Toasts and Forms of Public Address

84. SLEEPING ON TOP

During a homeward trip of the “Henry Chauncey,” from Aspinwall, the steerage passengers were so numerous as to make them uncomfortable. As for sleeping accommodation, it was aptly described by a Californian, who approached the captain, and said:

“I should like to have a sleeping-berth, if you please.”

“Why, where have you been sleeping these last two nights since we left?”

“Wa’al, I’ve been sleeping a-top of a sick man; _but he’s better now, and won’t stand it no longer_!”

85. SAMBO AND THE LAWYER

In a Macon (Ga.) court the other day a lawyer was cross-examining a negro witness, and was getting along fairly well until he asked the witness what his occupation was. “I’se a carpenter, sah.” “What kind of a carpenter?” “They calls me a jackleg carpenter, sah.” “What is a jackleg carpenter?” “He is a carpenter who is not a first-class carpenter, sah.” “Well, explain fully what you understand a jackleg carpenter to be,” insisted the lawyer. “Boss, I declare I dunno how ter splain any mo’ ‘cept to say hit am jes’ the same difference ‘twixt you an’ a fust-class lawyer.”

86. SIXTY-CENT NAP

On board a train in the West an eccentric preacher wanted a sleeping-berth, but had only sixty cents, while the lowest price was a dollar. Naturally he did not get on very fast with the porter; but after wearing out the patience of that functionary in vain efforts to stretch the sixty cents, the conductor was sent for. All proposals to borrow, to pledge an old Waterbury watch, and other financial expedients failed; but the circle was squared when the preacher said, “I’ll lie down, and _when I have slept sixty cents worth, you send that bed-shaker to rout me out_.” The procession started for the sleeper amid the hilarity of the passengers, but the tradition is that he slept the whole night through and far into the morning.

87. PREFERRED TO WALK

A great traveler once found himself on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. He was at once beset by boatmen, who wanted to take him out to sail on the waters where Christ had walked. He yielded to their importunities, and returned to the shore in about an hour. But his devout meditations were greatly disturbed when he was told that the charge was $10. With energy he declared that it was robbery, that it was not worth so much to sail all over their little lake, and demanded, “What makes you charge so dreadfully?” “Why,” said the innocent boatman, “because dese ese de lake were de Saviour walked on de water.” “Walked! walked! did He? Well, if the boatmen of that day charged as you fellows do, I should think He _would_ walk.”

88. HORACE GREELEY’S JOKE

On one occasion a person, who wished to have a little fun at the expense of his constituency, said in a group where Horace Greeley was standing: “Mr. Greeley and I, gentlemen, are old friends. We have drunk a good deal of brandy and water together.” “Yes,” said Mr. Greeley, “that is true enough. You drank the brandy, and I drank the water.”

89. DOCTORS AND DEADHEADS

Fifty years ago the principal avenue of Detroit had a toll-gate close to the entrance of the Elmwood Cemetery road. As this cemetery had been laid out some time previous to the construction of the plank road, it was arranged that all funeral processions should be allowed to pass along the latter toll-free. One day as a well-known physician stopped to pay his toll, he observed to the gate-keeper:

“Considering the benevolent character of our profession, I think you ought to let physicians pass free of charge.”

“No, no, doctor,” replied the man; “we can’t afford that. You send too many ‘deadheads’ through here as it is.”

The story traveled, and the two words became associated.

90. BOOMING A TOWN

They tell a story of a man who came into Omaha one day, and wanted to trade his farm for some city lots. “All right,” replied the real-estate agent, “get into my buggy, and I’ll drive you out to see some of the finest residence sites in the world–water, sewers, paved streets, cement sidewalks, electric light, shade trees, and all that sort of thing,” and away they drove four or five miles into the country. The real-estate agent expatiated upon the beauty of the surroundings, the value of the improvements made and projected, the convenience of the location, the ease and speed with which people who lived there could reach town, and the certainty of an active demand for such lots in the immediate future. Then, when he was breathless, he turned to his companion, and asked:

“Where’s your farm?”

“We passed it coming out here,” was the reply. “It’s about two miles nearer town.”

91. ATHLETIC NURSE

Young Wife–“Why, dear, you were the stroke oar at college, weren’t you?”

Young Husband–“Yes, love.”

“And a prominent member of the gymnastic class?”

“I was leader.”

“And quite a hand at all athletic exercises?”

“Quite a hand? My gracious! I was champion walker, the best runner, the head man at lifting heavy weights, and as for carrying–why, I could shoulder a barrel of flour and–”

“Well, love, just please carry the baby for a couple of hours, I’m tired.”