Joe Miller's Jests



The late Commissary-General G--ley, who once kept a Glass Shop, having General P---c---k’s Regiment under a Muster, made great Complaints of the Men’s Appearance, &c. and said, that the Regiment ought to be broke: Then Sir, said the Colonel, perhaps you think a Regiment is as soon broke as a Looking-Glass.


C----ll, the Bookseller, being under Examination, at the Bar of the House of Lords, for publishing the Posthumous Works of the late Duke of Buckingham, without Leave of the Family, told their Lordships in his Defence, That if the Duke was living, he was sure he would readily pardon the Offence.


A Gentleman said of a young Wench, who constantly ply’d about the Temple, that if she had as much Law in her Head, as she had had in her Tail, she would be one of the ablest Counsel in England.


J---ck E---s, the Painter, having finish’d a very good Picture of Figg the Prize-Fighter, who had been famous for getting the better of several Irishmen of the same Profession, the Piece was shewn to old J----n, the Player, who was told at the same Time, that Mr. E----s designed to have a Mezzo-tinto Print taken from it, but wanted a Motto to be put under it: Then said old J----n, I’ll give you one: A Figg for the Irish.


Some Gentlemen going into a noted Bawdy-House Tavern at Charing-Cross, found great Fault with the Wine, and sending for the Master of the House, told him, it was sad Stuff, and very weak: It may be so, said he, for my Trade don’t depend upon the Strength of my Wine, but on that of my Tables and Chairs.


A Gentleman coming to an Inn in Smithfield, and seeing the Hostler expert and tractable about the Horses, asked, how long had he lived there? And What Countryman he was? I’se Yerkshire, said the Fellow, an ha’ lived Sixteen Years here. I wonder reply’d the Gentleman, that in so long a Time, so clever a Fellow as you seem to be, have not come to be Master of the Inn yourself. Ay, said the Hostler, But Maister’s Yerkshire too.


The late Colonel Chartres, reflecting on his ill Life and Character, told a certain Nobleman, that if such a Thing as a good Name was to be purchased, he would freely give 10,000 Pounds for one; the Nobleman said, it would certainly be the worst Money he ever laid out in his Life. Why so, said the honest Colonel, because, answered the Lord, you would forfeit it again in less than a Week.


A seedy [poor] half-pay Captain, who was much given to blabbling every thing he heard, was told, there was but one Secret in the World he could keep, and that was where he lodged.


Jack M---n, going one Day into the Apartments at St. James’s, found a Lady of his Acquaintance sitting in one of the Windows, who very courteously asked him, to sit down by her, telling him there was a Place, No, Madam, said he, I don’t come to Court for a Place.
    If the gentle Reader should have a Desire to repeat this Story, let him not make the same Blunder that a certain English-Irish foolish Lord did, who made the lady ask Jack to sit down by her, telling him there was room.


A certain Lady of Quality sending her Irish Footman to fetch Home a Pair of new Stays, strictly charged him to take a Coach if it rained for fear of wetting them: But a great Shower of Rain falling, the Fellow returned with the Stays dropping wet, and being severely reprimanded for not doing as he was ordered, he said, he had obey’d his Orders; how then, answered the Lady, could the Stays be wet, if you took them into the Coach with you? No, reply’d honest Teague, I knew my Place better, I did not go into the Coach, but rode behind as I always used to do.

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