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On contemporary music:

'I occasionally play works by contemporary composers and for two reasons. First to discourage the composer from writing any more, and secondly to remind myself how much I appreciate Beethoven.' Jascha Heifetz

That man's mind is like concrete all mixed up and permanently set.

Moses Montefiore, the nineteenth-century philanthropist, was talking to-a man in a London street one day when a fellow Jew walked past. His companion looked at the passer-by and made several rude comments about his pronounced Jewish features, before remembering to whom he was talking.

'I ask a thousand pardons,' he said to Montefiore. 'It was so stupid of me to forget. You look angry enough to eat me. I beg you not to devour me.'

'Sir,' replied Montefiore, 'it is impossible. My religion forbids.'

He's a firm believer in law and order, providing that he can lay down the law and give the order.

The Labour M.P. Jimmy Thomas became well-known in the House for his habit of dropping h's from the beginning of words. Meeting F. E. Smith one day, he complained that he'd got an 'orrible 'eadache.

'You poor fellow,' said F. E. wryly. 'What you need is a couple of aspirates.'

You can guarantee that he'll be down on anything that he's not up on.

Mahatma Gandhi was once asked for his view of western civilization.

'I think it would be a very good idea,' he said.

His only power of reason is to put two and two together and come up with an answer that suits him.

During the great debate on slavery in the U.S.A. in the last century, the prime mover in the abolitionist party was Wendell Phillips. During one of his many lecture tours he was accosted by a clergyman from the state of Kentucky, whose views on slavery didn't see eye to eye with his Christianity.

'You are Wendell Phillips, I believe,' he said aggressively. Phillips said that he was.

'You want to free niggers, don't you?'

'Yes, I do.'

'Why do you preach your doctrines in the North? Why don't you try coming down to Kentucky?'

In reply Phillips put his own questions:

'You're a preacher, aren't you?'

'Yes sir, I am.'

'Are you trying to save souls from Hell?'

'Why yes, sir. That's my business.'

'Why don't you go there then?' Phillips asked.

Arguing with her is like trying to blow out a searchlight.

Lord Curzon saw some troops bathing during the Great War and commented:

'I never knew the working classes had such white skins.'

She makes sure that she gets her own way with a mixture of needles and threats.

On the music-going public:

'There are only two things requisite so far as the public is concerned for a good performance. That is for the orchestra to begin together and end together. In between it doesn't matter much.' Sir Thomas Beecham


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