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

Josh Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw) (1818–1885)

To Correspondents

“Benzine.”—Men who hav a grate deal to do with hosses seem tew demoralize faster than the hosses do.

Hosses are like dice, and kards; altho they are virtewous enuff themselves, how natral it iz tew gambol with them.

Hosses luv the society ov man, and being susceptible ov grate deceit, they will learn a man how to cheat and lie before he knows it.

I know lots ov folks who are real pius, and who are honest enuff tew work up into united estate accessors, and hav sum good-sized moral chunks left over, but when they cum tew tork hoss they want az mutch look after az a case ov dipthery.

“Benvolio.”—In writing for yu an analasiss ov the frog, i must confess that i hav coppied the whole thing, “verbatus ad liberating,” from the works ov a selebrated French writer on natural history, ov the 16th sentry.

The frog iz, in the fust case, a tadpole, aul boddy and tail, without cuming tew a head.

He travels in pond holes, bi the side ov the turnpike, and iz accellerated bi the acktivity ov his tail, which wriggles with uncommon limberness and vivacity. Bi and bi, pretty soon before long, in a few daze, his tail iz no more, and legs begin to emerge from the south end ov the animal; and from the north end, at the same time, may be seen a disposition tew head out.

In this cautious way the frog iz built, and then for the fust time in his life begins tew git his head abuv water.

His success iz now certain, and soon, in about five daze more, he may be seen sitting down on himself bi the side ov the pond hole, and looking at the dinner baskets ov the children on their way tew the distrikt skoolhous.

Az the children cum more nearer, with a club or chunk ov a brickbat in his hand tew swott him with, he rares up on his behind leggs, and enters the water, head fust, without opening the door.

Thus the frog duz bizzness for a spell of time, until he gits tew be 21, and then his life iz more ramified.

Frogs hav 2 nature, ground and water, and are az free from sin az an oyster.

I never knu a frog tew hurt ennyboddy who paid his honest dets and took the daily papers.

I don’t reckoleckt now whether a frog has enny before leggs or not, and if he don’t it ain’t ennyboddy’s bizzness but the frog’s.

Their hind leggs are used for refreshments, but the rest ov him won’t pay for eating.

A frog iz the only person who kan live in a well and not git tired.