Oliver Goldsmith

(10 November 1730 – 4 April 1774 / County Longford / Ireland)

Oliver Goldsmith Quotes

  • ''I have known a German Prince with more titles than subjects, and a Spanish nobleman with more names than shirts.''
    Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. The Citizen of the World, letter 120 (1762).
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  • ''We had no revolutions to fear, nor fatigues to undergo; all our adventures were by the fireside, and all our migrations from the blue bed to the brown.''
    Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Anglo-Irish author, poet, playwright. The narrator (Dr. Charles Primrose), in The Vicar of Wakefield, ch. 1 (1766).
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  • ''I ... chose my wife as she did her wedding-gown, not for a fine glossy surface, but such qualities as would wear well.''
    Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Anglo-Irish author, poet, playwright. The narrator (Dr. Charles Primrose), in The Vicar of Wakefield, ch. 1 (1766).
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  • ''Honour sinks where commerce long prevails.''
    Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Anglo-Irish author, poet, playwright. The Traveller, l. 92 (1764).
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  • ''Where the broad ocean leans against the land.''
    Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Anglo-Irish poet, essayist, playwright. The Traveller, l. 284 (1764).
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  • ''Law grinds the poor, and rich men rule the law.''
    Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Anglo-Irish author, poet, playwright. The Traveller, l. 386 (1764).
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  • ''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.''
    Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. "Upon Unfortunate Merit," The Bee, no. 5 (London, Nov. 3, 1759).
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  • ''Could a man live by it, it were not unpleasant employment to be a poet.''
    Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Letter, February 1759, to his brother Henry Goldsmith.
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  • ''Life at the greatest and best is but a froward child, that must be humoured and coaxed a little till it falls asleep, and then all the care is over.''
    Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Croaker, in The Good Natur'd Man, act 1.
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  • ''It seemed to me pretty plain, that they had more of love than matrimony in them.''
    Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Anglo-Irish author, poet, playwright. Dr. Charles Primrose, in The Vicar of Wakefield, ch. 16 (1766).
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Best Poem of Oliver Goldsmith

The Village Schoolmaster

Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way
With blossom'd furze unprofitably gay,
There, in his noisy mansion, skill'd to rule,
The village master taught his little school;
A man severe he was, and stern to view,
I knew him well, and every truant knew;
Well had the boding tremblers learn'd to trace
The days disasters in his morning face;
Full well they laugh'd with counterfeited glee,
At all his jokes, for many a joke had he:
Full well the busy whisper, circling round,
Convey'd the dismal tidings when he frown'd:
Yet he was kind; or if severe in ...

Read the full of The Village Schoolmaster

A Sonnet

WEEPING, murmuring, complaining,
Lost to every gay delight;
MYRA, too sincere for feigning,
Fears th' approaching bridal night.

Yet, why impair thy bright perfection?
Or dim thy beauty with a tear?
Had MYRA followed my direction,
She long had wanted cause of fear.

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