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Work & Business - The Insults of Oscar Wilde

A cook and a diplomatist! An excellent parallel. If I had a son who was a fool I'd make him one or the other.
VERA, OR THE NIHILISTS
A publicist, nowadays, is a man who bores the community with the details of the illegalities of his private life.
THE CRITIC AS ARTIST
A publisher is simply a useful middle-man.
DEFENCE OF DORIAN GRAY
Ambition is the last refuge of the failure.
PHRASES AND PHILOSOPHIES FOR THE USE OF THE YOUNG
And when scientific men are no longer called upon to go down to a depressing East-end and distribute cocoa and worse blankets to starving people, they will have delightful leisure in which to devise wonderful and marvellous things for their own joy and the joy of everyone else.
THE SOUL OF MAN UNDER SOCIALISM
Besides the professional posers of the studio there are posers of the Row, the posers at afternoon teas, the posers in politics and the circus posers. All four classes are delightful, but only the last class is ever really decorative.
LONDON MODELS
For myself, the only immortality I desire is to invent a new sauce.
VERA, OR THE NIHILISTS
For the British cook is a foolish woman, who should be turned, for her iniquities, into a pillar of that salt which she never knows how to use.
DINNERS AND DISHES
He had gone on the Stock Exchange for six months; but what was a butterfly to do among bulls and bears?
THE MODEL MILLIONAIRE
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.
AN IDEAL HUSBAND
I have no sympathy myself with industry of any kind, least of all with such industries as you seem to recommend. Indeed, I have always been of the opinion that hard work is simply the refuge of people who have nothing whatever to do.
THE REMARKABLE ROCKET
If you have not got women on your side you are quite over. You might just as well be a barrister or a stockbroker, or a journalist at once.
A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
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.
AN IDEAL HUSBAND
Industry is the root of all ugliness.
PHRASES AND PHILOSOPHIES FOR THE USE OF THE YOUNG
It is the Philistine who seeks to estimate a personality by the vulgar test of production.
PEN, PENCIL AND POISON
It is very vulgar to talk about one's business. Only people like stockbrokers do that, and then merely at dinner parties.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
Jack: My dear Algy, you talk exactly as if you were a dentist. It is very vulgar to talk like a dentist when one isn't a dentist. It produces a false impression.
Algernon: Well, that is exactly what dentists always do.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
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.
AN IDEAL HUSBAND
Let me assure you that if I had not always had an entree to the very best society, and the very worst conspiracies, I could never have been Prime Minister in Russia.
VERA, OR THE NIHILISTS
Let me say to you now that to do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult thing and the most intellectual.
THE CRITIC AS ARTIST
Lying for the sake of a monthly salary is of course well-known in Fleet Street, and the profession of a political leader-writer is not without its advantages. But it is said to be a somewhat dull occupation, and it certainly does not lead to much beyond a kind of ostentatious obscurity.
THE DECAY OF LYING
My dear father, only people who look dull ever get into the House of Commons, and only people who are dull ever succeed there.
AN IDEAL HUSBAND
One must have some occupation nowadays. If I hadn't my debts I shouldn't have anything to think about.
A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
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.
AN IDEAL HUSBAND
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 IDEAL HUSBAND
The English detectives are really our best friends, and I have always found that by relying on their stupidity, we can do exactly what we like.
LORD ARTHUR SAVILE'S CRIME
The fact is, that civilisation requires slaves. The Greeks were quite right there. Unless there are slaves to do the ugly, horrible, uninteresting work, culture and contemplation become almost impossible.
THE SOUL OF MAN UNDER SOCIALISM
The real difficulty, however, that we all have to face in life, is not so much the science of cookery, as the stupidity of cooks.
DINNERS AND DISHES
The salesman. . . knows nothing of what he is selling save that he is charging too much for it.
HOUSE DECORATION
Then there were some arrows, barbed and brilliant, shot off, with all the speed and splendour of fireworks, at the archaeologists, who spend their lives in verifying the birth-places of nobodies, and estimate the value of a work of art by its date or by its decay, at the art critics who always treat a picture as if it were a novel, and try and find out the plot...
MR. WHISTLER'S TEN O'CLOCK
There is hardly a single person in the House of Commons worth painting; though many of them would be better for a little whitewashing.
THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY
There is nothing necessarily dignified about manual labour at all, and most of it is absolutely degrading.
THE SOUL OF MAN UNDER SOCIALISM
There is something tragic about the enormous number of young men there are in England at the present moment who start life with perfect profiles, and end by adopting some useful profession.
PHRASES AND PHILOSOPHIES FOR THE USE OF THE YOUNG
They say a good lawyer can break the law as often as he likes, and no one can say him nay.
VERA, OR THE NIHILISTS
To give an accurate description of what has never occurred is not merely the proper occupation of the historian, but the inalienable privilege of any man of parts and culture.
THE CRITIC AS ARTIST
We in the House of Lords are never in touch with public opinion. That makes us a civilised body.
A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
You forget we are diplomatists. Men of thought should have nothing to do with action. Reforms in Russia are very tragic, but they always end in a farce.
VERA, OR THE NIHILISTS

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