Artemus Ward on Shakespeare

William Shakspeare was born in Stratford in 1564. All the commentaters, Shaksperian scholars, etsetry, are agreed on this, which is about the only thing they are agreed on in regard to him, except that his mantle hasn’t fallen onto any poet or dramatist hard enough to hurt said poet or dramatist much. And there is no doubt if these commentaters and persons continner investigating Shakspeare’s career, we shall not, in doo time, know anything about it at all.

——London Punch Letters.

Artemus Ward on the Ballot

I’ve no objection to ev’ry intelligent man votin’ if he wants to. It’s a pleasant amoosement, no doubt; but there is those whose igrance is so dense and loathsum that they shouldn’t be trustid with a ballit any more’n one of my trained serpunts should be trusted with a child to play with.

——London Punch Letters.

Artemus Ward in London

I’m a little sorry you’ve got politics over here, but I shall not diskuss ’em with nobody. Tear me to pieces with wild omnibus hosses, and I won’t diskuss ’em. I’ve had quite enuff of ’em at home, thank you.

——London Punch Letters.

Diogenes on Beggars

Someone asked Diogenes why people gave to beggars, but not to philosophers.

He answered, “Because they think it’s possible that they themselves might become lame and blind, but they don’t expect that they’ll ever end up philosophers.”

——Diogenes Laertius, Lives of the Philosophers.

The Praise of the Multitude

One day, someone said to Antisthenes, “Many people are praising you.”

“Why?” said he. “What have I done wrong?”

——Diogenes Laertius, Lives of the Philosophers.