Miscellany (1846)

Danger of a Laugh

A man was recently tried and convicted in England for breaking some windows in a watchouse. He was identified by his laugh.


Give Back the Kiss

A young lady being severely censured by her mother because she had permitted a young man to give her a kiss, replied, “La, mother, if you will say no more about it, I will give it back to him tomorrow.”


Those Codfish Eyes

“Do you find my eyes expressive of my feelings?” said a sentimental lover to the lady he desired to please. “Oh yes, I presume so,” said the lady, “they make me think of a codfish dying with the toothache!”


Silence Gives Consent

“Silence gives consent,” as the man said when he kissed the dumb women. “One extreme follows the other,” as the little dog gaily remarked when he flew round after his own tail.


Gingerbread Work

We saw the cutest specimen of gingerbread work on the day of the cattle show, that we ever witnessed, in the person of a verdant youth, who had come to town with his ‘Duleinea,’ and whom we met several times in the course of the day, with his coat off, his lady hanging  on his arm, and the hands and mouths of both parties as full of gingerbread as their heads were of wonder and their simple hearts of love.

– Ib.


Adam’s Foot

What did Adam first plant in the Garden of Eden?  His foot.


Ladies & Ice Cream

When a young lady walks out with you, because she loves ice cream, it is foolish to imagine that it is yourself whom she loves.


A New Umbrella

A new umbrella has been manufactured, called the “lending umbrella.” It is made of brown paper and willow twigs intended exclusively to accommodate a friend.


Eloquent Extract

“Generation after generation,” says an eloquent writer, “have felt as we feel, and their fellows, were as active as our own. They passed away like a vapor, while nature wore the same aspect of beauty as when her creator commanded her to be. The heavens shall be as bright over our graves as they are now around our paths. The world will have the same attractions for our offspring yet unborn, that she had once for ourselves, and that she has now for our children. Yet a little while and all of this will have happened. The throbbing heart will be stifled, and we shall be at rest. Our funeral will wind its way, and the prayers will be said, and our friend will return, and we shall be left to darkness. And it may be for a short time that we shall be spoken of but the things of life will creep in, and our names will soon be forgotten. Days will continue to move on, and laughter and song will be heard in the place where we died; and the eye that mourned for us will be dried, and glisten again with joy; and even our children will cease to think of use, and will not remember to lisp our names.


Invisible Wig

They have got a machine called an Invisible Wig.  No doubt it is a very handsome affair.  Probably it is transparent.  That must be delightful, as it will keep the head warm while the native baldness remains.


Split the Difference

“”I feel too lazy to work,” said a loafer, and I have no time to play; I think I’ll go to bed and split the difference.”


The Sweetest Month

May, sweetest month of all they sisters, they budding leaves and flowers, they green fields and balmy air we love. Thou alone sweet queen of all they train, can call us back to childhood, for man, like the bath his autumn and winter; like thee, he is ready, in the morning of his life to receive the grain that in the autumn of his existence is to yield a rich and golden harvest, that will support him in the December of his days.


Things in America

This country has a frontier line more than 10,000 miles. We have a line of sea coast of nearly 4,000 miles, and lake coast of 1200 miles. One of our rivers is twice the size or length of the Danube, the largest river in Europe. The State of Virginia is one-third larger than England, and the territory of the United States is capable of sustaining a population greater than that of all the kingdoms of Europe collectively, and with vastly better accommodation at that.


Walking on Broken Legs

Here is a pleasant story form Walpole’s correspondence. It seduce us into a hearty laugh when we were very dull, and far from cheerful. Perhaps it may have a similar effect upon some temporary lugubrious readers:

“I must add a curious story, which I believe will surprise your Italian surgeons, as it has amazed the faculty here. A sailor who had broken his leg was advised to communicate his case to the Royal Society. The account he gave was, that having fallen from the top of the mast and fractured his leg, he had dressed it with nothing but tar oakum, and yet in three days was able to walk as well as before the accident. The story at first appeared quite incredible, as such efficacious qualities were not known in tar, and still in oakum; nor was a poor sail to be credited on his own bare assertion of so wonderful a cure. The society very reasonably demanded a fuller relation, and I suppose the corroboration of evidence. Many doubted whether the leg had been really broken. – That part of the story had been amply verified. Still it now difficult to believe that the man had made use of no other applications than tar and oakum, and how they should cure a broken leg in three days, even if they could cure it at all, was a matter of the most wonder. Several letters passes between the society and the patient, who preserved in the most solemn assertions of having used no other remedies, and it does appear beyond a doubt that the man speak truth. It is a little uncharitable, but I fear there are surgeons who might not like this abbreviations of attendance and expense; but on the other hand,you will be charmed with the plain, honest simplicity of the sailor. In a postscript to his last letter he added these words: “I forgot to tell your honors that the leg was a wooden one.”

—Ex. Paper



A N.Y. Faber says: “carelessly knocking a man’s eye out, with a broken axe may be termed a bad axe-i-dent.”


Kissed to Death

Some wag has cold been kissed to death by a pretty girl, a “capital punishment.”


Oh Hoe!

“Ah ha,” said the farmer to the corn. “Oh hoe!” said the corn to the farmer.


Curious Timepiece

In one of the most fashionable resorts in Paris is a cannon loaded and primed, and so placed that the focus of a burning glass falls upon the powder precisely at twelve o’clock; of course every pleasant day the hour of noon is indicated by the firing of the cannon. On every such day a crowd gathers round it to watch the progress of the sun spot, and the manner in which the motion of the earth on its axis is made to fire off artillery.


Men and Marriage

“Ma,” said the little girl to her mother, “do the men want to get married as much as the women do?”

“Psha, Puss; what are you talking about?”

“Why, ma, the women who come here are always talking about getting married, the men don’t do so.”


Law and Physics

When Dr. H. and Seargent A. were walking arm-in-arm, a wag says to a friend – “Those two are just equal to one highwayman.”

“Why so?” was the response.

“Because,” rejoined the wag, “it is a lawyer and a doctor – your money or your life.”


Quandrupedal Applause

Quandrupedal Applause. – At a public meeting in the Marlboro Chapel, Boston, a week or two ago, while a dull speaker was addressing the meeting, frequent applause was heard to proceed from the seat where sat the kind-hearted Dr. –– and though somewhat against their grain, the audience joined in thereby encouraging the man to continue talking at a tedious rate, until, out of patience, a friend of the physician went to him, and good naturedly remonstrated with him. The Doctor assured him that it was not him, and on investigation, it proved to be a dog scratching out fleas! The constant rapping of his paw had led the applause throughout the evening.



When we reflect that every mother has children of surprising genius, it is a matter of serious inquiry where all the ordinary men come from who cross our path in every day life.


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