W. Somerset Maugham Quotes

Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.
When you choose your friends, don't be short-changed by choosing personality over character.
It is salutary to train oneself to be no more affected by censure than by praise.
Art for art's sake makes no more sense than gin for gin's sake.
The value of money is that with it we can tell any man to go to the devil. It is the sixth sense which enables you to enjoy the other five.
The great tragedy of life is not that men perish, but that they cease to love.
There is no explanation for evil. It must be looked upon as a necessary part of the order of the universe. To ignore it is childish to bewail it senseless.
Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.
Romantic love is an illusion. Most of us discover this truth at the end of a love affair or else when the sweet emotions of love lead us into marriage and then turn down their flames.
The nature of men and women - their essential nature - is so vile and despicable that if you were to portray a person as he really is, no one would believe you.
It's a funny thing about life if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.
By the time a man notices that he is no longer young, his youth has long since left him.
If a man should importune me to give a reason why I loved him, I find it could no otherwise be expressed, than by making answer because it was he, because it was I.
The unfortunate thing about this world is that the good habits are much easier to give up than the bad ones.
Tolerance is another word for indifference.
Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.
I don't know why it is that the religious never ascribe common sense to God.
If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will Lose its freedom and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that, too.
We know our friends by their defects rather than by their merits.
To regard the imagination as metaphysics is to think of it as part of life, and to think of it as part of life is to realize the extent of artifice. We live in the mind.
Like all weak men he laid an exaggerated stress on not changing one's mind.
I can imagine no more comfortable frame of mind for the conduct of life than a humorous resignation.
To bear failure with courage is the best proof of character that anyone can give.
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. It is failure that makes people bitter and cruel.
There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
It was such a lovely day I thought it was a pity to get up.
At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely.
She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit.
People ask for criticism, but they only want praise.
We do not write because we want to we write because we have to.
Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.
I daresay one profits more by the mistakes one makes off one's own bat than by doing the right thing on somebody's else advice.
It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it but the young know they are wretched for they are full of the truthless ideal which have been instilled into them, and each time they come in contact with the real, they are bruised and wounded.
He had heard people speak contemptuously of money he wondered if they had ever tried to do without it.
I do not confer praise or blame I accept. I am the measure of all things. I am the centre of the world.
D'you call life a bad job Never We've had our ups and downs, we've had our struggles, we've always been poor, but it's been worth it, ay, worth it a hundred times I say when I look round at my children.
Follow your inclinations with due regard to the policeman round the corner.
When you have loved as she has loved, you grow old beautifully.
Art is merely the refuge which the ingenious have invented, when they were supplied with food and women, to escape the tediousness of life.
The rain fell alike upon the just and upon the unjust, and for nothing was there a why and a wherefore.
Men seek but one thing in life - their pleasure.
It's asking a great deal that things should appeal to your reason as well as your sense of the aesthetic.
There's always one who loves and one who lets himself be loved.
It is cruel to discover one's mediocrity only when it is too late.
The important thing was to love rather than to be loved.
It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one's dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent.
Money is like a sixth sense without which you cannot make a complete use of the other five.
There was an immeasurable distance between the quick and the dead they did not seem to belong to the same species and it was strange to think that but a little while before they had spoken and moved and eaten and laughed.
Life wouldn't be worth living if I worried over the future as well as the present.
Sometimes people carry to such perfection the mask they have assumed that in due course they actually become the person they seem.
When things are at their worst I find something always happens.
I don't think of the past. The only thing that matters is the everlasting present.
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.
Life isn't long enough for love and art.
When I read a book I seem to read it with my eyes only, but now and then I come across a passage, perhaps only a phrase, which has a meaning for me, and it becomes part of me.
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