Toasts and Forms of Public Address

From these considerations may be deduced the rule that when the proposer of a toast wishes to leave the respondent the freedom of the whole subject he will give the toast alone, or accompanied by a motto of the most non-committal character. But if he wishes to draw him out in a particular direction he will put the real theme in the sentiment that follows the toast.


Years ago a speaker provoked a controversy (maliciously and with no good excuse) which scarcely came short of blows, by proposing as a toast the name of a general of high rank, but who was unfortunate in arms. He was a candidate for office. Added to the toast was the sentiment, “May his political equal his military victories.” This was in bad taste, indeed, but it shows the use that can be made of the sentiment, when added to a toast, in fixing attention in a certain direction.

The number of sentiments suggested by the common and standard toasts is unlimited. Take the toast “Home,” as an example.

Home: The golden setting in which the brightest jewel is “Mother.”

Home: A world of strife shut out, and a world of love shut in.

Home: The blossoms of which heaven is the fruit.

Home: The only spot on earth where the fault and failings of fallen humanity are hidden under a mantle of charity.

Home: An abode wherein the inmate, the superior being called man, can pay back at night, with fifty per cent. interest, every annoyance that he has met with in business during the day.

Home: The place where the great are sometimes small, and the small often great.

Home: The father’s kingdom; the child’s paradise; the mother’s world.

Home: The jewel casket containing the most precious of all jewels–domestic happiness.

Home: The place where you are treated best and grumble most.

Home: It is the central telegraph office of human love, into which run innumerable wires of affection, many of which, though extending thousands of miles, are never disconnected from the one great terminus.

Home: The centre of our affections, around which our hearts’ best wishes twine.

Home: A little sheltered hollow scooped out of the windy hill of the world.

Home: A place where our stomachs get three good meals daily and our hearts a thousand.


These might be multiplied indefinitely, but a sufficient number are given to serve as hints to the person who is able to make his own toasts, yet seeks a little aid to lift him out of the common rut.

Marriage: The happy estate which resembles a pair of shears; so joined that they cannot be separated; often moving in opposite directions, yet always punishing any one who comes between them.

Marriage: The gate through which the happy lover leaves his enchanted ground and returns from paradise to earth.

Woman: The fairest work of the great Author; the edition is large, and no man should be without a copy.

Woman: She needs no eulogy; she speaks for herself.

Woman: The bitter half of man. (A sour bachelor’s toast.)

Wedlock: May the single all be married and all the married be happy. Love to one, friendship to many, and good-will to all.

The Lady we love and the Friend we trust.

May we have the unspeakable good Fortune to win a true heart, and the Merit to keep it.

Friendship: May its bark never founder on the rocks of deception.

Friendship: May its lamp ever be supplied by the oil of truth and fidelity.

Unselfish Friendship: May we ever be able to serve a friend, and noble enough to conceal it.

Firm Friendship: May differences of opinion only cement it.

May we have more and more Friends and Need them less and less.

May our Friend in sorrow never be a Sorrowing friend.

Active Friendship: May the hinges of friendship never grow rusty.

To our Friends: Whether absent on land or sea.

Our Friends: May the present have no burdens for them and futurity no terrors.

Our Friends: May we always have them and always know their value.

Friends: May we be richer in their love than in wealth, and yet money be plenty.

A Friend: May we never want one to cheer us, or a home to welcome him.

Good Judgment: May opinions never float in the sea of ignorance.

Careful Kindness: May we never crack a joke or break a reputation.

Enduring Prudence: May the pleasures of youth never bring us pain in old age.

Deliverance in Trouble: May the sunshine of hope dispel the clouds of calamity.

Successful Suit: May we court and win all the Daughters of Fortune except the eldest–Miss Fortune.

Here’s a Health to Detail, Retail, and Curtail–indeed, all the tails but tell-tales.

The Coming Millennium: When great men are honest and honest men are great.

Our Merchant: May he have good trade, well paid. May the Devil cut the toes of all our foes, That we may know them by their limping.

May we Live to learn well and Learn to live well.

A Placid Life: May we never murmur without cause, and never have cause to murmur.

May we never lose our Bait when we Fish for compliments.