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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 (4)

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Transcripts from original newspaper articles: -

Page Contents

A “fast” man undertook the task of teazing an eccentric preacher

A LADY asked a minister

Boiling A Tea Kettle

Child & Mother

Dickens’ Household Words

Distance Against Time

Gentleman and no Gentleman

Good Advice To Everybody

How changeable the wind is

Husband, I don’t know where that boy got his bad temper

That motion is out of order

Well And Simply Said

WHAT are you doing with the lumber

Victorian Humour…. “How changeable the wind is!” said an old lady. “It is the changeablest thing I ever did see. When I, went up Washington Street, it was blowin’ in my face; and when I turned to go down, don’t you think it went blowin’ right on my…


Child and Mother
CHILD: “And you won’t give me a penny, mamma? Yet you always say you love me.”
MOTHER: “When you are older, dear, you will understand better how much I love you.”
Child (Disparagingly): “If you loved me so much, mamma, why didn’t you marry the sweet-shop man

Click here to see Original Newspaper Article for the following two items.

A “fast” man undertook the task of teazing an eccentric preacher. “Do you believe,” he said, “in the story of the prodigal son and the fattened calf?” “Yes,” said the preacher. “Well, then, was it a male or female calf that was killed?” “A female,” promptly replied the divine. “How do you know that?” “Because (looking the interrogator steadily in the face) I see the make is alive now.


Would you like to subscribe for Dickens’ Household Words*?” inquired a magazine agent. “I guess not – household words have played the dickens with me long enough.

*Charles Dickens published Household Words between 1850 & 1859. For further reading vist Household Words & Victorian Web.

DISTANCE AGAINST TIME. – “Gentlemen,” said an old Yorkshire horse-dealer, as he examined the points of a horse, “I don’t see but one reason why that mare can’t trot her mile in three minutes.” Everybody gathered round to hear this oracular opinion; and one inquired “What is it?” – “Why,” replied the old gentleman, “the distance is too great for so short a time.

A Foxy Lady
A LADY asked a minister whether a person might not be fond of dress and ornament without being proud. “Madam,” said the minister, “when you see a fox’s tail peeping out of the hole, you may be sure the fox is within.

Husband and Wife
“Husband, I don’t know where that boy got his bad temper; I am sure not from me.” – “No, my dear, for I don’t find that you have lost any.

“That motion is out of order,” remarked the chairman of a political meeting to a rowdy who was raising his arm to throw a rotten egg at him.

…. BOILING A TEA-KETTLE. – Which is the most trying to a woman – a green-horn of a servant girl, or a stove that “won’t draw” the day she expects company?
Mrs. Jones hired, the other day, a Miss McDermott, just from Cork. Miss McDermott was ordered to “Boil the tea-kettle.”
“The What?”
“The tea-kettle.”
“An’ do you mane* that?”
“Certainly. If I did not I would not have ordered you to do it – and be quick about it.”
“Yes, marm.”

Miss McDermott obeyed orders. In about a half hour afterwards Mrs. Jones resumed the conversation.
“Where’s the kettle, Bridget?”
“In the dinner-pot, marm?”
“In the what?”
“In the dinner-pot. You told be to boil it, and I’ve had a scald on it for nearly an hour.”
Mrs. Jones could hear no more. She had a rush of blood to the head, and went into a swoon. The last we saw of her she was being carried up stairs in an arm-chair.

*mane = mean

Gentleman and no Gentleman. The late Vicar of Sheffield, the Rev. Dr. Lutton, once said to the late Mr. Peech, veterinary surgeon:
“Mr. Peech, how is it that you have not called upon me for your account?”
“O,” said Mr. Peech, “I never ask a gentleman for money.”
“Indeed,” said the vicar; “then how do you get on if he don’t pay?”
“Why,” replied Mr. Peech. “after a certain time I conclude that he is not a gentleman, and then I ask him!”

Get Aboard the steamboat

Victorian Humour“WHAT are you doing with the lumber?” cried a steamboat captain to an Irishman, who was staggering towards the boat, beneath the weight of a huge plank, just as the bell was ringing for the last time. “What am I doing – sure, wasn’t it yerself as said, all ye’s as is going “get a board”, and isn’t this an illegant one intirely?” said the Hibernian triumphantly, amid the laughter of the spectators. The captain gave him his “board” and passage that trip.


If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care: -
Of whom you speak – to whom you speak,
And how – and when – and where.

A preacher stopped short in the pulpit: it was in vain that he scratched his head – nothing would come out. “My friends,” said he, as he walked quietly down the pulpit stairs – “my friends, I pity you; for you have lost a fine discourse.”

WELL AND SIMPLY SAID. Shelton, in one of his sermons, says: - “An upright is always easier than a recumbent posture, because it is more natural, and one part is better supported by another; so it is easier to be an honest man than a knave. It is also more graceful.”