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 :: 1874-1965, British Novelist, Playwright

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A man who is a politician at forty is a statesman at three score and ten. It is at this age, when he would be too old to be a clerk or a gardener or a police-court magistrate, that he is ripe to govern a country.
~ W. Somerset Maugham - [Politicians and Politics]

 

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American women expect to find in their husbands a perfection that English women only hope to find in their butlers.
~ W. Somerset Maugham - [Perfection]

 

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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.
~ W. Somerset Maugham - [Freedom]

 

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Anyone can tell the truth, but only very few of us can make epigrams.
~ W. Somerset Maugham - [Aphorisms and Epigrams]

 

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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.
~ W. Somerset Maugham - [Beauty]

 

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Common sense and nature will do a lot to make the pilgrimage of life not too difficult.
~ W. Somerset Maugham - [Common Sense]

 

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Common-sense appears to be only another name for the thoughtlessness of the unthinking. It is made of the prejudices of childhood, the idiosyncrasies of individual character and the opinion of the newspapers.
~ W. Somerset Maugham - [Common Sense]

 

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Death doesn't affect the living because it has not happened yet. Death doesn't concern the dead because they have ceased to exist.
~ W. Somerset Maugham - [Death and Dying]

 

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Death is a very dull, dreary affair, and my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.
~ W. Somerset Maugham - [Death and Dying]

 

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Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.
~ W. Somerset Maugham - [Excess]

 

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Few misfortunes can befall a boy which bring worse consequences than to have a really affectionate mother.
~ W. Somerset Maugham - [Mothers]

 

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For if the proper study of mankind is man, it is evidently more sensible to occupy yourself with the coherent, substantial and significant creatures of fiction than with the irrational and shadowy figures of real life.
~ W. Somerset Maugham - [Fiction]

 

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From the earliest times the old have rubbed it into the young that they are wiser than they, and before the young had discovered what nonsense this was they were old too, and it profited them to carry on the imposture.
~ W. Somerset Maugham - [Generations]

 

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Habits in writing as in life are only useful if they are broken as soon as they cease to be advantageous.
~ W. Somerset Maugham - [Writers and Writing]

 

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Hypocrisy is the most difficult and nerve-racking vice that any man can pursue; it needs an unceasing vigilance and a rare detachment of spirit. It cannot, like adultery or gluttony, be practiced at spare moments; it is a whole-time job.
~ W. Somerset Maugham - [Hypocrisy]

 

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I am told that today rather more than 60 per cent of the men who go to university go on a Government grant. This is a new class that has entered upon the scene. It is the white-collar proletariat. They do not go to university to acquire culture but to get a job, and when they have got one, scamp it. They have no manners and are woefully unable to deal with any social predicament. Their idea of a celebration is to go to a public house and drink six beers. They are mean, malicious and envious . They are scum.
~ W. Somerset Maugham - [Colleges and Universities]

 

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I can imagine no more comfortable frame of mind for the conduct of life than a humorous resignation.
~ W. Somerset Maugham - [Resignation]

 

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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.
~ W. Somerset Maugham - [Effort]

 

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I would sooner read a timetable or a catalog than nothing at all.
~ W. Somerset Maugham - [Books and Reading]

 

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I've always been interested in people, but I've never liked them.
~ W. Somerset Maugham - [People]

 

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