Toasts and Forms of Public Address

71. BITING SARCASM

Standing on the steps at the entrance to one of the grand hotels at Saratoga, a young gentleman, in whom the “dude” species was strongly developed, had been listening with eager attention to the bright things which fell from the lips of the well-known wit and orator, Emory A. Storrs.

At last our exquisite exclaimed: “Er–Mr. Storrs,–I–er–wish, oh! how I–er–_wish_! that I had your–er–cheek.”

Mr. Storrs instantly annihilated him with: “It is a most fortunate dispensation of Providence that you have not. For, _with my cheek and your brains_, you would be kicked down these steps in no time!”

72. INCORRIGIBLE NEIGHBOR

A lady in California had a troublesome neighbor, whose cattle overrun her ranch, causing much damage. The lady bore the annoyance patiently, hoping that some compunction would be felt for the damage inflicted. At last she caught a calf which was making havoc in her garden, and sent it home with a child, saying, “Tell Mrs. A. that the calf has eaten nearly everything in the garden, and I have scarcely a cabbage left.”

The feelings of the injured lady may be imagined when she received this reply: “The cabbage nearly all eaten! Well, I must get over and borrow some before it is all gone!”

73. DISGUSTED OFFICER

Some years since a party of Indians drove off all the live-stock at Fort Lancaster. A few days afterward Captain —- was passing through the post, and stopped a couple of days for rest. While there an enthusiastic officer took him out to show him the trail of the bad Indians, how they came, which way they went, etc. After following the trail for some distance the Captain turned to his guide and exclaimed: “Look here; if you want to find any Indians, you can find them; _I haven’t lost any_, and am going back to camp.”

74. IRATE PRISONER

A man arrested for stealing chickens was brought to trial. The case was given to the jury, who brought him in guilty, and the judge sentenced him to three months’ imprisonment. The jailer was a jovial man, fond of a _smile_, and feeling particularly good on that particular day, considered himself insulted when the prisoner looking around his cell told him it was dirty, and not fit for a hog to be put in. One word brought on another, till finally the jailer told the prisoner if he did not behave himself he would put him out. To which the prisoner replied: “I will give you to understand, sir, I have as good a right here as you have!”

75. TRUTHFUL PRISONER

The eccentric old King of Prussia, father of Frederick the Great, while visiting the Potsdam prison, was much interested in the professions of innocence the prisoners made. Some blamed their conviction on the prejudice of judges; others, upon the perjury of witnesses or the tricks of bad companions. At length he accosted a sturdy, closely-fettered prisoner with the remark, “I suppose you are innocent, too.”

“No, your Majesty,” was the unexpected response. “I am guilty, and richly deserve all I get.”

“Here, you turnkey,” thundered the monarch, “come and turn out this rascal, quick, before he corrupts this fine lot of innocent and abused people that you have about you.”

76. RULING PASSION

There are persons now living in Bennington who remember old Billy B—-, of whom it might be said he furnished an example of the “ruling passion strong in death.” When very ill, and friends were expecting an early demise, his nephew and a man hired for the occasion had butchered a steer which had been fattened; and when the job was completed the nephew entered the sick-room, where a few friends were assembled, when, to the astonishment of all, the old man opened his eyes, and turning his head slightly, said, in a full voice, drawing out the words:

“What have you been doing?”

“Killing the steer,” was the reply.

“What did you do with the hide?”

“Left it in the barn; going to sell it by-and-by.”

“Let the boys drag it around the yard a couple of times; it will make it weigh heavier.”

And the good old man was gathered unto his fathers.

77. BAD SPECULATION

[This is told of bears, rattlesnakes, etc., as well as Indians.]

At a recent festive occasion a gentleman who was making a few remarks was repeatedly interrupted by another one of the company. He bore it patiently at first, but finally said that it reminded him of a story he had heard. He said that a man, whom business had called away a short distance from his home in the city, thought he would pay his way back again by purchasing a number of hogs and driving them home. He did so, but when he and the hogs arrived at their destination the market for the latter had fallen considerably in price, and the hogs had also lost weight on the journey. It was remarked to him that he had made rather a bad speculation. “Yes–well, yes,” he answered reflectively. “Yes–but then, you see, _I had their company all the way_!”