Most Viewed

A Walking Stick
White Teeth
An Honor To Tipperary
Welsh Wig-ging
A New Sign
An East Indian Chaplaincy
Witty Coward

Least Viewed

The Tanner; An Epigram
New Relationship
Henry Erskine
Inquest Extraordinary
Cause And Effect
Money's Worth
A Short Journey
A Soporific
A Pertinent Question
Quid Pro Quo

Random Jests

Blowing A Nose
The Saddle On The Right Horse
Worthy Of Credit
A Quick Lie
A Military Axiom
Nothing But Hebrew
Very Likely
A Rebuke
The Zodiac Club
A Barber Shaved By A Lawyer

Truth And Rhyme

Jests Home

IN the days of Charles II., candidates for holy orders were expected to
respond in Latin to the various interrogatories put to them by the
bishop or his examining chaplain. When the celebrated Dr. Isaac Barrow
(who was fellow of Trinity College, and tutor to the immortal Newton)
had taken his bachelor's degree, he presented himself before the
bishop's chaplain, who, with the stiff stern visage of the times, said
to Barrow,--

Quid est fides? (What is faith?)

Quod non vides (What thou dost not see),

answered Barrow with the utmost promptitude. The chaplain, a little
vexed at Barrow's laconic answer, continued,--

Quid est spes? (What is hope?)

Magna res (A great thing),

replied the young candidate in the same breath.

Quid est charitas? (What is charity?)

was the next question.

Magna raritas (A great rarity),

was again the prompt reply of Barrow, blending truth and rhyme with a
precision that staggered the reverend examiner, who went direct to the
bishop and told him that a young Cantab had thought proper to give
rhyming answers to three several moral questions, and added that he
believed his name was Barrow, of Trinity College, Cambridge. Barrow,
Barrow! said the bishop, who well knew the literary and moral worth of
the young Cantab, if that's the case, ask him no more questions, for he
is much better qualified, continued his lordship, to examine us than
we him. Barrow received his letters of orders forthwith.

Next: A Good Translation

Previous: The Letter H

Add to Informational Site Network

Viewed 1564