Insults & Snappy Comebacks
Not a quote from a book, as such, but it appears here in a book, which I think counts. An amazing, infamous putdown from Winston Churchill. He said, having been told by a woman that he was drunk : 'Yes I am. But I shall be sober in the morning, and you will still be ugly.' I have been drinking to excess ever since* in the hope that someone will accuse me of drunkenness, and I can open fire with this classic insult. *disclaimer: only joking on the drinking to excess front.
The Mysterious Retort is a 1906 film by A wizard sleeps at a table in his well-appointed sitting room. From a drawer in the table, a snake appears. The snake begins a series of transformations: he becomes a jester, a spider, and a woman. Each approaches the wizard as he sleeps. Each also works its magic on a glass vial on the wizard's table. Soon the vial has grown in size and is full of a bubbling liquid.