Sheridan, Voltaire, Wordsworth: New Anecdotes about Longwindedness (Post No.2971)


Franklin D Roosevelt’s  Picture

Compiled by London swaminathan

Date:14 July 2016

Post No. 2971

Time uploaded in London :– 9-15 AM

( Thanks for the Pictures)




(for old articles go to OR


I have already published Londgwindedness anecdotes and More Londgwindedness anecdotes. This is the third one.


When President Franklin D Roosevelt was a young lawyer just getting started in New York he was retained to handle a difficult civil case. The opposing lawyer was a very effective jury pleader and completely outshone his youthful rival in the argument to the jury. However, he made one fatal mistake; he orated for several hours.


As he thundered on Roosevelt noticed that the jury was not paying much attention. So, playing a hunch when his turn came, he rose and said,

“Gentlemen you have heard the evidence . You also have listened to my distinguished colleague, a brilliant orator. If you believe him, and disbelieve the evidence you will have to decide in his favour. That is all I have to say”.


The jury was out only five minutes and brought in a verdict for Roosevelt’s client.





Speaking of a lawyer Lincoln said, “He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas better than any man I have ever met”.




Picture of Sheridan


“Oh, it was a mistake, said Sheridan, I meant voluminous.”




picture of Voltaire

When Diderot came visit Voltaire he spoke so much and at great length that Voltaire couldn’t get a word in. When Diderot left, Voltaire chirped, “That man is a great wit, but nature has denied him one great gift –that of dialogue”.



William Wordsworth

Elizabe Barret, meeting Wordsworth for the first time, wrote ironically, “He was very kind to me and let me hear his conversation.”



They tell the story of Wilton Lackaye who was scheduled to speak late on the programme at a banquet at which all the speakers had been brutally long winded.


The chairman introduced Lackaye, saying, “Wilton Lackaye, the famous actor, will now give you his address”


Lackaye faced the haggard audience and said,


“Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentle en, my address is the Lambs Club, New York” .


He sat down and received a tremendous ovation.




A very pretty woman, who was tediously loquacious , complained one day to Madame de  Sevigne that she was sadly torment ted by her lovers.


“Oh, madam, said Madame de Sevigne to her, with a smile,

It is very easy to get rid of them, you have only to speak.:





A talkative lady patient came to Dr Abernathy , the eccentric English physician of another day, and talked tirelessly and tiresomely about her complaint .


“Put out your tongue, madam”, barked Dr Abernathy. The lady complied. “Now keep it there till I have done talking”.




Sheridan , the playwright , on seeing a Member of the House of Commons, who had already bored everyone with a lengthy speech , stop to drink a glass of water, rose to a point of order.

What is it? Asked the speaker


“Why I think ,sir, said Sheridan, “ that  it is out of order for a wind mill to go by water”.



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