Oliver Goldsmith


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

Author Quotes

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.

When I see a young profligate squandering his fortune in bagnios, or at the gaming table, I cannot help looking on him as hastening his own death, and in a manner digging his own grave.

Women and music should never be dated.

To divest either politics or religion of ceremony, is the most certain method of bringing either into contempt. - The weak must have their inducements to admiration as well as the wise; and it is the business of a sensible government to impress all ranks with a sense of subordination, whether this be effected by a diamond buckle, a virtuous edict, a sumptuary law, or a glass necklace.

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.

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?

Women famed for their valor, their skill in politics, or their learning, leave the duties of their own sex, in order to invade the privileges of ours. I can no more pardon a fair one for endeavoring to wield the club of Hercules, than I could a man for endeavoring to twirl her distaff.

To embarrass justice by a multiplicity of laws, or hazard it by a confidence in our judges, are, I grant, the opposite rocks on which legislative wisdom has ever split; in one case the client resembles that emperor who is said to have been suffocated with the bedclothes, which were only designed to keep him warm; in the other, that town which let the enemy take possession of its walls, in order to show the world how little they depended upon aught but courage for safety.

We shall find our expectation of the future to be a gift more distressful even than the former. To fear an approaching evil is certainly a most disagreeable sensation; and in expecting an approaching good we experience the inquietude of wanting actual possession.

When the person is buried, the next care is to make his epitaph: they are generally reckoned best which flatter most: such relations, therefore, as have received most benefits from the defunct, discharge this friendly office, and generally flatter in proportion to their joy. When we read these monumental histories of the dead, it may be justly said that all men are equal in the dust; for they all appear equally remarkable for being the most sincere Christians, the most benevolent neighbors, and the honestest men, of their time. To go through an European cemetery, one would be apt to wonder how mankind could have so basely degenerated from such excellent ancestors: every tomb pretends to claim your reverence and regret; some are praised for piety, in these inscriptions, who never entered the temple until they were dead; some are praised for being excellent poets, who were never mentioned except for their dullness, when they were living; others for sublime orators, who were never noted except for their impudence; and others still for military achievements, who were never in any other skirmishes but with the watch.

Write how you want, the critic shall show the world you could have written better.

To make a fine gentleman, several trades are required, but chiefly a barber.

We sometimes had those little rubs which Providence sends to enhance the value of its favors.

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