Quotes by Oliver Goldsmith

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Oliver Goldsmith (November 10, 1730(?) April 4, 1774) was an Irish writer and physician known for his novel The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), his pastoral poem The Deserted Village (1770) (written in memory of his brother), and his ... more

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The life of man is a journey; a journey that must be traveled, however bad the roads or the accommodation.

Law grinds the poor, and rich men rule the law.
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?
You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.
Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.
There is no arguing with him, for if his pistol misses fire, he knocks you down with the butt end of it.
Life has been compared to a race, but the allusion improves by observing, that the most swift are usually the least manageable and the most likely to stray from the course. Great abilities have always been less serviceable to the possessors than moderate ones.
Pity and friendship are two passions incompatible with each other.
I love everything that's old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines; and, I believe, Dorothy, you'll own I have been pretty fond of an old wife.
The hours that we pass with happy prospects in view are more pleasing than those crowned with success.
No one but a fool would measure their satisfaction by what the world thinks of it.
Surely the best way to meet the enemy is head on in the field and not wait till they plunder our very homes.
When a person has no need to borrow they find multitudes willing to lend.
I do not love a man who is zealous for nothing.
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 a vagabond.
The malicious sneer is improperly called laughter.
And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew, that one small head could carry all he knew.
Girls like to be played with, and rumpled a little too, sometimes.
Friendship is a disinterested commerce between equals; love, an abject intercourse between tyrants and slaves.
A modest woman, dressed out in all her finery, is the most tremendous object of the whole creation.
For he that fights and runs away, may live to fight another day, but he, who is in battle slain, can never rise and fight again.
Write how you want, the critic shall show the world you could have written better.
Crime generally punishes itself.
Those that think must govern those that toil.
Tenderness is a virtue.
Life at the greatest and best is but a froward child, that must be humored and coaxed a little till it falls asleep, and then all the care is over.
Who can direct when all pretend to know?
Ceremonies are different in every country, but true politeness is everywhere the same.
A traveler of taste will notice that the wise are polite all over the world, but the fool only at home.
You, that are going to be married, think things can never be done too fast: but we that are old, and know what we are about, must elope methodically, madam.
Our chief comforts often produce our greatest anxieties, and the increase in our possessions is but an inlet to new disquietudes.
Vain, very vain is my search to find; that happiness which only centers in the mind.
Modesty seldom resides in a breast that is not enriched with nobler virtues.
Take a dollar from a thousand and it will be a thousand no more.
Don't let us make imaginary evils, when you know we have so many real ones to encounter.
With disadvantages enough to bring him to humility, a Scotsman is one of the proudest things alive.
It seemed to me pretty plain, that they had more of love than matrimony in them.
Persecution is a tribute the great must always pay for preeminence.
There is nothing so absurd or ridiculous that has not at some time been said by some philosopher. Fontenelle says he would undertake to persuade the whole public of readers to believe that the sun was neither the cause of light or heat, if he could only get six philosophers on his side.
Our pleasures are short, and can only charm at intervals; love is a method of protraction our greatest pleasure.
He cast off his friends as a huntsman his pack, for he knew when he pleased he could whistle them back.
The mind is ever ingenious in making its own distress.
A great source of calamity lies in regret and anticipation; therefore a person is wise who thinks of the present alone, regardless of the past or future.
We had no revolutions to fear, nor fatigues to undergo; all our adventures were by the fireside, and all our migrations from the blue bed to the brown.
The jests of the rich are ever successful.
Ridicule has always been the enemy of enthusiasm, and the only worthy opponent to ridicule is success.
She who makes her husband and her children happy, who reclaims the one from vice, and trains up the other to virtue, is a much greater character than the ladies described in romance, whose whole occupation is to murder mankind with shafts from their quiver or their eyes.
Romance and novel paint beauty in colors more charming than nature, and describe a happiness that humans never taste. How deceptive and destructive are those pictures of consummate bliss!
Well had the boding tremblers learned to trace the day's disasters in his morning face.
The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.
The best way to make your audience laugh is to start laughing yourself.
The loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind.
If frugality were established in the state, and if our expenses were laid out to meet needs rather than superfluities of life, there might be fewer wants, and even fewer pleasures, but infinitely more happiness.
When any one of our relations was found to be a person of a very bad character, a troublesome guest, or one we desired to get rid of, upon his leaving my house I ever took care to lend him a riding-coat, or a pair of boots, or sometimes a horse of small value, and I always had the satisfaction of finding he never came back to return them.
In all the silent manliness of grief.
Whenever you see a gaming table be sure to know fortune is not there. Rather she is always in the company of industry.
Fortune is ever seen accompanying industry.
The company of fools may first make us smile, but in the end we always feel melancholy.
Fear guides more than gratitude.
Some faults are so closely allied to qualities that it is difficult to weed out the vice without eradicating the virtue.
There are some faults so nearly allied to excellence that we can scarce weed out the vice without eradicating the virtue.
To aim at excellence, our reputation, and friends, and all must be ventured; to aim at the average we run no risk and provide little service.
People seldom improve when they have no other model, but themselves to copy after.
But in his duty prompt at every call, he watched and wept, he prayed and felt for all.
Thou source of all my bliss and all my woe, that found me poor at first, and keep me so.
The doctor found, when she was dead, her last disorder mortal.
People seek within a short span of life to satisfy a thousand desires, each of which is insatiable.
Good counsel rejected returns to enrich the givers bosom.
The heart of every man lies open to the shafts of correction if the archer can take proper aim.
Every absurdity has a champion to defend it; for error is always talkative.
Honor sinks where commerce long prevails.
Unequal combinations are always disadvantageous to the weaker side.
As writers become more numerous, it is natural for readers to become more indolent; whence must necessarily arise a desire of attaining knowledge with the greatest possible ease.
I have known a German Prince with more titles than subjects, and a Spanish nobleman with more names than shirts.
If one wishes to become rich they must appear rich.
The ambitious are forever followed by adulation for they receive the most pleasure from flattery.
I can't say whether we had more wit among us now than usual, but I am certain we had more laughing, which answered the end as well.
Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, where wealth accumulates, and men decay.
Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway, and fools, who came to scoff, remained to pray.
Wisdom makes a slow defense against trouble, though a sure one in the end.
I... chose my wife as she did her wedding-gown, not for a fine glossy surface, but such qualities as would wear well.
Like the bee, we should make our industry our amusement.
The leaving a neighbourhood in which we had enjoyed so many hours of tranquility was not without a tear, which scarce fortitude itself could suppress.
Hospitality is one of the first Christian duties. The beast retires to its shelter, and the bird flies to its nest; but helpless man can only find refuge from his fellow creature. The greatest stranger in this world was he that came to save it. He never had an house, as if willing to see what hospitality was left remaining amongst us.