Best quotes from An Ideal Husband

By Oscar Wilde

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Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people we personally dislike.

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.

I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.

It takes great deal of courage to see the world in all its tainted glory, and still to love it.

I analyzed you, though you did not adore me.

When the Gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.

In the old days men had the rack. Now they have the Press.

Ah! The strength of women comes from the fact that psychology cannot explain us. Men can be analyzed, women...merely adored.

It takes great courage to see the world in all its tainted glory, and still to love it. And even more courage to see it in the one you love

To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.

You silly Arthur! If you knew anything about...anything, which you don't, you would know that I adore you. Everyone in London knows it except you. It is a public scandal the way I adore you. I have been going about for the last six months telling the whole of society that I adore you. I wonder you consent to have anything to say to me. I have no character left at all. At least, I feel so happy that I am quite sure I have no character left at all.

All sins, except a sin against itself, Love should forgive. All lives, save loveless lives, true Love should pardon.

The error all women commit. Why can’t you women love us, faults
and all? Why do you place us on monstrous pedestals? We have all feet of
clay, women as well as men; but when we men love women, we love them
knowing their weaknesses, their follies, their imperfections, love them all
the more, it may be, for that reason. It is not the perfect, but the imperfect,
who have need of love. It is when we are wounded by our own hands,
or by the hands of others, that love should come to cure us – else what use
is love at all? All sins, except a sin against itself, Love should forgive. All
lives, save loveless lives, true Love should pardon. A man’s love is like that.
It is wider, larger, more human than a woman’s. Women think that they
are making ideals of men. What they are making of us are false idols
merely. You made your false idol of me, and I had not the courage to
come down, show you my wounds, tell you my weaknesses. I was afraid
that I might lose your love, as I have lost it now.

It can never be necessary to do what is not honourable.

If people are dishonest once, they will be dishonest a second time. And honest people should keep away from them. (Lady Chiltern)

A man's life is of more value than a woman's. It has larger issues, wider scope, greater ambitions. Our lives revolve in curves of emotions. It is upon lines of intellect that a man's life progresses. I have just learnt this, and much else with it, from Lord Goring. And I will not spoil your life for you, nor see you spoil it as a sacrifice to me, a useless sacrifice.

Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike. You dislike me. I am quite aware of that. And I have always detested you. (Mrs. Cheveley)

LORD GORING: (after a long pause) Nobody is incapable of doing a foolish thing. Nobody is incapable of doing a wrong thing.

LORD GORING: ... All I do know is that life cannot be understood without much charity, cannot be lived without much charity. It is love, and not German philosophy, that is the true explanation of this world, whatever may.

I never change.
MRS. CHEVELEY: (elevating her eyebrows) Then life has taught you nothing?
LADY CHILTERN: It has taught me that a person who has once been guilty of a dishonest and dishonorable action may be guilty of it a second time, and should be shunned.
MRS. CHEVELEY: Whould that rule apply to everyone?
LADY CHILTERN: Yes, to everyone, without exception.
MRS. CHEVELEY: Then I am sorry for you, Gertrude, very sorry for you.

You have never been poor, and never known what ambition is.

SIR ROBERT CHILTERN: … But may I ask, at heart, are you an optimist or a pessimist? Those seem to be the only two fashionable religions left to us nowadays.
MRS CHEVELEY: Oh, I'm neither. Optimism begins in a broad grin, and Pessimism ends with blue spectacles. Besides, they are both of them merely poses.
SIR ROBERT CHILTERN: You prefer to be natural?
MRS CHEVELEY: Sometimes. But it is such a very difficult pose to keep up.
(Act I., lines 132-140)

Even you are not rich enough, Sir Robert, to buy back your past. No man is

Atunci cand zeii vor sa-i pedepseasca pe oameni, le indeplinesc dorintele.

I don't care about the London season! It is too matrimonial. People are either hunting for husbands, or hiding from them.

Circumstances should never alter principles!

Romance should never begin with sentiment. It should begin with science and end with a settlement.

Women have a wonderful instinct about things. They can discover everything except the obvious.

this woman is a genius in the day time and a beauty at night

You have never been poor, and never known what ambition is. Wealth has given me enormous power. It gave me at the very outset of my life freedom, and freedom is everything.

I don't see anybody here to-night whom one could possibly call a serious purpose.

Oh, I love London Society! It has immensely improved. It is entirely composed now of beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics. Just what Society should be.

They actually succeed in spelling his name right in the newspapers. That in itself is fame, on the continent.

Sir John's temper since he has taken seriously to politics has become quite unbearable. Really, now that the House of Commons is trying to become useful, it does a great deal of harm.

An acquaintance that begins with a compliment is sure to develop into a real friendship. It starts in the right manner.

I don't know that women are always rewarded for being charming. I think they are usually punished for it!

Questions are never indiscreet. Answers sometimes are.

He is fond of being misunderstood. It gives him a post of vantage.

Then I am sorry I did not stay away longer I like being missed.

A genius in the daytime and a beauty at night!

I adore political parties. They are the only place left to us where people don't talk politics.

I like looking at geniuses and listening to beautiful people.

My father told me to go to bed an hour ago. I don't see why I shouldn't give you the same advice. I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of ant use to oneself.

Well, she wore far too much rouge last night, and not quite enough clothes. That is always a sign of desperation in a woman.

You are remarkably modern, Mabel. A little too modern, perhaps. Nothing is so dangerous as being too modern. One is apt to grow old-fashioned quite suddenly.

The world seemed to me fine because you were in it, and goodness more real because you lived.

Fashion is what one wears oneself. What is unfashionable is what other people wear.
Just as vulgarity is simply the conduct of other people.
And falsehoods the truths of other people.
Other people are quite dreadful. The only possible society is oneself.
To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.

Everybody one meets is a paradox nowadays. It is a great bore. It makes society so obvious.

One should never give a woman anything she can't wear in the evening.

If one listens one may be convinced; and a man who allows himself to be convinced by an argument is a thoroughly unreasonable person


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