What would you do if you found out your beloved was dead? Here’s another funny chronicle in my readings of Joe Miller’s Jests (1740)!
A wild young Gentleman having married a very discreet, virtuous young Lady; the better to reclaim him, she caused it to be given out at his Return, that she was dead, and had been buried: In the mean Time, she had so plac’d herself in Disguise, as to be able to observe how he took the News; and finding him still the same gay inconstant Man he always had been, she appear’d to him as the Ghost of herself, at which he seemed not at all dismay’d: At length disclosing herself to him, he then appear’d pretty much surpriz’d; A Person by said, ‘Why, Sir you seem more afraid now than before.’ ‘Ay, replied he, most Men are more afraid of a living Wife than a dead one.’
Hmm… I wonder how many Men would agree with that!
Joe Miller’s Jests (1740)