I wish nine-tenths of the pictures that have been painted had never been preserved; it is such a nuisance having to go and see them.
Ellesmere, in Arthur Helps, Friends in Council, 1854
There is an association in men’s minds between dullness and wisdom, amusement and folly, which has a very powerful influence in decision upon character, and is not overcome without considerable difficulty. The reason is that the outwardsigns of a dull man and a wise man are the same, and so are the outward signs of a frivolous man and a witty man; and we are not to expect that the majority will be disposed to look to much more than the outward sign. I believe the fact to be that wit is very seldom the only eminent quality in the mind of any man; it is commonly accompanied by many other talents of every description, and ought to be considered as a strong evidence of a fertile and superior understanding.
— Sydney Smith, cited in The Ladies’ Repository, September 1858
One of the most famous cat-and-bird friendships on record was that between Caruso, a canary which belonged to President Coolidge, and Timmie, a black-and-white cat owned by Bascom Timmons, a Washington newspaperman. They became acquainted when Timmons took his cat to the White House, and Coolidge eventually sent the canary to Timmons’ home to live with the cat. After that they spent an hour or two every day together, the canary walking up and down the cat’s back or resting between his paws.
— Roger Butterfield, Life, April 22, 1946
A famous artist once painted an angel with six toes.
‘Who ever saw an angel with six toes?’ people inquired.
‘Who ever saw one with less?’ was the counter-question.
— Life, June 12, 1890