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After Dinner Speeches





    Mark Twain and Chauncey M. Depew once went abroad on the same ship. When the ship was a few days out they were both invited to a dinner. Speech-making time came. Mark Twain had the first chance. He spoke twenty minutes and made a great hit. Then it was Mr. Depew's turn.

    "Mr. Toastmaster and Ladies and Gentlemen," said the famous raconteur as he arose, "Before this dinner Mark Twain and myself made an agreement to trade speeches. He has just delivered my speech, and I thank you for the pleasant manner in which you received it. I regret to say that I have lost the notes of his speech and cannot remember anything he was to say."

    Then he sat down. There was much laughter. Next day an Englishman who had been in the party came across Mark Twain in the smoking-room. "Mr Clemens," he said, "I consider you were much imposed upon last night. I have always heard that Mr. Depew is a clever man, but, really, that speech of his you made last night struck me as being the most infernal rot."




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