There's nothing as ridiculous as other peoples emotions once one
has stopped loving them.
Self-denial is the shining sore on
the leprous body of Christianity
Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same.
America is the only country that went from barbarism to
decadence without civilization in between.
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.
Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six
I love acting. It is so much more
real than life.
The only thing to do with good
advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.
All art is quite useless.
The basis of optimism is sheer
Nowadays, all the married men live
like bachelors, and all the bachelors like married men.
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There is luxury in self-reproach.
When we blame ourselves, we feel no one else has a right to blame us.
It is very vulgar to talk about
one's business. Only people like stockbrokers do that, and then merely at dinner
It is only the superficial
qualities that last. Man's deeper nature is soon found out.
Few parents nowadays pay any regard
to what their children say to them. The old-fashioned respect for the young is
fast dying out.
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.
The well-bred contradict other
people. The wise contradict themselves.
Crying is the refuge of plain women
but the ruin of pretty ones.
On an occasion of this kind it
becomes more than a moral duty to speak one's mind. It becomes a pleasure.
Alas, I am dying beyond my means.
Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the
people by the people for the people.
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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.
One should either be a work of art, or wear a
work of art.
Education is an admirable thing, but it is well
to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
I can believe anything provided it is
One's real life is so often the life that one
does not lead.
An acquaintance that begins with a compliment is
sure to develop into a real friendship.
The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives
everything except genius.
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.
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.
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I sometimes think that God in creating man
somewhat overestimated his ability.
The husbands of very beautiful women belong to
the criminal classes.
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.
Imagination is a quality given a man to
compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console
him for what he is.
Those who are faithful know only the trivial
side of love: it is the faithless who know love's tragedies.
The intellect is not a serious thing, and never
has been. It is an instrument on which one plays, that is all.
Plain women are always jealous of their
husbands. Beautiful women never are. They are always so occupied with being
jealous of other women's husbands
A kiss may ruin a human life
The mind of the thoroughly well-informed man is
a dreadful thing. It is like a bric-à-brac shop, all monsters and dust, with
everything priced above its proper value.
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.
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The man who says he has exhausted life generally
means that life has exhausted him.
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.
Yet each man kills the thing he loves from all
let this be heard some does it with a bitter look some with a flattering word
the coward does it with a kiss the brave man with the sword.
If you are not too long, I will wait here for
you all my life.
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.
My experience is that as soon as people are old
enough to know better, they don't know anything at all.
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.
Women love us for our defects. If we have enough
of them, they will forgive us everything, even our gigantic intellects.
It is only the modern that ever becomes
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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.
Lord Illingworth: All women become like their
mothers. That is their tragedy. Mrs. Allonby: No man does. That is his.
No work of art ever puts forward views. Views
belong to people who are not artists.
To lose one parent may be regarded as a
misfortune... to lose both seems like carelessness.
The condition of perfection is idleness: the aim
of perfection is youth.
Popularity is the crown of laurel which the
world puts on bad art. Whatever is popular is wrong.
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
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.
Men always want to be a woman's first love.
Women have a more subtle instinct: What they like is to be a man's last romance.
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It is well for his peace that the saint goes to
his martyrdom. He is spared the sight of the horror of his harvest.
Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just
as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.
The only difference between the saint and the
sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.
Skepticism is the beginning of Faith.
Lots of people act well, but few people talk
well. This shows that talking is the more difficult of the two.
Never speak disrespectfully of Society. Only
people who can't get into it do that
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.
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.
Rich bachelors should be heavily taxed. It is
not fair that some men should be happier than others.
Man is a rational animal who always loses his
temper when called upon to act according with the dictates of reason.
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The stage is not merely the meeting place of all
the arts, but is also the return of art to life.
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
One should never trust a woman who tells her
real age. If she tells that, she'll tell anything.
Vulgarity is simply the conduct of other people.
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
The strength of women comes from the fact that
psychology cannot explain us. Men can be analyzed, women merely adored.
Those whom the gods love grow young.
is the curse of the drinking classes.
We are all of us in the gutter.
But some of us are looking at the stars.
Moderation is a fatal thing-- nothing succeeds like excess.