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An Ideal Husband - The Insults of Oscar Wilde

A man's life is of more value than a woman's. It has larger issues, wider scope, greater ambitions.
A typical Englishman, always dull and usually violent.
A woman whose size in gloves is seven and three-quarters never knows much about anything.
Ah, nowadays people marry as often as they can, don't they? It is most fashionable.
All that one should know about modern life is where the Duchesses are; anything else is quite demoralising.
As a rule, I think they are quite impossible. Geniuses talk so much, don't they? Such a bad habit! And they are always thinking about themselves, when I want them to be thinking about me.
But beauty, real beauty, ends where an intellectual expression begins.
Can't make out how you stand London Society. The thing has gone to the dogs, a lot of damned nobodies talking about nothing.
Fashion is what one wears oneself. What is unfashionable is what other people wear.
Fathers should be neither seen nor heard. That is the only proper basis for family life.
However, I think anything is better than high intellectual pressure. That is the most unbecoming thing there is. It makes the noses of the young girls so particularly large.
I am thoroughly sick of pearls. They make one look so plain, so good and so intellectual.
I assure you my life will be quite ruined unless they send John at once to the Upper House. He won't take any interest in politics then, will he? The House of Lords is so sensible. An assembly of gentlemen.
I can't understand this modern mania for curates. In my time we girls saw them, of course, running about the place like rabbits. But we never took any notice of them, I need hardly say. But I am told that nowadays country society is quite honeycombed with them. I think it most irreligious.
I did not sell myself for money. I bought success at a great price.
I don't think man has much capacity for development. He has got as far as he can, and that is not far, is it?
I know myself that, when I am coming back from the Drawing room, I always feel as if I hadn't a shred on me, except a small shred of decent reputation, just enough to prevent the lower classes making painful observations through the windows of the carriage.
I like looking at geniuses, and listening to beautiful people!
If one could only teach the English how to talk, and the Irish how to listen, society here would be quite civilised.
In England a man who can't talk morality twice a week to a large, popular, immoral audience is quite over as a serious politician. There would be nothing left for him as a profession except Botany or the Church.
In married life affection comes when people thoroughly dislike each other.
In the case of very fascinating women, sex is a challenge, not a defence.
It is the growth of the moral sense of women that makes marriage such a hopeless, one-sided institution.
Lady Basildon: Ah! I hate being educated!
Mrs. Marchmont: So do I. It puts one almost on a level with the commercial classes, doesn't it?
Lady Basildon: I delight in talking politics. I talk them all day long. But I can't bear listening to them. I don't know how the unfortunate men in the House stand these long debates.
Lord Goring: By never listening.
Like all stout women, she looks the very picture of happiness.
Lord Caversham: If she did accept you she would be the prettiest fool in England.
Lord Goring: That is just what I should like to marry. A thoroughly sensible wife would reduce me to a condition of absolute idiocy in less than six months.
Lord Caversham: What I say is that marriage is a matter for common sense.
Lord Goring'. But women who have common sense are so curiously plain, father, aren't they? Of course I only speak from hearsay.
Lord Caversham'. No woman, plain or pretty, has any common sense at all, sir. Common sense is the privilege of our sex.
Lord Goring: Extraordinary thing about the lower classes in England - they are always losing their relations.
Phipps: Yes, my lord! They are extremely fortunate in that respect.
Lord Goring: Too much experience is a dangerous thing. Pray have a cigarette. Half the pretty women in London smoke cigarettes. Personally I prefer the other half.
Mrs. Cheveley: Thanks. I never smoke. My dressmaker wouldn't like it, and a woman's first duty is to her dressmaker, isn't it? What the second duty is, no one has as yet discovered.
Loveless marriages are horrible. But there is one thing worse than an absolutely loveless marriage. A marriage in which there is love, but on one side only; faith, but on one side only; devotion, but on one side only and in which of the two hearts one is sure to be broken.
Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.
Musical people are so absurdly unreasonable. They always want one to be perfectly dumb at the very moment when one is longing to be absolutely deaf.
My dear father, only people who look dull ever get into the House of Commons, and only people who are dull ever succeed there.
Nothing ages a woman so rapidly as having married the general rule.
Nothing ages like happiness.
Nothing is so dangerous as being too modern. One is apt to grow old-fashioned quite suddenly.
Oh! I don't care about the London season! It is too matrimonial. People are either hunting for husbands, or hiding from them.
Oh, I love London Society! I think it has immensely improved. It is entirely composed now of beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics. Just what Society should be.
Oh, I should fancy Mrs. Cheveley is one of those very modern women of our time who find a new scandal as becoming as a new bonnet, and air them both in the Park every afternoon at five-thirty.
One should never give a woman anything she can't wear in the evening.
Really, this horrid House of Commons quite ruins our husbands for us. I think the Lower House by far the greatest blow to a happy married life that there has been since that terrible thing called the Higher Education of Women was invented.
Secrets from other people's wives are a necessary luxury in modern life. So, at least, I am always told at the club by people who are bald enough to know better.
She ultimately was so broken-hearted that she went into a convent, or on to the operatic stage, I forget which. No; I think it was decorative art-needlework she took up. I know she had lost all sense of pleasure in life.
She wore far too much rouge last night, and not quite enough clothes. That is always a sign of despair in a woman.
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.
Sir Robert Chihern: 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.
The English think that a cheque-book can solve every problem in life.
The fact is that our Society is terribly over-populated. Really some one should arrange a proper scheme of assisted emigration. It would do a great deal of good.
To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.
When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers.
Who on earth writes to him on pink paper? How silly to write on pink paper! It looks like the beginning of a middle-class romance. Romance should never begin with sentiment. It should begin with science and end with a settlement.
Women are never disarmed by compliments. Men always are. That is the difference between the two sexes.
Women have a wonderful instinct about things. They can discover everything except the obvious.

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