Artemus Ward

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Artemus Ward (April 23, 1834March 6, 1867) was the nom de plume of Charles Farrar Browne, an American humorous writer.


  • I am not a politician, and my other habits are good, also.
    • Fourth of July Oration.
  • The prevailin' weakness of most public men is to Slop over. G. Washington never slopt over.
    • Fourth of July Oration.
  • I can't sing. As a singist I am not a success. I am saddest when I sing. So are those who hear me. They are sadder even than I am.
  • Did you ever have the measels, and if so, how many?
    • Artemus Ward, His Travels, The Census.
  • My wife is one of the best wimin on this continent, altho' she isn't always gentle as a lamb, with mint sauce.
    • Artemus Ward, His Travels, "A War Meeting"
  • The Puritans nobly fled from a land of despotism to a land of freedim, where they could not only enjoy their own religion, but could prevent everybody else from enjoyin his.
    • London Punch Letters, No. 5 (1866).
  • Why is this thus? What is the reason of this thusness?
    • Moses, the Sassy.
  • He is dreadfully married. "He's the most married man I ever saw in my life."
    • Moses, the Sassy.
  • Let us all be happy and live within our means, even if we have to borrer [sic] money to do it with.
    • Science and Natural History, Letter VII to Punch, part of the Artemus Ward in London series (22 October 1866).
  • The sun has a right to "set" where it wants to, and so, I may add, has a hen.
    • A Mormon Romance, ch. 4.
  • They cherish his mem'ry, and them as sell picturs of his birthplace, etc., make it prof'tible cherishin' it.
    • At the Tomb of Shakespeare.

Artemus Ward, His Book (1862)[edit]

  • I now bid you a welcome adoo.
    • The Shakers.
  • ...their eyes sparkled like diminds, their cheeks was like roses, and they was charmin enuff to make a man throw stuns at his granmother, if they axed him to.
    • The Shakers.
  • Hearto4, as I hav numerously obsarved, I have abstrained from having any sentimunts or principles, my pollertics, like my religion, bein of a exceedin accommodatin character. But the fack can't be no longer disgised that a Krysis is onto us, & I feel it's my dooty to accept your invite for one consecutive nite only.
    • The Crisis.
  • N.B. This is rote sarcastikul.
    • A Visit to Brigham Young.
  • The female woman is one of the greatest institooshuns of which this land can boste.
    • Woman's Rights.

Artemus Ward in London (1867)[edit]

  • Yes; there was an oration. We have a passion for oratory in America—political oratory chiefly. Our political orators never lose a chance to "express their views." They will do it. You cannot stop them.

    There was an execution in Ohio one day, and the Sheriff, before placing the rope round the murderer's neck, asked him if he had any remarks to make?

    "If he hasn't," said a well-known local orator, pushing his way rapidly through the dense crowd to the gallows—"if our ill-starred feller-citizen don't feel inclined to make a speech and is in no hurry, I should like to avail myself of the present occasion to make some remarks on the necessity of a new protective tariff!"

    • "Pyrotechny: A Romance after the French" (p. 87, some paragraph breaks omitted)

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