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PREFACE The ways of telling a story are as many as the tellers themselves. It is impossible to lay down precise rules by which any one may perfect himself in the art, but it is possible to offer suggestions by which to guide practise in narration toward a gratifying success. Broadly distinguished, there are two methods of telling a story. One uses the extreme of brevity, and makes its chief reliance on the point. The other devotes itself in... more...

BEST SHORT STORIES THE POINT OF HONOR A young lieutenant was passed by a private, who failed to salute. The lieutenant called him back, and said sternly: "You did not salute me. For this you will immediately salute two hundred times." At this moment the General came up. "What's all this?" he exclaimed, seeing the poor private about to begin. The lieutenant explained. "This ignoramus failed to salute me, and as a punishment, I am making him... more...

It's a long lane that has no ashbarrel.   Distilled waters run deep. ABSINTHE From two Latin words, ad, and sinistrum, meaning "to the bad." If in doubt, try one. (Old adage, "Absinthe makes the jag last longer)." ABSTINENCE   From the Persian ab, water, and stein, or tankard. Hence, water-tankard, or "water wagon." ACCESSION A beheading process by which you may either win or lose a political job. Old... more...

by Various
LORD MANSFIELD AND HIS COACHMAN. The following is an anecdote of the late Lord Mansfield, which his lordship himself told from the bench:—He had turned off his coachman for certain acts of peculation, not uncommon in this class of persons. The fellow begged his lordship to give him a character. "What kind of character can I give you?" says his lordship. "Oh, my lord, any character your lordship pleases to give me, I shall most thankfully... more...

Don’t be ashamed to let us knowWhy you tried matrimony,For others brave the under-towFor reasons quite as funny;We give these little facts away,Perhaps it is a treason,Don’t marry in an off-hand way,Be sure “there’s a reason!” THE AUTHOR     STUNG! He was a gentle and sensitive chap,He married the forceful Miss Howe,He wanted her sympathy, did the poor yap—He has everyone’s sympathy... more...


FOREWORD Having recently passed into what my great-grandson Shem calls my Anecdotage, it has occurred to me that perhaps some of the recollections of a more or less extended existence upon this globular mass of dust and water that we are pleased to call the earth, may prove of interest to posterity, and I have accordingly, at the earnest solicitation of my grandson, Noah, and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japhet, consented to put them into permanent... more...

CHAPTER ONETHE JUDGES OF ENGLAND Mr. Justice Darling, whose witty remarks from the Bench are so much appreciated by his audiences in Court, and, it is rumoured, are not always received with approval by his brother judges, says, in his amusing book Scintillæ Juris: "It is a common error to suppose that our law has no sense of humour, because for the most part the judges who expound it have none." But law is, after all, a serious... more...

PROEM. We are coming to the rescue,Just a hundred strong;With fun and pun and epigram,And laughter, wit, and song; With badinage and repartee,And humor quaint or bold,And stories that are stories,Not several æons old; With parody and nondescript,Burlesque and satire keen,And irony and playful jest,So that it may be seen That women are not quite so dull:We come—a merry throng;Yes, we're coming to the rescue,And just a hundred... more...

PREFACE. Some eighteen months ago I took this brilliant bunch of brain burrs to my esteemed Publisher and with much enthusiasm invited him to spend a lot of money thereon. The Main Stem in the Works informed me that he had his fingers on the public pulse and just as soon as that pulse began to jump and yell for something from my fiery pen he would throw the Silly Syclopedia at it. Then he placed my MS. in the forward turret of his... more...

The Author of this little work cannot allow a second edition of it to go forth to the world, unaccompanied by a few words of apology, he being desirous of imitating, in every respect, the example of distinguished writers. He begs that so much as the consciousness of being answerable for a great deal of nonsense, usually prompts a man to say, in the hope of disarming criticism, may be considered to have been said already. But he particularly... more...