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  • Satire, like conscience, reminds us of what we often wish to forget.

  • Satyre ... is a sort of Glass wherein Beholders do gen'rally discover ev'rybody's Face but their own.

  • Satire should, like a polish'd razor keen, / Wound with a touch, that's scarcely felt or seen.

    • Lady Mary Wortley Montagu,
    • "Verses Address'd to the Imitator of Horace" (1733), The Works of the Right Honorable Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, vol. 5 ()
  • ... satire is a wrapping of exaggeration around a core of reality.

  • Satire is people as they are; romanticism, people as they would like to be; realism, people as they seem with their insides left out.

    • Dawn Powell,
    • in Richard Lingeman, "She Took a Village," The Nation ()
  • A fondness for satire indicates a mind pleased with irritating others; for myself, I never could find amusement in killing flies.

    • Marie-Jeanne Roland,
    • 1776, in Lydia Maria Child, Memoirs of Madame de Staël and of Madame Roland ()
  • Smart writers never understand why their satires on our town are never successful. What they refuse to accept is that you can't satirize a satire.

  • A satirist, often in danger himself, has the bravery of knowing that to withhold wit's conjecture is to endanger the species.

  • Satire is dependent on strong beliefs, and on strong beliefs wounded.

  • Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful.... When satire is aimed at the powerless, it is not only cruel — it's vulgar.