A few riddles from a mid 19th century joke book Tom Brown's Jest Book. Purchased from the amazing library of Jeremy Beadle MBE (1948 -2008) British entertainer, television star, hoaxer, quizmaster, book collector and philanthropist. He had a dozen shelves of joke books, mostly modern and the family kept a lot but this one escaped. Most are slightly groan-making to modern ears, some slightly smutty and several by coincidence concerned with sheets...
Why is an unbound book like a lady in bed ?
Because it is in sheets.
Why is a lady in her shift like the Hague ? Be-
cause she is in Holland.
Why is a drunkard with a fiery face like a Chris-
tian Monitor ? Because he puts in mind of Hell
Why is a Prime Minister like a May pole ? Be- .
cause it is a high post.
Why is a grave-digger like a waterman ? Because
he handles skulls.
Why is a man like a melon ? Because best raised
in a hot-bed.
Why are men like timber ? Because they often
Why is a madman like two men ? Because he is
a man beside himself.
Why is a looking-glass like a philosopher ? Be-
cause it reflects.
What's a man that is in the midst of a great
river and can't swim ? Like to be drowned.
What is a man like in the midst of a desert,
without meat or drink ? Like to be starved.
My mother bare me in the field ;
Soon after I was sold ;
And then to kiss a lady's thighs,
I oftentimes made bold.
Soon after I was made divine,
And much admir'd by some;
At length, for which I now repine,
I wip'd a beggar's bum.
ANSWER: Some hemp ; afterwards made into a shift; the
rags of which made paper, whereon was printed a
sermon, which was at length put to a base use.
My master often lies with me,
His wife I oft enjoy ;
Yet she's no whore, nor cuckold he,
And true to both am I.
My clothes nor woman fit nor man,
Theyr'e neither coat nor gown ;
Yet oft both men and maidens, when
They're naked, have them on.
What's oft my belly, is oft my back,
And what my feet, my head;
And though I'm up, I have a knack,
Of being still a-bed.
ANSWER: A Bed