Copyright
John Barr.

Wit and humor of American statesmen; a collection from various sources classified under appropriate subject headings online

. (page 6 of 10)
Online LibraryJohn BarrWit and humor of American statesmen; a collection from various sources classified under appropriate subject headings → online text (page 6 of 10)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


me."* But the clerical gentleman prefer:
walk. A shower came on just



116 rat anD Dumor

overtook the clergyman, who had started first.
The public functionary put his head out of the
window with,

" How blessed is he who ne'er consents
By ill advice to walk,"

to which the minister immediately retorted,

" Nor stands in sinners' ways and sits
Where men profanely talk."



Attorney- General Miller came from one of
the old interior towns of New York. To reach
the place you leave the railroad at a station,
and take an ancient vehicle for a mile or two
over the pike. Some time ago Attorney-Gen-
eral Miller visited the scene of his early man-
hood. As he left the train there was the " bus,"
looking just as he remembered it, and there was
the driver, a little older, a little more stooped
about the shoulders, but otherwise the same
monosyllabic philosopher of the front seat. Mr.
Miller climbed into the back end and sniffed
his nose as he encountered the well-remembered
odor of the stable. The Attorney-General re-
introduced himself to old Dick, and as he was
the only passenger, he opened conversation



ot American Statesmen 11?

while the "bus" rattled and bumped along the
pike.

"Doesn't seem to be much here,

Dick ?" suggested Mr. Miller with the rising
inflection.

"Nope," replied Dick.

"You look about as you did the last time I
was here," was the next thing t he-
General fired at the back of the old driver's
head.

"Yep," said Dick caressing the flesh erf the
off horse with the buckskin snapper.

"Got the same old bus, haven''
asked Mr. Miller, looking at the holes in the seat
cushions.

"The i-dentical same," a:
turning round.

"Town improved much sin< e I left ?"
tured Mr. Miller.

" Nope," was Dick's discouraging re

" People changed any ? " was the Q€2

"All jes* about the same,"
to take the lead and unl>osom with the
gossip.

"I suppose you know I'm in tl
Cabinet," said Mr. Miller after a little
which he decided to make one more effort to
start Dick's tongue.



lis van anO Ibumor

" So I heerd," was the laconic reply.
' 4 What do people say about it ? " was the last
effort.

" Don't say nothin' — jes' laugh," said Dick.



On the desk of "Private" John Allen of
Mississippi, Amos J. Cummings noticed an en-
velope directed thus :

" Col. John M. Allen, United States Senate."

"How is it," asked he, "that you a private
and a plain Representative are addressed as
Colonel and a Senator ? ' '

"Because," he answered quickly, " that fel-
low had sense enough to know that I ought to
be both."

Dr. Bartlett, of the New York Avenue Church,
called on Senator McMillan at Washington
once, and received from him a subscription of
$500 towards the expenses connected with the
forthcoming assembly of the Presbyterian
Church. Dr. Bartlett bowed as well as ex-
pressed his thanks for the liberal subscription,
extended his hand, and was about to turn away
when the Senator remarked :

' ' Doctor, are you acquainted with Senator
Brice, of Ohio?"



of Bmerican statesmen 119

"I have not the honor," said Dr. Bai

11 Wait a moment then, please, and I will
send for him to come out," and turning to a
messenger he requested him to present his
pliments to Senator Brice, and request his pres-
ence at the east door of the Senate. In a mo-
ment Senator Brice appeared and was presented
to Dr. Bartlett.

"I have sent for you," remarked Senator
McMillan, "for the reason that you have not
only the reputation of being a liberal patron of
the arts and sciences, but of education and re-
ligious institutions and objects as well. As the
one hundred and fifth General Assembly of the
Presbyterian Church meets here in May, and
that means that there will be over a thousand
commissioners in attendance who are to be taken
care of, they are looking for people like you to
help them out. I have made a small subs
tion myself, and thought you would be willing
to duplicate it."

"Certainly," said Senator Brice, " I will give
the same. What was your subscript 1

"Five hundred dollars, was it not, Do tor?"

"That is correct," said Dr. Bartlett.

Senator Brice gave a quick i
McMillan, who smiled serenely in rr
Senator Brice thereupon went through his



120 Wiit and Dumot

pockets and succeeded in fishing out about
$5,000 in "pin money," as he termed it and
was about to hand Dr. Bartlett a $500 bill when
he smiling remarked to Senator McMillan :
" Don't you think we had better make this a
thousand each ? ' '

******
Probably the mot of Mr. Evarts most widely
flown concerns the apochryphal feat told of
George Washington hv" jerking" a silver dol-
lar across the Rappahannock. Aside from the
unlikelihood that the thrifty George would throw
a silver dollar over the river", when a pebble
would have done as well, the distance was so
great that the skeptics were incredulous, and
another legend seemed on the edge of being
destroyed when Mr. Evarts came to its rescue
with the suggestion that "a dollar went much
farther in those days than now."

5}C 5JC 5(C 5j< 3f* *>

Among the guests at a dinner to Daniel
Webster in New York was Dr. Benjamin Bran-
dreth, the inventor of a celebrated pill known
by his name. Mr. Evarts united these two
great men in a volunteer toast to " Daniel
Webster and Benjamin Brandreth ; the pillars of
the Constitution."



of Bmcncan $tatC0mcn

Objections had been filed with the Judi
Committee to the confirmation of a n<
on account of the dissolute habits of t. ■
pointee.

When the case came up for consideration the
chairman called for the affidavit
produced a number from the files. Cons
his docket Mr. Edmunds thought there were
more, and others were found.
closed another batch that had t>
or mislaid.

''The papers in this d Mr. K

"appear to be more dissipated, if possible, than
the candidate."



Judge David Davis was h. certainly, i I * now



136 limit ano Ibumot

some boys in Lynn," feebly murmured the
Major.

" I saw you when you came up to address the
Home Market Club of Boston, ' ' said the stranger.

At last a cue was given, and a look of joyful
relief, recollection, and recognition came over
the Major's face like a sunburst.

" Why, of course. I knew you at once, and
am mighty glad to meet you again. I never
forget a face. I couldn't think for a moment
just where I saw you last."

" I don't think you ever saw me before. I
was in Tremont Temple when you spoke, and
was in a rear seat. I am sure you could not
have seen me, and that was the only time I ever
saw you."



Senator Piatt of Connecticut is continually
mistaken for ex-Senator Piatt of New York.

"I suppose if I stayed in the Senate for
twenty years there would still be a certain class
of people who would confuse me with Tom
Piatt of New York," said Senator Piatt just be-
fore he left Washington. " Some time last ses-
sion a man addressed a letter to me asking an
interview. I replied courteously and on the fol-
lowing day the man who was a perfect stranger



ot Bmerican stateemcn

to me, called at the Senate- to sec me. He pre
sented a large number of recomin
citizens of some county m New York urgi
appointment as supei thing, i

"'I think you have made a mistake. I
not the Senator you want to

" 'Are you Senator Piatt?' he asked.
plied that I was Senator Piatt ' Well,
he said, 'all of your friends want me .
to this place.'

"'Excuse me,' I replied. '] think

my friends care a continental whet!.'
appointed or not.' He looked ' I

think,' said I continuing. ' tl
for a namesake of mine who iras in I
for about six weeks i

" 'Aren't you Senator Piatt ? ' I

" 'I am,' said I. ■ 1 am Senatoi
Connecticut.'

" He seemed very much pr..\ lc I
light dawned on him. ' Well, who are 001
tors anyhow ? ' he asked."



In years gone by there dwelt in W
John Guy, a character in h
with whom Colond 10 tell t.

lowing anecdote.



138 TOt anD "foumor

Guy kept the National Hotel in Washington,
and among his guests was General Cass, then
Senator from Michigan. Guy dressed like Cass,
and although not as portly, his face, including
the wart, was strangely similar. One day a
Western friend of the house came in, after a
long ride, dusty and tired, and walking up tc
the office, encountered General Cass who was
quietly standing there. Mistaking him for Guy,
he slapped him on the shoulder and exclaimed :

" Well, old fellow, here I am. The last time
I hung my hat up in your shanty one of your
clerks sent me to the fourth story ; but now I
have got hold of you, I insist upon a lower
room."

The General, a most dignified personage,
taken aback by this startling salute, coolly re-
plied :

"You have committed a mistake, sir. I am
not Mr. Guy, I am General Cass of Michigan,"
and angrily turned away. The Western man
was shocked at the unconscious outrage he had
committed ; but before he had recovered from
his mortification, General Cass who had passed
around the office, confronted him again, when,
a second time mistaking him for Guy, he faced
him and said : " Here you are at last. I have
just made a devil of a mistake ; I met old Cass,



^



ot Rmerican statesmen

and took him for you, and I am afraid the Mi< hi-
gander has gone off mad." What Genera
would have said may well be imagined, if the
real Guy had not approached and rescued the
innocent offender from the twice-assailc:
twice angered statesman.



When Daniel Webster was Se« retary of State
he paid a visit to England, and while in London
the American Minister took him to call


1 2 3 4 6 8 9 10

Online LibraryJohn BarrWit and humor of American statesmen; a collection from various sources classified under appropriate subject headings → online text (page 6 of 10)