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!
Human life--that appeared to him the one thing worth investigating. Compared to it there was nothing else of any value. It was true that as one watched life in its curious crucible of pain and pleasure, one could not wear over one's face a mask of glass, nor keep the sulphurous fumes from troubling the brain and making the imagination turbid with monstrous fancies and misshapen dreams.
I love scandals about other people, but scandals about myself do not interest me. The have not got the charm of novelty.
It is simply expression as Harry says that gives reality to things.
Marco Polo had seen the inhabitants of Zipangu place rose-colored pearls in the mouths of the dead. A sea-monster had been enamoured of the pearl that the diver brought to King Perozes, and had slain the thief, and mourned for seven moons over its loss.
The aim of life is self-development. To realise one's nature perfectly-that is what each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to one's self. Of course they are charitable. They feed the hungry, and clothe the beggar. But their own souls starve, and are naked.
The separation of spirit from matter was a mystery and the union of spirit with matter was a mystery also.
Those who read the symbol do so at their peril.
When they make up their ledger, they balance stupidity by wealth, and vice by hypocrisy.
Your rank and wealth, Harry; my brains, such as they are - my art, whatever it may be worth; Dorian Gray's good looks - we shall all suffer for what the gods have given us, suffer terribly.
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!
All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.
Don't squander the gold of your days, listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless failure, or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar
I never quarrel with actions. My one quarrel is with words
It is simply expression, as Henry says, that gives reality to things.
Marriage is hardly a thing that one can do now and then, Harry. Except in America, rejoined Lord Henry, languidly.
The basis of optimism is sheer terror. We think that we are generous because we credit our neighbour with the possession of those virtues that are likely to be a benefit to us. We praise the banker that we may overdraw our account, and find good qualities in the highwayman in the hope that he may spare our pockets.
The soul is a terrible reality. It can be bought and sold and bartered away.
Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses.
Why should he watch the hideous corruption of his soul?
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
American girls are as clever at concealing their parents as English women are at concealing their past.
Dorian Gray frowned and turned his head away. He could not help liking the tall, graceful young man who was standing by him. His romantic, olive-coloured face and worn expression interested him. There was something in his low languid voice that was absolutely fascinating. His cool, white, flowerlike hands, even, had a curious charm. They moved, as he spoke, like music, and seemed to have a language of their own. But he felt afraid of him, and ashamed of being afraid.
I am not laughing, Dorian; at least I am not laughing at you. But you should not say the greatest romance of your life. You should say the first romance of your life. You will always be loved, and you will always be in love with love. A grande passion is the privilege of people who have nothing to do. That is the one use of the idle classes of a country. Don't be afraid. There are exquisite things in store for you. This is merely the beginning.
I never take any notice to what common people say, and I never interfere with what charming people do.
It is the stupid and the ugly who have the best of it in this world
The birds that were singing in the dew-drenched garden seemed to be telling the flowers about her.
The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden, there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn.
To be good is to be in harmony with ones self. Discord is to be forces to be in harmony with others.
With an evening coat and a white tie, as you told me once, anybody, even a stock-broker, can gain a reputation for being civilized. Well, after I had been in the room about ten minutes, talking to huge overdressed dowagers and tedious academicians, I suddenly became conscious that some one was looking at me.
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!
Any man can be happy with any woman, so long as he doesn't love her.
Each of us has heaven and hell in him, Basil, cried Dorian with a wild gesture of despair.
I am tired of myself to-night. I should like to be somebody else.
I remembered what you had said to me on that wonderful evening we first dined together, about the search for beauty being the real secret of life…
It often seems to me that art conceals the artist far more completely than it ever reveals him.
Mourn for Ophelia, if you like. Put ashes on your head because Cordelia was strangled. Cry out against Heaven because the daughter of Brabantio died. But don't waste your tears over Sibyl Vane. She was less real than they are.
The bright dawn flooded the room, and swept the fantastic shadows into dusky corners, where they lay shuddering.
The wind shook some blossoms from the trees, and the heavy lilac blooms, with their clustering stars, moved to and fro in the languid air. A grasshopper began to chirp by the wall, and like a blue thread a long, thin dragonfly floated past on its brown gauze wings. Lord Henry felt as if he could hear Basil Hallward's heart beating, and wondered what was coming.
To him, man was a being with myriad lives and myriad sensations, a complex multiform creature that bore within itself strange legacies of thought and passion, and whose very flesh was tainted with the monstrous maladies of the dead.
Women are a decorative sex. They never have anything to say, but they say it charmingly.
I could deny it if I liked. I could deny anything if I liked.
More Oscar Wilde Quotations (Based on Topics)
Man - Life - Art - Woman - World - People - Pleasure - Youth - Beauty - Love - Passion - Age - Money & Wealth - 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
William Shakespeare - Oscar Wilde - George Bernard Shaw - Richard Steele - Lady Gregory - Jean Racine - Henry Taylor - Hannah Cowley - George S. Kaufman - George Colman