I’ll be a poet, a writer, a dramatist. Somehow or other I’ll be famous, and if not famous, I’ll be notorious. Or perhaps I’ll lead the life of pleasure for a time and then—who knows?—rest and do nothing. What does Plato say is the highest end that man can attain here below? To sit down and contemplate the good. Perhaps that will be the end of me too.

Quoted in "In Victorian days and other papers" By Sir David Oswald Hunter-Blair (1939)

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More from Oscar Wilde

CECILY. 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.

To be good is to be in harmony with oneself. Discord is to be forced to be in harmony with others.

Men marry because they are tired; women because they are curious; both are disappointed.

Disobedience is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.

When a woman marries again it is because she detested her first husband. When a man marries again it is because he adored his first wife. Women try their luck; men risk theirs.