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Oliver Goldsmith Quotes


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Paltry affectation and strained allusions are easily attained by those who choose to wear them; but they are but the badges of ignorance or stupidity when it would endeavor to please.
[Affectation]
 

People seldom improve when they have no other model but themselves to copy after.
[Example]
 

Philosophy can add to our happiness in no other manner but by diminishing our misery; it should not pretend to increase our present stock, but make us economists of what we are possessed of. Happy were we all born philosophers; all born with a talent of thus dissipating our own cares by spreading them upon all mankind.
[Philosophy]
 

Philosophy is a good horse in the stable, but an errant jade on a journey.
[Philosophy]
 

Pity and friendship are two passions incompatible with each other.
 

Politeness is the result of good sense and good nature. A person possessed of these qualities, though he has never seen a court, is truly agreeable; and if without them, would continue a clown, though he had been all his lifetime a gentleman usher.
[Politeness]
 

Politics resemble religion; attempting to divest either 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, or a virtuous edict, a sumptuary law, or a glass necklace.
[Government]
 

Praise in the beginning is agreeable enough, and we receive it as a favor; but when it comes in great quantities, we regard it only as a debt, which nothing but our merit could extort.
[Praise]
 

Quality and title have such allurements that hundreds are ready to give up all their own importance, to cringe, to flatter, to look little, and to pall every pleasure in constraint, merely to be among the great, though without the least hopes of improving by their understanding or sharing their generosity: they might be happy among their equals, but those are despised for company where they are despised in turn.
[Quality]
 

Religion does what philosophy could never do. - It shows the equal dealings of heaven to the happy and the unhappy, and levels all human enjoyments to nearly the same standard. - It offers to both rich and poor the same happiness hereafter, and equal hopes to aspire after it.
[Religion]
 

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!
 

Silence gives consent.
 

Some are found to travel with no other intent than that of understanding and collecting pictures, studying seals, and describing statues; on they travel from this cabinet of curiosities to that gallery of pictures; waste the prime of life in wonder; skilful in pictures; ignorant in men; yet impossible to be reclaimed, because their follies take shelter under the names of delicacy and taste.
 

Some persons make their own epitaphs, and bespeak the reader's good­will. It were, indeed, to be wished, that every man would early learn in this manner to make his own, and that he would draw it up in terms as flattering as possible, and that he would make it the employment of his whole life to deserve it.
 

Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall.
[Success]
 

Surely the best way to meet the enemy is head on in the field and not wait till they plunder our very homes.
 

Tenderness is a virtue.
 

Tenderness, without a capacity of relieving, only makes the man who feels it more wretched than the object which sues for assistance.
 

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

The best way to make your audience laugh is to start laughing yourself.
 


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