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a.

OSCAR WILDE QUOTATIONS

1. 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.

2. Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.

3. I like talking to a brick wall, it's the only thing in the world that never
contradicts me.

4. To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like
carelessness.

5. We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

6. Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.

7. Always forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so much.

8. Work is the curse of the drinking classes.

9. I can resist everything except temptation.

10. A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

11. A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is


absolutely fatal.
12. A man can't be too careful in the choice of his enemies.

13. A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of


fiction.

14. A poet can survive everything but a misprint.

15. A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.

16. A true friend stabs you in the front.

17. A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.

18. All art is quite useless.

19. All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.

20. All that I desire to point out is the general principle that life imitates
art far more than art imitates life.

21. All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man
does. That's his.

22. Always forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so much.

23. Ambition is the germ from which all growth of nobleness proceeds.

24. Ambition is the last refuge of the failure.

25. America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence
without civilization in between.

26. An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at


all.

27. Arguments are extremely vulgar, for everyone in good society holds
exactly the same opinion.

28. Arguments are to be avoided: they are always vulgar and often
convincing.

29. Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has
known.

30. As long as a woman can look ten years younger than her own
daughter, she is perfectly satisfied.
31. 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.

32. As yet, Bernard Shaw hasn't become prominent enough to have any
enemies, but none of his friends like him.

33. At 46 one must be a miser; only have time for essentials.

34. Beauty is a form of genius - is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs


no explanation. It 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.

35. Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is


passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.

36. Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same.

37. Biography lends to death a new terror.

38. By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, journalism keeps us in


touch with the ignorance of the community.

39. Charity creates a multitude of sins.

40. Children begin by loving their parents; after a time they judge them;
rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.

41. Conscience and cowardice are really the same things. Conscience is
the trade-name of the firm. That is all.

42. Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.

43. Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the


unimaginative.

44. Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.

45. Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people
for the people.

46. 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.
47. Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time
to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.

48. Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist,
not of the sitter.

49. Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.

50. Everything popular is wrong.

51. Experience is one thing you can't get for nothing.

52. Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it


every six months.

53. Fathers should be neither seen nor heard. That is the only proper
basis for family life.

54. Hatred is blind, as well as love.

55. He lives the poetry that he cannot write. The others write the poetry
that they dare not realise.

56. He must have a truly romantic nature, for he weeps when there is
nothing at all to weep about.

57. He was always late on principle, his principle being that punctuality is
the thief of time.

58. 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.

59. How marriage ruins a man! It is as demoralizing as cigarettes, and far


more expensive.

60. I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is
never of any use to oneself.

61. I am not young enough to know everything.

62. I can resist everything except temptation.

63. 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.

64. I have nothing to declare except my genuis.


65. I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.

66. I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be
wicked and being really good all the time. That would be hypocrisy.

67. I never travel without my diary. One should always have something
sensational to read in the train.

68. I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works.

69. I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most
immediate way in which a human being can share with another the
sense of what it is to be a human being.

70. I see when men love women. They give them but a little of their lives.
But women when they love give everything.

71. I sometimes think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated


his ability.

72. I suppose society is wonderfully delightful. To be in it is merely a


bore. But to be out of it is simply a tragedy.

73. If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no
use in reading it at all.

74. If one could only teach the English how to talk, and the Irish how to
listen, society here would be quite civilized.

75. If one plays good music, people don't listen and if one plays bad
music people don't talk.

76. If there was less sympathy in the world, there would be less trouble
in the world.

77. If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life.

78. 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.

79. Illusion is the first of all pleasures.

80. In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane.

81. In America the President reigns for four years, and Journalism
governs forever and ever.
82. In America the young are always ready to give to those who are older
than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.

83. In England people actually try to be brilliant at breakfast. That is so


dreadful of them! Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast.

84. In every first novel the hero is the author as Christ or Faust.

85. In married life three is company and two none.

86. It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless


information.

87. It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either
charming or tedious.

88. It is an odd thing, but every one who disappears is said to be seen at
San Francisco. It must be a delightful city, and possess all the
attractions of the next world.

89. It is better to be beautiful than to be good. But... it is better to be


good than to be ugly.

90. It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.

91. It is only an auctioneer who can equally and impartially admire all
schools of art.

92. It is perfectly monstrous the way people go about, nowadays, saying


things against one behind one's back that are absolutely and entirely
true.

93. It is through art, and through art only, that we can realise our
perfection.

94. It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you
will be when you can't help it.

95. Its failings notwithstanding, there is much to be said in favor of


journalism in that by giving us the opinion of the uneducated, it keeps
us in touch with the ignorance of the community.

96. Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when
the flowers are dead.

97. Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far the
best ending for one.
98. Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life.

99. Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.

100.Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it
is not.

101.Life is too important to be taken seriously.

102.Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is


called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.

103.Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a
mask, and he will tell you the truth.

104.Memory... is the diary that we all carry about with us.

105.Men always want to be a woman's first love - women like to be a


man's last romance.

106.Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.

107.Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we


personally dislike.

108.Most modern calendars mar the sweet simplicity of our lives by


reminding us that each day that passes is the anniversary of some
perfectly uninteresting event.

109.Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's
opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.

110.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.

111.Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory.

112.Music makes one feel so romantic - at least it always gets on one's


nerves - which is the same thing nowadays.

113.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.

114.No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would
cease to be an artist.
115.No man is rich enough to buy back his past.

116.No object is so beautiful that, under certain conditions, it will not


look ugly.

117.No woman should ever be quite accurate about her age. It looks so
calculating.

118.Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure
the senses but the soul.

119.Nothing is so aggravating than calmness.

120.Nothing makes one so vain as being told one is a sinner. Conscience


makes egotists of us all.

121.Now that the House of Commons is trying to become useful, it does a


great deal of harm.

122.Nowadays to be intelligible is to be found out.

123.Of course America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it
had always been hushed up.

124.Of course I have played outdoor games. I once played dominoes in


an open air cafe in Paris.

125.One can survive everything, nowadays, except death, and live down
everything except a good reputation.

126.One of the many lessons that one learns in prison is, that things are
what they are and will be what they will be.

127.One should always be in love. That is the reason one should never
marry.

128.One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards.

129.One's past is what one is. It is the only way by which people should
be judged.

130.Only the shallow know themselves.

131.Ordinary riches can be stolen; real riches cannot. In your soul are
infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.

132.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.

133.Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.

134.Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered. I myself


would say that it had merely been detected.

135.Pessimist: One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses
both.

136.Please do not shoot the pianist. He is doing his best.

137.Questions are never indiscreet, answers sometimes are.

138.Self-denial is the shining sore on the leprous body of Christianity.

139.Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to


live as one wishes to live.

140.Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow.

141.She wore far too much rouge last night and not quite enough clothes.
That is always a sign of despair in a woman.

142.Some of these people need ten years of therapy -ten sentences of


mine do not equal ten years of therapy.

143.Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result.

144.The basis of optimism is sheer terror.

145.The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the
world its own shame.

146.The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is


unreadable and literature is not read.

147.The English country gentleman galloping after a fox - The


unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable.

148.The General was essentially a man of peace, except of course in his


domestic affairs.

149.The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction
means.

150.The imagination imitates. It is the critical spirit that creates.


151.The man who can dominate a London dinner-table can dominate the
world.

152.The moment you think you understand a great work of art, it's dead
for you.

153.The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the


young know everything.

154.The one charm about marriage is that it makes a life of deception


absolutely necessary for both parties.

155.The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it... I can resist
everything but temptation.

156.The past is of no importance. The present is of no importance. It is


with the future that we have to deal. For the past is what man should
not have been. The present is what man ought not to be. The future is
what artists are.

157.The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything. Except


what is worth knowing. Journalism, conscious of this, and having
tradesman-like habits, supplies their demands.

158.The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except


genius.

159.The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.

160.The salesman knows nothing of what he is selling save that he is


charging a great deal too much for it.

161.The security of Society lies in custom and unconscious instinct, and


the basis of the stability of Society, as a healthy organism, is the
complete absence of any intelligence amongst its members.

162.The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.

163.The truth is rarely pure and never simple.

164.The typewriting machine, when played with expression, is no more


annoying than the piano when played by a sister or near relation.

165.The world has grown suspicious of anything that looks like a happily
married life.
166.The world is divided into two classes, those who believe the
incredible, and those who do the improbable.

167.There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating -
people who know absolutely everything, and people who know
absolutely nothing.

168.There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one
wants, and the other is getting it.

169.There is no sin except stupidity.

170.There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well


written, or badly written.

171.There is no such thing as an omen. Destiny does not send us heralds.


She is too wise or too cruel for that.

172.There is nothing in the world like the devotion of a married woman.


It is a thing no married man knows anything about.

173.There is nothing so difficult to marry as a large nose.

174.There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and
that is not being talked about.

175.This suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.

176.Those whom the gods love grow young.

177.To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.

178.To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both


looks like carelessness.

179.To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.

180.To regret one's own experiences is to arrest one's own development.


To deny one's own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one's life.
It is no less than a denial of the soul.

181.True friends stab you in the front.

182.What we have to do, what at any rate it is our duty to do, is to revive
the old art of Lying.
183.When a man has once loved a woman he will do anything for her
except continue to love her.

184.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.

185.When good Americans die they go to Paris.

186.When I was young I thought that money was the most important
thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.

187.When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers.

188.Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.

189.Who, being loved, is poor?

190.Why was I born with such contemporaries?

191.Woman begins by resisting a man's advances and ends by blocking


his retreat.

192.Women are made to be loved, not understood.

193.Women are never disarmed by compliments. Men always are. That is


the difference between the sexes.

194.Yet each man kills the thing he loves, by each 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!