After Dinner Speeches
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A western buyer is inordinately proud of the fact that one of his
ancestors affixed his name to the Declaration of Independence. At the
time the salesman called, the buyer was signing a number of checks and
affixed his signature with many a curve and flourish. The salesman's
patience becoming exhausted in waiting for the buyer to recognize him,
he finally observed:
"You have a fine signature, Mr. So-and-So."
"Yes," admitted the buyer, "I should have. One of my forefathers signed
the Declaration of Independence."
"So?" said the caller, with rising inflection. And then he added:
"Vell, you aind't got nottings on me. One of my forefathers signed the
In a speech in the Senate on Hawaiian affairs, Senator Depew of New York
told this story:
When Queen Liliuokalani was in England during the English queen's
jubilee, she was received at Buckingham Palace. In the course of the
remarks that passed between the two queens, the one from the Sandwich
Islands said that she had English blood in her veins.
"How so?" inquired Victoria.
"My ancestors ate Captain Cook."
Signor Marconi, in an interview in Washington, praised American
"Over here," he said, "you respect a man for what he is himself--not for
what his family is--and thus you remind me of the gardener in Bologna
who helped me with my first wireless apparatus.
"As my mother's gardener and I were working on my apparatus together a
young count joined us one day, and while he watched us work the count
boasted of his lineage.
"The gardener, after listening a long while, smiled and said:
"'If you come from an ancient family, it's so much the worse for you
sir; for, as we gardeners say, the older the seed the worse the crop.'"
"Gerald," said the young wife, noticing how heartily he was eating, "do
I cook as well as your mother did?"
Gerald put up his monocle, and stared at her through it.
"Once and for all, Agatha," he said, "I beg you will remember that
although I may seem to be in reduced circumstances now, I come of an old
and distinguished family. My mother was not a cook."
"My ancestors came over in the 'Mayflower.'"
"That's nothing; my father descended from an aŽroplane."--_Life_.
When in England, Governor Foss, of Massachusetts, had luncheon with a
prominent Englishman noted for boasting of his ancestry. Taking a coin
from his pocket, the Englishman said: "My great-great-grandfather was
made a lord by the king whose picture you see on this shilling."
"Indeed!" replied the governor, smiling, as he produced another coin.
"What a coincidence! My great-great-grandfather was made an angel by the
Indian whose picture you see on this cent."
People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to
From yon blue heavens above us bent,
The gardener Adam and his wife
Smile at the claims of long descent.
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