Failure too is a form of death…
I had very good dentures once. Some magnificent gold work. It’s the only form of jewelry a man can wear that women fully appreciate.
We’d forgive most things if we knew the facts.
Our worst enemies here are not the ignorant and simple, however cruel; our worst enemies are the intelligent and corrupt.
I have often noticed that a bribe has that effect—it changes a relation. The man who offers a bribe gives away a little of his own importance; the bribe once accepted, he becomes the inferior, like a man who has paid for a woman.
Topics: Defects, Corruption
People talk about the courage of condemned men walking to the place of execution: sometimes it needs as much courage to walk with any kind of bearing towards another person’s habitual misery.
Topics: Misery, Money
Against the beautiful and the clever and the successful, one can wage a pitiless war, but not against the unattractive: then the millstone weighs on the breast.
We are all of us resigned to death: it’s life we aren’t resigned to.
Those who marry God can become domesticated too—it’s just as hum-drum a marriage as all the others. The word Love means a formal touch of the lips as in the ceremony of the Mass, and Ave Maria like dearest is a phrase to open a letter. This marriage like the world’s marriages was held together by habits and tastes shared in common between God and themselves—it was God’s taste to be worshipped and their taste to worship, but only at stated hours like a suburban embrace on a Saturday night.
If I had to choose between life in the Soviet Union and life in the U. S. A. , I would certainly choose the Soviet Union.
Sentimentality—that’s what we call the sentiment we don’t share.
Behind the complicated details of the world stand the simplicities: God is good, the grown-up man or woman knows the answer to every question, there is such a thing as truth, and justice is as measured and faultless as a clock. Our heroes are simple: they are brave, they tell the truth, they are good swordsmen and they are never in the long run really defeated. That is why no later books satisfy us like those which were read to us in childhood—for those promised a world of great simplicity of which we knew the rules, but the later books are complicated and contradictory with experience; they are formed out of our own disappointing memories.
Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector. It encourages a man to be expansive, even reckless, while lie detectors are only a challenge to tell lies successfully.
Topics: Challenges, Alcohol, Wine
Innocence always calls mutely for protection when we would be so much wiser to guard ourselves against it: innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm.
You think it more difficult to turn air into wine than to turn wine into blood?
We mustn’t complain too much of being comedians—it’s an honorable profession. If only we could be good ones the world might gain at least a sense of style. We have failed—that’s all. We are bad comedians, we aren’t bad men.
Cynicism is cheap—you can buy it at any Monoprix store—it’s built into all poor-quality goods.
Reality in our century is not something to be faced.
Unhappiness in a child accumulates because he sees no end to the dark tunnel. The thirteen weeks of a term might just as well be thirteen years.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Dodie Smith British Novelist
- Dorothy L. Sayers English Novelist, Playwright
- Gladys Bronwyn Stern British Novelist
- J. B. Priestley British Novelist, Playwright, Essayist
- Doris Lessing British Novelist, Poet
- Agatha Christie British Novelist
- William Shakespeare British Playwright
- V. S. Pritchett British Short Story Writer
- W. Somerset Maugham British Novelist
- Arnold J. Toynbee British Historian