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Wilde Around the World - The Insults of Oscar Wilde

A nation arrayed in stove-pipe hats, and dress improvers, might have built the Pantechnicon, possibly, but the Parthenon, never.
THE RELATION OF DRESS TO ART
A typical Englishman, always dull and usually violent.
AN IDEAL HUSBAND
All Americans lecture, I believe. I suppose it is something in their climate.
A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
America has never quite forgiven Europe for having been discovered somewhat earlier in history than itself.
THE AMERICAN MAN
American girls are as clever at concealing their parents as English women are at concealing their past.
THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY
American youths are pale and precocious, or sallow and supercilious, but American girls are pretty and charming - little oases of pretty unreasonableness in a vast desert of practical common-sense.
IMPRESSIONS OF AMERICA
Beer, the Bible, and the seven deadly virtues have made our England what she is.
THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY
Do you know, Mr. Hopper, dear Agatha and I are so much interested in Australia. It must be so pretty with all the dear little kangaroos flying about. Agatha has found it on the map. What a curious shape it is! Just like a packing case.
LADY WINDERMERE'S FAN
Dreary as were the old Pilgrim Fathers, who left our shores more than two centuries ago to found a New England beyond seas, the Pilgrim Mothers, who have returned to us in the nineteenth century, are drearier still. Here and there, of course, there are exceptions, but as a class they are either dull, dowdy, or dyspeptic.
THE AMERICAN INVASION
Freckles run in Scotch families just as gout does in English families.
THE PORTRAIT OF MR. W.H.
He had that curious love of green, which in individuals is always the sign of a subtle artistic temperament, and in nations is said to denote a laxity, if not a decadence of morals.
THE ARTIST AS CRITIC
He is M. Renan's I'homme sensuel moyen, Mr. Arnold's middle-class Philistine. The telephone is his test of civilisation, and his wildest dreams of Utopia do not rise beyond elevated railways and electric bells.
THE AMERICAN MAN
He talks of Europe as being old; but it is he himself who has never been young.
THE AMERICAN MAN
Hester (smiling): We have the largest country in the world, Lady Caroline. They used to tell us at school that some of our states are as big as France and England put together.
Lady Caroline: Ah! you must find it very draughty, I should fancy.
A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
His one desire is to get the whole of Europe into thorough repair.
THE AMERICAN MAN
I am not sure. . . that foreigners... should cultivate likes or dislikes about the people they are invited to meet.
A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
I am told that pork-packing is the most lucrative profession in America, after politics.
THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY
I can't stand your English house-parties. In England people actually try to be brilliant at breakfast. That is dreadful of them! Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast.
AN IDEAL HUSBAND
'I don't think I like American inventions, Arthur. I am quite sure I don't. I read some American novels lately, and they were quite nonsensical.
LORD ARTHUR SAVILE'S CRIME
I trust you will return from Australia in a position of affluence. I believe there is no society of any kind in the Colonies, nothing that I would call society.
THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY
I was disappointed with Niagara - most people must be disappointed with Niagara. Every American bride is taken there, and the sight of the stupendous waterfall must be one of the earliest, if not the keenest, disappointments in American married life.
IMPRESSIONS OF AMERICA
If in the last century she [England] tried to govern Ireland with an insistence that was intensified by race-hatred and religious prejudice, she has sought to rule her in this century with a stupidity that is aggravated by good intentions.
ON Mr. Fronde's Blue Book [ON IRELAND]
If one could only teach the English how to talk, and the Irish how to listen, society here would be quite civilised.
AN IDEAL HUSBAND
It is true that when we meet him in Europe his conversation keeps us in fits of laughter; but this is merely because his ideas are so absolutely incongruous with European surroundings. Place him in his own environment... and the very same observations will fail to excite a smile. They have sunk to the level of the commonplace truism, or the sensible remark; and what seemed a paradox when we listened to it in London, becomes a platitude when we hear it in Milwaukee.
THE AMERICAN MAN
La belle France is entirely ruined, Prince, through bad morals and worse cookery.
VERA, OR THE NIHILISTS
Lady Caroline: There are a great many things you haven't got in America, I am told, Miss Worsley. They say you have no ruins, and no curiosities.
Many American ladies on leaving their native land adopt an appearance of chronic ill-health, under the impression that it is a form of European refinement.
THE CANTERVILLE GHOST
Mrs Allonby: What nonsense! They have their mothers and their manners.
A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
Mrs. Allonby: They say, Lady Hunstanton, that when good Americans die they go to Paris.
Lady Hunstanton: Indeed? And when bad Americans die, where do they go to?
Lord Illingworth: Oh, they go to America.
A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
My dear General, your nephew must be a perfect Turk. He seems to get married three times a week regularly.
VERA, OR THE NIHILISTS
On the whole, American girls have a wonderful charm, and, perhaps, the chief secret of their charm is that they never talk seriously, except to their dressmaker, and never think seriously, except about amusements. They have, however, one grave fault - their mothers.
THE AMERICAN INVASION
Once in New York, you are sure to be a great success. I know lots of people there who would give a hundred thousand dollars to have a grandfather, and much more than that to have a family ghost.
THE CANTERVILLE GHOST
One is impressed in America, but not favourably impressed, by the inordinate size of everything. The country seems to try to bully one into a belief in its power by its impressive bigness.
IMPRESSIONS OF AMERICA
Salt Lake City contains only two buildings of note, the chief being the Tabernacle, which is the shape of a soup-kettle.
IMPRESSIONS OF AMERICA
The actual people who live in Japan are not unlike the general run of English people; that is to say, they are extremely commonplace, and have nothing curious or extraordinary about them.
THE DECAY OF LYING
The British public are really not equal to the mental strain of having more than one topic every three months.
THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY
The cities of America are inexpressibly tedious. The Bostonians take their learning too sadly; culture with them is an accomplishment rather than an atmosphere, their 'Hub', as they call it, is the paradise of prigs. Chicago is a sort of monster-shop, full of bustle and bores. Political life at Washington is like political life in a suburban vestry.
THE AMERICAN INVASION
The English country gentleman galloping after a fox - the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable.
A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
The English have a miraculous power to change wine into water.
[O.W. IN PARIS]
The English people give intensely ugly names to places. One place had such an ugly name that I refused to lecture there. It was called Grigsville.
IMPRESSIONS OF AMERICA
The English think that a cheque-book can solve every problem in life.
AN IDEAL HUSBAND
The Rhine is of course tedious, the vineyards are formal and dull, and as far as I can judge, the inhabitants of Germany are American.
LETTER TO ROBERT Ross
The youth of America is their oldest tradition. It has been going on now for three hundred years. To hear them talk one would imagine they were in their first childhood. As far as civilisation goes they are in their second.
A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
There are some who will welcome with delight the idea of solving the Irish problem by doing away with the Irish people.
ON Mr. Fronde's Blue Book [ON IRELAND]
There are twenty ways of cooking a potato, and three hundred and sixty-four ways of cooking an egg, yet the British cook up to the present moment knows only three methods of sending up either one or the other.
DINNERS AND DISHES
To Australia? Oh, don't mention that dreadful vulgar place.
LADY WINDERMERE'S FAN
Warned by the example of her mother that American women do not grow old gracefully, she tries not to grow old at all, and often succeeds.
THE AMERICAN INVASION
We have really everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, language.
THE CANTERVILLE GHOST
What a monstrous climate!... I guess the old country is so overpopulated that they have not enough decent weather for everybody. I have always been of opinion that emigration is the only thing for England.
THE CANTERVILLE GHOST
With the exception of the United States Minister, always a welcome personage wherever he goes, and an occasional lion from Boston or the Far West, no American man has any social existence in London.
THE AMERICAN INVASION

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