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"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested."
Sir Francis Bacon

"The greatest masterpiece in literature is only a dictionary out of order."
Jean Cocteau.

"Only a mediocre writer is always at his best."
W. Somerset Maugham

"Poetry is what gets lost in translation."
Robert Frost

"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress. But then I repeat myself."
Mark Twain

"A work of art is useless. So is a flower."
Oscar Wilde

"Drinking makes such fools of people, and people are such fools to begin with, that it’s compounding a felony."
Robert Benchley

"Love: a temporary insanity curable by marriage."
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

"Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving cabs and cutting hair."
George Burns

"Television: a medium. So called because it’s neither rare nor well done."
Ernie Kovacs

"The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."
Mark Twain

"Of all God's creatures there is only one that cannot be made the slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with a cat, it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat."
Mark Twain

"Fewer things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example."
Mark Twain

On the death of a Hollywood movie queen whose whose sensational love life had been highly publicized, Benchley suggested an epitaph:

"She sleeps alone at last."
Robert Benchley

Robert Benchley once appended a note to his endorsement on the back of a bank check:
"Having a wonderful time. Wish you were here. Robert Rabbit Benchley."
Robert Benchley

Franklin Pierce Adams dedicated his book, Overset to New York World Editor, Herbert Bayard Swope. The page read: To Herbert Bayard Swope, without whose friendly aid and counsel every line in this book was written.
Franklin Pierce Adams

"It took me 15 years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous."
Robert Benchley

Ring Lardner once sent the following telegram to a friend who was away vacationing:
Ring Lardner

A friend who had attended a party with Dorothy Parker described their hostess, a loquacious, domineering woman, as "outspoken."
"Outspoken by whom?" Mrs. Parker asked?
Dorothy Parker

with thanks to our source: The Algonquin Wits edited by Robert E. Drennan

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