History Jokes: British humor, history of England


Funny anecdotes and short stories are a great source of examples in public speeches. This website contains short funny stories, clean jokes and humorous legends of kings and queens, politicians, famous literary figures and artists from many books and sources. The styles of writers from different time periods was preserved - they often enhance the stories in an amusing way. Enjoy and have fun!

The legend of sir Isaac Newton and the Apple (Newton's law) 
SIR ISAAC NEWTON AND THE APPLE

One day in autumn Sir Isaac was lying on the grass under an apple tree and thinking, thinking, thinking. Suddenly an apple that had grown ripe on its branch fell to the ground by his side

"What made that apple fall?" he asked himself.

"It fell because its stem would no longer hold it to its branch," was his first thought.

But Sir Isaac was not satisfied with this answer.

"Why did it fall toward the ground ? Why should it not fall some other way just as well?" he asked.

"All heavy things fall to the ground but why do they ? Because they are heavy. That is not a good reason. For then we may ask why is anything heavy? Why is one thing heavier than another? "

When he had once begun to think about this he did not stop until he had reasoned it all out. Millions and millions of people had seen apples fall, but it was left for Sir Isaac Newton to ask why they fall. He explained it in this way:

"Every object draws every other object toward it.

The more matter an object contains the harder it draws.

The nearer an object is to another the harder it draws.

The harder an object draws other objects, the heavier it is said to be.

The earth is many millions of times heavier than an apple ; so it draws the apple toward it millions and millions of times harder than the apple can draw the other way.

The earth is millions of times heavier than any object near to or upon its surface ; so it draws every such object toward it.

This is why things fall, as we say, toward the earth.

While we know that every object draws every other object, we cannot know why it does so. We can only give a name to the force that causes this. We call that force GRAVITATION.

It is gravitation that causes the apple to fall.

It is gravitation that makes things have weight.

It is gravitation that keeps all things in their proper places.

Suppose there was no such force as gravitation, would an apple fall to the ground ? Suppose that gravitation did not draw objects toward the earth, what would happen ?

To you who, like Sir Isaac Newton, are always asking "Why?" and " How?" these questions will give something to think about.

From Thirty More Famous Stories Retold by James Baldwin

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Isaac Newton and his dog 
Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 12:28 AM - British humor, history of England, Dogs, Cats and other Animals featured in Jokes
Posted by Court Jester
While Newton was attending divine service in a winter
morning, he had left in his study a favourite little
dog called Diamond. Upon returning from chapel
he found that it had overturned a lighted taper on
his desk, which set fire to several papers on which
he had recorded the results of some optical experiments.
These papers are said to have contained the
labours of many years, and it has been stated that
when Mr. Newton perceived the magnitude of his loss,
he exclaimed, " Oh, Diamond, Diamond, little do you
know the mischief you have done me!"

From The Life of Sir Isaac Newton by David Brewster


See also:
Sir Isaac Newton and the Apple
Dog training ideas
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Lord Byron's gift 
Monday, March 24, 2008, 10:59 PM - British humor, history of England, Jokes and anecdotes of famous people
Posted by Court Jester
Byron once gave his publisher, John Murray, a splendidly bound Bible, and the recipient was proud of it until he happened to discover that his friend donor had altered the last verse of the 18th chapter of St. John (Now Barrabas was a robber) so as to read: "Now Barrabas was a publisher."

From The poetical works of lord Byron, with illustr. by K. Halswelle
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Queen Alexandra and the dying King Edward VII 
King Edward VII of Great Britain was quite a playboy in his day, and his wife, Queen Alexandra had often ignored his infidelities and wild escapades. As he lay on his deathbed, his faithful wife was grief stricken until one reassuring thought occurred to her. She turned to Lord Esher and remarked, "Now at least I know where he is."
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Amusing story of a ring 
Saturday, March 8, 2008, 05:40 PM - British humor, history of England, Modern Age History
Posted by Court Jester
A correspondent to 'Notes and Queries ' (vol. i. series 3,
p. 36), relates the following curious anecdote : ' A gentleman,
who was in the habit of frequenting a favourite spot for the
sake of a view that interested him, used to lounge on a rail,
and one day in a fit of absence of mind got fumbling about
the post in which one end of the rail was inserted. On his
way home he missed a valuable ring ; he went back again
and looked diligently for it but without success. A considerable
time afterwards in visiting his old haunt, and indulging
in his usual fit of absence, he was very agreeably
surprised to find the ring on his finger again, and which
appears to have been occasioned by (in both instances),
his pressing his finger in the aperture of the post, which
just fitted sufficiently with a pressure to hold the ring. I
afterwards tried the experiment at the spot, and found it
perfectly easy to have been effected with an easily fitting
ring.'
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