Supper was in progress, and the father was telling about a row which took place in front of his store that morning: "The first thing I saw was one man deal the other a sounding blow, and then a crowd gathered. The man who was struck ran and grabbed a large shovel he had been using on the street, and rushed back, his eyes blazing fiercely. I thought he'd surely knock the other man's brains out, and I stepped right in between them."
The young son of the family had become so hugely interested in the narrative as it proceeded that he had stopped eating his pudding. So proud was he of his father's valor, his eyes fairly shone, and he cried:
"He couldn't knock any brains out of you, could he, Father?"
Father looked at him long and earnestly, but the lad's countenance was frank and open.
Father gasped slightly, and resumed his supper.
"Would you like a lock of my hair?" asked the gallant old bachelor of the spinster who had been a belle a few decades past.
"Why don't you offer me the whole wig?" the maiden lady gibed, with a titter.
The bachelor retorted with icy disdain:
"You are very biting, madam, considering that your teeth are porcelain."
The young man, dancing with the girl to whom he had just been introduced, remarked with the best of intentions, but rather unfortunately:
"That's the new waltz. My sister was raving about it. I think it's pretty bad. I expect she danced it with somebody rather nice."
In former times, when royalties were more important, a lady at a court ball was intensely gratified when a prince selected her as a partner. She was almost overwhelmed with pride when he danced a second measure with her.
"Oh," she gushed, as she reposed blissfully in his arms, "your highness does me too great honor."
The prince answered coldly:
"But no, madam. Merely, my physician has directed me to perspire."