For men and women are not only themselves; they are also the region in which they are born, the city apartment or farm in which they learnt to walk, the games they played as children, the old wives tales they overheard, the food they ate, the schools they attended, the sports they followed, the poets they read, and the God they believed in. It is all these things that have made them what they are, and these are the things that you can't come to know by hearsay...
I happen to think we've set our ideal on the wrong objects; I happen to think that the greatest ideal man can set before himself is self-perfection.
I don't think that women ought to sit down at table with men. It ruins conversation and I'm sure it's very bad for them. It puts ideas in their heads, and women are never at ease with themselves when they have ideas.
Men seek but one thing in life - their pleasure.
Oh, my dear fellow, if you want to be a gentleman you must give up being an artist. They've got nothing to do with one another. You hear of men painting pot-boilers to keep an aged mother - well, it shows they're excellent sons, but it's no excuse for bad work. They're only tradesmen. An artist would let his mother go to the workhouse.
On the earth, satellite of a star speeding through space, living things had arisen under the influence of conditions which were part of the planet's history; and as there had been a beginning of life upon it, so, under the influence of other conditions, there would be an end: man, no more significant than other forms of life, had come not as the climax of creation but as a physical reaction to the environment.
I am told that today rather more than 60 per cent of the men who go to university go on a Government grant. This is a new class that has entered upon the scene. It is the white-collar proletariat. They do not go to university to acquire culture but to get a job, and when they have got one, scamp it. They have no manners and are woefully unable to deal with any social predicament. Their idea of a celebration is to go to a public house and drink six beers. They are mean, malicious and envious . They are scum.
Hypocrisy is the most difficult and nerve-racking vice that any man can pursue it needs an unceasing vigilance and a rare detachment of spirit. It cannot, like adultery or gluttony, be practiced at spare moments it is a whole-time job.
By the time a man notices that he is no longer young, his youth has long since left him.
Men have an extraordinarily erroneous opinion of their position in nature; and the error is ineradicable.
Love is what happens to a man and woman who don't know each other.
Sometimes a man hits upon a place to which he mysteriously feels that he belongs.
If forty million people say a foolish thing it does not become a wise one, but the wise man is foolish to give them the lie.
More W. Somerset Maugham Quotations (Based on Topics)
Life - Man - Love - World - Youth - People - Beauty - Habit - Pleasure - Art - Praise - Woman - Soul - Literature - Happiness - Mind - Wit - Jokes & Humor - Money & Wealth - View All W. Somerset Maugham Quotations
More W. Somerset Maugham Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Of Human Bondage
- The Razor's Edge
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