Oscar Wilde Quotes

The nineteenth century is a turning point in history, simply on account of the work of two men, Darwin and Renan, the one the critic of the Book of Nature, the other the critic of the books of God. Not to recognise this is to miss the meaning of one of the most important eras in the progress of the world.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Gilbert, in The Critic as Artist, pt. 2, Intentions (1891).
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The only difference between a caprice and a life-long passion is that the caprice lasts a little longer.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 19 (1891).
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An excellent man; he has no enemies; and none of his friends like him.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. letter, Sept. 25, 1896, to actress Ellen Terry. Quoted by Shaw in Bernard Shaw: Collected Letters, vol. 1 (1965). Shaw provided the most quoted version of this in Sixteen Self Sketches, ch. 17 (1949): "He hasn't an enemy in the world, and none of his friends like him."
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Charity creates a multitude of sins.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. repr. In Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, ed. J.B. Foreman (1966). The Soul of Man Under Socialism (1895) Fortnightly Review (London, Feb. 1890). This dictum was echoed in another line by Wilde—"Charity ... creates a multitude of evils," in The Critic as Artist, published in July and September of the same year (1890)Mbut both recall Thoreau's, "This is a charity that hides a multitude of sins" (referring to philanthropists) in Walden (1854) "Economy," which itself derives from the Bible, "For charity shall cover the multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:8).
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Whatever, in fact, is modern in our life we owe to the Greeks. Whatever is an anachronism is due to mediaevalism.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Gilbert, in "The Critic as Artist," pt. 1, Intentions (1891).
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Those who are faithful know only the trivial side of love: it is the faithless who know love's tragedies.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 1 (1891).
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Popularity is the only insult that has not yet been offered to Mr. Whistler.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Quoted by Whistler, in "Mr. Whistler and His Critics, a Catalogue," The Gentle Art of Making Enemies (1890).
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In America the President reigns for four years, and Journalism governs for ever and ever.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. repr. In Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, ed. J.B. Foreman (1966). The Soul of Man Under Socialism (1895) Fortnightly Review (London, Feb. 1891).
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The real weakness of England lies, not in incomplete armaments or unfortified coasts, not in the poverty that creeps through sunless lanes, or the drunkenness that brawls in loathsome courts, but simply in the fact that her ideals are emotional and not intellectual.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Gilbert, in The Critic as Artist, pt. 2, published in Intentions (1891).
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It is a sad truth, but we have lost the faculty of giving lovely names to things. Names are everything. I never quarrel with actions. My one quarrel is with words.... The man who could call a spade a spade should be compelled to use one. It is the only thing he is fit for.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 17 (1891).
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