There is no accomplishment so easy to acquire as politeness and none more profitable.
To a professional critic (I have been one myself) theatre-going is the curse of Adam. The play is the evil he is paid to endure in the sweat of his brow; and the sooner it is over, the better.
As 99 per cent of English authors and 100 per cent of American ones authors are just such imbeciles, managers and publishers make a practice of asking for every right the author possesses.
It is clear that a novel cannot be too bad to be worth publishing... It certainly is possible for a novel to be too good to be worth publishing.
Most of my recent plays were written in the railway train between Hatfield and Kings Cross. I write anywhere, on the top of omnibuses or wherever I may be; it is all the same to me.
Every dream is a prophecy: every jest is an earnest in the womb of Time.
The vilest abortionist is he who attempts to mould a child's character.
Patriotism is a word which always commemorates a robbery.
Who is this Baby Ruth? And what does she do?
I want to destroy ownership in order that possession and enjoyment may be raised to the highest point in every section of the community.
The only fundamental and possible socialism is the socialisation of the selective breeding of man.
We want a few mad people now. See where the sane ones have landed us!
The 100% American is 99% idiot.
If any religion had a chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the next hundred years, it could be Islam.
A love affair should always be a honeymoon. And the only way to make sure of that is to keep changing the man; for the same man can never keep it up.
The whole strength of England lies in the fact that the enormous majority of the English people are snobs.
The most sublime courage I have ever witnessed has been among that class too poor to know they possessed it, and too humble for the world to discover it.
My specialty is being right when other people are wrong.
If more than 10% of the people like a painting, you can be sure it's bad.
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.
Every step of progress means a duty repudiated, and a scripture torn up.
You accepted Allah or you had your throat cut by someone who did accept him, and who went to Paradise for having sent you to Hell.
There is at bottom only one genuinely scientific treatment for all diseases, and that is to stimulate the phagocytes.
Taxes are the chief business of a conqueror of the world.
The theory that music has a depraving effect on morals has now been abandoned to the old women of both sexes.
The most tragic thing in the world is a man of genius who is not a man of honor.
Titles distinguish the mediocre, embarrass the superior, and are disgraced by the inferior.
Absolute honesty is as absurd an abstraction as an absolute temperature or an absolute value.
Nothing can save us from a perpetual headlong fall into a bottomless abyss but a solid footing of dogma; and we no sooner agree to that than we find that the only trustworthy dogma is that there is no dogma.
The technical history of modern harmony is a history of growth of toleration by the human ear of chords that at first sounded discordant and senseless to the main body of contemporary professional musicians.
Vulgarity in a king flatters the majority of the nation.
A socialist is somebody who doesn't have anything, and is ready to divide it up equally among everybody.
Whenever an obviously well founded statement is made in England by a person specially well acquainted with the facts, that unlucky person is instantly and frantically contradicted by all the people who obviously know nothing about it.
Once the divinity we worshipped made itself visible and comprehensible, we crucified it.
It is a woman's business to get married as soon as possible, and a man's to keep unmarried as long as he can.
All progress depends upon the unreasonable person.
Caesar: this is not proper.
CAESAR (recovering his self-possession).
Pardon him. Theodotus: he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature.
Being hurt by someone you truly care about leaves a hole in you heart that only love can fill.
We live in an atmosphere of shame. We are ashamed of everything that is real about us; ashamed of ourselves, of our relatives, of our incomes, of our accents, of our opinions, of our experience, just as we are ashamed of our naked skins.
My main reason for adopting literature as a profession was that, as the author is never seen by his clients, he need not dress respectably.
What I say today everybody will say tomorrow, though they will not remember who put it into their heads. Indeed they will be right for I never remember who puts things into my head : it is the Zeitgeist.
If the announcer can produce the impression that he is a gentleman, he may pronounce as he pleases.
It is nearly 50 years since I was assured by a conclave of doctors that if I did not eat meat I should die of starvation.
Anarchism is a game at which the police can beat you.
When the horrors of anarchy force us to set up laws that forbid us to fight and torture one another for sport, we still snatch at every excuse for declaring individuals outside the protection of law and torturing them to our hearts content.
Once there was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time is called the Dark Ages. He who can, does. He who cannot teaches.
The person who is ignorant enough to believe that his nourishment depends on meat is in a horrible dilemma.
All great Truth first starts as Blasphemy.
Make me a beautiful word for doing things tomorrow; for that surely is a great and blessed invention.
When it comes to the point, really bad men are just as rare as really good ones.
A mind of the caliber of mine cannot derive its nutrient from cows.
Woman reduces us all to the common denominator.
I don't. I look my age; and I am my age. It is the other people who look older than they are. What can you expect from people who eat corpses and drink spirits?
When an apparent miracle happened.it proved divine mission to the credulous, and proved a contract with the devil to the skeptical.
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.
I believe in Michelangelo, Velasquez, and Rembrandt; in the might of design, the mystery of color, the redemption of all things by Beauty everlasting, and the message of Art that has made these hands blessed. Amen. Amen.
The criminal law is no use to decent people.
I never climbed any ladder: I have achieved eminence by sheer gravitation.
Idiots are always in favour of inequality of income (their only chance of eminence), and the really great in favour of equality.
Go anywhere in England where there are natural, wholesome, contented, and really nice English people; and what do you always find? That the stables are the real centre of the household.
I hate the poor and look forward eagerly to their extermination.
Financiers live in a world of illusion. They count on something which they call the capital of the country, which has no existence.
Like fingerprints, all marriages are different.
The British are apt to make merits of their stupidities, and to represent their various incapacities as points of good breeding.
The test of good education is seeing how it behaves in a fight.
A sensitive boy's humiliations may be very good fun for ordinary thick-skinned grown-ups; but to the boy himself theyareso acute, so ignominious, that he cannot confess themcannot but deny them passionately.
I appeal to the chemists to discover a humane gas that will kill instantly and painlessly. In short- a gentlemanly gas deadly by all means, but humane, not cruel.
People who are hard, grasping and always ready to take advantage of their neighbors become very rich.
Where there is no religion, hypocrisy becomes good taste.
I do not want to make my stomach a graveyard of dead animals.
Take the utmost care to get well born and well brought up.
Women have been a ghastly nuisance in my life.
Now of all the idealist abominations that make society pestiferous I doubt if there be any so mean as that of forcing self-sacrifice on a woman under the pretense that she likes it.
All this struggling and striving to make the world better is a great mistake. Not that it's wrong to try to improve the world if you know how but simply because struggling and striving are the worst possible ways to go about doing anything!
Those who minister to poverty and disease are accomplices in the two worst of all the crimes.
Effectiveness of assertion is the alpha and omega of style.
If at age 20 you are not a Communist then you have no heart. If at age 30 you are not a Capitalist then you have no brains.
I do not want actors and actresses to understand my plays. That is not necessary. If they will only pronounce the correct sounds I can guarantee the results.
Men are always thinking that they are going to do something grandly wicked to their enemies; but when it comes to the point, really bad men are just as rare as really good ones.
A soldier is an anachronism of which we must get rid.
Not everybody is strong enough to endure life without an anesthetic. Drink probably averts more gross crime than it causes.
Even if animal experimentation was proved to be of value, it would be morally wrong.
Of the two lots, the woman's lot of perpetual motherhood, and the man's of perpetual babyhood, I prefer the man's.
Hell is not all paved with bad intentions.
Hell is paved with good intentions, not with bad ones. All men mean well.
I don't believe in morality . I'm a disciple of Bernard Shaw.
The buried truth germinates and breaks through to the light.
To a mathematician the eleventh means only a single unit: to the bushman who cannot count further than his ten fingers it is an incalculable myriad.
The Englishmen is at his best on the links and at his worst in the Cabinet.
The business man -- the man to whom age brings golf instead of wisdom.
Everybody who does not live in a prostitute's bed and on a diet of cocaine snow is called an ascetic nowadays.
I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend... if you have one.
O Lord! I don't know which is the worst of the country, the walking or the sitting at home with nothing to do.
How can what an Englishman believes be hearsay? It is a contradiction in terms.
An American has no sense of privacy. He does not know what it means.There is no such thing in the country.
Experience fails to teach where there is no desire to learn.
Fashions are the only induced epidemics, proving that epidemics can be induced by tradesmen.
There is not one single established religion that an intelligent, educated man can believe.
Sherlock Holmes was a drug addict without a single amiable trait.
There are only two classes in good society in England: the equestrian classes and the neurotic classes.
Quotes by George Bernard Shaw are featured in:
Common Sense Quotes