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oliver goldsmith Quotes

Oliver Goldsmith Quotes

Birth Date: 1728-11-10 (Wednesday, November 10th, 1728)
Date of Death: 1774-04-04 (Monday, April 4th, 1774)



    • A nightcap decked his brows instead of bay, A cap by night - a stocking all the day!
    • Men may be very learned, and yet very miserable; it is easy to be a deep geometrician, or a sublime astronomer, but very difficult to be a good man. I esteem, therefore, the traveller who instructs the heart, but despise him who only indulges the imagination. A man who leaves home to mend himself and others, is a philosopher; but he who goes from country to country, guided by the blind impulse of curiosity, is only a vagabond.
    • Such dainties to them, their health it might hurt; It's like sending them ruffles, when wanting a shirt.
    • There is no arguing with Johnson: for if his pistol misses fire, he knocks you down with the butt end of it.
    • [To Mr. Johnson] If you were to make little fishes talk, they would talk like whales.
    • You may all go to pot.
    • For he who fights and runs away May live to fight another day; But he who is in battle slain Can never rise and fight again.
    • One writer, for instance, excels at a plan or a title page, another works away at the body of the book, and a third is a dab at an index.
    • As writers become more numerous, it is natural for readers to become more indolent.
    • Good people all, with one acord, Lament for Madame Blaize, Who never wanted a good word - From those who spoke her praise.
    • That strain once more; it bids remembrance rise.
    • O Memory! thou fond deceiver.
    • To the last moment of his breath On hope the wretch relies; And e'en the pang preceding death Bids expectation rise.
    • Hope, like the gleaming taper's light, Adorns and cheers our way; And still, as darker grows the night, Emits a brighter ray.
    • Remote, unfriended, melancholy, slow, Or by the lazy Scheldt, or wandering Po.
    • Where'er I roam, whatever realms I see, My heart untraveled fondly turns to thee; Still to my brother turns with ceaseless pain, And drags at each remove a lengthening chain.
    • Such is the patriot's boast, where'er we roam, His first, best country ever is, at home.
    • Where wealth and freedom reign contentment fails, And honor sinks where commerce long prevails.
    • Man seems the only growth that dwindles here.
    • But winter lingering chills the lap of May.
    • Unknown those powers that raise the soul to flame, Catch every nerve, and vibrate through the frame. Their level life is but a mouldering fire, Unquenched by want, unfanned by strong desire.
    • They please, are pleased, they give to get esteem, Till, seeming blest, they grow to what they seem.
    • To men of other minds my fancy flies, Embosomed in the deep where Holland lies. Methinks her patient sons before me stand, Where the broad ocean leans against the land.
    • Pride in their port, defiance in their eye, I see the lords of humankind pass by.
    • For just experience tells; in every soil, That those that think must govern those that toil.
    • Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law.
    • Vain, very vain, my weary search to find That bliss which only centers in the mind.
    • A book may be very amusing with numerous errors, or it may be very dull without a single absurdity.
    • I...chose a wife, as she did her wedding gown, not for a fine glossy surface, but such qualities as would wear well.
    • We sometimes had those little rubs which Providence sends to enhance the value of its favors.
    • Handsome is that handsome does.
    • That virtue which requires to be ever guarded is scarce worth the sentinel.
    • I find you want me to furnish you with argument and intellects too.
    • Man wants but little here below, Nor wants that little long.
    • She was all of a muck of sweat.
    • They would talk of nothing but high life, and high-lived company, with other fashionable topics, such as pictures, taste, Shakespeare, and the musical glasses.
    • Conscience is a coward, and those faults it has not strength enough to prevent it seldom has justice enough to accuse.
    • The naked every day he clad When he put on his clothes.
    • And in that town a dog was found, As many dogs there be, Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound, And curs of low degree.
    • The dog, to gain some private ends, Went mad, and bit the man.
    • The man recovered of the bite, The dog it was that died.
    • When lovely woman stoops to folly, And finds too late that men betray, What charm can soothe her melancholy? What art can wash her guilt away?
    • The only art her guilt to cover, To hide her shame from every eye, To give repentance to her lover, And wring his bosom, is - to die.
    • This same philosophy is a good horse in the stable, but an arrant jade on a journey.
    • He calls his extravagance, generosity; and his trusting everybody, universal benevolence.
    • All his faults are such that one loves him still the better for them.
    • Friendship is a disinterested commerce between equals; love, an abject intercourse between tyrants and slaves.
    • Silence gives consent.
    • Measures, not men, have always been my mark.
    • The bashful virgin's sidelong looks of love, The matron's glance that would those looks reprove.
    • Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, Where wealth accumulates, and men decay; Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade; A breath can make them, as a breath has made; But a bold peasantry, their country's pride, When once destroyed, can never be supplied.
    • His best companions, innocence and health; And his best riches, ignorance of wealth.
    • How happy he who crowns in shades like these, A youth of labour with an age of ease.
    • Bends to the grave with unperceived decay, While resignation gently slopes the way; And, all his prospects brightening to the last, His heaven commences ere the world be past.
    • The watchdog's voice that bayed the whispering wind, And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind.
    • A man he was to all the country dear, And passing rich with forty pounds a year.
    • Careless their merits or their faults to scan, His pity gave ere charity began. Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride, And e'en his failings leaned to Virtue's side.
    • And, as a bird each fond endearment tries To tempt its new-fledged offspring to the skies, He tried each art, reproved each dull delay, Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way.
    • Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway, And fools, who came to scoff, remained to pray.
    • Even children followed with endearing wile, And plucked his gown, to share the good man's smile.
    • A man severe he was, and stern to view; I knew him well, and every truant knew: Well had the boding tremblers learned to trace The day's disasters in his morning face; Full well they laughed with counterfeited glee, At all his jokes, for many a joke had he; Full well the bust whisper, circling round, Conveyed the dismal tidings when he frowned; Yet he was kind; or if severe in aught, The love he bore to learning was in fault; The village all declared how much he knew; 'Twas certain he could write, and cipher too.
    • In arguing too, the parson owned his skill, For e'en though vanquished, he could argue still; While words of learned length, and thundering sound Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around; And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew, That one small head could carry all he knew.
    • Where village statesmen talked with looks profound, And news much older than their ale went round.
    • The whitewashed wall, the nicely sanded floor, The varnished clock that clicked behind the door; The chest contrived a double debt to pay, A bed by night, a chest of drawers by day.
    • To me more dear, congenial to my heart, One native charm, than all the gloss of art.
    • And, ev'n while fashion's brightest arts decoy, The heart distrusting asks, if this be joy.
    • Her modest looks the cottage might adorn, Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the thorn.
    • Thou source of all my bliss, and all my woe, That found'st me poor at first, and keep'st me so.
    • In my time, the follies of the town crept slowly among us, but now they travel faster than a stagecoach.
    • I love everything that's old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines.
    • The very pink of perfection.
    • Let schoolmasters puzzle their brain, With grammar, and nonsense, and learning; Good liquor, I stoutly maintain, Gives genus a better discerning.
    • I'll be with you in the squeezing of a lemon.
    • A modest woman, dressed out in all her finery, is the most tremendous object of the whole creation.
    • The first blow is half the battle.
    • We are the boys That fear no noise Where the thundering cannons roar.
    • They liked the book the better the more it made them cry.
    • Travellers, George, must pay in all places: the only difference is, that in good inns, you pay dearly for your luxuries, and in bad inns you are fleeced and starved.
    • Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no fibs.
    • Oh sir! I must not tell my age. They say women and music should never be dated.
    • Baw! Damme, but I'll fight you both, one after the other! With baskets.
    • We modest Gentlemen don't want for much success among the women.
    • Our Garrick's a salad; for in him we see Oil, vinegar, sugar, and saltness agree!
    • Here lies our good Edmund, whose genius was such, We scarcely can praise it, or blame it too much; Who, born for the universe, narrowed his mind, And to party gave up what was meant for mankind... Who, too deep for his hearers, still went on refining. And thought of convincing while they thought of dining; Though equal to all things, for all things unfit; Too nice for a statesman, too proud for a wit.
    • His conduct still right, with his argument wrong.
    • Here lies David Garrick, describe me, who can, An abridgment of all that was pleasant in man.
    • As a wit, if not first, in the very first line.
    • On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting; 'Twas only that when he was off he was acting.
    • He cast off his friends as a huntsman his pack, For he knew when he pleased he could whistle them back.
    • Who peppered the highest was surest to please.
    • When he talked of their Raphaels, Correggios, and stuff, He shifted his trumpet and only took snuff.
    • oliver goldsmith

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