There is always time for failure
No brilliance is needed in the law. Nothing but common sense, and relatively clean finger nails.
Hell must be a place where you are only allowed to read what you agree with.
We don't know much about the human conscience, except that it is soluble in alcohol.
Dying is a matter of slapstick and pratfalls. The ageing process is not gradual or gentle. It rushes up, pushes you over and runs off laughing. No one should grow old who isn't ready to appear ridiculous.
The secret of good health and happiness is to have rather small illnesses throughout your life which you can rely on to stop you doing anything you don't want to do.
I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward.
What obsesses a writer starting out on a lifetime's work is the panic-stricken search for a voice of his own.
Loyalty to the school to which your parents pay to send you seemed to me like feeling loyalty to Selfridges.
Check-ups are, in my experience, a grave mistake; all they do is allow the quack of your choice to tell you that you have some sort of complaint that you were far happier not knowing about.
Never believe a rumour until you hear it officially denied.
To escape jury duty in England, wear a bowler hat and carry a copy of the Daily telegraph.
A war against terrorism is an impracticable conception if it means fighting terrorism with terrorism.
Marriage is like pleading guilty to an indefinite sentence. Without parole.
When... I told my father I wanted to be a writer, he had asked me to consider my unfortunate wife, who would have me about the house all day 'wearing a dressing gown, brewing tea and stumped for words'.
I knew nothing about farce until I read Puce a l'Oreille, and had no idea what a deadly serious business it is.
Rumpole, you must move with the times." "If I don't like the way the times are moving, I shall refuse to accompany them.
The only rule I have found to have any validity in writing is not to bore yourself.
No power on earth, however, can abolish the merciless class distinction between those who are physically desirable and the lonely, pallid, spotted, silent, unfancied majority.
All the flower children were as alike as a congress of accountants and about as interesting.
I suppose true sexual equality will come when a general called Anthea is found having an unwise lunch with a young, unreliable model from Spain.
My father, to whom I owe so much, never told me the difference between right and wrong; now I think that's why I remain so greatly in his debt.
Never shake hands with colleagues in court; the customers think you're making deals.
The shelf life of the modern hardback writer is somewhere between the milk and the yoghurt.
The worst fault of the working classes is telling their children they're not going to succeed, saying: There is life, but it's not for you.
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