George Bernard Shaw

British playwright (born in Ireland); founder of the Fabian Society (1856-1950)

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It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him.
What is life but a seires of inspired follies The difficulty is to find them to do. Never lose a chance it doesn't come every day.
A learned man is an idler who kills time with study. Beware of his false knowledge it is more dangerous than ignorance.
Better keep yourself clean and bright you are the window through which you must see the world.
If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.
If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.
Silence is the most perfect expression of scorn.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it.
A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education.
A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death.
Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.
Chess is a foolish expedient for making idle people believe they are doing something very clever when they are only wasting their time.
Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius.
Do you know what a pessimist is A man who thinks everybody is as nasty as himself, and hates them for it.
Every man over forty is a scoundrel.
He knows nothing and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.
He who can, does. He who cannot teaches.
I never resist temptation because I have found that things that are bad for me do not tempt me.
In this world there is always danger for those who are afraid of it.
Patriotism is a pernicious, psychopathic form of idiocy.
Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.
We are told that when Jehovah created the world he saw that it was good what would he say now
We must make the world honest before we can honestly say to our children that honesty is the best policy.
You see things as they are and ask, 'Why' I dream things as they never were and ask, 'Why not'
We don't stop playing because we grow old we grow old because we stop playing.
When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth.
No man can be a pure specialist without being in the strict sense an idiot.
Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get.
The only man who behaves sensibly is my tailor he takes my measure anew every time he sees me, whilst all the rest go on with their old measurements, and expect them to fit me.
All professions are conspiracies against the laity.
Disobedience, the rarest and most courageous of the virtues, is seldom distinguished from neglect, the laziest and commonest of the vices.
He who has never hoped can never despair.
There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.
A life spent in making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing.
The 100% American is 99% an idiot.
Activity is the only road to knowledge.
In Heaven an angel is nobody in particular.
There is no satisfaction in hanging a man who does not object to it.
It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid.
England and America are two countries separated by the same language.
Man can climb to the highest summits, but he cannot dwell there long.
A dramatic critic is a man who leaves no turn unstoned.
A fashion is nothing but an induced epidemic.
A lifetime of happiness No man alive could bear it it would be hell on earth.
A lifetime of happiness! No man alive could bear it: it would be hell on earth.
A lifetime of happiness! No man alive could bear it; it would be hell on earth.
A man never tells you anything until you contradict him.
A man ought to be able to be fond of his wife without making a fool of himself about her.
A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell.
A pessimist thinks everybody is as nasty as himself, and hates them for it.
Alcohol is a very necessary article... It makes life bearable to millions of people who could not endure their existence if they were quite sober. It enables Parliament to do things at eleven at night that no sane person would do at eleven in the morning.
Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life.
All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
All great truths begin as blasphemies.
All my life, affection has been showered upon me, and every forward step I have made has been taken in spite of it.
Americans adore me and will go on adoring me until I say something nice about them.
An asylum for the sane would be empty in America.
An Englishman thinks he is moral when he is only uncomfortable.
An institution which is populare because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.
Assassination is the extreme form of censorship.
Baseball has the great advantage over cricket of being sooner ended.
Beware of the man whose God is in the skies.
Christianity might be a good thing if anyone ever tried it.
Criminals do not die by the hands of the law. They die by the hands of other men.
Crude classifications and false generalizations are the curse of organized life.
Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.
Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.
Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
Democracy: The substitution of election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.
Do not do unto others as you would they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.
Do you know what a pessimist is? A person who thinks everybody is as nasty as himself and hates them for it.
Do you think that the things people make fools of themselves about are any less real and true than the things they behave sensibly about They are more true they are the only things that are true.
England and America are two countries separated by a common language.
England and America are two countries seperated by the same language.
Englishmen hate Liberty and Equality too much to understand them. But every Englishman loves a pedigree.
Everything happens to everybody sooner or later if there is time enough.
Except during the nine months before he draws his first breath, no man manages his affairs as well as a tree does.
Fashions are the only induced epidemics, proving that epidemics can be induced by tradesmen.
Few of us have vitality enough to make any of our instincts imperious.
Few people think more than two or three times a year I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week.
Few people think more than two or three times a year. I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week.
Few people think more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week.
First love is only a little foolishness and a lot of curiosity.
Forgive him, for he believes that the customs of his tribe are the laws of nature
Gambling promises the poor what property performs for the rich--something for nothing.
He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.
Hegel was right when he said that we learn from history that man can never learn anything from history.
Hell is full of musical amateurs music is the brandy of the damned.
Hell is full of musical amateurs.
Home life as we understand it is no more natural to us than a cage is natural to a cockatoo.
I am a gentleman: I live by robbing the poor.
I am a Millionaire. That is my religion.
I can forgive Alfred Nobel for having invented dynamite, but only a fiend in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize.
I can't forgive my friends for dying I don't find these vanishing acts of theirs at all amusing.
I make a fortune from criticizing the policy of the government, and then hand it over to the government in taxes to keep it going.
I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.
I showed my appreciation of my native land in the usual Irish way by getting out of it as soon as I possibly could.
I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake.
I'm not a teacher only a fellow-traveller of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead-ahead of myself as well as you.
If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion.
If more than ten percent of the population likes a painting it should be burned, for it must be bad.
If the lesser mind could measure the greater as a footrule can measure a pyramid, there would be finality in universal suffrage. As it is, the political problem remains unsolved.
If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.
If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
If you value a man's regard, strive with him. As to liking, you like your newspaper -- and despise it.
Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.
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.
In order to fully realize how bad a popular play can be, it is necessary to see it twice.
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.
It is most unwise for people in love to marry
It is most unwise for people in love to marry.
It took me 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.
It's all that the young can do for the old, to shock them and keep them up to date.
Lack of money is the root of all evil.
Let a short Act of Parliament be passed, placing all street musicians outside the protection of the law, so that any citizen may assail them with stones, sticks, knives, pistols, or bombs without incurring any penalties.
Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.
Life does not cease to be funny when people die; any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
Life is a disease; and the only diference between one another is the stage of the disease at which he lives.
Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
Life is not meant to be easy, my child; but take courage -- it can be delightful.
Life would be tolerable but for its amusements.
Love is a gross exaggeration of the difference between one person and everybody else.
Make money and the whole nation will conspire to call you a gentleman.
Marriage is popular because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.
Martyrdom is the only way a person can become famous without ability.
Martyrdom is the only way in which a man can become famous without ability.
Martyrdom... is the only way in which a man can become famous without ability.
Money enables us to get what we want instead of what other people think we want.
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.
My method is to take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then to say it with the utmost levity.
My way of joking is to tell the truth. It is the funniest joke in the world.
No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.
No man fully capable of his own language ever masters another.
Nobel prize money is a lifebelt thrown to a swimmer who has already reached the shore in safety.
Nothing ever is done in this world until men are prepared to kill one another if it is not done.
Nothing is worth doing unless the consequences may be serious.
One man that has a mind and knows it can always beat ten men who haven't and don't.
Parentage is a very important profession, but no test of fitness for it is ever imposed in the interest of the children.
Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.
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.
Popular Christianity has for its emblem a gibbet, for its chief sensation a sanginary execution after torture, for its central mystery is an insane vengeance bought off by a trumpery expiation. But there is a nobler and profounder Christianity which affirms the sacred mystery of equality and forbids the glaring futility and folly of vengeance.
Reading made Don Quixote a gentleman. Believing what he read made him mad.
Reviewing has one advantage over suicide: in suicide you take it out on yourself; in reviewing you take it out on other people.
Self-denial is not a virtue it is only the effect of prudence on rascality.
Self-sacrifice enables us to sacrifice other people without blushing.
Success covers a multitude of blunders.
Swindon What will history say Burgoyne History, sir, will tell lies as usual.
Take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then say it with the utmost levity.
The American Constitution, one of the few modern political documents drawn up by men who were forced by the sternest circumstances to think out what they really had to face, instead of chopping logic in a university classroom.
The art of government is the organization of idolatry.
The best reformers the world has ever seen are those who commence on themselves.
The chief objection of playing wind instruments is that it prolongs the life of the player.
The Churches must learn humility as well as teach it.
The English have no respect for their language, and will not teach their children to speak it.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than saying a drunken man is happier than a sober man.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact than a drunken man is happier than a sober one.
The fickleness of the women I love is only equalled by the infernal constancy of the women who love me.
The fickleness of the women whom I love is only equalled by the infernal constancy of the women who love me.
The golden rule is that there are no golden rules.
The longer I live the more I see that I am never wrong about anything, and that all the pains I have so humbly taken to verify my notions have only wasted my time.
The longer I live the more I see that I am never wrong about anything, and that all the pains that I have so humbly taken to verify my notions have only wasted my time.
The love of money is the root of all virtue.
The man who listens to Reason is lost reason enslaves all whose minds are not strong enough to master her.
The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it.
The more things a man is ashamed of, the more respectable he is.
The most anxious man in a prison is the governor.
The notion that the colonel need be a better man than the private is as confused as the notion that the keystone need be stronger than the coping stone.
The only service a friend can really render is to keep up your courage by holding up to you a mirror in which you can see a noble image of yourself.
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.
The perfect love affair is one which is conducted entirely by post.
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
The savage bows down to idols of wood and stone the civilized man to idols of flesh and blood.
The secret of being miserable is to have the leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not. The cure is occupation.
The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech.
The world is populated in the main by people who should not exist.
The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them that's the essense of inhumanity.
There are no secrets better kept than the secrets that everybody guesses.
There are some experiences in life which should not be demanded twice from any man, and one of them is listening to the Brahms Requiem.
There is no love sincerer than the love of food.
There is only one universal passion fear.
This is the true joy in life -- being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one...
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
To be clever enough to get a great deal of money, one must be stupid enough to want it.
Use your health, even to the point of wearing it out. That is what it is for. Spend all you have before you die and do not outlive yourself.
Virtue consists, not in abstaining from vice, but in not desiring it.
Virtue is insufficient temptation.
We don't bother much about dress and manners in England, because as a nation we don't dress well and we've no manners.
We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.
We have not lost faith, but we have transferred it from God to the medical profession.
We learn from experience that men never learn anything from experience.
We should all be obliged to appear before a board every five years and justify our existence...on pain of liquidation.
We should have had socialism already, but for the socialists.
What God hath joined together no man shall put asunder: God will take care of that.
What is the matter with the poor is poverty; what is the matter with the rich is uselessness.
What is virtue but the trades unionism of the married.
What use are cartridges in battle I always carry chocolate instead.
What we call education and culture is for the most part nothing but the substitution of reading for experience, of literature for life, of the obsolete fictitious for the contemporary real.
What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.
When a man wants to murder a tiger he calls it sport; when a tiger wants to murder him he calls it ferocity.
When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.
When a thing is funny, search it for a hidden truth.
When the world goes mad, one must accept madness as sanity since sanity is, in the last analysis, nothing but the madness on which the whole world happens to agree.
Whenever you wish to do anything against the law, Cicely, always consult a good solicitor first.
While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal conditions on this earth?
Women upset everything. When you let them into your life, you find that the woman is driving at one thing and you're driving at another.
You are going to let the fear of poverty govern your life and your reward will be that you will eat, but you will not live.
You see things and you say, 'Why' But I dream things that never were and I say, Why not
You'll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.
Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.
Youth, which is forgiven everything, forgives itself nothing age, which forgives itself everything, is forgiven nothing.

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