"We are not amused" (1885)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Tue Jun 6 14:43:43 UTC 2006

Keyes's THE QUOTE VERIFIER seems to have only a dubious "1900" citation for
this, supposedly uttered by Queen Victoria. I don't know what Fred has.
_The  American Humorists._
The Critic: a Literary Weekly,  Critical and Eclectic (1884-1885). New York:
Dec 5, 1885. p. 274 (1 page)
The American Humorists.
[From the London _Daily News._.]
This consciousness appears to be less present in the States, which are
peopled by descendants of the Puritans, and scores of good things are told in
"family" American journals and magazines which are received without a grin in
this country. "We are not amused," a great person is reported to have once
observed when some person had ventured on a hazardous anecdote. And we, meaning
the people of England, are often not amused, but rather vexed, by gayeties which
 appear absolutely harmless on the other side of the ocean. These two kinds
of  humor, the middle-class jokes about courting between lovers seated on a
snake  fence, or about Sunday-schools and quaint answers there given to Biblical
questions, leave us cold. But surely we appreciate as well as the Americans
themselves the extraordinary intellectual high spirits of Mark Twain, a writer
 whose genius goes on mellowing, ripening, widening, and improving at an age
when  another man would have written himself out.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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