Oscar Wilde

(1854-1900 / Dublin / Ireland)

Oscar Wilde Quotes

  • ''It is well for our vanity that we slay the criminal, for if we suffered him to live he might show us what we had gained by his crime.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Gilbert, in The Critic as Artist, pt. 1, published in Intentions (1891).
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  • ''She tried to found a salon, and only succeeded in opening a restaurant.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Lord Henry, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 1 (1891). Of Lady Brandon.
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  • ''To have friends, you know, one need only be good-natured; but when a man has no enemy left there must be something mean about him.''
    Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Prince Paul, in Vera, or the Nihilists, act 2.
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  • ''In old days men had the rack. Now they have the Press.''
    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 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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Best Poem of Oscar Wilde

Amor Intellectualis

OFT have we trod the vales of Castaly
And heard sweet notes of sylvan music blown
From antique reeds to common folk unknown:
And often launched our bark upon that sea
Which the nine Muses hold in empery,
And ploughed free furrows through the wave and foam,
Nor spread reluctant sail for more safe home
Till we had freighted well our argosy.
Of which despoilèd treasures these remain,
Sordello's passion, and the honied line
Of young Endymion, ...

Read the full of Amor Intellectualis

Quantum Mutata

THERE was a time in Europe long ago
When no man died for freedom anywhere,
But England's lion leaping from its lair
Laid hands on the oppressor! it was so
While England could a great Republic show.
Witness the men of Piedmont, chiefest care
Of Cromwell, when with impotent despair
The Pontiff in his painted portico
Trembled before our stern ambassadors.

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