He found that it was easy to make a heroic gesture, but hard to abide by its results.
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.
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.
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.
In business sharp practice sometimes succeeds, but in art honesty is not only the best but the only policy.
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
The bright hopes of youth had to be paid for at such a bitter price of disillusionment.
Its a toss-up when you decide to leave the beaten track. Many are called, few are chosen.
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.
The fact was that he had ceased to believe not for this reason or the other, but because he had not the religious temperament.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The important thing was to love rather than to be loved.
The dead look so terribly dead when they're dead.
It is cruel to discover one's mediocrity only when it is too late. It does not improve the temper.
The secret to life is meaningless unless you discover it yourself.
The fact that a great many people believe something is no guarantee of its truth.
It might be that to surrender to happiness was to accept defeat, but it was a defeat better than many victories.
There's always one who loves and one who lets himself be loved.
Well, you know when people are no good at anything else they become writers.
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.
We do not write because we want to; we write because we have to.
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.
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.
It's no use crying over spilt milk, because all of the forces of the universe were bent on spilling it.
What d'you suppose I care if I'm a gentleman or not? If I were a gentleman I shouldn't waste my time with a vulgar slut like you.
More W. Somerset Maugham Quotations (Based on Topics)
Life - Man - Love - World - Youth - People - Beauty - Pleasure - Habit - Mind - Praise - Woman - Soul - Art - Literature - Happiness - Characters - Wit - Perfection - 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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