Every day I observe more and more the folly of judging of others by ourselves; and I have so much trouble with myself, and my own heart is in such constant agitation, that I am well content to let others pursue their own course, if they only allow me the same privilege.
In this world one is seldom reduced to make a selection between two alternatives. There are as many varieties of conduct and opinion as there are turns of feature between an aquiline nose and a flat one.
God help us -- for art is long, and life so short.
The human race is a monotonous affair. Most people spend the greatest part of their time working in order to live, and what little freedom remains so fills them with fear that they seek out any and every means to be rid of it.
He values my understanding and talents more highly than my heart, but I am proud of the latter only. It is the sole source of everything of our strength, happiness, and misery. All the knowledge I possess every one else can acquire, but my heart is exclusively my own.
Is this the destiny of man? Is he only happy before he has acquired his reason or after he has lost it?
I am not omniscient, but I know a lot.
The suffering may be moral or physical; and in my opinion it is just as absurd to call a man a coward who destroys himself, as to call a man a coward who dies of a malignant fever.
How many kings are governed by their ministers, how many ministers by their secretaries? Who, in such cases, is really the chief?
It is in vain that a man of sound mind and cool temper understands the condition of such a wretched being... He can no more communicate his own wisdom to him than a healthy man can instil his strength into the invalid by whose bedside he is seated.
I nothing had, and yet enough for youth--Joy in Illusion, ardent thirst for Truth. Give unrestrained, the old emotion, The bliss that touched the verge of pain, The strength of Hate, Love's deep devotion,--O, give me back my youth again!
We often feel that we lack something, and seem to see that very quality in someone else, promptly attributing all our own qualities to him too, and a kind of ideal contentment as well. And so the happy mortal is a model of complete perfection--which we have ourselves created.
How often do I lull my seething blood to rest, for you have never seen anything so unsteady, so uncertain, as this heart.
It's true that nothing in this world makes us so necessary to others as the affection we have for them.
There are but two roads that lead to an important goal and to the doing of great things: strength and perseverance. Strength is the lot of but a few priveledged men; but austere perseverance, harsh and continuous, may be employed by the smallest of us and rarely fails of its purpose, for its silent power grows irresistibly greater with time.
Weary of liberty, he suffered himself to be saddled and bridled, and was ridden to death for his pains.
I am amazed to see how deliberately I have entangled myself step by step. To have seen my position so clearly, and yet to have acted so like a child!
Must it ever be thus-that the source of our happiness must also be the fountain of our misery? The full and ardent sentiment which animated my heart with the love of nature, overwhelming me with a torrent of delight, and which brought all paradise before me, has now become an insupportable torment, a demon which perpetually pursues and harrasses me.
What I possess, seems far away to me, and what is gone becomes reality.
What a torment it is to see so much loveliness passing and repassing before us, and yet not dare to lay hold of it!
I am contented, happy, and consequently a bad historian.
My days are as happy as those reserved by God for his elect; and whatever be my fate hereafter, I can never say that I have not tasted joy- the purest joy of life.
What matters creative endless toil, When, at a snatch, oblivion ends the coil?
What is the destiny of man, but to fill up the measure of his sufferings, and to drink his allotted cup of bitterness?
I examine my own being, and find there a world, but a world rather of imagination and dim desires, than of distinctness and living power. Then everything swims before my senses, and I smile and dream while pursuing my way through the world.
No doubt you are right... there would be far less suffering amongst mankind if men... did not employ their imaginations so assiduously in recalling the memory of past sorrow, instead of bearing their present lot with equanimity.
When scholars study a thing, they strive to kill it first, if it's alive; then they have the parts and the'be lost the whole, for the link that's missing was the living soul.
When any distress or terror surprises us in the midst of our amusements, it naturally makes a deeper impression than at other times, either because the contrast makes us more keenly susceptible, or rather perhaps because our senses are then more open to impressions, and the shock is consequently stronger.
I treat my heart like a sick child and gratify its every fancy
No one is willing to believe that adults too, like children, wander about this earth in a daze and, like children, do not know where they come from or where they are going, act as rarely as they do according to genuine motives, and are as thoroughly governed as they are by biscuits and cake and the rod.
More Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Quotations (Based on Topics)
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More Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Quotations (By Book Titles)
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