When Insults Had Class

 

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."

-- Winston Churchill

 

"A modest little person, with much to be modest about."

-- Winston Churchill

 

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure."

-- Clarence Darrow

 

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."

-- William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)

 

"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?"

-- Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)

 

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it."

-- Moses Hadas

 

"He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know."

-- Abraham Lincoln

 

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."

-- Groucho Marx

 

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it."

-- Mark Twain

 

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends."

-- Oscar Wilde

 

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play, bring a friend... if you have one."

-- George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

 

"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second...

if there is one."

-- Winston Churchill, in response

 

"I feel so miserable without you, it's almost like having you here."

-- Stephen Bishop

 

"He is a self-made man and worships his creator."

-- John Bright

 

"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial."

-- Irvin S. Cobb

 

"He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others."

-- Samuel Johnson

 

"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up."

-- Paul Keating

 

"He had delusions of adequacy."

-- Walter Kerr

 

"There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure."

-- Jack E. Leonard

 

"He has the attention span of a lightning bolt."

-- Robert Redford

 

"They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge."

-- Thomas Brackett Reed

 

"He inherited some good instincts from his Quaker forebears, but by diligent hard work, he overcame them."

-- James Reston (about Richard Nixon)

 

"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily."

-- Charles, Count Talleyrand

 

"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him."

-- Forrest Tucker

 

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?"

-- Mark Twain

 

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."

-- Mae West

 

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

-- Oscar Wilde

 

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...

for support rather than illumination."

-- Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

 

"He has Van Gogh's ear for music."

-- Billy Wilder