A Pretty Fair Joke

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Here’s another unattributed fragment from American Wit and Humor:

“Soon after [later] Chief Justice Chase assumed the gubernatorial chair in Ohio, he issued his proclamation appointing a Thanksgiving Day. To make sure of being orthodox, the governor composed his proclamation almost entirely of passages from the Bible, which he did not designate as quotations, presuming every one would recognize them and admire the fitness of the words as well as his taste of selection.

The proclamation meeting the eye of a Democratic editor, he pounced at once upon it, and declared that he had read it before — couldn’t exactly say where — but he would take his oath that it was a downright plagiarism from beginning to end.

That would have been a pretty fair joke; but the next day the Republican editor came out valiantly in defense of the governor, pronounced the charge libelous, and challenged any man living to produce one single line of the proclamation that had appeared in print before.”

You know Salmon P. Chase. He’s on the money.