To have no yesterday, and no to-morrow. To forget time, to forget life, to be at peace. You can help me. You can open for me the portals of death's house, for love is always with you, and love is stronger than death is. The Canterville Ghost. That is their clumsy vanity. We women have a more subtle instinct about these things. Music makes one feel so romantic - at least it always gets on one's nerves - which is the same thing nowadays. The only good thing to do with good advice is pass it on; it is never of any use to oneself.
The nicest feeling in the world is to do a good deed anonymously-and have somebody find out. There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.
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Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world's original sin. If the cave-man had known how to laugh, History would have been different. Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing. The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing. Indeed I have always been of the opinion that hard work is simply the refuge of people who have nothing to do.
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. A bore is someone who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company. There is no sin except stupidity. Youth is wasted on the young. Art is the only serious thing in the world. And the artist is the only person who is never serious. Paradoxically though it may seem, it is none the less true that life imitates art far more than art imitates life.
To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable.
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Children begin by loving their parents; after a time they judge them; rarely, if ever, do they forgive them. There are moments when one has to choose between living one's own life, fully, entirely, completely-or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands.
Everything in moderation, including moderation. I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world. The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death.
The Picture of Dorian Gray (Penguin Classics)
After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives. Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes. One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that would tell one anything. Women have a much better time than men in this world; there are far more things forbidden to them. We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities.
Society often forgives the criminal; it never forgives the dreamer.
- The Story of the Earth and Man.
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Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic. Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is by far the best ending for one. I never put off till tomorrow what I can possibly do - the day after. Hear no evil, speak no evil, and you won't be invited to cocktail parties. The aim of life is self-development.
To realize one's nature perfectly - that is what each of us is here for. Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not. The world was my oyster but I used the wrong fork. He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends. A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her. Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.
The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and a richness to life that nothing else can bring. Everything popular is wrong. Work is the curse of the drinking classes. Life has been your art. You have set yourself to music. Your days are your sonnets. The world is changed because you are made of ivory and gold.
The curves of your lips rewrite history. The play was a great success, but the audience was a total failure. I don't like compliments, and I don't see why a man should think he is pleasing a woman enormously when he says to her a whole heap of things that he doesn't mean. Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious: both are disappointed. The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius. Consistency is the hallmark of the unimaginative.
The Prisoner Of Dorian Gray | The Mechanisms
One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards. I have grown to love secrecy.
It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvelous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if only one hides it. Illusion is the first of all pleasures. Some things are too important to be taken seriously. Some things are more precious because they don't last long.
Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing. Popularity is the one insult I have never suffered. I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again. I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.
Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written.
That is all. I love acting. It is so much more real than life. Wickedness is a myth invented by good people to account for the curious attractiveness of others. Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you. Punctuality is the thief of time. Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. In old days books were written by men of letters and read by the public.
Nowadays books are written by the public and read by nobody.