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Oliver Goldsmith Quotes


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Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law.
[Law]
 

Let schoolmasters puzzle their brain, With grammar, and nonsense, and learning, Good liquor, I stoutly maintain, Gives genius a better discerning.
 

Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.
[Life]
 

Little things are great to little men.
 

Man wants but little here below, nor wants that little long.
[Life]
 

Measures, not men, have always been my mark.
[Policy]
 

Misers have been described as madmen, who in the midst of abundance banish every pleasure, and make, from imaginary wants, real necessities. But very few correspond to this exaggerated picture. Instead of this, we find the sober and industrious branded by the vain and the idle with the odious appellation; men who, by frugality and labor, raise themselves above their equals, and contribute their share of industry to the common stock. Whatever the vain or the ignorant may say, well were it for society had we more of this character. In general, these close men are found at last the true benefactors of society. With an avaricious man we seldom lose in our dealings, but we too frequently do in our commerce with prodigality.
[Miser]
 

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

Mortifications are often more painful than real calamities.
[Shame]
 

None has more frequent conversations with disagreeable self than the man of pleasure; his enthusiasms are but few and transient; his appetites, like angry creditors, are continually making fruitless demands for what he is unable to pay; and the greater his former pleasures, the more strong his regret, the more impatient his expectations. A life of pleasure is, therefore, the most unpleasing life.
[Pleasure]
 

Nothing is so contemptible as that affectation of wisdom which some display by universal incredulity.
 

O luxury! Thou curst of heaven's decree.
 

Of all kinds of ambition, that which pursues poetical fame is the wildest.
[Poetry]
 

Oh sir! I must not tell my age. They say women and music should never be dated.
 

On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting, 'Twas only when he was off, he was acting.
 

One should not quarrel with a dog without a reason sufficient to vindicate one through all the courts of morality.
[Quarrels]
 

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.
 

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

Ovid finely compares a broken fortune to a falling column; the lower it sinks, the greater weight it is obliged to sustain. When a man's circumstances are such that he has no occasion to borrow, he finds numbers willing to lend him; but should his wants be such that he sues for a trifle, it is two to one whether he will be trusted with the smallest sum.
[Fortune]
 

Ovid finely compares a man of broken fortune to a falling column; the lower it sinks, the greater weight it is obliged to sustain.
[Misfortune]
 


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