After Dinner Speeches
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Sing a song of sick gents,
Pockets full of rye,
Four and twenty highballs,
We wish that we might die.
Two booze-fiends were ambling homeward at an early hour, after being out
nearly all night.
"Don't your wife miss you on these occasions?" asked one.
"Not often," replied the other; "she throws pretty straight."
"Where's old Four-Fingered Pete?" asked Alkali Ike. "I ain't seen him
around here since I got back."
"Pete?" said the bartender. "Oh, he went up to Hyena Tongue and got
jagged. Went up to a hotel winder, stuck his head in and hollered
'Fire!' and everybody did."
The Irish talent for repartee has an amusing illustration in Lord
Rossmore's recent book "Things I Can Tell." While acting as magistrate
at an Irish village, Lord Rossmore said to an old offender brought
before him: "You here again?" "Yes, your honor." "What's brought you
here?" "Two policemen, your honor." "Come, come, I know that--drunk
again, I suppose?" "Yes, your honor, both of them."
The colonel came down to breakfast New Year's morning with a bandaged
"Why, colonel, what's the matter?" they asked.
"Confound it all!" the colonel answered, "we had a little party last
night, and one of the younger men got intoxicated and stepped on my
MAGISTRATE--"And what was the prisoner doing?"
CONSTABLE--"E were 'avin' a very 'eated argument with a cab driver, yer
MAGISTRATE--"But that doesn't prove he was drunk."
CONSTABLE--"Ah, but there worn't no cab driver there, yer worship."
A Scotch minister and his servant, who were coming home from a wedding,
began to consider the state into which their potations at the wedding
feast had left them.
"Sandy," said the minister, "just stop a minute here till I go ahead.
Maybe I don't walk very steady and the good wife might remark something
not just right."
He walked ahead of the servant for a short distance and then asked:
"How is it? Am I walking straight?"
"Oh, ay," answered Sandy thickly, "ye're a' recht--but who's that who's
A man in a very deep state of intoxication was shouting and kicking most
vigorously at a lamp post, when the noise attracted a near-by policeman.
"What's the matter?" he asked the energetic one.
"Oh, never mind, mishter. Thash all right," was the reply; "I know
she'sh home all right--I shee a light upshtairs."
A pompous little man with gold-rimmed spectacles and a thoughtful brow
boarded a New York elevated train and took the only unoccupied seat. The
man next him had evidently been drinking. For a while the little man
contented himself with merely sniffing contemptuously at his neighbor,
but finally he summoned the guard.
"Conductor," he demanded indignantly, "do you permit drunken people to
ride upon this train?"
"No, sir," replied the guard in a confidential whisper. "But don't say a
word and stay where you are, sir. If ye hadn't told me I'd never have
A noisy bunch tacked out of their club late one night, and up the
street. They stopped in front of an imposing residence. After
considerable discussion one of them advanced and pounded on the door. A
woman stuck her head out of a second-story window and demanded, none too
sweetly: "What do you want?"
"Ish thish the residence of Mr. Smith?" inquired the man on the steps,
with an elaborate bow.
"It is. What do you want?"
"Ish it possible I have the honor of speakin' to Misshus Smith?"
"Yes. What do you want?"
"Dear Misshus Smith! Good Misshus Smith! Will you--hic--come down an'
pick out Mr. Smith? The resh of us want to go home."
That clever and brilliant genius, McDougall, who represented California
in the United States Senate, was like many others of his class somewhat
addicted to fiery stimulants, and unable to battle long with them
without showing the effect of the struggle. Even in his most exhausted
condition he was, however, brilliant at repartee; but one night, at a
supper of journalists given to the late George D. Prentice, a genius of
the same mold and the same unfortunate habit, he found a foeman worthy
of his steel in General John Cochrane. McDougall had taken offense at
some anti-slavery sentiments which had been uttered--it was in war
times--and late in the evening got on his legs for the tenth time to
make a reply. The spirit did not move him to utterance, however; on the
contrary, it quite deprived him of the power of speech; and after an
ineffectual attempt at speech he suddenly concluded:
"Those are my sentiments, sir, and my name's McDougall."
"I beg the gentleman's pardon," said General Cochrane, springing to his
feet; "but what was that last remark?"
McDougall pronounced it again; "my name's McDougall."
"There must be some error," said Cochrane, gravely. "I have known Mr.
McDougall many years, and there never was a time when as late as twelve
o'clock at night he knew what his name was."
On a pleasant Sunday afternoon an old German and his youngest son were
seated in the village inn. The father had partaken liberally of the
home-brewed beer, and was warning his son against the evils of
intemperance. "Never drink too much, my son. A gentleman stops when he
has enough. To be drunk is a disgrace."
"Yes, Father, but how can I tell when I have enough or am drunk?"
The old man pointed with his finger. "Do you see those two men sitting
in the corner? If you see four men there, you would be drunk."
The boy looked long and earnestly. "Yes, Father, but--but--there is only
one man in that corner."--_W. Karl Hilbrich_.
William R. Hearst, who never touches liquor, had several men in
important positions on his newspapers who were not strangers to
intoxicants. Mr. Hearst has a habit of appearing at his office at
unexpected times and summoning his chiefs of departments for
instructions. One afternoon he sent for Mr. Blank.
"He hasn't come down yet, sir," reported the office boy.
"Please tell Mr. Dash I want to see him."
"He hasn't come down yet either."
"Well, find Mr. Star or Mr. Sun or Mr. Moon--anybody; I want to see one
of them at once."
"Ain't none of 'em here yet, sir. You see there was a celebration last
Mr. Hearst sank back in his chair and remarked in his quiet way:
"For a man who don't drink I think I suffer more from the effects of it
than anybody in the world."
"What is a drunken man like, Fool?"
"Like a drowned man, a fool and a madman: one draught above heat makes
him a fool; the second mads him; and a third drowns him."--_Shakespeare_.
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