English Novelist, Biographer and Journalist
Evelyn Waugh, fully Evelyn Arthur St. John Waugh
English Novelist, Biographer and Journalist
The trouble with modern education is you never know how ignorant people are. With anyone over fifty you can be fairly confident what's been taught and what's been left out. But these young people have such an intelligent, knowledgeable surface, and then the crust suddenly breaks and you look down into depths of confusion you didn't know existed.
They should have told me that at the end of that gay journey and flower-strewn path were the hideous lights of home and the voices of children.
What an immature, self-destructive, antiquated mischief is man! How obscure and gross his prancing and chattering on his little stage of evolution! How loathsome and beyond words boring all the thoughts and self-approval of his biological by-product! this half-formed, ill-conditioned body! this erratic, maladjusted mechanism of his soul: on one side the harmonious instincts and balanced responses of the animal, on the other the inflexible purpose of the engine, and between them man, equally alien from the being of Nature and the doing of the machine, the vile becoming!
My dear, I could hardly keep still in my chair. I wanted to dash out of the house and leap in a taxi and say, Take me to Charles's unhealthy pictures. Well, I went, but the gallery after luncheon was so full of absurd women in the sort of hats they should be made to eat, that I rested a little--I rested here with Cyril and Tom and these saucy boys. Then I came back at the unfashionable time of five o'clock, all agog, my dear; and what did I find? I found, my dear, a very naughty and very successful practical joke. It reminded me of dear Sebastian when he liked so much to dress up in false whiskers. It was charm again, my dear, simple, creamy English charm, playing tigers.
Of course those that have charm don't really need brains.
Rex has never been unkind to me intentionally. It's just that he isn't a real person at all; he's just a few faculties of a man highly developed; the rest simply isn't there.
That kernel of gaiety that never breaks.
The truth is that Oxford is simply a very beautiful city in which it is convenient to segregate a certain number of the young of the nation while they are growing up.
Thus strategists hesitate over the map, the few pins and lines of coloured chalk, contemplating a change in the pins and lines, a matter of inches, which outside the room, out of sight of the studious officers, may engulf the past, present and future in ruin or life. She was a symbol to herself then, lacking the life of both child and woman; victory and defeat were changes of pin and line; she knew nothing of war.
What is adolescence without trash?
My dear, I should like to stick you full of barbed arrows like a p-p-pin cushion...Where do you lurk? I shall come down your burrow and ch-chivvy you out like an old st-t-toat.
Of the many smells of Athens two seem to me the most characteristic - that of garlic, bold and deadly like acetylene gas. And that of dust, soft and warm and caressing like tweed.
Saints are simply men and women who have fulfilled their natural obligation which is to approach God.
That was the change in her from ten years ago; that, indeed, was her reward, this haunting, magical sadness which spoke straight to the heart and struck silence; it was the completion of her beauty.
The worse I am, the more I need God. I can't shut myself out from His mercy. That is what it would mean; starting a life with you, without Him.
To know and love one other human being is the root of all wisdom.
What is it about being on a boat that makes everyone behave like a film star?
Aesthetic value is often the by-product of the artist striving to do something else.
But I saw today there was one thing unforgivable - like things in the school-room, so bad they were unpunishable, that only mummy could deal with - the bad thing I was on the point of doing, that I'm not quite bad enough to do; to set up a rival good to God's.
EVELYN WAUGH: How do you get your main pleasure in life, Sir William? SIR WILLIAM BEVERIDGE: I get mine trying to leave the world a better place than I found it. WAUGH: I get mine spreading alarm and despondency and I get more satisfaction than you do.
He was gifted with the sly, sharp instinct for self-preservation that passes for wisdom among the rich.
I do not believe the expenditure of $2.50 for a book entitles the purchaser to the personal friendship of the author.
I should like to bury something precious in every place where I've been happy and then, when I'm old and ugly and miserable, I could come back and dig it up and remember.
In the dying world I come from, quotation is a national vice. No one would think of making an after-dinner speech without the help of poetry. It used to be the classics, now it's lyric verse.