Ridiculously photogenic Ezio
When I like people immensely I never tell their names to anyone. It is like surrendering a part of them.
Real beauty ends where an intellectual expression begins. Intellect is in itself a mode of exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face. The moment one sits down to think, one becomes all nose, or all forehead, or something horrid. Look at the successful men in any of the learned professions. How perfectly hideous they are! Except, of course, in the Church. But then in the Church they don’t think.
Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far the best endings for one.
You don’t understand what friendship is or what enemy is, for the matter. You like everyone, that is to say, you are indifferent to everyone.
I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world.
I think you are wrong, Basil, but I won’t argue with you. It is only the intellectually lost who ever argue.
There is no doubt that Genius lasts longer than Beauty. That accounts for the fact that we all take such pains to over-educate ourselves. In the wild struggle for existence, we want to have something that endures, and so we fill our minds with rubbish and facts, in the silly hope of keeping our place.
But the bravest man amongst us is afraid of himself. The mutilation of the savage has its tragic survival in the self‐denial that mars our lives. We are punished for our refusals. Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind and poisons us. The body sins once, and has done with its sin, for action is a mode of purification. Nothing remains then but the recollection of a pleasure, or the luxury of a regret. The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful.
You are glad you have met me, Mr. Gray, said Lord Henry, looking at him.
Yes, I am glad now. I wonder shall I always be glad?
Youth is the only thing worth having. When I find that I am growing old, I shall kill myself.
I am jealous of everything whose beauty does not die. I am jealous of the portrait you have painted of me. Why should it keep what I must lose?
I‘ll tell her, but it won‘t have any effect. Philanthropic people lose all sense of humanity. It is their distinguishing characteristic.
I wish you would tell me how to become young again.
Can you remember any great error that you committed in your early days? Commit them over again, he said gravely. To get back one’s youth, one has merely to repeat one‘s follies. Yes, that is one of the great secrets of life. Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one‘s mistakes.
But you should not say the greatest romance of your life. You should say the first romance of your life. You will always be loved, and you will always be in love with love. A grande passion is the privilege of people who have nothing to do.
My dear boy, the people who love only once in their lives are really the shallow people. What they call their loyalty, and their fidelity, I call either the lethargy of custom or their lack of imagination.
Faithfulness! I must analyse it some day. The passion for property is in it. There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.
I don‘t want to see him alone. He says things that annoy me. He gives me good advice.
People are very fond of giving away what they need most themselves. It is what I call the depth of generosity.
Good artists exist simply in what they make, and consequently are perfectly uninteresting in what they are. A great poet, a really great poet, is the most unpoetical of all creatures. But inferior poets are absolutely fascinating. The worse their rhymes are, the more picturesque they look. The mere fact of having published a book of second‐rate sonnets makes a man quite irresistible. He lives the poetry that he cannot write. The others write the poetry that they dare not realize.