Bernard Shaw, Shelley, Byron Swimming Anecdotes (Post No.4396)

Written by London Swaminathan 


Date: 14 NOVEMBER 2017


Time uploaded in London- 18-26



Post No. 4396

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.


Although unable to swim Shelley was forever invading pools and streams…. one day when Trelawney, a powerful swimmer, jumped into a deep pool in the Arno, Shelley immediately jumped in after him and lay ‘like a conger eel on the bottom’ till Trelawney fished him up with great difficulty, Shelley protesting as soon as he could breathe that ‘truth lay always at the bottom of the well’ and that in another minute I should have found it.



Impressing upon his class an admiration for notable feats of physical prowess the teacher related the experience of a vigorous man who swam three times across a broad river in the morning, before breakfast.

There was a giggle from one of the youngsters in the class.

“Well”, said the teacher with some irritation

“What is that it seems so amusing? I see nothing amusing”.

“It’s only this sir, replied the pupil

I was wondering why he didn’t make it four times and get back on the side where he left his clothes”.



Swimming in the Desert!

A certain American soldier, attached to one of the American Tank units fighting with the British in the Libyan campaign, had been carried by the exigencies of the service many miles deep into the heart of desert with his comrades. This outpost of the Front had been quiet for days. The soldier found himself one afternoon with a few hours leave.

It was with some surprise that his commanding officer spotted the man striding purposefully across the sands clad in his bathing trunks.

“Murphy! Shouted the officer in some astonishment. Where in blazes do you think you are going?”

Why, sir, said the soldier, I just thought while I had a couple of hours off I would take a dip in the surf.

Are you crazy? demanded the officer. The ocean is 500 miles from here!

“Beautiful big beach, isn’t it?” said the soldier.




Shelley- Byron Argument!

The greatest and most mysterious of all Shelley s preoccupation s was with water, boat and swimming. He was apparently fascinated by water as a great element, and time and again prophesied his death by drowning. But it was typical of Shelley’s humourless absolutism where his fancy was involved that he was without fear in the business, and never troubled to learn either to navigate or to swim.


In 1816 the friendship that sprang up with Byron at Geneva was based partly on mutual literary admiration, and partly on their common love of boating. Byron knew something of sailing and navigation and they took a trip together around the lake in an open boat. They nearly foundered in a sudden storm one night. After Byron, had got the sail down and while the water poured in and the wind roared in darkness, they sat in furious argument, Byron, proud of his power as a swimmer, declaring that he would save Shelley when they sank, Shelley equally determined that he would not be saved.



Following was published by me under the 15 Anecdotes from Bernard Shaw’s Life

G B Shaw Helped a youth


Bernard Shaw was enjoying a swim in a pool during a stay in South Africa; so were some boys who knew nothing of the august author one small boy was “dared” by his playmates to “duck the old man” for a Shilling. He accepted, but when he was close to his victim, panic seized him. Shaw turned, saw the youngster, and asked him what he wanted. In halting accents, the boy revealed the plot and the shilling bet.

“Well”, said Shaw, looking sternly at the youngster, “if you wait a moment while I get my breath, I will let you push my head under water.

He did, and the small boy swam back triumphantly to collect his shilling.




‘Papa, Abraham Lincoln is not Ugly!’ Homeliness Anecdotes (Post No.4377)


Written by London Swaminathan 


Date: 8 NOVEMBER 2017


Time uploaded in London- 17-24



Post No. 4377

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.



Lincoln’s great love for children easily won their confidence. A little girl, who had been told that the president was very homely, was taken by her father to see the President at the White House.


Lincoln took her upon her knee and chatted with her a moment in his merry way, when she turned to her father and exclaimed

Oh Papa ! He is not ugly at all; he is just beautiful.




Abraham Lincoln delighted to tell stories about himself. One of his favourites was the following:


” In the days w a I used to be on the circuit (travelling from one county court to another on horse back ) I was once accosted by s stranger, who said

Excuse me, sir, but I have an article which belongs to you

How is that? I asked, considerably astonished.

The strange r took a jack knife from his pocket.

This knife, he said, was placed in my hands some years ago, with the injunction that I was to keep it until I found a man homlier looking than I am myself. I have carried it from that time until this; allow me to say ,sir, you are fairly entitled to the property.




An acquaintance came to Jerrold and said indignantly

I hear you said my nose was like the ace of club s!

Jerrold looked thoughtful.

No,  I did not, he drawled;

But now that I look at it, I see it is– very like.”





Said the brash travelling salesman to the farmer,

My God, that is certainly a homely woman!

“That is my wife, young man, said the farmer, and you might remember that beauty is only skin deep ”

Then, said the salesman, for Heavens sake, skin her!”





The day following the adjournment of the Baltimore Convention, at which President Lincoln was renominated, various political organisations called to pay their respects. While the Philadelphia delegation was being presented, the chairman of that body, in introducing one of the members said,

Mr President, this is Mr S of the second district of our state, a most active and earnest friend of yours and the cause. He has,among other things, been good enough to paint and present to our league room s a most beautiful portrait of your self.”

President Lincoln took the gentleman s hand in his, and shaking it cordially said, with a merry voice,

I presume, sir, in painting your beautiful portrait, you took your idea of me from my principle s and not from my person.”




A farmer, making his nightly rounds, saw a shadowy figure holding a lantern and standing somewhat furtively by the side of the house.

Knowing that all his family was in the house, he shouted,

Hey, there. Who are you?

Holding the lantern head high, the figure laughed and said,

“It is only me, Albert.”


Why I thought you were in bed long ago. What are you doing out so late?


Well, said Albert, shifting about a bit as though in embarrassment, I am courting, Annie


The farmer chuckle d. Why, the lantern? Why, when I was courting my missus, I didn’t take a lantern.


The young man hesitated for a minute, then said in all seriousness,

Yes, sir. I know. We can all see that, sir.”


Xxxx SUBHAM xxx




Written by London Swaminathan


Date: 31 October 2017


Time uploaded in London- 18-41



Post No. 4354

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

Boner = Stupid Mistake


Cockroach on your time!

While shown the sights of Chicago by the Mayor of that city, M Cambon, the French ambassador of another generation, expressed his thanks for the Mayor s kindness.

But, he added, “I am sorry so to cockroach on your time”.

“Oh ,answered the Mayor, don’t think of that. But you don’t mean cockroach M.Cambon; it is ‘encroach’, you mean” .

“Oh, is it? I see a difference in gender”.


Oath and Bath!

As is usual, during public events of any kind, the newspapers hurriedly set up their front pages to describe the inauguration of Theodore Roosevelt .

The evidence of this haste was shown by a New York newspaper which described the event as follows,

I”t was a scene never to be forgotten when Roosevelt before the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and a few witnesses, took his simple bath”.



Cold and Coed!

Every newspaper makes its more or less amusing or more or less disastrous typographical errors in headlines or stories. Usually, when this occur, they must be corrected, if caught, in subsequent editions. It is said recently one of the most important newspapers in Washington reported on its front page a mild a disposition of President Roosevelt with the headline

President kept to Rooms by Coed.

Most of the run had been printed and had to be destroyed.

The President, however, heard of the matter and procured from the paper in question several copies to distribute to his friends.



Hiliad and Hodessey of Homer

A man stopped at the shop of a Cockney book seller and asked for Omar Khayyam.

Sorry sir, said the cockney, we ‘hve ‘is  Hilliad and ‘is Hodessey but not ‘is Kayyam.



President’s French!

Benjamin Franklin, being present at the meeting of some literary society in Paris where many pieces were read, and not well understanding the French when declaimed, but wishing to appear polite , resolved to applaud when he should see a lady of his acquaintance, Mme d. Bouffiers, express satisfaction.  After the reading was over, his little boy said to him, But, Grandpa, you always applauded, and louder than anybody else, when they were praising you.



Reputation Anecdotes! (Post No. 4271)

Compiled by London Swaminathan


Date: 4 October 2017


Time uploaded in London- 18-08


Post No. 4271

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.



Police Never knew me!

An Irishman was charged with a petty offence. Have you anybody here who can vouch for your charcter?, said the judge.

Yes, Your Honour, the sheriff there can.


(Sheriff= law enforcement officer)

Why, I do not even know this man, exclaimed the sheriff.

Observe, Your Honour!, said the Irishman triumphantly, that I have lived 12 years in this country and the sheriff doesn’t even know me.




Enrico Caruso= Robinson Crusoe!

It is humbling, to all men of note to find themselves at sometime outside of the spheres in which their talent and fame are known, and to see themselves as lesser individuals.

(Enrico Caruso= famous Opera singer)

The great Enrico Caruso once stopped at a farm during a drive through the country. He obtained water and something to eat, and while he was talking in a friendly way with the farmer, the latter chanced to inquire his name. He said his name was Caruso. Instantly the farmer was transfixed.

What an honour, he said what an honour to have in my own house that great traveller, Robinson Crusoe.




Businessman of Doubtful Reputation!

One of the powerful figures in Wall Street fell in love with an actress and for many months danced constant attendance upon her and squired her about in the fashionable circles of town.

Deciding to marry her, he first prudently put a private detective to the job of looking into the antecedents in order to guard himself against any rash mistake. At last he received his agent’s report.

(Squire= nobleman acting like an attendant to someone)


Miss Blank enjoys an excellent reputation. Her past is spotless. Hr associates have been irreproachable. The only breath of scandal is that in recent months, she has been much seen in the company of a businessman of doubtful reputation.





Marches and Regulations Anecdotes (Post No.4154)

Compiled by London Swaminathan


Date: 13 August 2017


Time uploaded in London- 7-05 am


Post No. 4154

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google, Wikipedia and newspapers; thanks.



A green young lieutenant was assigned a new detachment. He was a very small and helpless looking individual and when he first appeared before his company, there were many audible comments made about his apparent ineptness. From the rear of the ranks a voice boomed,

And a little child shall lead them

There was a roar of laughter.

Seemingly undisturbed finished the business of the day. Next morning there appeared a notice on the bulletin board

Company A will take a 25 mile hike today with full packs. And a little child shall lead them……….. on a damned big horse.




The late Smedley D Butler, always an impulsive man, was generally careful of the welfare of his men. One time in France he encountered two soldiers emerging from the kitchen with a large soup kettle.

Let me taste that, he ordered.

Bu, Gen…………….

No buts! Give me a spoon.

Taking a taste, he sputtered,

You don’t call that soup, do you?

No sir, replied the soldier

I was trying to tell you ,sir, it is dishwater



Regulations Anecdotes : Extremely Confidential!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Strange things happen in military circles. An army officer was given the task of preparing a factual report on heavy ordnance. Partly because he was pressed for time and partly because the facts were there, arranged in their best way, he copied pretty much verbatim the article on the subject in the Encyclopaedia Brittanica , and turned it over to his superior s. Not long after, he received along with all his brother officers, a mimeographed copy of his report from the war department in an envelope heavily sealed and labelled, “Extremely Confidential”.





COMPILED by London Swaminathan


Date: 11 August 2017


Time uploaded in London- 10-02 am


Post No. 4149

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.


One night, at the beginning of the World War, Picasso and Gertrude Stein were taking a walk when they saw a camaflouged truck for the first times. He was amazed by the resemblance of to cubist art, and, in the tone of a man who has just been plagiarised, said,

“Why, it is we who invented that !”

Later when a new field uniform for the French army was discussed, he told Cocteau

“If they want to make an army invisible at a distance, all they have to do is dress the men as harlequins”


Not giving Tea is recrimination!

Harvey Klemmer tells of how one of the London wardens , a slim, elderly man , directed the work of removing bodies

“They got my house last night”, he said simply.

I heard from one of the other wardens that while this man was working on a job, someone came running to tell him his own house, a few streets away had been hit. The house and all his belongings had been destroyed; his wife and children fortunately, had gone to a nearby shelter. I asked the man what he would do if he could lay his hands on the airmen who had dropped the bomb.

He gulped a couple of times and I waited eagerly to hear what sort of punishment he would be prepared to mete out.

“Well”, he said slowly, “I don’t think I would give him a cup of tea”.

That is the nearest thing to recrimination I have heard in England.



An American who had gone to England to carry out certain duties in connection with the War, was wearied by a seemingly interminable season of fog and rain. One day he glanced out of his window at the barrage balloon s which could be seen mistily at their cable ends in the sky and asked ,”Why don’t they just cut the ropes on those thongs and let the place sink!”



During the First World War, the Germans entered and occupied a small Belgian town. Seeking keep the occupants of the town under control, an officer of the German army called all the citizens to the town hall and insisted that they all take the oath of allegiance to the German emperor.

One particularly truculent and obstinate inhabitant refused to be intimidated, and kept boasting of the defence the Belgian s put up against the superior German force.

Finally the German officer lost all patience ,”Take this oath of allegiance or you will be shot”.

Faced with this alternative, the man gave in and took the oath.

“That’s the spirit, said the German, now you may come and go as you please. You are one of us”.


With a sly grin on his face, the Belgian turned and said,

“Say, didn’t those Belgians give us a hell of a fight?”

Xxxx SUBHAM Xxxxx






Sleeping and Drinking Anecdotes (Post No.4113)

Compiled  by London Swaminathan
Date: 25 July 2017
Time uploaded in London-18-02
Post No. 4113
Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.


Stephen Leacock says, “I often think this ‘insomnia’ business is about 90 percent nonsense. When I was a yong man living in boarding house in Toronto, my brother George came to visit me, and since there was no spare room, we had to share my bed. In the morning, after day light, I said to George,

“Did you get much sleep?”

“Not a damn minute”, said he.

Neither did I, I rejoined. “I could hear every sound all night.”

“Then we put our heads up from the bed clothes and the bed was coveed with plaster. The ceiling had fallen on us in the night. But we hadn’t noticed it. We had ‘insomnia’.



The old light house keeper had been at his post continuously for thirty ears. During that entire period he had been accustomed to a gun going off, practically under his nose, every six minutes, day and night This was the method followed for warning the ships Naturally, he grew hardened to this periodic explosion, and paid no attention to it. Then, one night, in his 31st year at his post, the gun failed to go off. The old man awoke from a sound slumber.

“What was that?” he cried in alarm.



Drinking Anecdotes

One day Dr Johnson was conversing with Mrs Williams, ablind friend of his. She was telling him where she had dined the day before, “There were several gentlemen there”, said she, “and I found that there had been a good deal of hard drinking”. She closed this observation with a tite moral reflection: I wonder what pleasure men can take in making beasts of themselves!”

Dr Johnson replied, “I wonder madam that you have not the penetration to see that he who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.”



A lady once asked Secretary of State Evarts if drinking so many different wines did not make him seedy (unwell) the next day.

“No madam, he repied, It is the indifferent wines that produce that result”.


All teetotellers should be as gracious in their excuses as the Irish poet, George Russel, better known as A.E.

When declining a drink, he would murmur, “No, thank you. You see…………. I was born intoxicated”.



Sir Campbell Bannerman M.P. was once asked his opinion on the liquor traffic. He replied, “The liquor traffic is a large subject, and I can hardly enter on it here. There is an old story of a Highlander who was asked if whisky was not a bad thing. ‘Yes’, said he, ‘very bad—especially bad whiskey.”




Dickens and Voltaire: More Author Anecdotes (Post No.4080)

Compiled by London Swaminathan
Date: 14 July 2017
Time uploaded in London- 10-49 am
Post No. 4080
Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.


Meeting one’s literary idol face to face is sometimes a sad experience. According to George Dolby, who was dickens lecture manager.

During the progress of a reading, he tells, my attention was drawn to a gentleman who was in a most excited state. Imagining to be ill and wanting assistance,

I said, “What is the matter with you?”

“Say, who is that man on the platform reading ?”

“Mr Charles dickens”, I replied

“But that ain’t the real Charles dickens, the man as wrote all them books I have been reading all these years?”

“The same”

“Well, all I have to say about it then is that he knows no more about Sam Weller a cow does of pleating a shirt, at all events that ain’t my idea of Sam Weller, anyhow. And he clapped his hat on his head and left in a state of high dudgeon.



Voltaire and Casanova

While Voltaire was living in retirement in Geneva, he was visited by the Italian Casanova. Voltaire had been reading some recent works by Haller, the Bernese savant, and praised him to his guest.

“That is commendation which is indeed ill requited”, said Casanova.

“I have heard that Haller, far from returning your compliment says that your writing is more than half nonsense”.

Ah, well, then returned the famous wit with a wry smile, “it may be that we were both mistaken in our judgments”.



Dr Johnson and Oliver Goldsmith

One day Dr Johnson received a message from Oliver Goldsmith that his land lady had called in an officer to arrest him for non- payment of his bill. Johnson immediately sent him a guinea and himself proceeded to the scene of battle at his own speed.


When he arrived Goldsmith had already broken the guinea to procure a bottle of Madeira, and being well stimulated by the contents was berating his land lady soundly when Johnson entered.


The heavy angel interrupted his eloquence to inquire if he had any means of raising money, whereat Goldsmith produced the manuscript of a novel.  This Johnson pocketed, hurried away to Newbury the book seller and returned shortly with sixty pounds. This was the “Vicar of Wakefield “



What is Research? Authors Anecdotes (Post No.4077)

Compiled by London Swaminathan
Date: 13 July 2017
Time uploaded in London- 10-34 am
Post No. 4077

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.


The Emily Dickenson house in Amherst has been converted into a shrine, preserving the memory and relics of the distinguished American poetess. During his administration, President Coolidge, chancing to pass through Amherst, stopped off at the Dickinson shrine to do it honour.


In deference to the President he was shown throughout the house; permitted to see and handle many relics carefully shut away from the general public. At last the small upper room in which Emily Dickinson had done much of her writing, the greatest special privilege was conferred upon him. Stooping down, his guide opened a locked chest and removed from it a packet of holograph manuscripts of some of her most famous poems.

These were put into Coolidge’s hand. He examined them with interest And handed them back making, at the same time, his only comment on the entire tour, “Wrote with a pen, eh? I dictate”.




Research is………………..

Nicholas Murray Butler and Prof Brander Mathews of Columbia university were having a conversation, and Prof Mathews was giving his ideas on plagiarism from an article of his own on that subject.

In the case of the first man to use an anecdote, he said, there is originality; in the case of the second there is plagiarism; with the third there is lack of originality; and with the fourth it is drawing from a common stock.

“Yes”,  broke in President Butler, “and in the case of fifth, it is research”.



Synonyms and Antonyms!

Henry James could never rest content with the phrases that came to his tongue. He simply couldn’t leave the English language alone; he would extract a word from his verbal store house, drop it, substitute another ,then a third, and so on until he had constructed a veritable pyramid of synonyms. This terrible word malady broke out once at Princes Restaurant as he gave the waiter his order,

“Bring me…………, fetch me…………., carry me…………. supply me….. in other words (I hope you are following me) serve …………when it is cooked… scorched…. grilled. I should say a large…considerable…meaty ( as opposed to fatty ) …. chop .



Old Maids Anecdotes (Post No.4019)

Compiled by London Swaminathan
Date: 20 June 2017
Time uploaded in London- 18-09
Post No. 4019
Pictures are taken from various sources such as Face book, Wikipedia and newspapers; thanks.


I worry!

At a recent dinner, the Reverend Dr Minot J Savage told a story of a lady who was asked ,

“Do you ever think of getting married?”

“Think?” She answered, with asperity, “I worry:

(asperity= harshness of tone or manner)


Question to actress


Maude Adams, the famous actress, was in her dressing room preparing for a performance. Her old coloured maid was dressing her hair when, without warning, she said,

“When you gwing to git married, Miss Maudie?”

“Oh, replied the star laughingly, I don’t think I will ever get married .”

“Well”, said the old servant , in a soothing tone as though to comfort her mistress, “they do say old maids is the happies’ kind after they quit struggling.”

(spelling and grammar: given the way they speak)


Not a fussy Old Maid!

It was the maid’s day off and the lady of the house was doing her own marketing. On her way home she happened to meet the girl who was wheeling a baby carriage which contained a smiling set of twins. Stopping to pet the children she casually asked the maid ,

“And whose children are these?”

“Mine, Ma’am”

“Yours, Sally, why I always thought you were an old maid”

Well, madam, I is. But I ain’t a fussy old maid.”