Some years ago, Mark Twain was a guest of honor at an opera box-party given by a prominent member of New York society. The hostess had been particularly talkative all during the performance—to Mr. Clemens's increasing irritation.
Toward the end of the opera, she turned to him and said gushingly:
"Oh, my dear Mr. Clemens, I do so want you to be with us next Friday evening. I'm certain you will like it the opera will be 'Tosca.'"
"Charmed, I'm sure," replied Clemens. "I've never heard you in that."
It was a beautiful evening and Ole, who had screwed up courage to take Mary for a ride, was carried away by the magic of the night.
"Mary," he asked, "will you marry me?"
"Yes, Ole," she answered softly.
Ole lapsed into a silence that at last became painful to his fiancée.
"Ole," she said desperately, "why don't you say something?"
"Ay tank," Ole replied, "they bane too much said already."
"Sir," said the sleek-looking agent, approaching the desk of the meek, meaching-looking man and opening one of those folding thingumjigs showing styles of binding, "I believe I can interest you in this massive set of books containing the speeches of the world's greatest orators. Seventy volumes, one dollar down and one dollar a month until the price, six hundred and eighty dollars has been paid. This set of books gives you the most celebrated speeches of the greatest talkers the world has ever known and—"
"Let me see the index," said the meek man.
The agent handed it to him and he looked through it carefully and methodically, running his finger along the list of names.
Reaching the end he handed the index back to the agent and said: "It isn't what you claim it is. I happen to know the greatest talker in the world, and you haven't her in the index."
A guest was expected for dinner and Bobby had received five cents as the price of his silence during the meal. He was as quiet as a mouse until, discovering that his favorite dessert was being served, he could no longer curb his enthusiasm. He drew the coin from his pocket, and rolling it across the table, exclaimed: "Here's your nickel, Mamma. I'd rather talk."
A belated voyager in search of hilarity stumbled home after one o'clock and found his wife waiting for him. The curtain lecture that followed was of unusual virulence, and in the midst of it he fell asleep. Awakening a few hours later he found his wife still pouring forth a regular cascade of denunciation. Eyeing her sleepily he said curiously,
"Say, are you talking yet or again?"
"You must not talk all the time, Ethel," said the mother who had been interrupted.
"When will I be old enough to, Mama?" asked the little girl.
While the late Justice Brewer was judge in a minor court he was presiding at the trial of a wife's suit for separation and alimony. The defendant acknowledged that he hadn't spoken to his wife in five years, and Judge Brewer put in a question.
"What explanation have you," he asked severely, "for not speaking to your wife in five years?"
"Your Honor," replied the husband, "I didn't like to interrupt the lady."
She was in an imaginative mood.
"Henry, dear," she said after talking two hours without a recess, "I sometimes wish I were a mermaid."
"It would be fatal," snapped her weary hubby.
"Fatal! In what way?"
"Why, you couldn't keep your mouth closed long enough to keep from drowning."
And after that, Henry did not get any supper.
"Here comes Blinkers. He's got a new baby, and he'll talk us to death."
"Well, here comes a neighbor of mine who has a new setter dog. Let's introduce them and leave them to their fate."—Life.
A street-car was getting under way when two women, rushing from opposite sides of the street to greet each other, met right in the middle of the car-track and in front of the car. There the two stopped and began to talk. The car stopped, too, but the women did not appear to realize that it was there. Certain of the passengers, whose heads were immediately thrust out of the windows to ascertain what the trouble was, began to make sarcastic remarks, but the two women heeded them not.
Finally the motorman showed that he had a saving sense of humor. Leaning over the dash-board, he inquired, in the gentlest of tones:
"Pardon me, ladies, but shall I get you a couple of chairs?"
A—"I used a word in speaking to my wife which offended her sorely a week ago. She has not spoken a syllable to me since."
B—"Would you mind telling me what it was?"
In general those who have nothing to say Contrive to spend the longest time in doing it.—Lowell.