William Howard Taft, was probably the largest President the U.S. has ever known. Before he was elected to the White House he was invited to a dinner at which the other principal guest was the politician, Chauncey Depew, whose portly frame almost rivaled Taft's own huge physique. In the course of the meal the two of them indulged in some familiar sparring.
'I hope if it's a girl, Mr. Taft will name it for his charming wife,' said Depew at one stage.
'If it is a girl, I shall, of course, name it for my lovely helpmate of many years,' replied Taft. 'And if it's a boy, I shall claim the father's prerogative and name it Junior. But, if, as I suspect, it is only a bag of wind, I shall name it Chauncey Depew.'
Following his criticism of a recently published book, written by an acquaintance, Douglas Jerrold was confronted by the irate man who said indignantly:
'I hear you said that this was the worst book I ever wrote.'
'No, I didn't,' said Jerrold. 'I said that it was the worst book anybody ever wrote,'
You can see they're inseparable. The last time they rowed it took half a dozen of us to pull them apart.
After receiving a reply from W. S. Gilbert, saying that before agreeing to an interview he would require a fee of twenty guineas, the Comtesse de Bremont replied:
The Comtesse de Bremont presents her compliments to Mr. W. S. Gilbert and in reply to his answer to her request for an interview for St. Paul's in which he states his terms as twenty guineas for that privilege, begs to say that she anticipates the pleasure of writing his obituary for nothing.'
I tried to persuade him to act like a civilized human being, but it wasn't any use. He can't do imitations.
The famous story of George Bernard Shaw, Winston Churchill and the theatre tickets sums up their relationship. Shaw sent Churchill a couple of tickets for the first night of his latest play, and included a note saying:
'Bring a friend, if you have one.'
Churchill returned the tickets with a note saying that he was already engaged that evening but that he would like a couple of tickets:
'For the second night, if there is one.'
He's the sort of man who makes his way through life like an untipped waiter.
On Herbert Morrison:
'It always appears to me that Dick Barton, by almost incredible stupidity, gets himself into predicaments from which only miracles can rescue him. I am not surprised that Mr. Herbert Morrison has a fellow feeling for him.' — Col. Oliver Stanley
I've often wondered whether the chip is on your shoulder, or in your head, or both.
'I hear you said my nose was like the ace of clubs?' said a friend to Douglas Jerrold.
'No, I did not,' replied the playwright, 'but now I look at it. I see that it is — very like.'