OSCAR WILDE QUOTES

OSCAR WILDE QUOTES

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Oscar Wilde was probably the wittiest man to come from Ireland. Everything he wrote had a sliver of his genius in it.

Wilde’s parents were successful Anglo-Irish Dublin intellectuals. After writing for several years, he moved to London and became impossibly popular. Known for his biting wit, flamboyant dress and glittering conversation, Wilde became one of the best-known personalities of his day. At the height of his fame and success, while his masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), was still on stage in London, Wilde was arrested and put on trial for gross indecency with other men. He was eventually convicted and imprisoned for two years’ hard labour. Upon his release he left immediately for France, never to return to Ireland or Britain. He died destitute in Paris at the age of forty-six.

While it all ended in misery and injustice, his amazing works live on. Here are some of his best quotes:

 

I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.

True friends stab you in the front.

Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.

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.

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

The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.

Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.

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

Women are made to be loved, not understood.

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.

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

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
Men always want to be a woman’s first love – women like to be a man’s last romance.

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

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

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

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

It is better to be beautiful than to be good. But… it is better to be good than to be ugly.

A man can be happy with any woman, as long as he does not love her.

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

Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.

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

Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.

Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.

 

Genius is born–not paid.

I always like to know everything about my new friends, and nothing about my old ones.

I am not young enough to know everything.

I think that God in creating Man somewhat overestimated his ability.

If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.

Illusion is the first of all pleasures.

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

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.

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

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

The truth is rarely pure and never simple.

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

You can never be overdressed or overeducated.

 

I don’t want to go to heaven. None of my friends are there.

You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.

Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.

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

You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.

Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.

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

The very essence of romance is uncertainty.

 

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

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.

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

Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.

The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.

To disagree with three-fourths of the British public is one of the first requisites of sanity.

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

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.

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

My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people’s.

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

Scandal is gossip made tedious by morality.

We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.

Thirty-five is a very attractive age. London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years.

I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world.

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

A poet can survive everything but a misprint.

He is really not so ugly after all, provided, of course, that one shuts one’s eyes, and does not look at him.

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.

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

One can survive everything nowadays except death.

Psychology is in its infancy, as a science. I hope in the interests of Art, it will always remain so.

Prayer must never be answered: if it is, it ceases to be prayer and becomes correspondence.

If Nature had been comfortable, mankind would never have invented architecture.

Truth, in the matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived.

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.

The one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it.

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 am the only person in the world I should like to know thoroughly.

What a pity that in life we only get our lessons when they are of no use to us.

The English country gentleman galloping after a fox — the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable.

Men marry because they are tired; women because they are curious. Both are disappointed.

I am always astonishing myself. It is the only thing that makes life worth living.

Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.

One should always be a little improbable.

Time is a waste of money.

The amount of women in London who flirt with their own husbands is perfectly scandalous.

I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone.

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.

To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune … to lose both seems like carelessness.

An engagement should come on a young girl as a surprise, pleasant or unpleasant as the case may be.

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

I have invented an invaluable permanent invalid called Bunbury, in order that I may be able to go down into the country whenever I choose.

I have always been of opinion that a man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing.

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.

No gentleman ever has any money.

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

Never speak disrespectfully of Society. Only people who can’t get into it do that.

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.

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

Oh, I love London society! It is entirely composed now of beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics. Just what society should be.

Fashion is what one wears oneself. What is unfashionable is what other people wear.

Do you really think, Arthur, that it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations that it requires strength, strength and courage, to yield to.

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.

 

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