Oscar Wilde : 1854-1900

Irish poet and dramatist whose reputation rests on his comic masterpieces "Lady Windermere's Fan" (1892) and "The Importance of Being Earnest" (1895). Among Wilde's other best-known works are his only novel "The Picture of Dorian Gray" (1891) and his fairy tales, particularly "The Happy Prince."

Born on October 16, 1854 in Dublin to unconventional parents, he studied at Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh (1864-71), Trinity College, Dublin (1871-74) and Magdalen College, Oxford (1874-78).

A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally.

A true friend stabs you in the front.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes.

Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.

We can have in life but one great experience at best, and the secret of life is to reproduce that experience as often as possible.

Good taste is the excuse I've always given for leading such a bad life.

Life is too important to be taken seriously.

I have met a lot of hardboiled eggs in my time, but you're twenty minutes.

I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.

It is because Humanity has never known where it was going that it has been able to find its way.

The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one.

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.

I sometimes think that God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.

Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result.

Murder is always a mistake – one should never do anything one cannot talk about after dinner.

America has been discovered before, but it has always been hushed up.

Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do.

People who count their chickens before they are hatched, act very wisely, because chickens run about so absurdly that it is impossible to count them accurately.

He was always late on principle, his principle being that punctuality is the thief of time.

Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.

I am not young enough to know everything.

It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information.

Rich bachelors should be heavily taxed. It is not fair that some men should be happier than others.

Experience is one thing you can't get for nothing.

Work is the curse of the drinking classes.

As a wicked man I am a complete failure. Why, there are lots of people who say I have never really done anything wrong in the whole course of my life. Of course they only say it behind my back.

Thinking is the most unhealthy thing in the world, and people die of it just as they die of any other disease. Fortunately, in England at any rate, thought is not catching. Our splendid physique as a people is entirely due to our national stupidity.

Hear no evil, speak no evil – and you'll never be invited to a party.

I adore political parties. They are the only place left to us where people don't talk politics.

A true gentleman is one who is never unintentionally rude.

Never speak disrespectfully of Society. Only people who can't get into it do that.

To get back to my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable.

Lots of people act well, but few people talk well. This shows that talking is the more difficult of the two.

To get back one's youth one has merely to repeat one's follies.

The value of an idea has nothing whatever to do with the sincerity of the man who expresses it.

The soul is born old but grows young. That is the comedy of life.

Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one's head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.