W. Somerset Maugham’s “Of Human Bondage” Quotes (34 Quotes)


    He knew that all things human are transitory and therefore that it must cease one day or another. He looked forward to that day with eager longing. Love was like a parasite in his heart, nourishing a hateful existence on his life's blood; it absorbed his existence so intensely that he could take pleasure in nothing else.

    She had no mercy. He looked at her neck and thought how he would like to jab it with the knife he had for his muffin. He knew enough anatomy to make pretty certain of getting the carotid artery. And at the same time he wanted to cover her pale, thin face with kisses.

    He wondered whether he had done right. He was dissatisfied with himself and with all his circumstances. He asked himself dully whether whenever you got your way you wished afterwards that you hadn't


    His death had been as futile as his life. He died ingloriously, of a stupid disease, failing once more, even at the end, to accomplish anything.



    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.

    The idealist withdrew himself, because he could not suffer the jostling of the human crowd; he had not the strength to fight and so called the battle vulgar; he was vain, and since his fellows would not take him at his own estimate, consoled himself with despising his fellows.

    It is clear that men accept an immediate pain rather than an immediate pleasure, but only because they expect a greater pleasure in the future. Often the pleasure is illusory, but their error in calculation is no refutation of the rule. You are puzzled because you cannot get over the idea that pleasures are only of the sense; but, child, a man who dies for his country dies because he likes it as surely as a man eats pickled cabbage because he likes it.






    It was one of the queer things of life that you saw a person every day for months and were so intimate with him that you could not imagine existence without him; then separation came, and everything went on in the same way, and the companion who had seemed essential proved unnecessary.


    A thing that had always struck her about the child was that he seemed so collected. She had never seen him cry. And now she realized that his calmness was some instinctive shame of showing his feelings; he hid himself to weep.





    You think pleasure is only of the senses; the wretched slaves who manufactured your morality despised a satisfaction which they had small means of enjoying.


    Life wouldn't be worth living if I worried over the future as well as the present. When things are at their worst I find something always happens.

    But Philip was impatient with himself; he called to mind his idea of the pattern of life: the unhappiness he had suffered was no more than part of a decoration which was elaborate and beautiful; he told himself strenuously that he must accept with gaiety everything, dreariness and excitement, pleasure and pain, because it added to the richness of the design.



    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.

    He did not care if she was heartless, vicious and vulgar, stupid and grasping, he loved her. He would rather have misery with one than happiness with the other.

    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.


    More W. Somerset Maugham Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Life - Man - Love - Youth - People - World - Habit - Beauty - Pleasure - Literature - Happiness - Mind - Praise - Soul - Woman - Art - Criticism - Characters - Wit - View All W. Somerset Maugham Quotations

    More W. Somerset Maugham Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Of Human Bondage
    - The Razor's Edge

    Related Authors


    Samuel Beckett - Sam Shepard - Richard Foreman - Plautus - John Webster - John Osborne - Graham Greene - Francoise Sagan - Euripedes - Brendan Francis


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