Lady Windermere's Fan

by Oscar Wilde

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"Experience Is The Name Everyone Gives To Their Mistakes"

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Context: Lord Darlington reveals to several guests in his apartment that he loves a married woman. One of the guests is Lord Windermere, husband of the woman Darlington loves. Unknown to all present, even to Darlington, Lady Windermere, is hiding behind the curtain because she was unable to get out of Darlington's apartment when she heard voices approaching. Darlington describes his beloved as the only good woman he has ever met, but two guests, Dumby and Cecil Graham, immediately begin jesting about the disadvantages of good women. Darlington calls the two men cynics and tells Cecil that he talks as if he were a man of experience. Cecil replies that in spite of his youth he is a man of experience; then he compares himself with Lord Augustus (Tuppy) Lorton, a guest who is often the butt of Cecil's jokes. Cecil says, "Experience is a question of instinct about life. I have got it. Tuppy hasn't. Experience is the name Tuppy gives to his mistakes. That is all."

"Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes."

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