On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.
There are two types of people in this world, good and bad. The good sleep better, but the bad seem to enjoy the waking hours much more.
Ninety percent of [my salary] I spent on booze and women, and the other 10 percent I wasted.
They [slot machines] sit there like courtesans, promising pleasures undreamed of, your deepest desires filled, all lusts satiated.
I’ve been writing a book for years. It’s called Horses That Owe Me Money, and I haven’t come to the end of it yet.
I have every sympathy with the American [smoker] who was so horrified by what he had read of the effects of smoking that he gave up reading.
Never support two weaknesses at the same time. It’s your combination sinners — your lecherous liars and your miserly drunkards — who dishonor the vices and bring them into bad repute.
All sins are attempts to fill voids.
When one has a famishing thirst for happiness, one is apt to gulp down diversions wherever they are offered.
The pursuit of happiness is a most ridiculous phrase; if you pursue happiness you’ll never find it.
I do not take drugs — I am drugs.
[From an interview in Playboy] I guarantee you heaven isn’t in Miss March’s pussy. . . . Heaven is on the other side of that feeling you get when you’re sitting on the couch and you get up to make a triple decker sandwich. It’s on the other side of that, when you don’t make the sandwich. It’s about sacrifice. . . . It’s about giving up the things that basically keep you from feeling. That’s what I believe, anyway. I’m always asking, “What am I going to give up next?” Because I want to feel.
There isn’t any virtue where there has never been any temptation. Virtue is just temptation, overcome.
We shall all be perfectly virtuous when there is no longer any flesh on our bones.
Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.
A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them. They then dwell in the house next door, and at any moment a flame may dart out and set fire to his own house. Whenever we give up, leave behind, and forget too much, there is always the danger that the things we have neglected will return with added force.
We have two lives — the one we learn with and the life we live after that.
Drink and carouse with Bacchus or eat dry bread with Jesus, But don’t sit down without one of the Gods.
The imperfections of a man, his frailties, his faults, are just as important as his virtues. You can’t separate them. They’re wedded.
L. Frank Baum [author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz] had a weak heart and was not allowed to smoke, but he often held an unlit cigar in his mouth. Once, when standing on a lake shore, he was asked whether he ever actually lit the cigar. “I only light up when I go swimming,” replied Baum. “I can’t swim, so when the cigar goes out, I know I’m getting out of my depth.” To illustrate, he lit the cigar, walked into the lake until the water reached the level of his mouth, then returned to the dry land, the cigar extinguished. “There, now,” he said triumphantly, “if it hadn’t been for the cigar, I would have drowned.”