When Insults Had Class – from the era before the

English language got boiled down to 4-letter words:

The exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor:

She said, "If you were my husband I'd give you poison."
He said, "If you were my wife, I'd drink it."

A Member of Parliament to 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."

Walter Kerr - "He had delusions of adequacy."

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

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

William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway) – "He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."

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

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

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

George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill - "I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend.... if you have one."

Winston Churchill, in response - "Cannot possibly attend the first night, will attend the second... if there is one."

Stephen Bishop - "I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here."

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

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

Samuel Johnson - "He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness inothers."

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

Charles, Count Talleyrand - "In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily."

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

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

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

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

Andrew Lang - "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination."

Billy Wilder - "He has Van Gogh's ear for music."

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