The Home Of Josh Billings.
Left: Governor Briggs
makes us laugh to ourselves. He was himself a quiet, unassuming man; and one who had known him for years testifies that he never saw him smile when saying even the wittiest things. This very fact enabled him to express so well the fun which an old-time New England countryman most enjoyed. The true Yankee knows well how to "laugh inside" and to crack jokes with a sober face. We can easily imagine the amused chuckle with which some farmer would greet these sayings, how his keen eyes would twinkle and the corners of his mouth faintly twitch in spite of himself as he revelled in their quaint drollery and shrewd common sense.
"Josh Billings first became generally known through his contributions to the New York Weekly. But the immediate and striking success of his books is seldom paralleled, at least in the realm of humor. His "Farmer's Allminax," published in 1870, reached a sale of 90,000 copies in the first year, 117,000 in the second, and 100,000 in the third. For some time he averaged eighty lectures in a season, which lectures were delivered in all parts of the country.
"Applying to Josh Billings the test of his own definition, that humor implies "a thing that is ludicrous and at the same time true," he was indeed a genuine humorist. He could put forth literary power on occasion, as many of his articles and bits of verse prove; but his genius lay in pure humor without additional literary qualities to recommend it. Hence the wonderful
The Birthplace Of Josh Billings.
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