Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

German poet and novelist and dramatist who lived in Weimar (1749-1832)

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A man can stand anything except a succession of ordinary days.
A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.
Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him.
Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself; he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him.
Age does not make us childish, as some say; it finds us true children.
All truly wise thoughts have been thoughts already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, till they take root in our personal experience.
As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.
Beware of dissipating your powers strive constantly to concentrate them. Genius thinks it can do whatever it sees others doing, but is sure to repent of every ill-judged outlay.
Beware of dissipating your powers; strive constantly to concentrate them. Genius thinks it can do whatever it sees others doing, but is sure to repent of every ill-judged outlay.
Divide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one.
Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.
Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow.
Everything in the world may be endured, except continual prosperity.
How can you come to know yourself Never by thinking, always by doing. Try to do your duty, and you'll know right away what you amount to.
I do not know everything; still many things I understand.
I do not know myself, and God forbid that I should.
I do not speak of what I cannot praise.
I don't know a greater advantage, than to appreciate the worth of an enemy.
I love the deep quiet in which I live and grow against the world and harvest what they cannot take from me by fire or sword.
If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts and if any would write in a noble style, let him first possess a noble soul.
If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts; and if any would write in a noble style, let him first possess a noble soul.
If children grew up according to early indications, we should have nothing but geniuses.
If each one does their duty as an individual and if each one works in their own proper vocation, it will be right with the whole.
If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise.
If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain as he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought and could be.
Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together.
Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.
Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished.
Man is not born to solve the problem of the universe, but to find out what he has to do; and to restrain himself within the limits of his comprehension.
Mathematicians are like Frenchmen: whatever you say to them they translate into their own language, and forthwith it is something entirely different.
Men show their characters in nothing more clearly than in what they think laughable.
More light! Give me more light!
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
Oh God, how do the world and heavens confine themselves, when our hearts tremble in their own barriers!
One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture and, if possible, speak a few reasonable words.
One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.
Only learn to seize good fortune, for good fortune is always here.
Reason can never be popular. Passions and feelings may become popular, but reason will always remain the sole property of a few eminent individuals.
So divinely is the world organized that every one of us, in our place and time, is in balance with everything else.
The artist alone sees spirits. But after he has told of their appearing to him, everybody sees them
The true, prescriptive artist strives after artistic truth; the lawless artist, following blind instinct, after an appearance of naturalness. The one leads to the highest peaks of art, the other to its lowest depths.
There is a courtesy of the heart; it is allied to love. From its springs the purest courtesy in the outward behavior.
There is nothing more dreadful than imagination without taste.
There is nothing more frightful than imagination without taste.
There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity.
Three things are to be looked to in a building: that it stands on the right spot; that it be securely founded; that it be successfully executed.”
To be pleased with one's limits is a wretched state.
Treat a man as he appears to be, and you make him worse. But treat a man as if he were what he potentially could be, and you make him what he should be.
Treat people as if they were what they should be, and you help them become what they are capable of becoming.
Trust yourself, then you will know how to live.
We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.
We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.
We know accurately only when we know little; with knowledge doubt increases.
What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it;
boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
Whatever you cannot understand, you cannot possess.
When an idea is wanting, a word can always be found to take its place.
When we treat man as he is, we make him worse than he is; when we treat him as if he already were what he potentially could be, we make him what he should be.
When you take a man as he is, you make him worse. When you take a man as he can be, you make him better.
Whenever I hear people talking about "liberal ideas," I am always astounded that men should love to fool themselves with empty sounds. An idea should never be liberal; it must be vigorous, positive, and without loose ends so that it may fulfill its divine mission and be productive. The proper place for liberality is in the realm of the emotions.
Who is the most sensible person? The one who finds what is to their own advantage in all that happens to them.
You will always find [hatred] strongest and most violent where there is the lowest degree of culture.

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