Joe Miller's Jests



A certain Poet and Player, remarkable for his Impudence and Cowardice, happening many Years ago to have a Quarrel with Mr. Powel, another Player, received from him a smart Box of the Ear; a few Days after the Poetical Player having lost his Snuff-Box, and making strict Enquiry if any Body had seen his Box; what, said another of the Buskin’d Wits, that which George Powel gave you, t’other Night?


Gun Jones, who had made his Fortune himself from a mean Beginning, happening to have some Words with a person, who had known him some Time, was asked by the other, how he could have the Impudence to give himself so many Airs to him, when he knew very well, that he remember’d him seven Years before, with hardly a Rag to his A----. You lie, Sirrah, reply’d Jones, seven Years ago I had nothing but Rags to my A---.


Lord R----- having lost about fifty Pistoles, one Night at the Gaming-Table in Dublin, some Friends condoling with him upon his ill Luck, Faith, said he, I am very well pleas’d at what I have done, for I have bit them, by G--- there is not one Pistole that don’t want Six-Pence of Weight.


Mother Needham, about 25 Years ago being much in Arrear with her Landlord for Rent, was warmly press’d by him for his Money, Dear Sir, said she, how can you be so pressing at this dead Time of the Year, in about six Weeks Time both the Par----, and the C--n-v---c---n will fit, and then Business will be so brisk, that I shall be able to pay ten Times the Sum.


A lady being asked how she liked a Gentleman’s Singing, who had a very stinking Breath, the Words are good, said she, but the Air is intolerable.


The late Mrs. Oldfield being asked if she thought Sir W. Y. and Mrs. H---n, who both had stinking Breaths, were marry’d: I don’t know, said she, whether they are marry’d; but I am sure there is a Wedding between them.


A Gentleman saying something in Praise of Mrs. C----ve, who is, without Dispute, a good Player, tho’ exceeding saucy and exceeding ugly; another said, her face always put him in mind of Mary-Bone Park, being desired to explain himself, he said, it was vastly rude and had not one Bit of Pale about it.


A pragmatical young Fellow sitting at Table over-against the learned John Scot, asked him what Difference there was between Scot and Sot: Just the Breadth of the Table, answered the other.


Another Poet asked Nat Lee if it was not easy to write like a Madman, as he did: No, answered Nat, but it is easy to write like a Fool as you do.


Colley, who, notwithstanding his Odes, has now and then said a good Thing, being told one Night by the late Duke of Wharton, that he expected to see him hang’d or beggar’d very soon, by G---d, said the Laureat, if I had your Grace’s Politicks and Morals you might expect both.

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