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.
But Venice, like Oxford, had kept the background for romance, and, to the true romantic, background was everything, or almost everything.
Her trust makes me faithful, her belief makes me good.
I like Wagner's music better than anybody's. It is so loud that one can talk the whole time without other people hearing what one says.
It is in the brain, and the brain only, that the great sins of the world take place also. You, Mr. Gray, you yourself, with yourrose-red youth and your rose-white boyhood, you have had passions that have made you afraid, thoughts that have filled you with terror, day-dreams and sleeping dreams whose mere memory might stain your cheek with shame…
Man is many things, but he is not rational.
She was a curious woman, whose dresses always looked as if they had been designed in a rage and put on in a tempest. She was usually in love with somebody, and, as her passion was never returned, she had kept all her illusions. She tried to look picturesque, but only succeeded in being untidy.
The rich would have spoken on the value of thrift and the idle grown eloquent over the dignity of labour.
Thin-lipped wisdom spoke at her from the worn chair, hinted at prudence, quoted from that book of cowardice whose author apes the name of common sense.
What odd chaps you painters are! You do anything in the world to gain a reputation. As soon as you have one, you seem to want to throw it away. It is silly of you, for there is only one thing in the world worse than begin talked about, and that is not being talked about. A portrait like this would set you far above all the young men in England, and make the old men jealous, if old men are ever capable of any emotion.
You, who know all the secrets of life, tell me how to charm Sibyl Vane to love me! I want to make Romeo jealous, I want the dead lovers of the world to hear our laughter, and grow sad. I want a breath of our passion to stir their dust into consciousness, to wake their ashes into pain.
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.
But youth smiles without any reason. It is one of its chiefest charms.
His sudden mad love for Sibyl Vane was a psychological phenomenon of no small interest. There was no doubt that curiosity had much to do with it, curiosity and the desire for new experiences; yet it was not a simple but rather a very complex passion.
I love acting. It is so much more real than life.
It is quite true that I have worshipped you with far more romance of feeling than a man usually gives to a friend. Somehow, I had never loved a woman. I suppose I never had time. Perhaps, as Harry says, a really grande passion is the privilege of those who have nothing to do, and that is the use of the idle classes in a country
Many people become bankrupt through having invested too heavily in the prose of life. To have ruined one's self over poetry is an honor.
Sin is a thing that writes itself across a man's face. It cannot be concealed.
The secret of remaining young is never to have an emotion that is unbecoming.
Those who go beneath the surface, do so at their peril.
When they entered they found, hanging upon the wall, a splendid portrait of their master as they had last seen him, in all the wonder of his exquisite youth and beauty. Lying on the floor was a dead man, in evening dress, with a knife in his heart. He was withered, wrinkled, and loathsome of visage. It was not till they had examined the rings that they recognised who it was.
Your mysterious young friend, whose name you have never told me, but whose picture really fascinates me, never thinks.
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.
A grande passion is the privilege of people who have nothing to do.
Come, I tell you. You have chattered enough about corruption. Now you shall look on it face to face!
More Oscar Wilde Quotations (Based on Topics)
Man - Life - Art - World - Woman - People - Pleasure - Youth - Beauty - Love - Passion - Money & Wealth - Age - Soul - Society & Civilization - Facts - Work & Career - Sin - Mind - View All Oscar Wilde Quotations
More Oscar Wilde Quotations (By Book Titles)
- The Importance of Being Earnest
- The Picture of Dorian Gray
Tennessee Williams - Oscar Wilde - George Bernard Shaw - Richard Steele - Philippe Quinault - Jean Racine - Henry Taylor - Hannah Cowley - George S. Kaufman - George Colman