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Celebrity’s Anecdotes (名人轶事)


What Is a Gentleman?

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was a famous American diplomat and writer.
His black servant often asked him:" Dear Master, what's a gentleman?"

Once Franklin answered him like this:" A gentleman is a kind of living thing. He can eat, drink and sleep, but can do nothing." After a while, the servant ran to him and said:" Oh ! Master, I know what a gentleman is now. Men work, horses draw wagons and oxen plough field ; but pigs only eat, drink, sleep and do nothing all day long. So, no doubt, it is pig that is a gentleman."

Food and Music

William Sydeny Porter was an American short story writer. He didn't have a long life---he died when he was only 48. During most of his lifetime he lived among the lower class. He worked with them, talked with them, and made friends with them. Many of his short stories are about the joys and sorrows of those " small fries."

During his life, Porter wrote as many as 300 stories and had them published under his pen name " O.Henry." Though he became famous, he was never rich. In fact, he often lived in debt. Usually, Porter had two meals a day. He often went to a cheap, little restaurant not far from his home. A friend of his once asked him why he preferred to have his dinner in this restaurant. The famous writer laughed and said, "Because it works two ways: sometimes the food here is so bad that I can even stand the music, but usually the music here is so bad that I can even stand the food."

A Strange Creature

Charles Darwin was a great naturalist, famous for his theory of evolution.

One day, two boys decided to play a trick on the great man. They took the body of a centipede , the head of a beetle, the legs of a grasshopper, and the wings of a butterfly, and glued them together. Putting the strange creature into a box carefully, they took it to Darwin."Please, Sir, " said one of the two boy, "can you tell us what sort of a bug this is?"The naturalist looked at the " bug" and then at the boys. " Did it hum?" he asked." Oh, yes. It did." (来源:英语聊天室 http://chat.EnglishCN.com)

" In that case, " declared Darwin, " I would say it's a humbug!"

Following Suit

President Calvin Coolidge once invited some down-home friends to breakfast at the White House. Worried about protocol, they decided to do everything Coolidge did. Things went smoothly until the coffee was served and the President poured his into a saucer. The guests followed suit. Then he added sugar and cream. The guests did likewise. Then Coolidge leaned over and placed his on the floor---for the cat!

How Lincoln Felt

After a state election in New York in which the Republican Party was defeated while Abraham Lincoln was President, he was asked how he felt after hearing the news. He replied,"Somewhat like the boy in Kentucky who stubbed his toe when running to his sweetheart." He said he was too big to cry, and too badly hurt to laugh.

 
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