Who’s Laughing?

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“A DISASTER!” the courtiers of the King of Hanover cried, “Seven renowned professors at Göttingen University have published a declaration of protest against you!” That was 173 years ago. The king had suspended the liberal constitution enacted by his predecessor. “So what,” the king replied, “Tarts, dancers and professors I can always buy.”

The Nobleman and the Horse

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“HALF AND HALF,” the late Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol, is said to have answered, when asked whether he wanted tea or coffee. This joke was intended to parody his hesitation on the eve of the Six-day War. (Though secret documents published this week show Eshkol in a very different light.)