Joe Miller's Jests



Tom Warner, the late Publisher of News Papers and Pamphlets, being very near his End, a Gentlewoman in the Neighbourhood sending her Maid to enquire how he did, he bad the Girl tell her Mistress, that he hoped he was going to the New-Jerusalem; Ah, dear Sir, said she, I dare say the Air of Islington would do you more good.


A Person said the Scotch were certainly the best trained up for Soldiers of any People in the World, for they began to handle their Arms almost as soon as they were born.


A Woman once prosecuted a Gentleman for a Rape: Upon the Trial, the Judge asked if she made any Resistance, I cry’d out, an please you, my Lord, said she: Ay, said one of the Witnesses, but that was Nine Months after.


A young Lady who had been married but a short Time, seeing her Husband going to rise pretty early in the Morning, said, What, my Dear, are you getting up already? Pray lie a little longer and rest yourself. No, my Dear, reply’d the Husband, I’ll get up and rest myself.


The Deputies of Rochel, attending to speak with Henry the Fourth of France, met with a Physician who had renounced the Protestant Religion, and embrac’d the Popish Communion, whom they began to revile most grievously. The King hearing of it, told the Deputies, he advis’d them to change their Religion, for it is a dangerous Symptom, says he, that your Religion has not long-liv’d, when a Physician has given it over.


Two Oxford scholars meeting on the Road with a Yorkshire Ostler, they fell to bantering the Fellow, and told him, they could prove him a Horse, an Ass, and I know not what; and I, said the Ostler, can prove your Saddle to be a Mule: A Mule! cried one of them, how can that be? because, said the Ostler, it is something between a Horse and an Ass.


A Frenchman travelling between Dover and London, came into an Inn to lodge, where the Host perceiving him a close-fisted Cur, having called for nothing but a Pint of Beer and a Pennyworth of Bread to eat with a Sallad he had gathered by the Way, resolved to fit him for it, therefore seemingly paid him an extraordinary Respect, laid him a clean Cloth for Supper, and complimented him with the best Bed in the House. In the morning he set a good Sallad before him, with Cold Meat, Butter, &c. which provok’d the Monsieur to the Generosity of calling for half a Pint of Wine; then coming to pay, the Host gave him a Bill, which, for the best Bed, Wine, Sallad, and other Appurtenances, he had enhanc’d to the Value of twenty Shillings. Jernie, says the Frenchman, Twenty Shillings! Vat you mean? But all his spluttering was in vain; for the Host with a great deal of Tavern-Elocution, made him sensibe that nothing could be ‘bated. The Monsieur therefore seeing no Remedy but Patience, seem’d to pay it chearfully. After which he told the Host, that his House being extremely troubled with Rats, he could give him a Receipt to drive ’em away, so as they should never return again. The Host being very desirous to be rid of these troublesome Guests, who were every Day doing him one Mischief or another, at length concluded to give Monsieur twenty Shillings for a Receipt; which done, Beggar, says the Monsieur, you make a de Rat one such bill as you make me, and if ever dey trouble your House again, me will be hang.


A young Gentleman playing at Questions and Commands with some very pretty young Ladies, was commanded to take off a Garter from one of them; but she, as soon as he had laid hold of her Petticoats, ran away into the next Room, where was a bed, now, Madam, said he, I bar squeaking, Bar the Door, you Fool, cry’d she.


A Westminster Justice taking Coach in the City, and being set down at Young Man’s Coffee-house, Charing-Cross, the Driver demanded Eighteen-Pence as his Fare; the Justice asked him, if he would swear that the Ground came to the Money; the Man said, he would take his Oath on’t. The Justice replyed, Friend, I am a Magistrate, and pulling a Book out of his Pocket, administer’d the Oath, and then gave the Fellow Six-pence, saying, he must reserve the shilling to himself for the Affadavit.


A Countryman passing along the Strand saw a Coach overturn’d, and asking what the Matter was? He was told, that three or four Members of Parliament were overturned in that Coach: Oh, says he, there let them lie, my Father always advis’d me not to meddle with State Affairs.

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