Joe Miller's Jests



The same Irishman being at a Tavern where the Cook was dressing some Carp, he observed that some of the Fish moved after they were gutted and put in the Pan, which very much surprizing Teague, well, now, faith, said he, of all the Christian Creatures that ever I saw, this same carp will live the longest after it is dead.


A Gentleman happening to turn up against an House to make Water, did not see two young Ladies looking out of a Window close by him, ’till he heard them giggling, then looking towards them, he asked, what made them so merry? O! Lord, Sir, said one of them, a very little Thing will make us laugh.


A Gentleman hearing a Parson preach upon the Story of the Children being devoured by the two She Bears, who reviled the old Man, and not much liking his Sermon; some Time after seeing the same Parson come into the Pulpit to preach at another Church: O ho! said he, What are you here with your Bears again.


A young Fellow riding down a steep Hill, and doubting that the Foot of it was boggish, call’d out to a Clown that was ditching, and ask’d him, if it was hard at the Bottom: Ay, ay, answered the Countryman, it’s hard enough at the Bottom I’ll warrant you: But in half a Dozen Steps the Horse sunk up to the Saddle Skirts, which made the young Gallant whip, spur, curse, and swear, why thou Whoreson Rascal, said he, to the Ditcher, did’st thou not tell me it was hard at the Bottom? Ay, reply’d the other, but you are not half Way to the Bottom yet.


It was said of one who remembered every Thing that he lent, but quite forgot what he borrowed, That he had lost half his Memory.


One speaking of Titus Oats, said, he was a Villain in Grain, and deserved to be well threshed.


It was said of Henry, Duke of Guise, that he was the greatest Usurer in all France, for he had turned all his Estate into Obligations, meaning, he had sold and mortgaged his Patrimony, to make Presents to other Men.


An Englishman and a Welchman disputing in whose Country was the best Living, said the Welchman, there is such noble Housekeeping in Wales, that I have known above a Dozen Cooks employ’d at one Wedding Dinner; Ay, answered the Englishman, that was because every Man toasted his own Cheese.


The late Sir Godfrey Kneller, had always a very great Contempt, I will not pretend to say how justly, for J----s the Painter, and being one Day about twenty Miles from London, one of his Servants told him at Dinner, that there was Mr. J----s come that Day into the same Town with a Coach and four: Ay, said Sir Godfrey, but if his Horses draw no better than himself, they’ll never carry him to Town again.


Some Women speaking of the Pains of Childbirth, for my Part, said one of them, it is less Trouble to me, than to swallow a Poach’d Egg: Then sure, Madam, answer’d another, your Throat is very narrow.

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