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2017年04月10日

俾斯麥的故事 - 古德明

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Prince Otto von Bismarck, Chancellor of the German Empire from 1871 to 1890, had been conversing for rather a long time with the English ambassador when the latter asked, "How do you handle insistent visitors who take up so much of your valuable time?" Bismarck answered, "Oh, I have an infallible method. My servant appears to inform me that my wife has something urgent to tell me." At that moment there was a knock at the door and the servant entered with a message from his wife.
* * *
Bismarck, a stickler for formality, was once seated at dinner next to a young, ebullient American lady. At first she addressed him correctly as "Your Highness". With the next course he became "Mr Chancellor", and with the third course "My dear Mr Bismarck". As the plates were changed once more, Bismarck smiled and said amiably, "My first name is Otto."
奧托.馮.俾斯麥親王一八七一年到一八九零年任德意志帝國首相。有一次,英國大使跟他談了很久,最後問道:「喋喋不休的訪客,佔去先生不少寶貴時間,先生怎樣應付?」俾斯麥回答說:「啊,我有一個屢試屢靈的辦法,就是僕人走進來,說內子有急事跟我說。」這時,有人敲門,僕人帶着俾斯麥夫人的口信進來了。
* * *
俾斯麥對禮數十分執着。有一天晚宴,他身旁坐了個熱情的美國年輕女郎。最初,那女郎依禮稱他為「殿下」。到吃第二道菜,改稱「首相先生」;到吃第三道菜,改稱「親愛的俾斯麥先生」。到再一次換餐碟,俾斯麥藹然一笑,說道:「我的名字是奧托。」

古德明

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