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w. s. gilbert Quotes

W. S. Gilbert Quotes



    • A popular speaker, however unpopular and insignificant, has only to wind up his speech with half-a-dozen lines of Shakespeare (and to make it clearly understood that they are Shakespeare's) and he will sit down amid thunders of applause.
    • from such a face and form as mine, the noblest sentiments sound like the black utterances of a depraved imagination! It's human nature! I'm resigned.
    • Things are seldom what they seem; Skim milk masquerades as cream.
    • What, never? No never! What never? Well, hardly ever!
    • I am, in point of fact, a particularly haughty and exclusive person, of pre-Adamite ancestral descent. You will understand this when I tell you that I can trace my ancestry back to a protoplasmal primordial atomic globule. Consequently, my family pride is something inconceivable. I can't help it. I was born sneering.
    • :in the first place, self decapitation is an extremely difficult, not to say dangerous, thing to attempt; and, in the second, it's suicide, and suicide is a capital offence.
    • Pooh Bah: This professional conscientiousness is highly creditable to you, but it places us in a very awkward position.
    • To sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock, In a pestilential prison, with a life-long lock, Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock, From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block!
    • (Koko is negotiating the terms by which he can behead Nanki-Poo in his place, and they involve letting the latter be married to his fiance until he is executed)
    • I have a left shoulder-blade that is a miracle of loveliness. People come miles to see it. My right elbow has a fascination that few can resist.
    • Merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.
    • It's a bad old world, and virtue is triumphant only in theatrical productions.
    • The idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone, All centuries but this and every country but his own.
    • The Law is the true embodiment Of everything that's excellent. It has no kind of fault or flaw, And I, my Lords, embody the Law.
    • The House of Peers, thoughout the war Did nothing in particular And did it very well.
    • She may very well pass for forty three In the dusk with the light behind her.
    • Art stopped short at the cultivated court of the Empress Josephine.
    • Yes, I am the Apostle of Simplicity. I am called Archibald the All-Right, for I am infallible.
    • I know what love is. There was a happy time when I didn't, but bitter experience has taught me.
    • I can tell a woman's age in half a minute -- and I do!
    • ...a Man, however well-behav'd, At best is only a monkey shav'd!
    • When everyone is somebody, then no one's anybody.
    • Oh! my name is John Wellington Wells, I'm a dealer in magic and spells, In blessings and curses And ever-filled purses, In prophecies, witches, and knells. If you want a proud foe to 'make tracks'-- If you'd melt a rich uncle in wax-- You've but to look in On our resident Djinn, Number seventy, Simmery Axe!
    • Either you or I must yield up his life to Ahrimanes. I would rather it were you.
    • Humour is a drug which it's the fashion to abuse.
    • I suppose he expected to see me kissing all the carpenters
    • No one can have a higher opinion of him than I have--and I think he is a dirty little beast.
    • Take my daughters, most of whom are beauties
    • Beautiful Mabel, I'd sing if I could but I am not able!
    • (During the period after the debut of Ruddigore, which was far less successful at the box office than its predecessor The Mikado)
    • w. s. gilbert

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