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Conscience is the guardian in the individual of the rules which the community has evolved for its own preservation.
—  William Somerset Maugham
Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.
—  William Somerset Maugham
Like all weak men he laid an exaggerated stress on not changing one's mind.
—  William Somerset Maugham
The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit.
—  William Somerset Maugham
Love is only the dirty trick played on us to achieve continuation of the species.
—  William Somerset Maugham
I forget who it was that recommended men for their soul's good to do each day two things they disliked ... It is a precept I have followed scrupulously: for every day I have got up and I have gone to bed.
—  William Somerset Maugham
There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
—  William Somerset Maugham
You know, of course, that the Tasmanians, who never committed adultery, are now extinct.
—  William Somerset Maugham
To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.
—  William Somerset Maugham
I would sooner read a timetable or a catalog than nothing at all. They are much more entertaining than half the novels that are written.
—  William Somerset Maugham
There was once a professor of law who said to his students. When you are fighting a case, if you have facts on your side hammer them into the jury, and if you have the law on your side hammer it into the judge. But if you have neither the facts nor the law, asked one of his listeners? Then hammer the hell into the table, answered the professor.
—  William Somerset Maugham
She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit.
—  William Somerset Maugham
You are not angry with people when you laugh at them. Humor teaches them tolerance.
—  William Somerset Maugham
The ideal has many names, and beauty is but one of them.
—  William Somerset Maugham
Death is a very dull, dreary affair, and my advice to you is to have nothing whatsoever to do with it.
—  William Somerset Maugham
The unfortunate thing about this world is that good habits are so much easier to give up than bad ones.
—  William Somerset Maugham
There is hardly anyone whose sexual life, if it were broadcast, would not fill the world at large with surprise and horror.
—  William Somerset Maugham
There is no explanation for evil. It must be looked upon as a necessary part of the order of the universe. To ignore it is childish, to bewail it senseless.
—  William 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.
—  William Somerset Maugham
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.
—  William Somerset Maugham
It was such a lovely day I thought it a pity to get up.
—  William Somerset Maugham
There is nothing so degrading as the constant anxiety about one's means of livelihood ... Money is like a sixth sense without which you cannot make a complete use of the other five.
—  William Somerset Maugham
Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.
—  William Somerset Maugham
There is only one thing about which I am certain, and this is that there is very little about which one can be certain.
—  William 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 that too.
—  William Somerset Maugham
Reserve is an artificial quality that is developed in most of us but as the result of innumerable rebuffs.
—  William Somerset Maugham
Do you know that conversation is one of the greatest pleasures in life? But it wants leisure.
—  William Somerset Maugham

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