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The mayor of a French town had, in accordance with the regulations, to
make out a passport for a rich and highly respectable lady of his
acquaintance, who, in spite of a slight disfigurement, was very vain of
her personal appearance. His native politeness prompted him to gloss
over the defect, and, after a moment's reflection, he wrote among the
items of personal description: "Eyes dark, beautiful, tender,
expressive, but one of them missing."
Mrs. Taft, at a diplomatic dinner, had for a neighbor a distinguished
French traveler who boasted a little unduly of his nation's politeness.
"We French," the traveler declared, "are the politest people in the
world. Every one acknowledges it. You Americans are a remarkable nation,
but the French excel you in politeness. You admit it yourself, don't
Mrs. Taft smiled delicately.
"Yes," she said. "That is our politeness."
Justice Moody was once riding on the platform of a Boston street car
standing next to the gate that protected passengers from cars coming on
the other track. A Boston lady came to the door of the car and, as it
stopped, started toward the gate, which was hidden from her by the man
standing before it.
"Other side, lady," said the conductor.
He was ignored as only a born-and-bred Bostonian can ignore a man. The
lady took another step toward the gate.
"You must get off the other side," said the conductor.
"I wish to get off on this side," came the answer, in tones that
congealed that official. Before he could explain or expostulate Mr.
Moody came to his assistance.
"Stand to one side, gentlemen," he remarked quietly. "The lady wishes to
climb over the gate."
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