the foolish Duke, as he was called) came one night into Foote's green-room at the Haymarket Theatre. "Well, Foote," said he, "here I am, ready, as usual, to swallow your good things." "Upon my soul," replied Foote, "your Royal Highness must have an excellent digestion, for you never bring any up again."

Rogers, Table Talk.

T HERE'S folks born to property, and there's folks catch hold on it; and the law's made for them as catch hold.

Tommy Trounsem, in George Eliot's Felix Holt.


E XAMINING one of the Sunday school boys at Addington, I asked him what a prophet was. He did not know. "If I were to tell you what would happen to you this day twelve month, and it should come to pass, what would you call me then, my little man?" "A fortune-teller, sir."

R. H. Barham, Diary.

S OME take a lover, some take drams or prayers;
Some play the devil, and then write a novel.

Lord Byron, Don Juan.

B EING one day at Trinity College, at dinner, [Donne] was asked to write a motto for the College snuff-box, which was always circulating on the dinner-table. "Considering where we are," said Donne, "there could be nothing better than 'Quicunque vult.'"

Crabb Robinson, Diary.

C RITICS tell me, soon
There'll be no singing in a song,
No melody in tune.
But birds will warble in the trees,
Nor for the critics care;
And in the murmur of the breeze
We yet may find some air.

J. R. Planché, Songs and Poems.


M R. BENTLEY proposed to establish a periodical publication, to be called "The Wits' Miscellany." [James] Smith objected that the title promised too much. Shortly afterwards the publisher came to tell him he had profited by the hint, and resolved to call it "Bentley's Miscellany." "Isn't that going a little too far the other way?" was the remark.

Abraham Hayward, Essays.

B REAK, break, break!
My cups and saucers, O scout;
And I'm glad that my tongue can't utter
The oaths that my soul points out.

It is well for the china-shop man
Who gets a fresh order each day;
And it's deucedly well for yourself,
Who are in the said china-man's pay.

And my stately vases go
To your uncle's, I ween, to be cashed;
And it's oh for the light of my broken lamp,
And the tick of my clock that is smashed.

Break, break, break!
At the foot of my stairs in glee;
But the coin I have spent in glass that is cracked
Will never come back to me.

The Shotover Papers.


C ROLY said very smart things, and with surprising readiness. I was at his table one day when one of the guests inquired the name of a pyramidal dish of barley-sugar. Some one replied, "A pyramid à Macédoine." "For what use?" rejoined the other. "To give a Philip to the appetite," said Croly.

W. H. Harrison, Reminiscences.


P AUL, I have read your book, and though you write ill,
I needs must praise your most judicious title.


M RS. POSH was one of those incomparable wives who have a proper command of tongue, who never reply to angry words at the moment, and who always, with exquisite calm and self-posession, pay off every angry word by an amiable sting at the right moment.

Lord Lytton, What will he do with it?


W HEN I was young and débonnaire,
The brownest nymph to me was fair;
But now I'm old, and wiser grown,
The fairest nymph to me is Brown.

George, Lord Lyttleton.


W HEN last the Queen was about to be confined, the Prince Consort said to one of his little boys, "I think it very likely, my dear, that the Queen will present you with a little brother or sister; which of the two would you prefer?" The child, pausing—"Well, I think, if it is all the same to mamma, I should prefer a pony."

J. C. Young, Diary.

S OME ladies now make pretty songs,
And some make pretty nurses:
Some men are great at righting wrongs,—
And some at writing verses.

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.

F OLLOW the light of the old-fashioned Presbyterians that I've heard sing at Glasgow. The preacher gives out the Psalm, and then everybody sings a different tune, as it happens to turn up in their throats. It's a domineering thing to set a tune and expect everybody else to follow it. It's a denial of private judgment.

Felix Holt, in George Eliot's novel.


B LOGGS rails against high birth. Yes, Bloggs—you see
Your ears are longer than your pedigree.

James Hannay, Sketches and Characters.


I  LIKE neighbours, and I like chickens; but I do not think they ought to be united near a garden.

C. D. Warner, My Summer in a Garden.

L ADY, very fair are you,
And your eyes are very blue,
And your hose;
And your brow is like the snow,
And the various things you know
Goodness knows.

Mortimer Collins, Ad Chloen, M.A.

T HE Jacobins, in realizing their systems of fraternization, always contrived to be the elder brothers.

Guesses at Truth.

C ARELESS rhymer, it is true
That my favourite colour's blue;
But am I
To be made a victim, sir,
If to puddings I prefer
Cambridge π ?

Mortimer Collins, Chloe, M.A.

Found life most tolerable after meals.

Lord Byron, Don Juan.


W OMEN, and men who are like women, mind the binding more than the book.

Lord Chesterfield, Letters to his Son.

T HERE was gorging Jack and guzzling Jimmy,
And the youngest he was little Billee.
Now when they got as far as the Equator
They'd nothing left but one split pea.

Says gorging Jack to guzzling Jimmy,
"I am extremely hungaree."
To gorging Jack says guzzling Jimmy,
"We've nothing left, us must eat we."

Says gorging Jack to guzzling Jimmy,
"With one another we shouldn't agree!
There's little Bill he's young and tender,
We're old and tough, so let's eat he."

W. M. Thackeray.


A  FRIEND tells me a funny little story of Mrs. —— (the grandmother of Colonel M——), who was shown a picture of Joseph and Potiphar's wife, in which of course the patriarch showed his usual desire to withdraw himself from her society. Mrs. —— looked at it for a little while, and then said, "Eh, now, and what ails him at the lassie?"

Frederick Locker, Patchwork.


I N his last illness, reduced as he was to a skeleton, [Hood] noticed a very large mustard poultice which Mrs. Hood was making for him, and exclaimed, "O Mary! Mary! that will be a great deal of mustard to a very little meat!"

J. R. Planché, Recollections.


T HOU shalt have one God only: who
Would be at the expense of two?
No graven images may be
Worshipped, except the currency:
Swear not at all; for, for thy curse,
Thine enemy is none the worse:
At church on Sunday to attend
Will serve to keep the world thy friend:
Honour thy parents; that is, all
From whom advancement may befall:
Thou shalt not kill; but needst not strive
Officiously to keep alive:
Do not adultery commit;
Advantage rarely comes of it:
Thou shalt not steal; an empty feat,
When it's so lucrative to cheat:
Bear not false witness; let the lie
Have time on its own wings to fly:
Thou shalt not covet, but tradition
Approves all forms of competition.

A. H. Clough, Poems.


M R. MACCULLOCH, the eminent political economist, in dining with us, a few days after [an aeronautical friend had made an ascent], was most anxious to learn where he had descended on this occasion. The answer was, "Amongst the flats of Essex." "A most appropriate locality," said my distinguished countryman, "and one which shows how true it is that 'birds of a feather flock together.'"

Mark Boyd, Reminiscences.

H E said that I was proud, mother,—that I looked for rank and gold;
He said I did not love him,—he said my words were cold;
He said I kept him off and on, in hopes of higher game,—
And it may be that I did, mother; but who hasn't done the same?

You may lay me in my bed, mother,—my head is throbbing sore;
And, mother, prithee, let the sheets be duly aired before;
And if you'd do a kindness to your poor desponding child,
Draw me a pot of beer, mother—and, mother, draw it mild!

Bon Gaultier Ballads.


V OLTAIRE was a very good Jesus Christ—for the French.

Charles Lamb, apud Leigh Hunt.


P ERCHED in a box which cost her not a sou,
Giglina chatters all the evening through,
Fidgets with opera-glass, and flowers, and shawls,
Annoys the actors, irritates the stalls.
Forgive her harmless pride—the cause is plain—
She wants us all to know she's had champagne.

Shirley Brooks, Wit and Humour.

O  , I know the way o' wives; they set one on to abuse their husbands, and then they turn round on one and praise 'em as if they wanted to sell 'em.

Priscilla Lammeter, in George Eliot's Mill on the Floss.

"A ND hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogroves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass.


M RS. WORDSWORTH and a lady were walking once in a wood where the stock-dove was cooing. A farmer's wife coming by, said, "Oh, I do like stock-doves!" Mrs. Wordsworth, in all her enthusiasm for Wordsworth's beautiful address to the stock-dove, took the old woman to her heart. "But," continued the old woman, "some like 'em in a pie; for my part there's nothing like 'em stewed in onions!"

B. R. Haydon, Diary.


I N spite of hints, in spite of looks,
Titus, I send thee not my books.
The reason, Titus, canst divine?
I fear lest thou shouldst send me thine.

Martial, trans. by R. Garnett.

A  FRIEND, who was about to marry the natural daughter of the Duke de ——, was expatiating at great length on the virtues, good qualities, and talents of his future wife, but without making allusion to her birth. "A t'entendre," observed Montrond, "on dirait que tu épouses une fille surnaturelle."

Gronow, Recollections.

R EADING new books is like eating new bread:
One can bear it at first, but by gradual steps he
Is brought to death's door of a mental dyspepsy.

J. R. Lowell, A Fable for Critics.


C Casey mentioned to me a parody of his on two lines in the "Veiled Prophet":—

"He knew no more of fear than one who dwells
Beneath the tropics knows of icicles."

The following is his parody, which, bless my stars, none of my critics were lively enough to hit upon, for it would have stuck by me:—

"He knew no more of fear than one who dwells
On Scotia's mountains knows of shoe-buckles."

Thomas Moore, Diary.

W HY mourns my Eugene? In his dark eye of blue
Why trembles the tear-drop to sympathy due?
Ah, why must a bosom so pure and refin'd
Thus vibrate, all nerve, at the woes of mankind?

Like a sunbeam the clouds of the tempest between,
A smile lights the eye of the pensive Eugene;
And thus, in soft accents, the mourner replies,
"Hang your mustard! it brings the tears in my eyes!"

R. H. Barham, Ingoldsby Lyrics.

D RESS does not make a man, but it often makes a successful one. What all men should avoid is the "shabby genteel." No man ever gets over it. You had better be in rags.

Vigo, in Lord Beaconsfield's Endymion.


I N moss-prankt dells which the sunbeams flatter
(And Heaven it knoweth what that may mean;
Meaning, however, is no great matter)
Where woods are a-tremble, with rifts atween;

Thro' God's own heather we wonn'd together,
I and my Willie (O love, my love!):
I need hardly remark it was glorious weather,
And flitter-bats waver'd alow, above.

Boats were curtsying, rising, bowing
(Boats in that climate are so polite),
And sands were a ribbon of green endowing,
And O the sun-dazzle on bark and bight.

Thro' the rare red heather we danced together,
(O love, my Willie!) and smelt for flowers:
I must mention again it was glorious weather,
Rhymes are so scarce in this world of ours.

C. S. Calverley, Fly Leaves.

'T IS ridiculous for a lord to print verses. It is well enough to make them to please himself, but to make them public is foolish. If a man in his private chamber twirls his bandstrings, or plays with a rush to please himself, 'tis well enough, but if he should go into Fleet Street, and sit upon a stall, and twirl a bandstring, or play with a rush, then all the boys in the street would laugh at him.

Selden, Table Talk.


H ERE, in the grassy hollow, would be spread
The snowy cloth—dimpled with various viands.
Ah! cleanly damask of our native land!
Ah! pleasant memory of pigeon-pie,
Ah! fair white-bosomed fowl with tawny tongue
Well married! lobster-salad, crisp and cool,
With polished silver from clean crockery
Forked up—washed down with drinks that make me now
Thirsty to think of.
Yes, with ginger-pop
These crags should echo.
Ah! rare golden gleam
Of sack in silver goblets gilt within!—
Bright evanescent raptures of champagne—
Brisk bottled stout in pewters creamy-crowned!

G. J. Cayley, Las Alforgas.

S AY, as the witty Duke of Buckingham did to the dog that bit him, "I wish you were married, and went to live in the country."

Ellesmere, in Helps' Friends in Council.

A dainty and difficult sport in its way.
Thus I counsel the sage, who to play at it stoops,
Belabour thy neighbour and spoon through thy hoops.

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.


W E are never so thoroughly tired of the company of any one else as we are sometimes of our own.

W. Hazlitt, Characteristics.


W HAT! Dares made a knight! No, don't be frighted;
He only lost his way, and was be-nighted.

Richard Graves (1715-1804).

S ATAN was a blunderer, an introducer of novità, who made a stupendous failure. If he had succeeded, we should all have been worshipping him, and his portrait would have been more flattered.

Machiavelli, in George Eliot's Romola.

Y OU see the goodly hair that Galla wears;
'Tis certain her own hair: who would have thought it?
She swears it is her own, and true she swears,
For hard by Temple Bar last day she bought it.

Sir John Haryngton (1561-1612).

T HE worst of human maladies are the most transient also—love that is half despairing, and seasickness that is quite so.

Leslie, in Mallock's New Republic.



S IMPLICITY is best, 'tis true,
But not in every mortal's power:
If thou, O maid, canst live on dew,
'Tis proof thou art indeed a flower.

R. Garnett, Idylls and Epigrams.

O N Walpole's remarking that, of two pictures mentioned, one was "a shade above the other in point of merit," [Hook] replied: "I presume you mean to say it was a shade over (chef d'œuvre)."

R. H. Barham, Diary.

T HE nightingales are all about—
Their song is everywhere—
Their notes are lovely (though they're out
So often in the air).

The zephyr, dancing through the tops
Of ash and poplar, weaves
Low melodies, and scarcely stops
To murmur "By your leaves!"

Night steeps the passions of the day
In quiet, peace, and love.
Pale Dian, in her tranquil way,
Kicks up a shine above.

H. S. Leigh, Carols of Cockayne.


T INDER—a thin rag; such, for instance, as the dresses of modern females, intended to catch the sparks, raise a flame, and light up a match.

Horace Smith, The Tin Trumpet.


H E who a gold-finch strives to make his wife
Makes her, perhaps, a wag-tail all her life.

A Collection of Epigrams (1727).

[o F Lafayette]: The world is surprised that there was once an honest man: the situation remains vacant.

Heinrich Heine, Thoughts and Fancies.


C OME, come, for trifles never stick:
Most servants have a failing;
Yours, it is true, are sometimes sick,
But mine are always ale-ing.

Henry Luttrell.

S IR GEORGE ROSE, being introduced one day to two charming young ladies, whose names were Mary and Louisa, instantly added, with a bow, "Ah, yes! Marie-Louise—the sweetest pear I know!"

Macmillan's Magazine.



'T IS done; I yield; adieu, thou cruel fair!
Adieu, th' averted face, th' ungracious cheek!
I go to die, to finish all my care,
To hang—to hang?—yes, round another's neck.

Leigh Hunt (from the French).

B ISHOP (reproving delinquent Page). "Wretched boy! Who is it that sees and hears all we do, and before whom even I am but as a crushed worm?"
Page. "The Missus, my Lord!"



W HO only in his cups will fight is like
A clock that must be oil'd well ere it strikes.

Thomas Bancroft (circa 1600).

T ALKING to —— is like playing long whist.

Lady Ashburton, apud Lord Houghton.


M Y dog, who picks up everything one teaches,
Has got "three heads," like Mr. Gladstone's speeches,
But, as might naturally be expected,
His are considerably more connected.

H. J. Byron, in English Epigrams.


B LESSED be the word "nice"!—it is the copper coin of commendation. Without it, we should have to praise more handsomely.

Charles Buxton, Notes of Thought.


A LL Newgate windows bay windows they be;
All lookers out there stand at bay we see.

John Heywood (1506-1565).

I T was a grand scene, Mr. Artemus Ward standing on the platform; many of the audience sleeping tranquilly in their seats; others leaving the room and not returning; others crying like a child at some of the jokes,—all, all formed a most impressive scene, and showed the powers of this remarkable orator. And when he announced that he should never lecture in that town again, the applause was absolutely deafening.

C. F. Browne, Artemus Ward's Lecture.


I F all be true that I do think,
There are five reasons we should drink:
Good wine; a friend; or being dry;
Or lest we should be by-and-by;
Or any other reason why.

Henry Aldrich.


[B ARHAM] having expressed himself in terms of abhorrence of a piece of baseness and treachery which came under his notice, he was addressed by the delinquent with—"Well, sir, perhaps some day you may come to change your opinion of me!" "Perhaps I may, sir," was the reply; "for if I should find any one who holds a more contemptible opinion of you than I do myself, I should lay down my own and take up his."

R. H. D. Barham, Life of Barham.


"O H, sweet one!" sighs the lover,
"Could I but this discover,—
Thy breast so softly moving,
Will it ever cease from loving?"

Says she, her eyes upturning,
"The love within me burning
No time can ever smother"—
For some one or another!

Lord Southesk, Greenwood's Farewell.

B ENJAMIN CONSTANT, on some one asking (with reference to his book on religion) how he managed to reconcile the statements of his latter volumes with those of his first, published so long ago, answered, "Il n'y a rien qui s'arrange aussi facilement que les faits."

Thomas Moore, Diary.


I 'M told that virgins augur some
Misfortune if their shoe-strings come
To grief on Friday:
And so did Di, and then her pride
Decreed that shoe-strings so untied
Are "so untidy!"

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.

O N one occasion the late Lady Holland took [Luttrell] a drive in her carriage over a rough road; and as she was very nervous, she insisted on being driven at a foot's pace. This ordeal lasted some hours, and when he was at last released, poor Luttrell, perfectly exasperated, rushed into the nearest club-house, and exclaimed, clenching his teeth and hands, "The very funerals passed us!"

Gronow, Recollections.


A N original something dear maid, you would win me
To write, but how shall I begin?
For I fear I have nothing original in me—
Excepting Original Sin.

Thomas Campbell.

L A société est un état de guerre, réglé par les lois.

L'Art de Parvenir.


P ERCHANCE it was her eyes of blue,
Her cheeks that might the rose have shamed,
Her figure in proportion true
To all the rules by artists framed;
Perhaps it was her mental worth
That made her lover love her so,
Perhaps her name, or wealth, or birth,—
I cannot tell—I do not know.

He may have had a rival, who
Did fiercely gage him to a duel,
And being the luckiest of the two
Defeated him with triumph cruel;
Then she may have proved false, and turned
To welcome to her arms his foe,
Left him despairing, conquer'd, spurned,—
I cannot tell—I do not know.

Songs of Singularity.

I T is of no use to tell a neighbour that his hens eat your tomatoes: it makes no impression on him, for the tomatoes are not his. The best way is to casually remark to him that he has a fine lot of chickens, pretty well grown, and that you like spring chickens broiled. He will take them away at once.

C. D. Warner, My Summer in a Garden.

O NE persuaded his friend to marry a little woman, because of evils the least was to be chosen.

Conceits, Clinches, etc. (1639).


C HARLES KEMBLE used to tell a story about some poor foreigner, dancer or pantomimist in the country, who, after many annual attempts to clear his expenses, came forward one evening with a face beaming with pleasure and gratitude, and addressed the audience in these words:—"Dear Public! moche oblige. Ver good benefice—only lose half-a-crown. I come again!"

J. R. Planché, Recollections.

"L ET'S show," said M'Clan, "to this Sassenach loon
That the bag-pipes can play him a regular tune.
Let's see," said M'Clan, as he thoughtfully sat,
"'In my Cottage' is easy—I'll practise at that."

He blew at his "Cottage," and blew with a will,
For a year, seven months, and a fortnight, until
(You'll hardly believe it) M'Clan, I declare,
Elicited something resembling an air.

It was wild—it was fitful—as wild as the breeze—
It wandered about into several keys;
It was jerky, spasmodic, and harsh, I'm aware;
But still it distinctly suggested an air.

W. S. Gilbert, Bab Ballads.

A LL men are brothers—Cains and Abels.



T HE blameless king
Rising again (to Lancelot's discontent,
Who held all speeches a tremendous bore),
Said, "If one duty to be done remains,
And 'tis neglected, all the rest is nought
But Dead Sea apples and the acts of Apes."

Smiled Guinevere, and begged him not to preach;
She knew that duty, and it should be done;
So what of pudding on that festal night
Was not consumed by Arthur and his guests,
The queen upon the following morning fried.

Shirley Brooks, Wit and Humour.

O NE way of getting an idea of our fellow-countrymen's miseries is to go and look at their pleasures.

George Eliot, Felix Holt.


I  WILL not ask if thou canst touch
The tuneful ivory key,—
Those silent notes of thine are such
As quite suffice for me.

I'll make no question if thy skill
The pencil comprehends;—
Enough for me, love, if thou still
Canst draw—thy dividends.



A T the Duke of Wellington's funeral, the little child of a friend of mine was standing with her mother at Lord Ashburton's window to see the mournful pageant. During the passage of the procession, she made no remark until the duke's horse was led by, its saddle empty, and his boots reversed in the stirrups, when she looked up in her mother's face and said, "Mamma, when we die, will there be nothing left of us but boots?"

J. C. Young, Diary.

S UCH power hath Beer. The heart which Grief hath canker'd
Hath one unfailing remedy—the tankard.

C. S. Calverley, Verses and Translations.

D INED with Mr. (Sydney) Smith. He told me of the motto he had proposed for Bishop Burgess's arms, in allusion to his brother, the well-known fish-sauce projector:

"Gravi jamdudum saucia curâ."

R. H. Barham, Life.

O NE'S self-satisfaction is an untaxed kind of property which it is very unpleasant to find depreciated.

George Eliot, Middlemarch.


"M Y lord cannot stand Treeby more than two days, and Treeby cannot stand my lord for a longer period, and that is why they are such friends." "A sound basis of agreement," said Lord Roehampton. "I believe absence is a great element of charm."

Lord Beaconsfield, Endymion.


O  COOL in the summer is salad,
And warm in the winter is love;
And a poet shall sing you a ballad
Delicious thereon and thereof.
A singer I am, if no sinner,
My muse has a marvellous wing,
And I willingly worship at dinner
The Sirens of Spring.

Take Endive—like love it is bitter,
Take beet—for like love it is red,
Crisp leaf of the lettuce shall glitter,
And cress from the rivulet's bed:
Anchovies, foam-born, like the lady
Whose beauty has maddened this bard;
And olives, from groves that are shady;
And eggs—boil 'em hard.

Mortimer Collins, The British Birds.

Q UERY, whether churches are not dormitories of the living as well as of the dead?

Swift, Thoughts.


T HE Mock Turtle said, "No wise fish would go
anywhere without a porpoise."
"Wouldn't it, really?" said Alice, in a tone of
great surprise.
"Of course not," said the Mock Turtle; "why, if a
fish came to me, and told me he was going a journey, I
should say, 'With what porpoise?'"
"Don't you mean 'purpose?'" said Alice.
"I mean what I say," the Mock Turtle replied, in an
offended tone.

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.

V ILL'ST dou learn de Deutsche Sprache?
If a shendleman dou art,
Denn strike right indo Deutschland,
Und get a schveetes-heart.
From Schwabenland or Sachsen,
Vhere now dis writer pees;
Und de bretty girls all wachsen
Shoost like aepples on de drees.

Boot if dou bee'st a laty,
Denn, on de oder hand,
Take a blonde moustachioed lofer
In de vine green Sherman land.
Und if you shoost kit married
(Vood mit vood soon makes a vire),
You'll learn to sprechen Deutsch, mein kind,
Ash fast ash you tesire.

C. G. Leland, Breitmann Ballads.


T HE Bishop of St. David's has been studying Welsh all the summer; it is a difficult language, and I hope he will be careful,—it is so easy for him to take up the Funeral Service and read it over the next wedding-party, or to make a mistake in a tense in a Confirmation, and the children will have renounced their godfathers and godmothers and got nothing in their place.

Sydney Smith, apud Lord Houghton.

B EAUTIFUL soup, so rich and green,
Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the evening, beautiful soup!
Soup of the evening, beautiful soup!

Beautiful soup! Who cares for fish,
Game, or any other dish?
Who would not give all else for two p
Ennyworth only of beautiful soup?
Pennyworth only of beautiful soup?

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.

W RITING to Manning, Charles Lamb says: "—— says he could write like Shakespeare if he had a mind—so you see nothing is wanting but the mind."

Crabb Robinson, Diary.



I F by their names we things should call,
It surely would be properer
To term a singing-piece a bawl,
A dancing-piece a hopperer!


A MONG all forms of mistake, prophecy is the most gratuitous.

George Eliot, Middlemarch.


L OVE levels all—it elevates the clown,
And often brings the fattest people down.

H. J. Byron, in English Epigrams.

T HE Hanoverian squires are asses who can talk of nothing but horses.

Heinrich Heine, Thoughts and Fancies.

S IR George Warrender was once obliged to put off a dinner-party in consequence of the death of a relative, and sat down to a haunch of venison by himself. While eating, he said to his butler, "John, this will make a capital hash to-morrow." "Yes, Sir George, if you leave off now!"

R. H. Barham, Life.



C HLORIS, I swear, by all I ever swore,
That from this hour I shall not love thee more.
"What! love no more? oh, why this altered vow?"
Because I cannot love thee more—than now.

Thomas Moore.

Y OU close your petition with the words: "And we will ever pray." I think you had better—you need to do it.

Mark Twain, Choice Works.

H USBANDS, more covetous than sage,
Condemn this china-buying rage;
They count that woman's prudence little
Who sets her heart on things so brittle.

John Gay, Poems.

U MBRELLA—an article which, by the morality of society, you may steal from friend or foe, and which, for the same reason, you should not lend to either.

Horace Smith, The Tin Trumpet.

L A curiosité n'est que la vanité. Le plus souvent on ne veut savoir que pour en parler.

Pascal, Pensées.


O  HOW unlike our shores,
Where with ten thousand tongues each city roars!
There to all men, whate'er their age or walk,
Life's one great solemn business is to talk.
There what the penny press by morning write
Is echoed for a halfpenny at night:
There stump young Ministers; old Maids debate;
There loud Professors scold like Billingsgate:
There, as the World into the Church expands,
A moral Atheist spouts in parson's bands;
And poets, doubtful of the parts of speech,
Desperate of rhyme, acquire the art to preach.

Windbag, in Courthope's Paradise of Birds.

P RINCE METTERNICH said to Lord Dudley, "You are the only Englishman I know who speaks good French. It is remarked, the common people in Vienna speak better than the educated men in London." "That may well be," replied Lord Dudley. "Your Highness should recollect that Buonaparte has not been twice in London to teach them."

Crabb Robinson, Diary.

W HEN a felon's not engaged in his employment,
Or maturing his felonious little plans,
His capacity for innocent enjoyment
Is just as great as any honest man's.

W. S. Gilbert, Pirates of Penzance.


S HE'S an angel in a frock
With a fascinating cock
To her nose.

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.

T O speak highly of one with whom we are intimate is a species of egotism.

W. Hazlitt, Characteristics.

T HE annals of our native land were lapsed in doubt and mystery,
Till Mr. Freeman t'other day discovered English History,
And now admonishes the world it is his fixed intention
To make it a monopoly and patent the invention.

F. D., in Pall Mall Gazette.

"I T is rather sad," sighed Virginia, as she dived into a box of French chocolate-creams, "to think that all the poor people are drowned that these things belonged to."
"They are not dead," said the Professor: "they still live on this holy and stupendous earth. They live in the use we are making of all they had got together. The owner of those chocolate-creams is immortal because you are eating them."
Virginia licked her lips, and said, "Nonsense!"
"It is not nonsense," said the Professor. "It is the religion of Humanity."

W. H. Mallock, The New Paul and Virginia.


T HE sort of fun
I witnessed there was "awful;"
Buffoonery devoid of all
That makes an art of folly,
Music that was "most music-hall,"
To hear "most melancholy."

J. R. Planché, Songs and Poems.

Y OU are a woman; you must never speak what you think: your words must contradict your thoughts: but your actions may contradict your words. So, when I ask you if you can love me, you must say no; but you must love me too. If I tell you you are handsome, you must deny it, and say I flatter you; and you must think yourself more charming than I speak you, and like me for the beauty I say you have, as much as if I had it myself.

Tattle, in Congreve's Love for Love.

D EAR Poet, do not rhyme at all!
But if you must, don't tell your neighbour,
Or five in six, who cannot scrawl,
Will dub you donkey for your labour.
Be patient, but be sure you won't
Win vogue without extreme vexation;
Yet hope for sympathy,—but don't
Expect it from a near relation.

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.


N OUS pardonnons souvent à ceux qui nous ennuient; mais nous ne pouvons pardonner à ceux qui nous ennuyons.

La Rochefoucauld, Réflexions.

T HERE is a phrase we oft have seen
On bottle-labels writ,
And those who invalids have been
Best know the drift of it;
It may embody in a line
A world of chemic lore,
And skill to portion and combine—
The mixture as before.

This will apply to many things,
To oratory most,
Addresses made to kings and queens,
And wedding speech and toast;
For commonplace and compliment
Are mingled o'er and o'er;
This saves the trouble to invent—
The mixture as before.

Songs of Singularity.

I  HAD forgotten to mention that essay, Miss Daylmer; that is our essay on cookery,—the one we always begin with in reading to ladies; as Milverton said, "entirely within their province." I wish they paid more attention to it; but people seldom do attend to things within their province.

Ellesmere, in Helps's Friends in Council.


T HERE was an old waiter at Wapping
Drew corks for a week without stopping;
Cried he, "It's too bad!
The practice I've had!
Yet cannot prevent them from popping!"

There was an old priest of Peru,
Who dreamt he converted a Jew;
He woke in the night
In a deuce of a fright,
And found it was perfectly true.

There was an old witch of Malacca,
Who smoked such atrocious tobacca,
When tigers came near,
They trembled with fear,
And didn't attempt to attacca.

Songs of Singularity.

A  WOMAN dictates before marriage in order that she may have an appetite for submission afterwards.

George Eliot, Middlemarch.

S YDNEY SMITH, speaking of his being shampooed at Mahomet's Baths at Brighton in 1840, said they "squeezed enough out of him to make a lean curate."

R. H. Barham, Life.


N OW brim your glass, and plant it well
Beneath your nose on the table,
And you will find what philosophers tell
Of I and non-I is no fable.
Now listen to wisdom, my son!
Myself am the subject,
This wine is the object:
These things are two,
But I'll prove to you
That subject and object are one.

I take this glass in my hand, and stand
Upon my legs, if I can,
And look and smile benign and bland,
And feel that I am a man.
Now stretch all the strength of your brains!
I drink—and the object
Is lost in the subject,
Making one entity
In the identity
Of me, and the wine in my veins!

J. S. Blackie, Musa Burschicosa.

P UNSTERS being abused, and the old joke repeated that "He who puns will pick a pocket," some one said, "Punsters themselves have no pockets." "No," said Lamb, "they carry only a ridicule."

Crabb Robinson, Diary.


I T is always a pleasure to me when two of my friends like each other, just as I am always glad when two of my enemies take to fighting with each other.

Heinrich Heine, Preface to Don Quixote.

H HE stood on his head on the wild sea-shore,
And joy was the cause of the act,
For he felt as he never had felt before,
Insanely glad, in fact.

And why? In that vessel that left the bay
His mother-in-law had sail'd
To a tropical country far away,
Where tigers and snakes prevail'd.

Songs of Singularity.

[B ERKELEY] had no ear for music himself, but music was an enthusiasm in the family, and he retained the well-known Signor Pasquilino for years to teach his children. It was then that the Signor, who had been learning English from a dictionary, exclaimed in an outbreak of gratitude, "May God pickle your lordship!"

A. C. Fraser, Berkeley.

W OMEN always did, from the first, make a muss in a garden.

C. D. Warner, My Summer in a Garden.



T HIS gardener's rule applies to youth and age:
When young "sow wild oats," but when old "grow sage."

H. J. Byron, in English Epigrams.

T he sacred slow harmonium bring,
The gentler pianette,
The cymbals, with sonorous ring,
The dulcet flageolet.

Nor be the voice of glory dumb,
Of conquest and of strife,
Bring forth the stirring trump and drum,
The shrill and piercing fife.

Ay, bring them all, my soul with glee
To music I'll devote;
Bring all—for all are one to me,—
I cannot play a note!

Songs of Singularity.

W E sometimes hate those who differ from us in opinion worse than we should for an attempt to injure us in the most serious point. A favourite theory is a possession for life; and we resent any attack upon it proportionably.

W. Hazlitt, Characteristics.


W HEN Mrs. M'Gibbon was preparing to act Jane Shore, at Liverpool, her dresser, an ignorant country girl, informed her that a woman had called to request two box orders, because she and her daughter had walked four miles on purpose to see the play. "Does she know me?" inquired the mistress. "Not at all," was the reply. "What a very odd request!" exclaimed Mrs. M'G. "Has the good woman got her faculties about her?" "I think she have, ma'am, for I see she ha' got summut tied up in a red silk handkercher."

Horace Smith, The Tin Trumpet.

A  CLERKE ther was, a puissant wight was hee,
Who of ye Wethere hadde ye maisterie;
Alway it was his mirthe and his solace
To put eche seson's wethere out of place.

Whaune that Aprille shoures wer our desyre,
He gaf us Julye sonnes as hotte as fyre;
But sith ye summere togges we donned agayne,
Eftsoons ye wethere chaunged to colde and rayne.

Songs of Singularity.

I  SHOULDN'T like to be a man—to cough so loud, and stand straddling about on a wet day, and be so wasteful with meat and drink. They're a coarse lot, I think.

Denner, in George Eliot's Felix Holt.


O NCE the mastodon was: pterodactyls were common as cocks:
Then the Mammoth was God: now is He a prize ox.

Parallels all things are: yet many of these are askew:
You are certainly I: but certainly I am not you.

Springs the rock from the plain, shoots the stream from the rock:
Cocks exist for the hen: but hens exist for the cock.

God, whom we see not, is: and God, who is not, we see:
Fiddle, we know, is diddle: and diddle, we take it, is dee.

The Heptalogia.

A PRIVILEGED PERSON.—One who is so much of a savage when thwarted that civilized persons avoid thwarting him.

Anne Evans, Poems and Music.

I 'VE studied human nature, and I know a thing or two;
Though a girl may fondly love a living gent, as many do:
A feeling of disgust upon her senses there will fall
When she looks upon his body chopped particularly small.

W. S. Gilbert, Bab Ballads.


T HE Bishop of Exeter, in the course of conversation at a dinner-party, mentioned that many years since, while trout-fishing, he lost his watch and chain, which he supposed had been pulled from his pocket by the bough of a tree. Some time afterwards, when staying in the same neighbourhood, he took a stroll by the side of the river, and came to the secluded spot where he supposed he had lost his valuables, and there, to his surprise and delight, he found them under a bush. The anecdote, vouched for by the word of a bishop, astonished the company; but this was changed to amusement by his son's inquiring whether the watch, when found, was going. "No," replied the bishop; "the wonder was that it was not gone."

Gronow, Recollections.


F ORTUNE, they say, doth give too much to many:
And yet she never gave enough to any.

Sir John Haryngton (1561-1612).

I  DO not speak of this mole in any tone of complaint. I desire to write nothing against him which I should wish to recall at the last,—nothing foreign to the spirit of that beautiful saying of the dying boy, "He had no copybook, which, dying, he was sorry he had blotted."

C. D. Warner, My Summer in a Garden.


K NOW, then, that when that touching scene
Had reached its tenderest pitch,
When all was pathos, calm, serene,
His nose began to itch.

'Twas sad, but so it came to pass,
The knight might chafe and frown,
But could not reach it, for alas!
He wore his vizor down.

Songs of Singularity.

I  REMEMBER asking [Bagehot] if he had enjoyed a particular dinner which he had rather expected to enjoy, but he replied, "No, the sherry was bad; tasted as if L—— had dropped his h's into it."

R. H. Hutton, Memoir of W. Bagehot.

W HEN Beings of the fairer sex
Arrange their white arms round our necks,
We are, we ought to be, enraptured.

Frederick Locker, London Lyrics.

"P RAY, Mr. Foote, do you ever go to church?"
"No, madam; not that I see any harm in it."

Thomas Moore, Diary.


F ORTUNE advanced thee that all might aver
That nothing is impossible to her.

R. Garnett (from the Greek).


I  REMEMBER a Trinity College (Dublin) story of a student who, having to translate Cæsar, rendered the first sentence, "Omnis Gallia divisa est in tres partes,"—"All Gaul is quartered into three halves."

W. H. Harrison, University Magazine.

A LWAYS seem to be modest and bashful, yet wise;
Remember the value of using your eyes;
Recollect, too, that money's not easily met,
And always accept every offer you get;
Be polite to all—grandmammas, sisters, and mothers,
For they've all of them grandsons, or own sons or brothers;
And never forget the chief object in life
Is to quickly be settled—a well-to-do wife.

Phœbe, in H. P. Stephens's Billee Taylor.

O NE asked what herb that was that cured all diseases. It was answered, "Time."

Conceits, Clinches, etc. (1639).

I N his sleeves, which were long,
He had twenty-four packs—
Which was coming it strong,
Yet I state but the facts;
And we found on his nails, which were taper,
What is frequent in tapers—that's wax.

Bret Harte, Complete Works.


I N a conversation which happened to turn on railway accidents and the variety of human sufferings, a bank director observed that he always felt great interest in the case of a broken limb. "Then, I suppose," said ——, "for a compound fracture you feel compound interest."

W. Jerdan, Memoirs.


T HY verses are eternal, O my friend,
For he who reads them reads them to no end.

A Collection of Epigrams (1727).

O NE day, coming late to dinner in the country, [Lady Charlotte Lindsay] excused herself by the "macadamnable" state of the roads.

Lord Houghton, Monographs.

I  WISH some girls that I could name
Were half as silent as their pictures!

W. M. Praed.

T HE other day I heard that whimsical fellow G—— make a rather foolish remark, to the effect that the pleasure of not going to church was a pleasure that never palled.

Frederick Locker, Patchwork.


A ND day again declines;
In shadow sleep the vines,
And the last ray thro' the pines
Feebly glows,
Then sinks behind yon ridge;
And the usual evening midge
Is settling on the bridge
Of my nose.

And keen's the air and cold,
And the sheep are in the fold,
And Night walks stable-stoled
Thro' the trees;
And on the silent river
The floating star-beams quiver;—
And now, the saints deliver
Us from fleas.

C. S. Calverley, Verses and Translations.

T OMMY TOWNSHEND, a violent, foolish fellow, who was always talking strong language, said in some debate, "Nothing will satisfy me but to have the noble Lord [North]'s head; I will have his head." Lord North said, "The honourable gentleman says he will have my head. I bear him no malice in return, for though the honourable gentleman says he will have my head, I can assure him I would on no account have his."

Charles Greville, Diary.


W ITH undissembled grief I tell,—
For sorrow never comes too late,—
The simplest bonnet in Pall Mall
Is sold for £1 8s.

Catharine M. Fanshawe.

S AID the Gryphon, "Do you know why it's called a whiting?"
"I never thought about it," said Alice. "Why?"
"It does the boots and shoes," the Gryphon replied very solemnly.
Alice was thoroughly puzzled. "Does the boots and shoes?" she repeated in a wondering tone.
"Why, what are your shoes done with?" said the Gryphon. "I mean, what makes them so shiny?"
Alice looked down at them, and considered a little before she gave her answer. "They're done with blacking, I believe."
"Boots and shoes under the sea," the Gryphon went on in a deep voice, "are done with whiting. Now you know."

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.

I 'M always dull on Christmas Day,
It lets a flood of ills in,
For that's the time those birds of prey
Bring all their horrid bills in!

J. R. Planché, Songs and Poems.


T HE wit of a family is usually best received among strangers.

George Eliot, Middlemarch.

S WEET maids in wimples fair y-wrought,
Shall smile upon thee. Thou shalt say,
Oft, by thy halidame, there's nought
So gracious and so fair as they,
But what thy halidame may be,
I trow 'tis useless asking me.

H. Savile Clarke.

L E vrai honnête homme est celui qui ne se pique de rien.

La Rochefoucauld, Réflexions.

O  MEMORY! thou art but a sigh
For friendships dead and loves forgot,
And many a cold and altered eye
That once did say—Forget me not!

And I must bow me to thy laws,
For—odd although it may be thought—
I can't tell who the deuce it was
That gave me this Forget-me-not!

Bon Gaultier Ballads.

W HAT is Truth? "Bring me the wash-hand basin," is the reply of Pontius Pilate.

Heinrich Heine, The Denunciator.



T HEY came and stole my garments,
My stockings, all my store,
But they could not steal my sermons,
For they were stolen before.

Rev. Henry Townshend.

S OME folk's tongues are like the clocks as run on strikin', not to tell you the time o' day, but because there's summat wrong i' their own inside.

Mrs. Poyser, in George Eliot's Adam Bede.

'T IS said that he lived upon bacon and beans,
And that sometimes he dined upon salt pork and greens;
But he thought that such feeding was rather humdrum,—
"I've gone the whole hog," said little Tom Thumb.

As Tom once was crossing a river close by,
A salmon snapped up, as it would at a fly;
But as it was dark Tom did sing rather mum—
"I'm down in the mouth," said little Tom Thumb.

Next day a black raven poor Tom did espy,
Which carried him up to the heaven so high;
If the bird let him go, to the ground would he come—
"I'll be dashed if I do," said little Tom Thumb.

J. A. Sidey, Mistura Curiosa.


I T is often harder to praise a friend than an enemy.

W. Hazlitt, Characteristics.


B Y purchase a man's property is known:
Scarf's sermons and his livings are his own.

Epigrams in Distich (1740).

I  MEASURE men's dullness by the devices they trust in for deceiving others. Your dullest animal is he who grins and says he doesn't mind just after he has had his shins kicked.

Machiavelli, in George Eliot's Romola.


T HE least drop in the world I do not mind:
"Cognac" 's a noun I never yet declined.

H. J. Byron, in English Epigrams.

"T here is no middle course," said Charles X. to Talleyrand, "between the throne and the scaffold!" "Your Majesty forgets the post-chaise!"

Crabb Robinson, Diary.

I  COULD not, while you shone,
Run all that heartless babble off
That marks the modern Babylon.

Robert Reece, in Comic Poets.



A SK me no more: I've had enough Chablis;
The wine may come again, and take the shape,
From glass to glass, of "Mountain" or of "Cape;"
But, my dear boy, when I have answered thee,
Ask me no more.

Ask me no more: what answer should I give?
I love not pickled pork nor partridge pie;
I feel if I took whisky I should die;
Ask me no more—for I prefer to live:
Ask me no more.

Ask me no more: unless my fate is sealed,
And I have striven against you all in vain:
Let your good butler bring me Hock again:
Then rest, dear boy. If for this once I yield,
Ask me no more.

W. D. A.

S IR ROBERT GRANT told a story well, and could pun successfully without boring. By way of instance, on the beach at Sidmouth he pronounced the six beautiful Miss Twopennys to be the "Splendid shilling."

Lord Teignmouth, Reminiscences.


O H to be wafted away
From this black Aceldama of sorrow,
Where the dust of an earthy to-day,
Is the earth of a dusty to-morrow!

Bunthorne, in W. S. Gilbert's Patience.

O NE said, painters were cunning fellows, for they had a colour for everything they did.

Conceits, Clinches, etc. (1639).

D EY vent to hear a breecher of
De last sensadion shtyle,
'Twas 'nough to make der tyfel weep
To see his "awful shmile."
"Vot bities dat der Fechter ne'er
Vos in Theologie.
Dey'd make him pishop in dis shoorsh,"
Said Breitmann, said he.

C. G. Leland, Breitmann Ballads.

"O H! Pat; and what do you think will be your feelings on the day of judgment when you meet Mrs. Mahoney, and the pig you stole from her, face to face?" "Does your reverence think the pig will be there?" "Ay, indeed, will he; and what will ye say then?" "I shall say, your reverence, 'Mrs. Mahoney, dear, here's the pig that I borrowed of ye, and I'm mighty glad to have this opportunity of restoring him!'"

Life of Rev. W. Harness.


I N VINO VERITAS!—which means
A man's a very ass in liquor;
The "thief that slowly steals our brains"
Makes nothing but the temper quicker.
Next morning brings a train of woes,
But finds the passions much sedater—
Who was it, now, that pulled my nose?—
I'd better go and ask the waiter.

H. Cholmondeley Pennell, Pegasus Resaddled.

J ONES, the tailor, was asked by a customer, who thought much of his cut, to go down and have some shooting with him in the country. Among the party was the Duke of Northumberland. "Well, Mr. Jones," observed his Grace, "I'm glad to see that you are becoming a sportsman. What sort of gun do you shoot with?" "Oh, with a double-breasted one, your Grace," was the reply.

Life of Rev. W. Harness.

N OW wedlock is a sober thing,
No more of chains or forges!
A plain young man, a plain gold ring,
The curate, and St. George's.

Edward Fitzgerald.

T HE greatest advantage I know of being thought a wit by the world, is, that it gives one the greater freedom of playing the fool.

Pope, Thoughts on Various Subjects.


C ONCEIVE me, if you can,
An every-day young man:
A common-place type,
With a stick and a pipe,
And a half-bred black-and-tan;
Who thinks suburban "hops"
More fun than "Monday Pops";
Who's fond of his dinner,
And doesn't get thinner,
On bottled beer and chops;—
A common-place young man—
A matter-of-fact young man—
A steady and stolid-y, jolly Bank-holiday
Every-day young man!

Grosvenor, in W. S. Gilbert's Patience.

I  DO not so much want to avoid being cheated, as to afford the expense of being so; the generality of mankind being seldom in good humour but whilst they are imposing upon you in some shape or other.

Shenstone, Essays.

O NLY think, to have lords overrunning the nation,
As plenty as frogs in a Dutch inundation;
No shelter from barons, from earls no protection,
And tadpole young lords, too, in every direction,—
Things created in haste, just to make a court list of,
Two legs and a coronet all they consist of!

Thomas Moore.


L O! the king, his footsteps this way bending,
His cogitative faculties immersed
In cogibundity of cogitation.

Aldiborontiphoscophornio, in Carey's Chrononhotonthologos.

I T is with narrow-souled people, as with narrow-necked bottles: the less they have in them, the more noise they make in pouring out.

Pope, Thoughts on Various Subjects.

O NE privilege to man is left—
The privilege of earning
The doss that pays the weekly bills.

H. Cholmondeley Pennell, Pegasus Resaddled.

H APPY THOUGHT.—"Fridoline!" I have her permission to call her Fridoline.
Happy thoughts! Happy thoughts!! Happy thoughts!!!
I think I am speaking: she speaks: we speak together. A pause. Oh, for one happy thought, now.
"May I?" Her head is turned away from me: slightly. She does not move. "I may?"
Happy Thought.—I do.

F. C. Burnand, Happy Thoughts.




Absence an element of charm, 236

Actress, an inanimate, 59

Adam Bede, quoted, 11, et seq.

Adam's language, 27

Advice, Pope on giving, 87

Agreeable person, an, 6

Ailing and ale-ing, 227

Albemarle, Lord, quoted, 32, et seq.

Alderman, on an, 180

Alderson, Baron, on Lord Campbell, 194

Aldrich, Dean, quoted, 229

Alice in Wonderland, quoted, 7, et seq.

"A little backer," 175

"All Gaul is quartered," 253

"All my eye," 41, 93

All Saints, 106

Allsopp's ale, 152

"All the souls that were," 97

Altruism, Mallock on, 167

Alvanley, Lord, mot by, 67

"Always seem to be modest," 253

Amours de Voyage, quoted, 59

"Anecdotage," 43, 107

Animals, George Eliot on, 41, 102

Anti-Jacobin, the, quoted, 33

"Ape in the days that were earlier," 43

"Ape with pliable thumb," 17

Aristocracy, the, Phœbus on, 170

Aristocratic poets, 223

Arnold, Matthew, on, 123

Art de Parvenir, L', quoted, 231

Art-Unions, Hood on, 3

Ashburton, Lady, mots by, 30, et seq.

Ashby-Sterry, J., quoted, 22, et seq.

Aspen Court, quoted, 5

Atalanta, on, 188

Athanasian Creed, the, 89

Austin, Alfred, quoted, 19, et seq.


Bab Ballads, quoted, 105, et seq.

Bagehot, Walter, mots by, 84, et seq.

Bailey, Philip James, quoted, 26

Balbus, 103

Ballades in Blue China, quoted, 20, et seq.

Balls and operas, on, 239

Balzac, quoted, 4, et seq.

Bancroft, Thomas, quoted, 228

Barham, R. H., quoted, 12, et seq.

Barrington, Sir Jonah, quoted, 28

Barry, Redmond, mot by, 36

Bass's beer, 125

Baxter, Rose, and Norton, 66

Beaconsfield, Lord, quoted, 6, et seq.

Bean, the, Warner on, 184

Bears, Locker on, 23

"Beautiful soup," 238

Beazley, Samuel, mots by, 51, et seq.

"Beer, such power hath," 235

Beppo, quoted, 21

Berkeley, Grantley, quoted, 142

Biglow Papers, the, quoted, 30, et seq.

Billee Taylor, quoted, 127, et seq.

Bills, Christmas, 256

----, weekly, 202, 264

Bishops, Alvanley on, 129

"Bisness first," 15

Black, a great fact, 5

Blackie, Professor, quoted, 45, et seq.

"Bloom of ugliness, the," 195

"Blossom of hawthorn," 25

Blows, George Eliot on, 137

Blue-stockings, on, 9

Bon Gaultier Ballads, quoted, 71, et seq.

"Books are fatal," 52

Books, reading new, 221

Boredom, the secret of, 34

Bores, Lady Ashburton on, 30

Boudoir Ballads, quoted, 22, et seq.

Boyd, Mark, quoted, 56, et seq.

Bramston, John, quoted, 48

Braxfield, Lord, anecdote of, 133

"Break, break, break!" 213

Breitmann Ballads, quoted, 86, et seq.

Bright, John, Professor Blackie on, 204

Brighton, Collins on, 84; Ashby Sterry on, 211

British Birds, the, quoted, 21, et seq.

Broad church, the, 36

"Broken English," 136

Brooks, Shirley, quoted, 5, et seq.

Brown, to Lady, 214

Browne, C. F. See Ward, Artemus.

----, J. Jemmett, quoted, 5, et seq.

Brummell, mot by, 69


Buckle, Professor Blackie on, 127

Burnand, F. C., quoted, 88, et seq.

Busby, Dr., anecdote of, 150

Business, described, 8

Buxton, Charles, quoted, 27, et seq.

Byron, H. J., quoted, 10, et seq.

----, Lord, quoted, 7, et seq.; mot by, 62


Callender, Miss, mot on, 1

Calverley, C. S., quoted, 5, et seq.

Campbell, Thomas, quoted, 231; Rogers on, 35

Candide, Byron on, 216

Cannon, mot by, 135

"Cannot have everything," 63

Cappadocians, on the, 4

Careless Husband, the, quoted, 1

Carey, Henry, quoted, 11, et seq.

Carlyle, on, 180

Carols of Cockayne, quoted, 44, et seq.

Carroll, Lewis, quoted, 7, et seq.

Castlereagh, Lord, mot by, 34

Catch, light-fingered, 135

Cayley, G. J., quoted, 80, et seq.

Celebrity, Chamfort on, 13

Cerberus, H. J. Byron on, 228

Ceremony, 149

Chambermaids, Mark Twain on, 124

Chamfort, quoted, 13, et seq.

Character, on, 140

Characteristics, Hazlitt's, quoted, 15, et seq.

Charron, quoted, 174

Chatterton, Lady, quoted, 93

Chelmsford, Lord, mot by, 142

Chesterfield, Lord, quoted, 53, et seq.

Children, Dudley Warner on, 154

China, blue, 149

China-buying, 240

Chloe, Mortimer Collins's, 216

Chloris, to, 240

Chorley, H. F., quoted, 2, et seq.

Christ Church "Marriage," 193

Chrononhotonthologos, quoted, 11, et seq.

Churches as dormitories, 236

Cibber, Colley, quoted, 1

Clergy, the, and hoeing, 200

Close-fist's subscription, 194

Clough, A. H., quoted, 6, et seq.

"Coach, coach, coach!" 11

Cockney, the, 173

"Cognac," Byron on, 25

Coleridge, S. T., quoted, 76, et seq.

Collection of Epigrams, quoted, 3, et seq.

College life, 166

Collins, Mortimer, quoted, 21, et seq.

Comic Poets, quoted, 57, et seq.

Companies, Thurlow on, 72

Company, our own, 225

Compliments, 60, 188

Compton's Life, quoted, 14, et seq.; mots by, 55, et seq.

Conceits, Clinches, etc., quoted, 232, et seq.

Congreve, William, quoted, 12, et seq.

Conscience, Mallock on, 108;
Byron on, 116

Constancy, Vauvenargues on, 65

Constant, Benjamin, mot by, 230

Contentment, Holmes on, 24

Cork, Lady, anecdote of, 131

"Cornet waltzes, a," 54

Cornopean, the amateur, 173

Courage, drunken, on, 228

Courthope, W. J., quoted, 153

Courtship and marriage, 178

Cowden Clarke, Mrs., quoted, 78

Crawley, Richard, quoted, 36

Critics, the, 202

Croly, George, quoted, 188

Croquet, advice on, 224

Cunningham, John, quoted, 180

Curiosity only vanity, 240

Curran, mots by, 29, et seq.

"Cursed be the whole concern," 191


Daddy Longlegs, Whately on, 90

Damnation, preaching, 30

Darwin, on, 8, 180

Daughter, an obstinate, 37

Davies, Scrope, quoted, 130

Deshoulières, Madame, quoted, 37

Devil's Walk, the, quoted, 36

Diary, Crabb Robinson's, quoted, 24, et seq.

---- Greville's, quoted, 129

----, Moore's, quoted, 9, et seq.

----, W. C. Macready's, quoted, 75, et seq.

----, Young's, quoted, 4, et seq.

Dickens, Charles, quoted, 15, et seq.

Dinner, after, 185

Dinner-bell, Lord Byron on the, 7

Dipsychus, quoted, 163

"Dirty-two," 82

"Discontents, the," 21

Dobson, Austin, quoted, 11, et seq.

Domestic woman, a, 198

Donaldson, Dr., mots by, 24, et seq.

Don Juan, quoted, 7, et seq.

Donne, Dr., quoted, 48; mot by, 212

"Don't Care," Helps on, 13

D'Orsay, Count, mots by, 184, et seq.

Double Dealer, the, quoted, 12


Drake, Dr., mot by, 36

"Draw it mild," 219

Drawing on wood, 7

Dress, Vigo on, 222

Drinking, reasons for, 229

Dudley, Lord, Castlereagh on, 34; mot by, 241

Duenna, the, quoted, 37

Dumas fils, quoted, 87

Dust and disease, 78

"Dust of an earthy to-day, the," 261

Duty, Clough on, 6

Dying boy, the, 251


Early rising, Saxe on, 122;
Hood on, 195

Eater, on a small, 226

Edinburgh, Hannay on, 116

Eliot, George, quoted, 6, et seq.

Ellenborough, Lord, mot by, 84

Emerson, R. W., quoted, 47

Endymion, Lord Beaconsfield's, 80, et seq.

English Epigrams, quoted, 10, et seq.

---- language, the, 32, 60

"Entirely within their province," 244

Epigram in Distich, quoted, 85

Episcopal office, Sydney Smith on, 192

Equality, on, 45

Eugene Aram, quoted, 152

Evans, Anne, quoted, 49, et seq.

Evening dress, on ladies', 174

---- newspapers, 241

"Every-day young man, an," 263

Eye-glass, on the, 164


Fable for critics, a, quoted, 178

False love's quirk, 230

Fanshawe, Catherine M., quoted, 256

Fashion, Lytton on, 18

Feeding a cold, 42

Felix Holt, quoted, 26

Felons and their "innocent enjoyment," 241

Festus, quoted, 26

Fiddler, on a bad, 3

Fielding, Henry, quoted, 56

Fields, J. T., quoted, 14, et seq.

Fifty years of my life, quoted, 32, et seq.

Fine lady, a, Pope on, 42

"First men of the century," 185

Fitzgerald, Edward, quoted, 262

Flattery, Vauvenargues on, 95

Fly-leaves, quoted, 15, et seq.

Fools, Hazlitt on, 143

Foote, mots by, 211, et seq.

"Forever," 142

Fortune, on, 251

Forty year, 197

"Forty years long," 156

"Found it advisable," 57

"Four by honours," 33

Franklin, Mark Twain on, 178

Fraser, Professor, quoted, 247

Free-thinking, 113

"Free to confess," 47

Freeman, Mr., on, 242

----, Thomas, quoted, 196

"Friend, go thy way," 155

Friends and ripe fruit, 79

----, Hazlitt on, 106

—— in Council, quoted, 13, et seq.

----, Old, Selden on, 11

French, the, Harness on, 38

---- and English, 210

Froude and Kingsley, 111

Fuller, Francis, quoted, 173

Funny man, a, 30


Galla, Haryngton on, 225

"Gardener's rule, this," 248

Garnett, Richard, quoted, 60, et seq.

Gay, John, quoted, 240

Genus, 111

"Georgium Any-sidus," 99

German language, the, 237

"Gift of the gab," 74

Gilbert, W. S., quoted, 14, et seq.

Gilfil's love story, quoted, 41

Gillon, Joseph, mot by, 141

Good little girls, 115

"Good not the word," 55

Good people, Locker on, 204

Grapes and gripes, on, 155

Gratitude, popular, 189

Graves, Richard, quoted, 225

Greville, Charles, quoted, 129

Gronow's Recollections, quoted, 10, et seq.

Guesses at Truth, quoted, 5, et seq.


"Halidame, by thy," 257

Hamilton, Sir John, mot by, 28

Hannay, James, quoted, 23, et seq.

Happy Thoughts, quoted, 88, et seq.

Harness, William, mot by, 38

Harrison, W. H., quoted, 38, et seq.

Harte, Bret, quoted, 8, et seq.

Haryngton, Sir John, quoted, 225

Hay, John, quoted, 13, et seq.

Haydon, B. R., quoted, 4, et seq.


Hayward, Abraham, quoted, 3, et seq.

Hazlitt, William, quoted, 15, et seq.

Heath, Robert, quoted, 201

"Hegel's modest formula," 53

Heine, Heinrich, quoted, 126, et seq.

Helps, Sir Arthur, quoted, 13, et seq.

Heptalogia, the, quoted, 250

"Heureux plafond," 85

Hicks, epigrams by, 2, et seq.

High Life Below Stairs, quoted, 37

Hill, Aaron, quoted, 205

H.M.S. Pinafore, quoted, 56

Holmes, Oliver Wendell, quoted, 24, et seq.

Holland, Lord, epigram by, 51

"Home they brought," 200

Hood, Thomas, quoted, 3, et seq.;
anecdotes of, 155, et seq.

Hook, Theodore, mots by, 2, et seq.

Horace at Athens, quoted, 32, et seq.

—— in London, quoted, 34

Horse and Foot, quoted, 36

House of Commons, on, 160

"How doth the little crocodile," 118

Hugman, R., quoted, 92

Hugo, Victor, Heine on, 151

Humility, Selden on, 48

Hunt, Leigh, quoted, 228

Hunting of the Snark, the, quoted, 22, et seq.

Husband, an intemperate, 65

----, the desire of a, 177

"Hyam to Moses," 19

Hyperion, quoted, 117

Hypocrite, a, 148


"I and non-I," 246

"I loiter down," 162

"I make the butter fly," 32

Idylls and Epigrams, quoted, 60, et seq.

Ignorance, blessed, 201

----, Felix Holt on, 199

Immorality, present day, 92

Impositions of mankind, 263

Incapable person, on an, 252

Ingoldsby Lyrics, quoted, 12, et seq.

Insolence, 12

Intentions, good, 91

Irving, Washington, mot by, 4


Jabberwock, The, 220

Janet's Repentance, quoted, 96

Jeaffreson, J. C., quoted, 85

Jekyll, mot by, 26

Jenkins, Mrs., quoted, 171

Jenner, lines on, 6

Jerdan, William, quoted, 135

Jerrold, Douglas, mot by, 14

"John P. Robinson, he," 30

Johnson, Dr., quoted, 50

"Juliet was a fool," 53

"Jure mariti," 57

Juxtaposition, Clough on, 113


Kean, B. Smith and, 9

"Keep all you have," 17

Kemble, Fanny, quoted, 1, et seq.

Kenelm Chillingly, quoted, 39

Kenny, mot by, 156

"Kill him where he is," 147

King Arthur, quoted, 17

Kingsley and Froude, 111

Knowles, Sheridan, anecdotes of, 9, et seq.


Ladies in Parliament, quoted, 13, et seq.

Ladies' accomplishments, on, 132

Lady of Lyons, the, quoted, 130

Lafayette, Heine on, 227

Lake poets, the, 130

Lamb, Charles, mots by, 22, et seq.

Landor, Walter Savage, quoted, 64, et seq.

Lang, Andrew, quoted, 20, et seq.

La Rochefoucauld, quoted, 20, et seq.

Las Alforgas, quoted, 160

Latest Decalogue, the, 218

Latter-Day Lyrics, quoted, 101

Laughter, Byron on, 96

"Lays of now-a-days," 67

Leigh, H. S., quoted, 44,et seq.

Leland, C. G., quoted, 86, et seq.

Letters to Julia, quoted, 39

Lettuce and conversation, 169

Life described, 203

Lindsay, Lady Charlotte, mots by, 70, et seq.

Lingendes, Jean de, quoted, 151

Literary Gazette, the, quoted, 97

"Literature suited to desolate islands", 178

"Little Billee," quoted, 217

"Little knowledge, a," 95

"Livy was Tacitus," 122

Locker, Frederick, quoted, 8, et seq.

Lockhart, J. G., quoted, 141

London, Morris on, 4

—— Lyrics, quoted, 8, et seq.

Longfellow, quoted, 117


"Look to settlements," 145

Lothair, quoted, 6, et seq.

Lot's wife, Hicks on, 2

Love and marriage, 31, 99, 159, 168

---- and wisdom, 174

----, Chamfort on, 55

----, Corporal Bunting on, 152

----, first and second, 195

----, first, Bernal on, 112

—— for Love, quoted, 77

---- -letters, 158

"—— levels all," 239

---- -making, Balzac on, 4

----, manifestations of, 127

---- song, by H. Smith, 18

"Lovely woman, lump of folly," 184

"Love's but a dance," 27

Lowell, J. R., quoted, 30, et seq.

Lucilius, quoted, 208

Luck, good and bad, 150

"Luke-warm," 117

Luttrell, Henry, mots by, 23, et seq.;
quoted, 39

Lying and good breeding, 77

Lyra Urbanica, quoted, 4, et seq.

Lytton, Lord, quoted, 8, et seq.


"Macadamnable," 254

Macaulay, Lord, quoted, 2, et seq.

MacCulloch, mot by, 219

Mackay, Charles, quoted, 68

Macmillan's Magazine, quoted, 33, et seq.

Macready, W. C., quoted, 75

Magnanimity, Hazlitt on, 15

"Maidens of the mart," 19

Mallock, W. H., quoted, 46, et seq.

Man of business, the, 75

—— of Taste, the, quoted, 48

Man's end, 30

Margaret Percival, quoted, 15

Marie-Louise, 227

Marriage, Shirley Brooks on, 55;
Mrs. Steele on, 58;
Selden on, 71, 95;
Chamfort on, 79

Martial, in London, 169;
quoted, 221

Matrimony, Heine on, 171

Matter, the laws of, 46

Maximes, Chamfort's, quoted, 13, et seq.

Men, George Eliot on, 249

Men's nature, Buxton on, 27

Mendelssohn, anecdote of, 133

Meredith, George, quoted, 31

Merit, how treated, 28

Merry Wives of Windsor, the, 186

Middlemarch, quoted, 21, et seq.

Middleton, Lord, anecdote of, 172

Mill on the Floss, the, quoted, 17, et seq.

Mind and Matter, Neaves on, 140

Minorities, the rights of, 208

Mistura Curiosa, quoted, 147, et seq.

Mitford, Miss, quoted, 67, et seq.

"Mixture as before, the," 244

Modern Love, quoted, 31

Money, quoted, 60

----, Clough on, 163

Monk Lewis, anecdote of, 54

Montrond, mots by, 168, et seq.

Moore, Thomas, quoted, 9, et seq.

Morality, H. Smith on, 51

Mormons, on the, 197

Morris, Charles, quoted, 4, et seq.

"Most music-hall," 243

Mothers-in-law, 146, 247

Musa Burschicosa, quoted, 45, et seq.

"My Lord," 183

My Summer in a Garden, quoted, 47, et seq.


Narrow-souled people, 264

Neaves, Lord, quoted, 8, et seq.

Neilson, Miss, on, 67

"Never read," 89

Newell, R. H., quoted, 26, et seq.

Newgate Windows, on, 229

New Paul and Virginia, quoted, 46, et seq.

—— Republic, the, quoted, 92, et seq.

Newspapers, Lord Beaconsfield on, 152

Nice, on the word, 229

North, Lord, mot by, 67

Northern lights, on, 58

Notes of thought, quoted, 27, et seq.

"Nothing is, and nothing's not," 53

"—— new," 4

"—— particular on my mind," 40

Novel, A Nutshell, 119

----, a sensation, described, 93

November, Planché on, 203

Number One, Lytton on, 50


O'Connell, Morgan John, mot by, 70

Old Bachelor, the, quoted, 178

Old Times and Distant Places, quoted, 34

Oliphant, Lawrence, quoted. 35, et seq.

Once a Week, quoted, 9, et seq.

Onion, the, 47

"—— is strength," 105

Orange, the, 156

Orpheus C. Kerr Papers, quoted, 26, et seq.


Original sin, 231

Outram, George, quoted, 179

Overbury, Sir Thomas, quoted, 104

Owl, the, quoted, 64


Palladas, quoted, 59, et seq.

Pall Mall Gazette, the, quoted, 53, et seq.

Palmerston, Lord, mot by, 85

Paradise of Birds, the, quoted, 153

"Parcus deorum cultor," 73

Parr, Dr., Basil Montague on, 129

Pascal, quoted, 240

Patchwork, quoted, 45, et seq.

Patience, quoted, 88, et seq.

Patrons' promises, Lord Holland on, 51

Paul Clifford, quoted, 8

Peel, Sir Robert, mot by, 111

Pelham, quoted, 18

Pennell, H. Cholmondeley, quoted, 16, et seq.

Pensées, Pascal's, quoted, 240

Permissive Bill, the, 203

"Personal" and "real," 32

Phantasmagoria, quoted, 85, et seq.

Phœbe, to, 187

Phryne, Donne on, 48

Physiologie du Mariage, quoted, 4, et seq.

Piccadilly, quoted, 35, et seq.

"Pickle your lordship!" 247

Picnic party, a, 15, 86

Pictures, seeing, 151

Piety and cooking, 112

Pirates of Penzance, the, quoted, 58

"Plain leg of mutton," 55

Planché, J. R., quoted, 9, et seq.

Pleasing, the art of, 31

Pleasure of not going to church, the, 254

Pleasures of the people, the, 234

Plunket, mots by, 32, et seq.

Poems and Music, quoted, 49, et seq.

Poetical Farrago, the, quoted, 154

Poets' meaning, Byron on, 21

Poisoners, social, 110

"Policeman's lot, the," 209

Pommery Gréno, 193

Poole, mot by, 161

Poor relations, George Eliot on, 43

Pope, Alexander, quoted, 42, et seq.

Popular man, a, 122

Positivists, the, Collins on, 108, 138

Poverty, on, 85;
the ancients on, 8

Practical man, a, 49

"Practising all night," 35

Praed, W. M., quoted, 128

Praise, La Rochefoucauld on, 20

Preaching, Baron Alderson on, 174

Preoccupied man, a, 129

Presbyterian singing, 215

Pride of talent, 73

"Priest's orders," 61

Prigs, 120

Prima donna, the, and stout, 5

Primitive man, Lang on, 20

---- tongue, the, 49

Princess-robe, the, 84

Privileged person, a, 250

"Pro conibus calidis," 68

Procter, Bryan Waller, quoted, 35

Property in England, 165

Prophecy, a mistake, 239

Prospectus, 41

Proverbs in Porcelain, quoted, 27, et seq.

Public dinners, Helps on, 44

Public-house, on a, 90

Puck on Pegasus, quoted, 16, et seq.

Punch, quoted, 228, et seq.

Punsters, Lamb on, 246

Pygmalion, on, 5


Question d'Argent, la, quoted, 87


Radical, on a certain, 215

---- reformer, on a, 23

Rank and trade, on, 5

Recognition, the, 183

Recollections, Berkeley's, quoted, 142

----, Gronow's, quoted, 10, et seq.

----, Mackay's, quoted, 68, et seq.

----, Planché's, quoted, 9, et seq.

Record of a Girlhood, quoted, 1, et seq.

Reece, Robert, quoted, 57, et seq.

Réflexions, Deshoulières', quoted, 37

----, La Rochefoucauld's, 20, et seq.

----, Vauvenargues', quoted, 65, et seq.

Reliable, on the word, 170

Religion, Selden on, 176

---- of humanity, the, 242

Reminiscences, Boyd's, quoted, 56, et seq.

----, Teignmouth's, 36, et seq.

Repentance, La Rochefoucauld on, 59;
Hazlitt on, 60

Retz, Cardinal de, quoted, 96

Reynolds, Hamilton, mot by, 133

Richelieu, quoted, 76

"Rise up, cold reverend," 83

Robinson, Crabb, quoted, 24, et seq.

Rogers, Samuel, quoted, 1, et seq.; mots by, 21, et seq.


Romances, Byron on, 177

Romola, quoted, 6, et seq.

"Rose kissed me to-day," 48

Rose, Sir George, mots by, 33, et seq.

Rossini, anecdotes of, 76, et seq.

Routh, Dr., mot by, 86

"Rum and true religion," 159


"Saddest when I sing," 16

Safety in numbers, 98

Saints and sinners, 81

Salad, Mortimer Collins on, 236

Satan a blunderer, 225

Saunders and Otley, 94

Savile Clarke, H., quoted, 125, et seq.

Sawyer, William, quoted, 65, et seq.

Saxe, John Godfrey, quoted, 10, et seq.

Scandal, on, 196

Scotch economy, 40

Scotch tunes, 152

Scotch weather, on, 205

Season, the, quoted, 19, et seq.

Sègur, Comte de, quoted, 87

Selden, John, quoted, 11, et seq.

Self-satisfaction, 235

Sensible men, the religion of, 146

Sermons, stolen, 258, 259

"Sermons and soda-water," 150

Sewell, Miss, quoted, 15

"Shade over, a," 226

Shakespeare, quoted, 10

Shelburne, Lord, mot by, 159

Shenstone, William, quoted, 44, et seq.

Sheridan, R. B., quoted, 37; mot by, 65

"Shickspur," 37

Shotover Papers, the, quoted, 83, et seq.

Sidey, J. A., quoted, 147

Sinclair, Archdeacon, quoted, 34

"Sing for the garish eye," 14

Singer, on a bad, 76

"Singing singers, the," 87

Sketches and Characters, quoted, 23, et seq.

Smith, Horace, quoted, 18, et seq.; mot by, 25

----, James, mot by, 213;
quoted, 34, et seq.

----, Robert, mots by, 2, et seq.

----, Sydney, mots by, 1, et seq.

Societies, Chesterfield on, 208

Society, a state of war, 231

Society, two classes in, 120

Songs and Poems, Planché's, quoted, 75, et seq.

Songs and Verses, Neaves's, quoted, 8, et seq.

—— of many Seasons, quoted, 5, et seq.

—— of Singularity, quoted, 32, et seq.

Sorcerer, the, quoted, 61

Southesk, Lord, quoted, 230

Speculation, George Eliot on, 52

---- and peculation, 210

"Splendid shilling, the," 260

Squinted, on one who, 207

Steele, Mrs. A. C., quoted, 5, et seq.

Stephens, H. P., quoted, 127, et seq.

Stuart Mill on Mind and Matter, 140

Stupid people, on, 179

Stupidity, Heine on, 159

Suckling, Sir John, quoted, 98

Sunday dismality, 123

Swift, Jonathan, quoted, 49, et seq.


Table Talk, Selden's, quoted, 1, et seq.

Tailors, Overbury on, 104

"Take him for half and half," 68

Talleyrand, mot by, 10

Teignmouth, Lord, quoted, 36, et seq.

Temper, on losing, 138

"Tender ten," 53

Tennyson, Alfred, quoted, 148;
anecdote of, 132

----, after, 260

Thackeray, mots by, 46, et seq.;
quoted, 55

Theatrical nuisance, on a, 220

Theophilus, Rogers on, 1

Theory, a favourite, 248

Thurlow, Lord, mot by, 72

"Tide of time, the," 107

Tierney, mot by, 136

Time, on, 253

Tin Trumpet, the, quoted, 18, et seq.

"Tommy Onslow", 46

Tom Thumb, 258

Tom Thumb, quoted, 56

"Too much—too much," 136

"To sniggle or to dibble," 175

"To urn or not to urn," 65

Town and country, 128

Townshend, Henry, quoted, 130

Tradition, George Eliot on, 76

Tragedies and comedies, 124

Trapp, Dr., epigram on, 154

Traveller, the, and the gorilla, 60

Travelling, on, 180

Trevelyan, G. O., quoted, 13, et seq.

Trial by Jury, quoted, 43

"Trifles," on, 214

Turner, Godfrey, quoted, 20


Turnips, Mark Twain on, 19

Twain, Mark, quoted, 19, et seq.

'Twas ever thus, 198

Tweeddale, Lady, story of, 2

Twelfth Night, quoted, 10

"Twinkle, twinkle, little bat," 97

Tyndall, Professor, Collins on, 192


Umbrellas, on, 240

University Magazine, the, quoted, 38

"Upper G., my," 139


Vanity, 143, 116

Vauvenargues, quoted, 65, et seq.

Veiled Prophet, the, parody on, 222

Veracity, George Eliot on, 68

Verses and Translations, quoted, 5, et seq.

"Vexation of spirit," 35

Vignettes in Rhyme, quoted, 11, et seq.

Virtutem, in, 196

"Voice of the lobster," 42

Voltaire, quoted, 34;
Charles Lamb on, 220


Walpole, Horace, quoted, 2, et seq.

Walrus and the Carpenter, the, 158

Ward, Artemus, quoted, 7, et seq.

Warner, Charles Dudley, quoted, 47, et seq.

Warrender, Sir George, story of, 239

Washington, George, Mark Twain on, 185

Water, Lord Neaves on, 181

Weather, the clerk of the, 249

Webbe, Egerton, quoted, 170

"Wedlock is a sober thing," 262

"Weed, the," Neaves on, 70

Welsh language, the, 238

Werther and Charlotte, 166

Whiting and the snail, the, 7

Whately, anecdotes of, 3, et seq.

What will he do with it? quoted, 89, et seq.

"When other lips," 190

"Whims and oddities," 3, et seq.

Whitings or shoeblacks, 256

"Why the Dickens," 16

Wife, a, 108

"Wife who preaches, a," 135

Wife's dress, a, 227

"Wife's a widdy, his," 101

"Wilcox or Gibbs?" 21

Wit and Humour, Brooks's, quoted, 6, et seq.

Wit of a family, the, 257

Within an Ace, quoted, 171

Wives, on, 167

Woman, a, with babbies, 196

---- before marriage, 245

Woman's choice, 143

---- self-love, 163

Women and a secret, 76

---- and books, 217, 130

---- and degrees, 104

---- and fact, 41

---- and flattery, 114, 132

---- and insincerity, 163

----, and men's happiness, 126

----, and men's praise, 126

---- and revenge, 54

---- and spite, 107

---- and their lovers, 13, 77

---- and wills, 92

----, and young and old, 120

---- as unionists, 151

----, Bartle Massey on, 175

----, Congreve on, 243

---- in a garden, 247

----, management of, 39

---- matched with men, 160

----, talkativeness of, 131

----, the two passions of, 125

Women's conversation, 49

---- rights, 86

---- virtue, 135, 205

Working by the hour, 139

Working-man, the, 161

World, the, quoted, 76

Wraxall, Sir Nathaniel, quoted, 138

Writing-master, on a left-handed, 173

"Wus, ever wus," 78


Yates, Edmund, quoted, 106, et seq.

Yesterdays with authors, quoted, 14, et seq.

Young, Brigham, 157

----, J. C., quoted, 4, et seq.

---- ladies of to-day, 137

---- men of to-day, 93


Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious typographical and punctuation errors have been corrected but no attempt at consistency of spelling or punctuation has been made, as the entire text consists of direct quotations from other sources.

An Index is provided at the end of the book. A few minor corrections have been made to it.

End of Project Gutenberg's Quips and Quiddities, by William Davenport Adams


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