Oscar Wilde Quotes & Wallpapers

Oscar Wilde
Total Quotes: 3464

I suppose in about fortnight we shall be told that he has been seen in San Francisco. It is an odd thing, but everyone who disappears is said to be seen at San Francisco. It must be a delightful city, and possess all the attractions of the next world. Oscar Wilde

It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it Oscar Wilde

MRS ALLONBY Have you tried a good reputation? LORD ILLINGWORTH It is one of the many annoyances to which I have never been subjected. Oscar Wilde

LORD ILLINGWORTH. As George Harford I had everything I wanted. Now I have merely everything that other people want, which isn't nearly so pleasant. Oscar Wilde

It is only about things that do not interest one, that one can give a really unbiassed opinion; and this is no doubt the reason why an unbiased opinion is always valueless. Oscar Wilde

Nothing is more evident than that Nature hates mind. Thinking is the most unhealthy thing in the world, and people die of it just as they die of any disease. Fortunately, in England at any rate, thought is not catching. Our splendid physique as a people is entirely due to our national stupidity. Oscar Wilde

A man who is master of himself can end a sorrow as easily as he can invent a pleasure. I don't want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them. Oscar Wilde

For he to whom the present is the only thing that is present, knows nothing of the age in which he lives. To realise the nineteenth century, one must realise every century that has preceded it and that has contributed to its making. To know anything about oneself one must know all about others. Oscar Wilde

It is tragic how few people ever 'possess their souls' before they die. 'Nothing is more rare in any man,' says Emerson, 'than an act of his own.' It is quite true. Most people are other people. Their thoughts are some one else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. Oscar Wilde

Let those who have not walked as we have done, In the red fire of passion, those whose lives Are dull and colourless, in a word let those, If any such there be, who have not loved, Cast stones against you Oscar Wilde

shallow sorrows and shallow loves live on. the loves and sorrows that are great are destroyed by their own plenitude Oscar Wilde

We know not whether laws be right Or whether laws be wrong All we know who lie in gaol Is that the walls are strong And each day is like a year A year whose days are long. Oscar Wilde

Life has always poppies in her hands. Oscar Wilde

All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. Oscar Wilde

As he looked back upon man moving through History, he was haunted by a feeling of loss. So much had been surrendered! and to such little purpose!...Hedonism... was to teach man to concentrate himself upon the moments of a life that is but itself a moment. Oscar Wilde

It would kill the past, and when that was dead, he would be free. Oscar Wilde

But a chance tone of colour in a room or a morning sky, a particular perfume that you had once loved and that brings subtle memories with it, a line from a forgotten poem that you had come across again, a cadence from a piece of music that you had ceased to play- I tell you, Dorian, that it is on things like these that our lives depend. Oscar Wilde

The systems that fail are those that rely on the permanency of human nature Oscar Wilde

We caught the tread of dancing feet, We loitered down the moonlit street, And stopped beneath the harlot's house. Inside, above the din and fray, We heard the loud musicians play The 'Treues Liebes Herz' of Strauss. Like strange mechanical grotesques, Making fantastic arabesques, The shadows raced across the blind. We watched the ghostly dancers spin To sound of horn and violin, Like black leaves wheeling in the wind. Like wire-pulled automatons, Slim silhouetted skeletons Went sidling through the slow quadrille, Then took each other by the hand, And danced a stately saraband; Their laughter echoed thin and shrill. Sometimes a clockwork puppet pressed A phantom lover to her breast, Sometimes they seemed to try to sing. Sometimes a horrible marionette Came out, and smoked its cigarette Upon the steps like a live thing. Then, turning to my love, I said, 'The dead are dancing with the dead, The dust is whirling with the dust.' But she-she heard the violin, And left my side, and entered in: Love passed into the house of lust. Then suddenly the tune went false, The dancers wearied of the waltz, The shadows ceased to wheel and whirl. And down the long and silent street, The dawn, with silver-sandalled feet, Crept like a frightened girl. Oscar Wilde

My father told me to go to bed an hour ago. I don't see why I shouldn't give you the same advice. I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of ant use to oneself. Oscar Wilde

The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable! Oscar Wilde

Most personalities have been obliged to be rebels. Half their strength has been wasted in friction. Oscar Wilde

From your silken hair to your delicate feet you are perfection to me. Pleasure hides love from us, but pain reveals it in its essence. Oscar Wilde

To make a good salad is to be a brilliant diplomat - the problem is entirely the same in both cases. To know how much oil to mix in with one's vinegar. Oscar Wilde

There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating-people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing. Oscar Wilde

And each man kills the thing he loves. Oscar Wilde

The post on her left was occupied by Mr. Erskine of Treadley, an old gentleman of considerable charm and culture, who had fallen, however, into bad habits of silence, having, as he explained once to Lady Agatha, said everything that he had to say before he was thirty. Oscar Wilde

It would be more impressive if it flowed the other way (Commenting on Niagara Falls) Oscar Wilde

Love - well, not love at first sight, but love at the end of the season, which is so much more satisfactory. Oscar Wilde

The pure and simple truth is, the truth is never pure and simple. Oscar Wilde

She lacks the indefinable charm of weakness. It is the feet of clay that make the gold of the image precious. Oscar Wilde

In America the president reigns for 4 years, and journalism governs for ever and ever. Oscar Wilde

Of course, I should have got rid of you. I should have shaken you out of my life as a man shakes from his raiment a thing that has stung him. Oscar Wilde

you seem to be displaying signs of triviality. Oscar Wilde

There is only one class in the community that thinks more about money than the rich, and that is the poor. The poor can think of nothing else. That is the misery of being poor. Oscar Wilde

Looking around his hotel room not long before expiring: 'This wallpaper is killing me. One of us has to go. Oscar Wilde

When he takes the knife to the canvass the servants find him lying dead with a knife through is heart and 'withered, wrinkled, and loathsome of visage.' and the portrait 'in all the wonders of his exquisite youth and beauty.' p 349 Oscar Wilde

When he takes the knife to the canvass the servants find him lying dead with a knife through is heart and 'withered, wrinkled, and loathsome of visage.' and the portrait 'in all the wonders of his exquisite youth and beauty.' p 349 Oscar Wilde

Sin is the only real colour-element left in modern life.' 'You really must not say things like that before Dorian, Harry.' 'Before which Dorian? The one who is pouring out tea for us, or the one in the picture?' 'Before either.' 'I should like to come to the theatre with you, Lord Henry,' said the lad. 'Then you shall come; and you will come, too, Basil, won't you?' 'I can't, really. I would sooner not. I have a lot of work to do.' 'Well, then you and I will go alone, Mr. Gray.' 'I should like that awfully.' The painter bit his lip and walked over, cup in hand, to the picture. 'I shall stay with the real Dorian,' he said, sadly. Oscar Wilde

The mimicry of passion is the most intolerable of all poses. Oscar Wilde

Io dispenso sempre buoni consigli... non saprei cosa farmene altrimenti. Oscar Wilde

I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvellous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it. When I leave town now I never tell my people where I am going. If I did, I would lose all my pleasure. It is a silly habit, I dare say, but somehow it seems to bring a great deal of romance into one's life. Oscar Wilde

SIR ROBERT CHILTERN: ... But may I ask, at heart, are you an optimist or a pessimist? Those seem to be the only two fashionable religions left to us nowadays. MRS CHEVELEY: Oh, I'm neither. Optimism begins in a broad grin, and Pessimism ends with blue spectacles. Besides, they are both of them merely poses. SIR ROBERT CHILTERN: You prefer to be natural? MRS CHEVELEY: Sometimes. But it is such a very difficult pose to keep up. (Act I., lines 132-140) Oscar Wilde

Travel improves the mind wonderfully, and does away with all one's prejudices. Oscar Wilde

Art has no influence upon action. It annihilates the desire to act. It is superbly sterile. The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame. Oscar Wilde

I believe that if one man were to live out his life fully and completely, were to give form to every feeling, expression to every thought, reality to every dream-I believe that the world would gain such a fresh impulse of joy that we would forget all the maladies of mediaevalism, and return to the Hellenic ideal-to something finer, richer, than the Hellenic ideal, it may be. But the bravest man amongst us is afraid of himself. The mutilation of the savage has its tragic survival in the self denial that mars our lives. We are punished for our refusals. Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind, and poisons us. 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. The only way to get ride of temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it is forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful. It has been said that the great events of the world take place in the brain. It is in the brain, and the brain only, that the great sins of the world take place also. Oscar Wilde

Women try their luck; men risk theirs. Oscar Wilde

Actual life was chaos, but there was something terribly logical in the imagination. Oscar Wilde

Because you have the most marvellous youth, and youth is the one thing worth having.' 'I don't feel that, Lord Henry.' 'No, you don't feel it now. Some day, when you are old and wrinkled and ugly, when thought has seared your forehead with its lines, and passion branded your lips with its hideous fires, you will feel it, you will feel it terribly. Now, wherever you go, you charm the world. Oscar Wilde

Ah! Happy they whose hearts can break And peace of pardon win! How else may man make straight his path And cleanse his soul from sin? How else but through a broken heart May the Lord Christ enter in? Oscar Wilde

Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike. You dislike me. I am quite aware of that. And I have always detested you. (Mrs. Cheveley) Oscar Wilde

My dear boy,' said Lord Henry, smiling, 'anybody can be good in the country. There are no temptations there. That is the reason why people who live out of town are so absolutely uncivilized. Civilization is not, by any means, an easy thing to attain to. There are only two ways by which men can reach it. One is by being cultured, the other by being corrupt. Country people have no opportunity of being either, so they stagnate. Oscar Wilde

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he'll tell you the truth Oscar Wilde

When they make up their ledger, they balance stupidity by wealth, and vice by hypocrisy. Oscar Wilde

And when you are away, Gerald...with...her - oh, think of me sometimes. Don't forget me. Oscar Wilde

What absurd fellows you are, both of you! I wonder who it was defined man as a rational animal. It was the most premature definition ever given. Oscar Wilde

The only artists I have ever known, who are personally delightful, are bad artists. Good artists exist simply in what they make, and consequently are perfect uninteresting in what they are. Oscar Wilde

Unless one is wealthy there is no use in being a charming fellow. Romance is the priviledge of the rich, not the profession of the unemployed. The poor shall be practical and prosaic. It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating. Oscar Wilde

No object is so beautiful that, under certain conditions, it will not look ugly Oscar Wilde

Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind and poisons us. Oscar Wilde

Morality does not help me. I am a born antinomian. I am one of those who are made for exceptions, not for laws. But while I see that there is nothing wrong in what one does, I see that there is something wrong in what one becomes. It is well to have learned that. Oscar Wilde

But you do' really mean to say that you could' love me if my name was' Ernest? GWENDOLEN: But your name is Ernest. JACK: Yes, I know it is. But supposing it was something else? Do you mean to say you could' love me then? GWENDOLEN (glibly): Ah! that is clearly a metaphysical speculation, and like most metaphysical speculations has very little reference at all to the actual facts of real life, as we know them. Oscar Wilde

M. Zola sits down to give us a picture of the Second Empire. Who cares for the Second Empire now? It is out of date. Life goes faster than Realism, but Romanticism is always in front of Life. Oscar Wilde

From the corner of the divan of Persian saddle-bags on which he was lying, smoking, as was his custom, innumerable cigarettes, Lord Henry Wotton could just catch the gleam of the honey-sweet and honey-coloured blossoms of a laburnum, whose tremulous branches seemed hardly able to bear the burden of a beauty so flamelike as theirs; and now and then the fantastic shadows of birds in flight flitted across the long tussore-silk curtains that were stretched in front of the huge window, producing a kind of momentary Japanese effect, and making him think of those pallid, jade-faced painters of Tokyo who, through the medium of an art that is necessarily immobile, seek to convey the sense of swiftness and motion. The sullen murmur of the bees shouldering their way through the long unmown grass, or circling with monotonous insistence round the dusty gilt horns of the straggling woodbine, seemed to make the stillness more oppressive. The dim roar of London was like the bourdon note of a distant organ. Oscar Wilde

Duty is what one expects from others, it is not what one does oneself. Oscar Wilde

Never trust a woman who wears mauve. Oscar Wilde

When I say that I am convinced of these things I speak with too much pride. Far off, like a perfect pearl, one can see the city of God. It is so wonderful that it seems as if a child could reach it in a summer's day. And so a child could. But with me and such as me it is different. One can realise a thing in a single moment, but one loses it in the long hours that follow with leaden feet. It is so difficult to keep 'heights that the soul is competent to gain.' We think in eternity, but we move slowly through time; and how slowly time goes with us who lie in prison I need not tell again, nor of the weariness and despair that creep back into one's cell, and into the cell of one's heart, with such strange insistence that one has, as it were, to garnish and sweep one's house for their coming, as for an unwelcome guest, or a bitter master, or a slave whose slave it is one's chance or choice to be. Oscar Wilde

It is always painful to part from people whom one has known for a brief space of time. The absence of old friends one can endure with equanimity, But even a momentary separation from anyone to whom one has just been introduced is almost unbearable. Oscar Wilde

I like the duchess very much, but I don't love her.' 'And the duchess loves you very much, but she likes you less, so you are excellently matched. Oscar Wilde

He was a man of most subtle and refined intellect. A man of culture, charm, and distinction. One of the most intellectual men I ever met.' 'I prefer a gentlemanly fool any day. There is more to be said for stupidity than people imagine. Personally I have a great admiration for stupidity. It is a sort of fellow-feeling, I suppose. Oscar Wilde

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