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Quotes of the day: Oliver Goldsmith

Published Sunday, November 10, 2013 @ 5:18 AM EST
Nov 10 2013

Oliver Goldsmith (November 10 1730 – April 4, 1774) was an Anglo-Irish novelist, playwright and poet, who is best known for his novel The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), his pastoral poem The Deserted Village (1770), and his plays The Good-Natur'd Man (1768) and She Stoops to Conquer (1771, first performed in 1773). He also wrote An History of the Earth and Animated Nature. He is thought to have written the classic children's tale The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes, the source of the phrase "goody two-shoes." (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A book may be very amusing with numerous errors, or it may be very dull without a single absurdity.

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.

A modest woman, dressed out in all her finery, is the most tremendous object of the whole creation.

All that a husband or wife really wants is to be pitied a little, praised a little, and appreciated a little.

Conscience is a coward, and those faults it has not strength enough to prevent it seldom has justice enough to accuse.

Don't let us make imaginary evils, when you know we have so many real ones to encounter.

Every absurdity has a champion to defend it.

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.

Friendship is a disinterested commerce between equals; love, an abject intercourse between tyrants and slaves.

I love everything that's old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines.

I... chose a wife, as she did her wedding gown, not for a fine glossy surface, but such qualities as would wear well.

Men may be very learned, and yet very miserable.

Modesty seldom resides in a breast that is not enriched with nobler virtues.

Mortifications are often more painful than real calamities.

O Memory! thou fond deceiver.

Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

People seldom improve when they have no model but themselves to copy after.

Politeness is the result of good sense and good nature.

Silence gives consent.

Some faults are so closely allied to qualities that it is difficult to weed out the vice without eradicating the virtue.

That virtue which requires to be ever guarded is scarce worth the sentinel.

The first blow is half the battle.

The more enormous our wealth, the more extensive our fears, all our possessions are paled up with new edicts every day, and hung round with gibbets to scare every invader.

The true use of speech is not so much to express our wants as to conceal them.

You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.

Categories: Oliver Goldsmith, Quotes of the day


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