Joe Miller's Jests



’Tis certainly the most transcendant Pleasure to be agreeably surpriz’d with the Confession of Love, from an ador’d Mistress. A young Gentleman, after a very great Misfortune came to his Mistress, and told her, he was reduc’d even to the want of five Guineas: To which she replied, I am glad of it with all my Heart: Are you so, Madam, adds he, suspecting her Constancy: Pray, why so? Because, says she, I can furnish you with five Thousand.


On a Publick Night of Rejoicing, when Bonefires and Illuminations were made, some honest Fellows were drinking the King’s Health and Prosperity to England, as long as the Sun and Moon endured: Ay, says one, and 500 Years after, for I have put both my Sons Apprentices to a Tallow-Chandler.


A young Fellow who had made an End of all he had, even to his last Suit of Cloaths; one said to him, Now I hope, you’ll own yourself a happy Man, for you have made an End of all your Cares: How so, said the Gentleman; Because, said the other, you’ve nothing left to take care of.


Some Years ago, when his Majesty used to hunt frequently in Richmond - Park, it brought such Crowds of People thither, that Orders were given to admit none, when the King was there himself, but the Servants of the Houshold. A fat Country Parson having, on one of these Days a strong Inclination to make one of the Company, Captain B-d-ns, promised to introduce him, but coming to the gate, the Keepers would have stopp’d him, by telling him, none but the Houshold were to be admitted: Why, d--mn you, said the Captain, don’t you know the Gentleman? He’s his Majesty’s Hunting-Chaplain: Upon which the Keepers asked Pardon, and left the reverend Gentleman to Recreation.


The learned Mr. Charles Barnard, Serjeant Surgeon to Queen Anne, being very severe upon Parsons having Pluralities. A reverend and worthy Divine heard him a good while with Patience, but at length took him up with this Question, Why do you Mr. Serjeant Barnard rail thus at Pluralities, who have always so many Sine-Cures upon your own Hands?


Dr. Lloyd, Bishop of Worcester, so eminent for his Prophesies, when by his Sollicitations and Compliance at Court, he got removed from a poor Welch Bishoprick to a rich English one. A reverend Dean of the Church said, That he found his Brother Lloyd spelt Prophet with an F *.

* Most of the Clergy follow this Spelling.


A worthy old Gentleman in the Country, having employ’d an Attorney, of whom he had a pretty good Opinion, to do some Law Business for him in London, he was greatly surprized on his coming to Town, and demanding his Bill of Law Charges, to find that it amounted to at least three Times the Sum he expected; the honest Attorney assured him, that there was no Article in his Bill, but what was fair and reasonable: Nay, said the Country Gentleman, here is one of them I am sure cannot be so, for you have set down three Shillings and four Pence for going to Southwark, when none of my Business lay that Way; pray what is the Meaning of that Sir; Oh! Sir, said he, that was for fetching the Chine and Turkey from the Carriers, that you sent me for a Present, out of the Country.

<< 231-240    

The End As I Know It: A Novel of Millennial Anxiety, by proprietor Kevin Shay, is now available in paperback.

Please visit for more information.