Oscar Wilde Quotations

Oscar Wilde

A cigarette is the perfect type of perfect pleasure. It is exquisite and it leaves one unsatisfied.

A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.

Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.

A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.

A man who marries his mistress leaves a vacancy in that position.

Ambition is the last refuge of failure.

Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing.

A sentimentalist is simply one who desires to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it.

As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular.

As one reads history... one is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted.

Bernard Shaw is an excellent man; he has not an enemy in the world, and none of his friends like him either.

Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same.

Biography lends to death a new terror.

Conscience is but the name which cowardice
Fleeing the battle scrawls upon its shield.

Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.

Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught.

Experience is one thing you can't get for nothing.

Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.

For he who lives more lives than one
More deaths than one must die.

Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.

How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being.

I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never any use to oneself.

I am not young enough to know everything.

I couldn't help it. I can resist everything except temptation.

If there was less sympathy in the world, there would be less trouble in the world.

I like Wagner's music better than anybody's. It is so loud that one can talk the whole time without other people hearing what one says.

Illusion is the first of all pleasures.

I love acting. It is so much more real than life.

In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane.

In America the President rules for four years and journalism governs for ever and ever.

In America, the young are always ready to give those who are older than themselves the full benefit of their inexperience.

I sometimes think that God, in creating man, overestimated His ability.

It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.

It is absurd to say that there are neither ruins nor curiosities in America when they have their mothers and their manners.

It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information.

It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.

It is most dangerous nowadays for a husband to pay any attention to his wife in public. It always makes people think that he beats her when they're alone. The world has grown so suspicious of anything that looks like a happy married life.

It is only an auctioneer who can equally and impartially admire all schools of art.

Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.

Music makes one feel so romantic -- at least it always gets on one's nerves -- which is the same thing nowadays.

Of course, America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up.

One can survive everything, nowadays, except death, and live down everything except a good reputation.

Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered. I myself would say that it had merely been detected.

Plain women are always jealous of their husbands, beautiful women never are. They are always so occupied with being jealous of other women's husbands.

Rich bachelors should be heavily taxed. It is not fair that some men should be happier than others.

Scandal is gossip made tedious by morality.

Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow.

She wore too much rouge last night and not quite enough clothes. That is always a sign of despair in a woman.

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.

The basis for optimism is sheer terror.

The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read.

The man who sees both sides of a question is a man who sees absolutely nothing.

The one person who has more illusions than the dreamer is the man of action.

The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself.

The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.

The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.

There is luxury in self-reproach ... When we blame ourselves we feel no one else has a right to blame us.

There is much to be said in favor of modern journalism. By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, it keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community.

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written.

The second rate imitate, the great steal.

The systems that fail are those that rely on the permanency of human nature, and not on its growth and development.

To disagree with three-fourths of the British public is one of the first requisites of sanity.

Vulgarity is the conduct of other people, just as falsehoods are the truths of other people.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.

When good Americans die, they go to Paris; when bad Americans die, they go to America.

When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers.

Women treat us just as humanity treats its gods. They worship us and are always bothering us to do something for them.

Young men want to be faithful and are not; old men want to be faithless and cannot.