A 19TH Century Canadian Time Capsule

Sense of humour!

I have to admit that the author had managed to confuse me with this one until I figured out what had actually taken place:
“Just then, a lady and gentleman were seen coming towards them through the shrubs and trees. It was the father and mother of Grace. When they had come up, Grace’s father asked the children if they had found any nuts on such bushes that grew there. They laughed, and some of them said they had too much sense to look for nuts on such bushes as those. The gentleman replied, those who were very sensible need not follow him, but if any little girls felt inclined to make an extraordinary discovery, he would show them some trees that bore very sweet fruit.
Sweet fruit, indeed! Sugar plums, so large and real as to convince the most sensible, that it is wiser to use our powers of observation, than to say, we have too much sense for this or that.”

For those who like me, didn’t catch the obvious at first, read: the nuts (sugar plum candy) were planted on the trees by Grace’s parents before they approached the Picnic. It is wiser to use our powers of observation!

…but she thought ammunition was the same as ginger beer and soda biscuits. George, she said, called those things his ammunition one day when he was going out to fish”
My father’s sense of humour frequently consists of a literal slant to spoken phrases:
“Would you make me a cup of tea?”, is always followed by a magical wave of his hands to turn the person who asked into a cup of tea. This particular humourous trait might be genetic, as the author seems to be afflicted:
“Oh, George,” said Grace, “do you think it will stop raining?”
“Yes, certainly,” said George, “I have no idea it will rain forever.”

“See, mamma,” said Grace, running up stairs, “see what dear old Madeline has given me. I am so glad I saved the money Uncle John gave me, to buy her a petticoat, because now I can send it to the Steamer Lady. You know she told me she never saw Indians in a canoe and—“

“And are you going to send her a squaw’s petticoat, because she never saw Indians in a canoe,” asked her father?
“Oh no! papa;…”

Complaining that she has a lot more history to learn before her brother returns home, Grace says:

“I want to know about the Acadians after Nova Scotia was finally given up to the English. You know, mamma, there are a hundred and fifty years, before George comes home.”
“Ah!” said her father, “are George’s holidays so far off as that?”