William Somerset Maugham, CH (25 January 1874 – 16 December 1965) was an English playwright, novelist and short story writer. He was among the most popular writers of his era and reputedly the highest paid author during the 1930s.
Maugham’s father Robert Ormond Maugham was an English lawyer who handled the legal affairs of the British embassy in Paris, France. Since French law declared that all children born on French soil could be conscripted for military service, his father arranged for Maugham to be born at the embassy, technically on British soil. His grandfather, another Robert, had also been a prominent lawyer and co-founder of the English Law Society. It was taken for granted that Maugham and his brothers would follow in their footsteps. His elder brother Viscount Maugham enjoyed a distinguished legal career and served as Lord Chancellor from 1938 to 1939.
1. AT A DINNER PARTY ONE SHOULD EAT WISELY BUT NOT TOO WELL, AND TALK WELL BUT NOT TOO WISELY.
2. IT IS A FUNNY THING ABOUT LIFE; IF YOU REFUSE TO ACCEPT ANYTHING BUT THE BEST, YOU VERY OFTEN GET IT.
3. ONE CANNOT FIND PEACE IN WORK OR IN PLEASURE, IN THE WORLD OR IN A CONVENT, BUT ONLY IN ONE’S SOUL.
4. IF YOU DON’T CHANGE YOUR BELIEFS, YOUR LIFE WILL BE LIKE THIS FOREVER. IS THAT GOOD NEWS?
5. SELF-CONTROL MIGHT BE AS PASSIONATE AND AS ACTIVE AS THE SURRENDER TO PASSION.
6. THE BEST STYLE IS THE STYLE YOU DON’T NOTICE.
7. AND THEN HE FELT THE MISERY OF HIS LIFE.
8. DYING IS A DULL, DREARY AFFAIR, MY ADVICE IS THAT YOU HAVE NOTHING WHATEVER TO WITH IT.
9. YOU KNOW, OF COURSE, THAT THE TASMANIANS, WHO NEVER COMMITTED ADULTERY, ARE NOW EXTINCT.
10. IT IS UNSAFE TO TAKE YOUR READER FOR MORE OF A FOOL THAN HE IS.
11. BUT IF THE FOLLY OF MEN MADE ONE ANGRY ONE WOULD PASS ONE’S LIFE IN A STATE OF CHRONIC IRE.