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What is youth except a man or woman before it is ready or fit to be seen?
– Evelyn Waugh
He was gifted with the sly, sharp instinct for self-preservation that passes for wisdom among the rich.
Not everyone grows to be old, but everyone has been younger than he is now.
We cherish our friends not for their ability to amuse us, but for ours to amuse them.
Perhaps host and guest is really the happiest relation for father and son.
Other nations use ‘force’; we Britons alone use ‘Might’.
Don’t hold your parents up to contempt. After all, you are their son, and it is just possible that you may take after them.
I put the words down and push them a bit.
The human mind is inspired enough when it comes to inventing horrors; it is when it tries to invent a Heaven that it shows itself cloddish.
Pray always for all the learned, the oblique, the delicate. Let them not be quite forgotten at the throne of God when the simple come into their kingdom.
In the dying world I come from, quotation is a national vice.
I think to be oversensitive about cliches is like being oversensitive about table manners.
Your actions, and your action alone, determines your worth.
Money is only useful when you get rid of it. It is like the odd card in ‘Old Maid’; the player who is finally left with it has lost.
Art is the symbol of the two noblest human efforts: to construct and to refrain from destruction.
The truth is that Oxford is simply a very beautiful city in which it is convenient to segregate a certain number of the young of the nation while they are growing up.
Punctuality is the virtue of the bored.
There are no poetic ideas; only poetic utterances.
When we argue for our limitations, we get to keep them.
Professional reviewers read so many bad books in the course of duty that they get an unhealthy craving for arresting phrases.
One forgets words as one forgets names. One’s vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die.
It is a curious thing… that every creed promises a paradise which will be absolutely uninhabitable for anyone of civilized taste.
My unhealthy affection for my second daughter has waned. Now I despise all my seven children equally.
All this fuss about sleeping together. For physical pleasure I’d sooner go to my dentist any day.
There is a species of person called a ‘Modern Churchman’ who draws the full salary of a beneficed clergyman and need not commit himself to any religious belief.
We class schools into four grades: leading school, first-rate school, good school and school.