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Oliver Goldsmith Quotes


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There are some faults so nearly allied to excellence that we can scarce weed out the vice without eradicating the virtue.
 

There is an unspeakable pleasure attending the life of a voluntary student.
[Study]
 

There is nothing so absurd or ridiculous that has not at some time been said by some philosopher. Fontenelle says he would undertake to persuade the whole republic of readers to believe that the sun was neither the cause of light or heat, if he could only get six philosophers on his side.
 

They liked the book the better the more it made them cry.
 

They say women and music should never be dated.
 

They would talk of nothing but high life, and high-lived company, with other fashionable topics, such as pictures, taste, Shakespeare, and the musical glasses.
 

This same philosophy is a good horse in the stable, but an arrant jade on a journey.
 

Those who place their affections at first on trifles for amusement, will find these become at last their most serious concerns.
[Trifles]
 

To be poor, and seem to be poor, is a certain way never to rise.
[Poverty]
 

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.
[Ceremony]
 

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.
[Justice]
 

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

To pursue trifles is the lot of humanity; and whether we bustle in a pantomime, or strut at a coronation, or shout at a bonfire, or harangue in a senate-house; whatever object we follow, it will at last conduct us to futility and disappointment. The wise bustle and laugh as they walk in the pageant, but fools bustle and are important; and this probably, is all the difference between them.
[Fools]
 

Travellers, 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.
 

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.
[Generosity]
 

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.
[Generosity]
 

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

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

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

We take greater pains to persuade others that we are happy, than in endeavoring to be so ourselves.
[Happiness]
 


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