George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard

Irish Playwright, Critic, Social Reformer and Political Activist

Author Quotes

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is not “brief candle” to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

If a man cannot look evil in the face without illusion, he will never know what it really is, or combat it effectually.

Haven’t you noticed that people always exaggerate the value of things they haven’t got? The poor think they need nothing but riches to be quite happy and good. Everybody worships truth, purity, unselfishness, for the same reason: because they have no experience of them. Oh, if they only knew!

Economy is the art of making the most of life. The love of economy is the root of all virtue.

Happy is the man who can make a living by his hobby.

Do you know what a pessimist is? A man who thinks everybody as nasty as himself and hates them for it.

Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.

Beware of the man who does not return your blow: he neither forgives you nor allows you to forgive yourself.

Disobedience, the rarest and most courageous of virtues, is seldom distinguished from neglect, the laziest and commonest of vices.

Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.

An honest man feels that he must pay heaven for every hour of happiness with a good spell of hard unselfish work to make others happy. We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.

As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death.

All capital... is nothing but spare subsistence. It is the superfluous part of a man’s income - that which he is content not to consume, or can easily be persuaded to forego for the present for the sake of some future advantage. Thus capital has been called “the reward of abstinence.”

A man's interest in the world is only an overflow from his interest in himself.

A miracle, my friend, is an event which creates faith. that is the purpose and nature of miracles... Frauds deceive. An event which creates faith does not deceive: therefore it is not a fraud, but a miracle.

A lifetime of happiness! No man alive could bear it: it would be hell on earth.

A learned man is an idler, who kills time with study.

[Hatred]... the coward's revenge for being intimidated.

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George Bernard
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Irish Playwright, Critic, Social Reformer and Political Activist