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PinkMonkey.com-MonkeyNotes-Major Barbara, by George Bernard Shaw


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Major Barbara

By George Bernard Shaw QUOTATION: Shirley: I wouldn’t have your conscience, not for all your income. Undershaft: I wouldn’t have your income, not for all your conscience.
ATTRIBUTION: George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950), Anglo-Irish playwright, critic. (First produced 1905). Major Barbara, act 2, The Bodley Head Bernard Shaw: Collected Plays with their Prefaces, vol. 3, ed. Dan H. Laurence (1971).

QUOTATION: You cannot have power for good without having power for evil too. Even mother’s milk nourishes murderers as well as heroes.
ATTRIBUTION: George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950), Anglo-Irish playwright, critic. (First produced 1905). Cusins, in Major Barbara, act 3, The Bodley Head Bernard Shaw: Collected Plays with their Prefaces, vol. 3, ed. Dan H. Laurence (1971).

QUOTATION: If a man is indolent, let him be poor. If he is drunken, let him be poor.... Also—somewhat inconsistently—blessed are the poor!
ATTRIBUTION: George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950), Anglo-Irish playwright, critic. (1907). Major Barbara, preface, The Bodley Head Bernard Shaw: Collected Plays with their Prefaces, vol. 3, ed. Dan H. Laurence (1971).

QUOTATION: The faults of the burglar are the qualities of the financier: the manners and habits of a duke would cost a city clerk his situation.
ATTRIBUTION: George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950), Anglo-Irish playwright, critic. (1907). Major Barbara, preface, The Bodley Head Bernard Shaw: Collected Plays with their Prefaces, vol. 3, ed. Dan H. Laurence (1971).

QUOTATION: The seven deadly sins.... Food, clothing, firing, rent, taxes, respectability and children. Nothing can lift those seven millstones from Man’s neck but money; and the spirit cannot soar until the millstones are lifted.
ATTRIBUTION: George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950), Anglo-Irish playwright, critic. Undershaft, in Major Barbara, act 3.

QUOTATION: In your Salvation shelter I saw poverty, misery, cold and hunger. You gave them bread and treacle and dreams of heaven. I give from thirty shillings a week to twelve thousand a year. They find their own dreams; but I look after the drainage.
ATTRIBUTION: George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950), Anglo-Irish playwright, critic. Undershaft, in Major Barbara, act 3.

QUOTATION: Undershaft: Alcohol is a very necessary article. It heals the sick—Barbara: It does nothing of the sort. Undershaft: Well, it assists the doctor: that is perhaps a less questionable way of putting it. It makes life bearable to millions of people who could not endure their existence if they were quite sober. It enables Parliament to do things at eleven at night that no sane person would do at eleven in the morning.
ATTRIBUTION: George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950), Anglo-Irish playwright, critic. (First produced 1905). Major Barbara, act 2, The Bodley Head Bernard Shaw: Collected Plays with their Prefaces, vol. 3, ed. Dan H. Laurence (1971).

QUOTATION: Undershaft: Alcohol is a very necessary article. It heals the sick—Barbara: It does nothing of the sort. Undershaft: Well, it assists the doctor: that is perhaps a less questionable way of putting it. It makes life bearable to millions of people who could not endure their existence if they were quite sober. It enables Parliament to do things at eleven at night that no sane person would do at eleven in the morning.
ATTRIBUTION: George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950), Anglo-Irish playwright, critic. (First produced 1905). Major Barbara, act 2, The Bodley Head Bernard Shaw: Collected Plays with their Prefaces, vol. 3, ed. Dan H. Laurence (1971).

QUOTATION: The universal regard for money is the one hopeful fact in our civilisation. Money is the most important thing in the world. It represents health, strength, honour, generosity and beauty.... Not the least of its virtues is that it destroys base people as certainly as it fortifies and dignifies noble people.
ATTRIBUTION: George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950), Anglo-Irish playwright, critic. Major Barbara, preface (1905).

QUOTATION: The worst of crimes. All the other crimes are virtues beside it: all the other dishonors are chivalry itself by comparison. Poverty blights whole cities; spreads horrible pestilences; strikes dead the very souls of all who come within sight, sound, or smell of it.
ATTRIBUTION: George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950), Anglo-Irish playwright, critic. (First produced 1905). Andrew Undershaft, in Major Barbara, act 3, The Bodley Head Bernard Shaw: Collected Plays with their Prefaces, vol. 3, ed. Dan H. Laurence (1971).

QUOTATION: You are all alike, you respectable people. You can’t tell me the bursting strain of a ten-inch gun, which is a very simple matter; but you all think you can tell me the bursting strain of a man under temptation. You daren’t handle high explosives; but you’re all ready to handle honesty and truth and justice and the whole duty of man, and kill one another at that game. What a country! What a world!
ATTRIBUTION: George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950), Anglo-Irish playwright, critic. (First produced 1905). Andrew Undershaft, in Major Barbara, act 3, The Bodley Head Bernard Shaw: Collected Plays with their Prefaces, vol. 3, ed. Dan H. Laurence (1971).

QUOTATION: I, who have preached and pamphleteered like any Encyclopedist, have to confess that my methods are of no use, and would be no use if I were Voltaire, Rousseau, Bentham, Marx, Mill, Dickens, Carlyle, Ruskin, Butler, and Morris all rolled into one, with Euripides, More, Montaigne, Molière, Baumarchais, Swift, Goethe, Ibsen, Tolstoy, Jesus, and the prophets all thrown in (as indeed in some sort I am, standing as I do on all their shoulders). The problem being to make heroes out of cowards, we paper apostles and artist-magicians have succeeded only in giving cowards all the sensations of heroes whilst they tolerate every abomination, accept every plunder, and submit to every oppression.
ATTRIBUTION: George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950), Anglo-Irish playwright, critic. (1907). Major Barbara, preface, The Bodley Head Bernard Shaw: Collected Plays with their Prefaces, vol. 3, ed. Dan H. Laurence (1971).

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