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


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  • He exulted in the possession of himself once more; he realized how much of the delight of the world he had lost when he was absorbed in that madness which they called love; he had had enough of it; he did not want to be in love anymore if love was that.
    (W. Somerset Maugham, "Of Human Bondage")

  • People ask you for criticism, but they only want praise.
    (W. Somerset Maugham, "Of Human Bondage")

  • He found that it was easy to make a heroic gesture, but hard to abide by its results.
    (W. Somerset Maugham, "Of Human Bondage")

  • Philip got up and knelt down to say his prayers. It was a cold morning, and he shivered a little; but he had been taught by his uncle that his prayers were more acceptable to God if he said them in his nightshirt than if he waited till he was dressed. This did not surprise him, for he was beginning to realize that he was a creature of a God who appreciated the discomfort of his worshippers.
    (W. Somerset Maugham, "Of Human Bondage")

  • 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.
    (W. Somerset Maugham, "Of Human Bondage")


  • 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.
    (W. Somerset Maugham, "Of Human Bondage")

  • 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
    (W. Somerset Maugham, "Of Human Bondage")

  • The bright hopes of youth had to be paid for at such a bitter price of disillusionment.
    (W. Somerset Maugham, "Of Human Bondage")

  • 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.
    (W. Somerset Maugham, "Of Human Bondage")

  • The fact was that he had ceased to believe not for this reason or the other, but because he had not the religious temperament.
    (W. Somerset Maugham, "Of Human Bondage")

  • 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.
    (W. Somerset Maugham, "Of Human Bondage")

  • 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.
    (W. Somerset Maugham, "Of Human Bondage")

  • 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.
    (W. Somerset Maugham, "Of Human Bondage")

  • The important thing was to love rather than to be loved.
    (W. Somerset Maugham, "Of Human Bondage")

  • It is cruel to discover one's mediocrity only when it is too late. It does not improve the temper.
    (W. Somerset Maugham, "Of Human Bondage")


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