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PREFACE. The design of the projector of this volume was, that it should contain the Best of the shorter humorous poems in the literatures of England and the United States, except: Poems so local or cotemporary in subject or allusion, as not to be readily understood by the modern American reader; Poems which, from the freedom of expression allowed in the healthy ages, can not now be read aloud in a company of men and women; Poems that have... more...

II—HOW TO OPEN A CONVERSATION After the ceremony of introduction is completed the next thing to consider is the proper way to open a conversation. The beginning of conversation is really the hardest part. It is the social equivalent to "going over the top." It may best be studied in the setting and surroundings of the Evening Reception, where people stand upright and agonise, balancing a dish of ice-cream. Here conversation reaches its... more...

"Why, how d'do, Mrs. Miggs? Come right on in. Ma's jist run over t' Smith's a minute t' borruh some thread and some m'lasses and a couple uh aigs. Aw! yes, come on—she'll be right back. Let's see: S'pose we set on th' sofa and I'll show yuh th' album, so's yuh'll kinda begin t' know some of our folks. We like t' be real neighborly and make new folks feel t' home. There! now we're fixed. "This here first one's ma when she was little. Ain't... more...

AFTER A ROUGH PASSAGE, BROWN, JONES, AND ROBINSON ARE HERE SEEN LANDED AT OSTEND, SURROUNDED, AND A LITTLE BEWILDERED, BY THE NATIVES, WHO OVERWHELM THEM WITH ATTENTIONS—SEIZE THE LUGGAGE, THRUST CARDS INTO THEIR HANDS, DRAG THEM IN SEVERAL DIRECTIONS AT ONCE, ALL TALKING TOGETHER (WHICH PREVENTED THEIR DIRECTIONS BEING SO CLEAR AS THEY OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE BEEN)—AND, FINALLY, ALL EXPECTING MONEY!   THEY ARE AT THE DOUANE,... 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...


CHAPTER I. THE ALBUM—THE MEDITERRANEAN HEATH. Travelling some little time back in a wild part of Connemara, where I had been for fishing and seal-shooting, I had the good luck to get admission to the chateau of a hospitable Irish gentleman, and to procure some news of my once dear Ottilia. Yes, of no other than Ottilia v. Schlippenschlopp, the Muse of Kalbsbraten-Pumpernickel, the friendly little town far away in Sachsenland,—where... more...

BERNARD BLACKMANTLE{*} TO THE REVIEWERS. "But now, what Quixote of the age would careTo wage a war with dirt, and fight with air?" Messieurs the Critics, After twelve months of agreeable toil, made easy by unprecedented success, the period has at length arrived when your high mightinesses will be able to indulge your voracious appetites by feeding and fattening on the work of death. Already does my prophetic spirit picture to itself the black... more...

INTRODUCTORY The word Caricature does not lend itself easily to precise definition. Etymologically it connects itself with the Italian caricare, to load or charge, thus corresponding precisely in derivation with its French equivalent Charge; and—save a yet earlier reference in Sir Thomas Browne—it first appears, as far as I am aware, in that phrase of No. 537 of the Spectator, "Those burlesque pictures which the Italians call... more...

"Never mind," sez Albert Edard, "I'm glad to see you, Mister Ward, at all events," & he tuk my hand so plesunt like & larfed so sweet that I fell in love with him to onct. He handid me a segar & we sot down on the Pizarro & commenst smokin rite cheerful. "Wall," sez I, "Albert Edard, how's the old folks?" "Her Majesty & the Prince are well," he sed. "Duz the old man take his Lager beer reglar?" I inquired. The Prince larfed... more...

I.  Not concerning a thing of no moment, O Conscript Fathers, you are now called upon to decide: whether to one man by the counsel and advice of Curators it is to be permitted that he should take away from you the power of placing in the Proscholium the instruments of celerity, the assistances of (your) feet, the machines appointed by a certain natural providence for the performance of your duties: whether, in which place our ancestors sold... more...