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My Sovereignty

自由的精神就是对自己是否正确不是很有把握的精神。——哈耶克

 
 
 

日志

 
 

W. Somerset Maugham  

2014-11-05 11:20:04|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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The love that lasts longest is the love that is never returned.

We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.

The essence of the beautiful is unity in variety.

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

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

Every production of an artist should be the expression of an adventure of his soul.

Tolerance is another word for indifference.

The common idea that success spoils people by making them vain, egotistic and self-complacent is erroneous; on the contrary it makes them, for the most part, humble, tolerant and kind.

Death is a very dull, dreary affair, and my advice to you is to have nothing whatsoever to do with it.

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

There is no explanation for evil. It must be looked upon as a necessary part of the order of the universe. To ignore it is childish, to bewail it senseless.

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.

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.

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

A man marries to have a home, but also because he doesn't want to be bothered with sex and all that sort of thing.

Only a mediocre person is always at his best.

What makes old age hard to bear is not the failing of one's faculties, mental and physical, but the burden of one's memories.

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

Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.

Beauty is an ecstasy; it is as simple as hunger. There is really nothing to be said about it. It is like the perfume of a rose: you can smell it and that is all.

It's no good trying to keep up old friendships. It's painful for both sides. The fact is, one grows out of people, and the only thing is to face it.

Money is the string with which a sardonic destiny directs the motions of its puppets.

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

If you don't change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?

You are not angry with people when you laugh at them. Humor teaches tolerance.

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

Perfection has one grave defect: it is apt to be dull.

I can imagine no more comfortable frame of mind for the conduct of life than a humorous resignation.

Old age has its pleasures, which, though different, are not less than the pleasures of youth.

Sentimentality is the only sentiment that rubs you the wrong way.

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

It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one's dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent.

Marriage is a very good thing, but I think it's a mistake to make a habit out of it.

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

People ask for criticism, but they only want praise.

Any nation that thinks more of its ease and comfort than its freedom will soon lose its freedom; and the ironical thing about it is that it will lose its ease and comfort too.

I'll give you my opinion of the human race in a nutshell... their heart's in the right place, but their head is a thoroughly inefficient organ.

It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it.

We learn resignation not by our own suffering, but by the suffering of others.

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

There are two good things in life - freedom of thought and freedom of action.

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.

Impropriety is the soul of wit.

Men have an extraordinarily erroneous opinion of their position in nature; and the error is ineradicable.

No egoism is so insufferable as that of the Christian with regard to his soul.

When you are young you take the kindness people show you as your right.

The great American novel has not only already been written, it has already been rejected.


When I read a book I seem to read it with my eyes only, but now and then I come across a passage, perhaps only a phrase, which has a meaning for me, and it becomes part of me.

Habits in writing as in life are only useful if they are broken as soon as they cease to be advantageous.

Few misfortunes can befall a boy which bring worse consequence than to have a really affectionate mother.

In Hollywood, the women are all peaches. It makes one long for an apple occasionally.

It is salutary to train oneself to be no more affected by censure than by praise.

We have long passed the Victorian Era when asterisks were followed after a certain interval by a baby.

It's very hard to be a gentleman and a writer.

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

Let us develop the resources of our land, call forth its powers, build up its institutions, promote all its great interests, and see whether we also, in our day and generation, may not perform something worthy to be remembered.

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.

What has influenced my life more than any other single thing has been my stammer. Had I not stammered I would probably... have gone to Cambridge as my brothers did, perhaps have become a don and every now and then published a dreary book about French literature.

It wasn't until late in life that I discovered how easy it is to say, 'I don't know.'


If you want to eat well in England, eat three breakfasts.

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

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.

The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit.

The trouble with young writers is that they are all in their sixties.

The crown of literature is poetry.

Old age is ready to undertake tasks that youth shirked because they would take too long.

The world is quickly bored by the recital of misfortune, and willing avoids the sight of distress.

You know what the critics are. If you tell the truth they only say you're cynical and it does an author no good to get a reputation for cynicism.

My own belief is that there is hardly anyone whose sexual life, if it were broadcast, would not fill the world at large with surprise and horror.

It is well known that Beauty does not look with a good grace on the timid advances of Humour.

The most useful thing about a principle is that it can always be sacrificed to expediency.

Death doesn't affect the living because it has not happened yet. Death doesn't concern the dead because they have ceased to exist.

The writer of prose can only step aside when the poet passes.

It is unsafe to take your reader for more of a fool than he is.

The writer is more concerned to know than to judge.

In the country the darkness of night is friendly and familiar, but in a city, with its blaze of lights, it is unnatural, hostile and menacing. It is like a monstrous vulture that hovers, biding its time.

Things were easier for the old novelists who saw people all of a piece. Speaking generally, their heroes were good through and through, their villains wholly bad.

Have common sense and stick to the point.

We know our friends by their defects rather than by their merits.

Perfection is a trifle dull. It is not the least of life's ironies that this, which we all aim at, is better not quite achieved.

It seems that the creative faculty and the critical faculty cannot exist together in their highest perfection.

I would sooner read a time-table or a catalogue than nothing at all. They are much more entertaining than half the novels that are written.

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