A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
You see things; and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’
The golden rule is that there are no golden rules.
The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react.
Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
Capitalism has destroyed our belief in any effective power but that of self interest backed by force.
Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
When a man says money can do anything, that settles it: he hasn’t got any.
Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads.
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.
When a man wants to murder a tiger he calls it sport; when a tiger wants to murder him he calls it ferocity.
It is a curious sensation: the sort of pain that goes mercifully beyond our powers of feeling. When your heart is broken, your boats are burned: nothing matters any more. It is the end of happiness and the beginning of peace.
Just do what must be done. This may not be happiness, but it is greatness.
Property is organized robbery.
Hell is full of musical amateurs.
Every man over forty is a scoundrel.
I’m an atheist and I thank God for it.
A man never tells you anything until you contradict him.
There is no subject on which more dangerous nonsense is talked and thought than marriage.
The only secrets are the secrets that keep themselves.
The first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.
Kings are not born: they are made by artificial hallucination.
Peace is not only better than war, but infinitely more arduous.
We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.
First love is only a little foolishness and a lot of curiosity.
The secret to success is to offend the greatest number of people.
Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.
Few people think more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week.
A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out.
The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can’t find them, make them.
The perfect love affair is one which is conducted entirely by post.
Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life.
Baseball has the great advantage over cricket of being sooner ended.
I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.
Socialism is the same as Communism, only better English.
A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell.
Science never solves a problem without creating ten more.
Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.
Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire.
There are no secrets better kept than the secrets everybody guesses.
The great advantage of a hotel is that it is a refuge from home life.
The test of a man or woman’s breeding is how they behave in a quarrel.
It’s so hard to know what to do when one wishes earnestly to do right.
Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.
Nothing is ever done in this world until men are prepared to kill one another if it is not done.
It is the mark of a truly intelligent person to be moved by statistics.
We learn from experience that men never learn anything from experience.
Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get.
If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.
Oh, the tiger will love you. There is no sincerer love than the love of food.
Reading made Don Quixote a gentleman, but believing what he read made him mad.
You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.
Human beings are the only animals of which I am thoroughly and cravenly afraid.
We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
There is nothing more dangerous than the conscience of a bigot.
Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.
The best place to find God is in a garden. You can dig for him there.
I never thought much of the courage of a lion tamer. Inside the cage he is at least safe from people.
Statistics show that of those who contract the habit of eating, very few survive.
A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.
If you can’t get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you’d best teach it to dance.
Americans adore me and will go on adoring me until I say something nice about them.
One man that has a mind and knows it can always beat ten men who haven’t and don’t.
You’ll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.
Love is a gross exaggeration of the difference between one person and everybody else.
If women were particular about men’s characters, they would never get married at all.
Men are wise in proportion, not to their experience, but to their capacity for experience.
I would like to take you seriously, but to do so would be an affront to your intelligence.
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.
He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.
Why should we take advice on sex from the pope? If he knows anything about it, he shouldn’t!
There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart’s desire. The other is to gain it.
Some look at things that are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?
The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech.
Do not do unto others as you expect they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.
I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.
A broken heart is a very pleasant complaint for a man in London if he has a comfortable income.
Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.
We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.
Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.
Choose silence of all virtues, for by it you hear other men’s imperfections, and conceal your own.
Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.
People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.
I want to be all used up when I die.
All great truths begin as blasphemies.
In heaven an angel is nobody in particular.
Do not try to live forever. You will not succeed.
It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid.
The minority is sometimes right; the majority always wrong.
Nothing is worth doing unless the consequences may be serious.
Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.
Find enough clever things to say, and you’re a Prime Minister; write them down and you’re a Shakespeare.
Give a man health and a course to steer, and he’ll never stop to trouble about whether he’s happy or not.
The liar’s punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else.
No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.
When I was young, I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures. So I did ten times more work.
The only way to avoid being miserable is not to have enough leisure to wonder whether you are happy or not.
Which painting in the National Gallery would I save if there was a fire? The one nearest the door of course.
Beware of the man who does not return your blow: he neither forgives you nor allows you to forgive yourself.
Independence? That’s middle class blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.
No man who is occupied in doing a very difficult thing, and doing it very well, ever loses his self-respect.
Clever and attractive women do not want to vote; they are willing to let men govern as long as they govern men.
What a man believes may be ascertained, not from his creed, but from the assumptions on which he habitually acts.
An election is a moral horror, as bad as a battle except for the blood; a mud bath for every soul concerned in it.
If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.
I am afraid we must make the world honest before we can honestly say to our children that honesty is the best policy.
I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake.
Democracy is a form of government that substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
If you must hold yourself up to your children as an object lesson, hold yourself up as a warning and not as an example.
Miracles, in the sense of phenomena we cannot explain, surround us on every hand: life itself is the miracle of miracles.
If you leave the smallest corner of your head vacant for a moment, other people’s opinions will rush in from all quarters.
A fool’s brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education.
The secret of being miserable is to have leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not. The cure for it is occupation.
Life levels all men. Death reveals the eminent.
Fashions, after all, are only induced epidemics.
Self-sacrifice enables us to sacrifice other people without blushing.
Man can climb to the highest summits, but he cannot dwell there long.
Every person who has mastered a profession is a skeptic concerning it.
If there was nothing wrong in the world there wouldn’t be anything for us to do.
What Englishman will give his mind to politics as long as he can afford to keep a motor car?
We must always think about things, and we must think about things as they are, not as they are said to be.
The truth is, hardly any of us have ethical energy enough for more than one really inflexible point of honor.
The man who writes about himself and his own time is the only man who writes about all people and about all time.
Until the men of action clear out the talkers we who have social consciences are at the mercy of those who have none.
Why, except as a means of livelihood, a man should desire to act on the stage when he has the whole world to act in, is not clear to me.
In this world there is always danger for those who are afraid of it.
England and America are two countries separated by the same language.
Virtue consists, not in abstaining from vice, but in not desiring it.
There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.
Never fret for an only son, the idea of failure will never occur to him.
Everything happens to everybody sooner or later if there is time enough.
Home life is no more natural to us than a cage is natural to a cockatoo.
I have to live for others and not for myself: that’s middle-class morality.
If all the economists were laid end to end, they’d never reach a conclusion.
No question is so difficult to answer as that to which the answer is obvious.
She had lost the art of conversation but not, unfortunately, the power of speech.
You have learnt something. That always feels at first as if you had lost something.
Old men are dangerous: it doesn’t matter to them what is going to happen to the world.
Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.
Life contains but two tragedies. One is not to get your heart’s desire; the other is to get it.
Cruelty would be delicious if one could only find some sort of cruelty that didn’t really hurt.
I never resist temptation, because I have found that things that are bad for me do not tempt me.
Marriage is popular because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.
The frontier between hell and heaven is only the difference between two ways of looking at things.
Only on paper has humanity yet achieved glory, beauty, truth, knowledge, virtue, and abiding love.
What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.
The fickleness of the women I love is only equalled by the infernal constancy of the women who love me.
A man of great common sense and good taste – meaning thereby a man without originality or moral courage.
Beauty is all very well at first sight; but who ever looks at it when it has been in the house three days?
We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.
He’s a man of great common sense and good taste – meaning thereby a man without originality or moral courage.
Except during the nine months before he draws his first breath, no man manages his affairs as well as a tree does.
All my life affection has been showered upon me, and every forward step I have made has been taken in spite of it.
We should all be obliged to appear before a board every five years and justify our existence… on pain of liquidation.
Parentage is a very important profession, but no test of fitness for it is ever imposed in the interest of the children.
Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anybody to the country and to mankind is to bring up a family.
While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered animals, how can we expect any ideal living conditions on this earth?
A little learning is a dangerous thing, but we must take that risk because a little is as much as our biggest heads can hold.
In a battle all you need to make you fight is a little hot blood and the knowledge that it’s more dangerous to lose than to win.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.
The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity.
The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it.
Marriage is an alliance entered into by a man who can’t sleep with the window shut, and a woman who can’t sleep with the window open.
Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.
Do not waste your time on Social Questions. What is the matter with the poor is Poverty; what is the matter with the rich is Uselessness.
The man with a toothache thinks everyone happy whose teeth are sound. The poverty-stricken man makes the same mistake about the rich man.
Use your health, even to the point of wearing it out. That is what it is for. Spend all you have before you die; do not outlive yourself.
The only service a friend can really render is to keep up your courage by holding up to you a mirror in which you can see a noble image of yourself.
You can always tell an old soldier by the inside of his holsters and cartridge boxes. The young ones carry pistols and cartridges; the old ones, grub.
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