Quotes by George Bernard Shaw

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George Bernard Shaw (July 26, 1856 November 2, 1950) was an Irish playwright and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925. more

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Even the youngest of us may be wrong sometimes.

If you strike a child, take care that you strike it in anger, even at the risk of maiming it for life. A blow in cold blood neither can nor should be forgiven.
A man of my spiritual intensity does not eat corpses.
A man who has no office to go to -- I don't care who he is -- is a trial of which you can have no conception.
Though I can make my extravaganzas appear credible, I cannot make the truth appear so.
Life on board a pleasure steamer violates every moral and physical condition of healthy life except fresh air. It is a guzzling, lounging, gambling, dog's life. The only alternative to excitement is irritability.
No king on earth is as safe in his job as a Trade Union official. There is only one thing that can get him sacked; and that is drink. Not even that, as long as he doesn't actually fall down.
It is difficult, if not impossible, for most people to think otherwise than in the fashion of their own period.
Life is a disease; and the only difference between one man and another is the stage of the disease at which he lives. You are always at the crisis: I am always in the convalescent stage.
In literature the ambition of the novice is to acquire the literary language: the struggle of the adept is to get rid of it.
The fickleness of the women I love is only equaled by the infernal constancy of the women who love me.
The great secret, Eliza, is not having bad manners or good manners or any other particular sort of manners, but having the same manner for all human souls: in short, behaving as if you were in Heaven, where there are no third-class carriages, and one soul is as good as another.
Marriage is popular because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.
Reminiscences make one feel so deliciously aged and sad.
If women were as fastidious as men, morally or physically, there would be an end of the race.
I have to live for others and not for myself: that's middle-class morality.
The only way to avoid being miserable is not to have enough leisure to wonder whether you are happy or not.
Lack of money is the root of all evil.
Money is indeed the most important thing in the world; and all sound and successful personal and national morality should have this fact for its basis.
The universal regard for money is the one hopeful fact in our civilization. Money is the most important thing in the world. It represents health, strength, honor, generosity and beauty. Not the least of its virtues is that it destroys base people as certainly as it fortifies and dignifies noble people.
Morality is suspecting other people of not being legally married.
An Englishman thinks he is moral when he is only uncomfortable.
The more things a man is ashamed of, the more respectable he is.
He never does a proper thing without giving an improper reason for it.
Hell is full of musical amateurs: music is the brandy of the damned.
Put an Irishman on the spit and you can always get another Irishman to turn him.
Man is the only animal which esteems itself rich in proportion to the number and voracity of its parasites.
You will never have a quiet world until you knock the patriotism out of the human race.
Patriotism is a pernicious, psychopathic form of idiocy.
Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.
Better see rightly on a pound a week than squint on a million.
If there was nothing wrong in the world there wouldn't be anything for us to do.
A pessimist is a man who thinks everybody is as nasty as himself.
The camera can represent flesh so superbly that, if I dared, I would never photograph a figure without asking that figure to take its clothes off.
My method is to take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then to say it with the utmost levity.
In order to fully realize how bad a popular play can be, it is necessary to see it twice.
We mustn't be stiff and stand-off, you know. We must be thoroughly democratic, and patronize everybody without distinction of class.
He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.
The seven deadly sins... food, clothing, firing, rent, taxes, respectability and children. Nothing can lift those seven millstones from Man's neck but money; and the spirit cannot soar until the millstones are lifted.
Common people do not pray; they only beg.
The most anxious man in a prison is the governor.
All problems are finally scientific problems.
All professions are conspiracies against the laity.
All progress means war with society.
All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions.
It has taken me nearly 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; and I am not sure that I am not still regarded as a suspicious character in some quarters.
We know there is intention and purpose in the universe, because there is intention and purpose in us.
All the sweetness of religion is conveyed to the world by the hands of story-tellers and image-makers. Without their fictions the truths of religion would for the multitude be neither intelligible nor even apprehensible; and the prophets would prophesy and the teachers teach in vain.
Well, dearie, men have to do some awfully mean things to keep up their respectability. But you can't blame them for that, can you?
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.
Revolutions have never lightened the burden of tyranny: they have only shifted it to another shoulder.
The golden rule is that there are no golden rules.
Vulgarity in a king flatters the majority of the nation.
Science becomes dangerous only when it imagines that it has reached its goal.
Science is always wrong, it never solves a problem without creating ten more.
There are no secrets better kept than the secrets everybody guesses.
Self-denial is not a virtue, it is only the effect of prudence on rascality.
Ladies and gentleman are permitted to have friends in the kennel, but not in the kitchen.

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