A French Mayor
: Presence Of Mind.
A mayor of a small village in France, having occasion to
give a passport to a distinguished personage in his neighbourhood who was
blind of one eye, was in great embarrassment on coming to the description
of his person. Fearful of offending the great man, he adopted the following
ingenious expedient of avoiding the mention of his deformity, and wrote
"Black eyes--one of which is absent."
Sir Wm. Go
ch being engaged in conversation with a gentleman in a street of
the city of Williamsburgh, returned the salute of a negro, who was passing
by about his master's business. "Sir William," said the gentleman, "do you
descend so far as to salute a slave?"--"Why, yes," replied the governor; "I
cannot suffer a man of his condition to exceed me in good manners."
The Marquis St. Andre applied to Louvois, the war-minister of Louis XIV.,
for a place then vacant. Louvois having received some complaints against
the marquis, refused to comply. The nobleman, somewhat nettled, said,
rather hastily, "If I were to enter again into the service, I know what I
would do."--"And pray what would you do?" inquired the minister in a
furious tone. St. Andre recollected himself, and had the presence of mind
to say, "I would take care to behave in such a manner, that your excellency
should have nothing to reproach me with." Louvois, agreeably surprised at
this reply, immediately granted his request.