Wide World of Quotes > Tobias Smollett Quotes


Tobias Smollett
Scottish novelist
(1721-71)



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Some folks are wise, and some are otherwise.
-- The Adventures of Roderick Random (1748), 6

The painful ceremony of receiving and returning visits.
-- Peregrine Pickle (1751), 5

A mere index hunter, who held the eel of science by the tail.
-- Peregrine Pickle (1751), 43

I think for my part one half of the nation is mad -- and the other half is not very sound.
-- The Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves (1762), ch. 6

True patriotism is of no party.
-- The Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves (1762)

They have no education, no taste for reading, no housewifery, nor, indeed, any earthly occupation but that of dressing their hair, and adorning their bodies. They hate walking, and would never go abroad, if they were not stimulated by the vanity of being seen... Nothing can be more parsimonious than the economy of these people. They live on soup and bouille, fish and salad.
-- Description of the nobility of Boulogne, in Smollett's Travels through France and Italy (1766)

Writing is all a lottery -- I have been a loser by the works of the greatest men of the age.
-- The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker (1771), Letter to the Revd. Mr Jonathan Dustwich

Hark ye, Clinker, you are a most notorious offender. You stand convicted of sickness, hunger, wretchedness, and want.
-- The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker (1771), Letter to Sir Watkin Phillips

The capital is becoming an overgrown monster; which, like a dropsical head, will in time leave the body extremities without nourishment and support.
-- The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker (1771), Letter from Matthew Bramble, 29 May

I am pent up in frowzy lodgings, where there is not room enough to swing a cat.
-- The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker (1771), Letter from Matthew Bramble, 8 June

Too coy to flatter, and too proud to serve,
Thine be the joyless dignity to starve.
-- Advice: a satire


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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