A beggar hates his benefactor as much as he hates himself for begging.
Each class preaches the importance of those virtues it need not exercise. The rich harp on the value of thrift, the idle grow eloquent over the dignity of labor.
It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.
What is termed Sin is an essential element of progress. Without it the world would stagnate, or grow old, or become colourless.
What is termed Sin is an essential element of progress. Without it the world would stagnate, or grow old, or become colorless. By its curiosity Sin increases the experience of the race. Through its intensified assertion of individualism it saves us from monotony of type. In its rejection of the current notions about morality, it is one with the higher ethics.
I was dominated, soul, brain, and power by you. You became to me the visible incarnation of that unseen ideal whose memory haunts us artists like an exquisite dream.
Yes, I am a thorough republican. No other form of government is so favorable to the growth of art.
Yes, I am a thorough republican. No other form of government is so favorable to the growth of art. ...because of the importance it places on the individual, their liberty, self-expression, creativity, and personal responsibility.
There was purification in punishment. Not 'Forgive us our sins,' but 'Smite us for our iniquities' should be the prayer of a man to a most just God.
I must say... that I ruined myself: and that nobody, great or small, can be ruined except by his own hand.
I sometimes think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability.
It is in the brain that the poppy is red, that the apple is odorous, that the skylark sings.
Life is not governed by will or intention. Life is a question of nerves, and fibres, and slowly built-up cells in which thought hides itself and passion has its dreams.
She is a peacock in everything but beauty.
She is a peacock in everything but beauty!
Better the rule of One, whom all obey, than to let clamorous demagogues betray our freedom with the kiss of anarchy.
Men are such cowards. They outrage every law in the world and are afraid of the world's tongue.
The modern sympathy with invalids is morbid. Illness of any kind is hardly a thing to be encouraged in others.
I always like to know everything about my new friends, and nothing about my old ones.
It would be unfair to expect other people to be as brilliant as oneself.
To the artist, expression is the only mode under which he can conceive life at all. To him what is dumb is dead.
The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.
To look at a thing is very different from seeing it.
You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.
You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you have never had the courage to commit.
I often take exercise. Why only yesterday I had breakfast in bed.
Popularity is the one insult I have never suffered.
The optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole.
The moon in her chariot of pearl.
Prayer must never be answered: if it is, it ceases to be prayer and becomes correspondence.
Nowadays, people read too many books to appreciate any.
It is that deep spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect. It is beautiful, it is fine, it is the noblest form of affection. There is nothing unnatural about it.
Perhaps in nearly every joy, as certainly in every pleasure, cruelty has its place.
People are either charming or tedious.
The only thing that ever consoles man for the stupid things he does is the praise he always gives himself for doing them.
What is beautiful is a joy for all seasons.
An artist should create beautiful things, but should put nothing of his own life into them.
An artist should create beautiful things, but should put nothing of his own life into them. We live in an age when men treat art as if it were meant to be a form of autobiography. We have lost the abstract sense of beauty.
I played with an idea, and grew willful; tossed it into the air; transformed it; let it escape and recaptured it; made it iridescent with fancy, and winged it with paradox.
Time is a waste of money.
Don't run down dyed hair and painted faces. There is an extraordinary charm in them, sometimes.
If one hears bad music, it is one's duty to drown it by one's conversation.
Lean on principles, one day they'll end up giving way.
One can survive everything, nowadays, except death, and live down everything except a good reputation.
It was better to be good-looking than to be good.
My desire to live is as intense as ever, and though my heart is broken, hearts are made to be broken: that is why God sends sorrow into the world.
I'm so smart, I read and understand Hegel.
Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation.
Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or a friendship, is conversation, and conversation must have a common basis, and between two people of widely different culture the only common basis is the lowest level.
I was very much disappointed in the Atlantic Ocean.
The youth of the present day are quite monstrous. They have absolutely no respect for dyed hair.
The salesman knows nothing of what he is selling save that he is charging a great deal too much for it.
My dear fellow, the truth isn't quite the sort of thing one tells to a nice, sweet, refined girl. What extraordinary ideas you have about the way to behave to a woman!
A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally.
The mark of all good art is not that the thing done is done exactly or finely, for machinery may do as much, but that it is worked out with the head and the workman's heart.
My great mistake, the fault for which I can't forgive myself, is that one day I ceased my obstinate pursuit of my own individuality.
Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.
Those whom he saved from their sins are saved simply for beautiful moments in their lives.
She had a passion for secrecy, but she herself was merely a Sphinx without a secret.
I knew nothing but shadows and I thought them to be real.
No theory of life seemed to him to be of any importance compared with life itself.
Rugby is a good occasion for keeping thirty bullies far from the center of the city.
I like people who are young, bright, happy, careless and original. I do not like them sensible, and I do not like them old.
Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.
I don't at all like knowing what people say of me behind my back. It makes me far too conceited.
Life is one fool thing after another whereas love is two fool things after each other.
The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.
The way of paradoxes is the way of truth. To test Reality we must see it on the tight-rope.
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.
There is no sin except stupidity.
To do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual.
I am sick of women who love one. Women who hate one are much more interesting.
Dullness is always an irresistible temptation for brilliancy, and stupidity is the permanent Bestia Trionfans that calls wisdom from its cave.
Indifference is the revenge the world takes on mediocrities.
The method by which the fool arrives at his folly was as dear to him as the ultimate wisdom of the wise.
The english country gentleman galloping after a fox--the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable.
Cleverness becomes a public nuisance.
The first thing that struck me on landing in America was that if the Americans are not the most well-dressed people in the world, they are the most comfortably dressed.
Lying, the telling of beautiful untrue things, is the proper aim of Art.
The form of government that is most suitable to the artist is no government at all. Authority over him and his art is ridiculous.
Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.
I tried to visit Albania but I couldn't find it on the map.
To me, beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.
Most people are other people.
Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.
Don't be afraid. There are exquisite things in store for you. This is merely the beginning.
How else but through a broken heart may Lord Christ enter in?
It's the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.
We should remember that all the arts are fine arts and all the arts decorative arts.
Oh! I killed Bunbury this afternoon... I mean poor Bunbury died this afternoon.
What did he die of?
Bunbury? Oh, he was exploded!
Newspapers have degenerated. They may now be absolutely relied upon.
One does not see anything until one sees its beauty.
Some temptations are so great it takes great courage to yield to them.
Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
Give children beauty, not the record of bloody slaughters and barbarous brawls, as they call history, or of the latitude and longitude of places nobody cares to visit, as they call geography.
More women grow old nowadays through the faithfulness of their admirers than through anything else.
One should always be a little improbable.
One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing.
Why was I born with such contemporaries?
I'll bet you anything you like that half an hour after they have met, they will be calling each other sister. Women only do that when they have called each other a lot of other things first.
It is only the sacred things that are worth touching.
His morality is all sympathy, just what morality should be.
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.
Ridicule is the tribute paid to the genius by the mediocrities.
Appearance blinds, whereas words reveal.
The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties.
The husbands of very beautiful women belong to the criminal classes.
Wherever there is a man who exercises authority, there is a man who resists authority.
It is better to know and be disappointed, than to not know and always wonder.
I find it harder and harder every day to live up to my blue china.
The proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible.
No crime is vulgar,
but all vulgarity is crime.
Questions are never indiscreet, answers sometimes are.
Women, as some witty Frenchman once put it, inspire us with the desire to do masterpieces and always prevent us from carrying them out.
No man should have a secret from his wife. She invariably finds it out.
Truth, in matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived.
Good resolutions are useless attempts to interfere with scientific laws. Their origin is pure vanity. Their result is absolutely nil. They give us, now and then, some of those luxurious sterile emotions that have a certain charm for the weak.... They are simply cheques that men draw on a bank where they have no account.
The worst vice of the fanatic is his sincerity.
The ability of the theist to misunderstand a thing is directly proportional to the obviousness of the thing.
An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.
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 can have in life but one great experience at best, and the secret of life is to reproduce that experience as often as possible.'
'Even when one has been wounded by it, Harry?' asked the duchess after a pause.
'Especially when one has been wounded by it,' answered Lord Henry.
The essence of art is to produce the modern idea under an antique form.
Out of doors one becomes abstract and impersonal. One's individuality absolutely leaves one.
The weather still continues charming.
In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity, is the vital thing.
There is one thing infinitely more pathetic than to have lost the woman one is in love with, and that is to have won her and found out how shallow she is!
One of the chief faults of modern dress is that it is composed of far too many articles of clothing, most of which are the wrong substance.
I could deny it if I liked. I could deny anything if I liked.
Biography lends to death a new terror.
The only proper intoxication is conversation.
It is not the prisoners who need reformation, it is the prisons.
To shut one's eyes to half of life that one may live securely is as though one blinded oneself that one might walk with more safety in a land of pit and precipice.
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.
Prism! Where is that baby?
If it was my business, I wouldn't talk about it. It is very vulgar to talk about one's business. Only people like stockbroker's do that, and then merely at dinner parties.
It is very vulgar to talk like a dentist when one isn't a dentist. It produced a false impression.
If a woman wants to hold a man she has merely to appeal to what is worst in him.
Of course I have played outdoor games. I once played dominoes in an open air cafe in Paris.
The vilest deeds like poison weeds Bloom well in prison air; It is only what is good in man That wastes and withers there.
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. We all have clouds above us but some see their silver linings. We all face difficulties but some of us are grateful that they aren't worse.
I can resist everything except temptation.
I like men who have a future and women who have a past.
A bishop keeps on saying at the age of eighty what he was told to say at the age of eighteen.
The curves of your lips rewrite history.
There's nothing in the world like the devotion of a married woman. It's a thing no married man knows anything about.
I have never searched for happiness. Who wants happiness? I have searched for pleasure.
The supreme vice is shallowness.
I hate people who are not serious about meals. It is so shallow of them.
The night was bitter cold, and the gas-lamps round the square flared and flickered in the keen wind; but his hands were hot with fever, and his forehead burned like fire.
So with curious eyes and sick surmise
We watched him day by day,
And wondered if each one of us
Would end the self-same way,
For none can tell to what red Hell
His sightless soul may stray.
I'm too old to know everything.
I have learned this: it is not what one does that is wrong, but what one becomes as a consequence of it.
Nowadays we are all of us so hard up that the only pleasant things to pay are compliments. They're the only things we can pay.
As for omens, there is no such thing as an omen. Destiny does not send us heralds. She is too wise or too cruel for that.
If a woman cannot make her mistakes charming, she is only a female.
I usually say what I really think. A great mistake nowadays. It makes one so liable to be misunderstood.
All art is at once surface and symbol.
All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital. When critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself.
Sooner or later we have all to pay for what we do.
Science can never grapple with the irrational. That is why it has no future before it, in this world.
I'm sure I don't know half the people who come to my house. Indeed, from all I hear, I shouldn't like to.
He to whom the present is the only thing that is present, knows nothing of the age in which he lives.
Nowadays 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.
Art finds her own perfection within, and not outside of, herself.
She is not to be judged by any external standard of resemblance.
Other people are quite dreadful. The only possible society is oneself.
Everything is dangerous, my dear fellow. If it wasn't so, life wouldn't be worth living.
Anybody can be good in the country. There are no temptations there.
In the old times men carried out their rights for themselves as they lived, but nowadays every baby seems born with a social manifesto in its mouth much bigger than itself.
If a man needs an elaborate tombstone in order to remain in the memory of his country, it is clear that his living at all was an act of absolute superfluity.
Who, being loved, is poor?
I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and being good all the time. That would be hypocrisy.
And all men kill the thing they love, By all let this be heard Some do it with a bitter look Some with a flattering word The coward does it with a kiss, The brave man with a sword.
At every single moment of one's life one is what one is going to be no less than what one has been.
At every single moment of one’s life one is what one is going to be no less than what one has been. Art is a symbol, because man is a symbol.
You should treat the trivial things in life seriously and the serious things in life with a sincere and studied triviality.
The fact is, that civilization requires slaves. Human slavery is wrong, insecure, and demoralizing. On mechanical slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future of the world depends.
It is the stupid and the ugly who have the best of it in this world.
Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.
A true artist takes no notice whatever of the public. The public are to him non-existent.
My dear fellow, the way you flirt with Gwendolen is perfectly disgraceful. It is almost as disgraceful as the way Gwendolen flirts with you.
If you want to be a doormat you have to lay yourself down first.
Mr. Worthing! Rise, sir, from this semi-recumbent posture. It is most indecorous.
I never saw so many well-dressed, well-fed, business-looking Bohemians in my life.
The drawback of stealing a thing, is that one never knows how wonderful the thing that one steals is.
I never approve, or disapprove, of anything now. It is an absurd attitude to take towards life.
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. If a personality fascinates me, whatever mode of expression that personality selects is absolutely delightful to me.
All thought is immoral. Its very essence is destruction. If you think of anything, you kill it. Nothing survives being thought of.
To live in this world is a rare thing; most people just exist.
Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.
As for believing things, I can believe anything, provided that it is quite incredible.
It is much more easy to have sympathy with suffering than it is to have sympathy with thought.
One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are what they are and will be what they will be.
God grant me the serenity to accept that people are ignorant, the courage to uphold the law when I'm hostile, and the wisdom to realize that murder is illegal.
Never so sweet a repast as the Reaper's when you tread upon the threshold of a Quiznos.
Don't be led astray into the paths of virtue.
It is only the intellectually lost who ever argue.
Wickedness is a myth invented by good people to account for the attractiveness of other.
I threw the pearl of my soul into a cup of wine. I went down the primrose path to the sound of flutes. I lived on honeycomb.
Good intentions are invariably ungrammatical.
Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life.
Nothing makes one so vain as being told that one is a sinner.
Each of us has heaven and hell in him.
They spoil every romance by trying to make it last forever.
Finding the meaning of life is easy. Simply get a dictionary, go to the 'L' section, and find the word 'life.'
I am jealous of everything whose beauty does not die.
I am jealous of everything whose beauty does not die. I am jealous of the portrait you have painted of me. Why should it keep what I must lose? Every moment that passes takes something from me and gives something to it. Oh, if it were only the other way! If the picture could change, and I could be always what I am now! Why did you paint it? It will mock me some day—mock me horribly!
When liberty comes with hands dabbled in blood it is hard to shake hands with her.
You will always be loved, and you will always be in love with love.
There is not a single colour hidden away in the chalice of a flower, or the curve of a shell, to which, by some subtle sympathy with the very soul of things, my nature does not answer.
Morality, like art, means drawing a line someplace.
Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.
I live in terror of not being misunderstood.
I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvelous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if only one hides it.
I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvellous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it. When I leave town now I never tell my people where I am going. If I did, I would lose all my pleasure. It is a silly habit, I dare say, but somehow it seems to bring a great deal of romance into one's life.
It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.
I find him in the curves of certain lines, in the loveliness and subtleties of certain colours.
In love, it is better to know and be disappointed, than to not know and always wonder.
I summed up all systems in a phrase, and all existence in an epigram.
Pleasure is Nature's test, her sign of approval.
Pleasure is Nature's test, her sign of approval. When man is happy, he is in harmony with himself and his environment.
Art should never try to be popular. The public should try to make itself artistic.
It lies like a leper in purple, it sits like a dead thing smeared with gold.
Good intentions have been the ruin of the world. The only people who have achieved anything have been those who have had no intentions at all.
The best revenge is to live well.
The very essence of romance is uncertainty.
The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing.
The beautiful, passionate, ruined South, the land of magnolias and music, of roses and romance ... living on the memory of crushing defeats.
Too much work, and no vacation, Deserves at least a small libation. So hail! my friends, and raise your glasses, Work's the curse of the drinking classes.
One is not always happy when one is good; but one is always good when one is happy.
Every one is worthy of love, except him who thinks that he is. Love is a
sacrament that should be taken kneeling.
Behind the perfection of a man's style, must lie the passion of a man's soul.
It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.
More than half of modern culture depends upon what one shouldn't read.
I want to be good. I can't bear the idea of my soul being hideous.
Consistency is the last refuge of the unimagininative.
There can be nothing more frequent than an occasional drink.
I don't say we all ought to misbehave. But we ought to look as if we could.
In all unimportant matters, style, not sincerity, is the essential.
Ours is certainly the dullest and most prosaic century possible.
What men call the shadow of the body is not the shadow of the body, but is the body of the soul.
You can hardly imagine that I and Lord Bracknell would dream of allowing our only daughter -- a girl brought up with the utmost care -- to marry into a cloak-room, and form an alliance with a parcel?
Charity creates a multitude of sins.
To be good is to be in harmony with oneself. Discord is to be forced to be in harmony with others.
There is no doubt that genius lasts longer than beauty.
Dullness is the coming of age of seriousness.
In this world there are two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it. The last is much the worst.
When a man has once loved a woman he will do anything for her except continue to love her.
It was not intended as a compliment. It was a confession. Now that I have made it, something seems to have gone out of me. Perhaps one should never put one's worship into words.
I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.
It was a fatal day when the public discovered that the pen is mightier than the paving-stone and can be made as offensive as a brickbat.
It was a fatal day when the public discovered that the pen is mightier than the paving-stone, and can be made as offensive as the brickbat. They at once sought for the journalist, found him, developed him, and made him their industrious and well-paid servant. It is greatly to be regretted, for both their sakes.
Be moderate in all things, including moderation.
It is only an auctioneer who can equally and impartially admire all schools of art.
Words! Mere words! How terrible they were! How clear, and vivid, and cruel! One could not escape from them. And yet what a subtle magic there was in them!
Words! Mere words! How terrible they were! How clear, and vivid, and cruel! One could not escape from them. And yet what a subtle magic there was in them! They seemed to be able to give a plastic form to formless things, and to have a music of their own as sweet as that of viol or of lute. Mere words! Was there anything so real as words?
The great poet is always a seer, seeing less with the eyes of the body than he does with the eyes of the mind.
In America the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.
Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault.
Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in the beautiful things are the cultivated.
Let us have no machine-made ornament at all; it is all bad and worthless and ugly.
The only thing worse than quoting me, is not quoting me.
Out of the unreal shadows of the night comes back the real life that we had known.
Out of the unreal shadows of the night comes back the real life that we had known. We have to resume it where we had left off, and there steals over us a terrible sense of the necessity for the continuance of energy in the same wearisome round of stereotyped habits, or a wild longing, it may be, that our eyelids might open some morning upon a world that had been refashioned anew in the darkness for our pleasure, a world in which things would have fresh shapes and colours, and be changed, or have other secrets, a world in which the past would have little or no place, or survive, at any rate, in no conscious form of obligation or regret, the remembrance even of joy having its bitterness and the memories of pleasure their pain.
Ah, on what little things does happiness depend.
Ah, on what little things does happiness depend! I have read all that the wise men have written, and all the secrets of philosophy are mine, yet for want of a red rose is my life made wretched.
Life under a good government is rarely dramatic; life under a bad government is always so.
There is nothing that stirs in the whole world of thought to which sorrow does not vibrate in terrible and exquisite pulsation.
One's days were too brief to take the burden of another's errors on one's shoulders. Each man lived his own life and paid his own price for living it.
Suffering is one very long moment. We cannot divide it by seasons.
Suffering is one very long moment. We cannot divide it by seasons. We can only record its moods, and chronicle their return. With us time itself does not progress. It revolves. It seems to circle round one center of pain.
One should absorb the color of life.
One should absorb the colour of life, but one should never remember its details. Details are always vulgar.
To speak frankly, I am not in favour of long engagements. They give people the opportunity of finding out each other's character before marriage, which I think is never advisable.
Not that I love thy children, whose dull eyes see nothing save their own unlovely woe, Whose minds know nothing, nothing care to know.
It is not the perfect, but the imperfect, who have need of love.
Duty is what one expects from others.
People are very fond of giving away what they need most themselves. It is what I call the depth of generosity.
Ones real life is often the life that one does not lead.
Whatever, in fact, is modern in our life we owe to the Greeks. Whatever is an anachronism is due to mediaevalism.
Married men are horribly tedious when they are good husbands, and abominably conceited when they are not.
Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working.
I don't mind plain women being puritans. It is the only excuse they have for being plain.
True contentment is not having everything, but in being satisfied with everything you have.
The tragedy of the poor is that they can afford nothing but self denial.
There is something terribly morbid in the modern sympathy with pain. One should sympathise with the colour, the beauty, the joy of life. The less said about life's sores the better.
I like looking at geniuses and listening to beautiful people.
Well, in the first place girls never marry the men they flirt with. Girls don't think it right.
The English novels are the only relaxation of the intellectually unemployed. But one should not be too severe on them. They show a want of knowledge that must be the result of years of study.
No man is rich enough to buy back his past.
A book or poem which has no pity in it had better not be written.
It is through art, and through art only, that we can realise our perfection.
In the wild struggle for existence, we want to have something that endures, and so we fill our minds with rubbish and facts, in the silly hope of keeping our place.
If there was less sympathy in the world, there would be less trouble in the world.
Ah! The strength of women comes from the fact that psychology cannot explain us. Men can be analyzed, women...merely adored.
Every impulse we strangle will only poison us.
Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.
The growing influence of women is the one reassuring thing in our political life.
I don't play accurately -- any one can play accurately -- but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life.
Now and then it is a joy to have one's table red with wine and roses.
Scepticism is the beginning of Faith.
I don't want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.
I don't want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them. -- .
I don't want to earn my living, I want to live.
What we have to do, what at any rate it is our duty to do, is to revive the old art of Lying.
A pessimist is somebody who complains about the noise when opportunity knocks.
No work of art ever puts forward views. Views belong to people who are not artists.
The Book of Life begins with a man and a woman in a garden. It ends with Revelations.
It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances.
It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.
Yes: I am a dreamer. For 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.
Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.
Life is the art of being well deceived, and to succeed, it must be habitual and uninterrupted.
Walt Whitman and Emerson are the poets who have given the world more than anyone else. Perhaps Whitman is not so widely read in England, but England never appreciates a poet until he is dead.
Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us.
Nothing spoils romance so much as a sense of humor in the woman.
I wrote when I did not know life;
now that I know life, I have no more to say.
Don't squander the gold of your days, listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless failure, or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar.
American girls are as clever at concealing their parents as English women are at concealing their past.
I drink to separate my body from my soul.
That is because one realises one's soul only by getting rid of all alien passions, all acquired culture, and all external possessions, be they good or evil.
A critic should be taught to criticise a work of art without making any reference to the personality of the author.
Those who are faithful know only the trivial side of love: it is the faithless who know love's tragedies.
There were opium-dens, where one could buy oblivion, dens of horror where the memory of old sins could be destroyed by the madness of sins that were new.
Anybody can have common sense, povided that they have no imagination.
It is only fair to state, with regard to modern journalists, that they always apologize to one in private for what they have written against one in public.
Don't be discouraged if your children reject your advice. Years later they will offer it to their own offspring.
Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary.
The Bostonians take their learning too sadly: culture with them is an accomplishment rather than an atmosphere; their "Hub," as they call it, is the paradise of prigs.
Looking good and dressing well is a necessity. Having a purpose in life is not.
In examinations the foolish ask questions that the wise cannot answer.
I've now realised for the first time in my life the vital Importance of Being Earnest.
A true friend stabs you in the front.
To call an artist morbid because he deals with morbidity as his subject-matter is as silly as if one called Shakespeare mad because he wrote ‘King Lear.
All sins, except a sin against itself, Love should forgive. All lives, save loveless lives, true Love should pardon.
Private information is practically the source of every large modern fortune.
God's eternal laws are kind-and break the heart of stone.
In the old days men had the rack. Now they have the Press.
Learn to differentiate between ignorance and stupidity.
The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it.
I can believe anything provided it is quite incredible.
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.
There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.
She is very clever, too clever for a woman. She lacks the indefinable charm of weakness.
They have been eating muffins. That looks like repentance.
A man who is master of himself can end a sorrow as easily as he can invent a pleasure.
Men know life too early. Women know life too late. That is the difference between men and women.
People fashion their God after their own understanding. They make their God first and worship him afterwards.
To be really mediæval one should have no body. To be really modern one should have no soul. To be really Greek one should have no clothes.
Her body swayed, while she danced, as a plant sways in the water.
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.
Disobedience is man's original virtue.
The essence of thought, as the essence of life, is growth.
There are moments when one has to choose between living one's own life, fully, entirely, completely -- or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands.
Arguments are extremely vulgar, for everybody in good society holds exactly the same opinions.
My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people's.
One's past is what one is. It is the only way by which people should be judged.
We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.
Oh, I hate the cheap severity of abstract ethics!
I love scandals about other people, but scandals about myself don't interest me. They have not got the charm of novelty.
I don't want to see him alone. He says things that annoy me. He gives me good advice.
I don't want to see him alone. He says things that annoy me. He gives me good advice." Lord Henry smiled. "People are very fond of giving away what they need most themselves. It is what I call the depth of generosity.
Society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world there are only individuals.
We have really everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, language.
Pessimist: One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both.
When you are not on your pedestal you are not interesting.
Experience is one thing you can't get for nothing.
With an evening coat and a white tie, anybody, even a stockbroker, can gain a reputation for being civilized.
With an evening coat and a white tie, as you told me once, anybody, even a stock-broker, can gain a reputation for being civilized. Well, after I had been in the room about ten minutes, talking to huge overdressed dowagers and tedious academicians, I suddenly became conscious that some one was looking at me.
And what sort of lives do these people, who pose as being moral, lead themselves? My dear fellow, you forget that we are in the native land of the hypocrite.
I worshipped you too much. I am punished for it. You worshipped yourself too much. We are both punished.
Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast.
Then there was a man who said, 'I never knew what real happiness was until I got married; by then it was too late'
Only the unimaginative can fail to find a reason for drinking Champagne.
The artistic life is a long, lovely suicide.
All art is immortal. For emotion for the sake of emotion is the aim of art, and emotion for the sake of action is the aim of life.
Education is very admirable but let us not forget that anything worth knowing cannot be taught.
Each time that one loves is the only time one has ever loved.
Each time that one loves is the only time one has ever loved. Difference of object does not alter singleness of passion. It merely intensifies it. We can have but one great experience at best, and the secret of life is to reproduce that experience as often as possible.
An excellent man; he has no enemies; and none of his friends like him.
It seems to me that we all look at Nature too much, and live with her too little.
A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.
A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament. Its beauty comes from the fact that the author is what he is. It has nothing to do with the fact that other people want what they want.
An actor is part illusionist, part artist, part ham.
The basis of action is lack of imagination. It is the last resource of those who know not how to dream.
Find expression for a sorrow, and it will become dear to you. Find expression for a joy, and you will intensify its ecstasy.
They walked softly, as men do instinctively at night. The lamp cast fantastic shadows on the wall and staircase. A rising wind made some of the windows rattle.
Every woman is wrong until she cries.
I keep a diary in order to enter the wonderful secrets of my life. If I didn't write them down, I should not probably forget all about them.
Everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching.
It is very vulgar to talk about one's own business. Only people like stockbrokers do that, and then only at dinner parties.
You are not listening to a word I am saying ... and I am making the most delightful plans for your future.
Everyone may not be good, but there's always something good in everyone. Never judge anyone shortly because every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.
The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read.
To reveal the art and conceal the artist is art's aim.
Do not be afraid of the past. If people tell you that it is irrevocable, do not believe them.
Do not be afraid of the past. If people tell you that it is irrevocable, do not believe them. The past, the present and the future are but one moment in the sight of God, in whose sight we should try to live. Time and space, succession and extension, are merely accidental conditions of thought. The imagination can transcend them.
Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital.
Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.
Punctuality is but the thief of time.
Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you'll get the result.
Put out the torches! Hide the moon! Hide the stars! Let us hide ourselves in our palace,
Herodias. I begin to be afraid.
Individualism has really the higher aim. Modern morality consists in accepting the standard of one's age.
Anyone can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend's success.
For the canons of good society are, or should be, the same as the canons of art. Form is absolutely essential to it.
For the canons of good society are, or should be, the same as the canons of art. Form is absolutely essential to it. It should have the dignity of a ceremony, as well as its unreality, and should combine the insincere character of a romantic play with the wit and beauty that make such plays delightful to us.
Just to let you know that the buffet car will be closing for stocktaking in five minutes. The next station stop is Chesterfield.
The well bred contradict other people. The wise contradict themselves.
Great passions are for the great of soul, and great events can be seen only by those who are on a level with them.
The world seemed to me fine because you were in it, and goodness more real because you lived.
Nothing looks so like innocence as an indiscretion.
In war, the strong make slaves of the weak, and in peace the rich makes slaves of the poor.
Young men want to be faithful, and are not; old men want to be faithless, and cannot.
Bureaucracy expands to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.
Beauty is the only thing that time cannot harm.
Beauty is the only thing that time cannot harm. Philosophies fall away like sand, creeds follow one another, but what is beautiful is a joy for all seasons, a possession for all eternity.
In old days books were written by men of letters and read by the public. Nowadays books are written by the public and read by nobody.
I have a business appointment that I am anxious... to miss.
In every first novel the hero is the author as Christ or Faust.
The basis of optimism is sheer terror.
He was always late on principle, his principle being that punctuality is the thief of time.
The note of the perfect personality is not rebellion, but peace.
A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight.
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.
Divorces are made in heaven.
Romantic literature is in effect imaginative lying.
She said that she would dance with me if I brought her red roses but in all my garden there is no red rose.
It is only about things that do not interest one that one can give a really unbiased opinion, which is no doubt the reason why an unbiased opinion is always absolutely valueless.
We spend our days, each one of us, in looking for the secret of life. Well, the secret of life is in Art.
I like to do all the talking myself. It saves time, and prevents arguments.
Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memories.
None of us men do look what we really are. Demmed good thing, too.
Tread Lightly, she is near Under the snow, Speak gently, she can hear The daisies grow.
Youth! There is nothing like youth. The middle-aged are mortgaged to Life. The old are in Life's lumber.
Youth! There is nothing like youth. The middle-aged are mortgaged to Life. The old are in Life's lumber-room. But youth is the Lord of Life. Youth has a kingdom waiting for it. Every one is born a king, and most people die in exile.
When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one's self, and one always ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.
You know more than you think you know, just as you know less than you want to know.
I am quite incapable of understanding how any work of art can be criticized from a moral standpoint. The sphere of art and the sphere of ethics are absolutely distinct and separate.
It is always with the best intentions that the worst work is done.
Though forgiveness was impossible, forgetfulness was possible still, and he was determined to forget.
Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.
Lawyers have been known to wrest from reluctant juries triumphant verdicts of acquittal for their clients, even when those clients, as often happens, were clearly and unmistakably innocent.
Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is.
Progress is the realization of utopia.
I am dazed with a dull sense of pain. I had fed on hope, and now anguish, grown hungry, feeds her fill on me as though she had been starved of her proper appetite.
The moment you think you understand a great work of art, it's dead for you.
Fashion is what one wears oneself. What is unfashionable is what other people wear.
Fashion is what one wears oneself. What is unfashionable is what other people wear. Just as vulgarity is simply the conduct of other people. And falsehoods the truths of other people. Other people are quite dreadful. The only possible society is oneself. To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.
Nothing annoys people so much as not receiving invitations.
I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.
Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.
A passion for pleasure is the secret of remaining young.
I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.
A flower blossoms for its own joy.
One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards.
When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers.
A bore is someone who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.
It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.
There is much more before me. I have hills far steeper to climb, valleys much darker to pass through. And I have to get it all out of myself. Neither religion, morality, nor reason can help me at all.
Everything is going to be fine in the end.
If it's not fine it's not the end.
These sudden conversions do not please me.
Temperament is the primary requisite for the critic -- a temperament exquisitely susceptible to beauty, and to the various impressions that beauty gives us.
Alas, I'm dying beyond my means.
Whenever one has anything unpleasant to say, one should always be quite candid.
Marriage is a long, dull meal with dessert served at the beginning.
Irony is wasted on the stupid.
What consoles one nowadays is not repentance but pleasure. Repentance is quite out of date.
A woman's life revolves in curves of emotions. It is upon lines of intellect that a man's life progresses.
I believe it is customary in good society to take some slight refreshment at five o'clock.
When good Americans die they go to Paris.
Actions are the first tragedy in life, words are the second. Words are perhaps the worst. Words are merciless.
The heart was made to be broken.
All authority is quite degrading. It degrades those who exercise it, and it degrades those over whom it is exercised.
Romance should never begin with sentiment. It should begin with science and end with a settlement.
Romance should never begin with sentiment. It should begin with science and end with a settlement. Nothing spoils romance so much as a sense of humor in the woman. When one is in love one always begins by deceiving oneself, and one always ends by deceiving others. This is what the world calls a romance.
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.
Faithfulness is to the emotional life what consistency is to the life of the intellect -- simply a confession of failures.
It is he who has broken the bond of marriage -- not I. I only break its bondage.
God and other artists are always a little obscure.
You kissed his mouth with mouths of flame: you made the hornèd god your own: You stood behind him on his throne: you called him by his secret name.
The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.
Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses.
The intellect is not a serious thing, and never has been. It is an instrument on which one plays, that is all.
I see when men love women. They give them but a little of their lives. But women when they love give everything.
There is a luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves we feel no one else has a right to blame us.
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.
Nowadays, all the married men live like bachelors, and all the bachelors like married men.
I never put off till tomorrow what I can do the day after.
The birds that were singing in the dew-drenched garden seemed to be telling the flowers about her.
Yes, very sensible... People die of common sense, Dorian, one lost moment at a time. Life is a moment. There is no hereafter. So make it burn always with the hardest flame.
Progress in thought is the assertion of individualism against authority.
I am sick to death of cleverness. Everybody is clever nowadays.
I am sick to death of cleverness. Everybody is clever nowadays. You can’t go anywhere without meeting clever people. The thing has become an absolute public nuisance. I wish to goodness we had a few fools left.
Caricature is the tribute which mediocrity pays to genius.
They've promised that dreams can come true -- but forgot to mention that nightmares are dreams, too.
The only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
I like hearing myself talk. It is one of my greatest pleasures. I often have long conversations all by myself, and I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.
I know not whether laws be right or whether laws be wrong.
I know not whether Laws be right,
Or whether Laws be wrong;
All that we know who be in jail
Is that the wall is strong;
And that each day is like a year,
A year whose days are long.
The spirit of an age may be best expressed in the abstract ideal arts, for the spirit itself is abstract and ideal.
You don't seem to realise, that in married life three is company and two is none.
People who count their chickens before they are hatched act very wisely because chickens run about so absurdly that it's impossible to count them accurately.
The exquisite art of idleness, one of the most important things that any University can teach.
A man can't be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
A kiss may ruin a human life.
Don't tell me that you have exhausted Life. When a man says that, one knows that life has exhausted him.
We should treat all the trivial things of life seriously, and all the serious things of life with sincere and studied triviality.
For us there is only one season, the season of sorrow. The very sun and moon seem taken from us.
For us there is only one season, the season of sorrow. The very sun and moon seem taken from us. Outside, the day may be blue and gold, but the light that creeps down through the thickly-muffled glass of the small iron-barred window beneath which one sits is grey and niggard. It is always twilight in one's cell, as it is always twilight in one's heart. And in the sphere of thought, no less than in the sphere of time, motion is no more.
I never take any notice to what common people say, and I never interfere with what charming people do.
Never speak disrespectfully of Society, Algernon. Only people who can't get into it do that.
Wisdom comes with winters.
I must decline your invitation owing to a subsequent engagement.
Life has been your art. You have set yourself to music. Your days are your sonnets.
Philosophy teaches us to bear with equanimity the misfortunes of others.
Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
There is a fatality about good resolutions -- that they are always made too late.
No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.
It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.
I am a man of simple pleasures. The best suits me perfectly.
The advantage of the emotions is that they lead us astray.
I am not young enough to know everything.
Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it.
Things are in their essence what we choose to make them. A thing is, according to the mode in which one looks at it.
Those who have much are often greedy. Those who have little always share.
Good taste is the excuse I've always given for leading such a bad life.
Sympathy with joy intensifies the sum of sympathy in the world, sympathy with pain does not really diminish the amount of pain.
It is only when one has lost all things, that one knows that one possesses it.
We Irish will never achieve anything; but we are the greatest talkers since the Greeks.
Life is too short to learn German.
What they call their loyalty, and their fidelity, I call either the lethargy of custom or their lack of imagination.
Deliver me from my disciples!
One pale woman all alone,
The daylight kissing her wan hair,
Loitered beneath the gas lamps' flare,
With lips of flame and heart of stone.
A man can be happy with any woman, as long as he does not love her.
Paradoxically though it may seem, it is none the less true that life imitates art far more than art imitates life.
Love is a sacrament that should be taken kneeling.
Memory is the diary that chronicles things that never have happened and couldn't possibly have happened.
My experience is that as soon as people are old enough to know better, they don't know anything at all.
Curious thing, plain women are always jealous of their husbands, beautiful women never are!
Genius lasts longer than beauty.
Genius lasts longer than Beauty. That accounts for the fact that we all take such pains to over-educate ourselves.
I have found that all ugly things are made by those who strive to make something beautiful, and that all beautiful things are made by those who strive to make something useful.
Man is many things, but he is not rational.
One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that would tell one anything.
It is only intellectually lost who ever argue.
There is more to be said for stupidity than people imagine. Personally I have a great admiration for stupidity. It is a sort of fellow-feeling, I suppose.
By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, journalism keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community.
The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.
We who live in prison, and in whose lives there is no event but sorrow, have to measure time by throbs of pain, and the record of bitter moments.
There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.
I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable.
I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect.
All bad art is the result of good intentions.
Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.
The only way a woman can ever reform a man is by boring him so completely that he loses all possible interest in life.
Two men look out a window. One sees mud, the other sees the stars.
Please do not shoot the pianist. He is doing his best.
There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating -- people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing.
The criminal classes are so close to us that even the policemen can see them.
Set in this stormy Northern sea, Queen of these restless fields of tide, England! what shall men say of thee, Before whose feet the worlds divide?
I only care to see doctors when I am in perfect health; then they comfort one, but when one is ill they are most depressing.
Most men and women are forced to perform parts for which they have no qualification.
Some red star had come too close to the earth.
It is tragic how few people ever ‘possess their souls' before they die. ‘Nothing is more rare in any man,' says Emerson, ‘than an act of his own.' It is quite true. Most people are other people.
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.
Self-denial is the shining sore on the leprous body of Christianity.
The sphere of art and the sphere of ethics are absolutely distinct and separate.
Knowledge would be fatal. It is the uncertainty that charms one. A mist makes things wonderful.
One should always eat muffins quite calmly. It is the only way to eat them.
He would stab his best friend for the sake of writing an epigraph on his tombstone.
Is insincerity such a terrible thing? I think not. It is merely a method by which we can multiply our personalities.
Remember that the fool in the eyes of the gods and the fool in the eyes of man are very different.
Remember that the fool in the eyes of the gods and the fool in the eyes of man are very different. One who is entirely ignorant of the modes of Art in its revolution or the moods of thought in its progress, of the pomp of the Latin line or the richer music of the vowelled Greeks, of Tuscan sculpture or Elizabethan song may yet be full of the very sweetest wisdom. The real fool, such as the gods mock or mar, is he who does not know himself. I was such a one too long. You have been such a one too long. Be so no more. Do not be afraid. The supreme vice is shallowness. Everything that is realised is right.
Mr. Henry James writes fiction as if it were a painful duty.
He would never again tempt innocence. He would be good.
Fashion: by which what is really fantastic becomes for a moment the universal.
Personally, I have a great admiration for stupidity.
The man who sees both sides of a question is a man who sees absolutely nothing at all.
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.
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.
There are two ways to dislike poetry: One is to dislike it; the other is to read Pope.
Your mysterious young friend, whose name you have never told me, but whose picture really fascinates me, never thinks.
Because to influence a person is to give one's own soul.
Because to influence a person is to give him one's own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of some one else's music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him. The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly -- that is what each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to oneself. Of course they are charitable. They feed the hungry, and clothe the beggar. But their own souls starve, and are naked. Courage has gone out of our race. Perhaps we never really had it. The terror of society, which is the basis of morals, the terror of God, which is the secret of religion -- these are the two things that govern us.
For one moment our lives met, our souls touched.
Women have a much better time than men in this world; there are far more things forbidden to them.
She wore far too much rouge last night and not quite enough clothes. That is always a sign of despair in a woman.
And no hand can gather up the fallen withered petals of the rose of youth.
I live constantly in the fear of not being misunderstood.
Spontaneity is a meticulously prepared art.
I don't like novels that end happily. They depress me so much.
The bright dawn flooded the room, and swept the fantastic shadows into dusky corners, where they lay shuddering.
Through our sunless lanes creeps Poverty with her hungry eyes, and Sin with his sodden face follows close behind her. Misery wakes us in the morning and Shame sits with us at night.
To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable.
If one could only teach the English how to talk, and the Irish how to listen, society here would be quite civilized.
Rugby is a game for barbarians played by gentlemen. Football is a game for gentlemen played by barbarians.
The sin was mine; I did not understand. So now is music prisoned in her cave, Save where some ebbing desultory wave Frets with its restless whirls this meagre strand.
It is not good for one's morals to see bad acting.
One has a right to judge a man by the effect he has over his friends.
Religions die when they are proved to be true. Science is the record of dead religions.
Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.
When people talk to me about the weather, I always feel they mean something else.
I love to talk about nothing. It's the only thing I know anything about.
If you don't get everything you want, think of the things you don't get that you don't want.
Literature always anticipates life. It does not copy it, but moulds it to its purpose.
The condition of perfection is idleness: the aim of perfection is youth.
A community is infinitely more brutalised by the habitual employment of punishment than it is by the occasional occurence of crime.
If Dorian wishes it, of course you must stay. Dorian's whims are laws to everybody, except himself.
The quivering, ardent sunlight showed him the lines of cruelty round the mouth as clearly as if he had been looking into a mirror after he had done some dreadful thing.
All great ideas are dangerous.
From the moment I met you, your personality had the most extraordinary influence over me. I was dominated, soul brain and power.
If they know nothing of victory, they are at least spared the knowledge of defeat.
Where there is sorrow, there is holy ground.
Where there is sorrow there is holy ground. Some day people will realise what that means. They will know nothing of life till they do,—and natures like his can realise it.
Vulgarity is simply the conduct of other people.
I expect I shall have to die beyond my means.
America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.
In England ... education produces no effect whatsoever. If it did, it would prove a serious danger to the upper classes, and would probably lead to acts of violence in Grosvenor Square.
Good artists exist simply in what they make, and consequently are perfectly uninteresting in what they are.
The only thing that sustains one through life is the consciousness of the immense inferiority of everybody else, and this is a feeling that I have always cultivated.
You must have a cigarette. A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want?
We are never more true to ourselves than when we are inconsistent.
Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.
Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not.
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 own life. It is no less than a denial of the soul.
Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far the best ending for one.
The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless.
I should fancy, however, that murder is always a mistake. One should never do anything that one cannot talk about after dinner.
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.
God, bless me with luxury. Necessities I can do without.
It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter, who on the coloured canvas, reveals himself.
I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed man.
It is immoral to use private property in order to alleviate the horrible evils that result from the institutions of private property.
To elope is cowardly; it is running away from danger; and danger has become so rare in modern life.
Any fool can make history, but it takes a genius to write it.
Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing.
Only the shallow know themselves.
Do you really think it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which it requires strength, strength and courage to yield to.
Don't imagine that your perfection lies in accumulating or possessing external things. Your affection is inside of you.
Ethics, like natural selection, make existence possible. Aesthetics, like sensual selection, make life lovely and wonderful, fill it with new forms, and give it progress, and variety and change.
To love oneself is the beginning of a life long romance.
Rudderless, we drift athwart a tempest, and when once the storm of youth is past, Without lyre, without lute or chorus, Death the silent pilot comes at last.
The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly -- that is what each of us is here for.
The sure way of knowing nothing about life is to try to make oneself useful.
The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.
You can never be overdressed or overeducated.
There were moments when he looked on evil simply as a mode through which he could realize his conception of the beautiful.
I did not know it was such pain to die; I thought that life had taken all the agonies to itself.
Any preoccupation with ideas of what is right or wrong in conduct shows an arrested intellectual development.
Who is that man over there? I don't know him. What is he doing? Is he a conspirator? Have you searched him? Give him till tomorrow to confess, then hang him! -- hang him!
Before Turner there was no fog in London.
There never has been an artistic age, or an artistic people, since the beginning of the world. The artist has always been, and will always be, an exquisite exception.
Missionaries are going to reform the world whether it wants to or not.
I think it's very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not defined by another person.
Clergymen and people who use phrases without wisdom sometimes talk of suffering as a mystery. It is really a revelation.
History is merely gossip.
The emotions of man are stirred more quickly than man's intelligence.
Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.
Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live; it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. And unselfishness is letting other people's lives alone, not interfering with them. Selfishness always aims at uniformity of type. Unselfishness recognizes infinite variety of type as a delightful thing, accepts it, acquiesces in it, enjoys it.
Writing bores me so.
Ambition is the germ from which all growth of nobleness proceeds.
There is only one real tragedy in a woman's life. The fact that her past is always her lover, and her future invariably her husband.
The English have a miraculous power of turning wine into water.
Journalism justifies its own existence by the great Darwinian principle of the survival of the vulgarist.
A simile committing suicide is always a depressing spectacle.
Pleasure without Champagne is purely artificial.
Art never harms itself by keeping aloof from the social problems of the day: rather, by so doing, it more completely realises for us that which we desire.
Immanuel isn't a pun; he Kant be!
The one charm about marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties.
Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same.
Alas! it is a fearful thing
To feel another's guilt!
The world is divided into two classes, those who believe the incredible, and those who do the improbable.
Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.
Those who see any difference between soul and body have neither.
I have always been of opinion that a man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing.
The truth about the life of a man is not what he does, but the legend which he creates around himself.
Nothing worth knowing can be taught.
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 girl never really lived, and so she has never really died.
It is always a silly thing to give advice, but to give good advice is absolutely fatal.
It is always a silly thing to give advice, but to give good advice is absolutely fatal. I hope you will never fall into that error. If you do, you will be sorry for it.
If we men married the women we deserved, we should have a very bad time of it.
I didn't say I liked it. I said it fascinated me. There is a great difference.
She lacks the indefinable charm of weakness. It is the feet of clay that make the gold of the image precious.
Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.
Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do.
Utterly, irrevocably, lost.
To deny one's own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one's own life. It is no less than a denial of the soul.
There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must tell you something about yourself. I thought how tragic it would be if you were wasted.
What is abnormal in Life stands in normal relations to Art. It is the only thing in Life that stands in normal relations to Art.
Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.
Do you know that I am afraid that good people do a great deal of harm in this world? Certainly the greatest harm they do is that they make badness of such extraordinary importance.
I am but too conscious of the fact that we are born in an age when only the dull are treated seriously, and I live in terror of not being misunderstood.
I am but too conscious of the fact that we are born in an age when only the dull are treated seriously, and I live in terror of not being misunderstood. Don't degrade me into the position of giving you useful information. Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
Nothing is so aggravating than calmness.
Nothing is so aggravating as calmness. There is something positively brutal about the good temper of most modern men.
What the artist is always looking for is the mode of existence in which soul and body are one and indivisible: in which the outward is expressive of the inward: in which form reveals.
In life there is really no great or small thing. All things are of equal value and of equal size.
The first duty in life is to be as artificial as possible. What the second duty is no one has as yet discovered.
There is only good art and mediocre art.
True love is just like regular love, but with more truth.
The man who says his wife can't take a joke, forgets that she took him.
Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.
I don't regret for a single moment having lived for pleasure. I did it to the full, as one should do everything that one does. There was no pleasure I did not experience.
I don’t regret for a single moment having lived for pleasure. I did it to the full, as one should do everything that one does. There was no pleasure I did not experience. I threw the pearl of my soul into a cup of wine.
Never marry at all, Dorian. Men marry because they are tired, women, because they are curious: both are disappointed.
Really, if the lower orders don't set a good example, what on earth is the use of them?
Memory, like a horrible malady, was eating his soul away.
Religion is the fashionable substitute for belief.
The ancient historians gave us delightful fiction in the form of fact; the modern novelist presents us with dull facts under the guise of fiction.
What a pity that in life we only get our lessons when they are of no use to us.
No matter who broke your heart, or how long it takes to heal, you'll never get through it without your friends.
What is said of man is nothing; the point is, who says it.
Nature is a wet place where large numbers of ducks fly overhead uncooked.
Every single work of art is the fulfillment of a prophecy; for every work of art is the conversion of an idea into an image.
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.
As for begging, it is safer to beg than to take, but it is finer to take than to beg.
Beauty ...is of the great facts in the world like sunlight, or springtime, or the reflection in dark water of that silver shell we call the moon.
The British cook, for her iniquities, is a foolish woman who should be turned into a pillar of salt which she never knows how to use.
Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.
I suppose society is wonderfully delightful. To be in it is merely a bore. But to be out of it is simply a tragedy.
Everyone is born a king, and most people die in exile.
Shakespeare appreciated the value of lovely costumes in adding picturesqueness to poetry, but he saw how important costume is as a means of producing certain dramatic effects.
Ignorance is like a delicate fruit; touch it, and the bloom is gone.
Like two doomed ships that pass in storm we had crossed each other's way: but we made no sign, we said no word, we had no word to say.
He lives the poetry that he cannot write. The others write the poetry that they dare not realize.
Have nothing in your house that is not useful or beautiful; if such a rule were followed out, you would be astonished at the amount of rubbish you would get rid of.
Football is all very well as a game for rough girls, but is hardly suitable for delicate boys.
If I could get back my youth, I'd do anything in the world except get up early, take exercise or be respectable.
The secret of life is in art.
A burnt child loves the fire.
How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being.
Action is limited and relative. Unlimited and absolute is the vision of him who sits at ease and watches, who walks in loneliness and dreams.
We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it.
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.
All art is quite useless.
The gods are strange. It is not our vices only they make instruments to scourge us. They bring us to ruin through what in us is good, gentle, humane, loving.
In a very ugly and sensible age, the arts borrow, not from life, but from each other.
Nothing should be out of the reach of hope. Life is a hope.
One should not be too severe on English novels; they are the only relaxation of the intellectually unemployed.
For life is terribly deficient in form. Its catastrophes happen in the wrong way and to the wrong people. There is a grotesque horror about its comedies, and its tragedies seem to culminate in farce.
To be natural is such a very difficult pose to keep up.
Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more.
In America the President reigns for four years, and Journalism governs forever and ever.
Most people live for love and admiration. But it is by love and admiration that we should live.
Most people live for love and admiration. But it is by love and admiration that one should live. If any love is shown us we should recognize that we are quite unworthy of it. Nobody is worthy to be loved... or if that phrase is a bitter one to bear, let us say that everyone is worthy of love, except him who thinks he is. Love is a sacrament that should be taken kneeling..
Hearts live by being wounded.
Books are never finished, They are merely abandoned.
Artists reproduce themselves or each other, with wearisome iteration. But criticism is always moving on, and the critic is always developing.
It's not hard to get the ideas when they come. They just come... it's painful waiting for them.
I can't stand people that do not take food seriously.
If one plays good music, people don't listen and if one plays bad music people don't talk.
Thinking is the most unhealthy thing in the world, and people die of it just as they die of any other disease. Fortunately, in England at any rate, thought is not catching.
Thinking is the most unhealthy thing in the world, and people die of it just as they die 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.
The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.
I see the moon like a clipped piece of silver. Like gilded bees the stars cluster round her.
If we're always guided by other people's thoughts, what's the point in having our own?
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.
I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world.
I don't recognize you -- I've changed a lot.
A man's face is his autobiography. A women's face is her work of fiction.
Love is a misunderstanding between two fools.
Cheap editions of great books may be delightful, but cheap editions of great men are absolutely detestable.
True friends stab you in the front.
Besides, it is only the modern that ever becomes old-fashioned.
I am going to take up the study of German: indeed this seems to be the proper place for such a study.
You cut life to pieces with your epigrams.
I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.
The best way to make children good is to make them happy.
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 class in the community that thinks more about money than the rich, and that is the poor. The poor can think of nothing else.
America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up.
Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious; both are disappointed.
The best one can say of modern creative art is that it is just a little less vulgar than reality.
I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.
It is not wise to find symbols in everything that one sees. It makes life too full of terrors.
We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities.
Conscience and cowardice are really the same things, Basil. Conscience is the trade-name of the firm. That is all.
When I like people immensely I never tell their names to anyone. It is like surrendering a part of them. I have grown to love secrecy.
When I like people immensely, I never tell their names to any one. It is like surrendering a part of them. I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvellous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it. When I leave town now I never tell my people where I am going. If I did, I would lose all my pleasure.
The smallest act of kindness is worth than the grandest intention.
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.
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.
Disobedience, in the eyes of any one who has read history, is human's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.
Bad artists always admire each others work.
Bad artists always admire each other's work. They call it being large-minded and free from prejudice. But a truly great artist cannot conceive of life being shown, or beauty fashioned, under any conditions other than those he has selected.
High hopes were once formed of democracy; but democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.
I want my food dead. Not sick, not dying, dead.
The man with a clear conscience probably has a poor memory.
Life cannot be written; life can only be lived.
Schools should be the most beautiful place in every town and village-so beautiful that the punishment for undutiful children should be barred from going to school the following day.
I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.
There is one thing worse than an absolutely loveless marriage: a marriage in which there is love, but on one side only.
Those who try to lead the people can only do so by following the mob.
Those who try to lead the people can only do so by following the mob. It is through the voice of one crying in the wilderness that the ways of the gods must be prepared.
The body sins once, and has done with its sin, for action is a mode of purification. Nothing remains then but the recollection of a pleasure, or the luxury of a regret.
In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane.
It is curious how vanity helps the successful man and wrecks the failure.
A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.
No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything.
It takes a thoroughly good woman to do a thoroughly stupid thing.
What people call insincerity is simply a method by which we can multiply our personalities.
We lose our chances, we lose our figures, we even lose our characters; but we must never lose our tempers. That is our duty to our neighbor...but sometimes we mislay it, don't we?
What fire does not destroy, it hardens.
There is always something infinitely mean about other people's tragedies.
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 have said to you to speak the truth is a painful thing. To be forced to tell lies is much worse.
One should never do anything that one cannot talk about after dinner.
Everything in moderation, including moderation.