"If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas."
"We live in an atmosphere of shame. We are ashamed of everything that is real about us; ashamed of ourselves, of our relatives, of our incomes, of our accents, of our opinions, of our experience, just as we are ashamed of our naked skins."
"Dogmatic toleration is nonsense: I would no more tolerate the teaching of Calvinism to children if I had power to persecute it than the British Raj tolerated suttee in India. Every civilized authority must draw a line between the tolerable and the intolerable."
"When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part."
"All the sweetness of religion is conveyed to children by the hands of storytellers and image-makers. Without their fictions the truths of religion would for the multitude be neither intelligible nor even apprehensible; and the prophets would prophesy and the philosophers celebrate in vain. And nothing stands between the people and the fictions except the silly falsehood that the fictions are literal truths, and that there is nothing in religion but fiction."
"Life on board a pleasure steamer violates every moral and physical condition of healthy life except fresh air.... It is a guzzling, lounging, gambling, dog's life. The only alternative to excitement is irritability."
"We all have--to put it as nicely as I can--our lower centres and our higher centres. Our lower centres act: they act with terrible power that sometimes destroys us; but they don't talk.... Since the war the lower centres have become vocal. And the effect is that of an earthquake. For they speak truths that have never been spoken before--truths that the makers of our domestic institutions have tried to ignore."
"What is any respectable girl brought up to do but to catch some rich man's fancy and get the benefit of his money by marrying him?--as if a marriage ceremony could make any difference in the right or wrong of the thing!"