The truth is rarely pure and never simple
…go on. Why are you Ernest in town and Jack in the country?
My dear Algy, I don’t know whether you will be able to understand my real motives. You are hardly serious enough. When one is placed in the position of guardian, one has to adopt a very high moral tone on all subjects. It’s one’s duty to do so. And as a high moral tone can hardly be said to conduce very much to either one’s health or one’s happiness, in order to get up to town I have always pretended to have a younger brother of the name of Ernest, who lives in the Albany, and gets into the most dreadful scrapes. That, my dear Algy, is the whole truth pure and simple.
The truth is rarely pure and never simple. Modern life would be very tedious if it were either, and modern literature a complete impossibility!
That wouldn’t be at all a bad thing.
by Oscar Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900)
from from The Importance of Being Earnest; A Trivial Comedy for Serious People (14 February 1895)
image – llamnudds
More Earnestness: Favorite Truth Quotes
- A truth can only be expressed and enveloped in words if it is one-sided
by Herman Hesse
- Truth can be arrived at only through the untrammeled contest among differing opinions
by Nelson Mandela
- It’s our task to seek out something with truth for us
by Jane Hamilton
- Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also
by Carl Jung
- Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth
Henry David Thoreau