Toaster's Handbook Jokes, Stories, and Quotations online

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Robert has lately acquired a stepmother. Hoping to win his affection
this new parent has been very lenient with him, while his father,
feeling his responsibility, has been unusually strict. The boys of the
neighborhood, who had taken pains to warn Robert of the terrible
character of stepmothers in general, recently waited on him in a body,
and the following conversation was overheard:

"How do you like your stepmother, Bob?"

"Like her! Why fellers, I just love her. All I wish is I had a
stepfather, too."

"Well, Bobby, what do you want to be when you grow up?"

BOBBY (remembering private seance in the wood-shed) - "A orphan."

Little Eleanor's mother was an American, while her father was a German.

One day, after Eleanor had been subjected to rather severe disciplinary
measures at the hands of her father, she called her mother into another
room, closed the door significantly, and said: "Mother, I don't want to
meddle in your business, but I wish you'd send that husband of yours
back to Germany."

The lawyer was sitting at his desk absorbed in the preparation of a
brief. So bent was he on his work that he did not hear the door as it
was pushed gently open, nor see the curly head that was thrust into his
office. A little sob attracted his notice, and, turning he saw a face
that was streaked with tears and told plainly that feelings had been

"Well, my little man, did you want to see me?"

"Are you a lawyer?"

"Yes. What do you want?"

"I want" - and there was resolute ring in his voice - "I want a divorce
from my papa and mama."


Pat had but a limited knowledge of the bird kingdom. One day, walking
down the street, he noticed a green bird in a cage, talking and singing.
Thinking to pet it he stroked its head. The bird turned quickly,
screaming, "Hello! What do you want?" Pat shied off like a frightened
horse, lifting his hat and bowing politely as he stuttered out:
"Ex-excuse me s-sir, I thought you was a burrd!"


A West Virginia darky, a blacksmith, recently announced a change in his
business as follows: "Notice - De co-pardnership heretofore resisting
between me and Mose Skinner is hereby resolved. Dem what owe de firm
will settle wid me, and dem what de firm owes will settle wid Mose."


"I want to change my password," said the man who had for two years
rented a safety-deposit box.

"Very well," replied the man in charge. "What is the old one?"


"And what do you wish the new one to be?"

"Mabel. Gladys has gone to Reno."

Senator Tillman not long ago piloted a plain farmer-constituent around
the Capitol for a while, and then, having some work to do on the floor,
conducted him to the Senate gallery.

After an hour or so the visitor approached a gallery door-keeper and
said: "My name is Swate. I am a friend of Senator Tillman. He brought me
here and I want to go out and look around a bit. I though I would tell
you so I can get back in."

"That's all right," said the doorkeeper, "but I may not be here when you
return. In order to prevent any mistake I will give you the password so
you can get your seat again."

Swate's eyes rather popped out at this. "What's the word?" he asked.




"I guess I'll stay in," said Swate.


"Your husband seems to be very impatient lately."

"Yes, he is, very."

"What is the matter with him?"

"He is getting tired waiting for a chance to get out where he can sit
patiently hour after hour waiting for a fish to nibble at his bait."


General Gordon, the Confederate commander, used to tell the following
story: He was sitting by the roadside one blazing hot day when a
dilapidated soldier, his clothing in rags, a shoe lacking, his head
bandaged, and his arm in a sling, passed him. He was soliloquizing in
this manner:

"I love my country. I'd fight for my country. I'd starve and go thirsty
for my country. I'd die for my country. But if ever this damn war is
over I'll never love another country!"

A snobbish young Englishman visiting Washington's home at Mount Vernon
was so patronizing as to arouse the wrath of guards and caretakers; but
it remained for "Shep" Wright, an aged gardener and one of the first
scouts of the Confederate army, to settle the gentleman. Approaching
"Shep," the Englishman said:

"Ah - er - my man, the hedge! Yes, I see, George got this hedge from dear
old England."

"Reckon he did," replied "Shep". "He got this whole blooming country
from England."

Speaking of the policy of the Government of the United States with
respect to its troublesome neighbors in Central and South America,
"Uncle Joe" Cannon told of a Missouri congressman who is decidedly
opposed to any interference in this regard by our country. It seems that
this spring the Missourian met an Englishman at Washington with whom he
conversed touching affairs in the localities mentioned. The westerner
asserted his usual views with considerable forcefulness, winding up with
this observation:

"The whole trouble is that we Americans need a - - good licking!"

"You do, indeed!" promptly asserted the Britisher, as if pleased by the
admission. But his exultation was of brief duration, for the Missouri
man immediately concluded with:

"But there ain't nobody can do it!"

A number of Confederate prisoners, during the Civil War, were detained
at one of the western military posts under conditions much less
unpleasant than those to be found in the ordinary military prison. Most
of them appreciated their comparatively good fortune. One young fellow,
though, could not be reconciled to association with Yankees under any
circumstances, and took advantage of every opportunity to express his
feelings. He was continually rubbing it in about the battle of
Chickamauga, which had just been fought with such disastrous results for
the Union forces.

"Maybe we didn't eat you up at Chickamauga!" was the way he generally
greeted a bluecoat.

The Union men, when they could stand it no longer, reported the matter
to General Grant. Grant summoned the prisoner.

"See here," said Grant, "I understand that you are continually insulting
the men here with reference to the battle of Chickamauga. They have
borne with you long enough, and I'm going to give you your choice of two
things. You will either take the oath of allegiance to the United
States, or be sent to a Northern prison. Choose."

The prisoner was silent for some time. "Well," he said at last, in a
resigned tone, "I reckon, General, I'll take the oath."

The oath was duly administered. Turning to Grant, the fellow then asked,
very penitently, if he might speak.

"Yes," said the general indifferently. "What is it?"

"Why, I was just thinkin', General," he drawled, "they certainly did
give us hell at Chickamauga."

Historical controversies are creeping into the schools. In a New York
public institution attended by many races, during an examination in
history the teacher asked a little chap who discovered America.

He was evidently thrown into a panic and hesitated, much to the
teacher's surprise, to make any reply.

"Oh, please, ma'am," he finally stammered, "ask me somethin' else."

"Something else, Jimmy? Why should I do that?"

"The fellers was talkin' 'bout it yesterday," replied Jimmy, "Pat McGee
said it was discovered by an Irish saint. Olaf, he said it was a sailor
from Norway, and Giovanni said it was Columbus, an' if you'd a-seen what
happened you wouldn't ask a little feller like me."

Our country! When right to be kept right; when wrong to be put
right! - _Carl Schurz_.

Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be
in the right; but our country, right or wrong. - _Stephen Decatur_.

There are no points of the compass on the chart of true
patriotism. - _Robert C. Winthrop_.

Patriotic exercises and flag worship will avail nothing unless the
states give to their people of the kind of government that arouses
patriotism. - _Franklin Pierce II_.


WILLIS - "I wonder if there will ever be universal peace."

GILLIS - "Sure. All they've got to do is to get the nations to agree that
in case of war the winner pays the pensions." - _Puck_.

"Why was it you never married again, Aunt Sallie?" inquired Mrs. McClane
of an old colored woman in West Virginia.

"'Deed, Miss Ellie," replied the old woman earnestly, "dat daid nigger's
wuth moah to me dan a live one. I gits a pension." - _Edith Howell

If England had a system of pensions like ours, we should see that "all
that was left of the Noble Six Hundred" was six thousand pensioners.


A pessimist is a man who lives with an optimist. - _Francis Wilson_.

How happy are the Pessimists!
A bliss without alloy
Is theirs when they have proved to us
There's no such thing as joy!

- _Harold Susman_.

A pessimist is one who, of two evils, chooses them both.

"I had a mighty queer surprise this morning," remarked a local stock
broker. "I put on my last summer's thin suit on account of this
extraordinary hot weather, and in one of the trousers pockets I found a
big roll of bills which I had entirely forgotten."

"Were any of them receipted?" asked a pessimist.

To tell men that they cannot help themselves is to fling them into
recklessness and despair. - _Fronde_.

With earth's first clay they did the last man knead,
And there of the last harvest sowed the seed:
And the first morning of creation wrote
What the last dawn of reckoning shall read.

Yesterday this day's madness did prepare;
Tomorrow's silence, triumph, or despair.
Drink! For you know not whence you came, nor why;
Drink! For you know not why you go, nor where.

- _Omar Khayyam_


A Staten Island man, when the mosquitoes began to get busy in the
borough across the bay, has been in the habit every summer of
transplanting his family to the Delaware Water Gap for a few weeks. They
were discussing their plans the other day, when the oldest boy, aged
eight, looked up from his geography and said:

"Pop, Philadelphia is on the Delaware River, isn't it?"

Pop replied that such was the case.

"I wonder if that's what makes the Delaware Water Gap?" insinuated the
youngster. - _S.S. Stinson_.

Among the guests at an informal dinner in New York was a bright
Philadelphia girl.

"These are snails," said a gentleman next to her, when the dainty was
served. "I suppose Philadelphia people don't eat them for fear of

"Oh, no," was her instant reply; "it isn't that. We couldn't catch


Little grains of short weight,
Little crooked twists,
Fill the land with magnates
And philanthropists.

_See also_ Charity.


Philosophy is finding out how many things there are in the world which
you can't have if you want them, and don't want if you can have
them. - _Puck_.


The eight-year-old son of a Baltimore physician, together with a friend,
was playing in his father's office, during the absence of the doctor,
when suddenly the first lad threw open a closet door and disclosed to
the terrified gaze of his little friend an articulated skeleton.

When the visitor had sufficiently recovered from his shock to stand the
announcement the doctor's son explained that his father was extremely
proud of that skeleton.

"Is he?" asked the other. "Why?"

"I don't know," was the answer; "maybe it was his first patient."

The doctor stood by the bedside, and looked gravely down at the sick

"I can not hide from you the fact that you are very ill," he said. "Is
there any one you would like to see?"

"Yes," said the sufferer faintly.

"Who is it?"

"Another doctor." - _Judge_.

"Doctor, I want you to look after my office while I'm on my vacation."

"But I've just graduated, doctor. Have had no experience." "That's all
right, my boy. My practice is strictly fashionable. Tell the men to play
golf and ship the lady patients off to Europe."

An old darky once lay seriously ill of fever and was treated for a long
time by one doctor, and then another doctor, for some reason, came and
took the first one's place. The second physician made a thorough
examination of the patient. At the end he said, "Did the other doctor
take your temperature?"

"Ah dunno, sah," the patient answered. "Ah hain't missed nuthin' so far
but mah watch."

There had been an epidemic of colds in the town, and one physician who
had had scarcely any sleep for two days called upon a patient - an
Irishman - who was suffering from pneumonia, and as he leaned over to
hear the patient's respiration he called upon Pat to count.

The doctor was so fatigued that he fell asleep, with his ear on the sick
man's chest. It seemed but a minute when he suddenly awoke to hear Pat
still counting: "Tin thousand an' sivinty-six, tin thousand an'
sivinty-sivin - "

FIRST DOCTOR - "I operated on him for appendicitis."

SECOND DOCTOR - "What was the matter with him?" - _Life_.

FUSSY LADY PATIENT - "I was suffering so much, doctor, that I wanted to

DOCTOR - "You did right to call me in, dear lady."

MEDICAL STUDENT - "What did you operate on that man for?"

EMINENT SURGEON - "Two hundred dollars."

MEDICAL STUDENT - "I mean what did he have?"

EMINENT SURGEON - "Two hundred dollars."

The three degrees in medical treatment - Positive, ill; comparative,
pill; superlative, bill.

"What caused the coolness between you and that young doctor? I thought
you were engaged."

"His writing is rather illegible. He sent me a note calling for 10,000


"I thought it was a prescription, and took it to the druggist to be

A tourist while traveling in the north of Scotland, far away from
anywhere, exclaimed to one of the natives: "Why, what do you do when any
of you are ill? You can never get a doctor."

"Nae, sir," replied Sandy. "We've jist to dee a naitural death."

When the physician gives you medicine and tells you to take it, you take
it. "Yours not to reason why; yours but to do and die."

Physicians, of all men, are most happy: whatever good success soever
they have, the world proclaimeth; and what faults they commit, the earth
covereth. - _Quarles_.

This is the way that physicians mend or end us,
Secundum artem: but although we sneer
In health - when ill, we call them to attend us,
Without the least propensity to jeer.

- _Byron_.

_See also_ Bills.


_See_ Thieves; Wives.


"Oh, dear!" sighed the wife as she was dressing for a dinner-party, "I
can't find a pin anywhere. I wonder where all the pins go to, anyway?"

"That's a difficult question to answer," replied her husband, "because
they are always pointed in one direction and headed in another."


"How about that airship?"

"It went up in smoke."

"Burned, eh?"

"Oh, no. Made an ascension at Pittsburg."

SKYBOUGH - "Why have you put that vacuum cleaner in front of your

KLOUDLEIGH - "To clear a path. I have an engagement to sail over

A man just back from South America was describing a volcanic

"I was smoking a cigar before the door of my hotel," said he, "when I
was startled by a rather violent earthquake. The next instant the sun
was obscured and darkness settled over the city. Looking in the
direction of the distant volcano, I saw heavy clouds of smoke rolling
from it, with an occasional tongue of flame flashing against the dark

"Some of the natives about me were on their knees praying; others darted
aimlessly about, crazed with terror and shouting for mercy. The landlord
of the hotel rushed out and seized me by the arm.

"'To the harbor!' he cried in my ear.

"Together we hurried down the narrow street. As we panted along, the
dark smoke whirled in our faces, and a dangerous shower of red-hot
cinders sizzled about us. Do you know, I don't believe I was ever so
homesick in all my life!"

"Homesick?" gasped the listener. "Homesick at a time like that?"

"Sure. I live in Pittsburg, you know."


The mother heard a great commotion, as of cyclones mixed up with
battering-rams, and she hurried upstairs to discover what was the
matter. There she found Tommie sitting in the middle of the floor with a
broad smile on his face.

"Oh, Mama," said he delightedly, "I've locked Grandpa and Uncle George
in the cupboard, and when they get a little angrier I am going to play
Daniel in the lion's den."


BILLY - "Huh! I bet you didn't have a good time at your birthday party

WILLIE - "I bet I did."

BILLY - "Then why ain't you sick today?"

Winnie had been very naughty, and her mamma said: "Don't you know you
will never go to Heaven if you are so naughty?"

After thinking a moment she said: "Oh, well, I have been to the circus
once and 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' twice. I can't expect to go everywhere."

In Concord, New Hampshire, they tell of an old chap who made his wife
keep a cash account. Each week he would go over it, growling and
grumbling. On one such occasion he delivered himself of the following:

"Look here, Sarah, mustard-plasters, fifty cents; three teeth extracted,
two dollars! There's two dollars and a half in one week spent for your
own private pleasure. Do you think I am made of money?"

Here's to beauty, wit and wine and to a full stomach, a full purse and a
light heart.

A dinner, coffee and cigars,
Of friends, a half a score.
Each favorite vintage in its turn, -
What man could wish for more?

The roses of pleasure seldom last long enough to adorn the brow of him
who plucks them; for they are the only roses which do not retain their
sweetness after they have lost their beauty. - _Hannah More_.

_See also_ Amusements.


Poetry is a gift we are told, but most editors won't take it even at


EDITOR - "Have you submitted this poem anywhere else?"

JOKESMITH - "No, sir."

EDITOR - "Then where did you get that black eye?" - _Satire_.

"Why is it," asked the persistent poetess, "that you always insist that
we write on one side of the paper only? Why not on both?"

In that moment the editor experienced an access of courage - courage to
protest against the accumulated wrongs of his kind.

"One side of the paper, madame," he made answer, "is in the nature of a

"A compromise?"

"A compromise. What we really desire, if we could have our way, is not
one, or both, but neither."

Sir Lewis Morris was complaining to Oscar Wilde about the neglect of his
poems by the press. "It is a complete conspiracy of silence against me,
a conspiracy of silence. What ought I to do, Oscar?" "Join it," replied

God's prophets of the Beautiful,
These Poets were.

- _E.B. Browning_.

We call those poets who are first to mark
Through earth's dull mist the coming of the dawn, -
Who see in twilight's gloom the first pale spark,
While others only note that day is gone.

- _O.W. Holmes_.


A man who was "wanted" in Russia had been photographed in six different
positions, and the pictures duly circulated among the police department.
A few days later the chief of police wrote to headquarters: "Sir, I have
duly received the portraits of the six miscreants. I have arrested five
of them, and the sixth will be secured shortly."

"I had a message from the Black Hand," said the resident of Graftburg.
"They told me to leave $2,000 in a vacant house in a certain street."

"Did you tell the police?"

"Right away."

"What did they do?"

"They said that while I was about it I might leave them a couple of
thousand in the same place."

Recipe for a policeman:

To a quart of boiling temper add a pint of Irish stew
Together with cracked nuts, long beats and slugs;
Serve hot with mangled citizens who ask the time of day -
The receipt is much the same for making thugs.

- _Life_.

_See also_ Servants.


_See_ Courtesy; Etiquet.


ZOO SUPERINTENDENT - "What was all the rumpus out there this morning?"

ATTENDANT - "The bull moose and the elephant were fighting over their

"What happened?"

"The donkey ate it." - _Life_.


Politicians always belong to the opposite party.

The man who goes into politics as a business has no business to go into
politics. - _Life_.

A political orator, evidently better acquainted with western geography
than with the language of the Greeks, recently exclaimed with fervor
that his principles should prevail "from Alpha to Omaha."

POLITICIAN - "Congratulate me, my dear, I've won the nomination."

HIS WIFE (in surprise) - "Honestly?"

POLITICIAN - "Now what in thunder did you want to bring up that point

"What makes you think the baby is going to be a great politician?" asked
the young mother, anxiously.

"I'll tell you," answered the young father, confidently; "he can say
more things that sound well and mean nothing at all than any kid I ever

"The mere proposal to set the politician to watch the capitalist has
been disturbed by the rather disconcerting discovery that they are both
the same man. We are past the point where being a capitalist is the only
way of becoming a politician, and we are dangerously near the point
where being a politician is much the quickest way of becoming a
capitalist." - _G.K. Chesterton_.

At a political meeting the speakers and the audience were much annoyed
and disturbed by a man who constantly called out: "Mr. Henry! Henry,
Henry, Henry! I call for Mr. Henry!" After several interruptions of
this kind during each speech, a young man ascended the platform, and
began an eloquent and impassioned speech in which he handled the issues
of the day with easy familiarity. He was in the midst of a glowing
period when suddenly the old cry echoed through the hall: "Mr. Henry!
Henry, Henry, Henry! I call for Mr. Henry!" With a word to the speaker,
the chairman stepped to the front of the platform and remarked that it
would oblige the audience very much if the gentleman in the rear of the
hall would refrain from any further calls for Mr. Henry, as that
gentleman was then addressing the meeting.

"Mr. Henry? Is that Mr. Henry?" came in astonished tones from the rear.
"Thunder! that can't be him. Why, that's the young man that asked me to
call for Mr. Henry."

A political speaker, while making a speech, paused in the midst of it
and exclaimed: "Now gentlemen, what do you think?"

A man rose in the assembly, and with one eye partially closed, replied
modestly, with a strong Scotch brogue: "I think, sir, I do, indeed,
sir - I think if you and I were to stump the country together we could
tell more lies than any other two men in the country, sir, and I'd not
say a word myself during the whole time, sir."

The Rev. Dr. Biddell tells a lively story about a Presbyterian minister
who had a young son, a lad about ten years of age. He was endeavoring to
bring him up in the way he should go, and was one day asked by a friend
what he intended to make of him. In reply he said:

"I am watching the indications. I have a plan which I propose trying
with the boy. It is this: I am going to place in my parlor a Bible, an
apple and a silver dollar. Then I am going to leave the room and call in
the boy. I am going to watch him from some convenient place without
letting him know that he is seen. Then, if he chooses the Bible, I shall
make a preacher of him; if he takes the apple, a farmer he shall be; but
if he chooses the dollar, I will make him a business man."

The plan was carried out. The arrangements were made and the boy called
in from his play. After a little while the preacher and his wife softly
entered the room. There was the youngster. He was seated on the Bible,
in one hand was the apple, from which he was just taking a bite, and in
the other he clasped the silver dollar. The good man turned to his
consort. "Wife," he said, "the boy is a hog. I shall make a politician
of him."

Senator Mark Hanna was walking through his mill one day when he heard a
boy say:

"I wish I had Hanna's money and he was in the poorhouse."

When he returned to the office the senator sent for the lad, who was
plainly mystified by the summons.

Online LibraryUnknownToaster's Handbook Jokes, Stories, and Quotations → online text (page 23 of 34)