To be born, or at any rate bred, in a hand-bag, whether it had handles or not, seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life that reminds one of the worst excesses of the French Revolution.
Well, I can't eat muffins in an agitated manner. The butter would probably get on my cuffs.
I really don't see anything romantic in proposing. It is very romantic to be in love. But there is nothing romantic about a definite proposal. Why, one may be accepted. One usually is, I believe. Then the excitement is all over. The very essence of romance is uncertainty. If ever I get married, I'll certainly try to forget the fact.
When one is in town one amuses oneself. When one is in the country one amuses other people. It is excessively boring.
A man who marries without knowing Bunbury has a very tedious time of it.
I really don't see what is so romantic about proposing. One may be accepted - one usually is, I believe - and then the excitement is ended. The very essence of romance is uncertainty.
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?
ALGERNON: Well, I can't eat muffins in an agitated manner. The butter would probably get on my cuffs. One should always eat muffins quite calmly. It is the only way to eat them.
If I am occasionally a little over-dressed, I make up for it by being always immensely over-eduacated.
You can't possibly ask me to go without having some dinner. It's absurd. I never go without my dinner. No one ever does, except vegetarians and people like that.
Algernon: What you really are is a Bunburyist. I was quite right in saying you were a Bunburyist. You are one of the most advanced Bunburyists I know.
It is very vulgar to talk about one's business.
You have always told me it was Ernest. I have introduced you to every one as Ernest. You answer to the name of Ernest. You look as if your name was Ernest. You are the most earnest-looking person I ever saw in my life. It is perfectly absurd your saying that your name isn't Ernest.
CECILY: Oh, don't cough, Ernest. When one is dictating one should speak fluently and not cough. Besides, I don't know how to spell a cough.
I've now realised for the first time in my life the vital Importance of Being Earnest.
You have filled my tea with lumps of sugar, and though I asked most distinctly for bread and butter, you have given me cake. I am known for the gentleness of my disposition, and the extraordinary sweetness of my nature, but I warn you, Miss Cardew, you may go too far.
Every woman becomes their mother. That's their tragedy. And no man becomes his. That's his tragedy.
Jack? . . . No, there is very little music in the name Jack, if any at all, indeed. It does not thrill. It produces absolutely no vibrations . . . I have known several Jacks, and they all, without exception, were more than usually plain. Besides, Jack is a notorious domesticity for John! And I pity any woman who is married to a man called John. She would probably never be allowed to know the entrancing pleasure of a single moment's solitude. The only really safe name is Ernest.
Exploded! Was he the victim of a revolutionary outrage? I was not aware that Mr. Bunbury was interested in social legislation. If so, he is well punished for his morbidity.
Muffins should always be eaten quite calmly, as it is the only way to eat them!
Gwendolen, it is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth. Can you forgive me?
My dear Algy, you talk exactly as if you were a dentist. It is very vulgar to talk like a dentist when one isn't a dentist. It produces false impression
Hesitation of any kind is a sign of mental decay in the young, of physical weakness in the old.
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!
I could deny it if I liked. I could deny anything if I liked.
Never met such a Gorgon . . . I don't really know what a Gorgon is like, but I am quite sure that Lady Bracknell is one. In any case, she is a monster, without being a myth, which is rather unfair.
I don't like novels that end happily. They depress me so much
Never speak disrespectfully of Society, Algernon. Only people who can't get into it do that.
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 produce your explanation and pray make it improbable.
I hate people who are not serious about meals. It is so shallow of them.
Oh! I don't think I would like to catch a sensible man. I shouldn't know what to talk to him about.
I have never met any really wicked person before. I feel rather frightened. I am so afraid he will look just like every one else.
The simplicity of your character makes you exquisitely incomprehensible to me.
More Oscar Wilde Quotations (Based on Topics)
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More Oscar Wilde Quotations (By Book Titles)
- The Importance of Being Earnest
- The Picture of Dorian Gray
Tennessee Williams - George Bernard Shaw - Richard Steele - Philippe Quinault - Lady Gregory - Henry Taylor - Hannah Cowley - George S. Kaufman - Anton Chekhov - Alexandre Dumas