Jack. I am in love with Gwendolen. I have come up to town expressly to propose to her.
Algernon. I thought you had come up for pleasure? . . . I call that business.
It is very romantic to be in love. But there is nothing romantic about a definite proposal. Why, one may be accepted. One usually is, I believe. Then the excitement is all over. The very essence of romance is uncertainty.
It is absurd to have a hard and fast rule about what one should read and what one shouldn’t. More than half of modern culture depends on what one shouldn’t read.
Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone.
Land has ceased to be either a profit or a pleasure. It gives one position, and prevents one from keeping it up.
Relations are simply a tedious pack of people, who haven’t got the remotest knowledge of how to live, nor the smallest instinct about when to die.
All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.
Jack. I wish to goodness we had a few fools left.
Algernon. We have.
Jack. I should extremely like to meet them. What do they talk about?
Algernon. The fools? Oh! about the clever people, of course.
Jack. What fools!
^Such a subtle joke
Algernon. I hope to-morrow will be a fine day, Lane.
Lane. It never is, sir.
Algernon. Lane, you’re a perfect pessimist.
Lane. I do my best to give satisfaction, sir.
The servants in Wilde’s works are usually quite clever and Lane is not just clever, she’s pessimistic too! Double whammy!