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Irish dramatist, novelist and critic
(1856 - 1950)
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Go anywhere in England where there are natural, wholesome, contented, and really nice English people; and what do you always find? That the stables are the real centre of the household.
      - Heartbreak House [Horses]

I am a woman of the world, Hector; and I can assure you that if you will only take the trouble always to do the perfectly correct thing, and to say the perfectly correct thing, you can do just what you like.
      - Heartbreak House [Perfection]

The captain is in his bunk, drinking bottled ditchwater; and the crew is gambling in the forecastle. She will strike and sink and split. Do you think the laws of God will be suspended in favour of England because you were born in it?
      - Heartbreak House [England]

Every drunken skipper trusts to Providence. But one of the ways of Providence with drunken skippers is to run them on the rocks.
      - Heartbreak House (at III) [Shipwreck]

There was only one virtue, pugnacity; only one vice, pacifism. That is an essential condition of war.
      - Heartbreak House--Preface--Madness in Court

An Irishman's heart is nothing but his imagination.
      - John Bull's Other Island [Ireland]

There are only two qualities in the world: efficiency and inefficiency, and only two sorts of people: the efficient and the inefficient.
      - John Bull's Other Island [Efficiency]

What really flatters a man is that you think him worth flattering.
      - John Bull's Other Island [Flattery]

You cannot be a hero without being a coward.
      - John Bull's Other Island [Heroes]

My way of joking is to tell the truth. It is the funniest joke in the world.
      - John Bull's Other Island (act II)
        [Humor : Truth]

A healthy nation is as unconscious of its nationality as a healthy man of his bones. But if you break a nation's nationality it will think of nothing else but getting it set again.
      - John Bull's Other Island (preface)

Alcohol is a very necessary article . . . . It enables Parliament to do things at eleven at night that no sane person would do at eleven in the morning.
      - Major Barbara [Liquor]

He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.
      - Major Barbara [Politics]

I am a Millionaire. That is my religion.
      - Major Barbara [Avarice]

I can't talk religion to a man with bodily hunger in his eyes.
      - Major Barbara [Hunger]

Like all young men, you greatly exaggerate the difference between one young woman and another.
      - Major Barbara [Women]

Nobody can say a word against Greek: it stamps a man at once as an educated gentlemen.
      - Major Barbara [Greece]

Nothing is ever done in this world until men are prepared to kill one another if it is not done.
      - Major Barbara [Beginnings]

The greatest of evils and the worst of crimes is poverty . . . our first duty--a duty to which every other consideration should be sacrificed--is not to be poor.
      - Major Barbara [Poverty]

Wot prawce Selvytion nah?
      - Major Barbara [Salvation]

You cannot have power for good without having power for evil too. Even mother's milk nourishes murderers as well as heroes.
      - Major Barbara [Power]

A true artist will let his wife starve, his children go barefoot, his mother drudge for his living at seventy, sooner than work at anything but his art.
      - Man and Superman [Artists]

An Englishman thinks he is moral when he is only uncomfortable.
      - Man and Superman [Morality]

As an old soldier I admit the cowardice: it's as universal as sea sickness, and matters just as little.
      - Man and Superman [Cowardice]

Beauty is all very well at first sight; but whoever looks at it when it has been in the house three days?
      - Man and Superman [Beauty]

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