— Edward Everett Hale
, Reported in Van Wyck Brooks, New England: Indian Summer, 1865–1915 (1940), p. 418, footnote. Another source states: "The celebrated anecdote... is not so unambiguous as it appears... There is no reason to doubt the authenticity of Hale's reply, but it should be understood within a framework of respect for the senators as well as concern for the country. He knew every one of them personally and regarded them, as he said in his preface to Prayers in The Senate (1904), as 'intelligent men, in very close daily intimacy with each other, in the discharge of a common duty of the greatest importance.'" John R. Adams, Edward Everett Hale (1977), pp. 100–101.