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The wit of Lincoln, the wisdom of Franklin, and other bits of wit online

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"So the people coming here can get awaigh."

100 The Wit of Lincoln



A sneak thief went into a Jew clothing store and
tried on a coat and vest. When the Jew turned to
get the pants the man ran out of the store. The Jew
was near the door and hallooed for the police. A
policeman was near the door and saw the thief run-
ning. He drew his revolver to shoot. The Jew said,
excitedly: "Shoot him in the pants. The coat and
vest is mine."



An Irishman was arrested on the charge of mur-
der for killing a man in a fight where both were
drunk. He was afraid he would be sent up for life,
so he told a juryman on the case if he would hang
out for manslaughter he would pay him one hun-
dred dollars. The jury was out all night and most
of the day, when they came in with a verdict of
manslaughter. The Irishman rushed to the juror
and said: "I am much obliged to you. You must
have had a very hard time." "I did," said the juror,
*'had the time of my life. From start to finish the
other eleven were determined to acquit you, but I
held on until I got what you wanted."

The Wisdom of Franklin 101



Pat had been at work for an undertaker for some
months, when the proprietor was called out of
town, leaving Pat in charge of the funeral of a
wealthy Hebrew, who had just died. When the
proprietor returned he met Pat and said: "Well,
Pat, how did you succeed with the Hebrews?"
"Very well," said Pat, "I guess, but tell me one
thing. When I puts the corpse in the casket I saw
them put a twenty-dollar gold piece in the hands ov
the corpse. Why was this?" "Oh," said the pro-
prietor, "they have a tradition that they must do
that so the soul of the deceased can pay the ferry-
age across the river. Why do you ask?" "Well,
iver since that day I have been worrying about the
poor man, knowin' he would have to swim."



Two Hebrew peddlers were very close friends,
and they entered into an agreement that whoever
died first the other was to place in his coffin the sum
of one thousand dollars. Finally one died, and the
other one was worrying about putting the money in
the coffin. He could not do it. He could not sleep
as he remembered his solemn vow to his friend ^to
do so. He went and consulted a Rabi. The Rabi
said: "Put in der thousand dollars, or you will

102 The Wit of Lincoln

neber have a day's rest or peace." In a few days
later the Rabi met him and said: "Isaac, did you
put in de money? And vat, gold, silver, or baper,
vich vone?" Isaac said: "Yes, Rabi, I do vot you
dell me, but it vas my personal check for de



The judge said: "Prisoner at the bar, what is
your name?" Prisoner — "C-C-C — " Judge — "I
want no foolishness; what is your name?" "S-S-Sc-
C-C — " said the prisoner. "Bailiff," said the judge,
"what is this man charged with?" "From the way
he sizzles, your honor, I would say he's charged
with soda water," said the bailiff.



An Irishman just over from his native land was
not familiar with the various dishes set out by the
restaurants, and he ordered hash. When it was
brought to him he called the waiter after he looked
it over carefully and said: "Here, take this to the
man that chewed it and let him swallow it. I can't."

The Wisdom of Franklin 103



I am a fine musician in emergencies. A flood
struck our town, and when the water came in our
house my wife floated away on the folding bed, and
I accompanied her on the piano.



There was a man in Nantucket,
Who hid all his cash in a bucket;

He had a daughter Nan,

Who eloped with a man;
The cash was all gone — Nantooket.



Is a man who will steal your coat and pants, and
give you such a just reason for it, that you will then
give him your purse, watch and chain.



Laugh and the world will laugh with you, snore
and you will sleep alone.

104 The Wit of Lincoln



No, I did not say the landlord asked too much
for his board, but that he asked too often for it. He
said when I left that I was two weeks behind. I
told him he was wrong. He met me afterwards and
told me I was right, that it was he that was behind
and that I was ahead. He said for me to set a day
certain for him to call for the money. I told him
to call every Monday.



Some said I lost my money playing fast horses,
but I did not. It was playing the slow ones. I lost
on a horse called Stone Wall. He ran half way
around the track, and then turned around and
came back, and as I had not played him both ways,
I lost.



When I was sick I took so many pills I became
ball-bearing in every joint.

The Wisdom of Franklin 105



Just take your girl in fond embrace,
And put both arms around her waist,
And draw her up with gentle grace ;
Till you get her to the proper place.
Then, heart to heart, and face to face,
Lip to lip, and nose to nose,
Flippity flop, and away she goes.



"What will it cost me to telephone to Muncie?"
"Fifty cents," I said. "Why, in Chicago I can tele-
phone to Hell for fifty cents." The toll girl said:
"Yes, but that is in the city limits."



I got on a train on the Missouri & Pacific. The
car was full of seats, but they were all taken.



I met on this train a loving couple; they were
both married, but not to each other.

106 The Wit of Lincoln



A visiting tourist to a rural inhabitant asked:
"Are you a native of this place ?" Inhabitant— "Am
I what?" Tourist — "Are you a native?" Inhabi-
tant's wife (appearing on the scene) — "Ain't ye got
no sense, Rube ? He means, wuz ye livin' here when
ye wuz born, or wuz ye born before ye begun livin'



The preacher was watching Rube to keep him
out of the saloon, and one day when he saw him
starting for the saloon he called to him, but Rube
went on; he called again, but he paid no attention
and went on in. The preacher waited for him and
said: "Why didn't you answer me when I called?"
Rube said : "I had only the price of one drink, and
could not ask you in."



An Irishman was near a Dutchman and his wife,
and when the train was going through the tunnel he
kissed the Dutchman's wife. She said: "Augus-
tine, how dare you kiss me, you have been drink-
ing." The Dutchman said: "Did I kiss you?" She

The Wisdom of Franklin 107

said, ''Yes." He said "Well, I must have been
drinking." She said "If you have no respect for
the other people have some disgrace for me, for this
is two insults already you owe me." He said : "Too
much is a plenty. I think I will just smash myself
in the face."



One prisoner was arrested for carrying concealed
weapons. When searched they found in his pocket
a cake of yeast. He told the judge it was not a
weapon, but the judge told him it was a raiser.



A tramp was arraigned for sleeping in a coal bin.
The judge said to him : "It was surely a hard bed."
He said: "No, it was all soft coal." He was sent
up for setting fire to a stone quarry.



Dr. Brown was in the country and fell in a well
and was drowned. They pulled him out and took
him to town. No one shed a tear or had any sym-
pathy for him. They all said "He should have
been tending the sick instead of fooling with the

108 The Wit of Lincoln



One man said: "I want a wife like the Bible, so
she will be seldom looked at." Another wanted a
wife like a piano, so she would be upright and
Grand. One wanted a wife like an almanac, so he
could get a new one every year.


The man was bald as bald could be,
But I have a fertile brain, said he ;
One thing I have found to my despair,
That a fertile brain will not grow hair.



A lady sent her boy to the butcher shop for a
dime's worth of dog meat. When he told the
butcher what he wanted the butcher said: "Shall I
wrap it up or do you want to eat it here ?"



IN 1898 the Dons blew up the yankee's Maine,

And soon the yankees tackled old Spain, sir.

IF you ask what did yankee DEWEY do.

When he had no place to land, sir !

THE Yankee'l make this answer:

At the brake of day, on the first of MAY,

The Wisdom of Franklin lOP

With his fleet he sailed into Manila bay, sir.

With the yankee boys behind the guns,

To beat old Spain was simply fun, sir.

"When you are ready, FIRE, GRINDLEY."

Was YANKEE DEWEY'S command, sir.

AT once there came from the IRON throats of the

yankee boats,
SHOT and SHELL, through which the DONS

could not float, sir.
Before breakfast they had silenced the guns,
And sunk the fleet of the Dons, sir.
And that is what Yankee DEWEY done,
WITHOUT the loss of a man, sir.

Fannegan was a section boss on a very rough
piece of railroad, and engine No. 9 would leave the
track every time she would strike this section of the
track. Fannegan would have to report to Finnegin,
the superintendent of trains, and he always made
his report very full. So Finnegin told him to make
his reports very brief, as it costs the company too
much for his reports. Fannegan said he would
and that he was sure from now on they would have
no cause for complaint about the reports. In a few
days old No. 9 was sent over the road, and when
she struck this section of the road, off she went. As
soon as she was on again and gone, Fannegan sent
his report as follows : Number 9 comagin, off
again, on again, gonagin. Fannegan to Finnegin."

110 The Wit of Lincoln



Many women want the earth, but don't want it
on their parlor carpet.



When Greek meets Greek it's war you may fear,
But when Dutch meet Dutch, it's drink lager beer ;
When lover meets lover in the light of the moon,
A thing they will do is to hug and spoon.



Ma said "Earl, we are wonderfully made. I
have electricity in my hair and grandma has gas in
her stomach."

270. •


A priest met Pat one day very drunk and said to
him: "You told me that you were going to quit,
the last time I saw you drunk, and said you would
not get drunk again. Now here I find you drunk
again." "No," said Pat, "you don't find me drunk
again, your reverence, this is the same old drunk
you saw me wid thin."

The Wisdom of Franklin 111


It takes two for a kiss,
When one may heave a sign ;
It takes two to get married,
While one by one we die.
Joy is a partnership,
But grief weeps alone.



One engineer asked another why he blew his
whistle so when coming in to his home town. He
answered, "I do that so Kittie, who knows the whis-
tle of my engine, can look out, for I am coming
home. "Oh, shaw !" says the other engineer, "I got
a way that beats that. I never sound a whistle ; just
pull in, jump from my engine, run in home the back
way, and by my method I have caught and whipped
three men in my house."



Abe Martin says : "Wife, did you know that wild
and roving Texas Ike had settled down?" "No,"
said Mrs. Martin, "is it possible? got married I sup-
pose?" "No," says Abe, "they buried him yester-

112 The Wit of Lincoln



Man's words to man are often flat,
Man's words to woman flatter;

Two men may often stand and chat,
Two women stand and chatter.



A dude was calling on a bright girl and said to
her, "When I die I intend to will my brain to some
medical college." "Oh, Cholly, you stingy thing.
Is that all you will have to leave?"



Abraham agreed to give Rebecca a dollar every
time he kissed her and the money was to be put in
their money box and locked and Abraham to have
the key. In six months Abraham said, "Rachel, we
open de box." He did and found therein, dollars,
five dollars, ten dollar bills and twenty dollar bills.
Abraham said: "Rachel, explain me dis; every
time what I giss you I gives one dollar, and no more.
Here I finds ones, fives, tens and twenties. How
comes dis?" Rachel says, "Abram, every man was
not so stingy like yourself."

The Wisdom of Franklin 113

A little girl was telling about the arrival of a
little sister at her house and said, "Papa was away
from home on a journey, and it was just a piece of
good luck that mamma was home to care for it."


Bill Jones had a very sick wife. He had her to
try Peruna. She was soon on the road to a recov-
ery, and the Peruna Company wanted a testimonial
from Bill, and he consented to send one, and this
is what he sent: "Peruna Medicine Company: My
wife was so weak and nervous that I could not sleep
with her. I persuaded her to take Peruna, and she
has continued to take it for three months. I can
now say that any man can sleep with her."

I was stopping at a hotel in a small town in the
West, and the landlord had some very fine rules.
Here are some of them : If you are thirsty you will
find a spring in the bed. For writing paper you will
find two sheets on the bed. To notify the bell boy
ring a towel. If you walk in your sleep wake up
the landlord ; he will walk with you. In case of fire
jump out of the window and turn to your left. In
case of nightmare you will find a set of harness un-
der the bed.

114 The Wit of Lincoln

While driving across Kansas one summer we
came across a farmer near a little town hauling
water. One of our party says, "Where do you get
your water?" "Up the road about six miles," re-
plied the farmer. "That is a long distance to haul
water for your family and stock," said one of our
party. "Why don't you dig a well?" said I, "and
save all this time and trouble." Because I could
not save any; it is just as far to water one way as
the other." Moral, Let WELL enough alone.

When Willie's mother gave him some apples she
said, "Now, Willie, give little Fred his choice of
the apples." Soon the mother saw little Fred with
the small apples so she said, "Willie, did you give
your brother his choice as I requested?" "Yes,"
says Willie, "I gave him his choice. I told him he
could have the little ones or none. So he took


A young lady bought a combination bathing suit
and went to the lakes for the summer. She put it
on and went in bathing. When she came out she
could not get it off. She had lost the combination
in the lake.

The Wisdom of Franklin 115



Mrs. Jones said to her new neighbor : "Mrs. Mur^
phy, you know Mrs. Snow. She says she does Eur-
ope every summer." "Yes," says Mrs. Murphy, "I
do and know she does her neighbors all the rest of
the time."



A Jew was visiting the Holy Land and wanted
to see the sea that the Savior had walked on. So he
went to a boatman and asked the price for taking
him across the Sea that Christ walked on. "One hun-
dred dollars," says the boatman." "Vot," says the
Jew. "You charge me von hundred dollars to dake
me across the sea that Christ walked on, and not
von cent less?" "Yes, sir," says the boatman. "We
charge all that sum." "Veil," says the Jew, "I now
see vy Christ walked."



One should remember the chances he takes
When he throws up his job to fish in the lakes.

Oh, don't I remember, with my cheeks all aglow,
When I played hookey from school a fishing to go,

116 y The Wit of Lincoln

That when I returned my stern father said unto

"Meet me, my son, in the shade of the old apple


When there, he placed me across his strong bended

After pulling a sprout from that old apple tree;

He basted my pants like the sting of the bee
Until plainly the sun, moon and stars I could see.

When it was over, I could hear the dull buzz of the

In the blossoms, as he said unto me :

"After this do as you're bid by your mother and me,
And you won't need the sprouts of the old apple

To the boy who won't heed or obey, this has to be

Though to do it hurts the father worse than the


"Father," I said, "that may be the truth you're re-

But none but a true sport can tell a fisherman's feel-

I see no tears streaming down your stern face.
And I know you don't hurt in the same place."

The Wisdom of Franklin \\7



New York, Dec. 15th, 1906.
Mr. Isaac Einstein, Columbus, Ohio :

Dear Sir: Ve have receivt your ledder von de
28th mit oxbense agount und roud list. Vat ve
vant ish orders. Ve haf blenty maps in New York
vom vich do make up roud-list, also big vamily to
make oxbenses.

Mr. Einstein, ve find in your oxbense agound
2.50 for pilliards. Blease don't buy any more pil-
liards for us. Vat ve vant ish orders. Also ve see
$7.50 for a horse und buggy. Vere ish de horse
und vat haf you done mit der buggy? Der resht
von your oxbense agount is vor schleebers . V'y is
it you don't ride more by day time? Ve sent you
to-day, by frade, down dwo boxes cigars. One
kostet $1.50, udder 90 cents. You can schmoke de
90-cent box and gif de udder to your customers.
Also ve^ sent you samble of necktie vat kostet us
$7.50 a gross. Sell dem for $7.50 a doz. If you
can't get $7.50 dake $2.50. Day ish a novelty, as
ve haf dem in stock for dwo years und ain't sold
none already. Vat ve vant ish orders.

Mcin brudder, Louie, say you should stop by
Hamilton. His gousin, Marx Blume, lifs dere.
Louie say vat you should sell Blume is a goot bill.
Dry him on dose neckties first. Get goot brices.
He is Louie's cousin. Sell him mostly for gash. Vat

118 The Wit of Lincoln

ve vant ish orders. Also Louie say dat you can leaf
Columbus at 11:40 in der nite get by Hamilton at
3 :25 in der mornings Louie say do dis und you vont
need the oxbense vor de schleeper. Vat ve want
isH orders. Don't date any bills ahead, as die days
vill be longer next summer. Louie say don't show
his gousin, Marx Blume, any of de goot sellers.

Und remember, Mr. Einstein, mit us eader you do
business or you dond do noddings at all. Vat ve
vant ish orders.


Here's to the man that planted the corn and tilled
the soil, that grew the corn, that fed the goose,
that give the quill, that made the pen, that signed
the Declaration of Independence, that freed us from
old England.


Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.

If beer don't kill us whiskey must.

The days may come and the days may go.

But where they come from we don't know.

Here's to Henry Ward Beecher,
Who said the hen was a beautiful creature.
For a compliment like that.
The hen laid an tgg in his hat.
And thus did the Henry Ward Beecher.

The Wisdom of Franklin 119

Hats of all great heads remind us,

If we choose the proper way,
We can get up every morning
With a head as big as they.
Here's to the sailor, a jolly old tar.

When engaged in piloting schooners
As they sail across the bar.

Here's to a little pinch of powder.

And a little bit of paint
That makes the ladies' freckles
Look as if they ain't.
Here's to the man that courts and runs away.
For he will live to court another day.
But if he marries and goes courting still.
He'll be in court against his will.
How I long for the bright summer day.
For boating and fishing and play.
When the swell girls of society give way
To the sweet, smiling rosy-lipped Miss,
Who thinks it isn't wicked in the summer time to



Here's to the girl left on the burning ship,

Sa far as all could learn.
Left there in perfect safety.

She was too green to burn.

120 The Wit of Lincoln


What was Eve made for? For Adam's Express

Tell me how to make a dollar slick. Grease it.

How did the Queen of England take her Casca-
rets? In sideher.

Why are girls employed in watch factories. To
make faces.

Why is it that President Roosevelt has not slept
a wink in twelve days? Because he sleeps at night?

Why is it that the government is now selling thir-
teen two-cent stamps for a cent and a quarter? Be-
cause it is twenty-six cents.

Why are some hats like the Federal Building at
Indianapolis? Because they cover a block.

When is a man not a man? When he's a bed.

Why are some girls cross and saucy? Because
they take saucyparilla.

Why is an oyster stew like the Fourth of July?
Because it is no good without the cracker.

Why is it that a deaf man need have no fear of
being arrested and convicted? Because it is against
the law to convict a man without a hearing.

What would the dog have done if he had not gone
in the ark? Used his own bark.

Why in ancient times didn't the people use slates
and pencils? Because the Lord ordered them to
multiply on the face of the earth.

The Wisdom of Franklin 121

What kind of fruit did they have in the ark? Pre-
served pairs.

Why is a watermelon filled with water? Because
it is planted in the spring.

How do we know that Job rode a bicycle? Be-
cause he said: *Oh, Lord! Lookout for my safety 1"

Why is a 12:50 train difficult to catch? Because
it is always ten to one, if you catch it.

If 32 is freezing point, what is squeezing point?
Two in the shade.

Why do preachers have an easier time than the
doctor or the lawyer? Because it is easier to preach
than to practice.

I know something that will tickle you. A feather.

Name the first whistler, and the tune whistled.
The wind, "Over the hills and far away."

What is the difference between an Irishman and
an Indian? The Indian smokes the pipe of peace,
the Irishman a piece of pipe.

In what color should a secret be kept? Inviolate
(in violet.)

W^hy was the elephant the last to leave the ark?
Because he had to pack his trunk.

Why did Adam and Eve "fail as farmers ? Be-
cause they tried to raise Cain before they got Abel.

When is butter like the little sons of the Irish ?
When it is made into little Pats.

Name the greatest surgical feat? Lansing, Mich-

Name the greatest athletic feat? Wheeling,
West Virginia,

122 The Wit of Lincoln

Name the greatest building feat? A library of
eight hundred stories.

Why are bananas like the setting sun? Because
the day goes with it.

Which was the most important letter of the al-
phabet in the year 1904? R because it was the be-
ginning of Roosevelt, and the end of Parker.

When is a doctor most annoyed? When out
of patients.

When and how was Admiral Dewey's naval rank
reduced? When he became the second mate of Mrs.

What is the diflference between a milkmaid and a
swallow? One skims the milk, and the other skims
the water.

Why should ladies not be commissioned as no-
taries? Because a gentleman will not swear before
a lady.

What is a put up job? The wall paper on the

Which would you rather be, Shakespeare or Edi-
son? Edison, because he ain't dead.

What is the difference between your singing and
my singing? One is awfully simple, and the other
is simply awful.

If your sweetheart should steal a kiss from you,
what would he like to have you say? Put it back.

Why can't a man that is a coffee-drinker raise
whiskers on his chin? Because he can't go tea.

Why is it that Washington could throw a dollar
across the Potomac River, and no one can do so

The Wisdom of Franklin 123

now? Because a dollar went much farther then than

What is the difference between an old lady and a
young child? One is careless and happy, the other
hairless and cappy.

When was paper money first seen? When the
dove brought the green-back to Noah.

What is it which is full of holes and yet holds
water? A sponge.

When is the letter S dangerous in argument.
When it turns words into swords.

Why is coffee like a dull axe. Because both need
grinding before using.

Why are fowls the most generous thing on a
farm? Because for every grain of corn you give
thern they give a peck.

Where and when do we use the same thing for
opposite purposes? When we use the iron bar in
the bank windows to keep out thieves, and in the
jail to keep them in.

What three words did Adam use when he intro-
duced himself to Eve, which when read backward

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