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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Nothing is worth doing unless the consequences may be serious.

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.
What is wrong with priests and popes is that instead of being apostles and saints, they are nothing but empirics who say I know instead of I am learning, and pray for credulity and inertia as wise men pray for skepticism and activity.
How can you dare teach a man to read until you've taught him everything else first?
You are all fundamentalists with a top dressing of science. That is why you are the stupidest of conservatives and reactionists in politics and the most bigoted of obstructionists in science itself. When it comes to getting a move on you are all of the same opinion: stop it, flog it, hang it, dynamite it, stamp it out.
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.
In a battle all you need to make you fight is a little hot blood and the knowledge that it's more dangerous to lose than to win.
Assassination is the extreme form of censorship.
Englishmen hate Liberty and Equality too much to understand them. But every Englishman loves a pedigree.
Life would be tolerable but for its amusements.
I'm only a beer teetotaler, not a champagne teetotaler.
Every man over forty is a scoundrel.
Why, except as a means of livelihood, a man should desire to act on the stage when he has the whole world to act in, is not clear to me.
Martyrdom is the only way a man can become famous without ability.
What is virtue but the Trade Unionism of the married?
Virtue consists, not in abstaining from vice, but in not desiring it.
In the arts of life man invents nothing; but in the arts of death he outdoes Nature herself, and produces by chemistry and machinery all the slaughter of plague, pestilence, and famine.
I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.
Those who try to make life one long holiday find that they need a holiday from that too.
Vegetarians claim to be immune from most diseases but they have been known to die from time to time.
Do not mistake your objection to defeat for an objection to fighting, your objection to being a slave for an objection to slavery, your objection to not being as rich as your neighbor for an objection to poverty. The cowardly, the insubordinate, and the envious share your objections.
This comes of James teaching me to think for myself, and never to hold back out of fear of what other people may think of me. It works beautifully as long as I think the same things as he does.
Nothing makes a man so selfish as work.
Youth, which is forgiven everything, forgives itself nothing: age, which forgives itself everything, is forgiven nothing.
You have to choose between trusting to the natural stability of gold and the natural stability of the honesty and intelligence of the members of the Government. And, with due respect for these gentlemen, I advise you, as long as the Capitalist system lasts, to vote for gold.
You have set up in New York Harbor a monstrous idol which you call Liberty. The only thing that remains to complete that monument is to put on its pedestal the inscription written by Dante on the gate of hell: All hope abandon ye who enter here.
Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.
You see things; and you say Why? But I dream things that never were; and I say Why not?
Majesty: when a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.
There is nothing so bad or so good that you will not find an Englishman doing it; but you will never find an Englishman in the wrong. He does everything on principle. He fights you on patriotic principles; he robs you on business principles; he enslaves you on imperial principles.
England and America are two countries separated by the same language.
A doctor’s reputation is made by the number of eminent men who die under his care.
Every man over 40 is a scoundrel.
Instruction in sex is as important as instruction in food; yet not only are our adolescents not taught the physiology of sex, but never warned that the strongest sexual attraction may exist between persons so incompatible in tastes and capacities that they could not endure living together for a week much less a lifetime.
I have nothing to offer you but my strength for your defence, my honesty for your surety, my ability and industry for your livelihood, and my authority and position for your dignity. That is all it becomes a man to offer to a woman.
All young women begin by believing they can change and reform the men they marry. They can't.