The original cynic.
We blame ourselves so others can’t.
- When we blame ourselves, we feel that no one else has a right to blame us. It is the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.
Women want too much.
- The only way a woman can ever reform a man is by boring him so completely that he loses all possible interest in life.
- Women… inspire us with the desire to do masterpieces and always prevent us from carrying them out.
- Being adored is a nuisance. Women treat us just as humanity treats its gods. They worship us, and are always bothering us to do something for them.
- They spoil every romance by trying to make it last forever.
You can have a happy marriage as long as you don’t love each other.
- A man can be happy with any woman, as long as he does not love her.
- Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious: both are disappointed.
- When a woman marries again, it is because she detested her first husband. When a man marries again, it is because he adored his first wife. Women try their luck; men risk theirs.
- The real drawback to marriage is that it makes one unselfish. And unselfish people are colourless. They lack individuality.
- I hope that Dorian Gray will make this girl his wife, passionately adore her for six months, and then suddenly become fascinated by someone else.
- When her third husband died, her hair turned quite gold from grief.
Good artists are boring people.
- Good artists exist simply in what they make, and consequently are perfectly uninteresting in what they are.
- It is a mistake to think that the passion one feels in creation is ever really shown in the work one creates.
- I should fancy that crime was to them what art is to us, simply a method of procuring extraordinary sensations.
- We live in an age when men treat art as if it were meant to be a form of autobiography. We have lost the abstract sense of beauty.
Only weak passions live on.
- Their strong passions must either bruise or bend. They either slay the man, or themselves die. Shallow sorrows and shallow loves live on. The loves and sorrows that are great are destroyed by their own plenitude.
- Difference of object does not alter singleness of passion.
Being faithful is a lack of imagination.
- Faithfulness is to the emotional life what consistency is to the life of intellect—simply a confession of failure.
- When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one’s self, and one always ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.
- She was usually in love with somebody, and, as her passion was never returned, she had kept all her illusions.
- Her trust makes me faithful, her belief makes me good.
- There is always something ridiculous about the emotions of people whom one has ceased to love.
- It is only the sacred things that are worth touching.
Only mediocre people are well-liked.
- Every effect that one produces gives one an enemy. To be popular one must be a mediocrity.
- I always like to know everything about my new friends, and nothing about my old ones.
- I like men who have a future and women who have a past.
- You like everyone; that is to say, you are indifferent to everyone.
- One can always be kind to people about whom one cares nothing.
Details are ugly.
- One should absorb the colour of life, but one should never remember its details. Details are always vulgar.
- The past could always be annihilated. Regret, denial, or forgetfulness could do that. But the future was inevitable.
- 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.
- They get up early, because they have so much to do, and go to bed early, because they have so little to think about.
- There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating—people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing.
- To define is to limit.
- In the common world of fact the wicked were not punished, nor the good rewarded. Success was given to the strong, failure thrust upon the weak.
Only the unnecessary is necessary.
- A grande passion is the privilege of people who have nothing to do.
- Beautiful sins, like beautiful things, are the privilege of the rich.
Your weakest motives are the ones you are aware of.
- We always misunderstood ourselves and rarely understood others.
- Our weakest motives were those of whose nature we were conscious.
- People are very fond of giving away what they need most themselves.
- It often happened that when we thought we were experimenting on others we were really experimenting on ourselves.
- No life is spoiled but one whose growth is arrested.
- The reason we all like to think so well of others is that we are all afraid for ourselves.
- When we are happy, we are always good, but when we are good, we are not always happy.
- To be good is to be in harmony with one’s self.
- Discord is to be forced to be in harmony with others.
- A burnt child loves the fire.
- Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Children judge their parents.
- Children begin by loving their parents, as they grow older, they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.
The original cynic.