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...a better institution than the House of Commons?
LORD ILLINGWORTH. A much better institution, of course. We in the House of Lords are never in touch with public opinion. That makes us a civilised body.
KELVIL. Are you serious in putting forward such a view?
LORD ILLINGWORTH. Quite serious, Mr. Kelvil. [To MRS. ALLONBY.] Vulgar habit that is people have nowadays of asking one, after one has given them an idea, whether one is serious or not. Nothing is serious except passion.The intellect is not a serious thing, and never has been. It is an instrument on which one plays, that is all.The only serious form of intellect I know is the British intellect. And on the British intellect the illiterates play the drum.
LADY HUNSTANTON. What are you saying, Lord Illingworth, about the drum?
LORD ILLINGWORTH. I was merely talking to Mrs. Allonby about the leading articles in the London newspapers.
LADY HUNSTANTON. But do you believe all that is written in the newspapers?
LORD ILLINGWORTH. I do. Nowadays it is only the unreadable that occurs. [Rises with MRS.... Wilde, Oscar
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