History Jokes: Lincoln and a Soldier's Request for Furlough

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!

Lincoln and a Soldier's Request for Furlough 
President Lincoln received the following pertinent letter
from an indignant private, which speaks for itself: "Dear
President I have been in the service eighteen months, and
1 have never received a cent. I desire a furlough for
fifteen days, in order to return home and remove my family
to the poor house/ The President granted the furlough.
It's a good story and true.

From Old Abe's Jokes: Fresh from Abraham's Bosom.
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Death of Archimedes 
When Syracuse was taken, Archimedes was describing mathematical figures upon the earth, and when one of the enemy came upon him, sword in hand, and asked his name, he was so engrossed with the desire of preserving the figures entire, that he answered only by an earnest request to the soldier to keep off, and not break in upon his circle. The soldier, conceiving himself scorned, ran Archimedes through the body, the purple streams gushing from which soon obscured all traces of the problem on which he had been so intent. Thus fell this illustrious man, from the mere neglect to tell his name; for it is due to the Roman general, Marceline, to state, that he had given special orders to his men to respect the life and person of the philosopher.

From Percy Anecdotes
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Roman Wit 
Sunday, March 9, 2008, 10:20 PM - Ancient history jokes and anecdotes, Greek and Roman
Posted by Court Jester
A Roman knight coming to Adrian to request a favour of him, received a denial: the knight was old, and had a very gray beard, but a few days after, having covered his beard black, like a young man, he came to the emperor again about the same business. The emperor, perceiving the fraud, said to him, " I would be very glad to gratify you in your desire, but a few days past I denied it to your father, and therefore it would not be just to grant that to the son which I refused to the father."

From The Olio, Or, Museum of Entertainment
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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
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Richard Wagner and Dumas 
Friday, March 7, 2008, 05:55 PM - Jokes and anecdotes of famous people, Funny Music History
Posted by Court Jester
Of the score of greatest composers, perhaps none was
more eccentric than that founder of the modern German
operatic school, Richard Wagner. The caller who was
unaware of one of his peculiarities might suffer a mild
shock ; for on entering the room where his visitor was
seated Wagner would throw the door wide open before
him, as if it were fit that his approach should be heralded
like that of a king, and he would stand for a moment on
the threshold, a curious mediaeval figure in a frame.
The mystified visitor, rising from his seat, would behold
a man richly clad in a costume of velvet and satin,
like those of the early Tudor period, and wearing a bonnet
such as are seen in portraits of Henry VI, and his
three successors. Buffon used to put on lace ruffles and
cuffs when he wrote, and Wagner had his composing
costume that of a Meistersinger or rather several costumes,
for he would vary his attire not only according
to his own moods, but according to the faces of people
who came to see him.

Alexander Dumas, calling upon him made some goodhumored
remark about his own ignorance of music
which he had once defined as ' the most expensive of
noises '; but his pleasantries were listened to with such
a smileless stolidity that he went home in a huff, and
wrote his contemptuous protest against
'Wagnerian din inspired by the riot of
cats scampering in the dark about an ironmonger's shop.'

On the day before this protest was printed Wagner
returned Dumas' visit, and was kept waiting for half an
hour in an anteroom.
Then the author of the "Three Guardsmen " marched
in, superbly attired in a plumed helmet, a cork life belt
and a flowered dressing gown.
"Excuse me for appearing in my working dress," he said
majestically. "Half my ideas are lodged in this helmet and the
other half in a pair of jack-boots which I put on to compose love
cenes." Snubs of this sort of which Wagner encountered
many rankled deep in his mind and made him say that
the French were Vandals, whereas, in truth, their quarrel
was not so much with his music as with him personally
and with his uncivil followers.

From Anecdotes of great musicians; three hundred anecdotes and biographical sketches of famous composers and performers
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