Oscar Wilde Quotes

I never approve, or disapprove, of anything now. It is an absurd attitude to take towards life. We are not sent into the world to air our moral prejudices. I never take any notice of what common people say, and I never interfere with what charming people do.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in the The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 6 (1891).
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When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Sir Robert Chiltern, in An Ideal Husband, act 2.
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To drift with every passion till my soul Is a stringed lute on which all winds can play, Is it for this that I have given away Mine ancient wisdom, and austere control? Methinks my life is a twice-written scroll Scrawled over on some boyish holiday
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Irish author. Hélas! (L. 1-6). . . Norton Anthology of English Literature, The, Vols. I-II. M. H. Abrams, general ed. (5th ed., 1986) W. W. Norton & Company.
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Life has been your art. You have set yourself to music. Your days are your sonnets.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry to Dorian Gray, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 19 (1891).
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Private information is practically the source of every large modern fortune.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Sir Robert Chiltern, in An Ideal Husband, act 1.
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St. Paul's Loomed like a bubble o'er the town.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Irish author. Impression du Matin (l. 7-8). . . Norton Anthology of English Literature, The, Vols. I-II. M. H. Abrams, general ed. (5th ed., 1986) W. W. Norton & Company.
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Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry Wotton, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 4 (1891). A similar wording was used in Lady Windermere's Fan. See Wilde on cynics.
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Do you really think, Arthur, that it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations that it requires strength, strength and courage, to yield to.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Sir Robert Chiltern, in An Ideal Husband, act 2. To Lord Goring; on the same theme, Wilde wrote, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 2: "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it."
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one pale woman all alone, The daylight kissing her wan hair, Loitered beneath the gas lamps' flare, With lips of flame and heart of stone.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Irish author. Impression du Matin (l. 13-16). . . Norton Anthology of English Literature, The, Vols. I-II. M. H. Abrams, general ed. (5th ed., 1986) W. W. Norton & Company.
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I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Illingworth, in A Woman of No Importance, act 1.
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