Oliver Goldsmith


Irish-born English Poet, Playwright and Novelist best known for his Novel, "The Vicar of Wakefield"

Author Quotes

Trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay.

What if in Scotland's wilds we viel'd our head, Where tempests whistle round the sordid bed; Where the rug's two-fold use we might display, By night a blanket, and a plaid by day.

Where'er I roam, whatever realms to see, my heart untraveled, fondly turns to thee; Still to my brother turns, with ceaseless pain, And drags at each remove a lengthening chain.

Travelers, 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.

What real good does an addition to a fortune already sufficient procure? Not any. Could the great man by having his fortune increased increase also his appetites, then precedence might be attended with real amusement.

Whether love be natural or no, replied my friend, gravely, it contributes to the happiness of every society into which it is introduced. All our pleasures are short, and can only charm at intervals: love is a method of protracting our greatest pleasure; and surely that gamester who plays the greatest stake to the best advantage will, at the end of life, rise victorious.

True generosity does not consist in obeying every impulse of humanity, in following blind passion for our guide, and impairing our circumstances by present benefactions, so as to render us incapable of future ones.

Whatever be the motives which induce men to write, whether avarice or fame, the country becomes most wise and happy in which they most serve for instructors.

While resignation gently slopes the way; And, all his prospects brightening to the last, His heaven commences ere the world be past.

True generosity is a duty as indispensably necessary as those imposed on us by law. - It is a rule imposed by reason, which should be the sovereign law of a rational being.

Whatever may be the merits of the English in other sciences, they seem particularly excellent in the art of healing. There is scarcely a disorder incident to humanity against which our advertising doctors are not possessed with a most infallible antidote. The professors of other arts confess the inevitable intricacy of things; talk with doubt, and decide with hesitation: but doubting is entirely unknown in medicine: the advertising professors here delight in cases of difficulty.

Who can direct when all pretend to know?

Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway, and fools, who came to scoff, remained to pray.

Whatever mitigates the woes or increases the happiness of others is a just criterion of lewdness; and whatever injures society at large, or any individual in it, is a criterion of iniquity. One should not quarrel with a dog without a reason sufficient to vindicate one through all the courts of morality.

Who mix'd reason with pleasure, and wisdom with mirth; If he had any faults, he has left us in doubt.

Turn, gentle Hermit of the Dale, And guide my lonely way To where you taper cheers the vale With hospitable ray.

Whatever mitigates the woes, or increases the happiness of others, is a just criterion of goodness; and whatever injures society at large, or any individual in it, is a criterion of iniquity.

Winter, lingering, chills the lap of May.

Vain, very vain is my search to find; that happiness which only centers in the mind.

When a person has no need to borrow they find multitudes willing to lend.

Wisdom makes a slow defense against trouble, though a sure one in the end.

Villainy, when detected, never gives up, but boldly adds impudence to imposture.

When I consider the assiduity of this profession, their benevolence amazes me. They not only, in general, give their medicines for half-value, but use the most persuasive remonstrances to induce the sick to come and be cured. Sure there must be something strangely obstinate in an English patient, who refuses so much health upon such easy terms! Does he take a pride in being bloated with a dropsy? does he find pleasure in the alternations of an intermittent fever? or feel as much pleasure in nursing up his gout as he found pleasure in acquiring it? He must! otherwise he would never reject such repeated assurances of instant relief. What can be more convincing than the manner in which the sick are invited to be well? The doctor first begs the most earnest attention of the public to what he is going to propose; he solemnly affirms the pill was never found to want success: he produces a list of those who have been rescued from the grave by taking it. Yet, notwithstanding all this, there are many here who now and then think proper to be sick:?only sick did I say? there are some who even think proper to die!? though they might have purchased the health-restoring specific for half a crown at every corner.

With disadvantages enough to bring him to humility, a Scotsman is one of the proudest things alive.

Want of prudence is too frequently the want of virtue; nor is there on earth a more powerful advocate for vice than poverty.

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Irish-born English Poet, Playwright and Novelist best known for his Novel, "The Vicar of Wakefield"