Really, if the lower orders don’t set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them?
Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone.
The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever.
The only way to behave to a woman is to make love to her if she is pretty and to someone else if she is plain.
Ah! That must be Aunt Augusta. Only relatives, or creditors, ever ring in that Wagnerian manner.
To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.
An engagement should come on a young girl as a surprise, pleasant or unpleasant as the case may be.
It is very painful for me to be forced to speak the truth. It is the first time in my life that I have ever been reduced to such a painful position, and I am really quite inexperienced in doing anything of the kind.
All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.
The truth is rarely pure and never simple. Modern life would be very tedious if it were either, and modern literature a complete impossibility!
I have invented an invaluable permanent invalid called Bunbury, in order that I may be able to go down into the country whenever I choose.
Memory ... is the diary that we all carry about with us.
In married life, three is company, and two is none.
Of course the music is a great difficulty. You see, if one plays good music, people don't listen, and if one plays bad music people don't talk.
It is absurd to have a hard and fast rule about what one should read and what one shouldn't. More than half of modern culture depends on what one shouldn't read.
I have always been of opinion that a man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing.
In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity is the vital thing.
Relations are simply a tedious pack of people, who haven’t got the remotest knowledge of how to live, nor the smallest instinct about when to die.
I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.
The home seems to me to be the proper sphere for the man. And certainly once a man begins to neglect his domestic duties he becomes painfully effeminate, does he not?
The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.
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.
If I am occasionally a little over-dressed, I make up for it by being immensely over-educated.
Well, I can't eat muffins in an agitated manner. The butter would probably get on my cuffs. One must eat muffins quite calmly, it is the only way to eat them.
Never speak disrespectfully of Society, Algernon. Only people who can’t get into it do that.
To speak frankly, I am not in favour of long engagements. They give people the opportunity of finding out each other’s character before marriage, which I think is never advisable.
Thirty-five is a very attractive age. London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years.
I've now realised for the first time in my life the vital Importance of Being Earnest.
Nowadays we are all of us so hard up that the only pleasant things to pay are compliments. They're the only things we can pay.
I can resist everything except temptation.
I don't like compliments, and I don't see why a man should think he is pleasing a woman enormously when he says to her a whole heap of things that he doesn't mean.
Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about it.
I am the only person in the world I should like to know thoroughly.
It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.
My experience is that as soon as people are old enough to know better, they don't know anything at all.
Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.
History is merely gossip. But scandal is gossip made tedious by morality.
My own business always bores me to death. I prefer other people's.
I prefer women with a past. They're always so demmed amusing to talk to.
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.
Misfortunes one can endure--they come from outside, they are accidents. But to suffer for one's own faults--ah!--there is the sting of life.
What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.
I have never admitted that I am more than twenty-nine, or thirty at the most. Twenty-nine when there are pink shades, thirty when there are not.
What a pity that in life we only get our lessons when they are of no use to us.
More Oscar Wilde Quotes