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Wilde Wit and Wisdom

What follows is a collection of quotations drawn from the works and life of Mr Wilde. This section will be regularly updated and offer a bounty of bon mots from the mind of Mr Wilde organised by category. Corrections or additions to this material may be made by emailing:
On Thought
An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.
--The Critic as Artist
Only the shallow know themselves.
--Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young
On Conversation
The clever people never listen, and the stupid people never talk.
--A Woman of No Importance
When people agree with me I always feel that I must be wrong.
--The Critic as Artist
On Life
The Book of Life begins with a man and a woman in a garden. It ends with Revelations.
--A Woman of No Importance
Ambition is the last refuge of the failure.
--Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young
On England
The English have a miraculous power of turning wine into water.
--In Conversation
On Conduct
To be natural is such a very difficult pose to keep up.
--An Ideal Husband
What people call insincerity is simply a method by which we can multiply our personalities.
--The Critic as Artist
On Youth and Age
The condition of perfection is idleness; the aim of perfection is youth.
--Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young
Youth smiles without any reason. It is one of its chiefest charms.
--The Picture of Dorian Gray
The soul is born old but grows young. That is the comedy of life. And the body is born young and grows old. That is life's tragedy.
--A Woman of No Importance
On Society
Never speak disrespectfully of society. Only people who can't get into it do that.
--In Conversation
Society often forgives the criminal; it never forgives the dreamer.
--The Critic as Artist
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