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Wit and Intelligence - The Insults of Oscar Wilde

Ah! that quite does for me. I haven't a word to say... Too much care was taken with our education, I am afraid. To have been well brought up is a great drawback nowadays. It shuts one out from so much.
A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
All thought is immoral. Its very essence is destruction. If you think of anything, you kill it. Nothing survives being thought of.
A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
And, as for what is called improving conversation, that is merely the foolish method by which the still more foolish philanthropist feebly tries to disarm the just rancour of the criminal classes.
THE CRITIC AS ARTIST
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.
AN IDEAL HUSBAND
Bored by the tedious and improving conversation of those who have neither the wit to exaggerate nor the genius to romance...
THE DECAY OF LYING
But beauty, real beauty, ends where an intellectual expression begins.
AN IDEAL HUSBAND
But even men of the noblest possible moral character are extremely susceptible to the influence of the physical charms of others. Modern, no less than Ancient History, supplies us with many most painful examples of what I refer to. If it were not so, indeed, History would be quite unreadable.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
But oh! My dear Ernest, to sit next to a man who has spent his whole life in trying to educate others! What a dreadful experience that is!
THE CRITIC AS ARTIST
But then no artist expects grace from the vulgar mind, or style from the suburban intellect.
THE SOUL OF MAN UNDER SOCIALISM
Colonel: Can she read and write? Peter: Ay, that she can, sir.
Colonel: Then she is a dangerous woman. No peasant should be allowed to do anything of the kind.
VERA, OR THE NIHILISTS
Dullness is always an irresistible temptation for brilliancy, and stupidity is the permanent Bestia Trionfans that calls wisdom from its cave.
THE CRITIC AS ARTIST
Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught.
THE CRITIC AS ARTIST
Examinations are of no value whatsoever. If a man is a gentleman, he knows quite enough, and if he is not a gentleman, whatever he knows is bad for him.
A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
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.
AN IDEAL HUSBAND
I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.
A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
I am afraid that we are beginning to be over-educated; at least everybody who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching -that is really what our enthusiasm for education has come to.
THE DECAY OF LYING
I am afraid that you have been listening to the conversation of someone older than yourself. That is always a dangerous thing to do, and if you allow it to degenerate into a habit, you will find it absolutely fatal to any intellectual development.
THE CRITIC AS ARTIST
I am but too conscious of the fact that we are born in an age when only the dull are treated seriously, and I live in terror of not being understood.
THE CRITIC AS ARTIST
I am sick to death of cleverness. Everybody is clever nowadays. You can't go anywhere without meeting clever people. The thing has become an absolute public nuisance.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
I am thoroughly sick of pearls. They make one look so plain, so good and so intellectual.
AN IDEAL HUSBAND
I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect.
THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY
I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
I like hearing myself talk. It is one of my greatest pleasures. I often have long conversations all by myself, and I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.
THE REMARKABLE ROCKET
I like looking at geniuses, and listening to beautiful people!
AN IDEAL HUSBAND
I would not have about me shallow fools, Who with mean scruples weigh the gold of life, And faltering, paltering, end by failure.
THE DUCHESS OF PADUA
In examinations the foolish ask questions that the wise cannot answer.
PHRASES AND PHILOSOPHIES FOR THE USE OF THE YOUNG
Intellect is in itself a mode of exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face.
THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY
It is always an advantage not to have received a sound commercial education, and what I learned in the playing fields at Eton has been quite as useful to me as anything I was taught at Cambridge.
THE PORTRAIT OF MR. W.H.
It is only the intellectually lost who ever argue.
THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY
Just as the philanthropist is the nuisance of the ethical sphere, so the nuisance of the intellectual sphere is the man who is so occupied in trying to educate others, that he has never had any time to educate himself.
THE CRITIC AS ARTIST
Learned conversation is either the affectation of the ignorant or the profession of the mentally unemployed.
THE CRITIC AS ARTIST
Lying for the sake of the improvement of the young, which is the basis of home education, still lingers amongst us.
THE DECAY OF LYING
People say that the schoolmaster is abroad. I wish to goodness he were.
THE CRITIC AS ARTIST
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.
AN IDEAL HUSBAND
Remember that the fool in the eyes of the gods and the fool in the eyes of man are very different.
DE PROFUNDIS
The English mind is always in a rage. The intellect of the race is wasted in the sordid and stupid quarrels of second-rate politicians or third-rate theologians.
THE CRITIC AS ARTIST
The intellect is not a serious thing, and never has been. It is an instrument on which one plays, that is all. The only serious form of intellect I know is the British intellect. And on the British intellect the illiterates play the drum.
A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
The man is but a very honest knave Full of fine phrases for life's merchandise, Selling most dear what he holds most cheap, A windy brawler in a world of words. I never met so eloquent a fool.
A FLORENTINE TRAGEDY
The noblest character in the book is Lord Aubrey. As he is not a genius, he naturally behaves admirably on every occasion.
ON OUIDA'S NEW NOVEL [Guilderoy]
The only people a painter should know... are people who are an artistic pleasure to look at and an intellectual repose to talk to.
THE MODEL MILLIONAIRE
The only way to atone for being occasionally a little over-dressed is by being always absolutely over-educated.
PHRASES AND PHILOSOPHIES FOR THE USE OF THE YOUNG
The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever. If it did, it would prove a serious danger to the upper classes, and probably lead to acts of violence in Grosvenor Square.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
The world has been made by fools that wise men should live in it!
A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
There is no sin except stupidity.
THE CRITIC AS ARTIST
Thinking is the most unhealthy thing in the world, and people die of it just as they die of any other disease. Fortunately, in England at any rate, thought is not catching.
THE DECAY OF LYING
We all take such pains to over-educate ourselves. In the wild struggle for existence, we want to have something that endures, and so fill our minds with rubbish and facts, in the silly hope of keeping our place.
THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY
We live in an age that reads too much to be wise, and that thinks too much to be beautiful.
THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY
We teach people how to remember, we never teach them how to grow.
THE CRITIC AS ARTIST
Women have become so highly educated... that nothing should surprise us nowadays, except happy marriages.
A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE

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