100 Quotes About Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde was an Irish playwright, poet, and novelist. He is best known for his epigrams, his plays, and his writings on French philosophy. Although he spent most of his life in continental Europe, he became an overnight sensation in the United States after the publication of The Picture of Dorian Gray. His extensive body of work included novels, plays, poems, essays, biography and criticism Read more

Wilde’s sarcastic wit made him famous during his lifetime. After Wilde’s death in 1900, he remained somewhat of a cause célèbre for artists and writers until the mid-20th century.

Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary.
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Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary. Oscar Wilde
The heart was made to be broken.
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The heart was made to be broken. Oscar Wilde
The very essence of romance is uncertainty.
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The very essence of romance is uncertainty. Oscar Wilde
To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.
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To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. Oscar Wilde
Who, being loved, is poor?
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Who, being loved, is poor? Oscar Wilde
Yet each man kills the thing he loves By each...
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Yet each man kills the thing he loves By each let this be heard Some do it with a bitter look Some with a flattering word The coward does it with a kiss The brave man with a sword Oscar Wilde
One should always be in love. That's the reason one...
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One should always be in love. That's the reason one should never marry. Oscar Wilde
A man can be happy with any woman as long...
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A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her. Oscar Wilde
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Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and a richness to life that nothing else can bring. Oscar Wilde
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I really don't see anything romantic in proposing. It is very romantic to be in love. But there is nothing romantic about a definite proposal. Why, one may be accepted. One usually is, I believe. Then the excitement is all over. The very essence of romance is uncertainty. If ever I get married, I'll certainly try to forget the fact. Oscar Wilde
Hearts Live By Being Wounded
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Hearts Live By Being Wounded Oscar Wilde
It takes great courage to see the world in all...
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It takes great courage to see the world in all its tainted glory, and still to love it. And even more courage to see it in the one you love Oscar Wilde
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You have killed my love. You used to stir my imagination. Now you don't even stir my curiosity. You simply produce no effect. I loved you because you were marvelous, because you had genius and intellect, because you realized the dreams of great poets and gave shape and substance to the shadows of art. You have thrown it all away. You are shallow and stupid Oscar Wilde
A kiss may ruin a human life
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A kiss may ruin a human life Oscar Wilde
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My life-my whole life- take it, and do with it what you will. I love you-love you as I have never loved any living thing. From the moment I met you I loved you, loved you blindly, adoringly, madly! You didn't know it then-you know it now. Oscar Wilde
When I like people immensely I never tell their names...
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When I like people immensely I never tell their names to anyone. It is like surrendering a part of them. I have grown to love secrecy. Oscar Wilde
To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most...
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To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. Oscar Wilde
Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack...
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Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination. Oscar Wilde
Paradoxically though it may seem, it is none the less...
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Paradoxically though it may seem, it is none the less true that life imitates art far more than art imitates life. Oscar Wilde
The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature...
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The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly - that is what each of us is here for. Oscar Wilde
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I won't tell you that the world matters nothing, or the world's voice, or the voice of society. They matter a good deal. They matter far too much. But there are moments when one has to choose between living one's own life, fully, entirely, completely–or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands. You have that moment now. Choose! Oscar Wilde
Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple,...
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Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing. Oscar Wilde
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The only artists I have ever known who are personally delightful are bad artists. Good artists exist simply in what they make, and consequently are perfectly uninteresting in what they are. A great poet, a really great poet, is the most unpoetical of all creatures. But inferior poets are absolutely fascinating. The worse their rhymes are, the more picturesque they look. The mere fact of having published a book of second-rate sonnets makes a man quite irresistible. He lives the poetry that he cannot write. The others write the poetry that they dare not realize. Oscar Wilde
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To regret one’s own experiences is to arrest one’s own development. To deny one’s own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one’s own life. It is no less than a denial of the soul. Oscar Wilde
I never approve, or disapprove, of anything now. It is...
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I never approve, or disapprove, of anything now. It is an absurd attitude to take towards life. Oscar Wilde
Imagination is a quality that was given to man compensate...
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Imagination is a quality that was given to man compensate him from whats not. The sense of humor was given to console him from what is. Oscar Wilde
The true mystery of the world is the visible, not...
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The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible. Oscar Wilde
We are all in the gutter, but some of us...
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We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
A man who does not think for himself does not...
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A man who does not think for himself does not think at all. Oscar Wilde
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But we never get back our youth… The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to. Oscar Wilde
What fire does not destroy, it hardens
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What fire does not destroy, it hardens Oscar Wilde
Life is one fool thing after another whereas love is...
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Life is one fool thing after another whereas love is two fool things after each other. Oscar Wilde
I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.
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I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability. Oscar Wilde
I never travel without my diary. One should always have...
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I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train. Oscar Wilde
I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with...
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I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. Oscar Wilde
There is only one thing in the world worse than...
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There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. Oscar Wilde
I have nothing to declare except my genius.
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I have nothing to declare except my genius. Oscar Wilde
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No good deed goes unpunished. Oscar Wilde
I like men who have a future and women who...
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I like men who have a future and women who have a past. Oscar Wilde
The world is a stage and the play is badly...
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The world is a stage and the play is badly cast. Oscar Wilde
There are only two kinds of people who are really...
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There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating: people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing. Oscar Wilde
Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world's original...
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Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world's original sin. If the cave-man had known how to laugh, History would have been different. Oscar Wilde
I always pass on good advice. It is the only...
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I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself. Oscar Wilde
Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There...
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Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship. Oscar Wilde
It is perfectly monstrous, ' he said, at last, 'the...
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It is perfectly monstrous, ' he said, at last, 'the way people go about nowadays saying things against one behind one's back that are absolutely and entirely true. Oscar Wilde
In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity, is the...
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In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity, is the vital thing. Oscar Wilde
The only way a woman can ever reform a man...
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The only way a woman can ever reform a man is by boring him so completely that he loses all possible interest in life. Oscar Wilde
If you don't get everything you want, think of the...
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If you don't get everything you want, think of the things you don't get that you don't want. Oscar Wilde
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Actors are so fortunate. They can choose whether they will appear in tragedy or in comedy, whether they will suffer or make merry, laugh or shed tears. But in real life it is different. Most men and women are forced to perform parts for which they have no qualifications. Our Guildensterns play Hamlet for us, and our Hamlets have to jest like Prince Hal. The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast. Oscar Wilde
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Oh! it is absurd to have a hard-and-fast rule about what one should read and what one shouldn't. More than half of modern culture depends on what one shouldn't read. Oscar Wilde
Young people, nowadays, imagine that money is everything. Yes, murmured...
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Young people, nowadays, imagine that money is everything. Yes, murmured Lord Henry, settling his button-hole in his coat; and when they grow older they know it. Oscar Wilde
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Why can't these American women stay in their own country? They are always telling us that it is the paradise for women. It is. That is the reason why, like Eve, they are so excessively anxious to get out of it. Oscar Wilde
I have never met any really wicked person before. I...
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I have never met any really wicked person before. I feel rather frightened. I am so afraid he will look just like every one else. Oscar Wilde
The only way to behave to a woman is to...
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The only way to behave to a woman is to make love to her if she is pretty, and to someone else if she is plain. Oscar Wilde
Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people we...
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Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people we personally dislike. Oscar Wilde
You are a wonderful creation. You know more than you...
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You are a wonderful creation. You know more than you think you know, just as you know less than you want to know. Oscar Wilde
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I made art a philosophy, and philosophy an art: I altered the minds of men, and the colour of things: I awoke the imagination of my century so that it created myth and legend around me: I summed up all things in a phrase, all existence in an epigram: whatever I touched I made beautiful Oscar Wilde
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The world has become sad because a puppet was once melancholy. The nihilist, that strange martyr who has no faith, who goes to the stake without enthusiasm, and dies for what he does not believe in, is a purely literary product. He was invented by Turgenev, and completed by Dostoevsky. Robespierre came out of the pages of Rousseau as surely as the People's Palace rose out debris of a novel. Literature always anticipates life. It does not copy it, but moulds it to its purpose. Oscar Wilde
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When I say that I am convinced of these things I speak with too much pride. Far off, like a perfect pearl, one can see the city of God. It is so wonderful that it seems as if a child could reach it in a summer's day. And so a child could. But with me and such as me it is different. One can realise a thing in a single moment, but one loses it in the long hours that follow with leaden feet. It is so difficult to keep 'heights that the soul is competent to gain.' We think in eternity, but we move slowly through time; and how slowly time goes with us who lie in prison I need not tell again, nor of the weariness and despair that creep back into one's cell, and into the cell of one's heart, with such strange insistence that one has, as it were, to garnish and sweep one's house for their coming, as for an unwelcome guest, or a bitter master, or a slave whose slave it is one's chance or choice to be. . Oscar Wilde
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What a silly thing love is! ' said the student as he walked away. 'It is not half as useful as logic, for it does not prove anything, and it is always telling one of things that are not going to happen, and making one believe things that are not true. In fact, it is quite unpractical, and, as in this age to be practical is everything, I shall go back to philosophy and study metaphysics.' So he returned to his room and pulled out a great dusty book, and began to read. Oscar Wilde
LORD ILLINGWORTH: The soul is born old but grows young....
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LORD ILLINGWORTH: The soul is born old but grows young. That is the comedy of life. M R S ALLONBY: And the body is born young and grows old. That is life's tragedy. Oscar Wilde
The truth is rarely pure and never simple.
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The truth is rarely pure and never simple. Oscar Wilde
A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies...
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A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it. Oscar Wilde
Man is least himself when he talks in his own...
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Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. Oscar Wilde
We live in an age when unnecessary things are our...
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We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities. Oscar Wilde
One should never trust a woman who tells one her...
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One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that would tell one anything. Oscar Wilde
Even things that are true can be proved.
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Even things that are true can be proved. Oscar Wilde
She wore far too much rouge last night and not...
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She wore far too much rouge last night and not quite enough clothes. That is always a sign of despair in a woman. Oscar Wilde
Women have no appreciation of good looks-at least, good women...
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Women have no appreciation of good looks-at least, good women have not. Oscar Wilde
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The public make use of the classics of a country as a means of checking the progress of Art. They degrade the classics into authorities.. A fresh mode of Beauty is absolutely distasteful to them, and whenever it appears they get so angry and bewildered that they always use two stupid expressions--one is that the work of art is grossly unintelligible; the other, that the work of art is grossly immoral. What they mean by these words seems to me to be this. When they say a work is grossly unintelligible, they mean that the artist has said or made a beautiful thing that is new; when they describe a work as grossly immoral, they mean that the artist has said or made a beautiful thing that is true. Oscar Wilde
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Nichts Interessantes ist jemals richtig. Oscar Wilde
Well, the way of paradoxes is the way of truth....
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Well, the way of paradoxes is the way of truth. To test reality we must see it on the tight rope. When the verities become acrobats, we can judge them. Oscar Wilde
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Religion does not help me. The faith that others give to what is unseen, I give to what one can touch, and look at. My gods dwell in temples made with hands; and within the circle of actual experience is my creed made perfect and complete: too complete, it may be, for like many or all of those who have placed their heaven in this earth, I have found in it not merely the beauty of heaven, but the horror of hell also. Oscar Wilde
Every single human being should be the fulfilment of a...
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Every single human being should be the fulfilment of a prophecy: for every human being should be the realisation of some ideal, either in the mind of God or in the mind of man. Oscar Wilde
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Nobody is worthy to be loved. The fact that God loves man shows us that in the divine order of ideal things it is written that eternal love is to be given to what is eternally unworthy. Or if that phrase seems to be a bitter one to bear, let us say that everybody is worthy of love, except him who thinks he is. Oscar Wilde
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common...
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Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes. Oscar Wilde
The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except...
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The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing. Oscar Wilde
But then one regrets the loss even of one's worst...
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But then one regrets the loss even of one's worst habits. Perhaps one regrets them the most. They are such an essential part of one's personality. Oscar Wilde
With age comes wisdom, but sometimes age comes alone.
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With age comes wisdom, but sometimes age comes alone. Oscar Wilde
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It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information. Oscar Wilde
In examinations the foolish ask questions that the wise cannot...
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In examinations the foolish ask questions that the wise cannot answer. Oscar Wilde
Die Welt ist von Narren geschaffen, damit Weise in ihr...
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Die Welt ist von Narren geschaffen, damit Weise in ihr Leben. Oscar Wilde
A flower blossoms for its own joy.
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A flower blossoms for its own joy. Oscar Wilde
Pleasure is the only thing one should live for, nothing...
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Pleasure is the only thing one should live for, nothing ages like happiness. Oscar Wilde
The only horrible thing in the world is ennui.
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The only horrible thing in the world is ennui. Oscar Wilde
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The proper basis for marriage is mutual misunderstanding. The happiness of a married man depends on the people he has not married. One should always be in love - that's the reason one should never marry. Oscar Wilde
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I believe that if one man were to live out his life fully and completely, were to give form to every feeling, expression to every thought, reality to every dream - I believe that the world would gain such a fresh impulse of joy that we would forget all the maladies of medievalism, and return to the Hellenic ideal - to something finer, richer, than the Hellenic ideal, it may be. But the bravest man amongst us is afraid of himself. The mutilation of the savage has its tragic survival in the self-denial that mars our lives. We are punished for our refusals. . Oscar Wilde
When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving...
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When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one's self, and one always ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance. Oscar Wilde
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She is all the great heroines of the world in one. She is more than an individual. I love her, and I must make her love me. I want to make Romeo jealous. I want the dead lovers of the world to hear our laughter, and grow sad. I want a breath of our passion to stir dust into consciousness, to wake their ashes into pain. Oscar Wilde
Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.
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Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance. Oscar Wilde
Romantic literature is in effect imaginative lying.
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Romantic literature is in effect imaginative lying. Oscar Wilde
I had buried my romance in a bed of asphodel.
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I had buried my romance in a bed of asphodel. Oscar Wilde
He is fairer than the morning star, and whiter than...
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He is fairer than the morning star, and whiter than the moon. For his body I would give my soul, and for his love I would surrender heaven. Oscar Wilde
The curves of your lips rewrite history.
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The curves of your lips rewrite history. Oscar Wilde
Something was dead in each of us, and what was...
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Something was dead in each of us, and what was dead was hope. Oscar Wilde
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Oh, brothers! I don't care for brothers. My elder brother won't die, and my younger brothers seem never to do anything else. Oscar Wilde
Either this wallpaper goes, or I do.
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Either this wallpaper goes, or I do. Oscar Wilde
For he who lives more lives than one more deaths...
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For he who lives more lives than one more deaths than one must die. Oscar Wilde
My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the...
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My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go. Oscar Wilde
It would kill the past, and when that was dead,...
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It would kill the past, and when that was dead, he would be free. Oscar Wilde