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George Burgess
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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Humour

A Compilation of short articles (3)

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Transcripts from original newspaper articles: -

Page Contents

A Bachelor Scratch

A Man With A Red Face

A Rather Seedy-Looking Customer

A Stump Orator

A Tipsy Customer

All Of A Size

American Declaration Of Independence

Be Careful

Being Literal As To Widows

It Is Harder To Avoid Censure Than To Gain Applause

Way To Get A Seat

A STUMP ORATOR. – An Ohio stump orator, while making a speech, paused in the midst of it, and exclaimed, “Now, gentlemen, what do you think?” Instantly a man rose in the assembly, and, with one eye partially closed, modestly replied, “I think, sir, I do, indeed, sir – I think if you and I were to stump the country together we would tell more lies than any other two men in the country – sir, and I'd not say a word.”

A TIPSY customer who was seated on the box with a stage driver, swayed backwards until he tumbled off. The mud was deep, and he felt soft.
“There now,” he exclaimed, “I know you would upset if you didn’t take care!”
On being told that he had not upset, he said, with amazement:
“Not upset: if I had known that I would not have got off!”

Lawyer, to deaf witness: “Do you know plaintiff’s pigs?”
Witness: “Eh?” (very loud).
Lawyer (raising his voice): “Do-you-know-plaintiff’s pigs?”
Witness: “Yes.”
Lawyer: “How long have you known them?”
Witness: “Eh?”
Lawyer (louder still): “How long have you known them?”
Witness; “Fed ‘em all last spring”
Lawyer “Were they all about a size?
Witness: “Eh?”
Lawyer (rises on his feet petulantly, and shakes his fore-finger, at the conclusion of each word, at the witness): “Were-they-all-of-a-size?”
Witness: “Some ov ‘em wor, and some of ‘em worn’t!”

American Declaration of Independence
AMERICAN DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. – A gentleman who had just returned from Arkansas heard the following conversation at a tavern: - “Halloa, Boy!” – “Halloa yourself!” – “Can I get breakfast here?” – “I don’t reckon you can.” – “Why not?” – “Massa’s away, mistress’s drunk, the baby’s got colic, and I don’t care a darn for nobody!”

A Bachelor's scratch
Let a bachelor get a scratch upon his face and it is said he has been in on awful fight; but when a married man appears with two black eyes, a swollen face, and a severe head-ache, it is only said that he has fallen into a little “love spat.”

BE CAREFUL. – Several anecdotes turn on that inexhaustible theme for merriment, the sorrows of matrimony. In passing through the streets a bier was struck against the corner of a house, and the corpse reanimated by the shock. Some years afterwards, when the woman died in good earnest, her husband called out to the bearers, “Pray, gentlemen, be careful in turning the corners.”

BEING LITERAL AS TO WIDOWS. – At a recent meeting of a parish, a strait-laced and most exemplary curate submitted a report, in writing, of the destitute widows and others who stood in need of assistance from the parish. “Are you sure, reverend sir,” asked another solemn brother, “that you have embraced all the widows?” He said he believed he had.

A Free Meal
A RATHER seedy-looking customer came into a restaurant and said to the proprietor, “What do you ask for nicely-cooked beefsteak, well done, with onions?”
“A shilling.”
“And the gravy?”
“Oh, we don’t charge anything for the gravy.”
“You don’t. That’s liberal. How much do you charge for the bread?”
“We throw in the bread.”
“Is it good bread?”
“It is.”
“So you throw in the bread and gravy?”
“Then bring me some bread and gravy. It’s not healthy to eat meat at this time of the year.”

…. It is harder to avoid censure than to gain applause, for this may be done by one great or wise action in any age. But to escape ensure a man must pass his whole life without doing one ill for foolish action.

WAY TO GET A SEAT. – A few weeks ago an old gentleman and his lady were coming down from Iowa City to Davenport when the cars were crowded. A young man got up and gave the old lady a seat, while his companion, another young gent., remained steadfast, and let the old gentleman stand. This did not suit our old friend, so he concluded to get a seat in some way, and quick at thought, turned to the young man on the seat beside his wife, and said – “Will you be so kind as to watch that woman while I get a seat in the other car? She has fits.” This startled the young gent. He could not bear the idea of taking charge of a fitty old woman; so the old gentleman got a seat, and his wife never was known to take a fit afterwards. – Davenport Democrat.

…. A man with a red face, and looking rather shabby called at a house in the country on Sunday, and asked for a drink of cider. The good lady of the house refused, telling him, that she would not. He urged, telling her that she had better, for some persons had entertained angels unawares. “Yes,” said she, “I know that; but angels don’t go about drinking cider on Sunday.”