John Taylor, in as much as he's remembered at all, is known as the Water Poet, but he was a working writer who wrote all sorts of stuff. I can't claim to have come across more than a handful of the jokes in his book Wit and Mirth, but some of them stand the test of time very well: in fact, some of them have been recycled endlessly to this day as new idiots come along for us to laugh at.
When Taylor's book came out in 1630 the people to laugh at were - but you'll soon see.
A nobleman (as he was riding) met with a yeoman of the country, to whom he said, 'My friend, I should know thee. I do remember that I have often seen thee.'
'My good lord,' said the countryman, 'I am one of your honour's good tenants, and my name is T.I.' 'I remember thee better now' (saith my lord) 'There were two brothers but one is dead. I pray, which of you does remain alive?'
And who would we be laughing at now?
Personally, I don't dare even make a suggestion.
Nobleman riding with a cheetah he has taken hunting by Rudolf Kleinpaul.
Word To Use Today: noble. This word comes from the Latin nōbilis, capable of being known, from noscere, to know.
By the way, I see that the nobleman met with the yeoman.
And I thought that met with was a new irritation...