After Dinner Speeches
Mr. John C. Hackett recently told the following story:
"I was up in Rockland County last summer, and there was a banquet given at a country hotel. All the farmers were there and all the village characters. I was asked to make a speech.
"'Now,' said I, with the usual apologetic manner, 'it is not fair to you that the toastmaster should ask me to speak. I am notorious as the worst public speaker in the State of New York. My reputation extends from one end of the state to the other. I have no rival whatever, when it comes—' I was interrupted by a lanky, ill-clad individual, who had stuck too close to the beer pitcher.
"'Gentlemen,' said he, 'I take 'ception to what this here man says. He ain't the worst public speaker in the state. I am. You all know it, an' I want it made a matter of record that I took 'ception.'
"'Well, my friend,' said I, 'suppose we leave it to the guests. You sit down while I say my piece, and then I'll sit down and let you give a demonstration.' The fellow agreed and I went on. I hadn't gone far when he got up again.
"''S all right,' said he, 'you win; needn't go no farther!'"