Almost all the people who've had the most effect on me I seem to have met by chance, yet looking back it seems as though I couldn't but have met them.
Art is triumphant when it can use convention as an instrument of its own purpose.
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 could see that Isabel listened to him with growing exasperation. Larry had no notion that he was driving a dagger in her heart and with his every detached word twisting it in the wound. But when she spoke it was with a faint smile on her lips.
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 wish I could make you see how much fuller the life I offer you is than anything you have a conception of. I wish I could make you see how exciting the life of the spirit is and how rich in experience. It's illimitable. It's such a happy life. There's only one thing like it, when you're up in a plane by yourself, high, high, and only infinity surrounds you. You're intoxicated by the boundless space.
In business sharp practice sometimes succeeds, but in art honesty is not only the best but the only policy.
Its a toss-up when you decide to leave the beaten track. Many are called, few are chosen.
Nothing in the world is permanent, and we're foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we're still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it. If change is of the essence of existence one would have thought it only sensible to make it the premise of our philosophy. We can none of us step into the same river twice, but the river flows on and the other river we step into is cool and refreshing too.
Our wise old church...has discovered that if you will act as if you believed belief will be given to you; if you pray with doubt, but pray with sincerity, your doubt will be dispelled; if you will surrender yourself to the beauty of that liturgy the power of which over the human spirit has been proved by the experience of the ages, peace will descend upon you.
The dead look so terribly dead when they're dead.
The fact that a great many people believe something is no guarantee of its truth.
Well, you know when people are no good at anything else they become writers.
You know, the Philistines have long since discarded the rack and stake as a means of suppressing the opinions they feared: they've discovered a much more deadly weapon of destruction -- the wisecrack.
You're beginning to dislike me, aren't you? Well, dislike me. It doesn't make any difference to me now.
More W. Somerset Maugham Quotations (Based on Topics)
Life - Man - Love - People - World - Youth - Beauty - Habit - Pleasure - Art - Literature - Praise - Soul - Happiness - Woman - Mind - Money & Wealth - Jokes & Humor - Wit - 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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