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Oliver Goldsmith Quotes


An Irish writer, playwright, and physician.
(1730 - 1774)

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

A boy will learn more true wisdom in a public school in a year than by a private education in five. - It is not from masters, but from their equals that youth learn a knowledge of the world.
[Study]
 

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 man who leaves home to mend himself and others is a philosopher; but he who goes from country to country, guided by the blind impulse of curiosity, is a vagabond.
 

A map does not exhibit a more distinct view of the situation and boundaries of every country, than its news does a picture of the genius and morals of its inhabitants.
[News]
 

A mind too vigorous and active, serves only to consume the body to which it is joined, as the richest jewels are soonest found to wear their settings.
[Mind]
 

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

A poor man resembles a fiddler, whose music, though liked, is not much praised, because he lives by it; while a gentleman performer, though the most wretched scraper alive, throws the audience into rapture.
[Poverty]
 

Above all things, never let your son touch a novel of romance. How delusive, how destructive are those pictures of consummate bliss! They teach the youthful to sigh after beauty and happiness that never existed; to despise the little good that fortune has mixed in our cup, by expecting more than she ever gave; and in general - take the word of a man who has seen the world, and studied it more by experience than by precept - take my word for it, I say, that such books teach us very little of the world.
 

Absence, like death, sets a seal on the image of those we love: we cannot realize the intervening changes which time may have effected.
[Absence]
 

Age that lessens the enjoyment of life, increases our desire of living.
[Age]
 

All his faults are such that one loves him still the better for them.
 

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

Allured to brighter worlds and led the way.
[Example]
 

An emperor in his night-cap would not meet with half the respect of an emperor with a crown.
 

And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew, That one small head should carry all it knew.
[Learning]
 

As writers become more numerous, it is natural for readers to become more indolent; whence must necessarily arise a desire of attaining knowledge with the greatest possible ease.
 

Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no fibs.
[Curiosity]
 

At church, with meek and unaffected grace, His looks adorn'd the venerable place; Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway, And fools, who came to scoff, remain'd to pray.
[Prayer]
 

Be not affronted at a joke. If one throw salt at thee, thou wilt receive no harm, unless thou art raw.
 


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