The little girl in the car was a pest. She crossed the aisle to devote herself to a dignified fat man, to his great annoyance. She asked innumerable questions, and, incidentally, counted aloud his vest buttons to learn whether he was rich man, poor man, beggar man or thief. The mother regarded the child's efforts as highly entertaining. The fat man leaned forward and addressed the lady very courteously:
"Madam, what do you call this dear little child?"
"Ethel," the beaming mother replied.
"Please call her then," the fat man requested.
Johnny, who was to be the guest at a neighbor's for the noonday meal, was carefully admonished by his mother to remember his manners, and to speak in complimentary terms of the food served him. He heeded the instruction, and did the best he could under stress of embarrassment.
After he had tasted the soup, he remarked as boldly as he could contrive:
"This is pretty good soup—what there is of it."
He was greatly disconcerted to observe that his remark caused a frown on the face of his hostess. He hastened to speak again in an effort to correct any bad impression from his previous speech:
"And there's plenty of it—such as it is."
On Johnnie's return from the birthday party, his mother expressed the hope that he had behaved politely at the luncheon table, and properly said, "Yes, if you please" and "No, thank you," when anything was offered him.
Johnnie shook his head seriously.
"I guess I didn't say, 'No, thank you.' I ate everything there was."
The teacher used as an illustration of bad grammar, for correction by the class, the following sentence: "The horse and cow is in the pasture."
A manly little fellow raised his hand, and at the teacher's nod said: "Please, sir, ladies should come first."
The man sitting in the street car addressed the woman standing before him:
"You must excuse my not giving you my seat—I'm a member of the Sit Still Club."
"Certainly, sir," the woman replied. "And please excuse my staring—I belong to the Stand and Stare Club."
She proved it so well that the man at last sheepishly got to his feet.
"I guess, ma'am," he mumbled, "I'll resign from my club and join yours.
At the time when Queen Elizabeth was making one of her progresses through the kingdom, a mayor of Coventry, attended by a large cavalcade, went out to meet her Majesty, and usher her into the city with due formality. On their return they passed through a wide brook, when Mr. Mayor's horse several times attempted to drink, and each time his worship checked him; which the Queen observing, called out to him, "Mr. Mayor, let your horse drink, Mr. Mayor;" but the magistrate, bowing very low, modestly answered, "Nay, nay, may it please your Majesty's horse to drink first."
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. Gooch 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."