Lady Bracknell: Are your parents living?
Jack Worthing: I have lost both my parents.
Lady Bracknell: To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.
Algernon Moncrieff: I really don't see anything romantic in proposing. It's very romantic to be in love but there's nothing romantic about a definite proposal. Why, one might be accepted. One usually is I believe. Then the whole excitement is over. The very essence of romance is uncertainty.
Lady Bracknell: Do you smoke?
Jack Worthing: Well yes, I must admit I smoke.
Lady Bracknell: I'm glad to hear it. A man should have an occupation of some kind.
Lady Bracknell: Thirty-five is an attractive age. London is full of women of the highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years.
Canon Chasuble: Charity dear Miss Prism, charity! None of us are perfect. I myself am peculiarly susceptible to draughts.
Jack Worthing: Algy, you don't suppose that Gwendolyn will become like her mother - in about one hundred and fifty years, do you?
Algernon Moncrieff: All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his.
Jack Worthing: You are quite perfect Miss Fairfax.
Gwendolyn Fairfax: Oh I hope I am not that. It would leave no room for developments, and I intend to develop in many directions.
Cecily Cardew: When I see a spade I call it a spade.
Gwendolyn Fairfax: I am glad to say that I have never seen a spade.
Miss Prism: The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.
Gwendolyn Fairfax: I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on a train.
Lady Bracknell: To speak frankly, I am not in favour of long engagements. They give people an opportunity of finding out each other's characters before marriage. Which I think is never advisable
Lady Bracknell: Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone. The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately, in England at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever.
Jack Worthing: Gwendolen, it is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth. Can you forgive me?
Jack Worthing: I am sick to death of cleverness. Everybody is clever nowadays. You can't go anywhere without meeting clever people. The thing has become an absolute public nuisance. I wish to goodness we still had a few fools left.
Algernon Moncreiff: We have.
Jack Worthing: I should extremely like to meet them. What do they talk about?
Algernon Moncreiff: The fools? Oh, about the clever people, of course.
Jack Worthing: What fools!
Algernon Moncrieff: Oh! I am not really wicked at all, cousin Cecily. You mustn't think that I am wicked.
Cecily Cardew: If you are not, then you have certainly have been deceiving us all in a very inexcusable manner. I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and being really good all the time. That would be hypocrisy.
Lady Bracknell: I would strongly advise you, Mr. Worthing, to try and acquire some relations as soon as possible, and to make a definite effort to produce at any rate one parent, of either sex, before the season is quite over.
Jack Worthing: Well, I don't see how I could possibly manage to do that, Lady Bracknell. I can produce the hand-bag at any moment. It is in my dressing-room at home. I really think that should satisfy you, Lady Bracknell.
Lady Bracknell: Me, sir! What has it to do with me? You can hardly imagine that I and Lord Bracknell would dream of allowing our only daughter - a girl brought up with the utmost care - to marry into a cloak-room, and form an alliance with a parcel? Good morning, Mr. Worthing!
Gwendolyn Fairfax: There comes a time when speaking one's mind ceases to be a moral duty, it becomes a pleasure.