William Somerset Maugham Quotations

-She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit.

-Love is a dirty trick played on us to achieve the continuation of the species.

-It’s asking a great deal that things should appeal to your reason as well as your sense of the aesthetic.

-Commonsense and good nature will do a lot to make the pilgrimage of life not too difficult.

-Money is like a sixth sense without which you cannot make a complete use of the other five.

-People ask for criticism, but they only want praise.

-I do not confer praise or blame: I accept. I am the measure of all things. I am the centre of the world.

-It is funny about life: if you refuse to accept anything but the very best you will very often get it.

-Charm and nothing but charm at last grows a little tiresome. It’s a relief then to deal with a man who isn’t quite so delightful but a little more sincere.

-If nobody spoke unless he had something to say, the human race would very soon lose the use of speech.

-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.

-The Americans … have invented so wide a range of pithy and hackneyed phrases that they can carry on an amusing and animated conversation without giving a moment’s reflection to what they are saying and so leave their minds free to consider the more important matters of big business and fornication.

-We didn’t think much in the air corps of a fellow who wangled a cushy job out of his C.O. by buttering him up. It was hard for me to believe that God thought much of a man who tried to wangle salvation by fulsome flattery. I should have thought the worship most pleasing to him was to do your best according to your lights.

-The future will one day be the present and will seem as unimportant as the present does now.

-I like manual labor. Whenever I’ve got waterlogged with study, I’ve taken a spell of it and found it spiritually invigorating.

-An author spends months writing a book, and maybe puts his heart’s blood into it, and then it lies about unread till the reader has nothing else in the world to do.

-It is cruel to discover one’s mediocrity only when it is too late.

-A mother only does her children harm if she makes them the only concern of her life.

-Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.

-I always find it more difficult to say the things I mean than the things I don’t.

-It is very difficult to know people and I don’t think one can ever really know any but one’s own countrymen. For men and women are not only themselves; they are also the region in which they are born, the city apartment or the farm in which they learnt to walk, the games they played as children, the old wives’ tales they overheard, the food they ate, the schools they attended, the sports they followed, the poets they read, and the God they believed in. It is all these things that have made them what they are, and these are the things that you can’t come to know by hearsay, you can only know them if you have lived them.
William Somerset Maugham