On this day in 1895, Oscar Wilde was arrested after losing libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry.
Wilde was in a long-term relationship with the son of the Marquess for nearly four years. This made the Marquess none too happy and she outed him as a homosexual. Since homosexuality was illegal at the time, Wilde sued the Marquess for libel. Since there was much evidence supporting the Marquess’ accusations, Wilde was found guilty and sentenced to two years of hard labor.
At this point, Wilde was already a well-known writer, having written brilliant and popular plays including The Importance of Being Ernest and his only novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. Additionally, Wilde was known among society for his flamboyant style and wit.
Following his release, Wilde fled to Paris where he wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol about his experiences in prison.
In honor of Oscar Wilde, here are some of his most memorable quotes.
“Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.”
“Arguments are to be avoided: they are always vulgar and often convincing.”
“By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, journalism keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community.”
“Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.”
“I am not young enough to know everything.”
“I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.”
“I have nothing to declare except my genius.”
“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.”
“n America the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.”
“It is better to be beautiful than to be good. But… it is better to be good than to be ugly.”
“There are only two kinds of people who are really fascinating – people who know absolutely everything, and people who know absolutely nothing.”
“What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”
and my personal favorite:
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”