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163. WIT AND HUMOUR.

Wit without wisdom is salt without meat.

Wit is folly unless a wise man has the keeping of it.

One day the Emperor (Akbar) was sitting in his court, which consisted of nobles, chiefs and bankers. The Emperor eyeing the magnates put them the following question individually. "What idea is uppermost in the minds of all assembled here at the present time?" None could answer this question. They talked among themselves that as it was a hard thing to know what one was thinking of, it was impossible to know what so many in the court were about. They also said that the king had lost his reason to put a question like that, and they were anxious to see what Birbal would say in reply, because they thought that that day would test the powers of Birbal, who had the reputation of being the wisest of them all. Thus the talk went round, and every one of them hung down his head as the Emperor looked at him and put him the question. At last it came to Birbal's turn, who immediately got up to answer and said, "May it please Your Majesty, shall I give an answer with respect to each separately or shall I give only one answer covering the thoughts of all?" The Emperor chose the second method. Birbal then continued, "All are thinking of the permanence of your empire, and the increase of your wealth and glory. You may enquire of them whether what I say is right or wrong. The Emperor was gratified to hear this. Even

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least find the courtiers was wishing evil of the Emperor, but brould not dare to say it to his face. All began to neay what Birbal said was true.

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The late king of Prussia once sent to an aide-de-camp, who was brave but poor, a small portfolio, bound like a book, in which were deposited five hundred crowns. Some time afterwards he met the officer and said to him, "Ah, well, how did you like the new work I sent you." Excessively, sire," replied the colonel, "I read it with such interest that I expect the second volume with impatience." The king smiled, and when the officer's birthday arrived, he presented him with another portfolio, similar in every respect to the first, but with these words engraved upon it, "This book is complete in two

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One king was outwitted by an astrologer, who had foretold that a lady, whom he loved, would die in eight days, which actually took place. The unlucky prophet was ordered before him, and on a signal was to be tbrown out of the window. "You who pretended to be such a wise man," said the king, "knowing so well the fate of others, tell me this moment what will be your own, and how long you have to live?" Whether the fellow guessed his fate, or had been threatened by the messengers, he replied, without testifying any fear, "I shall die just three days before your Majesty" The king upon this was not in the smallest hurry to throw the prophet out of the window, but, on the contrary, he took particular care to let him want for nothing, and to make him live as long as possible.

A man came to the late Duke of Wellington with a patented article. "What have you to offer?" "A bul

let-proof jacket, your grace." "Put it on." Thaitted the tor obeyed. The Duke rang a bell, an aide-de-camp oiety sented himself. "Tell the captain of the guard to ordeig one of his men to load with ball cartridge." The inventor disappeared, and was never seen again near the Horse-guards. No money was wasted in trying that invention.

During the debate in the Continental Congress on the establishment of the federal army, a member offered a resolution providing that it should never exceed three thousand men, whereupon Washington moved an amendment that no enemy should ever invade the country with a force exceeding two thousand men. This joke was a perfect success, and the laughter which it excited smothered the Resolution.

Aristippus begged a favour of King Dionysius for one of his friends, and not being able to obtain it, he cast himself at his feet. Somebody reproaching him at his cringing as unworthy of a philosopher, he pleasingly answered, "You ought not to lay the blame upon me but upon the king, who carries his ears at his feet."

The secret of Dante's struggle through life was in the reckless sarcasm of his reply to the prince of Verona, who asked him how he could account for the fact that in the household of princes, the court fool was in greater favour than the philosopher. Similarity of minds, said the fierce genius, "is over all the world a test of friendship."

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Some merchants went to an eastern sovereign, and exhibited for sale several very fine horses. The King

least find em, and bought them. He moreover gave the but bets a lac of rupees to purchase more horses for n. The king one day in a sportive manner ordered the vizier to make out a list of all the fools in his dominions. He did so, and put his majesty's name at the head of them. The king asked, why; "because you entrusted a lac of rupees to men, you don't know, and who will never come back," was the reply. "Ay, but suppose they should come back." "Then I shall erase your name, and insert theirs."

A poor Turkish slater of Constantinople being at work upon the roof of a house fell into the narrow street upon a man who was killed. The slater escaped. A son of the pedestrian caused the slater to be arrested. The Kâji listened attentively, and asked the slater his defence, who admitted the facts, but added there was no evil in his heart. He was a poor man, and did not know how to make amends. The son asked that condign punishment should be passed, whereupon the Kâji said, "be it so," and he told the slater, “Thou shalt stand in the street where the father of this young man stood, when thou didst fall on him," and to the son he added, "thou shalt, if it please thee, go upon the roof, and fall upon the culprit, even as he fell upon thy

father."

A few days ago a prisoner was tried on a charge of entering a house in the night time, and committing a robbery. He had made an opening into which he had thrust the upper part of his body, and then he clutched the articles he coveted. His counsel contended that the prisoner did not "enter the house." "He only partly entered it." The jury brought in a verdict of guilty

against the upper half of his body, and acquitted the remainder. The judge then sentenced the guilty moiety of the man to a year's imprisonment; leaving to his option to have the innocent half cut off or take it along with him.

A clergyman having occasion to call on a Lawyer, found him in his office, which was very hot. He remarked the general heat of the apartment and said it was as hot as an oven. "So it ought to be," replied the lawyer, "for 'tis here I make my bread."

"It is a settled principle, your honour," said an eminent lawyer, "that causes always "that causes always produce effects." "They always do for the lawyers," blandly responded the judge, "but I have sometimes known a single cause to deprive a client of all his effects."

(REPORT OF AN ADJUDGED CASE.)

I

Between Nose and Eyes a strange contest arose,
The spectacles set them unhappily wrong;
The point in dispute was, as all the world knows,
To which the said spectacles ought to belong.

II

So Tongue was the lawyer, and argued the cause,
With a great deal of skill and a wig full of learning;
While Chief Baron Ear sat to balance the laws,
So famed for his talent in nicely discerning.

III

"In behalf of the Nose, it will quickly appear,
And your Lordship," he said, "will undoubtedly find,
That the nose has had spectacles always to wear,
Which amounts to possession time out of mind."

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