Somerset Maugham Quotes

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. Failures make people cruel and bitter. Somerset Maugham

The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit. Somerset Maugham

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

You can’t learn too soon that the most useful thing about a principle is that it can always be sacrificed to expediency. Somerset Maugham

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

To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life. Somerset Maugham

I don’t think you want too much sincerity in society. It would be like an iron girder in a house of cards. Somerset Maugham

To write simply is as difficult as to be good. Somerset Maugham

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

It is dangerous to let the public behind the scenes. They are easily disillusioned and then they are angry with you, for it was the illusion they loved. Somerset Maugham

Culture is not just an ornament; it is the expression of a nation’s character, and at the same time it is a powerful instrument to mould character. The end of culture is right living. Somerset Maugham

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

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 them too. Somerset Maugham

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

Sentimentality is only sentiment that rubs you up the wrong way. Somerset Maugham

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

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. Somerset Maugham

Tolerance is another word for indifference. Somerset Maugham

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

When my obituary notice at last appears in The Times , and they say: ‘What, I thought he died years ago,’ my ghost will gently chuckle. Somerset Maugham