W. Somerset Maugham Quotes

W. Somerset Maugham

English dramatist & novelist (1874 - 1965)

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You are not angry with people when you laugh at them. Humour teaches tolerance.

Categorized under Humor

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No affectation of peculiarity can conceal a common place mind.

Categorized under Individuality

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We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.

Categorized under Love

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It is not true that suffering ennobles the character; happiness does that sometimes, but suffering for the most part, makes men petty and vindictive.

Categorized under Suffer

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People ask for criticism, but they only want praise.

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The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit.

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Death is a very dull, dreary affair, and my advice to you is to have nothing whatsoever to do with it.

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An unfortunate thing about this world is that the good habits are much easier to give up than the bad ones.

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Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.

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It was such a lovely day I thought it a pity to get up.

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She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit.

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Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.

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When you have loved as she has loved, you grow old beautifully.

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Love is a dirty trick played on us to achieve the continuation of the species.

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We have long passed the Victorian era, when asterisks were followed after a certain interval by a baby.

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Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.

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American women expect to find in their husbands a perfection that English women only hope to find in their butlers.

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It was such a lovely day I thought it a pity to get up.

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The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit.

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At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely.

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People ask for criticism, but they only want praise.

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Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.

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We do not write because we want to; we write because we have to.

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There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

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A woman can forgive a man for the harm he does her...but she can never forgive him for the sacrifices he makes on her account.

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Sometimes people carry to such perfection the mask they have assumed that in due course they actually become the person they seem.

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Common-sense appears to be only another name for the thoughtlessness of the unthinking. It is made of the prejudices of childhood, the idiosyncrasies of individual character and the opinion of the newspapers.

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I have an idea that some men are born out of their due place. Accident has cast them amid certain surroundings, but they have always a nostalgia for a home they know not. They are strangers at their birthplace, and the leafy lanes they have known from childhood or the populous streets in which they have played, remain but a place of passage. They may spend their whole lives aliens among their kindred and remain aloof among the only scenes they have ever knows. Perhaps it is this sense of strangeness that sends men far and wide in the search for something permanent, to which they may attach themselves. Perhaps some deep-rooted atavism urges the wanderer back to lands which his ancestors left in the dim beginnings of history. Sometimes a man hits upon a place to which he mysteriously feels that he belongs. Here is the home he sought, and he will settle amid scenes that he has never seen before, among men he has never known, as though they were familiar to him from his birth. Here at last he finds rest.

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My own belief is that there is hardly anyone whose sexual life, if it were broadcast, would not fill the world at large with surprise and horror.

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There will always be one who loves, and one who lets himself be loved.

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The secret to life is meaningless unless you discover it yourself.

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She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit.

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Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.

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There is hardly anyone whose sexual life, if it were broadcast, would not fill the world at large with surprise and horror.

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You are not angry with people when you laugh at them. Humor teaches them tolerance.

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To write simply is as difficult as to be good.

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It is funny about life: if you refuse to accept anything but the very best you will very often get it.

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Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.

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When I was young I had an elderly friend who used often to ask me to stay with him in the country. He was a religious man and he read prayers to the assembled household every morning. But he had crossed out in pencil all the passages that praised God. He said that there was nothing so vulgar as to praise people to their faces and, himself a gentleman, he could not believe that God was so ungentlemanly as to like it.

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