Punctuality is the virtue of the bored.

— Evelyn Waugh

The most delightful Evelyn Waugh quotes that may be undiscovered and unusual

One forgets words as one forgets names. One's vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die.


I should like to bury something precious in every place where I've been happy and then, when I'm old and ugly and miserable, I could come back and dig it up and remember.


The truth is that Oxford is simply a very beautiful city in which it is convenient to segregate a certain number of the young of the nation while they are growing up.


I have lived carefully, sheltered myself from the cold winds, eaten moderately of what was in season, drunk fine claret, slept in my own sheets; I shall live long.


He was gifted with the sly, sharp instinct for self-preservation that passes for wisdom among the rich.


Sometimes, I feel the past and the future pressing so hard on either side that there's no room for the present at all.


An artist must be a reactionary. He has to stand out against the tenor of the age and not go flopping along.


Beer commercials are so patriotic: Made the American Way.

What does that have to do with America? Is that what America stands for? Feeling sluggish and urinating frequently?


... To know and love one other human being is the root of all wisdom.


Charm is the great English blight. It does not exist outside these damp islands. It spots and kills anything it touches. It kills love; it kills art; I greatly fear, my dear Charles, it has killed you.


He wasn't a complete human being at all.

He was a tiny bit of one, unnaturally developed; something in a bottle, an organ kept alive in a laboratory. I thought he was a sort of primitive savage, but he was something absolutely modern and up-to-date that only this ghastly age could produce. A tiny bit of a man pretending to be whole.


After all, damn it, what does being in love mean if you can't trust a person.


About Evelyn Waugh

Quotes 198 sayings
Nationality English
Profession Author
Birthday October 16

Properly understood, style is not a seductive decoration added to a functional structure; it is of the essence of a work of art. The necessary elements of style are lucidity, elegance, and individuality; these three qualities combine to form a preservative which ensures the nearest approximation to permanence in the fugitive art of letters.


Perhaps host and guest is really the happiest relation for father and son.


The most futile and disastrous day seems well spent when it is reviewed through the blue, fragrant smoke of a Havana Cigar.


I did not know it was possible to be so miserable and live but I am told that this is a common experience.


But I was in search of love in those days, and I went full of curiosity and the faint, unrecognized apprehension that here, at last, I should find that low door in the wall, which others, I knew, had found before me, which opened on an enclosed and enchanted garden, which was somewhere, not overlooked by any window, in the heart of that grey city.


We cherish our friends not for their ability to amuse us, but for our ability to amuse them.


One can write, think and pray exclusively of others; dreams are all egocentric.


Beware of writing to me. I always answer ... My father spent the last 20 years of his life writing letters. If someone thanked him for a wedding present, he thanked them for thanking him and there was no end to the exchange but death.


There is a species of person called a 'Modern Churchman' who draws the full salary of a beneficed clergyman and need not commit himself to any religious belief.


Words should be an intense pleasure just as leather should be to a shoemaker.


Yes, cider and tinned salmon are the staple diet of the agricultural classes.


I've always been bad. Probably I shall be bad again, punished again. But the worse I am, the more I need God. I can't shut myself out from His mercy. ... Or it may be a private bargain between me and God, that if I give up this one thing I want so much, however bad I am, He won't quite despair of me in the end.


The splendid thing about education is that everyone wants it.

Like influenza, you can give it away without losing any of it yourself.


It is a curious thing... that every creed promises a paradise which will be absolutely uninhabitable for anyone of civilized taste.


It doesn't matter what people call you unless they call you pigeon pie and eat you up.


Port is not for the very young, the vain and the active.

It is the comfort of age and the companion of the scholar and the philosopher


Evelyn Waugh: How do you get your main pleasure in life, Sir William? Sir William Beveridge: I get mine trying to leave the world a better place than I found it. Waugh: I get mine spreading alarm and despondency and I get more satisfaction than you do.


Almost all crime is due to the repressed desire for aesthetic expression.


We schoolmasters must temper discretion with deceit.


Manners are especially the need of the plain. The pretty can get away with anything.


A typical triumph of modern science to find the only part of Randolph that was not malignant and remove it.


O God, make me good, but not yet.


O God, if there is a God, forgive him his sins, if there is such a thing as sin.


Only when one has lost all curiosity about the future has one reached the age to write an autobiography.


Don't hold your parents up to contempt.

After all, you are their son, and it is just possible that you may take after them.


The human mind is inspired enough when it comes to inventing horrors;

it is when it tries to invent a Heaven that it shows itself cloddish.


Conversation should be like juggling;

up go the balls and plates, up and over, in and out, good solid objects that glitter in the footlights and fall with a bang if you miss them.


We possess nothing certainly except the past


Instead of this absurd division into sexes they ought to class people as static and dynamic.


I think to be oversensitive about cliches is like being oversensitive about table manners.


We class schools into four grades: leading school, first-rate school, good school and school.


My unhealthy affection for my second daughter has waned.

Now I despise all my seven children equally.


If it could only be like this always - always summer, always alone, the fruit always ripe and Aloysius in a good temper.


For in that city [New York] there is neurosis in the air which the inhabitants mistake for energy.


We are American at puberty. We die French.


Of the many smells of Athens two seem to me the most characteristic - that of garlic, bold and deadly like acetylene gas. and that of dust, soft and warm and caressing like tweed.


I have a good mind not to take Aloysius to Venice.

I don't want him to meet a lot of horrid Italian bears and pick up bad habits.