To a man who boasted to Will Rogers that his ancestors had sailed to America on the Mayflower, the politician replied that his had been waiting on the beach to meet them.
The thing about him that exhausts me most is his patter of little feats.
While he was on a visit to Cairo after the Great War T. E. Lawrence attended a number of formal receptions, against his better judgement. Word got around that the hero of the war against the Turks was returning to London shortly and the entire ex-patriot community tried desperately to get a glimpse of the elusive figure before he sailed for home. One woman in particular tried to buttonhole him right from the start of his final reception. As soon as she laid eyes on him she made straight for him, brushing others aside and bursting into a monologue on the weather.
'92 today. Colonel Lawrence! Imagine it! 92 today!'
'Many happy returns, Madam,' he replied.
The Queen spoke to her for a few seconds, it's true. But it takes her a few hours to describe it.
When a friend proudly announced to Dame Edith Evans that Nancy Mitford was borrowing her villa in France to finish a book, Dame Edith asked her:
'Oh really. What is she reading?'
He can get more out of his operation than God got out of Adam.
Like most playwrights Douglas Jerrold was feeling on edge as he hung around the theatre before the curtain went up on his latest play and he received little encouragement from the fellow playwright who tried to cheer him up with the remark:
'I never feel nervous on the first night of any of my pieces.'
Though he did provide Jerrold with a convenient distraction:
'Well, sir,' he retorted, 'you have the advantage over me there. You are always certain of your success. Your pieces have all been tried before.'
If he blows his horn much louder he won't have any breath left to call the tune.
When Harold Macmillan was told by one Labour party supporter that as a boy Harold Wilson had gone to school without any boots, Macmillan answered:
'If Harold Wilson ever went to school without any boots, it was merely because he was too big for them.'
I'd be a millionaire if I could buy him for what I think of him and sell him for what he thinks of himself.
Early in his acting career the young Beerbohm Tree was offered a few gems of advice from an old actor, who started by announcing that he'd been an actor for forty-five years.
'Forty-five years!' said Tree. 'Almost a lifetime. Any experience?'
You'd think such a little mind would be lonely in such a big head.