When Mr. Choate was ambassador to the Court of St. James, he was present at a function where his plain evening dress contrasted sharply with the uniforms of the other men. At a late hour, an Austrian diplomat approach him, as he stood near the door, obviously taking him for a servant, and said:
"Call me a cab."
Choate answered affably:
"You're a cab, sir."
The diplomat indignantly went to the host and explained that a servant had insulted him. He pointed to Choate. Explanations ensued, and the diplomat was introduced to the American, to whom he apologized.
"That's all right," declared Choate, smiling. "If you had been better-looking, I'd have called you a hansom cab."