Toasts and Forms of Public Address

49. A BURGLAR’S EXPERIENCE

A New York paper prints this extract from the reminiscences of a retired burglar:

“I think about the most curious man I ever met,” said the retired burglar, “I met in a house in eastern Connecticut, and I shouldn’t know him, either, if I should meet him again unless I should hear him speak. It was so dark where I met him that I never saw him at all. I had looked around the house down-stairs, and actually hadn’t seen a thing worth carrying off. It was the poorest house I ever was in, and it wasn’t a bad-looking house on the outside, either. I got up-stairs and groped around a little, and finally turned into a room that was darker than Egypt. I had not gone more than three steps in this room when I heard a man say:

“‘Hello, there.’

“‘Hello,’ says I.

“‘Who are you?’ says the man; ‘burglar?’

“And I said yes; I did do something in that line occasionally.

“‘Miserable business to be in, ain’t it?’ said the man. His voice came from a bed over in the corner of the room, and I knew he hadn’t even sat up.

“And I said, ‘Well, I dunno. I got to support my family some way.’

“‘Well, you’ve just wasted a night here,’ says the man. ‘Did you see anything down-stairs worth stealing?’

“And I said no, I hadn’t.

“‘Well, there’s less up-stairs,’ says the man; and then I heard him turn over and settle down to go to sleep again. I’d like to have gone over there and kicked him, but I didn’t. It was getting late, and I thought, all things considered, that I might just as well let him have his sleep out.”

50. HITTING A LAWYER

“Have you had a job to-day, Tim?” inquired a well-known legal gentleman of the equally well-known, jolly, florid-faced old drayman, who, rain or shine, summer or winter, is rarely absent from his post.

“Bedad, I did, sor.”

“How many?”

“Only two, sor.”

“How much did you get for both?”

“Sivinty cints, sor.”

“Seventy cents! How in the world do you expect to live and keep a horse on seventy cents a day?”

“Some days I have half a dozen jobs, sor. But bizness has been dull to-day, sor. On’y the hauling of a thrunk for a gintilman for forty cints an’ a load av furniture for thirty cints; an’ there was the pots an’ the kittles, an’ there’s no telling phat; a big load, sor.”

“Do you carry big loads of household goods for thirty cents?”

“She was a poor widdy, sor, an’ had no more to give me. I took all she had, sor; an’ bedad, sor, a lyyer could have done no better nor that, sor.”

51. CUTTING SHORT A PRAYER

Many a spiritual history is condensed into a miniature in the following:

Two fishermen–Jamie and Sandy–belated and befogged on a rough water, were in some trepidation lest they should never get ashore again. At last Jamie said:

“Sandy, I’m steering, and I think you’d better put up a bit of a prayer.”

Sandy said: “I don’t know how.”

Jamie said: “If you don’t I’ll just chuck ye overboard.”

Sandy began: “O Lord, I never asked onything of Ye for fifteen year, and if Ye’ll only get us safe back I’ll never trouble Ye again.”

“Whist, Sandy,” said Jamie, “_the boat’s touched shore; don’t be beholden to onybody_.”

52. UNREMITTING KINDNESS

Jerrold was asked if he considered a man kind who remitted no funds to his family when away. “Oh! yes. _Unremitting kindness_,” said he.

53. AMUSING BLUNDER

One of the passengers on board the ill-fated “Metis” at the time of the disaster was an exceedingly nervous man, who, while floating in the water, imagined how his friends would acquaint his wife of his fate. Saved at last, he rushed to the telegraph office and sent this message: “Dear P—-, I am saved. _Break it gently to my wife._”

54. COMPLIMENT TO A LADY

[How nicely this might fit into a ladies’ party.]

Sidney Smith, the cultivated writer and divine, who, when describing his country residence, declared that he lived twelve miles from a lemon, was told by a beautiful girl that a certain pea in his garden would never come to perfection. “Permit me then,” said he, taking her by the hand, “_to lead perfection to the pea_.”

55. TOO SLIM

[The great evil of mixing religion and politics are well set forth in the following incident:]

“Gabe,” said the governor to an old colored man, “I understand that you have been ousted from your position of Sunday-school superintendent.”

“Yes, sah, da figured aroun’ till da got me out. II was all a piece of political work, though; and I doan see why de law of de lan’ doan prevent de Sunday-schools an’ churches from takin’ up political matters!”

“How did politics get you out?”

“Yer see, some time ago, when I was a candidate for justice ob de peace, I gin’ a barbecue ter some ob my frien’s. De udder day da brung up de fack an’ ousted me.”

“I don’t see why the fact that you gave a barbecue to your friends should have caused any trouble.”

“Neider does myse’f, boss; but yer see da said dat I stole de hogs what I barbecued. De proof wa’nt good, an’ I think dat da done wrong in ackin’ upon sech slim testimony. Da said dat I cotch de hogs in a corn fid’. I know dat wan’t true, ‘case it was a wheat fid’ whar I cotch ’em.”