Famous Quotes from ...

George Bernard Shaw



    Every man over forty is a scoundrel.

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    If all the economists were laid end to end, they'd never reach a conclusion.

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    A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

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    Just do what must be done. This may not be happiness, but it is greatness.

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    It is the mark of a truly intelligent person to be moved by statistics.

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    Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.

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    First love is only a little foolishness and a lot of curiosity.

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    Love is a gross exaggeration of the difference between one person and everybody else.

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    Peace is not only better than war, but infinitely more arduous.

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    Baseball has the great advantage over cricket of being sooner ended.

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    Everything happens to everybody sooner or later if there is time enough.

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    We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.

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    Beauty is all very well at first sight; but who ever looks at it when it has been in the house three days?

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    A happy family is but an earlier heaven.

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    If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.

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    Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends.

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    Statistics show that of those who contract the habit of eating, very few survive.

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    There is no sincerer love than the love of food.

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    Home life is no more natural to us than a cage is natural to a cockatoo.

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    Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.

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    Parentage is a very important profession, but no test of fitness for it is ever imposed in the interest of the children.

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    Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.

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    Science never solves a problem without creating ten more.

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    Do not waste your time on Social Questions. What is the matter with the poor is Poverty; what is the matter with the rich is Uselessness.

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    I dislike feeling at home when I am abroad.

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    Clever and attractive women do not want to vote; they are willing to let men govern as long as they govern men.

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    If women were particular about men's characters, they would never get married at all.

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    Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

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    There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart's desire. The other is to gain it.

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    Life is not meant to be easy, my child; but take courage -- it can be delightful.

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    A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.

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    You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, 'Why not?'

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    Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life.

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    Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it onto future generations.

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    I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.

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    Life is a disease; and the only difference between one another is the stage of the disease at which he lives

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    The true joy of life [is] being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one ... being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown to the scrap heap ... being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish clod of ailments and grievances.

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    Miracles, in the sense of phenomena we cannot explain, surround us on every hand: life itself is the miracle of miracles.

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    Life is a flame that is always burning itself out, but it catches fire again every time a child is born

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    The great advantage of a hotel is that it's a great refuge from home life

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    People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them

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    This is the true joy in life - being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one.

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    We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

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    I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake.

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    This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making yo

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    I feel nothing but the accursed happiness I have dreaded all my life long: the happiness that comes as life goes, the happiness of yielding and dreaming instead of resisting and doing, the sweetness of the fruit that is going rotten.

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    The Indian way of life provides the vision of the natural, real way of life. We veil ourselves with unnatural masks. On the face of India are the tender expressions which carry the mark of the Creator's hand. In the face of an Indian, you can see the natural glory of life, while we have covered ourselves with an artificial cloak.

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    One man that has a mind and knows it can always beat ten men who haven't and don't

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    It is a woman's business to get married as soon as possible, and a man's to keep unmarried as long as possible

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    There is no subject on which more dangerous nonsense is talked and thought than marriage.

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    The true artist will let his wife starve, his children go barefoot, his mother drudge for his living at seventy, sooner than work at anything but his art

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    My father must have had some elementary education for he could read and write and keep accounts inaccurately

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    When your eyes are fixed in the stare of unconsciousness, and your throat coughs the last gasping breath - as one dragged in the dark to a great precipice - what assistance are a wife and child?

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    The natural term of the affection of the human animal for its offspring is six years.

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    My mother married a very good man . . . and she is not at all keen on my doing the same.

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    I like flowers, I also like children, but I do not chop their heads and keep them in bowls of water around the house.

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    Woman reduces us all to a common denomination

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    Education can and should do much influence social, moral and intellectual discovery by stimulating critical attitudes of thought in the young

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    In your Salvation shelter I saw poverty, misery, cold and hunger. You gave them bread and treacle and dreams of heaven. I give from thirty shillings a week to twelve thousand a year. They find their own dreams; but I look after the drainage.

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    The longer I live, the more I see that I am never wrong about anything, and that all the pains I have so humbly taken to verify my notions have only wasted my time.

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    There is nothing that can be changed more completely than human nature when the job is taken in hand early enough.

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    Between persons of equal income there is no social distinction except the distinction of merit. Money is nothing: character, conduct, and capacity are everything. There would be great people and ordinary people and little people, but the great would always be those who had done great things, and never the idiots whose mothers had spoiled them and whose fathers had left them a hundred thousand a year; and the little would be persons of small minds and mean characters, and not poor persons who had never had a chance. That is why idiots are always in favor of inequality of income (their only chance of eminence), and the really great in favor of equality.

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    It is most unwise for people in love to marry.

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    Do not love your neighbour as yourself. If you are on good terms with yourself it is an impertinence; if on bad, an injury.

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    The love of economy is the root of all virtue.

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    When we want to read of the deeds that are done for love, whither do we turn? To the murder column; and there we are rarely disappointed.

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    Syllables govern the world.

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    Men are not governed by justice, but by law or persuasion. When they refuse to be governed by law or persuasion, they have to be governed by force or fraud, or both.

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    The statesman cannot govern without stability of belief, true or false

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    If you are going to let the fear of poverty govern your life, your reward will be that you will eat, but you will not live.

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    Revolutionary movements attract the best and worst elements in a given society.

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    A miracle is an event which creates faith. That is the purpose and nature of miracles. Frauds deceive. An event which creates faith does not deceive: therefore it is not a fraud, but a miracle.

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    The most revolutionary invention of the Nineteenth Century was the artificial sterilization of marriage.

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    Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.

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    The whole world is strewn with snares, traps, gins and pitfalls for the capture of men by women

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    Life levels all men. Death reveals the eminent.

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    You must not suppose, because I am a man of letters, that I never tried to earn an honest living.

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    The most striking result of our present system of farming out the national land and capital to private individuals has been the division of society into hostile classes, with large appetites and no dinners at one extreme, and large dinners no appetit

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    A moderately honest man with a moderately faithful wife, moderate drinkers both, in a moderately healthy house : that is the true middle-class unit.

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    Though all society is founded on intolerance, all improvement is founded on tolerance

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    The secret to success is to offend the greatest number of people

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    The perfect love affair is one which is conducted entirely by post.

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    Old men are dangerous it doesn't matter to them what is going to happen to the world

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    Money is the most important thing in the world. It represents health, strength, honor, generosity and beauty as conspicuously as the want of it represents illness, weakness, disgrace, meanness and ugliness.

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    The universal regard for money is the one hopeful fact in our civilization

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    There is only one belief that can rob death of its sting and the grave of its victory.. For without that you cannot be born again.

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    I want to be all used up when I die.

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    Affection between adults - if they are really adult in mind and not merely grown up children - and creatures so relatively selfish and cruel as children necessarily are without knowing it or meaning it, cannot be called natural

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    If women were as fastidious as men, morally or physically, there would be an end of the race.

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    The philosopher is Nature's pilot. And there you have our difference: to be in hell is to drift: to be in heaven is to steer.

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    Go anywhere in England where there are natural, wholesome, contented, and really nice English people; and what do you always find? That the stables are the real center of the household.

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    Leisure may be defined as free activity, labor as compulsory activity. Leisure does what it likes, labor does what it must, the compulsion being that of Nature, which in these latitudes leaves men no choice between labor and starvation.

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    It took me twenty years of studied self-restraint, aided by the natural decay of my faculties, to make myself dull enough to be accepted as a serious person by the British public.

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    There is a disease to which plays as well as men become liable with advancing years,

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    The American Constitution, one of the few modern political documents drawn up by men who were forced by the sternest circumstances to think out what they really had to face, instead of chopping logic in a university classroom.

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    I talk democracy to these men and women. I tell them that they have the vote, and that theirs is the kingdom and the power and the glory. I say to them ''You are supreme: exercise your power'.' They say, ''That's right: tell us what to do';' and I tell them. I say ''Exercise our vote intelligently by voting for me'.' And they do. That's democracy; and a splendid thing it is too for putting the right men in the right place.

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    Nobel prize money is a life-belt thrown to a swimmer who has already reached the shore in safety

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    Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anybody to the country and to mankind is to bring up a family.

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    I am sure that if people had to choose between living where the noise of children never stopped and where it was never heard, all the good-natured and sound people would prefer the incessant noise to the incessant silence.

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    The trouble, Mr. Goldwyn is that you are only interested in art and I am only interested in money.

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    Make money and the whole nation will conspire to call you a gentleman

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    The more I see of the moneyed classes, the more I understand the guillotine.

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    Except during the nine months before he draws his first breath no man manages his affairs as well as a tree does

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    Don't order any black things. Rejoice in his memory; and be radiant: leave grief to the children. Wear violet and purple. Be patient with the poor people who will snivel: they don't know; and they think they will live for ever, which makes death a division instead of a bond.

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    I have to live for others and not for myself; that's middle class morality

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    I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

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    Women upset everything. When you let them into your life, you find that the woman is driving at one thing and you're driving at another.

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    Folly is the direct pursuit of happiness and beauty

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    The faults of the burglar are the qualities of the financier.

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    A broken heart is a very pleasant complaint for a man in London if he has a comfortable income.

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    When people shake their heads because we are living in a restless age, ask them how they would like to live in a stationary one and do without change

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    Imprisonment is as irrevocable as death.

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    Marriage is popular because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.

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    We need men who can dream of things that never were, and ask why not.

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    I began as a passion and ended as a habit, like all husbands.

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    The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

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    It does not follow . . . that the right to criticize Shakespeare involves the power of writing better plays. And in fact . . . I do not profess to write better plays.

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    A doctor's reputation is made by the number of eminent men who die under his care.

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