Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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"Johann Wolfgang von Goethe" was a German writer and politician/statesman. His body of work includes epic poetry/epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of poetic metre/metres and styles; prose and verse (poetry)/verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary criticism/literary and Aesthetics/aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; and four novels. In addition, numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, and nearly 3,000 drawings by him are extant.

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As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.

What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.

Nothing shows a man's character more than what he laughs at.

We only see what we know.

A man can stand anything except a succession of ordinary days.

Nothing is worth more than this day.

We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.

Divide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one.

Whatever you can do or dream, begin it.

Live dangerously and you live right.

Nothing is worse than active ignorance.

Only learn to seize good fortune, for good fortune is always here.

None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free.

I do not know myself, and God forbid that I should.

Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.

No one has ever learned fully to know themselves.

We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden.

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

The first and last thing required of genius is the love of truth.

If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise.

The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything.

Trust yourself, then you will know how to live.

The best is the deep quiet in which I live and grow against the world, and harvest what they cannot take from me by fire and sword.

When an idea is wanting, a word can always be found to take its place.

To be pleased with one's limits is a wretched state.

Talent develops in tranquillity, character in the full current of human life.

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.

One can be instructed in society, one is inspired only in solitude.

There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity.

If children grew up according to early indications, we should have nothing but geniuses.

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.

What is not fully understood is not possessed.

My peace is gone, my heart is heavy.

Treat people as if they were what they should be, and you help them become what they are capable of becoming.

Everything in the world may be endured except continued prosperity.

Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow.

The really unhappy person is the one who leaves undone what they can do, and starts doing what they don't understand; no wonder they come to grief.

I do not know everything; still many things I understand.

If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse; however if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that.

Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.

Only by joy and sorrow does a person know anything about themselves and their destiny. They learn what to do and what to avoid.

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.

Wherever a man may happen to turn, whatever a man may undertake, he will always end up by returning to the path which nature has marked out for him.

You will always find [hatred] strongest and most violent where there is the lowest degree of culture.

Each ten years of a man's life has its own fortunes, its own hopes, its own desires.

Difficulties increase the nearer we get to the goal.

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.

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.

That is the true season of love, when we believe that we alone can love, that no one could ever have loved so before us, and that no one will love in the same way after us.

Oh God, how do the world and heavens confine themselves, when our hearts tremble in their own barriers!

There is a courtesy of the heart; it is allied to love. From its springs the purest courtesy in the outward behavior.

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.

The society of women is the element of good manners.

Viewed from the summit of reason, all life looks like a malignant disease and the world like a madhouse.

I respect the man who knows distinctly what he wishes. The greater part of all mischief in the world arises from the fact that men do not sufficiently understand their own aims. They have undertaken to build a tower, and spend no more labor on the foundation than would be necessary to erect a hut.

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.

Age does not make us childish, as some say; it finds us true children.

Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished.

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.

We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.

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.

Men show their characters in nothing more clearly than in what they think laughable.

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.

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.

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.

When ideas fail, words come in very handy.

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.

There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

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.

The artist alone sees spirits. But after he has told of their appearing to him, everybody sees them.

Treat a man as he is, he will remain so. Treat a man the way he can be and ought to be, and he will become as he can be and should be."

If you must tell me your opinions, tell me what you believe in. I have plenty of doubts of my own.

There is nothing more dreadful than imagination without taste.

Anecdotes and maxims are rich treasures to the man of the world, for he knows how to introduce the former at fit place in conversation.

Mathematicians are like Frenchmen: whatever you say to them they translate into their own language, and forthwith it is something entirely different.

More light! Give me more light!

Reason can never be popular. Passions and feelings may become popular, but reason will always remain the sole property of a few eminent individuals.

He who wishes to exert a useful influence must be careful to insult nothing. Let him not be troubled by what seems absurd, but concentrate his energies to the creation of what is good. He must not demolish, but build. He must raise temples where mankind may come and partake of the purest pleasure.

The phrases that men hear or repeat continually, end by becoming convictions and ossify the organs of intelligence.

Science arose from poetry--when times change the two can meet again on a higher level as friends.

So divinely is the world organized that every one of us, in our place and time, is in balance with everything else.

The soul is indestructible and its activity will continue through eternity.

We know accurately only when we know little; with knowledge doubt increases.