Compiled by London swaminathan

Date: 22 JULY 2018


Time uploaded in London – 15-12  (British Summer Time)


Post No. 5246


Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Wikipedia, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.



More Vanity Anecdotes

PT Barnum craved free publicity. When he was near death the ‘Evening Sun’  of New York, asked the great show man’s publicity agent if Barnum would object to having his obituary published before he died. The agent said, ‘the old man will be delighted’.

Next day Barnum read four columns about his own death, and he loved it.

(Phineas Taylor Barnum was an American showman, politician, and businessman remembered for promoting celebrated hoaxes and for founding the Barnum & Bailey Circus-wikipedia)


Theodore Roosevelt, at the height of his prominence in American pubilc life, was once approached by a man on the street who tipped his hat and said,
‘Mr Brown, I believe?’
Roosevelt looked at the man and replied bluntly,

‘Sir, if you believe that, you will believe anything’.


Oscar Levant is said to have once asked George Gershwin,
Tell me George, if you had it to do all over, would you fall in love with yourself again?

(George Jacob Gershwin (/ˈɡɜːrʃ.wɪn/; September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937) was an American composer and pianist.[1][2] Gershwin’s compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known. Among his best-known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue (1924) and An American in Paris (1928), as well as the contemporary opera Porgy and Bess (1935).- Wikipedia)

Gershwin observed Oscar Levant, was the happiest man on earth. He was in love with himself and did not have a rival on earth.

When Coolidge was governor of Massachusetts he was once host to A visiting English man of some prominence. The latter ostentatiously took a British coin from his pocket, saying,
‘My great great grandfather was made a Lord by the King whose picture you see on this shilling.’
Coolidge laconically produced a nickel.
‘My great great grandfather, he said, was made an angel by the(Red) Indian whose picture you see on this coin’.


An English newspaper once published the following bit of gossip

James Mc Neil whistler and Oscar Wilde were seen yesterday in Brighton , talking as usual about themselves.
Whistler sent the paragraph to Wilde with a note saying
‘I wish these reporters would be accurate. If you remember, Oscar, we were talking about me’.
Wilde sent him a telegram saying,
‘It is true, Jimmie, we were talking about you, but I was thinking of myself’


A little fable was formerly current about Theodore Roosevelt. The great man, after his death, was-supposed to-have ascended to heaven. There he bustled about made himself a nuisance by insisting that he be entrusted with some major responsibility. At last wearily the higher powers instructed St. Peter to authorise T.R. to organise and train a celestial choirs to replace the old one, which it was felt had gone to seed. T. R. continued to be a nuisance by the fierce persistence with which he pressed his requisitions.
I must-have 10000 sopranos, he told the bewildered and weary St. Peter And 10000 contraltos, and 10000 tenors
And hurry hurry everything is waiting on you.
Yes said Peter, how about the basses?
Roosevelt fixed him with a scornful glare.
I will sing bass! He bellowed.

Xxxx SUBHAM xxx

Leave a comment


  1. Interesting anecdotes,
    John Wilmot was the second Earl of Rochester. He was noted for writing satirical poetry. He was a friend of King Charles II. Yet he wrote on the door of the King’s bed chamber:
    Here lies our sovereign lord the king,
    Whose words no man relies on;
    He never says a foolish thing,
    Nor ever does a wise one.

    When two great literary giants engage in verbal duel, we have a feast. Thomas Hardy was the greatest novelist of the Victorian age after Dickens . But he did not share the Victorian values. He was an agnostic, did not believe in organised Christianity,though he began as an architect’s assistant, restoring Churches! He was perceived as an incurable pessimist and his last two novels, Tess of the D’urbervilles and Jude The Obscure were savagely criticised. Even his wife opposed their publication and even tried to stop them! He was so stung by the criticism that he gave up writing novels after Jude in 1895 and devoted the rest of his life to writing poetry which was his first love. G.K.Chesterton was a literary giant , with sparkling wit and shone in many branches. He converted to Roman Catholicism later in life, and became one of its luminaries, defending the faith against the rising tide of agnosticism, if not atheism, induced by the new discoveries in science, with the zeal of a new convert!. Hardy was accused of disturbing faith in the established order, while Chesterton was trying to restore it, even though with every advance in the sciences, Christian doctrine and theology were getting increasingly discredited.
    In the circumstances, Hardy who died in 1928 dictated on his deathbed an epitaph for Chesterton :
    Here lies nipped in this narrow cyst
    The literary contortionist
    Who prove and never turn a hair
    That Darwin’s theories were a snare
    He’d hold as true with tongue in jowl,
    That Nature’s geocentric rule
    . . . true and right
    And if one with him could not see
    He’d shout his choice word ” Blasphemy”.

    And Chesterton died in 1936!
    There is an irony here. Though Hardy dictated the epitaph in 1928, it was only published in 1976 in the complete poems of Hardy edited by J.Gibson. So, Chesterton had not seen it at all. But he had called Hardy “a village atheist” ‘blaspheming over the village idiot” in his book on Victorian literature published in 1913. Hardy was stung by this, and had not forgotten it even on his deathbed! Chesterton however maintained in his autobiography written in 1936 that he had not attacked Hardy but only defended him! This is typical Chesterton’s style!

    Today, after 80 years, Christian theology stands even more discredited in the light of science, while the issues raised in Hardy’s novels are still relevant socially and psychologically, and Hardy is increasingly recognised as a major poet of the last century.

  2. Good One. Thanks.

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