When insults had class

These glorious insults are from an era before the English language got boiled down to 4-letter words.

A member of Parliament to Disraeli: “Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.

“That depends, Sir,” said Disraeli, “whether I embrace your policies or your mistress”

“He had delusions of adequacy” – Walter Kerr

“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire” – Winston Churchill

Ad. Article continues below.

“I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure” – Clarence Darrow

 “Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I’ll waste no time reading it” – William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)

“I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it” – Moses Hadas

“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

Ad. Article continues below.

“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

Ad. Article continues below.

“He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up” – Paul Keating

“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

Ad. Article continues below.

“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

“He has Van Gogh’s ear for music” – Billy Wilder

“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But I’m afraid this wasn’t it” – Groucho Marx

Tell us, which was your favourite?