Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Quotes
Most popular Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Quotes
If children grew up according to early indications, we should have nothing but geniuses.
Man errs as long as he strives.
To act is easy; to think is hard.
Youth is intoxication without wine.
Do the duty that lies nearest thee.
As our inclinations so our opinions.
The smallest hair throws its shadow.
Beauty is a welcome guest everywhere.
Love does not dominate; it cultivates.
Common sense is the genius of humanity.
A clever man commits no minor blunders.
Mysteries are not necessarily miracles.
A man's errors are what make him amiable.
He who cannot love must learn to flatter.
When ideas fail, words come in very handy.
The deed is everything, the glory is naught.
We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.
What we do not understand we do not possess.
We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic to it.
Nature is the living, visible garment of God.
Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.
What is not fully understood is not possessed.
A correct answer is like an affectionate kiss.
But what is your duty? The demands of every day.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Ambition and love are the wings of great actions.
I sing as the bird sings That lives in the boughs.
Correction does much, but encouragement does more.
Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action.
All of us have life; few of us have an idea of it.
In all things it is better to hope than to despair.
Everything living forms an atmosphere around itself.
The society of women is the element of good manners.
Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live.
Education does much, but encouragement is everything.
If you would create something, you must be something.
Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow.
Passions are vices or virtues to their highest powers.
Instruction does much, but encouragement is everything.
Those who hope for no other life are dead even for this.
As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.
We always have time enough, if we will but use it aright.
He who is ignorant of foreign languages knows not his own.
First and last, what is demanded of genius is love of truth.
There is nothing more fearful than imagination without taste.
A man doesn't learn to understand anything unless he loves it.
What is important in life is life, and not the result of life.
Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together.
Genius is formed in quiet, character in the stream of human life.
The first and last thing required of genius is the love of truth.
A man who is firm and resolute in will molds the world to himself.
One says a lot in vain, refusing; The other mainly hears the "No."
One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.
Everything in the world can be endured, except continual prosperity.
He only earns his freedom and existence who daily conquers them anew.
A reasonable man needs only to practice moderation to find happiness.
Whatever necessity lays upon thee, endure; whatever she commands, do.
Generosity always wins favor, particularly when accompanied by modesty.
Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.
Girls we love for what they are; young men for what they promise to be.
The best of all governments is that which teaches us to govern ourselves.
A great revolution is never the fault of the people, but of the government.
If you call a thing bad you do little; if you call a thing good you do much.
If you call a thing bad you do little, if you call a thing good you do much.
We know accurately only when we know little, with knowledge doubt increases.
Talent develops in quiet places, character in the full current of human life.
Enthusiasm is of the greatest value, so long as we are not carried away by it.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
Life is a quarry, out of which we are to mold and chisel and complete character.
No one would talk much in society if he knew how often he misunderstands others.
It seems to never occur to fools that merit and good fortune are closely united.
Everything has been thought of before, but the difficulty is to think of it again.
All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is all my own.
Men show their character in nothing more clearly than by what they think laughable.
Everything that frees our spirit without giving us control of ourselves is ruinous.
The best thing which we derive from history is the enthusiasm that it raises in us.
Perfection is the measure of heaven, and the wish to be perfect the measure of man.
Individuality seems to be nature's whole aim-and she cares nothing for individuals.
They are the happiest, be they king, queen or peasant, who finds peace in their home.
Go to foreign countries and you will get to know the good things one possesses at home.
There is nothing in which people more betray their character than in what they laugh at.
There is no outward sign of true courtesy that does not rest on a deep moral foundation.
Error is acceptable as long as we are young; but one must not drag it along into old age.
Happy the man who early learns the wide chasm that lies between his wishes and his powers!
All is created and goes according to order, yet over our lifetime rules an uncertain fate.
Nature knows no pause in progress and development, and attaches her curse on all inaction.
Nature goes on her way, and all that to us seems an exception is really according to order.
The man who acts never has any conscience; no one has any conscience but the man who thinks.
Science and art belong to the whole world, and the barriers of nationality vanish before them.
For a man to achieve all that is demanded of him he must regard himself as greater than he is.
Riches amassed in haste will diminish, but those collected by little and little will multiply.
We are never further from our wishes than when we imagine that we possess what we have desired.
What you have inherited from your fathers, earn over again for yourselves, or it will not be yours.
Talents are best nurtured in solitude; character is best formed in the stormy billows of the world.
It is better to be doing the most insignificant thing than to reckon even a half-hour insignificant.
In the realm of ideas, everything depends on enthusiasm; in the real world, all rests on perseverance.
I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.
All intelligent thoughts have already been thought; what is necessary is only to try to think them again.
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.
Science has been seriously retarded by the study of what is not worth knowing, and of what is not knowable.
Correction does much, but encouragement does more. Encouragement after censure is as the sun after a shower.
Every situation — nay, every moment — is of infinite worth; for it is the representative of a whole eternity.
Everyone believes in his youth that the world really began with him, and that all merely exists for his sake.
Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of becoming.
There is nothing by which men display their character so much as in what they consider ridiculous or laugh at.
He who posseses science and art, has religion; he who possesses neither science nor art, let him get religion.
The highest happiness of man . . . is to have probed what is knowable and quietly to revere what is unknowable.
Love is an ideal thing; marriage is a real thing. A confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished.
There is no better deliverance from the world than art; and a man can form no surer bond with it than through art.
The work of art may have a moral effect, but to demand moral purpose from the artist is to make him ruin his work.
A vain man can never be utterly ruthless. He wants to win applause, and therefore he accommodates himself to others.
Error is to truth as sleep is to waking. I have observed that one turns, as if refreshed, from error back to truth.
Give me the benefit of your convictions, if you have any; but keep your doubts to yourself, for I have enough of my own.
If you treat an individual as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.
There is no surer method of evading the world than by following Art, and no surer method of linking oneself to it than by Art.
Every man supposes that he directs his life and governs his actions, when his existence is irretrievably under the control of destiny.
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.
Let us not dream that reason can ever be popular. Passions, emotions, may be made popular, but reason remains ever the property of the few.
Three things are to be looked to in a building: that it stand on the right spot; that it be securely founded; that it be successfully executed.
Certain defects are necessary for the existence of individuality. We should not be pleased if old friends were to lay aside certain peculiarities.
Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it.
We are so constituted that we believe the most incredible things; and, once they are engraved upon the memory, woe to him who would endeavor to erase them.
When young, one is confident to be able to build palaces for mankind, but when the time comes one has one's hands full just to be able to remove their trash.
It is well for us that man can only endure a certain degree of unhappiness; what is beyond that either annihilates him or passes by him and leaves him apathetic.
Man is born not to solve the problems of the universe, but to find out where the problem begins, and then to restrain himself within the limits of the comprehensible.
Austere perseverance, harsh and continuous, may be employed by the least of us and rarely fails of its purpose, for its silent power grows irreversibly greater with time.
He who would study organic existence first drives out the soul with rigid persistence. Then the parts in his hand he may hold and class, but the spiritual link is lost, alas!
This is the true measure 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 ever love in the same way after us.
All truly wise thoughts have been thought already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, till they take firm root in our personal experience.
Vanity is a desire of personal glory, the wish to be appreciated, honored, and run after, not because of one's personal qualities, merits, and achievements, but because of one's individual existence.
Whoever, in middle age, attempts to realize the wishes and hopes of his early youth, invariably deceives himself. Each ten years of a man's life has its own fortunes, its own hopes, its own desires.
We lay aside letters never to read them again, and at last we destroy them out of discretion, and so disappears the most beautiful, the most immediate breath of life, irrevocably for ourselves and for others.
There is no trifling with nature; it is always true, grave, and severe; it is always in the light, and the faults and errors fall to our share. It defies incompetency, but reveals its secrets to the competent, the truthful, and the pure.