Quotes by: W. Somerset Maugham
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.
It wasn't until late in life that I discovered how easy it is to say, 'I don't know.'
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.
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.
Money is the string with which a sardonic destiny directs the motions of its puppets.
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.
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.
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.
I can imagine no more comfortable frame of mind for the conduct of life than a humorous resignation.
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.
Men have an extraordinarily erroneous opinion of their position in nature; and the error is ineradicable.
It seems that the creative faculty and the critical faculty cannot exist together in their highest perfection.
At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely.
There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
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.