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.
A flower blossoms for its own joy.
Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.
A true friend stabs you in the front.
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.
No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.
Divorces are made in heaven.
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.
True love is just like regular love, but with more truth.
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.
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.
One has a right to judge a man by the effect he has over his friends.
Time is a waste of money.
Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working.
I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.
Never marry at all, Dorian. Men marry because they are tired, women, because they are curious: both are disappointed.
Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.
I like men who have a future and women who have a past.
History is merely gossip.
Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it.
An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.
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.
True friends stab you in the front.
I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.
The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.
Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far the best ending for one.
It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.
Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.
Who, being loved, is poor?
There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.
It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.
I can resist everything except temptation.
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.
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.
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.
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 like people who are young, bright, happy, careless and original. I do not like them sensible, and I do not like them old.
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.
The english country gentleman galloping after a fox--the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable.
No matter who broke your heart, or how long it takes to heal, you'll never get through it without your friends.
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.
The method by which the fool arrives at his folly was as dear to him as the ultimate wisdom of the wise.
Dullness is always an irresistible temptation for brilliancy, and stupidity is the permanent Bestia Trionfans that calls wisdom from its cave.
The truth about the life of a man is not what he does, but the legend which he creates around himself.
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.
Individualism has really the higher aim. Modern morality consists in accepting the standard of one's age.
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.
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.
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?
It is very vulgar to talk about one's own business. Only people like stockbrokers do that, and then only at dinner parties.
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.
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.
I think it's very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not defined by another person.
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.
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 have learned this: it is not what one does that is wrong, but what one becomes as a consequence of it.
If I could get back my youth, I'd do anything in the world except get up early, take exercise or be respectable.
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.
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..
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.
Good artists exist simply in what they make, and consequently are perfectly uninteresting in what they are.
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.
From the moment I met you, your personality had the most extraordinary influence over me. I was dominated, soul brain and power.
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.
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.
A woman's life revolves in curves of emotions. It is upon lines of intellect that a man's life progresses.
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.
The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties.
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.
Better the rule of One, whom all obey, than to let clamorous demagogues betray our freedom with the kiss of anarchy.
Things are in their essence what we choose to make them. A thing is, according to the mode in which one looks at it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I am going to take up the study of German: indeed this seems to be the proper place for such a study.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All thought is immoral. Its very essence is destruction. If you think of anything, you kill it. Nothing survives being thought of.
Is insincerity such a terrible thing? I think not. It is merely a method by which we can multiply our personalities.
Science can never grapple with the irrational. That is why it has no future before it, in this world.
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.
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.
I should fancy, however, that murder is always a mistake. One should never do anything that one cannot talk about after dinner.
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.
I love scandals about other people, but scandals about myself don't interest me. They have not got the charm of novelty.
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.
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!
The vilest deeds like poison weeds Bloom well in prison air; It is only what is good in man That wastes and withers there.
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.
Good resolutions are useless attempts to interfere with scientific laws.
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 drawback of stealing a thing, is that one never knows how wonderful the thing that one steals is.
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 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.
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.
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?
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 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.
Quotes by Oscar Wilde are featured in:
Short Love Quotes