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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

Douglas William Jerrold (1803–1857)

Bits of Repartee

THE FIRST time Jerrold saw Tom Dibdin, the song-writer said to him, “Youngster, have you sufficient confidence in me to lend me a guinea?” “Oh, yes,” said Jerrold, “I’ve all the confidence, but I haven’t the guinea.”

Jerrold went to a party at which a Mr. Pepper had assembled all his friends. Jerrold said to his host, on entering the room, “My dear Mr. Pepper, how glad you must be to see all your friends mustered!”

Upon another occasion he and Laman Blanchard were strolling together about London, discussing passionately a plan for joining Byron in Greece. The former, telling the story many years after, said, “But a shower of rain came on and washed all the Greece out of us.”

“Do you know,” said a friend to him, “that Jones has left the stage and turned wine merchant?” “Oh, yes,” Jerrold replied, “and I’m told that his wine off the stage is better than his whine on it.”

A friend seeking subscriptions for a person in trouble asked Jerrold for his mite. “What will put him right?” said Jerrold. “Oh! a one and two naughts,” said the other.

“Put me down for one of the naughts,” said Jerrold.

He was once finding fault with a play. An acquaintance expostulated, and said, “Why, there’s V——; he was bred on these boards!” “He looks,” said Jerrold, “as though he’d been cut out of them.”

“Call that a kind man?” said an actor, speaking of an absent acquaintance. “A man who is away from his family, and never sends them a farthing? Call that kindness?” “Yes, unremitting kindness,” was the reply.

One sunny morning a quidnunc and a bore was sauntering down Regent Street, seeking whom he might devour with his interminable twaddle. At length he espies, approaching in hot haste, the no less busy Douglas Jerrold. He stops and fastens on him. The bore puts his usual question, “Well, my dear Jerrold, what’s going on?” Releasing himself, the wit strides hastily away, exclaiming, “I am.”

Heraud, the writer, was another bore who inflicted “all his tediousness” on Jerrold. The satirist was asked if he had read Heraud’s “Descent into Hell”? “No,” was the answer, “but I should like to see it.”

Jerrold was seriously disappointed with a certain book written by one of his friends. This friend heard that he had expressed his disappointment. Friend (to Jerrold): “I heard you said it was the worst book I ever wrote.” Jerrold: “No, I didn’t. I said it was the worst book anybody ever wrote.”

Some one was talking with him about a gentleman as celebrated for the intensity as for the shortness of his friendships. “Yes,” said Jerrold, “his friendships are so warm, that he no sooner takes them up than he puts them down again.”

Jerrold met Alfred Bunn one day in Piccadilly. Bunn stopped Jerrold, and said, “I suppose you’re strolling about, picking up character.” “Well, not exactly,” said Jerrold, “but there’s plenty lost hereabouts.”

One day enjoying a drive with a well-known spendthrift—“Well, Jerrold,” said the friend, who was driving a very fine pair of grays, “what do you think of my grays?” “To tell you the truth,” Jerrold replied, “I was just thinking of your duns.”

A mediocre writer, employed on the same subject as himself, said, “You know, Jerrold, you and I are rowing in the same boat!” “Yes,” replied the wit, “but not with the same oars!”