George Bernard Shaw Quotations

George Bernard Shaw

A doctor's reputation is made by the number of eminent men who die under his care.

A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul.

A happy family is but an earlier heaven.

As long as I can conceive something better than myself I cannot be easy unless I am striving to bring it into existence or clearing the way for it.

Atrocities are not less atrocities when they occur in laboratories and are called medical research.

Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire.

Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.

Democracy is a form of government that substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.

Do you know what a pessimist is? A person who thinks everybody as nasty as himself, and hates them for it.

Englishmen will never be slaves. They are free to do whatever the government and public opinion allow them to do.

Except during the nine months before he draws his first breath, no man manages his affairs as well as a tree does.

Few people think more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week.

Forgive him, for he believes that the customs of his tribe are the laws of nature!

Hatred is the coward's revenge for being intimidated.

Hegel was right when he said that we learn from history that man can never learn anything from history.

He who can does. He who can't, teaches.

Human beings are the only animals of which I am thoroughly and cravenly afraid.

I do not want to make my stomach a graveyard of dead animals.

I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for circumstances they want.

If a woman rebels against high-heeled shoes, she should take care to do it in a very smart hat.

If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.

If you have an apple, and I have an apple, and we exchange the apples, then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea, and I have an idea, and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.

I look my age. It is the other people who look older than they are. What can you expect from people who eat corpses?

I never resist temptation, because I have found that things that are bad for me do not tempt me.

I often quote myself, it adds spice to my conversation.

It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid.

It is most unwise for people in love to marry.

Liberty means responsibility; that is why most men dread it.

Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.

Make it compulsory for a doctor using a brass plate to have inscribed on it, in addition to the letters indicating his qualifications, the words, "Remember that I too am mortal."

Martyrdom is the only way a person can become famous without ability.

Money enables us to get what we want instead of what other people think we want.

No diet will remove all the fat from your body because the brain is entirely fat. Without a brain, you might look good, but all you could do is run for public office.

No man who is occupied in doing a very difficult thing, and doing it very well, ever loses his self-respect.

People exaggerate the value of things they haven't got: everybody worships truth and unselfishness because they have no experience with them.

Physically there is nothing to distinguish human society from the farm-yard except that children are more troublesome and costly than chickens and women are not so completely enslaved as farm stock.

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

Reading made Don Quixote a gentleman, but believing what he read made him mad.

Reformers have the idea that change can be achieved by brute sanity.

Revolutionary movements attract those who are not good enough for established institutions as well as those who are too good for them.

Revolutions have never lightened the burden of tyranny: they have only shifted it to another shoulder.

Self-sacrifice enables us to sacrifice other people without blushing.

She had lost the art of conversation but not, unfortunately, the power of speech.

Success covers a multitude of blunders.

Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get.

Taste: a quality possessed by persons without originality or moral courage.

The English are not very spiritual people, so they invented cricket to give them some idea of eternity.

The longer I live the more I see that I am never wrong about anything, and that all the pains that I have so humbly taken to verify my notions have only wasted my time.

The only person who behaved sensibly was my tailor; he took my measurement anew every time he saw me, whilst all the rest went on with their old measurements and expected them to fit me.

The person I miss most is the one I could have been.

The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.

There are some experiences in life which should not be demanded twice from any man, and one of them is listening to the Brahms Requiem.

There are two tragedies in life. One is not get your heart's desire. The other is to get it.

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

There is no love sincerer than the love of food.

There is no satisfaction in hanging a man who does not object to it.

Use your health, even to the point of wearing it out. That is what it is for. Spend all you have before you die; and do not outlive yourself.

We cannot afford to give ourselves moral airs when our most enterprising neighbor [the Soviet Union] humanely and judiciously liquidates a handful of exploiters and speculators to make the world safe for honest men.

We have not lost faith, but we have transferred it from God to the medical profession.

We pray on Sundays that we may have light
To guide our footsteps on the path we tread;
We are sick of war, we don't want to fight,
And yet we gorge ourselves upon the dead.

What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.

When a man wants to murder a tiger, he calls it sport; when a tiger wants to murder him, he calls it ferocity.

When a stupid man is always doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.

When I was young I observed that nine out of every ten things I did were failures, so I did ten times more work.

When the master has come to do everything through the slave, the slave becomes his master, since he cannot live without him.

You don't get tired of muffins, but you don't find inspiration in them.

You see things; and you say "Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say "Why not?"

Youth, which is forgiven everything, forgives itself nothing: age, which forgives itself everything, is forgiven nothing.