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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

Douglas Jerrold

  • [A humorist, journalist, and dramatic writer; born in London, 1803; wrote his first play, 1824; a popular contributor to “Punch,” and the editor of several magazines and newspapers; died 1857.]
  • There’s egotism!

  • When a gentleman exclaimed at supper, “Sheep’s-heads forever!” To a man who told him he had dined on calf’s-tail soup, “Extremes meet,” suggested Jerrold.
  • Of a young artist whose talent was said to be mediocre, he said, “It is the very worst ochre an artist can set to work with.”
  • When told by an uninteresting man in company that a certain air always carried him away, “Can nobody whistle it?” asked Jerrold.
  • An intoxicated young man asked him the way to the “Judge and Jury:” “Keep on as you are, and you are sure to overtake them,” was the answer.
  • When a conceited literary man, on being introduced to him, said they were rowing in the same boat; “But not with the same sculls,” remarked Jerrold.
  • Put me down for one of the noughts.

  • When told that “a four and two noughts” would put a needy acquaintance on his feet again.
  • To some one who said that the name of a certain Scotch writer would be handed down to posterity, “I quite agree with you,” said Jerrold, “that he should have an itch in the temple of fame.” Thackeray said to him on one occasion, “I hear you said —— was the worst book I ever wrote.” “I said it was the worst book anybody ever wrote,” was the candid reply. Meeting a prosy old fellow in Regent Street, who struck an attitude, and said, “Jerrold, my dear boy, what is going on?”—“I am,” replied the latter, and instantly shot past him.
  • When Dibdin asked him if he had sufficient confidence in him to lend him a guinea, “Oh, yes!” he replied, “I have the confidence, but I have not the guinea.”
  • Some men can never relish the full moon out of respect for that venerable institution, the old one.

  • His definition of dogmatism was “puppyism full grown.”
  • The good effect, as figures in the landscape, of passengers over a footpath in his grounds, was observed: “I have no objection to passengers,” he replied, “provided they pass.” Sir Boyle Roche was “on more hospitable thought intent,” when he said to a friend, with characteristic infelicity, “If you ever come within a mile of my place, I heartily hope you’ll stop there.”
  • When an actor asked him if he called a man kind who remitted nothing to his family when away, “Unremitting kindness,” was the answer.
  • On passing in a graveyard the extremely laudatory epitaph of a cook upon his wife, “Mock turtle,” was Jerrold’s comment.
  • When a clergyman expressed the opinion that the real evil of modern times was the surplus population, “Or the surplice population,” Jerrold added.
  • My dear Mr. Pepper, how glad you must be to see all your friends mustered!

  • At Mr. Pepper’s party.
  • Of a man who had left the stage, and turned wine-merchant, “I am told,” said Jerrold, “that his wine off the stage is better than his whine on it.”
  • “His friendships are so warm that he no sooner takes them up than he puts them down again,” he said of a man celebrated for the intensity and brevity of his attachments.
  • A tall man dancing at a ball with a very short lady, he called “the mile dancing with the milestone.”
  • “Self-defence is the clearest of all laws,” he said; “and for this reason,—the lawyers didn’t make it.”