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William Somerset Maugham quotes page 1

25 January 1874 – 16 December 1965, British playwright and novelist

It is dangerous to let the public behind the scenes. They are easily disillusioned and then
they are angry with you, for it was the illusion they loved.
William Somerset Maugham

Like all weak men he laid an exaggerated stress on not changing one's mind.
William Somerset Maugham

When you choose your friends, don't be short-changed by choosing personality over
character.
William Somerset Maugham

The world in general doesn't know what to make of originality; it is startled out of its
comfortable habits of thought, and its first reaction is one of anger.
William Somerset Maugham

Some of us look for the Way in opium and some in God, some of us in whiskey and some in
love. It is all the same Way and it leads nowhither.
William Somerset Maugham

The great tragedy of life is not that men perish, but that they cease to love.
William Somerset Maugham

American women expect to find in their husbands a perfection that English women only hope
to find in their butlers.
William Somerset Maugham

One cannot find peace in work or in pleasure, in the world or in a convent, but only in one's
soul.
William Somerset Maugham

Sometimes people carry to such perfection the mask they have assumed that in due course
they actually become the person they seem.
William Somerset Maugham

People ask you for criticism, but they only want praise.
William Somerset Maugham

An unfortunate thing about this world is that the good habits are much easier to give up than
the bad ones.
William Somerset Maugham

Art is merely the refuge which the ingenious have invented, when they were supplied with
food and women, to escape the tediousness of life.
William Somerset Maugham

She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit.
William Somerset Maugham

It was such a lovely day that it seemed a pity to get up.
William Somerset Maugham

Conscience is the guardian in the individual of the rules which the community has evolved for
its own preservation..
William Somerset Maugham

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.
William Somerset Maugham

As lovers, the difference between men and women is that women can love all day long, but
men only at times.
William Somerset Maugham

Do you know that conversation is one of the greatest pleasures in life? But it wants leisure.
William Somerset Maugham

Considering how foolishly people act and how pleasantly they prattle, perhaps it would be
better for the world if they talked more and did less.
William Somerset Maugham

At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely.
William Somerset Maugham

I made up my mind long ago that life was too short to do anything for myself that I could pay
others to do for me.
William Somerset Maugham

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.
William Somerset Maugham

The artist produces for the liberation of his soul. It is his nature to create as it is the nature
of water to run down the hill.
William Somerset Maugham

You can do anything in this world if you are prepared to take the consequences.
William Somerset Maugham

It's a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often
get it.
William Somerset Maugham

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

To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the
miseries of life.
William Somerset Maugham

It is not true that suffering ennobles the character; happiness does that sometimes, but
suffering, for the most part, makes men petty and vindictive.
William Somerset Maugham

If a man hasn't what's necessary to make a woman love him, it's his fault, not hers.
William Somerset Maugham

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.
William Somerset Maugham

The best style is the style you don't notice.
William Somerset Maugham

Life wouldn't be worth living if I worried over the future as well as the present.
William Somerset Maugham

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

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

Anyone can tell the truth, but only very few of us can make epigrams.
William Somerset Maugham

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