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Quotations From OSCAR WILDE

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  • 1.
    The liar at any rate recognizes that recreation, not instruction, is the aim of conversation, and is a far more civilised being than the blockhead who loudly expresses his disbelief in a story which is told simply for the amusement of the company.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. repr. In Aristotle at Afternoon Tea: The Rare Oscar Wilde (1991). "Aristotle at Afternoon Tea," Pall Mall Gazette (London, February 28, 1885).
  • 2.
    You should study the Peerage, Gerald. It is the one book a young man about town should know thoroughly, and it is the best thing in fiction the English have ever done.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Illingworth, in A Woman of No Importance, act 3.
  • 3.
    The basis of optimism is sheer terror.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 6 (1891).
  • 4.
    Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Illingworth, in A Woman of No Importance, act 2 (1891). Wilde had used almost the same words in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 5 (1891).

    Read more quotations about / on: children, time
  • 5.
    The Americans are certainly hero-worshippers, and always take their heroes from the criminal classes.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Letter, April 19, 1882.

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  • 6.
    On the whole, the great success of marriage in the States is due partly to the fact that no American man is ever idle, and partly to the fact that no American wife is considered responsible for the quality of her husband's dinners.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. "The American Man," Court and Society Review (London, April 13, 1887). In the same article, Wilde called marriage one of America's most popular institutions: "The American man marries early, and the American woman marries often; and they get on extremely well together."

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  • 7.
    I was disappointed in Niagara—most people must be disappointed in Niagara. Every American bride is taken there, and the sight of the stupendous waterfall must be one of the earliest, if not the keenest, disappointments in American married life.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lecture, July 10, 1883. "Personal Impressions of America."

    Read more quotations about / on: people, life
  • 8.
    Though one can dine in New York, one could not dwell there.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. "The American Invasion," Court and Society Review (London, March 1887).
  • 9.
    A man who can dominate a London dinner table can dominate the world. The future belongs to the dandy. It is the exquisites who are going to rule.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Illingworth, in A Woman of No Importance, act 3.

    Read more quotations about / on: london, future, world
  • 10.
    Never speak disrespectfully of Society, Algernon. Only people who can't get into it do that.
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lady Bracknell, in The Importance of Being Earnest, act 4 (1895).

    Read more quotations about / on: people
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