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Oliver Goldsmith

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

Quotations

  • ''Girls like to be played with, and rumpled a little too, sometimes.''
    Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Hardcastle, in She Stoops to Conquer, act 5, sc. 1.
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  • ''I love everything that's old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines; and, I believe, Dorothy, you'll own I have been pretty fond of an old wife.''
    Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Anglo-Irish author, poet, playwright. Hardcastle, in She Stoops to Conquer, act. 1, sc. 1.
  • ''You, that are going to be married, think things can never be done too fast: but we that are old, and know what we are about, must elope methodically, madam.''
    Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Jarvis to Olivia, in The Good Natur'd Man, act 4.
  • ''Don't let us make imaginary evils, when you know we have so many real ones to encounter.''
    Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Leontine, in The Good Natur'd Man, act 1.
  • ''Friendship is a disinterested commerce between equals; love, an abject intercourse between tyrants and slaves.''
    Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Anglo-Irish author, poet, playwright. Mr. Honeywood, in The Good Natur'd Man, act 1.
  • ''Friendship is a disinterested commerce between equals; love, an abject intercourse between tyrants and slaves.''
    Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Anglo-Irish author, poet, playwright. Mr. Honeywood, in The Good Natur'd Man, act 1 (1768).
  • ''I can't say whether we had more wit among us now than usual, but I am certain we had more laughing, which answered the end as well.''
    Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Anglo-Irish author, poet, playwright. Narrator (Dr. Charles Primrose), in The Vicar of Wakefield, ch. 32 (1766).
  • ''If you were to make little fishes talk, they would talk like whales.''
    Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Anglo-Irish author, poet, playwright. Entry, April 27, 1773, to Johnson. Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson (1791).
  • ''There are some faults so nearly allied to excellence that we can scarce weed out the vice without eradicating the virtue.''
    Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Anglo-Irish author. Sir William Honeywood, in The Good Natur'd Man, act 1.
  • ''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.''
    Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Anglo-Irish author, poet, playwright. The Citizen of the World, letter 7 (1762).

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Memory

O MEMORY, thou fond deceiver,
Still importunate and vain,
To former joys recurring ever,
And turning all the past to pain:

Thou, like the world, th' oppress'd oppressing,
Thy smiles increase the wretch's woe:
And he who wants each other blessing
In thee must ever find a foe.

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