By Wilde to his lady companions (possibly Miss Gabrielle Greeley) in his box at the Standard Theatre, New York on January 5, 1882 while watching a production of Patience.
On this and other occasions Wilde was reported as saying in reference to the appearance of the Wildean character Bunthorne on stage:
This is one of the compliments mediocrity pays to those who are not mediocre.
In his lectures, Wilde did not refer to himself in this fashion as a genius, but to others such as, on this occasion, the pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood:
Satire, always as sterile as it in shameful and as impotent as it is insolent, paid them that usual homage which mediocrity pays to genius.
The Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA