The Book of Snubs
A witty and wide-ranging anthology of snubs of every variety--from literature and from life--most authentic, a few apocryphal, all memorable. Included in this collection are some choice put-downs by such celebrated past masters as William Shakespeare, Woodrow Wilson, Groucho Marx, Mark Twain, Dorothy Parker, and Winston Chruchill.
repeat all her phrases many times. Entering into the spirit of experimental literature a publisher sent her the following letter of rejection: 'I am only one, only one, only one. Only one life to live, only sixty minutes in one hour. Only one pair of eyes. Only one brain, only one being. Being only one, having only one pair of eyes, having only one time, having only one life, I cannot read your manuscript three or four times. Not even one time. Only one look, only one look is enough. Hardly one
not strange?' 'Not at all", retorted Wilkes. 'You could only have been conceived on the first of April.' John Wilkes quarrelled with a former friend, the notoriously corrupt 4th Earl of Sandwich. Their quarrel endured for years but gave rise to one of the most celebrated and well-documented snubs. During a chance encounter Sandwich taunted Wilkes, saying: 'Sir, you will either die of the pox or on the gallows.' Which was neatly countered by Wilkes: 'That depends on whether I embrace your
escape. Seeing one of the club servants he called him over and instructed him: 'Listen until his lordship finishes,' then beat a hasty retreat. At a party for a private view an enthusiastic admirer bore down upon Whistler and tried to start up a conversation: 'Oh, Mr Whistler, you know only the other day I passed your house and ...' 'Thank you,' said Whistler and moved swiftly on. William R. Travers, an American lawyer known for both his stammer and his ready wit, had been seated next to
Mr Grossmith?' inquired Gilbert. 'I was simply saying, Mr Gilbert, that we have rehearsed this so many times that by now I feel a perfect fool.' 'Well, perhaps we can now talk on equal terms,' said Gilbert. 'I beg your pardon?' said Grossmith, surprised. 'I accept your apology,' replied Gilbert, and resumed the rehearsal. Wm. Wheatleigh Esq., Manager, New York City. Dear Sir, This will introduce the eminent tragedian Mr McKean Buchanen. He wants to play in New York. I have seen him
who read through the entire text of his new play, Michael and the Lost Angel in his native Buckinghamshire accent. When he finished, after several wearying hours, she rose and left with just one comment: 'But it's so very long, Mr Jones - even without the aitches.' One of the most amusing stage 'knock-outs' I know is the one recounted by Ben Travers which was delivered to him by Charles Hawtrey. The great man had been engaged to direct Travers' first farce, The Dippers, and the nervous young