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There are few things easier than to live badly and to die well.
– Oscar Wilde
I adore political parties. They are the only place left to us where people don’t talk politics.
The aim of life is self-development. To realise one’s nature perfectly – that is what each of us is here for.
It’s a curious thing…about the game of marriage – a game, by the way, that is going out of fashion – the wives hold all the honours, and invariably lose the odd trick.
Alas! it is a fearful thing
To feel another’s guilt!
Those whom the gods love grow young.
We in the House of Lords are never in touch with public opinion. That makes us a civilised body.
The one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it.
Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.
Wickedness is a myth invented by good people to account for the curious attractiveness of others.
In modern life nothing produces such an effect as a good platitude. It makes the whole world kin.
I have invented an invaluable permanent invalid called Bunbury, in order that I may be able to go down into the country whenever I choose.
History never repeats itself. The historians repeat each other. There is a wide difference.
‘Know thyself’ was written over the portal of the antique world. Over the portal of the new world, ‘Be thyself’ shall be written.
I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.
Lady Hunstanton: But do you believe all that is written in the newspapers?
Lord Illingworth: I do. Nowadays it is only the unreadable that occurs.
Those who have much are often greedy; those who have little often share.
Prayer must never be answered: if it is, it ceases to be prayer and becomes correspondence.
Nothing annoys people so much as not receiving invitations.
Questions are never indiscreet. Answers sometimes are.
A poet can survive everything but a misprint.
The body sins once, and has done with its sin, for action is a mode of purification. Nothing remains then but the recollection of a pleasure, or the luxury of a regret.
I love hearing myself talk. It is one of my greatest pleasures. I often have long conversations with myself.
Surely Love is a wonderful thing. It is more precious than emeralds, and dearer than fine opals. Pearls and pomegranates cannot buy it, nor is it set forth in the marketplace. It may not be purchased of the merchants, nor can it be weighed out in the balance for gold.
Plain women are always jealous of their husbands, beautiful women never are!
A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.
Misfortunes one can endure – they come from outside, they are accidents. But to suffer for one’s own faults – ah! – there is the sting of life.
Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered. I myself would say that it had merely been detected.
Private information is practically the source of every large modern fortune.
Only good questions deserve good answers.