Douglas Jerrold

Excavating old books from my parents attic, I found one called, Douglas Jerrold’s Wit. It is pretty much the 1850’s version of Shit My Dad Says. Here are some of Jerrold’s meditations on life:

A Drinker

The man had a loose, potatile look. It was plain that his face, like hothouse fruit, had ripened under a glass.

The Charm of Change

What change of climate often is to a sick man, change of public-house is to a drunken one. He feels the stronger for the removal, and, therefore – drinks again.

A Beautiful Child

A lady one day spoke to Jerrold about the beauty of an infant. In the enthusiasm of her affection she said: –

“Really, I cannot find words to convey to you even a faint idea of its pretty ways.”

“I see,” Jerrold replied, “its a child more easily conceived than described.”


Woman – bless her! – a thousand and a thousand times softens the ruggedness of fortune; nevertheless, she has now and then a knack of making bad worse by the force of ill-timed suspicion.

Not all of the quotes are quite so hilariously acrid. I had been in my parents’ attic hunting for something to distract me from my wallowing or offer comforting advice. The Douglas Jerrold book looked more interesting and appropriately somber than Who Moved My Cheese, so I picked it up and opened to a random page. Actually the first thing I read was just what I needed to hear:

A Consoling Thought

There is no trouble, however great, that has not in the core of its very greatness some drop of comfort; for the human heart; like a bee, will gather honey from poisonous blossoms.

I’ve probably done this post upside down and should have started with the consoling thought, but anyway it’s done. And it’s late. So I’ll end with one more, one I wish I could remember to appreciate every day:

“Good Night”

This is a simple, earnest wish, that, like the circle of the universe, holds within it all things.