November 15, 2016

W. Somerset Maugham Quotes

“A man marries to have a home, but also because he doesn’t want to be bothered with sex and all that sort of thing.”

“A soul is a troublesome possession, and when man developed it he lost the Garden of Eden.”

“A woman can forgive a man for the harm he does her…but she can never forgive him for the sacrifices he makes on her account.”

“Any nation that thinks more of its ease and comfort than its freedom will soon lose its freedom; and the ironical thing about it is that it will lose its ease and comfort too.”

“Anyone can tell the truth, but only very few of us can make epigrams.”

“Art should be appreciated with passion and violence, not with a tepid, deprecating elegance that fears the censoriousness of a common room.”

“Art… is merely the refuge which the ingenious have invented, when they were supplied with food and women, to escape the tediousness of life.”

“At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely.”

“Beauty is an ecstasy; it is as simple as hunger. There is really nothing to be said about it. It is like the perfume of a rose: you can smell it and that is all.”

“But when all was said the important thing was to love rather than to be loved.”

“Conscience is the guardian in the individual of the rules which the community has evolved for its own preservation.”

“Considering how foolishly people act and how pleasantly they prattle, perhaps it would be better for the world if they talked more and did less.”

“Death doesn’t affect the living because it has not happened yet. Death doesn’t concern the dead because they have ceased to exist.”

“Death is a very dull, dreary affair, and my advice to you is to have nothing whatsoever to do with it.”

“Do you know that conversation is one of the greatest pleasures in life? But it wants leisure.”

“Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.”

“D’you call life a bad job? Never! We’ve had our ups and downs, we’ve had our struggles, we’ve always been poor, but it’s been worth it, ay, worth it a hundred times I say when I look round at my children.”

“Every production of an artist should be the expression of an adventure of his soul.”

“Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.”

“Few misfortunes can befall a boy which bring worse consequence than to have a really affectionate mother.”

“Follow your inclinations with due regard to the policeman round the corner.”

“Have common sense and stick to the point.”

“He had heard people speak contemptuously of money: he wondered if they had ever tried to do without it.”

“He knew that women appreciated neither irony nor sarcasm, but simple jokes and funny stories. He was amply provided with both.”

“Hypocrisy is the most difficult and nerve-racking vice that any man can pursue; it needs an unceasing vigilance and a rare detachment of spirit. It cannot, like adultery or gluttony, be practised at spare moments; it is a whole-time job.”

“I can imagine no more comfortable frame of mind for the conduct of life than a humorous resignation.”

“I daresay one profits more by the mistakes one makes off one’s own bat than by doing the right thing on somebody’s else advice.”

“I do not confer praise or blame: I accept. I am the measure of all things. I am the centre of the world.”

“I don’t think of the past. The only thing that matters is the everlasting present.”

“I forget who it was that recommended men for their soul’s good to do each day two things they disliked… it is a precept that I have followed scrupulously; for every day I have got up and I have gone to bed.”

“I made up my mind long ago that life was too short to do anything for myself that I could pay others to do for me.”

“If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too.”

“If you don’t change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?”

“I’ll give you my opinion of the human race in a nutshell… their heart’s in the right place, but their head is a thoroughly inefficient organ.”

“Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.”

“Impropriety is the soul of wit.”

“In Hollywood, the women are all peaches. It makes one long for an apple occasionally.”

“In the country the darkness of night is friendly and familiar, but in a city, with its blaze of lights, it is unnatural, hostile and menacing. It is like a monstrous vulture that hovers, biding its time.”

“Is the string with which a sardonic destiny directs the motions of its puppets.”

“It is a funny thing about life, if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it: if you utterly decline to make do with what you get, then somehow or other you are very likely to get what you want.”

“It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it; but the young know they are wretched, for they are full of the truthless ideals which have been instilled into them, and each time they come in contact with the real they are bruised and wounded.”

“It is cruel to discover one’s mediocrity only when it is too late.”

“It is not true that suffering ennobles the character; happiness does that sometimes, but suffering, for the most part, makes men petty and vindictive.”

“It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent.”

“It is unsafe to take your reader for more of a fool than he is.”

“It is well known that Beauty does not look with a good grace on the timid advances of Humour.”

“It wasn’t until late in life that I discovered how easy it is to say “I don’t know.”

“It’s asking a great deal that things should appeal to your reason as well as your sense of the aesthetic.”

“It’s no good trying to keep up old friendships. It’s painful for both sides. The fact is, one grows out of people, and the only thing is to face it.”

“It’s no use crying over spilt milk, because all of the forces of the universe were bent on spilling it.”