W. Somerset Maugham Quotes


It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it.
The unfortunate thing about this world is that good habits are so much easier to give up than bad ones.
People ask for criticism, but they only want praise.
Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.
Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.
It's a funny think about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.
Only a mediocre person is always at his best.
The common idea that success spoils people by making them vain, egotistic, and self-complacent is erroneous; on the contrary it makes them, for the most part, humble, tolerant, and kind. Failure makes people bitter and cruel.
Love is only the dirty trick played on us to achieve continuation of the species.
The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit.
It wasn't until quite late in life that I discovered how easy it is to say 'I don't know'.
There is only one thing about which I am certain, and that is there is very little about which one can be certain.
The artist produces for the liberation of his soul. It is his nature to create as it is the nature of water to run down the hill.
Men have ascribed to God imperfections that they would deplore in themselves.
Perfection is a trifle dull. It is not the least of life's ironies that this, which we all aim at, is better not quite achieved.
In the country the darkness of night is friendly and familiar, but in a city, with its blaze of lights, it is unnatural, hostile and menacing. It is like a monstrous vulture that hovers, biding its time.
She plunged into a sea of platitudes, and with the powerful breast stroke of a channel swimmer, made her confident way towards the white cliffs of the obvious.
Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.
A proverb distills the wisdom of the ages, and only a fool is scornful of the commonplace.

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