When insults had class

*There was a time when words were used beautifully.* 
The exchange between Churchill and Lady Astor:

She said, “If you were my husband, I’d give you poison!!”

and he said, “If you were my wife, I’d take it.”

Gladstone, a Member of Parliament, to Benjamin Disraeli: “Sir, you will either die on the gallows, or of some unspeakable disease.”
“That depends, sir”, said Disraeli, “On whether I embrace your policies, or your mistress.”
“He has all the virtues I dislike, and none of the vices I admire.”

– 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)
“Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I’ll waste no time reading it.”

– Moses Hadas

“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’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

“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


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