An after-dinner speaker was called on to speak on "The Antiquity of the Microbe." He arose and said, "Adam had 'em," and then sat down.
A negro servant, on being ordered to announce visitors to a dinner party, was directed to call out in a loud, distinct voice their names. The first to arrive was the Fitzgerald family, numbering eight persons. The negro announced Major Fitzgerald, Miss Fitzgerald, Master Fitzgerald, and so on.
This so annoyed the master that he went to the negro and said, "Don't announce each person like that; say something shorter."
The next to arrive were Mr. and Mrs. Penny and their daughter. The negro solemnly opened the door and called out, "Thrupence!"
Dr. Abernethy, the famous Scotch surgeon, was a man of few words, but he once met his match—in a woman. She called at his office in Edinburgh, one day, with a hand badly inflamed and swollen. The following dialogue, opened by the doctor, took place.
The next day the woman called, and the dialogue was as follows:
Two days later the woman made another call.
"Nothing. Most sensible woman I ever saw."
The best illustration of the value of brief speech reckoned in dollars was given by Mark Twain. His story was that when he had listened for five minutes to the preacher telling of the heathen, he wept, and was going to contribute fifty dollars, after ten minutes more of the sermon, he reduced the amount of his prospective contribution to twenty-five dollars, after half an hour more of eloquence, he cut the sum to five dollars. At the end of an hour of oratory when the plate was passed, he stole two dollars.