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1. Kurze Anekdoten, Scherze, Wortspiele.
1. Miscellaneous Anecdotes. Mr. Prior, when ?) ambassador, being at the opera in Paris and seated in a box with a nobleman, who, as usual in France, sung louder than the performer, burst into bitter invectives against the last; upon which the frenchman enquired the reason, adding, that this actor was one of the finest voices they had. Yes, replied his Excellency, but he makes such a horrid noise, that I can't have the pleasure to hear your lordship.
As the late Dean Swift was once upon a journey, attended by a servant, they put up at an inn where they lodged all night; in the morning the Dean called for his boots; the servant immediately ?) took them to him; when the Dean saw them, «How is this, Tom,» said he, «my boots are not cleaned ?» «No, Sir,» replied Tom, «as you are going to ride, I thought they would soon be dirty again.» «Very well,» said the doctor, «go and get the horses ready.» In the mean time, the Dean ordered the landlord to let 3) his man have no breakfast. When the servant returned, he asked, if the horses were ready. «Yes, Sir ,» says the servant. «Go, bring them out then, » said the Dean. «I have not had my breakfast yet, Sir,» replied Tom. «Oh no matter for that 4),» says the Dean, «if you had, you would soon be hungry again.» They mounted, and rode off: as they rode, the Dean pulled a book out of his pocket, and began to read. A gentleman met them, and seeing the Doctor reading was not willing to disturb him, but passed by till he met the servant. «Who is that gentleman?» said he to the man. «My master, Sir,» said Tom. «I know that, you blockhead,» said the gentleman; «but where are you going?» are going to Heaven, Sir,» says Tom. «How do you know that?» said the gentleman. Because I am fasting, and my master is praying“).
When Lee, the poet, was confined in Bedlam, a friend of his 6) went to see him, and finding, that he could converse reasonably, imagined, that Lee was cured of his madness. The poet offered to shew him Bedlam.
1) (335). 2) (284). 3) (259). 4) Thut nichts, hat nichts zu sagen. 5) (180). 6) (152)
They went over this melancholy medical prison, Lee moralising ') philosophically enough all the time, to keep his companion perfectly at ease. At length they ascended together to the top of the building, and as they were both looking down from the perilous height, Lee seized his friend by the arm. Let us immortalize ourselves, he exclaimed, let us take this leap. We'll jump down together this instant. Any man could jump down, said his friend, coolly, we should ?) not immortalize ourselves by that leap; but let us go down, and try if we can jump up again. The madman, struck with the idea of a more astonishing leap than that, which he himself had proposed, yielded to this new impulse, and his friend rejoiced to see him run down stairs, full of a new project for securing 3) immortality.
During the last siege of Gibraltar, in the absence of the fleet and when an attack was daily expected, one dark night, a centinel, whose post was near a tower facing the spanish lines, was looking +) towards them, his head filled 5) with nothing but fire and sword, breaches, storming, and bloodshed! By the side of his box) stood a deep narrow necked earthen jug, in which was the remainder of his supper, consisting of boiled pease. A large monkey (of which there are plenty ?) at the top of the rock) encouraged by the man's absence who walked more than twenty paces from his post, and allured by the smell of the pease, ventured to the jug; and endeavouring to get at its contents, thrust his neck so far into the jug, as 8) not to be able to withdraw it. At this instant the English soldier approaching, the monkey started up to escape, with the jug on his head.
This terrible monster no soonero) saluted the eyes of the centinel, than his frantic imagination converted poor pug 10) into a fine blood-thirsty Grenadier with a most tremendous cap on his head. Full of this dreadful idea, he instantly fired his piece, roaring out, that the enemy had scaled the walls. The guards took the alarm, the drums were beat, signal-guns fired, and in less than ten minutes the governor and the whole garrison were under arms.
The supposed grenadier, being very much incommoded by his cap, and almost blinded by the pease, was soon overtaken, and, by his capture, the tranquillity of the garrison was soon restored, without that slaughter and bloodshed, which every man had prognosticated in the beginning of this direful alarm.
A lieutenant colonel'l) to 12) one of the Irish regiments in the French service, being dispatched by the Duke of Berwick from Fort Kehl, to the king of France, with a complaint relating to some irregularities that had happened in the regiment; his Majesty, with some emotion of mind, told him, that the Irish troops gave him more uneasiness than all his forces besides 13). Sir, says the officer, all your Majesty's enemies make the same complaint.
A youth standing behind his father's chair whilst he was at play, and observing him lose 14) a great deal of money, burst into tears. His father asked him the reason, why he wept? Oh, Sir, replied the youth, I have heard that Alexander the Great wept when he heard 15) his father Philip had conquered a great many cities and countries, fearing that he would leave him nothing to win; but I weep the contrary way 16), fearing you would leave me nothing to lose.
1) (233). 2) (258). 3) (232). 4) (180). 6) (233). 6) Schilderhaus. 7) (242). 8) (239. 6).' 9 (286). 10) Poor pug, das arme Thier; im liebkosenden, spielenden Tone oft von Affen, Hunden, oder auch kleinen Kindern gebraucht. 11) (27). 12) (113). 13) Sonst, außerdem. . 14) (252). 15) (328). 16) Aus entgegengesepse tem Grunde.
King Charles II. once paying a visit to Dr. Busby, the doctor is said ") to have strutted through his school with his hat on, while his Majesty walked complaisantly behind him, with his hat under his arm; but, when he was taking his leave at the door?), the doctor fell on his knees, and, with great humility, thus 3) addressed his king: “I hope your Majesty will excuse my want of respect hitherto; but if my lively boys were to imagine 4) there was a greater man in the kingdom than myself, I should never be able to rule them.» The king was so much pleased with this observation, that he gave him his hand to kiss, and assured him of his fulure protection, adding that nothing would be able to rule his subjects, if they were sufficiently instructed; for, says he, if they were “), they would want no rulers.
Oliver, while carrying on the war in Scotland, was riding near Glasgow, at the head of a body') of horse. A Scotch soldier, planted on a high wall, took the opportunity to fire at him, but missed him. Oliver, without slackening or drawing his rein, turned round, and said: «Fellow! if a trooper of mine had missed such a mark, he should have had a hundred lashes.»
Foote being once at a nobleman's house, his lordship as soon as dinner was over, ordered a bottle of Eape to be set 8) on the table, when, after magnifying its good qualities, and particularly its age, he sent it round the table in glasses that scarcely held a thimbleful. Fine wine, upon my soul, says the wit, tasting and smacking his lips. Is it not very curious ? says his Lordship. Perfectly so indeed, says the other, I do not remember to have seen any thing so little of its age in my life before.
When Mr. Whitfield once preached at a chapel in New-England, where a collection was made after the sermon, a British seaman, who had strolled into the meeting, observed some persons take 9) plates, and place themselves at the door; upon which, he laid hold of one, and taking his station, received a considerable sum from the congregation as they departed, which he very deliberately put into the pocket of his tarry trousers. This being told to Whitfield, he applied to the sailor for the money saying it was collected for charitable uses, and must be given to him. Avast there, said Jack, it was given to me, and I shall keep it. You will be damned, said the parson, if you don't return it. I'll be damned19), if I do, replied Jack, and sheered off with his prize.
The day after 11) Dr. Price published his pamphlet on the National Debt &c., the late Duke of Cumberland walking in Westminster Hall, in company with Councellor Dunning, met the Doctor, and thinking it necessary pay a compliment, told him, that he had read hi book with so much delight, and sat up so late to finish it, that it had almost blinded him. «Rather singular,» said Dunning, «that it should have such an effect on your Royal Highness, for it has opened the eyes of every-body else.»
A French Abbé, having engaged a box at the Opera House, at Paris, was turned out of his possession by a Marshal, as remarkable for ungentlemanlike behaviour as for cowardice. The Abbé, for this breach of good manners, brought his action 12) in a court of honour, and solicited
1) (258). 2) Vor der Thür. 3) (288). 4) (258). 5) Nämlich instructed. 6) Carrying on gehört zusammen, nicht on the war. 7) Body, ein Corps. 8j (240). (252). 10) Der Scherz liegt hier noch besonders in dem bedeutungslos gewordenen Schwur: I'll be damned, als Antwort auf das ernste: You'll be damned. 11) (335). 12) Klage.
permission to be his own advocate, which ') being granted, he began his complaint thus: «I complain not of M. Suffrain, who took so many of the enemy's ships in the East Indies; I complain not of Count the Grasse, who so bravely fought Lord Rodney in the West; I complain not of the Duke de Crillon, who took Minorca, but I complain of Marshal who took my box at the Opera, and never took any thing else.) The Court at once paid the highest compliment to his wit, and gave him the most ample revenge, by refusing him a verdict, in consequence of his having already inflicted punishment sufficient.
A Quaker, driving in a single - horse 2) chaise, up a green lane that leads from Newington Green to Hornsey, happened to meet with a young blood, who was also in a single-horse chaise. There was not room enough for them to pass each other, unless one of them would back his carriage, which they both refused. «I'll not make way for you,» says the blood, «damn my eyes, if I will.» - «I think I am older than thou art,» said the Quaker, «and therefore have a right to expect thee 3) to make way for
«I won't, dam'me,» resumed the first. He then pulled out a newspaper, and began to read, as 4) he sat still in his chaise. The Quaker observing him, pulled a pipe and some tobacco from his pocket, and with a convenience) which he carried about him, struck a light, illuminated bis pipe, and sat and puffed away very comfortably. Friend,» said he, «when thou hast read that paper, I should be glad, if thou would'st lend
At the time when Queen Elisabeth was making one of her progresses) through the kingdom,' a Mayor of Conventry, attended by a large cavalcade, went out to meet 7) her Majesty, and 8) usher her into the city with due formality. On their return, the weather being very hot, as they passed through a wide brook. Mr. Mayor's horse several times attempted to drink, and each time his Worship checked him; which 9) her Majesty observing, called out to him, «Mr. Mayor, Mr. Mayor, let your horse drink, „Mr. Mayor;» but the magistrate, veiling his bonnet, and bowing very low, modestly answered, «Nay, nay, may it please your Majesty's horse to drink first.»
General Wolfe happening to overhear a young officer talk of him in a very familiar manner, as «Wolfe and I drank a bottle of wine together,» and so on, appeared, and said, “I think you might 1o) say General Wolfe.» «No,» replied the subaltern, with a happy presence of mind, «did you ever hear of General Achilles, General Julius Caesar ? «
Soon after the attack of the late Mr. Margaret Nicholson, on the precious life of the beloved Monarch of Great Britain, the following bill) was stuck up in the window of an obscure alehouse: «Here is to be seen the fork belonging to the knife with which Margaret Nicholson attempted to stab the King.»
An Alderman of London once requested an author to write a speech for him to speak at Guildhall 12). «I must first dine with you,» replied he, «and see how you open your mouth, that I may know what sort of words will fit it.»
Among the addresses presented upon the ascension 13) of that Salomon of Great Britain James I. was one from the ancient town of Shrewsbury,
?) (233). 2) (141). 3) (251). 4) (330). 5) Feuerzeug. 6) Reisen. ?) Ram entgegen. 8j (239). 9) (233). 10) (257). 11) Zettel. 12) Guildhall, das Londoner Stadthaus. 3) Thronbesteigung.
wishing his Majesty might reign as long as the sun, moon, and stars endured. « Faith, man,» said the King to the person who presented it, «if I do, my son must reign by candle-light.»
Shakespeare's dignity as an actor. Shakespeare was performing the part of a king in one of his own tragedies, before Queen Elisabeth, who wishing to know whether he would depart from ') the dignity of the sovereign, dropped her handkerchief on the stage, as if by accident; on which the mimic monarch ?) immediately exclaimed:
«But ere this be done,
Take up our sister's handkerchief.» This presence of mind in the poet, and his close attention to the business of the scene, is said :) to have pleased the queen very much.
2. Puns (Wortspiele). Mr. Hare, formerly the envoy to Poland, had apartments in the same house with Mr. Fox, and, like his friend Charles, had frequent visits from bailiffs 4). One morning as he was looking out of his window, he observed two of them at the door. Pray, gentlemen, says he, are you Fox hunting or Hare hunting this morning ?
Foote dined one day at a tavern. When the landlord produced the bill), Footė thought it very exorbitant, and asked him his name. Partridge, an't please you, replied the host. Partridge! resumed Foote; it should be Woodcock 9) by the length of your bill.
Lord Chesterfield happened to be at a rout in France, where Voltaire was one of the guests. Chesterfield seemed gazing about the brilliant circle of the ladies; Voltaire accosted him, «My Lord, I know you are a judge, which are more beautiful, the English or the French ladies ?» Upon my word, replied his lordship with his usual presence of mind; I am no connoisseur of paintings ?). Some time after this, Voltaire being in London, happened to be at a nobleman's rout with Lord Chesterfield; a lady in company, prodigiously painted, directed her whole discourse to Voltaire, and entirely engrossed his conversation. Chesterfield came up, tapped him on the shoulder, saying: «Sir, take care you are not captivated.» My Lord, replied the wit, I scorn to be taken by an English bottom under French colours 8).
A gentleman having married an extreme ugly lady, though very rich, was asked by his friends, how he could think of marrying so ordinary a woman? Look ye, said he, I bought her by weight and paid nothing for fashion 9).
Lady W. was celebrated for wit and beauty. Happening to be at an assembly in Edinburgh, a young gentleman, the son of his Majesty's prinler, who had the patent for publishing bibles, made his appearance, dressed in green and gold. Being a new face, and extremely elegant, he attracted the attention of the whole company. A general murmur prevailed in the room, to learn, who he was 10); Lady W. instantly made
1) Abweichen von. 2) Schauspiel-König. 3) (258). ^) Gerichtsboten. 5) Bill ist hier Wortspiel; the length of a bill fann heißen: die Länge einer Rechnung, und die Länge eines Schnabels. 6) Schnepfe. 7) Paint heißt auch Schminke. 8) Bottom spielt hier an auf Schiff, und colours auf Flagge; gemeint aber ist Boden und Farbe (Schminke). 9) Für Façon. · '9) (254. §. 144).