Release Date: April 20, 2005 [EBook #15667]
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*** Start of this project gutenberg EBOOK best short stories ***
Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Jennifer Goslee and
Distributed Proofreading Team.
Collected by THOMAS L. MASSON
A FOREWORD TO EVERYBODY
There is a wide difference of opinion, even among the most discriminating critics, as to what constitutes the point of a good joke. Aside from varying temperaments, this is largely due to one’s experience with life in general. Or intimate acquaintance with certain phases of life gives us a subtler appreciation of certain niceties, which would be lost upon those who have not traveled over that particular path. The doctor, the lawyer, the family man, and the soldier, each have their minds sensitized to their own fields of thought. Human nature, however, works according to universal laws, and a really first-class joke strikes home to the majority.
The compiler of this collection has had it in mind to get as much variety as possible, while at the same time to use only such material as serves to illustrate some easily recognizable human trait.
It is almost needless to say that this book should not be read continuously. It should be taken in small doses, as it is highly concentrated.
Many old friends will be noticed in the crowd. But old friends, even among jokes, should not be passed by too lightly.
THE POINT OF HONOR
A young lieutenant was passed by a private, who failed to salute. The lieutenant called him back, and said sternly:
“You did not salute me. For this you will immediately salute two hundred times.”
At this moment the General came up.
“What’s all this?” he exclaimed, seeing the poor private about to begin.
The lieutenant explained.
“This ignoramus failed to salute me, and as a punishment, I am making him salute two hundred times.”
“Quite right,” replied the General, smiling. “But do not forget, sir, that upon each occasion you are to salute in return.”
It is never wise to jump to conclusions. Always wait until the evidence is all in.
A Jersey man of a benevolent turn of mind encountered a small boy in his neighborhood who gave evidence of having emerged but lately from a severe battle.