Toasts and Forms of Public Address

63. TAKEN AT HIS WORD

A pretentious person said to the leading man of a country village, “How would a lecture by me on Mount Vesuvius suit the inhabitants of your village?” “Very well, sir; very well, indeed,” he answered; “a lecture by you on Mount Vesuvius would suit them a great deal better than a lecture by you in this village.”

64. BRAGGING VETERANS

In warning veterans against exaggerating, a gentleman at a Washington banquet related the following anecdote of a Revolutionary veteran, who, having outlived nearly all his comrades, and being in no danger of contradiction, rehearsed his experience thuswise: “In that fearful day at Monmouth, although entitled to a horse, I fought on foot. With each blow I severed an Englishman’s head from his body, until a huge pile of heads lay around me, great pools of blood on either side, and my shoes were so full of the same dreadful fluid that my feet slipped beneath me. Just then I felt a touch upon my shoulder, and, looking up, who should I behold but the great and good Washington himself! Never shall I forget the majesty and dignity of his presence, as, pressing his hand upon me, he said, ‘My young friend, restrain yourself, and for heaven’s sake do not make a slaughter-house of yourself.'”

65. EXCHANGING MINDS

Heinrich Heine, the German poet, apologizing for feeling dull after a visit from a professor said: “I am afraid you find me very stupid. The fact is, Dr. —- called upon me this morning, and _we exchanged our minds_.”

66. BUYING A LAWYER

[The willingness to pay full value for an article is a trait of character always appreciated.]

Lawyer B—- called at the office of Counselor F—-, who has had considerable practice in bankruptcy, and said: “See here, F—-, I want to know what the practice is in such and such a case in bankruptcy.”

F—-, straightening himself up and looking as wise as possible, replied: “Well, Mr. B—-, I generally get paid for telling what I know.”

B—- put his hand into his pocket, drew forth half a dollar, handed it to F—-, and said: “Here, tell me _all_ you know, and _give me the change_.”

67. WOULD NOT SAVE IT

In the old town of W—-, in the Pine-tree State, lived one of those unfortunate lords of creation who had, in not a very long life, put on mourning for three departed wives. But time assuages heart-wounds, as well as those of the flesh. In due time a fourth was inaugurated mistress of his heart and house. He was a very prudent man, and suffered nothing to be wasted. When the new mistress was putting things in order, while cleaning up the attic she came across a long piece of board, and was about launching it out of the window, when little Sadie interposed, and said: “Oh! don’t, mamma! _that is the board papa lays out his wives on, and he wants to save it!_” Nevertheless, _out it went_.

68. WIDOW OUTWITTED

In a Western village a charming, well-preserved widow had been courted and won by a physician. She had children. The wedding-day was approaching, and it was time the children should know they were to have a new father. Calling one of them to her, she said: “Georgie, I am going to do something before long that I would like to talk about with you.”

“Well, ma, what is it!”

“I am intending to marry Dr. Jones in a few days, and–”

“Bully for you, ma! _Does Dr. Jones know it?_”

Ma caught her breath, but failed to articulate a response.

69. TOO KIND

[Where can we find a more touching manifestation of mutual benevolence than the following.]

In New Jersey reside two gentlemen, near neighbors and bosom friends, one a clergyman, Dr. B—-, the other a “gentleman of means” named Wilson. Both were passionately fond of music, and the latter devoted many of his leisure hours to the study of the violin. One fine afternoon our clerical friend was in his study, deeply engaged in writing, when there came along one of those good-for-nothing little Italian players, who planted himself under his study window, and, much to his annoyance, commenced scraping away on a squeaky fiddle. After trying in vain for about fifteen minutes to collect his scattered thoughts, the Doctor descended to the piazza in front of the house, and said to the boy:

“Look here, sonny, you go over and play awhile for Mr. Wilson. Here is ten cents. He lives in that big white house over yonder. He plays the violin, and likes music better than I do.”

“Well,” said the boy, taking the “stamp,” “_I would, but he just gave me ten cents to come over and play for you!_”

70. NOT FOOLED TWICE

San Francisco boasts of a saloon called the Bank Exchange, where the finest wines and liquors are dispensed at twenty-five cents a glass, with lunches thrown in free. A plain-looking person went in one morning and called for a brandy cocktail, and wanted it _strong_. Mr. Parker, as is usual with him, was very considerate, and mixed the drink in his best style, setting it down for his customer. After the cocktail had disappeared the man leaned over the bar and said that he had no change about him then, but would have soon, when he would pay for the drink. Parker politely remarked that he should have mentioned the fact before he got the drink; when his customer remarked: “I tried that on yesterday morning with one of your men, but he would not let me have the whiskey, so you could not play that dodge on me again!” This was too good for Parker, and he told the customer he was welcome to his drink, and was entitled to his hat in the bargain, if he wanted it.