« Best of the Oscar Wilde Quotes #3
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.
Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.
Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered. I myself would say that it had merely been detected.
Pessimist: One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both.
Please do not shoot the pianist. He is doing his best.
Questions are never indiscreet; answers sometimes are.
Relations are simply a tedious pack of people, who haven’t got the remotest knowledge of how to live, nor the smallest instinct about when to die.
Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.
Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow.
She wore far too much rouge last night and not quite enough clothes. That is always a sign of despair in a woman.
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.
Some of these people need ten years of therapy – ten sentences of mine do not equal ten years of therapy.
Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result.
The basis of optimism is sheer terror.
The best way to make children is to make them happy.
The Book of Life begins with a man and woman in a garden, and it ends with Revelations.
The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.
The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read.
The English country gentleman galloping after a fox – the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable.
The General was essentially a man of peace, except in his domestic life.
The gods bestowed on him the gift of perpetual old age.
The good end happily, the bad unhappily – that is what fiction means.
The imagination imitates. It is the critical spirit that creates.
The liar at any rate recognizes that recreation, not instruction, is the aim of conversation, and is a far more civilized being than the blockhead who loudly expresses his disbelief in a story which is told simply for the amusement of the company.
The man who can dominate a London dinner-table can dominate the world.
The moment you think you understand a great work of art, it’s dead for you.
The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything.
The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties.
The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.
The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.
The past is of no importance. The present is of no importance. It is with the future that we have to deal. For the past is what man should not have been. The present is what man ought not to be. The future is what artists are.
The 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.
The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.
The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.
The reason we are so pleased to find other people’s secrets is that it distracts public attention from our own.
The salesman knows nothing of what he is selling save that he is charging a great deal too much for it.
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.
The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.
The typewriting machine, when played with expression, is no more annoying than the piano when played by a sister or near relation.
The world has grown suspicious of anything that looks like a happily married life.
The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast.
The world is divided into two classes, those who believe the incredible, and those who do the improbable.
There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating – people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing.
There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.
There are two ways of disliking poetry; one way is to dislike it, the other is to read Pope.
There is no sin except stupidity.
There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written.
There is no such thing as an omen. Destiny does not send us heralds. She is too wise or too cruel for that.
There is nothing in the world like the devotion of a married woman. It is a thing no married man knows anything about.
There is nothing so difficult to marry as a large nose.
There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.
This suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.
To disagree with three-fourths of the British public is one of the first requisites of sanity.
To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.
To lose one parent may be regarded as misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.
To many, no doubt, he will seem blatent and bumptious, but we prefer to regard him as being simply British.
To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.
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.
Those whom the gods love grow young.
Twenty years of romance make a woman look like a ruin, but twenty years of marriage make her something like a public building.
Vulgarity is simply the conduct of others.
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
We really have everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.
What we have to do, what at any rate it is our duty to do, is to revive the old art of Lying.
When a man has once loved a woman he will do anything for her except continue to love her.
When a woman marries again it is because she detested her first husband. When a man marries again, it is because he adored his first wife. Women try their luck; men risk theirs.
When good Americans die they go to Paris.
When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.
When people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.
When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers.
Who, being loved, is poor?
Why was I born with such contemporaries?
Woman begins by resisting a man’s advances and ends by blocking his retreat.
Women are made to be loved, not understood.
Women are never disarmed by compliments. Men always are. That is the difference between the sexes.
Women’s styles may change but their designs remain the same.
Work is the curse of the drinking classes.
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!
Young men want to be faithful and are not; old men want to be faithless and cannot.