(18541900), Irish playwright and poet
Irish playwright and poet
October 16, 1854, in Ireland
Trinity College, Dublin, and
Magdalen College, Oxford
November 30, 1900, Paris
Other Oscar Wilde Sites
Oscar Wilde at Encarta EncyclopediaOscar Wilde at Britannica Encyclopedia Oscar Wilde at Wikipedia
The Divinity and the Disciple: Oscar Wilde in the Letters of Max Beerbohm, 1892-1895
Wilde BBC Movie
Oscar Wilde "The Modern Messiah" Wilde's 1882 San Francisco visit
Ambrose Bierce attack on Wilde
Oscar Wilde Works
Charmides and other Poems
The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898)
The Happy Prince and Other Tales
A House of Pomegranates
A Florentine Tragedy
The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891)
Lady Windermere's Fan (1892)
A Woman of No Importance (1893)
An Ideal Husband (1895)
The Importance of Being Earnest (1895)
"Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young,"
"De Profundis ", a letter written from prison to Lord Alfred Douglas (1895)
Oscar Wilde Photos
Click on photo for larger version.
A bad man is the sort of man who admires innocence, and a bad woman is the
sort of woman a man never gets tired of.
A burnt child loves the fire.
A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want?
A cynic is a person who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment
is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.
A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally.
A kiss may ruin a human life.
A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.
A little space he let his greedy eyes
A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her.
A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
A man who can dominate a London dinner-table can dominate the world.
A man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing.
A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.
A man who moralises is usually a hypocrite, and a woman who moralises is invariably plain.
A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction.
A man's very highest moment is, I have no doubt at all, when he kneels in the dust, and beats his breast, and tells all the sins of his life.
A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing.
A pessimist is one who, when he has a choice of two evils, chooses both.
A poet can survive everything but a misprint.
A really well-made buttonhole is the only link between Art and Nature.
A sentimentalist is simply one who desires to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it.
A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.
A true friend stabs you in the front.
A truth ceases to be true when more than one person believes in it.
A visionary is one who can find his way by moonlight, and see the dawn before
the rest of the world.
A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.
A woman will flirt with anyone in the world, so long as other women are looking on.
After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives.
Agitators are a set of interfering, meddling people, who come down to some perfectly contented class of the community, and sow the seeds of discontent amongst them. That is the reason why agitators are so absolutely necessary. Without them, in our incomplete state, there would be no advance towards civilization.
Ah! Don't say you agree with me. When people agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong.
All art is quite useless.
All influence is bad, but good influence is the worst in the world.
All repetition is anti-spiritual.
All that I desire to point out is the general principle that Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life.
All that one should know about modern life is where the Duchesses are; anything else is quite demoralising.
All the good things in life are immoral, illegal, or heavily taxed.
All thought is immoral. Its very essence is destruction. If you think of anything, you kill it. Nothing survives being thought of.
Lord Illingworth: All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy.
All women have to fight with death to keep their children. Death, being childless, wants our children from us.
Already the slim crocus stirs the snow,
Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them as much.
Ambition is the last refuge of the failure.
America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up.
America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.
American girls are as clever at concealing their parents as English women are at concealing their past.
An acquaintance that begins with a compliment is sure to develop into a real friendship.
An engagement should come on a young girl as a surprise, pleasant or unpleasant, as the case may be.
An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.
An omnibus across the bridge
And alien tears will fill for him
And now, I am dying beyond my means.
Any preoccupation with ideas of what is right or wrong in conduct shows an arrested intellectual development.
Anybody can be good in the country; there are no temptations there.
Anybody can make history; only a great man can write it.
Anybody can sympathise with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a
very fine nature to sympathise with a friend's success.
Anybody can write a three-volume novel. It merely requires a complete ignorance of both life and literature.
Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.
Anything becomes a pleasure if one does it too often.
Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing.
Art is the most intense mode of invidualism that the world has known.
As a rule, I dislike modern memoirs. They are generally written by people who have either entirely lost their memories, or have never done anything worth remembering.
As a wicked man I am a complete failure. Why, there are lots of people who say I have never really done anything wrong in the whole course of my life. Of course they only say it behind my back.
As for modern journalism, it is not my business to defend it. It justifies its own existence by the great Darwinian principle of the survival of the vulgarest.
As for the virtuous poor, one can pity them, of course, but one cannot possibly admire them. They have made private terms with the enemy, and sold their birthright for very bad pottage. They must also be extraordinarily stupid.
As long as a woman can look ten years younger than her own daughter, she is perfectly satisfied.
As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular.
As soon as people are old enough to know better, they don't know anything at all.
At six o'clock we cleaned our cells,
Bad artists always admire each others work.
Beautiful sins, like beautiful things, are the privileges of the rich.
Being natural is simply a pose.
Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.
Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same.
But what is the good of friendship if one caanot say exactly what one means? Anybody can say charming things and try to please and to flatter, but a true friend always says unpleasant things, and does not mind giving pain. Indeed, if he is a really true friend he prefers it, for he knows that then he is going good.
By persistently remaining single, a man converts himself into a permanent public temptation. Men should be more careful.
Caricature is the tribute that mediocrity pays to genius.
Certainly, a great deal may be done by means of cheap entertainments, as you say, Lord Illingworth. Dear Dr. Daubeny, our rector here, provides, with the assistance of his curates, really admirable recreations for the poor during the winter. And much good may be done by means of a magic lantern, or a missionary, or some popular amusement of that kind.
Charity creates a multitude of sins.
Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely if ever do they forgive them.
Children have a natural antipathy to books--handicraft should be the basis of education. Boys and girls should be taught to use their hands to make something, and they would be less apt to destroy and be mischievous.
Clever people never listen and stupid people never talk.
Conscience and cowardice are really the same things. Conscience is the trade-name of the firm. That is all.
Conscience makes egotists of us all.
Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.
Crying is the refuge of plain women but the ruin of pretty ones.
Cultivated leisure is the aim of man.
Mrs. Allonby: Curious thing, plain women are always jealous of their husbands, beautiful women never are!
Dammit, sir, it is your duty to get married. You can't be always living for pleasure.
Death and vulgarity are the only two facts in the nineteenth century that one cannot explain away.
Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one's head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no to-morrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.
Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.
Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation.
Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.
Divorces are made in Heaven.
Don't be misled into the paths of virtue.
Don't talk about action ... Its basis is the lack of imagination.It is the last resource of those who know not how to dream.
Dullness is the coming of age of seriousness.
Duty is what one expects from others, it is not what one does oneself.
Each class preaches the importance of those virtures it need not exercise. The rich harp on the value of thrift, the idle grow eloquent over the dignity of labor.
Each time one loves is the only time one has ever loved. Difference of object does not alter singleness of passion. It merely intensifies it.
Ernest is invariably calm. That is one of the reasons he always gets on my nerves. Nothing is so aggravating as calmness. There is something positively brutal about the good temper of most modern men. I wonder we women stand it as well as we do.
Education is an admirable thing, but it well to remember from time to time
that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
Every great man nowadays has his disciples, and it is always Judas who writes the biography.
Every man of ambition has to fight his century with its own weapons. What this century worships is wealth. The God of this century is wealth. To succeed one must have wealth. At all costs one must have wealth.
Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.
Everyone should keep someone else's diary.
Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken up teaching.
Experience is the name everyone gives to his mistakes.
Experience is one thing you can't get for nothing.
Faithfulness is to the emotional life what consistency is to the life of the intellect simply a confession of failures.
Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every
Fashionable is what one wears oneself. What is unfashionable is what other people wear.
Few parents nowadays pay any regard to what their children say to them. The
old-fashioned respect for the young is fast dying out.
Football is all very well a good game for rough girls, but not for delicate boys.
For an artist to marry his model is as fatal as for a gourmet to marry his cook: the one gets no sittings, and the other gets no dinners.
Frank Harris has been received in all the great houses once!
Friendship is far more tragic than love. It lasts longer.
From the point of view of literature Mr. Kipling is a genius who drops his aspirates. From the point of view of life, he is a reporter who knows vulgarity better than any one has ever known it.
Good people do a great deal of harm in this world. Certainly the greatest harm that they do is that they make badness of such extraordinary importance.
Good resolutions are useless attempts to interfere with scientific laws.
Good women have such limited views of life, their horizon is so small, their interests are so petty.
Greek dress was in its essence inartistic. Nothing should reveal the body but the body.
He covered page after page with wild words of sorrow and wilder words of pain. There is a luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves, we feel that no one else has a right to blame us. It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.
He hadn't a single redeeming vice.
He had the sort of face that, once seen, is never remembered.
He has been most interesting on the subject of Patagonia. Savages seem to have quite the same views as cultured people on almost all subjects. They are excessively advanced.
He has nothing. He looks everything. What more can one desire?
He [Bernard Shaw] hasn't an enemy in the world, and none of his friends like him.
He is excellent company, and he has one of the best cooks in London, and after a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.
He knew the precise psychological moment when to say nothing.
He must be quite respectable. One has never heard his name before in the whole course of one's life, which speaks volumes for a man, nowadays.
He must have a truly romantic nature, for he weeps when there is nothing at all to weep about.
He paid some attention to the management of his collieries in the Midland counties, excusing himself for this taint of industry on the ground that the one advantage of having coal was that it enabled a gentleman to afford the decency of burning wood on his own hearth.
He was a hero to his valet, who bullied him, and a terror to most of his relations, whom he bullied in turn. Only England could have produced him, and he always said that the country was going to the dogs. His principles were out of date, but there was a good deal to be said for his prejudices.
He was always late on principle, his principle being that punctuality is the thief of time.
He would stab his best friend for the sake of writing an epigram on his tombstone.
Hearts live by being wounded. Pleasure may turn a heart to stone, riches may make it callous, but sorrow oh, sorrow cannot break it.
Her capacity for family affection is extraordinary: when her third husband
died, her hair turned quite gold from grief.
Here is the first passionate love-letter I have ever written in my life. Strange, that my first passionate love-letter should have been addressed to a dead girl. Can they feel, I wonder, those white silent people we call the dead?
Hesitation of any kind is a sign of mental decay in the young, of physical weakness in the old.
High hopes were once formed of democracy, but democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people, by the people, for the people.
How charming you are, dear Lord Illingworth. You always find out that one's most glaring fault is one's most important virtue. You have the most comforting views of life.
How clever you are, my dear! You never mean a single word you say.
"How dreadful!" cried Lord Henry. "I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect."
How many men there are in modern life who would like to see their past burning to white ashes before them?
How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrid, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young. It will never be older than this particular day of June. ... If it was only the other way! If it was I who were to be always young, and the picture that were to grow old! For this for this I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give!"
How strange a thing this is! The Priest telleth me that the Soul is worth all the gold in the world, and the merchants say that it is not worth a clipped piece of silver.
Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the worlds original sin. If the caveman had known how to laugh, History would have been different.
I adore political parties. They are the only place left to us where people dont talk politics.
I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.
I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.
I am always astonishing myself. It is the only thing that makes life worth living.
I am not in favour of long engagements. They give people the opportunity to find out each other's characters before marriage, which I think is never advisable.
I am not young enough to know everything.
I am sick of women who love me. Women who hate me are much more interesting.
I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.
I am the only person in the world I should like to know thoroughly.
I can believe anything, provided that it is quite incredible.
I can resist everything except temptation.
I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect.
I can sympathise with everything, except suffering.
I can't help detesting my relations. I suppose that it comes from the fact that none of us can stand people having the same faults as ourselves.
I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects.
I delight in men over seventy. They always offer one the devotion of a lifetime. I think seventy an ideal age for a man.
I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance
is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it, and the bloom is gone.
I do not play cricket because it requires me to assume such indecent postures
I don't know that women are always rewarded for being charming. I think they
are usually punished for it!
I don't like compliments, and I don't see why a man should think he is pleasing
a woman enormously when he says to her a whole heap of things that he doesn't mean.
I don't like novels that end happily. They depress me so much.
I don't like principles. I prefer prejudices.
I don't think there is a woman in the world who would not be a little flattered
if one made love to her. It is that which makes women so irresistibly adorable.
I don't wish to sign my name, though I am afraid everybody will know who the writer is: one's style is one's signature always.
I have made an important discovery
that alcohol, taken in sufficient quantities, produces all the effects of intoxication.
I have nothing to declare except my genius.
I have often observed that in married households the champagne is rarely of a first-rate brand.
I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.
I hope you don't think you have exhausted life, Mr. Arbuthnot. When a man says that, one knows that life has exhausted him.
I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and really being good all the time. That would be hypocrisy.
I knew that I had come face to face with some one whose mere personality was so fascinating that, if I allowed it to do so, it would absorb my whole nature, my whole soul, my very art itself.
I know not whether Laws be right,
I know, of course, how important it is not to keep a business engagement, if one wants to retain any sense of the beauty of life.
I know what conscience is, to begin with. It is not what you told me it was. It is the divinest thing in us. Don't sneer at it, Harry, any more, at least not before me. I want to be good. I can't bear the idea of my soul being hideous.
I like men who have a future and women who have a past.
I live in terror of not being misunderstood.
I love acting. It is so much more real than life.
I love hearing my relations abused. It is the only thing that makes me put up with them at all.
I love scandals about other people, but scandals about myself dont interest me. They have not got the charm of novelty.
I love scrapes. They are the only things that are never serious.
I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about.
I must decline your invitation owing to a subsequent engagement.
I never approve, or disapprove, of anything now. It is an absurd attitude to take towards life. We are not sent into the world to air our moral prejudices. I never take any notice of what common people say, and I never interfere with what charming people do.
I never play cricket. It requires one to assume such indecent postures.
I never put off till tomorrow what I can do the day after.
I never quarrel with anyone. My one quarrel is with words. That is the reason I hate vulgar realism in literature. The man who could call a spade a spade should be compelled to use one.
I never take any notice of what common people say, and I never interfere with what charming people do.
I never talk during music, at least during good music. If one hears bad music, it is ones duty to drown it in conversation.
I never travel without my dairy. One should always have something sensational to read.
I often take exercise. Why only yesterday I had breakfast in bed.
I prefer women with a past. They're always so damned amusing to talk to.
I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works.
I quite admit that modern novels have many good points. All I insist on is that they, as a class, are quite unreadable.
I sometimes think that God in creating man, somewhat overestimated His ability.
I suppose publishers are untrustworthy. They certainly always look It.
I suppose society is wonderfully delightful. To be in it is merely a bore. But to be out of it simply a tragedy.
I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.
Ideals are dangerous things. Realities are better.
If a man is a gentleman, he knows quite enough, and if he is not a gentleman, whatever he knows is bad for him.
If a woman really repents, she has to go to a bad dressmaker, otherwise no one believes in her.
If a woman wants to hold a man, she has merely to appeal to the worst in him.
If one could only teach the English how to talk, and the Irish how to listen, society here would be quite civilized.
If one tells the truth, one is sure sooner or later to be found out.
If property had simply pleasures, we could stand it; but its duties make it unbearable. In the interest of the rich we must get rid of it.
If the poor only had profiles there would be no difficulty in solving the problem of poverty.
If there was less sympathy in the world there would be less trouble in the world.
If we men married the woman we deserve, we should have a very tedious time of it.
If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life.
If you pretend to be good, the world takes you very seriously. If you pretend to be bad, it doesn't. Such is the astounding stupidity of optimism.
If you want to mar a nature, you have merely to reform it.
Ignorance is like a delicate flower: touch it and the bloom is gone.
Illusion is the first of all pleasures.
I'm glad to hear you smoke. A man should always have an occupation of some kind. There are far too many idle men in London as it is.
Imagination is a quality given a man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humour was provided to console him for what he is.
In a Temple everyone should be serious, except the thing that is worshipped.
In all unimportant matters, style, not sincerity, is the essential. In all important matters, style, not sincerity, is the essential.
In America the President reigns for four years and journalism governs forever and ever.
In America the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.
In examinations the foolish ask questions that the wise cannot answer.
In married life affection comes when people thoroughly dislike each other.
In married life three is company and two is none.
In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity, is the vital thing.
In my young days, Miss Worsley, one never met any one in society who worked for their living. It was not considered the thing.
In the old day men had the rack; now they have the press.
In this world, there are two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.
Industry is the root of all ugliness.
Intellect is in itself a mode of exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face.
It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information.
It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.
It is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth.
It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information.
It is a very dangerous thing to listen. If one listens one may be convinced; and a man who allows himself to be convinced by an argument is a thoroughly unreasonable person.
It is better to be beautiful than to be good. But on the other hand, no one is more ready than I am to acknowledge that it is better to be good than to be ugly.
It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.
It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid.
It is most dangerous nowadays for a husband to pay any attention to his wife in public. It always makes people think that he beats her when they are alone.
It is only by not paying one's bills that one can hope to live in the memory of the commercial classes.
It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances.
It is only shallow people who require years to get rid of an emotion. A man who is master of himself can end a sorrow as easily as he can invent a pleasure.
It is only the gods who taste of death. Apollo has passed away, but Hyacinth, whom men say he slew, lives on. Nero and Narcissus are always with us.
It is only the intellectually lost who ever argue.
It is only the modern that ever becomes old-fashioned.
It is only the superficial qualities that last. Man's deeper nature is soon found out.
It is only the unimaginative who ever invents. The true artist is known by the use he makes of what he annexes.
It is perfectly monstrous the way people go about, nowadays, saying things against one behind one's back that are absolutely and entirely true.
It's perfectly scandalous the amount of bachelors who are going about society. There should be a law passed to compel them all to marry within twelve months.
It is through Art, and through Art only, that we can realise our perfection; through Art and Art only that we can shield ourselves from the sordid perils of actual existence.
It is very easy to endure the difficulties of one's enemies. It is the successes of one's friends that are hard to bear.
It is very painful for me to be forced to speak the truth. It is the first time in my life that I have ever been reduced to such a painful position, and I am really quite inexperienced in doing anything of the kind.
It is very vulgar to talk about one's business. Only people like stockbrokers do that, and then merely at dinner parties.
It is very vulgar to talk like a dentist when one isn't a dentist. It produces a false impression.
It is well for his peace that the saint goes to his martyrdom. He is spared the sight of the horror of his harvest.
It often happens that the real tragedies of life occur in such an inartistic manner that they hurt us by their crude violence, their absolute incoherence, their absurd want of meaning, their entire lack of style.
It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you place the blame.
It takes a thoroughly good woman to do a thoroughly stupid thing.
Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring.
Land has ceased to be either a profit or a pleasure. It gives one position, and prevents one from keeping it up.
Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far the best ending for one.
Learned conversation is either the affectation of the ignorant or the profession of the mentally unemployed.
Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.
Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about it.
Life is never fair...And perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not.
Life is one fool thing after another whereas love is two fool things after each other.
Literature always anticipates life. It does not copy it, but moulds it to its purpose. The nineteenth century, as we know it, is largely an invention of Balzac.
London is full of women who trust their husbands. One can always recognise them. They look so thoroughly unhappy.
London is too full of fogs and serious people. Whether the fogs produce the serious people or whether the serious people produce the fogs, I dont know.
London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years.
Long engagements give people the opportunity of finding out each other's character before marriage, which is never advisable.
Looking good and dressing well is a necessity. Having a purpose in life is not.
Lord Illingworth may marry any day. I was in hopes he would have married Lady Kelso. But I believe he said her family was too large. Or was it her feet? I forget which.
Lots of people act well, but few people talk well. This shows that talking is the more difficult of the two.
Lying for a monthly salary is, of course, well known in Fleet Street.
Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.
Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
Manners before morals!
Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is
the triumph of hope over experience.
Men always want to be a woman's first love. That is their clumsy vanity. We women have a more subtle instinct about things. What we like is to be a man's last romance.
Men are horribly tedious when they are good husbands, and abominably conceited when they are not.
Men become old, but they never become good.
Men know life too early.
Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious; both are disappointed.
Mere colour, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in
a thousand different ways.
Moderation is a fatal thing, Lady Hunstanton. Nothing succeeds like excess.
Modern morality consists in accepting the standard of ones age. I consider that for any man of culture to accept the standard of his age is a form of the grossest immorality.
Morality is simply the attitude we adopt to people whom we personally dislike.
More than half modern culture depends on what one shouldn't read.
More women grow old nowadays through the faithfulness of their admirers than through anything else.
Most men and women are forced to perform parts for which they have no qualification.
Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions,
their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.
Most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Most women in London, nowadays, seem to furnish their rooms with nothing but orchids, foreigners, and French novels.
Mothers, of course, are all right. They pay a chaps bills and dont bother him. But fathers bother a chap and never pay his bills.
Mr. Whistler always spelt art, and we believe still spells it, with a capital "I."
Murder is always a mistake one should never do anything one cannot talk about after dinner.
Music makes one feel so romantic at least it always gets on ones nerves.
Musical people are so absurdly unreasonable. They always want one to be perfectly dumb when one is longing to be absolutely deaf.
My dear young lady, there was a great deal of truth, I dare say, in what you
said, and you looked very pretty while you said it, which is much more important.
My experience is that as soon as people are old enough to know better, they don't know anything at all.
My name has two Os, two Fs and two Ws. A name that is destined to be in everybodys mouth must not be too long. It comes so expensive in advertisements. When one is unknown, a number of Christian names are useful, perhaps even needful. As one becomes famous, one sheds some of them, just as a balloonist, ... rising higher, sheds unnecessary ballast ... All but two of my five names have been thrown overboard. Soon I shall discard another and be known simply as "The Wilde" or "The Oscar".
My own business always bores me to death. I prefer other people's.
Never buy a thing you don't want merely because it is dear.
Never speak disrespectfully of society. Only people who cant get into it do that.
Niagara Falls is the bride's second great disappointment.
No artist desires to prove anything. Even things that are true can be proved.
No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style.
No civilised man ever regrets a pleasure, just as no uncivilised man ever knows what a pleasure is.
No crime is vulgar, but all vulgarity is crime. Vulgarity is the conduct of others.
No gentleman ever has any money.
No gentleman ever takes exercise.
No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did he would cease to be an artist.
No life is spoiled but one whose growth is arrested.
No man is rich enough to buy back his past.
No man should have a secret from his wife; she invariably finds out.
No married man is ever attractive except to his wife.
No woman should ever be quite accurate about her age. It looks so calculating.
No work of art ever puts forward views. Views belong to people who are not artists.
Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.
Nothing is so aggravating as calmness. There is something positively brutal about the good temper of most modern men.
Nothing should be out of the reach of hope. Life is a hope.
Nothing that actually occurs is of the smallest importance.
Now it seems to me that love of some kind is the only possible explanation of the extraordinary amount of suffering that there is in the world.
Nowdays, all the married men live like bachelors, and all the bachelors like married men.
Nowadays people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover too late that the only things one never regrets are ones mistakes.
Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Nowadays to be intelligible is to be found out.
Of course I plagiarize. It is the privilege of the appreciative man!
Of course the music is a great difficulty. You see, if one plays good music, people don't listen, and if one plays bad music people don't talk.
Oh, I like tedious, practical subjects. What I don't like are tedious, practical people. There is a wide difference.
On an occasion of this kind it becomes more than a moral duty to speak one's mind. It becomes a pleasure.
One can always be kind to people about whom one cares nothing.
One can survive anything nowadays, except death, and live down anything except a good reputation.
One knows so well the popular idea of health. The English country gentleman galloping after after a fox. The unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable.
One must have some occupation nowadays. If I hadnt my debts I shouldnt have anything to think about.
One regrets the loss of ones worst habits. Perhaps one regrets them the most. They are such an essential part of ones personality.
One should always absorb the colour of life, but one should never remember the details. Details are always vulgar.
One should always be a little improbable.
One should always be in love. That is the reason one should never marry.
One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards.
One should be thankful that there is any fault of which one can be unjustly accused.
One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.
One should never do anything that one cannot talk about after dinner.
One should never listen. To listen is a sign of indifference to one's hearers.
One should never make one's debut in a scandal. One should reserve that to give interest to one's old age.
One should never take sides in anything, Mr. Kelvil. Taking sides is the beginning of sincerity, and earnestness follows shortly afterwards, and the human being becomes a bore.
One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that, would tell one anything.
One should read everything. More than half of modern culture depends on what one shouldn't read.
One's own soul, and the passions of one's friends those were the fascinating things in life.
One's past is what one is. It is the only way by which people should be judged.
One's real life is so often the life that one does not lead.
Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast.
Only great masters of style can succeed in being obtuse.
Only people who look dull ever get into the House of Commons, and only people who are dull ever succeed there.
Only the great masters of style ever succeeded in being obscure.
Only the shallow know themselves.
Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.
Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.
People fashion their God after their own understanding. They make their God first and worship him afterwards.
People nowadays are so absolutely superficial that they don't understand the philosophy of the superficial. By the way, Gerald, you should learn how to tie your tie better. Sentiment is all very well for the button-hole. But the essential thing for a necktie is style. A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.
People who count their chickens before they are hatched, act very wisely, because chickens run about so absurdly that it is impossible to count them accurately.
People who want to say merely what is sensible should say it to themselves before they come down to breakfast in the morning, never after.
Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered. I myself would say that it has merely been detected.
Philanthropic people lose all sense of humanity. It is their distinguishing characteristic.
Pleasure is the only thing one should live for. Nothing ages like happiness.
Pleasure is the only thing worth having a theory about.
Popularity is the crown of laurel which the world puts on bad art. Whatever is popular is wrong.
Prosperity, pleasure and success, may be rough of grain and common in fibre, but sorrow is the most sensitive of all created things. There is nothing that stirs in the whole world of thought to which sorrow does not vibrate in terrible and exquisite pulsation.
Public opinion exists only where there are no ideas.
Punctuality is the thief of time.
Questions are never indiscreet. Answers sometimes are.
Really, if the lower orders dont set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them?
Really, now that the House of Commons is trying to become useful, it does a great deal of harm.
Relations are simply a tedious pack of people, who haven't the remotest knowledge of how to live, nor the smallest instinct about when to die.
Religion is the fashionable substitute for belief.
Religions die when they are proved to be true. Science is the record of dead religions.
Rich bachelors should be heavily taxed. It is not fair that some men should be happier than others.
Romance should never begin with sentiment. It should begin with science and end with a settlement.
Scotland Yard still insists that the man in the grey ulster who left for Paris by the midnight train on the ninth of November was poor Basil, and the French police declare that Basil never arrived in Paris at all. I suppose in about a fortnight we shall be told that he has been seen in San Francisco. It is an odd thing, but every one who disappears is said to be seen at San Francisco. It must be a delightful city, and possess all the attractions of the next world.
Self-denial is the shining sore on the leprous body of Christianity.
Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.
Sentiment is all very well for the buttonhole. But the essential thing for a necktie is style. A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.
Sentimentality is merely the Bank Holiday of cynicism.
Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow.
Shallow sorrows and shallow loves live on. The loves and sorrows that are great are destroyed by their own plenitude.
She behaves as if she was beautiful. Most American women do. It is the secret of their charm.
She had more than once changed her husband; indeed, Debrett credits her with three marriages; but as she had never changed her lover, the world had long ago ceased to talk scandal about her.
She is absolutely inadmissible into society. Many a woman has a past, but I am told that she has at least a dozen, and that they all fit.
She looks like a woman with a past. Most pretty women do.
She who hesitates is won.
She wore too much rouge last night and not quite enough clothes. That is
always a sign of despair in a woman.
Sin is the only real colour element left in modern life.
Skepticism is the beginning of Faith.
Society, civilised society at least, is never very ready to believe anything to the detriment of those who are both rich and fascinating.
Society produces rogues, and education makes one rogue cleverer than another.
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.
Something was dead in each of us, And what was dead was Hope.
Sometimes the poor are praised for being thrifty. But to recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less. For a town or country labourer to practise thrift would be absolutely immoral. Man should not be ready to show that he can live like a badly fed animal.
Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result.
Taking sides is the beginning of sincerity, and earnestness follows shortly afterwards, and the human being becomes a bore.
Talk to every woman as if you loved her, and to every man as if he bored you, and at the end of your first season, you will have the reputation of possessing the most perfect social tact.
That is the reason they are so pleased to find out other peoples secrets. It distracts public attention from their own.
The advantages of the emotions is that they lead us astray.
The ages live in history through their anachronisms.
The aim of love is to love: no more, and no less.
The amount of women in London who flirt with their own husbands is perfectly scandalous. It looks so bad. It is simply washing ones clean linen in public.
The artist must educate the critic.
The basis of every scandal is an immoral certainty.
The basis of optimism is sheer terror.
The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one.
The best way to make children is to make them happy.
Lord Illingworth: The Book of Life begins with a man and a woman in a garden.
The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.
The clever people never listen, and the stupid people never talk.
The condition of perfection is idleness; The aim of perfection is youth.
The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is
unreadable and literature is not read.
The English country gentleman galloping after a fox the unspeakable in full
pursuit of the uneatable.
The English have a miraculous power of turning wine into water.
The English public take no interest in a work of art until it is told that
the work in question is obscene.
The extraordinary thing about the lower classes in England is that they are always losing their relations. They are extremely fortunate in that respect.
The final mystery is oneself.
The first duty in life is to be as artificial as possible. What the second duty is no one has yet discovered.
The General was essentially a man of peace, except in his domestic life.
The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.
The history of women is the history of the worst form of tyranny the world has ever known. The tyranny of the weak over the strong. It is the only tyranny that lasts.
The husbands of very beautiful women belong to the criminal classes.
The Ideal Man! Oh, the Ideal Man should talk to us as if we were goddesses, and treat us as if we were children. He should refuse all our serious requests, and gratify every one of our whims. He should encourage us to have caprices, and forbid us to have missions. He should always say much more than he means, and always mean much more than he says. He should never run down other pretty women. That would show he had no taste, or make one suspect that he had too much. No; he should be nice about them all, but say that somehow they don't attract him. If we ask him a question about anything, he should give us an answer all about ourselves. He should invariably praise us for whatever qualities he knows we haven't got. But he should be pitiless, quite pitiless, in reproaching us for the virtues that we have never dreamed of possessing. He should never believe that we know the use of useful things. That would be unforgivable. But he should shower on us everything we don't want. He should persistently compromise us in public, and treat us with absolute respect when we are alone. And yet he should be always ready to have a perfectly terrible scene, whenever we want one, and to become miserable, absolutely miserable, at a moment's notice, and to overwhelm us with just reproaches in less than twenty minutes, and to be positively violent at the end of half an hour, and to leave us for ever at a quarter to eight, when we have to go and dress for dinner. And when, after that, one has seen him for really the last time, and he has refused to take back the little things he has given one, and promised never to communicate with one again, or to write one any foolish letters, he should be perfectly broken-hearted, and telegraph to one all day long, and send one little notes every half-hour by a private hansom, and dine quite alone at the club, so that every one should know how unhappy he was. And after a whole dreadful week, during which one has gone about everywhere with one's husband, just to show how absolutely lonely one was, he may be given a third last parting, in the evening, and then, if his conduct has been quite irreproachable, and one has behaved really badly to him, he should be allowed to admit that he has been entirely in the wrong, and when he has admitted that, it becomes a woman's duty to forgive, and one can do it all over again from the beginning, with variations.
The imagination imitates. It is the critical spirit that creates.
The intellect is not a serious thing, and never has been. It is an instrument on which one plays, that is all.
The liar at any rate recognizes that recreation, not instruction, is the aim of conversation, and is a far more civilized being than the blockhead who loudly expresses his disbelief in a story which is told simply for the amusement of the company.
The man who sees both sides of a question is a man who sees absolutely nothing at all.
The mere mechanical technique of acting can be taught, but the spirit that is to give life to lifeless forms must be born in a man. No dramatic college can teach its pupils to think or to feel. It is Nature who makes our artists for us, though it may be Art who taught them their right mode of expression.
The more one analyses people, the more all reasons for analysis disappear. Sooner of later one comes to that dreadful universal thing called human nature.
The old believe everything: the middle-aged suspect everything: the young know everything.
The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties.
The one person who has more illusions than the dreamer is the man of action.
The only charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties.
The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.
The only duty we owe history is to rewrite it.
The only thing that consoles man for the stupid things he does is the praise he always gives himself for doing them.
The only thing one can do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.
The only way to atone for being occasionally a little over-dressed is by being always absolutely over-educated.
The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.
The only way a woman can ever reform a man is by boring him so completely that he loses all possible interest in life.
The only way to atone for being occasionally a little over-dressed is by always being absolutely over-educated.
The only way to behave to a woman is to make love to her, if she is pretty, and to someone else, if she is plain.
The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.
The past is of no importance. The present is of no importance. It is with the future that we have to deal. For the past is what man should not have been. The present is what man ought not to be. The future is what artists are.
The play was a great success, but the audience was a disaster.
The poet is the supreme artist, for he is the master of colour and of form, and the real musician besides, and is lord over all life and all arts.
The problem with conversation is that the clever people never listen, and the stupid people never talk.
The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is
The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.
The real drawback to marriage is that it makes one unselfish, and unselfish people are colourless. They lack individuality.
The reason we are so pleased to find other people's secrets is that it
distracts public attention from our own.
The reason why we all like to think so well of others is that we are all afraid for ourselves. The basis of optimism is sheer terror.
The secret of remaining young is never to have an emotion that is unbecoming.
The sick do not ask if the hand that smoothes their pillow is pure, nor the dying care if the lips that touch their brow have known the kiss of sin.
The soul is born old but grows young. That is the comedy of life. And the
body is born young and grows old. That is life's tragedy.
The stage is not merely the meeting place of all the arts, but is also the return of art to life.
The strength of women comes from the fact that psychology cannot explain us. Men can be analyzed, women merely adored.
The supreme object of life is to live. Few people live. It is true life only to realize one's own perfection, to make one's every dream a reality.
The terror of society is the basis of morals.
The things one feels absolutely certain about are never true.
The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young.
The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.
The true perfection of man lies, not in what man has, but in what man is. Nothing should be able to harm a man but himself. Nothing should be able to rob a man at all. What a man really has is what is in him. What is outside of him should be a matter of no importance.
The truth is rarely pure and never simple. Modern life would be very tedious if it
were either, and modern literature a complete impossibility!
The typewriting machine, when played with expression, is no more annoying than the piano when played by a sister or near relation.
The ugly and the stupid have the best of it in this world. They can sit at their ease and gape at the play. If they know nothing of victory, they are at least spared the knowledge of defeat.
The vilest deeds like poison-weeds
The way of paradoxes is the way of truth. To test Reality we must see it on the tight-rope. When the Verities become acrobats we can judge them.
The well-bred contradict other people. The wise contradict themselves.
The world has always laughed at its own tragedies, that being the only way in which it has been able to bear them. And that, consequently, whatever the world has treated seriously belongs to the comedy side of things.
The world has been made by fools that wise men should live in it.
The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast.
The world is simply divided into two classes those who believe the incredible, like the public and those who do the improbable.
The worst of having a romance of any kind is that it leaves one so unromantic.
The youth of America is their oldest tradition. It has been going on now for three hundred years. To hear them talk one would imagine that they were in their first childhood. As far as civilisation goes they are in their second.
The youth of the present day are quite monstrous. They have absolutely no respect for dyed hair.
There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing.
There are only two ways a man can reach civilisation. One is by being cultured, the other is by being corrupt.
There are people who say I have never really done anything wrong in my life; of course, they only say it behind my back.
There are things that are right to say, but that may be said at the wrong time and to the wrong people.
There is a fatality about all good resolutions. They are invariably made too soon.
There is a good deal to be said for blushing, if one can do it at the proper moment.
There is always something infinitely mean about other people's tragedies.
There is always something ridiculous about the emotions of people whom one has ceased to love.
There is hardly a single person in the House of Commons worth painting; though many of them would be better for a little white-washing.
There is luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves, we feel no one else has a right to blame us.
There is much to be said in favor of modern journalism. By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, it keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community.
There is no reason why a man should show his life to the world. The world does not understand things.
There is no secret of life. Life's aim, if it has one, is simply to be always looking for temptations. There are not nearly enough. I sometimes pass a whole day without coming across a single one. It is quite dreadful. It makes one so nervous about the future.
There is no sin except stupidity.
There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written.
There is no such thing as an omen. Destiny does not send us heralds. She is too wise or too cruel for that.
There is nothing in the world like the devotion of a married woman. It's a thing no married man knows anything about.
There is only one class in the community that thinks more about money than
the rich, and that is the poor.
There is only one real tragedy in a womans life. The fact that the past is always her lover, and her future invariably her husband.
There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.
There is something tragic about the enormous number of young men there are in England at the present moment who start life with perfect profiles, and end by adopting some useful profession.
They are awfully expensive. I can only afford them when I'm in debt.
They flaunt their conjugal felicity in one's face, as if it were the most fascinating of sins.
Mrs. Allonby: They say that when good Americans die they go to Paris.
Thinking is the most unhealthy thing in the world, and people die of it just as they do of any other disease. Fortunately, in England at any rate, thought is not catching. Our splendid physique as a people is entirely due to our national stupidity.
This suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.
Those who are faithful know only the pleasures of love: it is the faithless who know love's tragedies.
Those who see any difference between soul and body have neither.
Those whom the gods love grow young.
Time is waste of money.
To be good is to be in harmony with ones self. Discord is to be forced to be in harmony with others.
To be in it [society] is merely a bore. But to be out of it simply a tragedy. Society is a necessary thing. No man has any real success in this world unless he has got women to back him, and women rule society. If you have not got women on your side you are quite over. You might just as well be a barrister, or a stockbroker, or a journalist at once.
To be modern is the only thing worth being nowadays.
To be natural is such a very difficult pose to keep up.
To be popular one must be a mediocrity.
To be premature is to be perfect.
To be really medieval one should have no body. To be really modern one should have no soul.
To disagree with three-fourths of the British public is one of the first requisites of sanity.
To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable.
To get back to one's youth one has merely to repeat one's follies.
To get into the best society, nowadays, one has either to feed people, amuse people, or shock people that is all!
To give an accurate description of what has never occurred is not merely the proper occupation of the historian, but the inalienable privilege of any man of parts and culture.
To have been well brought up is a great drawback nowadays. It shuts one out from so much.
To have the reputation of possessing the most perfect social tact, talk to every woman as if you loved her, and to every man as if he bored you.
To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.
To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.
To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.
To make men Socialists is nothing, but to make Socialism human is a great thing.
To many, no doubt, he will seem blatant and bumptious, but we prefer to
regard him as being simply British.
To regret one's own experiences is to arrest one's own development. To deny one's own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one's life. It is no less than a denial of the soul.
True friends stab you in the front.
Truth, in matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived.
Twenty years of romance make a woman look like a ruin, but twenty years of
marriage make her something like a public building.
Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation.
Unless one is wealthy there is no use in being a charming fellow. Romance is the privilege of the rich, not the profession of the unemployed. The poor should be practical and prosaic. It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.
Vulgarity is simply the conduct of others.
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.
We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely.
We can have in life but one great experience at best, and the secret of life is to reproduce that experience as often as possible.
We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.
We in the House of Lords are never in touch with public opinion. That makes us a civilised body.
We live in an age that reads too much to be wise, and thinks too much to be beautiful.
We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities.
We teach people how to remember, we never teach them how to grow.
We women adore failures. They lean on us.
What a pity that in life we only get our lessons when they are of no use to us.
Lady Hunstanton: What are American dry goods?
What is mind but motion in the intellectual sphere?
What is said of a man is nothing. The point is, who says it.
What is the difference between literature and journalism? Oh! journalism is unreadable, and literature is not read. That is all.
What people call insincerity is simply a method by which we can multiply our
personalities. Ambition is the last refuge of the failure.
What seem to us bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.
What we have to do, what at any rate it is our duty to do, is to revive the old art of Lying.
Whatever music sounds like, I am glad to say that it does not sound in the smallest degree like German.
When a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives.
When a man says that he has exhausted Life, one knows that life has exhausted him.
When a woman marries again it is because she detested her first husband. When a man marries again, it is because he adored his first wife. Women try their luck; men risk theirs.
When good Americans die they go to Paris.
When I was young I used to think that money was the most important thing in life. Now that I am old, I know it is.
When one is in love one begins by deceiving oneself. And one ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance. But a really GRANDE PASSION is comparatively rare nowadays. It is the privilege of people who have nothing to do. That is the one use of the idle classes in a country, and the only possible explanation of us Harfords.
When one is in town one amuses oneself. When one is in the country one amuses other people. It is excessively boring.
When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers.
When they reached the end of the room he stopped, and muttered some words she could not understand. She opened her eyes, and saw the wall slowly fading away like a mist, and a great black cavern in front of her. A bitter cold wind swept round them, and she felt something pulling at her dress. "Quick, quick," cried the Ghost, "or it will be too late," and, in a moment, the wainscoting had closed behind them, and the Tapestry Chamber was empty.
When we are happy we are always good, but when we are good we are not always happy.
When we blame ourselves we feel that no one else has a right to blame us.
Whenever cannibals are on the brink of starvation, Heaven in its infinite
mercy sends them a nice plump missionary.
Whenever people agree with me, I always feel that I must be wrong.
Where there is sorrow there is holy ground.
While one should always study the method of a great artist, one should never imitate his manner. The manner of an artist is essentially individual, the method of an artist is absolutely universal. The first is personality, which no one should copy; the second is perfection, which all should aim at.
Who, being loved, is poor?
Why was I born with such contemporaries?
Wicked women bother one. Good women bore one. That is the only difference between them.
Wickedness is a myth invented by good people to account for the curious attractiveness of others.
Where there is sorrow there is holy ground.
Woman begins by resisting a man's advances and ends by blocking his retreat.
Women are a fascinatingly wilful sex. Every woman is a rebel, and usually in wild revolt against herself.
Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood.
Women are never disarmed by compliments. Men always are. That is the difference between the two sexes.
Women give to men the very gold of their lives. But they invariably want it back in small change.
Women have a much better time than men in this world. There are far more things forbidden to them.
Women have a wonderful instinct about things. They can discover everything except the obvious.
Lord Illingworth: Women have become too brilliant. Nothing spoils a romance so much as a sense of humour in the woman.
Women inspire us with the desire to do masterpieces, and always prevent us from carrying them out.
Women know life too late. That is the difference between men and women.
Women love us for our defects. If we have enough of them, they will forgive us everything, even our gigantic intellects.
Women represent the triumph of matter over mind; men represent the triumph of mind over morals.
Women treat us just as humanity treats its gods. They worship us, and are always bothering us to do something for them.
Women who have common sense are so curiously plain.
Women's styles may change but their designs remain the same.
Work is the curse of the drinking classes of this country.
Yet each man kills the thing he loves
You must not find symbols in everything you see. It makes life impossible.
You rich people in England, you don't know how you are living. How could you know? You shut out from your society the gentle and the good. You laugh at the simple and the pure. Living, as you all do, on others and by them, you sneer at self-sacrifice, and if you throw bread to the poor, it is merely to keep them quiet for a season. With all your pomp and wealth and art you don't know how to live you don't even know that. You love the beauty that you can see and touch and handle, the beauty that you can destroy, and do destroy, but of the unseen beauty of life, of the unseen beauty of a higher life, you know nothing. You have lost life's secret. Oh, your English society seems to me shallow, selfish, foolish. It has blinded its eyes, and stopped its ears. It lies like a leper in purple. It sits like a dead thing smeared with gold. It is all wrong, all wrong.
You should study the Peerage. It is the best thing in fiction the English have ever done.
You talk of atonement for a wrong done. What atonement can be made to me? There is no atonement possible. I am disgraced: he is not. That is all. It is the usual history of a man and a woman as it usually happens, as it always happens. And the ending is the ordinary ending. The woman suffers. The man goes free.
Young men want to be faithful and are not; old men want to be faithless and cannot.
Young people nowadays imagine that money is everything, and when they grow older they know it.
Your friendship is dearer to me than any fame or reputation.
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