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Margot Asquith

  • The Almighty is a wonderful handicapper: He will not give us everything.

    • Margot Asquith,
    • The Autobiography of Margot Asquith, vol. 1 ()
  • About the crowds on the eve of the declaration of World War I:] From the happy expression on their faces you might have supposed that they welcomed the war. I have met with men who loved stamps, and stones, and snakes, but I could not imagine any man loving war.

    • Margot Asquith,
    • The Autobiography of Margot Asquith, vol. 2 ()
  • I have always wanted to be a man, if only for the reason that I would like to have gauged the value of my intellect.

  • [Describing a woman of the British aristocracy:] Rectitude, platitude, high-hatitude.

    • Margot Asquith,
    • in Reader's Digest ()
  • Rumor is untraceable, incalculable, and infectious.

  • I have been devoured all my life by an incurable and burning impatience: and to this day find all oratory, biography, operas, films, plays, books, and persons, too long.

  • The capacity to suffer varies more than anything that I have observed in human nature.

  • Convictions no doubt have to be modified or expanded to meet changing conditions but ... to be a reliable political leader sooner or later your anchors must hold fast where other men's drag.

  • Clothes are symbols, and symbols are the imaginative signposts of life.

  • There are some people that you cannot change, you must either swallow them whole, or leave them alone. ...

  • You can do something with talent, but nothing with genius ...

  • It is easier to influence strong than weak characters in life ...

  • Till I see money spent on the betterment of man instead of on his idleness and destruction, I shall not believe in any perfect form of government ...

  • The power to love what is purely abstract is given to few.

  • It is not dying, but living, that is a preparation for Death.

  • My sort of looks are of the kind that bore me when I see them on other people.

  • ... although I am not stupid, the mathematical side of my brain is like dumb notes upon a damaged piano ...

  • All I can say about my mind is that, like a fire carefully laid by a good housemaid, it is one that any match will light ...

  • ... the announcement that you are going to tell a good story (and the chuckle that precedes it) is always a dangerous opening.

  • Too much brilliance has its disadvantages, and misplaced wit may raise a laugh, but often beheads a topic of profound interest.

  • There is nothing more perplexing in life than to know at what point you should surrender your intellect to your faith.

  • [On Austen Chamberlain:] He is more loyal to his friends than to his convictions.

  • [On Lord Hugh Cecil:] I saw him riding in the Row, clinging to his horse like a string of onions.

  • [On Lord Birkenhead:] He's very clever, but sometimes his brains go to his head.

  • Like many successful organisers he has an uninteresting mind.

  • [Of Lady Desborough:] She tells enough white lies to ice a wedding cake.

    • Margot Asquith,
    • in The Scots Magazine ()
  • [On David Lloyd George:] He couldn't see a belt without hitting below it.

    • Margot Asquith,
    • in Mark Bonham Carter, ed., The Autobiography of Margot Asquith ()
  • [On spiritualism:] I always knew the living talked rot, but it's nothing to the rot the dead talk.

    • Margot Asquith,
    • 1937, in Henry Channon, Chips: The Diaries of Sir Henry Channon ()
  • The spirit of man is an inward flame, a lamp the world blows upon, but never puts out ...

    • Margot Asquith,
    • in New York Times Book Review and Magazine ()
  • Dear boy, it isn't that your manners are bad — it's simply that you have no manners at all.

    • Margot Asquith
  • [To her host upon leaving a party:] Don't think it hasn't been charming, because it hasn't.

    • Margot Asquith
  • [On Lady Desborough:] She tells enough white lies to ice a wedding cake.

    • Margot Asquith,
    • in Listener ()

Margot Asquith, Scottish-born English political figure, writer

(1864 - 1945)

Full name: Margaret Emma Alice Tennant, Countess of Oxford and Asquith.