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William Jennings Bryan

William Jennings Bryan, Secretary of State in Woodrow Wilson’s Cabinet, was interviewing a man who was seeking a diplomatic post in China. Bryan warned the applicant that it was necessary to qualify as a linguist. “Can you speak the Chinese language?” he asked.

The man was equal to the occasion. Looking Bryan squarely in the eye, he replied, “Try me. Ask me something in Chinese.”

John F. Parker in Washington Roll Call, Reader’s Digest, May, 1981

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