‘I write when the Spirits Command me’ – William Blake (Post No.6040)

Compiled  by London swaminathan


Date: 6 FEBRUARY 2019
GMT Time uploaded in London – 21-29
Post No. 6040
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William Blake, English mystic, poet and artist, said
I write when commanded by the spirits, and the moment I have written I see the words fly about the room in all directions. It is then published and the spirits can read. My manuscripts are of no further use I have been tempted to burn my manuscripts, but my wife wont let me.


Shakespeare Imitation!

At the Garrick Club in London the witty librettist W S Gilbert was once making light of Shakespeare, to the horror of most of those surrounding him.
All right, then, said Gilbert in answer to their protests,
Let us take this passage for example
I would as lief be thrust through a quickest hedge,
As cry Plosh, to a callow throstle

Why that is perfectly clear, insisted one of his hearers, rising to the defence of the bard.
It just means this bird lover would rather get himself all scratched up in the thorny bush than disturb the birds song. What play is the passage from?
No play, said Gilbert, I made it up — and jolly good Shakespeare too.


Boileau in presenting a poet to M. d ‘Hemery, addressed him,
Sir, I present to you a person who will give you immortality; but you must give him something to live upon in the meantime.


Proof Reading !

On the subject of proof reading some authors are a menace to their publishers,
While others suffer from legitimate grievances. In one such instance the author , Ward Dorance, wrote to his publishers on the subject of proofs of his book,
In all the proof that has reached me windrow has been spelt Window, if, in ,the bound book windrow still appears as window, then neither rain nor hail, nor gloom of night nor fleets of riot squads will prevent me from assassinating the man who is responsible. If the coward hides beyond my finding, I shall step into Scribner’s and merely shoot up the place, Southern style


Thomas Hardy

The import of Thomas Hardy’s birth was so little appreciated that he was thrown aside for dead. Presently he must have been so in fact, had not the nurse glancing up from attending the mother, cried out suddenly,
Dead! Stop a minute. He is alive enough sure!

Xxx Subham xxxx


Compiled by London Swaminathan
Date: 24 December 2018
GMT Time uploaded in London – 20-34
Post No. 5827

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Mathematicians Anecdotes

When the Greek philosophers found that the square root of 2 is not a rational number, they celebrated the victory by sacrificing 100 oxen.


PASCAL – A born mathematician

Pascal’s genius for geometry began to appear before he was even 12 years old, in the room where he passed his hours of play. He procured a piece of charcoal, and drew diagrams on the floor, trying to make a circle, perfectly round, a triangle with equal sides and angles, a perfect parallelogram and like thing. He discovered all this unaided and then turned his attention to the properties of these figures and their mutual relations and proportions. But as his father had with such great care concealed from him all mathematical works, the poor boy did not even know the names of the figures he drew.

Compelled to make his own definitions he called a circle ‘a round’ and a line a ‘bar’ etc and with these very primitive definitions, proceeded to construct his axioms, till at last he wrought out complete demonstrations!

Step by step he advanced in his studies, one discovery opening the door to another; and so far did he push his researches, that without ever seeing a mathematical work, he got to the thirty second proposition of the book of Euclid.



Edison approached the mathematical aspects of his science with that same practical instinct and native ability that characterised every other phase of his work. He often succeeding in beating the mathematicians on his staff to the draw in search for correct formulae, seeming to arrive at his conclusions through infallible instinct and native genius.

“These mathematicians make me tired”, he often said, “you ask them to work out a sum and they take a piece of paper, cover it with rows of’ ‘a’ s and ‘b’ s and ‘x’ s and’ y’ s. Decorate them with a lot of little numbers, scatter a mess of fly specks around them and then give you an answer that is all wrong!


Explorers Anecdotes — KANGAROO!

When Captain Cook discovered Australia, his sailors brought a strange animal aboard ship whose name they did not know. Sent ashore to inquire of the natives, they came back and said,

‘It is a kangaroo’.

Many years passed before it was known when the natives were asked to name the animal and said, ‘Kangaroo’, they meant,

‘What did you say?’


·  Robert Falson Scott, the explorer, applied to Lloyd George for assistance in financing of his last and fatal polar expedition. The then Chancellor referred him to a certain wealthy man, also of some prominence in the political scene.

·  How did you succeed? Asked Lloyd George, when the explorer again called on him.

·  “He gave me a thousand pounds” was the reply,” but he has undertaken to raise 20,000 pounds if I can persuade you to come with me, and a million if I can manage to leave you there”.

tags- mathematicians, Explorers, Pascal,Kangaroo


University and College Anecdotes (Post No.5613)


COMPILED by London Swaminathan


Date: 1 November 2018

GMT Time uploaded in London – 17-43

Post No. 5613

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Dr Charles W Eliot, the eminent educator of Harvard whose fate it has been to be dubiously immortalised by a five foot shelf of books, was once asked how Harvard had gained its prestige as the greatest storehouse of knowledge in the nation.

In all likelihood , said Dr Eliot slyly, it is because the freshmen bring us so much of it, and the seniors take away so little.



Attorney General Seymour of Virginia snorted at the establishment of William and Mary College, which was founded not only to inculcate learning but to save souls? He cried.

Damn your souls. Make tobacco.



Sir William B—, being at a parish meeting, made certain proposals which were objected to by a farmer. Highly enraged, Sir, said he to the farmer, do you know, sir, that I have been at two universities, and at two colleges in each university?

Well, sir, said the farmer, what o’ that? I had a calf that sucked two kye, an’ the observation I made was, the mair he sucked the greater calf he grew.


100 years to make an oak tree!
When James A. Garfield was president of Hiram College a man brought up his son to be entered as a student. He wanted the boy to take a course shorter than the regular one.

My son can never take all those studies, said the father.
He wants to get through more quickly. Can’t you arrange it for him?
Oh, yes, said Mr Garfield, He can take a short course: it all depends on what you want to make of him. When god wants to make an oak he takes a hundred years, but he only takes two months to make a squash.


A guide, New at his business, was showing a group of tourists around Oxford. Conscientiously, he pointed out all the places of interest. Coming in front of one of the buildings he paused and said,
‘And this is Trinity Hall, where the president of the college, the famous Benjamin Jowett, lives.’
Glancing around at the upturned faces, the guide then stooped and picked up a handful of gravel and threw it at a second story window. A red faced and a furious man opened the window almost immediately and peered out.

And that is president Jowett himself, said the guide in a tone of voice as though he had just completed a task well done.



Hendrik Willem Von Loon was visiting Cambridge.
That, said someone who was showing him around the university, is Miss Jones, pointing to a formidable looking female striding along before them. She is the mistress of Ridsley Hall.

Who, asked Von Loon, is Ridsley Hall?

Xxx Subham xxx

My Great grandfather was a Baboon! Dumas outburst! (Post No.5497)

Compiled by London Swaminathan
Date: 2 October 2018


Time uploaded in London – 7-40 am (British Summer Time)


Post No. 5497


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Family and Children Anecdotes 

The elder Dumas (Alexander Dumas) was once interviewed by an enterprising reporter, who, like many other admirers of the novelist, was curious about his ancestry.
Is it true that you are a quadroon Mr Dumas? He asked.

I am, sir, Mr Dumas replied .
So your father….?
Was a mulatto
And your grandfather?
Was a negro.
Dumas patience was running out but the reporter was a bold man and continued,
May I inquire who your great grandfather was?
A baboon, sir! Thundered Dumas .
A baboon! My ancestry begins where your ends!




  • a person who is one-quarter black by descent.





  • a person of mixed white and black ancestry, especially a person with one white and one black parent.




  • a member of a dark-skinned group of peoples originally native to Africa south of the Sahara.


  • relating to black people.




  • a large Old World ground-dwelling monkey with a long doglike snout, large teeth, and naked callosities on the buttocks. Baboons are social animals and live in troops.



Marrk Twain’s Ancestors

The story is told that Mark Twain was once a guest of an English man who took him, with some pride, into a manorial hall hung with a huge tapestry depicting the King Charles the First. The host placed his fingers with great pride upon the figure of one of the obscure clerks of the court and said ‘ An ancestor of mine ‘.
Twain, always offended by such ostentation, casually put his finger upon one of the judges seated on the tribunal and remarked,
An ancestor of mine but it is no matter , I have others.


May Flower Ship

To a man who had proudly said,
My ancestors came over in the Mayflower, Will Rogers retorted,
My ancestors were waiting on the beach


Mark Twain, whenever confronted by people who were haughty about their ancestry, was fond of saying,
My grand father was cut down in the prime of his life. My grandmother always used to say that if he had been cut down fifteen minutes earlier, he could have been resuscitated.


Two Irishmen

Children Anecdotes
Two Irish men were discussing their families. One was boasting about his seven sons, that he had never had any trouble with any of them.

“Yes, indade, he said, they’re just the finest boys in the world. An’ would you believe it, I niivver laid violent hand s on any one of them except in self defence”.



Boiled eggs please!

Babies Anecdotes

Mrs K, after expressing her love for her children added tenderly,
And how do you like babies, Mr Lamb?
His answer, immediate, almost precipitate, was
B- b- boiled, Madame


Great man Walt Whitman
When a baby in a crowded Washington horse car was screaming, Walt Whitman took it from its mother, into his own arms; the infant stared at him a long time, then snuggled against him and fell asleep. Presently the conductor got off the car to get his supper, and Whitman acted as conductor the rest of the trip, still holding the sleeping baby.


Snoring Actress!

Eleanore Duse, the great actress, once offered to look after the year old baby of some friends while the family went for a walk.

What will you do if she cries? They asked.

Do? I will sing to her, said the resourceful Duse
I have lots of tricks to entertain babies .
When the parents returned, they found the baby sitting quietly in her carriage, her eyes fixed with a hypnotic stare upon the sofa. There lay the great actress, her head drooping, her mouth open, her eyes shut. She was snoring — regularly , sonorously snoring.

Slowly she opened her eyes
Sh! She said. If I stop for a second, she will cry .
Then she explained,
I sang for her; I danced for her; I made faces at her; I acted the whole of Paolo and Francesca, to her and she hated it all. But the snoring— from the first faint sign — she loved it.



Cross Breed is dangerous! Bernard Shaw

I posted 15 anecdotes from the life of Bernard Shaw. Following children anecdote was one of them:-




There is a legend about the fervent message Bernard Shaw received from Isadora Duncan expressing the opinion that by every eugenics principle they should have a child.

“Think what a child it would be”, she said, “with my body and your brain.”

Shaw sent the following response, discouraging the preposition, “Think how unfortunate it would be if the child were to have my body and your brain.”

Xxx subham xxxx

More Banquets and Dinners Anecdotes (Post No.5426)

Picture of Sam Rogers

Compiled by London Swaminathan



Date: 13 September 2018


Time uploaded in London – 13-19 (British Summer Time)


Post No. 5426

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources including google, Wikipedia, Facebook friends and newspapers. This is a non- commercial blog.


At the dinner-parties which the poet Sam Rogers (English Poet) gave, he started the custom of having no candles on the table, all the lights being attached to the walls and ceiling. This novelty created quite a buzz of comment in London society. While Sydney Smith was dining with Rogers one evening, the host asked him to say what he thought of the illumination of the table. “For my part, I don’t fancy it at all, Rogers, returned the candid guest. It is too uncomfortably like the Day of Judgement. Here we are, a flood of light on all above, and below nothing but darkness and gnashing of teeth.”


Lord Holland Statue in London
It is said of Charles Fox that from infancy to manhood it was the practice of his father, Lord Holland, to show him the most unlimited indulgence. The following story is told in proof of it.

Master Charles, when six or seven years of age, one day strolled into the kitchen ; and while dinner was cooking, and a pig roasting at the fire, he amused himself with making water upon the unresisisting porker it was a standing order of the house to contradict him on nothing, so there was nothing to be done- but to let the pig be so basted. The cook, however, thought it fair to give the guests warning of the sauce to it, which he did sending up the following lines upon a label in its mouth.

If strong and savoury I do taste
Tis with the liquor that did me baste
While at the fire I foamed and hissed
A Fox cub upon me
Gossip Anecdotes

‘How this world is inclined to slander’, said a maiden lady to an English noble man.
‘Can you believe it, sir, some of my malicious acquaintances reported that I had twins’.

‘Madam, I make it a rule to believe’ only half of what I hear!’ replied his lordship.


Mrs Graham Bill Vanderbilt had been displeased by a number of things which the late Maury Paul had written about her in his ‘Cholly Knickerbocker’ column.
Upon meeting him one time at a nightclub, she said,
‘You are a rude and scurrilous man’.
Yes, confessed Paul, ‘I am. But I would rather make a living that way than by selling bonds’.


Mrs Vanderbilt


Once when Madame de Stael, was praising the British Constitution, Talleyrand explained in an aside,
‘Above all she admires the habeas corpus’.

The society gossip purveyor, Maury H.B.Paul , had been writing in a number of familiar and impertinent items about Mrs Cornelius Vanderbilt for many years. Then one day Vincent Astor unexpectedly introduced Paul to the mighty lady.

With a gasp he said,’ I am not really the disreputable person you think I am, Mrs Vanderbilt’ .
Mrs Vanderbilt replied, ‘My dear Mr Paul from what you have been writing about me, I was under the impression that you thought I was the disreputable person’.

Xxxx Subham xxx

Parties Anecdotes (Post No.5380)

Image of William III of England



Date: 31 August 2018


Time uploaded in London – 16-10 (British Summer Time)


Post No. 5380


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At Dinner one day Douglas Jerrold was forced to listen to a noisy argument between an admirer of Prince of Orange and a henchman of William III. Having exhausted the political issues of the debate, they entered upon the personal phases of the question. One of the arguers finally brought his fist down on the table and exclaimed,

Bah! to you sir; I spit upon your Prince of Orange.

The other, determined not to be outdone, rose to his feet and screamed, “And I Sir, spit upon your King William!”

Hereupon, Jerrold unable to endure the racket longer, rang the bell and shouted to the waiter, “Here, boy – spittoons for two!”


Dictionary meaning:–




  • a metal or earthenware pot typically having a funnel-shaped top, used for spitting into.


Image of Prince of Orange

Thomas Alva Edison was once reluctantly persuaded by his wife to attend one of the brilliant social functions of the season in New York.
At last the inventor managed to escape the lionizers who had crowded about his, and sat alone unnoticed in a corner. Edison kept looking at his watch with a resigned expression on his face. A friend edged near to him unnoticed and heard the inventor mutter to himself with a sigh,
‘If there were only a dog here’!


Oliver Wendell Holmes, having been at an afternoon tea, authoritatively defined such functions for all time as,
‘Giggle. Gabble. Gobble. Git’


Dorothy Parker once attended a party at which the greater number of people Seemed to be the rankings of Bohemia. Her companion said to her,
Where on earth do these people come from and where do they stay the rest of the time?
I think, Miss Parker said thoughtfully, after it is o over they crawl back into the woodwork.







  1. A native or inhabitant of Bohemia.
  2. A person of Bohemian ancestry.
  3. The Czech dialects of Bohemia.


  1. ArchaicA Romani person.
  2. An itinerant person; a vagabond.


Dorothy Parker (American poet, writer, satirist)  completely bored by a country weekend, wired a friend,
Please send me a loaf bread — and enclose a saw and file.



‘I have had a wonderful evening’, said
Groucho Marx to his hostess as he was leaving a dull Hollywood party, ‘but this was not it’.


Once, it is said, Margot Asquith gave a party in London — a big party. She received the guests with graciousness, set them spinning into the rhythm of pleasure and then retired to an upper room to play bridge.

Next day, a well meaning, but tactless woman fluttered up to her in a restaurant and said,
Oh, Lady Asquith, I was at your party last night,
‘Thank God, I wasn’t’, answered Margot, and moved on.

Xxx subham xxx


Exaggeration Anecdotes (Post No.5199)

Compiled by London swaminathan


Date: 9 JULY 2018


Time uploaded in London – 14-08  (British Summer Time)


Post No. 5199


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Mark Twain once asked a baggage handler in the railroad station in Washington,
“Is that satchel strong enough to go in the baggage car?”
The baggage man lifted the grip high above his head and smashed it to the ground with all his might.
That, said he, is what it will get in Philadelphia.
He picked it up and bashed it against the side of the car four or five times.
That is what it will get in Chicago, he continued.
He next threw it high in the air and when it had landed, jumped on it vigorously. It split open and scattered its contents over the platform.
And that is what it will get in Sioux City, you would better take it in the Pullman with you.


The Chase National Bank. Operating all over the world, receives from its clients some very strange letters.
A short time ago, a dealer in fur from Australia wrote the following,
Dear Sirs,
“Am sending draft for a thousand pounds, with which please credit my account. Last year I crossed a kangaroo with a raccoon, and now I am raising fur coats with pockets”.


Too much Ventilation!


Colonel Cody, Buffalo Bill , used to tell the story of an English visitor to the West. While riding The s Rocky Mountain canyon one day, a tremendous gust of wind swooped down and actually carried the English man off the wagon seat. After he had picked himself up and combed the sand and gravel out of his whiskers, he said,
“I say! I think you over do ventilation in the country!”

Bill Nye, the humorist, was not given to mild statements. He had the following to say,
We have not  had more to say of the editor of the Sweet waters Gazette. Aside from the fact that he is a squint eyed, consumptive liar with a breath like a buzzard and a record like a convict, we don’t know anything about him. He means well enough, and if he can evade the penitentiary and the vigilance committee for a few more years, there is a chance for him to end his life in a natural way. If he don’t tell the truth a little more plentifully, however the Green River people will rise as one man and churn him up till there won’t be anything left of him but a pair of suspenders and a wart.



Bear stories are the stock in trade of the Alaskan sourdoughs.
One-of them told of his encounter with a giant a kadikak monster . He was all of two tons and he riz up and come at me. I didn’t manage to wound him just enough to make him mad. But then my rifle jammed. I headed for the nearest tree, but it only had one limb and that was thirty feet off the ground. I got there not more than a foot ahead of the bear and he took a swat at me as I gathered for the leap. He tore my Britches but didn’t quite getting me so badly I missed the limb.
What happened?
I caught it on my way down

Col.John Cremony was a famous western figure and known as a yarn spinner. He told one story of a desperate flight from pursuing Indians,
“I had a fine horse and managed to keep far enough ahead so their arrows couldn’t reach me. I picked them off until my last cartridge was gone. Then I headed up a canyon and I will be doggoned if it didn’t end in a sheer wall I was trapped like a rat with a dozen Apaches closing in on me And me without as much as a penknife to defend myself.
What happened,Colonel?
Why, they killed me! Damn them, sir, they killed me!
Xxx SUBHAM xxx


Economy & Endurance Anecdotes (Post No.5195)

Written by London swaminathan


Date: 8 JULY 2018


Time uploaded in London –  9-17 am (British Summer Time)


Post No. 5195


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Shortly before sailing back to England foreign correspondent Quentin Reynolds was received by President Roosevelt in his office at the White House. While he was there the President put through a transatlantic call to another eminent statesman, Winston Churchill.
Mr Reynolds was slightly startled when, after a conversation, the President said
‘I will have to hang up now. My three minutes are up’.



A visitor to the Whitehouse during the Coolidge administration said to the President that that he would greatly appreciate the gift of a cigar, not for himself but for a friend who had the eccentricity of collecting cigar bands from famous smokers all over the world .

President Coolidge thought the matter-over for a few seconds, then reached for a box of cigars.
Taking one out he carefully removed the band , replaced the cigar in the box , and handed the band to his visitor .



At Lobbs, the famous English bootmaker, one day, I saw on the floor a heap of twenty or thirty boots , all needing cobbling badly.
Oh sir, Lobbs explained , these Belong to the best customer I ever had . He used to come in here and order15 or 20 pairs of boots ,
But when his father died he left him some three million dollars.

“Well, sir, since then he has not ordered a single pair of New boots but sends the old ones to be repaired”.
Who is he, Lobbs, I asked.
An American, sir…… his name is Pierpont Morgan

Endurance anecdotes
In the days of the homestead law a prospective settler sought out a lawyer friend and asked him to explain the law and its operations.

I don’t know the exact text of the law, said his friend, but I can give you the draft of it. The government is willing to bet you 160 acres of land against 14 dollar that you can’t live on it five years without starving to death




Much more eccentricity anecdotes

Alfred Stieglitz has always been a highly arbitrary and erratic dealer in paintings . Once, at a show of the work of Georgia O Keefe, a wealthy woman expressed, with a slightly patronising attitude, a desire to purchase a certain picture . Repelled subtly by the woman’s manner Stieglitz snapped,
“Why do you want that painting? Give me some reason why you want it”
The prospective purchaser could think of no satisfactory reason and was refused the picture.



‘Don’t you know who I am?’

A traffic cop will signal Pop Gershwin to stop. Pop has been exceeding the speed limit, perhaps in the u unconscious belief that the father of the jazz king has rights that even the police force must respect.
Don’t you know who I am? He asks the officer
I am the father of George Gershwin
At the same time, being a New Yorker, he pronounces the first name to rhyme with judge
(The Jewish American pronunciations of George and judge are surprisingly similar)

The officer scratches his head. He doesn’t know every judge in Gotham. Perhaps this judge Gershwin is a big run up in the Bronx. Better to be safe than sorry.

A salute and he  lets Pa Gershwin pass.
Who now can tell Pa that Gershwin isn’t the king?



Diligence and Discretion Anecdotes (Post No.5181)

Compiled by London swaminathan


Date: 4 JULY 2018


Time uploaded in London –   11-24 am (British Summer Time)


Post No. 5181


Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Wikipedia, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.

Abe Lincoln’s father was never at a loss for an answer. An old neighbor of Thomas Lincoln was passing the Lincoln farm one day when he saw Abe’s father grubbing some hazelnut bushes and said to him,
“Why, grand pop, I thought you wanted to sell your farm?”

“And so I do”, he replied,” but I am not going to let my farm know it.”



Clarence Darrow was a hard -working and energetic man. His clothes were often dishevelled. Once he was ragged about this by a group of reporters. He silenced them by saying,
“I go to a better tailor than any of you and pay more money for my clothes. The only difference between us is that you probably don’t sleep in yours”.


Discretion Anecdotes

Pray, said a facetious lady,
Mr Pitt, as you know everything that is moving in the political world tell me some news.
“I am sorry Madam”, said the discreet premier,
“I have not read the newspaper of the day”.

Can You Keep a Secret?

Secretary of the Navy Knox, was asked by an old friend some casual question about the movement of certain ships in Atlantic waters. The question was thoughtless and Knox leaned over with an air of confidence and said,
“Look Here, can you keep a secret?”
“Of Course of course” , replied the friend eagerly
“Well, said Knox, so can I”


Dullness Anecdotes (Post No.5176)

Compiled by London swaminathan


Date: 3 JULY 2018


Time uploaded in London –   12-11 (British Summer Time)


Post No. 5176


Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Wikipedia, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.


Lincoln was told of a profound historian.
“It may be doubted whether any man of our generation has plunged more deeply into the sacred fount of learning”
“Yes or come up drier”, said Lincoln.

Great Bore!

One day one of the greatest bores of the Players Club said to Oliver Hereford,
“Oliver, I have been grossly insulted. Just as I passed that group over there I over heard someone say he would give me fifty dollars to resign from the club”.
“Hold out for a hundred, counselled Mr. Herford, you will get it.”




A gentleman who introduced his brother to Dr Johnson was desirous of recommending him to his notice; which he did by saying,
When we sat together sometime, you will find my brother growing very interesting.”
Sir. Said Dr Johnson
“I can wait”.

PIN Without Head or Point

To a very thin man who had been boring him, Douglas Jerold said,
“Sir,you are like a pin, but without either it’s head or it’s point.”


An impertinent chatterbox, entertaining Aristotle, the philosopher, with a tedious discourse and observing that he did not much regard him, made an apology, that he was afraid he had interrupted him.

‘No really’, replied the philosopher, ‘you have not interrupted me at all , for I have not minded one word you said’.


Talleyrand was asked if a certain authoress whom he had long since known, but who had belonged rather to the last ag , was not, a little tiresome.
‘Not at all, said he, she was perfectly tiresome’.



Sir Walter Scott’s faithful servant Tom said to him one day,
Them are fine novels of yours; they are invaluable to me. When I come home very tired, and take up , one of them , I am asleep directly.



Only One Idea!

Speaking of a dull, tiresome fellow whom he chanced to meet, DrJohnson said,
“That fellow seems to possess but one idea, and that is a wrong one”.

The modest Joseph Addition was accused by a lady of being dull and heavy in conversation.
Madam, he replied, with great dignity, I have only nine pence in my pocket, but I can draw for a thousand pounds.
Xxxxx  SUBHAM xxx