Nonfiction > Lionel Strachey, et al., eds. > The World’s Wit and Humor > British
The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes.  1906.
Vols. VI–IX: British
Odd Ideas
By Lionel Strachey (1864–1927)
TO be fashionable, either in this world or the next, you must belong to the minority—that is, the best people.  1
  The only life to be endured for ever would be one of unfulfilled desires. Therefore pray for descent after death: in that place never a single wish will be gratified. Paradise itself offers no such inducement.  2
  Who says marriage is a failure? It is nothing of the kind—provided you let it alone.  3
  To be patriotic, hate all nations but your own; to be religious, all sects but your own; to be moral, all pretences but your own.  4
  A law is a caprice of the majority.  5
  Any woman in the world—even a nun—would rather lose her virtue than her reputation.  6
  Statistics are mendacious truths.  7
  “The English,” said Napoleon, “are a nation of shop-keepers.” Their cousins, the Americans, are a nation of commercial travellers.  8
  Americans guess because they are in too great a hurry to think.  9
  A “brilliant epigram” is a solemn platitude gone to a masquerade ball.  10
  When humour is meant to be taken seriously, it’s no joke.  11

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