History Jokes: King Philip II and Titian's famous painting


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!

King Philip II and Titian's famous painting 
When Titian's famous painting of the Last
Supper arrived at the Escurial, the king, Philip
II., proposed to cut the canvas to the size of the
pannel in the refectory, where it was designed
to hang. El Mudo (Philip's "deaf and dumb" painter),
who was present, to prevent the
mutilation of so capital a work, made earnest
signs of intercession with the king, to be permitted
to copy it, and reduce it to the size of the
place assigned for it, offering to do it in the space
of six months. The king expressed some hesitation
on account of the length of time required
for the work, and was proceeding to put his design
in execution, when El Mudo repeated his
supplications in behalf of his favorite master with
more fervency than ever, offering to complete
the copy in less time than he at first demanded,
tendering at the same time his head as the punishment
if he failed. The offer was not accepted,
and execution was performed upon Titian,
accompanied with the most distressing attitudes
and distortions of El Mudo.

From Percy Anecdotes
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Hanging Judge 
Thursday, March 6, 2008, 06:23 PM - British humor, history of England
Posted by Court Jester
Counsellor Grady, on a late trial in Ireland, said, he recollected to have heard of a relentless Judge; he was known by the name of the Hanging Judge, and was never seen to shed a tear but once, and that was during the representation of The Beggar's Opera, when Macheath got a reprieve! It was the same Judge, we believe, between whom and Mr. Curran, the following pass of wit once took place at table.
"Pray, Mr. Curran," said the Judge, " is that hung beef beside you? If it is, I will try it." " If you try it, my lord," replied Mr. Curran, "it is sure to be hung."

From Percy Anecdotes
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Plato's wit 
Plato, living in the Academy at Athens, which
the physicians considered unhealthy, was advised
to remove to the Lyceum. "I would not have
removed even to the top of Mount Athos," he
replied, "for the sake of a longer life."
(Aelian, Var. Hist. ix. 10.)

* * *

When Plato was lecturing on his theory of "Abstracts,"
Diogenes said, "Table-ism and cup-ism
I cannot see, though I can see a table or a cup."
"That," replied Plato, " is because you have eyes
to see the one, but not mind to apprehend the
other." (Diog. LAERT. vi. 2, 53.)

From Greek Wit: A Collection of Smart Sayings and Anecdotes by Frederick Apthorp Paley
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Sir Walter Scott 
Thursday, March 6, 2008, 12:04 AM - British humor, history of England, Jokes and anecdotes of famous people
Posted by Court Jester
Sir Walter Scott, when a boy, gave very slight indications of genius, nor did he shine in his early career as a scholar. In Latin, he did not advance far until his tenth year, when Dr. Pater- son succeeded to the school at Musselburgh, where young Scott then was. Dr. Blair, on a visit to Musselburgh, soon after Dr. Paterson took charge of the school, accompanied by somn friends, examined several of the pupils, and paid particular attention to young Scott. Dr. Pater- son thought it was the youth's stupidity that engaged the doctor's notice, and said, " My predecessor tells me, that boy has the thickest skull in the school.""May be so," replied Dr. Blair, "hut through that thick scull I can discern many bright rays of future genius." How fully the prediction has been verified, need not be told.
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Locke on the Understanding 
Mr. Locke having been introduced by Lord Shaftesbury to the Duke of Buckingham and Lord Halifax, these three noblemen, instead of conversing with that philosopher on literary subjects, as might naturally have been expected, in a very short time sat down to cards. Mr. Locke, after looking on for some time, took out his pocket-book, and began to write with great attention. One of the company observing this, took the liberty of asking him what he was writing1 "My lord," says Locke, " I am endeavoring, as far us possible, to profit by my present situation; for having waited with impatience for the honor of being in company with the greatest geniuses of the age, I thought I could do nothing better than to write down your conversation : and indeed I have set down the substance of what yon have said for this hour or two."This well-timed rebuke had its effect ; and the noblemen, fully sensible of its force, immediately quitted their play. and entered into a conversation more rational, and better suited to their reputation as men of genius.

From The Percy Anecdotes
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