This is a fine representation, with numerous humorous points to ponder.


Selections of American Humor
in Prose and Verse

334 Pages

(Excerpt from PREFACE to the text)

In making a selection from the humorous writers of America, I have been guided mainly by my own likes and dislikes. Hence this volume lays no claim to being either exhaustive or representative. I believe, however, that some of the very choicest bits of Yankee humour will be found in these pages, though I have been compelled to omit much that I should have liked to include.

To all who love to " laugh and grow fat," to the happy thousands to whom it is given as a priceless boon to be able to see the ridiculous aspect of affairs, I present this book with the greatest confidence that it will be heartily welcomed and enjoyed.

For those to whom exaggeration and the grotesque have no charm, I have only one word of advice: Don't attempt to understand these pages. You won't succeed, and you will only end by being disappointed with the work, and angry with me for compiling it.

It is not necessary for me to say anything as to the strong method many of my authors have of calling a spade a spade. I have not laid an impious hand upon what some might call their impiety---I have not done so because I firmly believe their apparent lack of reverence is only a matter of form---in spirit these men are more earnest and nearer the deepest truths of life than are many people of "nice sentiments but nasty thoughts."

I have to acknowledge with thanks the courtesy of Messrs. Chatto and Windus, by whose permission I have been able to use extracts from Mark Twain's "A Tramp Abroad" and "The Stolen White Elephant." (end of excerpt)

May, 1883.


Charles F. Adams
Sequel to the “One-Horse Shay”
The Puzzled Dutchman
A Tale of a Nose
Yawcob Strauss
A Highly-coloured Romance
To Bary Jade

Max Adeler
Cooley’s Boy and Dog
Judge Pitman
Mrs. Joneses Pirate

Josh Billings
Plum Pits
Corn Cobs
Sollum Thoughts
Lobstir Salad

William Allan Butler
Nothing to Wear

Will Carleton
Betsey and I are Out
How Betsey and I made up
Uncle Sammy
The New Church Organ
The Editor’s Guests

Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Mountain and the Squirrel

John Habberton
Helen’s Babies

Bret Harte
The Heathen Chinese
The Aged Stranger
In the Mission Garden
The Society upon the Stanislaus
Dow’s Flat
In the Tunnel
Half an Hour Before Supper
Her Letter
His Answer to “Her Letter”

Colonel John Hap
The Enchanted Shirt

Oliver Wendell Holmes
My Aunt
The Dorchester Giant
The September Gale
The Sweet Little Man
The Spectre Pig
The Ballad of the Oysterman
The Deacon’s Masterpiece; or, The Wonderful “One-Hoss Shay”
How the Old Horse Won the Bet
Our Sumatra Correspondence (from “The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table”)
The Music Grinders
The Demon of the Study

Washington Irving
Rip Van Winkle

Charles Leland
Hans Breitmann’s “Barty”

James Russell Lowell
The Pious Editor’s Creed
Doctor Lobster
The Courting
The Unhappy Lot of Mr. Knott

John G. Saxe
Ho-ho of the Golden Belt
Early Rising
The Best of Husbands
The Ghost-Player

Harriet Beecher Stowe
The Minister’s Wooing

J. T. Trowbridge
The Vagabonds

Mark Twain
The Roman Guide
Blucher’s Note
Speech on the Babies
An Encounter with an Interviewer
The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
The Story of the Bad Little Boy who didn’t come to Grief
Writing a Novel
The Aged Pilot Man
Punch, Brother, Punch
Ascent of the Rigi

Artemus Ward
To California and Back
The Showman’s Courtship

Charles Dudley Warner
On Gardening

Nathaniel Parker Willis
The Declaration
Love in a Cottage


counter easy hit

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