A Piano Joke from 1875

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A Piano Joke from 1875

Editor's Note: We stole this from Frank Leslie's Comic Almanac for 1875. It's a surprisingly good joke, for Frank Leslie's.

Fingers on a piano, by DG. (DG's fingers.).

A Disappointment

Our neighbor Chubb (says Max Adeler) has not much of an ear for music, but he has spent a considerable sum in having his daughter taught how to hammer a piano, and he is proud of her accomplishments.

He was talking with us over the fence the other day, when a series of dreadful sounds came from his piano through the open parlor window. Presently Chubb remarked, 'Do you hear that, Adeler? Just listen to that, will you? That's what I call music.' Then there were a few additional bangs on the instrument, a flourish or two, and then more discordant thumping. 'Splendid, isn’t
it?' said Chubb. 'Mary Jane's bustin' the music right out of that machine, you observe. Them's the Strauss waltzes, I believe, she's rastlin' with now. Just listen.'

We remarked that from the energy displayed Mary Jane at least seemed to be really in earnest. But whether she was treating Mr. Strauss exactly right was an open question.

'Idon't know nothin' about music, Adeler,' observed Chubb, 'but I kin tell the real thing when I hear it, and I kin sit and hear Mary Jane play them waltzes and the 'Maiden's Prayer' until it makes me cry like a child.' We asserted that, if she played those compositions as she was doing now, it would make anybody cry. A deaf-mute would shed a tear.

'Listen to that now, will you?' exclaimed Chubb, as a wild tumult of sound came from the parlor. “Isn’t that splendid? If I didn't know it was Mary Jane a-tearin' around among them waltzes, I'd think it was one of them fellers who play at the concerts. Let's go over and hear her.'

We entered the house and sought the parlor. Mary Jane was nowhere to be seen; but, to the infinite disgust of Chubb, there was a red-haired man, with a fist as big as a loaf of bread, tuning the piano. Chubb asked us not to tell anybody. and we won't. It is related here in confidence, and must go no further.

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