Admiral Heihachio Togo, whose brilliant tactics had destroyed the Russian fleet at the battle of the Sea of Japan in
1905, visited the United States shortly after the Russo-Japanese War. At a state dinner in Admiral Togo's honor, William Jennings
Bryan was asked to propose a toast. Because Bryan was well known as a strict teetotaler, it was feared that an embarrassing
breakdown of protocol was about to occur.
But as Bryan stood to propose his toast, he held up his glass and said, "Admiral Togo
has won a great victory on water, and I will therefore toast him in water. When Admiral Togo wins a victory on champagne I will
toast him in champagne."
Today in the Word, September 17, 1992.
John Wesley and a preacher-friend of plain habits were once invited to dinner where the host's daughter, noted for her
beauty, had been profoundly impressed by Wesley's preaching. during a pause in the meal, Wesley's friend took the young
woman's hand and called attention to the sparkling rings she wore. "What do you think of this, sir, for a Methodist hand?"
The girl turned crimson.
Wesley likewise was embarrassed, for his aversion to jewelry was only too well known. But with a
benevolent smile, he simply said, "The hand is very beautiful."
Wesley's remark both cooled the too-hot water poured by his friend, and made the foot-washing gentle. The young woman
appeared at the evening service without her jewels, and became a strong Christian.
There is a story that when Harry Truman was speaking at a Grange convention in Kansas City, Mrs. Truman and a friend were in the
audience. Truman in his speech said, "I grew up on a farm and one thing I know--farming means manure, manure, manure, and more
At this, Mrs. Truman's friend whispered to her, "Bess, why on earth don't you get Harry to say fertilizer?"
"Good Lord, Helen," replied Mrs. Truman, "You have no idea how many years it
has taken me to get him to say manure!"
Bits and Pieces, April, 1991.
Putting it nicely, but not quite precisely.
Norma Becket, quoted by Mack McGinnis.
When pointing out a mistake by another person, always consider the person's feelings. Milton Berle was dining with his wife,
Ruth, in a Hollywood restaurant. When a waiter put too much pepper on her salad. Mrs. Berle tasted it and said, "Hmm. Needs
In his old age, President James Madison suffered from many ailments and took a variety of medicines. It is said that a
longtime friend from a nearby county sent him a box of vegetable pills, one of his own home remedies, asking to be informed if
they brought relief. In time he received one of those gracious and carefully worded letters for which Madison was noted. It
went something like this: "My dear friend, I thank you very much for the box of pills. I have taken them all; and while I cannot
say I am better since taking them, it is quite possible that I might have been worse if I had not taken them."