Eugene Field was at a dinner in London when the conversation turned to
the subject of lynching in the United States.
It was the general opinion that a large percentage of Americans met
death at the end of a rope. Finally the hostess turned to Field and
"You, sir, must have often seen these affairs?"
"Yes," replied Field, "hundreds of them."
do tell us about a lynching you have seen yourself," broke in half
a dozen voices at once.
"Well, the night before I sailed for England," said Field, "I was giving
a dinner at a hotel to a party of intimate friends when a colored waiter
spilled a plate of soup over the gown of a lady at an adjoining table.
The gown was utterly ruined, and the gentlemen of her party at once
seized the waiter, tied a rope around his neck, and at a signal from the
injured lady swung him into the air."
"Horrible!" said the hostess with a shudder. "And did you actually see
"Well, no," admitted Field apologetically. "Just at that moment I
happened to be downstairs killing the chef for putting mustard in the
You can always tell the English,
You can always tell the Dutch,
You can always tell the Yankees--
But you can't tell them _much!_