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

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.

Such idle dreams belong
To souls of lesser depth than mine;
I feel that I am half devine;
I know that I am great and strong.

Lotus Leaves (poem)

I can’t help detesting my relations. I suppose it comes from the fact that none of us can stand other people having the same faults as ourselves.

Nobody of any real culture, for instance, ever talks nowadays about the beauty of sunset. Sunsets are quite old fashioned…. To admire them is a distinct sign of provincialism of temperament. Upon the other hand they go on.

The Decay of Lying