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James Wood, comp. Dictionary of Quotations. 1899.


A belief in the Bible, the fruit of deep meditation, has served me as the guide of my moral and literary life. I have found it a capital safely invested, and richly productive of interest.

A creation of importance can be produced only when its author isolates himself; it is ever a child of solitude.

A day of grace (Gunst) is as a day in harvest; one must be diligent as soon as it is ripe.

A downright contradiction is equally mysterious to wise men as to fools.

A fact in our lives is valuable, not so far as it is true, but as it is significant.

A fellow who speculates is like an animal on a barren heath, driven round and round by an evil spirit, while there extends on all sides of him a beautiful green meadow-pasture.

A God speaks softly in our breast; softly, yet distinctly, shows us what to hold by and what to shun.

A good man in his dark striving is, I should say, conscious of the right way.

A great deal may and must be done which we dare not acknowledge in words.

A great master always appropriates what is good in his predecessors, and it is this which makes him great.

A great revolution is never the fault of the people, but of the government.

A great scholar is seldom a great philosopher.

A great spirit errs as well as a little one, the former because it knows no bounds, the latter because it confounds its own horizon with that of the universe.

A judge who cannot punish, associates himself in the end with the criminal.

A judicious (verständiger) man is of much value for himself, of little for the whole.

A man hears only what he understands.

A man is never happy till his vague striving has itself marked out its proper limitation.

A man places himself on a level with him whom he praises.

A man who is ignorant of foreign languages is ignorant of his own.

A name is no despicable matter. Napoleon, for the sake of a great name, broke in pieces almost half a world.

A new life begins when a man once sees with his own eyes all that before he has but partially read or heard of.

A noble man cannot be indebted for his culture to a narrow circle. The world and his native land must act on him.

A purpose you impart is no longer your own.

A really great talent finds its happiness in execution.

A small man, if he stands too near a great, may see single portions well, and, if he will survey the whole, must stand too far off, where his eyes do not reach the details.

A useless life is an early death.

A word from a friend is doubly enjoyable in dark days.

A word sooner wounds than heals.

A world this in which much is to be done, and little to be known.

A worthless man will always remain worthless, and a little mind will not, by daily intercourse with great minds, become an inch greater.

Academical years ought by rights to give occupation to the whole mind. It is this time which, well or ill employed, affects a man’s whole after-life.

Ach! aus dem Glück entwickelt sich Schmerz—Alas! that from happiness there so often springs pain.

Ach! unsre Thaten selbst, so gut als unsre Leiden / Sie hemmen unsers Lebens Gang—We are hampered, alas! in our course of life quite as much by what we do as by what we suffer.

Ach! zu des Geistes Flügeln, wird so leicht kein körperlicher Flügel sich gesellen—Alas! no fleshly pinion will so easily keep pace with the wings of the spirit.

Action can be understood and again represented by the spirit alone.

Age does not make us childish, as people say; it only finds us still true children.

All battle is misunderstanding.

All beginnings are easy; it is the ulterior steps that are of most difficult ascent and most rarely taken.

All faults are properly shortcomings.

All is influence except ourselves.

All men would be masters of others, and no man is lord of himself.

All our most honest striving prospers only in unconscious moments.

All that is noble is in itself of a quiet nature, and appears to sleep until it is aroused and summoned forth by contrast.

All the faults of the man I can pardon in the player; no fault of the player can I pardon in the man.

All the thinking in the world does not bring us to thought; we must be right by nature, so that good thoughts may come.

All this (in the daily press) does not concern one in the least; one is neither the wiser nor the better for knowing what the day brings forth.

Alle Schuld rächt sich auf Erden—Every offence is avenged on earth.

Alles Gescheidte ist schon gedacht worden; man muss nur versuchen, es noch einmal zu denken—Everything wise has already been thought; one can only try and think it once more.

Alles Vergängliche ist nur ein Gleichniss—Everything transitory is only an allegory.

Alter Anfang ist heiter; die Schwelle ist der Platz der Erwartung—Every beginning is cheerful; the threshold is the place of expectation.

Always to distrust is an error, as well as always to trust.

Am sausenden Webstuhl der Zeit—On the noisy loom of Time.

Amor bleibt ein Schalk, und wer ihm vertraut, ist betrogen—Cupid is ever a rogue, and whoever trusts him is deceived.

An honest citizen who maintains himself industriously has everywhere as much freedom as he wants.

An individual helps not; only he who unites with many at the proper time.

Arm am Beutel, krank am Herzen—Poor in purse, sick at heart.

Armuth ist die grösste Plage, / Reichtum ist das höchste Gut—Poverty is the greatest calamity, riches the highest good.

Art is the mediatrix of the unspeakable.

Art rests on a kind of religious sense, on a deep, steadfast earnestness; and on this account it unites so readily with religion.

As he alone is a good father who at table serves his children first, so is he alone a good citizen who, before all other outlays, discharges what he owes to the state.

As to the value of conversions, God alone can judge.

Auch Bücher haben ihr Erlebtes, das ihnen nicht entzogen werden kann—Even books have their lifetime, of which no one can deprive them.

Auch die Gerechtigkeit trägt eine Binde, / Und schliesst die Augen jedem Blendwerk zu—Even Justice wears a bandage, and shuts her eyes on everything deceptive.

Auch die Kultur, die alle Welt beleckt, / Hat auf den Teufel sich erstreckt—Culture, which has licked all the world into shape, has reached even the devil.

Auch in der That ist Raum für Ueberlegung—Even in the moment of action there is room for consideration.

Auf die warnenden Symptome sieht kein Mensch, auf die Schmeichelnden und Versprechenden allein ist die Aufmerksamkeit gerichtet—To the warning word no man has respect, only to the flattering and promising is his attention directed.

Auf ebnem Boden straucheln ist ein Scherz, / Ein Fehltritt stürzt vom Gipfel dich herab—To stumble on a level surface is matter of jest; by a false step on a height you are hurled to the ground.

Aufrichtig zu sein kann ich versprechen; unparteiisch zu sein aber nicht—I can promise to be candid, but not to be impartial.

Aus Mässigkeit entspringt ein reines Glück—Out of moderation a pure happiness springs.

Barbarism is the non-appreciation of what is excellent.

Be modest without diffidence, proud without presumption.

Be no one like another, yet every one like the Highest; to this end let each one be perfect in himself.

Beauty is a hovering, shining, shadowy form, the outline of which no definition holds.

Beauty is everywhere a right welcome guest.

Beauty is the highest principle and the highest aim of art.

Bedenkt, der Teufel der ist alt, / So werdet alt ihn zu verstehen—Consider, the devil is old; therefore grow old to understand him.

Behaviour is a mirror in which each one shows his image.

Bescheiden freue dich des Ruhms, / So bist du wert des Heiligthums—If thou modestly enjoy thy fame, thou art not unworthy to rank with the holy.

Beseht die Gönner in der Nähe! Halb sind sie kalt, halb sind sie roh—Look closely at those who patronise you. Half are unfeeling, half untaught.

Betrug war Alles, Lug, und Schein—All was deception, a lie, and illusion.

Better be disagreeable in a sort than altogether insipid.

Better that people should laugh at one while they instruct, than that they should praise without benefiting.

Beware of a talent which you cannot hope to cultivate to perfection.

Bist du mit dem Teufel du und du, / Und willst dich vor der Flamme scheuen?—Art thou on familiar terms with the devil, and wilt thou shy at the flame?“Faust.”

Blasen ist nicht flöten; ihr musst die Finger bewegen—To blow on the flute is not to play on it; you must move the fingers as well.

Books generally do little else than give our errors names.

Botschaft hör’ ich wohl, allein mir fehlt der Glaube—I hear the message indeed, but I want the faith.“Faust.”

Briefe gehören unter die wichtigsten Denkmäler die der einzelne Mensch hinterlassen kann—Letters are among the most significant memorials a man can leave behind him.

By nothing do men more show what they are than by their appreciation of what is and what is not ridiculous.

By seeking and blundering we learn.

Care is taken that trees do not grow into the sky.

Certain defects are necessary to the existence of the individual. It would be painful to us if our old friends laid aside certain peculiarities.

Children, like dogs, have so sharp and fine a scent, that they detect and hunt out everything—the bad before all the rest.

Christianity has a might of its own; it is raised above all philosophy, and needs no support therefrom.

Christianity is the worship of sorrow.

Classisch ist das Gesunde, romantisch das Kranke—The healthy is classical, the unhealthy is romantic.

Commend me rather to him who goes wrong in a way that is his own, than to him who walks correctly in a way that is not.

Common-sense is the genius of humanity.

Consecrated is the spot which a good man has trodden.

Correction does much, but encouragement does more.

Courage and modesty are the most unequivocal of virtues, for they are of a kind that hypocrisy cannot imitate.

Daily life is more instructive than the most effective book.

Das Beste, was wir von der Geschichte haben, ist der Enthusiasmus, den sie erregt—The best benefit we derive from history is the enthusiasm which it excites.

Das Edle zu erkennen ist Gewinnst / Der nimmer uns entrissen werden kann—The ability to appreciate what is noble is a gain which no one can ever take from us.

Das einfach Schöne soll der Kenner schätzen; / Verziertes aber spricht der Menge zu—The connoisseur of art must be able to appreciate what is simply beautiful, but the common run of people are satisfied with ornament.

Das Erste und Letzte, was vom Genie gefordert wird, ist Wahrheitsliebe—The first and last thing which is required of genius is love of truth.

Das Geeinte zu entzweien, das Entzweite zu einigen, ist das Leben der Natur—Dividing the united, uniting the divided, is the life of Nature.

Das Gesetz nur kann uns Freiheit geben—Only law can give us freedom.

Das Gewebe dieser Welt ist aus Notwendigkeit und Zufall gebildet; die Vernunft des Menschen stellt sich zwischen beide, und weiss sie zu beherrschen—The web of this world is woven out of necessity and contingency; the reason of man places itself between the two, and knows how to control them.

Das Glück deiner Tage / Wäge nicht mit der Goldwage. / Wirst du die Krämerwage nehmen, / So wirst du dich schämen und dich bequemen—Weigh not the happiness of thy days with goldsmith’s scales. Shouldst thou take the merchant’s, thou shalt feel ashamed and adapt thyself.

Das glücklichste Wort es wird verhöhnt, / Wenn der Hörer ein Schiefohr ist—The happiest word is scorned, if the hearer has a twisted ear.

Das höchste Glück ist das, welches unsere Mängel verbessert und unsere Fehler ausgleicht—The best fortune that can fall to a man is that which corrects his defects and makes up for his failings.

Das ist die wahre Liebe, die immer und immer sich gleich bleibt, / Wenn man ihr alles gewährt, wenn man ihr alles versagt—That is true love which is ever the same (lit. equal to itself), whether everything is conceded to it or everything denied.

Das Leben gehört den Lebendigen an, und wer lebt, muss auf Wechsel gefasst sein—Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.

Das Leben ist die Liebe / Und des Lebens Leben Geist—Life is love, and the life of life, spirit.

Das Leben lehrt uns, weniger mit uns / Und andern strenge sein—Life teaches us to be less severe both with ourselves and others.

Das Nächste steht oft unergreifbar fern—What is nearest is often unattainably far off.

Das schönste Glück des denkenden Menschen ist, das Erforschliche erforscht zu haben, und das Unerforschliche ruhig zu verehren—The fairest fortune that can fall to a thinking man is to have searched out the searchable, and restfully to adore the unsearchable.

Das Schicksal ist ein vornehmer aber theurer Hofmeister—Fate is a distinguished but expensive pedagogue.

Das Sprichwort sagt: Ein eigner Herd, / Ein braves Weib sind Gold und Perlen wert—A proverb says: A hearth of one’s own and a good wife are worth gold and pearls.

Das Volk schätzt Stärke vor allem—The people rate strength before everything.

Das Vortreffliche it unergründlich, man mag damit anfangen was man will—What is excellent cannot be fathomed, probe it as and where we will.

Das Wahre ist gottähnlich; es erscheint nicht unmittelbar, wir müssen es aus seinen Manifestationen errathen—Truth is like God; it reveals itself not directly; we must divine it out of its manifestations.

Das was mir wichtig scheint, hältst du für Kleinigkeiten; / Das was mich ärgert hat bei dir nichts zu bedeuten—What is to me important you regard as a trifle, and what puts me out has with you no significance.

Das Wenige verschwindet leicht dem Blick, / Der vorwärts sieht, wie viel noch übrig bleibt—The little (achieved) is soon forgotten by him who looks before him and sees how much still remains to be done.

Das Wunder ist des Glaubens liebstes Kind—Miracle is the pet child of faith.

Dauer un Wechsel—Persistence in change.

Death is a commingling of eternity with time; in the death of a good man eternity is seen looking through time.

Decision and perseverance are the noblest qualities of man.

Dem harten Muss bequemt sich Will’ und Grille—To hard necessity one’s will and fancy (must) conform.

Dem Herlichsten, was auch der Geist empfangen, drängt Stoff sich an—Matter presses heavily on the noblest efforts of the spirit.In “Faust.”

Dem Hunde, wenn er gut gezogen / Wird selbst ein weiser Mann gewogen—Even a wise man will attach himself to the dog when he is well bred.

Dem thätigen Menschen kommt es darauf an, dass er das Rechte thue; ob das Rechte geschehe, soll ihn nicht kümmern—With the man of action the chief concern is that he do the right thing; the success of that ought not to trouble him.

Den Bösen sind sie los; die Bösen sind geblieben—They are rid of the Wicked One, (but) the wicked are still there.

Den rechten Weg wirst nie vermissen, / Handle nur nach Gefühl und Gewissen—Wilt thou never miss the right way, thou hast only to act according to thy feeling and conscience.

Denke nur niemand, dass man auf ihn als den Heiland gewartet habe—Let no one imagine that he is the man the world has been waiting for as its deliverer.

Denken und Thun, Thun und Denken, das ist die Summe aller Weisheit von jeher anerkannt, von jeher geübt, nicht eingesehen von einem jeden—To think and act, to act and think, this is the sum of all the wisdom that has from the first been acknowledged and practised, though not understood by every one, i.e., (as added) the one must continually act and react on the other, like exhaling and inhaling, must correspond as question and answer.

Denn geschwätzig sind die Zeiten, / Und sie sind auch wieder stumm—For the times are babbly, and then again the times are dumb.

Der Ausgang giebt den Thaten ihre Titel—It is the issue that gives to deeds their title.

Der den Augenblick ergreift / Das ist der rechte Mann—He who seizes the moment is the right man.

Der Geist ist immer autochthone—Spirit is always indigenous; i.e., always native to the soil out of which it springs.

Der Geist, aus dem wir handeln, ist das Höchste—The spirit from which we act is the principal (lit. the highest) matter.

Der Geist, der stets verneint—The spirit that constantly denies, that says everlastingly “No.”“Mephistopheles.”

Der geringste Mensch kann complet sein, wenn er sich innerhalb der Gränzen seiner Fähigkeiten und Fertigkeiten bewegt—The humblest mortal may attain completeness if he confine his activities within the limits of his capability and skill.

Der Gott, der mir im Busen wohnt, / Kann tief mein Innerstes erregen; der über allen meinen Kräften thront, er kann nach aussen nichts bewegen—The God who dwells in my breast can stir my inmost soul to its depths; he who sits as sovereign over all my powers has no control over things beyond.

Der grösste Mensch bleibt stets ein Menschenkind—The greatest man remains always a man-child, or son of man.

Der Handelnde ist immer gewissenlos, es hat niemand Gewissen, als der Betrachtende—The man who acts merely is always without conscience; no one has conscience but the man who reflects.

Der Irrthum ist recht gut, so lange wir jung sind; man muss ihn nur nicht mit ins Alter schleppen—Error is very well so long as we are young, but we must not drag it with us into old age.

Der Jüngling kämpft, damit der Greis geniesse—The youth fights that the old man may enjoy.

Der Jugend Führer sei das Alter; beiden sei / Nur wenn sie als Verbundne wandeln, Glück versichert—Be age the guide of youth; both will be happy only if they go hand in hand (lit. as confederates) together.

Der kleine Gott der Welt bleibt stets von gleichem Schlag / Und ist so wunderlich, als wie am ersten Tag—The little god of the world (i.e., man) continues ever of the same stamp, and is as odd as on the first day.

Der Mensch begreift niemals wie anthropmorphisch er ist—Man never comprehends how anthropomorphic his conceptions are.

Der Mensch erfährt, er sei auch wer er mag, / Ein letztes Glück und einen letzten Tag—No man, be he who he may, but experiences a last happiness and a last day.

Der Mensch hat nur allzusehr Ursache, sich vor dem Menschen zu schützen—Man has only too much reason to guard himself from man.

Der Mensch ist nicht bloss ein denkendes, er ist zugleich ein empfindendes Wesen. Er ist ein Ganzes, eine Einheit vielfacher, innig verbundner Kräfte, und zu diesem Ganzen muss das Kunstwerk reden—Man is not merely a thinking, he is at the same time a sentient, being. He is a whole, a unity of manifold, internally connected powers, and to this whole must the work of art speak.

Der Mensch ist nicht geboren frei zu sein / Und für den Edeln ist kein schöner Glück / Ais einem Fürst, den er ehrt, zu dienen—Man is not born to be free; and for the noble soul there is no fairer fortune than to serve a prince whom he regards with honour.

Der Mensch muss bei dem Glauben verharren, dass das Unbegreifliche begreiflich sei; er würde sonst nicht forschen—Man must hold fast by the belief that the incomprehensible is comprehensible; otherwise he would not search.

Der preise glücklich sein, der von / Den Göttern dieser Welt entfernt lebt—Let him count himself happy who lives remote from the gods of this world.

Der Schein, was ist er, dem das Wesen fehlt? / Das Wesen wär’ es, wenn es nicht erschiene?—The appearance, what is it without the reality? And what were the reality without the appearance? (the clothes, as “Sartor” has it, without the man, or the man without the clothes).

Der Sinn erweitert, aber lähmt; die That belebt, aber beschränkt—Thought expands, but lames; action animates, but narrows.

Der Stein im Sumpf / Macht keine Ringe—You can make no rings if you throw a stone into a marsh.

Der Umgang mit Frauen ist das Element guter Sitten—The society of women is the nursery of good manners.

Der Verständige findet fast alles lächerlich, der Vernünftige fast nichts—The man of analytic, or critical, intellect finds something ridiculous in almost everything; the man of synthetic, or constructive, intellect, in almost nothing.

Der Vortrag macht des Redners Glück—It is delivery that makes the orator’s success.

Des Lebens Mühe / Lehrt uns allein des Lebens Güter schätzen—The labour of life alone teaches us to value the good things of life.

Des Uebels Quelle findest du nicht aus, und aufgefunden fliesst sie ewig fort—The well-spring of evil thou canst not discover, and even if discovered, it flows on continually.

Devote each day to the object then in time, and every evening will find something done.

Dexterity or experience no master can communicate to his disciple.

Die Anmut macht unwiderstehlich—Grace makes its possessor irresistible.

Die Botschaft hör’ ich wohl, allein mir fehlt der Glaube—I hear the message, but I lack the faith.

Die eigentliche Religion bleibt ein Inneres, ja Individuelles, denn sie hat ganz allein mit dem Gewissen zu thun; dieses soll erregt, soll beschwichtigt werden—Religion, properly so called, is ever an inward, nay, an individual thing, for it has to do with nothing but the conscience, which has now to be stirred up, now to be soothed.

Die Erde wird durch Liebe frei; / Durch Thaten wird sie gross—Through love the earth becomes free; through deeds, great.

Die Frauen sind das einzige Gefäss, was uns Neuern noch geblieben ist, um unsere Idealität hineinzugiessen—Woman is the only vessel which still remains to us moderns into which we can pour our ideals.

Die Freudigkeit ist die Mutter aller Tugenden—Joyousness is the mother of all virtues.

Die Götter brauchen manchen guten Mann / Zu ihrem Dienst auf dieser weiten Erde. Sie haben noch auf dich gezählt—The upper powers need many a good man for their service on this wide earth. They still reckon upon thee.

Die Götter sprechen nur durch unser Herz zu uns—The gods speak to us only through our heart.

Die Gegenwart ist eine mächtige Göttin; Lern’ ihren Einfluss kennen—The present is a potent divinity; learn to acquaint thyself with her power.

Die Geheimnisse der Lebenspfade darf und kann man nicht offenbaren; es glebt Steine des Anstosses, über die ein jeder Wanderer stolpern muss. Der Poet aber deutet auf die Stelle hin—The secrets of the way of life may not and cannot be laid open; there are stones of offence along the path over which every wayfarer must stumble. The poet, or inspired teacher, however, points to the spot.

Die Geisterwelt ist nicht verschlossen / Dein Sinn ist zu, dein Herz ist todt—The spirit-world is not shut; thy sense is shut, thy heart is dead.

Die Geschichte der Wissenschaften ist eine grosse Fuge, in der die Stimmen der Völker nach und nach zum Vorschein kommen—The history of the sciences is a great fugue, in which the voices of the nations come one by one into notice.

Die Geschichte des Menschen ist sein Charakter—The history of a man is in his character.

Die goldne Zeit, wohin ist sie geflohen? / Nach der sich jedes Herz vergebens sehnt—The golden age, whither has it fled? after which every heart sighs in vain.

Die grössten Menschen hängen immer mit ihrem Jahrhundert durch eine Schwachheit zusammen—It is always through a weakness that the greatest men are connected with their generation.

Die grössten Schwierigkeiten liegen da, wo wir sie nicht suchen—The greatest difficulties lie there where we are not seeking for them.

Die Hölle selbst hat ihre Rechte?—Has Hell itself its rights?

Die Hindus der Wüste geloben keine Fische zu essen—The Hindus of the desert take a vow to eat no fish.

Die Idee ist ewig und einzig…. Alles was wir gewahr werden und wovon wir reden können, sind nur Manifestationen der Idee—The idea is one and eternal…. Everything we perceive, and of which we can speak, is only a manifestation of the idea.

Die Irrthümer des Menschen machen ihn eigentlich liebenswürdig—It is properly man’s mistakes, or errors, that make him lovable.

Die Kirche hat einen guten Magen, hat ganze Länder aufgefressen, und doch noch nie sich übergessen—The Church has a good stomach, has swallowed up whole countries, and yet has not overeaten herself.In “Faust.”

Die Kraft ist schwach, allein die Lust ist gross—The strength is weak, but the desire is great.

Die Krankheit des Gemütes löset sich / In Klagen und Vertraun am leichtesten auf—Mental sickness finds relief most readily in complaints and confidences.

Die Kunst ist eine Vermittlerin des Unaussprechlichen—Art is a mediatrix of the unspeakable.

Die Leidenschaften sind Mängel oder Tugenden, nur gesteigerte—The passions are vices or virtues, only exaggerated.

Die Lust ist mächtiger als alle Furcht der Strafe—Pleasure is more powerful than all fear of the penalty.

Die Lust zu reden kommt zu rechter Stunde, / Und wahrhaft fliesst das Wort aus Herz und Munde—The inclination to speak comes at the right hour, and the word flows true from heart and lip.

Die Manifestationen der Idee als des Schönen, ist eben so flüchtig, als die Manifestationen des Erhabenen, des Geistreichen, des Lustigen, des Lächerlichen. Dies ist die Ursache, warum so schwer darüber zu reden ist—The manifestation of the idea as the beautiful is just as fleeting as the manifestation of the sublime, the witty, the gay, and the ludicrous. This is the reason why it is so difficult to speak of it.

Die Meisterhaft gilt oft für Egoismus—Mastery passes often for egoism.

Die Menge macht den Künstler irr’ und scheu—The multitude is a distraction and scare to the artist.

Die Menschen fürchtet nur, wer sie nicht kennt, / Und wer sie meidet, wird sie bald verkennen—Only he shrinks from men who does not know them, and he who shuns them will soon misknow them.

Die Menschen kennen einander nicht leicht, selbst mit dem besten Willen und Vorsatz; nun tritt noch der böse Wille hinzu, der Alles entstellt—Men do not easily know one another, even with the best will and intention; presently ill-will comes forward, which disfigures all.

Die Menschen sind im ganzen Leben blind—Men are blind all through life.

Die Natur weiss allein, was sie will—Nature alone knows what she aims at.

Die Schönheit ist das höchste Princip und der höchste Zweck der Kunst—Beauty is the highest principle and the highest aim of art.

Die Schönheit ist vergänglich, die ihr doch / Allein zu ehren scheint. Was übrig bleibt, / Das reizt nicht mehr, und was nicht reizt, ist tot—Beauty is transitory, which yet you seem alone to worship. What is left no longer attracts, and what does not attract is dead.

Die Schwierigkeiten wachsen, je näher man dem Ziele kommt—Difficulties increase the nearer we approach the goal.

Die Sinne trügen nicht, aber das Urteil trügt—The senses do not deceive, but the judgment does.

Die Thätigkeit ist was den Menschen glücklich macht; / Die, erst das Gute schaffend, bald ein Uebel selbst / Durch göttlich wirkende Gewalt in Gutes kehrt—It is activity which renders man happy, which, by simply producing what is good, soon by a divinely working power converts an evil itself into a good.

Die That allein beweist der Liebe Kraft—The act alone shows the power of love.

Die Tugend ist das höchste Gut, / Das Laster Weh dem Menschen thut—Virtue is man’s highest good, vice works him nought but woe.

Die unbegreiflich hoben Werke / Sind herrlich wie am ersten Tag—The incomprehensibly high works are as glorious as on the first day.

Die Unsterblichkeit ist nicht jedermann’s Sache—Immortality is not every man’s business or concern.

Die vernünftige Welt ist als ein grosses unsterbliches Individuum zu betrachten, das unaufhaltsam das Nothwendige bewirkt und dadurch sich sogar über das Zufällige zum Herrn macht—The rational world is to be regarded as a great immortal individuality, that is ever working out for us the necessary (i.e., an order which all must submit to), and thereby makes itself lord and master of everything contingent (or accidental).

Die Vernunft ist auf das Werdende, der Verstand auf das Gewordene angewiesen; jene bekümmert sich nicht: wozu? dieser fragt nicht: woher?—Reason is directed to what is a-doing or proceeding, understanding to what is done or past; the former is not concerned about the “whereto,” the latter inquires not about the “whence.”

Die Welt ist ein Gefängniss—The world is a prison.

Die Welt ist voller Widerspruch—The world is full of contradiction.

Die Worte sind gut, sie sind aber nicht das Beste. Das Beste wird nicht deutlich durch Worte—Words are good, but are not the best. The best is not to be understood by words.

Die Zeiten der Vergangenheit / Sind uns ein Buch mit sieben Siegeln; / Was Ihr den Geist der Zeiten heisst / Das ist im Grund’ der Herrn eigner Geist, / In dem die Zeiten sich bespiegeln—The times that are past are a book with seven seals. What ye call the spirit of the times is at bottom but the spirit of the gentry in which the times are mirrored.In “Faust.”

Die Zukunft decket Schmerzen und Glücke—The future hides in it gladness and sorrow.

Diogenes has well said that the only way to preserve one’s liberty was being always ready to die without pain.

Do thine own task, and be therewith content.

Do thy little well, and for thy comfort know, / Great men can do their greatest work no better than just so.

Doch werdet ihr nie Herz zu Herzen schaffen / Wenn es auch nicht von Herzen geht—Yet wilt ye never bring heart to heart unless it goes out of your own.

Don’t dissipate your powers; strive constantly to concentrate them. Genius thinks it can do whatever it sees others doing, but it is sure to repent of every ill-judged outlay.

Doubt of any sort cannot be removed except by action.

Draw thyself from thyself.

Du bist am Ende was du bist—Thou art in the end what thou art.

Du glaubst zu schieben und du wirst geschoben—Thou thinkest thou art shoving and thou art shoved.

Du gleichst dem Geist, den du begreifst / Nicht mir—Thou art like to the spirit which thou comprehendest, not to me.

Du musst steigen oder sinken, / Du musst herrschen und gewinnen, / Oder dienen und verlieren, / Leiden oder triumphiren, / Amboss oder Hammer sein—Thou must mount up or sink down, must rule and win or serve and lose, suffer or triumph, be anvil or hammer.

Du sollst mit dem Tode zufrieden sein. / Warum machst du dir das Leben zur Pein?—Thou shouldst make peace (lit. be content) with death. Why then make thy life a torture to thee?

Durch Vernünfteln wird Poesie vertrieben / Aber sie mag das Vernüftige lieben—Poetry loves what is true in reason, but is scared away (dispersed) by subtlety in reasoning.

Duty is the demand of the passing hour.

Each man has his fortune in his own hands, as the artist has a piece of rude matter, which he is to fashion into a certain shape.

Earnestness alone makes life eternity.

Eben wo Begriffe fehlen, / Da stellt ein Wort zur rechten Zeit sich ein—It is just where ideas fail that a word comes most opportunely to the rescue.

Edel sei der Mensch / Hülfreich und gut / Denn das allein / Unterscheidet ihn / Von allen Wesen / Die wir kennen—Be man noble, helpful, and good; for that alone distinguishes him from all the beings we know.

Ein edler Mann wird durch ein gutes Wort / Der Frauen weit geführt—A noble man is led a long way by a good word from women.

Ein edler Mensch zieht edle Menschen an / Und weiss sie fest zu halten—A noble man attracts noble men, and knows how to hold them fast.

Ein edles Beispiel macht die schweren Thaten leicht—A noble example makes difficult enterprises easy.

Ein geistreich aufgeschlossenes Wort / Wirkt auf die Ewigkeit.—The influence of a spiritually elucidated (or embodied) word is eternal.

Ein grosser Fehler; dass man sich mehr dünkt als man ist, und sich weniger schätzt, als man werth ist—It is a great mistake for people to think themselves more than they are, and to value themselves less than they are worth.

Ein jeder lebt’s, nicht vielen ist’s bekannt—Though every one lives it (life), it is not to many that it is known.

Ein jeder lernet nur, was er lerneu kann; / Doch der den Augenblick ergreift, / Das ist der rechte Mann—Each one learns only what he can; yet he who seizes the passing moment is the proper man.

Ein Komödiant könnt’ einen Pfarren lehren—A playactor might instruct a parson.

Ein Kranz ist gar viel leichter binden / Als ihm ein würdig Haupt zu finden—It is very much easier to bind a wreath than to find a head worthy to wear it.

Ein Mann der recht zu wirken denkt / Muss auf das beste Werkzeng halten—A man who intends to work rightly must select the most effective instrument.

Ein Schauspiel für Götter, / Zwei Liebende zu sehn!—To witness two lovers is a spectacle for gods.

Ein Titel muss sie erst vertraulich machen—A degree is the first thing necessary to bespeak confidence in your profession.In “Faust.”

Ein vollkommener Widerspruch / Bleibt gleich geheimnissvoll für Kluge wie für Thoren—A flat contradiction is ever equally mysterious to wise folks as to fools.

Einbildungskraft wird nur durch Kunst, besonders durch Poesie geregelt. Es ist nichts fürchterlicher als Einbildungskraft ohne Geschmack—Power of imagination is regulated only by art, especially by poetry. There is nothing more frightful than imaginative faculty without taste.

Einbläsereien sind der Teufels Redekunst—Insinuations are the devil’s rhetoric.

Eine Bresche ist jeder Tag, / Die viele Menschen erstürmen; / Wer da auch fallen mag, / Die Todten sich niemals thürmen—Every day is a rampart breach which many men are storming; fall in it who may, no pile is forming of the slain.

Einer neuen Wahrheit nichts ist schädlicher als ein alter Irrtum—Nothing is more harmful to a new truth than an old error.

Eines schickt sich nicht für Alle! / Sehe jeder wie er’s treibe, / Sehe jeder wo er bleibe, / Und wer steht, dass er nicht falle—One thing does not suit every one; let each man see how he gets on, where his limits are; and let him that standeth take heed lest he fall.

Einmal gerettet, ist’s für tausend Male—To be saved once is to be saved a thousand times.

Encouragement after censure is as the sun after a shower.

Energy will do anything that can be done in this world; no talents, no circumstances, no opportunities will make a two-legged animal a man without it.

Enjoy what thou hast inherited from thy sires if thou wouldst possess it; what we employ not is an oppressive burden; what the moment brings forth, that only can it profit by.

Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.

Er wünscht sich einen grossen Kreis / Um ihn gewisser zu erschüttern—He desires a large circle in order with greater certainty to move it deeply.

Er, der einzige Gerechte / Will für Jedermann das Rechte / Sei, von seinen hundert Namen, / Dieser hochgelobet!—Amen!—He, the only Just, wills for each one what is right. Be of His hundred names this one the most exalted. Amen.

Erfüllte Pflicht empfindet sich immer noch als Schuld, weil man sich nie ganz genug gethan—Duty fulfilled ever entails a sense of further obligation, because one feels he has never done enough to satisfy himself.

Erfahrung bleibt des Lebens Meisterin—Experience is ever life’s mistress.

Erlaubt ist was gefällt; erlaubt ist was sich ziemt—What pleases us is permitted us; what is seemly is permitted us.

Erquickung hast du nicht gewonnen, / Wenn sie dir nicht aus eigner Seele quillt—Thou hast gained no fresh life unless it flows to thee direct out of thine own soul.

Erringen will der Mensch, er will nicht sicher sein—Man will ever wrestle; he will never trust.

Error is on the surface; truth is hid in great depths.

Error never leaves us, yet a higher need always draws the striving spirit gently on to truth.

Es bedarf nur einer Kleinigkeit, um zwei Liebende zu unterhalten—Any trifle is enough to entertain two lovers.

Es bildet / Nur das Leben den Mann, und wenig bedeuten die Worte—Only life forms the man, and words signify little.

Es bildet ein Talent sich in der Stille, / Sich ein Character in dem Strom der Welt—A talent is formed in retirement, a character in the current of the world.

Es erben sich Gesetz’ und Rechte / Wie eine ewige Krankheit fort—Laws and rights descend like an inveterate inherited disease.

Es giebt eine Höflichkeit des Herzens; sie ist der Liebe verwandt—There is a courtesy of the heart which is allied to love; out of it there springs the most obliging courtesy of external behaviour.

Es giebt Menschen, die auf die Mängel ihrer Freunde sinnen; dabei kommt nichts heraus. Ich habe immer auf die Verdienste meiner Widersacher Acht gehabt und davon Vortheil gezogen—There are men who brood on the failings of their friends, but nothing comes of it. I have always had respect to the merits of my adversaries, and derived profit from doing so.

Es hört doch Jeder nur was er versteht—Every one hears only what he understands.

Es irrt der Mensch, so lang er strebt—Man is liable to err as long as he strives.

Es ist besser, das geringste Ding von der Welt zu thun, als eine halbe Stunde für gering halten—It is better to do the smallest thing in the world than to regard half an hour as a small thing.

Es ist klug und kühn den unvermeidlichen Uebel entgegenzugehen—It shows sense and courage to be able to confront unavoidable evil.

Es ist schwer gegen den Augenblick gerecht sein; der gleichgültige macht uns Langeweile, am Guten hat man zu tragen und am Bösen zu schleppen—It is difficult to be square with the moment; the indifferent one is a bore to us (lit. causes us ennui); with the good we have to bear and with the bad to drag.

Es ist so schwer, den falschen Weg zu meiden—It is so difficult to avoid the wrong way.

Es kann der beste Herz in dunkeln Stunden fehlen—The best heart may go wrong in dark hours.

Es liesse sich Alles trefflich schlichten, Könnte man die Sachen zweimal verrichten—Everything could be beautifully adjusted if matters could be a second time arranged.

Es muss auch solche Käuze geben—There must needs be such fellows in the world too.

Es steht ihm an der Stirn’ geschrieben, / Das er nicht mag eine Seele lieben—It stands written on his forehead that he cannot love a single soul.Of Mephistopheles.

Es trägt Verstand und rechter Sinn / Mit wenig Kunst sich selber vor; und wenn’s euch Ernst ist was zu sagen / Ist’s nötig Worten nachzujagen?—Understanding and good sense find utterance with little art; and when you have seriously anything to say, is it necessary to hunt for words?

Es will einer was er soll, aber er kann’s nicht machen; es kann einer was er soll, aber er will’s nicht; es will und kann einer, aber er weiss nicht, was er soll—One would what he should, but he can’t; one could what he should, but he won’t; one would and could, but he knows not what he should.

Es wird wohl auch drüben nicht anders seyn als hier—Even over there it will not be otherwise than it is here, I ween.

Euch zu gefallen war mein höchstes Wunsch; / Euch zu ergötzen war mein letzer Zweck—To please you was my highest wish; to delight you was my last aim.

Even perfect examples lead astray by tempting us to overleap the necessary steps in their development, whereby we are for the most part led past the goal into boundless error.

Even the lowest book of chronicles partakes of the spirit of the age in which it was written.

Every author, in some degree, portrays himself in his works, be it even against his will.

Every beginning is cheerful; the threshold is the place of expectation.

Every capability, however slight, is born with us; there is no vague general capability in man.

Every form of freedom is hurtful, except that which delivers us over to perfect command of ourselves.

Every great genius has a special vocation, and when he has fulfilled it, he is no longer needed.

Every healthy effort is directed from the inward to the outward world.

Every individual colour makes on men an impression of its own, and thereby reveals its nature to the eye as well as the mind.

Every moment, as it passes, is of infinite value, for it is the representative of a whole eternity.

Every one believes in his youth that the world really began with him, and that all merely exists for his sake.

Every one who is able to administer what he has, has enough.

Every reader reads himself out of the book that he reads.

Every species of activity is met by a negation.

Every step of life shows how much caution is required.

Every transition is a crisis, and a crisis presupposes sickness.

Everything in life, to be of value, must have a sequence.

Everything in the world can be borne except a long succession of beautiful days.

Everything looks easy that is practised to perfection.

Everything springs into being and passes away according to law, yet how fluctuating is the lot that presides over the life which is to us so priceless.

Everything that happens to us leaves some trace behind it, and everything insensibly contributes to make us what we are.

Everything that tends to emancipate us from external restraint without adding to our own power of self-government is mischievous.

Everywhere the individual seeks to show himself off to advantage, and nowhere honestly endeavours to make himself subservient to the whole.

Experience is the only genuine knowledge.

Fähigkeiten werden vorausgesetzt; sie sollen zu Fertigkeiten werden—Capacities are presupposed: they are meant to develop into capabilities, or skilled dexterities.

Für eine Nation ist nur das gut was aus ihrem eignen Kern und ihrem eignen allegmeinen Bedürfniss hervorgegangen, ohne Nachäffung einer andern—Only that is good for a nation which issues from its own heart’s core and its own general wants, without apish imitation of another; since (it is added) what may to one people, at a certain stage, be wholesome nutriment, may perhaps prove a poison for another.

Für einen Leichnam bin ich nicht zu Haus; / Mir geht es wie der Katze mit der Maus—For a dead one I am not at home; I am like the cat with the mouse.“Mephistopheles.”

Fürchterlich / Ist einer der nichts zu verlieren hat—Terrible is a man who has nothing to lose.

Faith is not the beginning, but the end of all knowledge.

Fate is a distinguished but an expensive tutor.

Fehlst du, lass dich’s nicht betrüben; Denn der Mangel führt zum Lieben; / Kannst dich nicht vom Fehl befrein, / Wirst du Andern gern verzeihn—Shouldst thou fail, let it not trouble thee, for failure (lit. defect) leads to love. If thou canst not free thyself from failure, thou wilt never forgive others.

Few are open to conviction, but the majority of men to persuasion.

Few men have imagination enough for the truth of reality.

Flour cannot be sown and seed-corn ought not to be ground.

Flowers are the beautiful hieroglyphics of Nature, by which she indicates how much she loves us.

For an orator delivery is everything.

For man there is but one misfortune, when some idea lays hold of him which exerts no influence upon his active life, or still more, which withdraws him from it.

For the narrow mind, whatever he attempts, is still a trade; for the higher, an art; and the highest, in doing one thing does all; or, to speak less paradoxically, in the one thing which he does rightly, he sees the likeness of all that is done rightly.

Frömmigkeit ist kein Zweck, sondern ein Mittel, um durch die reinste Gemüthsruhe zur höchsten Cultur zu gelangen—Piety is not an end, but a means to attain the highest culture through the purest peace of mind.

Free will I be in thought and in poetry; in action the world hampers us enough.

Freedom consists not in refusing to recognise anything above us, but in respecting something which is above us.

Freilich erfahren wir erst im Alter, was uns in der Tugend begegnete—Not till we are old is it that we learn to know (lit. experience) what we met with when young.

Freiwillige Abhängigkeit ist der schönste Zustand, und wie wäre der möglich ohne Liebe?—Voluntary dependence is the noblest condition we can be in; and how were that possible without love?

Fremde Kinder, wir lieben sie nie so sehr als die eignen; / Irrtum das eigne Kind, ist uns dem Herzen so nah—We never love the child of another so much as our own; for this reason error, which is our own child, is so near to our heart.

Fret not over the irretrievable, but ever act as if thy life were just begun.

Freud’ muss Leid, Leid muss Freude haben—Joy must have sorrow; sorrow, joy.

Friends reveal to each other most clearly exactly that upon which they are silent.

Friendship can originate and acquire permanence only practically (pracktisch). Liking (Neigung), and even love, contribute nothing to friendship. True, active, productive friendship consists in this, that we keep the same pace (gleichen Schritt) in life, that my friend approves of my aims, as I of his, and that thus we go on steadfastly (unverrückt) together, whatever may be the difference otherwise between our ways of thinking and living.

From saying “No,” however cleverly, no good can come.

Fully to possess and rule an object, one must first study it for its own sake.

Geben ist Sache des Reichen—Giving is the business of the rich.

Gebraucht der Zeit, sie geht so schell von hinnen, / Doch Ordnung lehrt euch Zeit gewinnen—Make the most of time, it glides away so fast; but order teaches you to gain time.

Gebt ihr ein Stück, se gebt es gleich in Stücken—If your aim is to give a piece, be sure you give it in pieces.

Gedenke zu leben—Think of living.

Gedichte sind gemalde Fensterscheiben—Poems are painted window-panes, i.e., when genuine, they transmit heaven’s light through a contracted medium coloured by human feeling and fantasy.

Gefährlich ist’s mit Geistern sich gesellen—To fraternise with spirits is a dangerous game.

Gefühl ist alles; / Name ist Schall und Rauch / Umnebelnd Himmelsglut—Feeling is all; name is sound and smoke veiling heaven’s splendour.

Gegen grosse Vorzüge eines andern giebt es kein Rettungsmittel als die Liebe—To countervail the inequalities arising from the great superiority of one over another there is no specific but love.

Gegner glauben uns widerlegen, wenn sie ihre Meinung wieder holen und auf die unsrige nicht achten—Our adversaries think they confute us by repeating their own opinion and paying no heed to ours.

Geheimnissvoll am lichten Tag / Lässt sich Natur des Schleiers nicht berauben, / Und was sie deinem Geist nicht offenbaren mag, / Das zwingst du ihr nicht ab mit Hebeln und mit Schrauben—In broad daylight inscrutable, Nature does not suffer her veil to be taken from her, and what she does not choose to reveal to the spirit, thou wilt not wrest from her by levers and screws.

Generally speaking, an author’s style is a faithful copy of his mind. If you would write a lucid style, let there first be light in your own mind; and if you would write a grand style, you ought to have a grand character.

Geniesse, wenn du kannst und leide, wenn du musst, / Vergiss den Schmerz, erfrische das Vergnügen—Enjoy if thou canst, endure if thou must; / forget the pain and revive the pleasure.

Genius is that power of man which by its deeds and actions gives laws and rules; and it does not, as used to be thought, manifest itself only by over-stepping existing laws, breaking established rules, and declaring itself above all restraint.

Gescheite Leute sind immer das beste Konversationslexikon—Clever people are always the best Conversations-lexicon.

Gesetz ist mächtig, mächiger ist die Noth—Law is powerful; necessity is more so.

Geteilte Freud’ ist doppelt Freude—Joy shared is joy doubled.

Gewöhnlich glaubt Mensch, wenn er nur Worte hört, / Es müsse sich dabei doch auch was denken lassen—Men generally believe, when they hear only words, that there must be something in it.

Gifts come from on high in their own peculiar forms.

Girls we love for what they are; young men for what they promise to be.

Glänzendes Elend—Shining misery.

Glück macht Mut—Luck inspires pluck.

Glaube nur, du hast viel gethan / Wenn dir Geduld gewöhnest an—Assure yourself you have accomplished no small feat if only you have learned patience.

Gleich sei keiner dem andern; doch gleich sei jeder dem Höchsten. Wie das zu machen? Es sei jeder vollendet in sich—Let no one be like another, yet every one like the Highest. How is this to be done? Be each one perfect in himself.

Go where you may, you still find yourself in a conditional world.

God is with every great reform that is necessary, and it prospers.

Gott ist mächiger und weiser als wir; darum macht er mit uns nach seinem Gefallen—God is mightier and wiser than we; therefore he does with us according to his good pleasure.

Gottes ist der Orient, Gottes ist der Occident, / Nord- und Sudliches Gelände / Ruht im Friede seiner Hände—God’s is the east, God’s is the west; north region and south rests in the peace of his hands.

Grau, teurer Freund, ist alle Theorie, / Und grün des Lebens goldner Baum—Gray, dear friend, is all theory, and green life’s golden tree.

Gray is all theory, and green the while is the golden tree of life.

Great endowments often announce themselves in youth in the form of singularity and awkwardness.

Great joy is only earned by great exertion.

Great men, said Themistocles, are like the oaks, under the branches of which men are happy in finding a refuge in the time of storm and rain; but when they have to pass a sunny day under them, they take pleasure in cutting the bark and breaking the branches.

Great passions are incurable diseases; the very remedies make them worse.

Great talents are rare, and they rarely recognise themselves.

Great thoughts and a pure heart are the things we should beg for ourselves from God.

Grosse Leidenschaften sind Krankheiten ohne Hoffnung; was sie heilen könnte, macht sie erst recht gefährlich—Great passions are incurable diseases; what might heal them is precisely that which makes them so dangerous.

Gut verloren, etwas verloren; / Ehre verloren, viel verloren; / Mut verloren, alles verloren—Wealth lost, something lost; honour lost, much lost; courage lost, all lost.

Gutes und Böses kommt unerwartet dem Menschen; / Auch verkündet, glauben wir’s nicht—Good and evil come unexpected to man; even if foretold, we believe it not.

Had God meant me to be different, He would have created me different.

Halb sind sie kalt, Halb sind sie roh—Half of them are without heart, half without culture.

Happiness is a ball after which we run wherever it rolls, and we push it with our feet when it stops.

Happy contractedness of youth, nay, of mankind in general, that they think neither of the high nor the deep, of the true nor the false, but only of what is suited to their own conceptions.

Happy is he to whom his business itself becomes a puppet, who at length can play with it, and amuse himself with what his situation makes his duty.

Happy is he who soon discovers the chasm that lies between his wishes and his powers.

Hate injures no one; it is contempt that casts men down.

Hate makes us vehement partisans, but love still more so.

Hatred is a heavy burden. It sinks the heart deep in the breast, and lies like a tombstone on all joys.

Hatred is active, and envy passive, disgust; there is but one step from envy to hate.

He alone is worthy of respect who knows what is of use to himself and others, and who labours to control his self-will.

He conquers grief who can take a firm resolution.

He in whom there is much to be developed will be later than others in acquiring true perceptions of himself and the world.

He is an unfortunate and on the way to ruin who will not do what he can, but is ambitious to do what he cannot.

He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his own home.

He may rate himself a happy man who lives remote from the gods of this world.

He raises not himself up whom God casts down.

He that would reproach an author for obscurity should look into his own mind to see whether it is quite clear there. In the dusk the plainest writing is illegible.

He who coldly lives to himself and his own will may gratify many a wish, but he who strives to guide others well must be able to dispense with much.

He who conforms to the rule which the genius of the human understanding whispers secretly in the ear of every new-born being, viz., to test action by thought and thought by action, cannot err; and if he errs, he will soon find himself again in the right way.

He who does not expect a million of readers should not write a line.

He who does not help us at the needful moment never helps; he who does not counsel at the needful moment never counsels.

He who does not know foreign languages knows nothing of his own.

He who does not think too highly of himself is more than he thinks.

He who does nothing for others does nothing for himself.

He who has no ear for poetry is a barbarian, be he who he may.

He who has reason and good sense at his command needs few of the arts of the orator.

He who is firm in his will moulds the world to himself.

He who is only half instructed speaks much, and is always wrong; he who knows it wholly, is content with acting, and speaks seldom or late.

He who is servant to (dient) the public is a poor animal (Thier); he torments himself, and nobody thanks him for it.

He who means to teach others may indeed often suppress the best of what he knows, but he must not himself be half-instructed.

He who reaches the goal receives the crown, and often he who deserves it goes without it.

He who will be great must collect himself; only in restriction does the master show himself.

He who will work aright must not trouble himself about what is ill done, but only do well himself.

He who works with symbols merely is a pedant, a hypocrite, and a bungler.

Hebt mich das Glück, so bin ich froh, / Und sing in dulci jubilo; / Senkt sich das Rad und quetscht mich nieder, / So denk’ ich: nun, es hebt sich wieder—When Fortune lifts me up, then am I glad and sing in sweet exultation; when she sinks down and lays me prostrate, then I begin to think, Now it will rise again.

Heilig sei dir der Tag; doch schätze das Leben nicht höher / Als ein anderes Gut, und alle Güter sind trüglich—Sacred be this day to thee, yet rate not life higher than another good, for all our good things are illusory.

Heitern Sinn und reine Zwecke / Nun, man kommt wohl eine Strecke—Serene sense and pure aims, that means a long stride, I should say.

Here eyes do regard you / In Eternity’s stillness; / Here is all fulness, / Ye brave, to reward you. / Work and despair not.

Here or nowhere is America.

Herrschaft gewinn ich, Eigentum; Die That ist alles, nichts der Ruhm—Lordship, aye ownership, is my conquest; the deed is everything, the fame of it nothing.

Hier bin ich Mensch, hier darf ich’s sein—Here am I a man, here may I be one.

Hier ist die Zeit durch Thaten zu beweisen, / Dass Manneswürde nicht der Götterhöhe weicht—Now is the time to show by deeds that the dignity of a man does not yield to the sublimity of the gods.

Hold the living dear and honour the dead.

Hoping and waiting is not my way of doing things.

How can we learn to know ourselves? Never by reflection, but only through action. Essay to do thy duty, and thou knowest at once what is in thee.

How dire is love when one is so tortured; and yet lovers cannot exist without torturing themselves.

How fortunate beyond all others is the man who, in order to adjust himself to fate, is not required to cast away his whole preceding life!

How glorious a character appears when it is penetrated with mind and soul.

How quick to know, but how slow to put in practice, is the human creature!

How sweet it is to hear one’s own convictions from a stranger’s mouth.

Humanität sei unser ewig Ziel—Be humanity evermore our goal.

Hypothesen sind Wiegenlieder, womit der Lehrer seine Schüler einlullt—Hypotheses are the lullabies with which the teacher lulls his scholars to sleep.

I am always as happy as I can be in meeting a man in whose society feelings are developed and thoughts defined.

I am always ill at ease when tumults arise among the mob—people who have nothing to lose.

I am convinced that the Bible always becomes more beautiful the better it is understood, that is, the better we see that every word which we apprehend in general and apply in particular had a proper, peculiar, and immediately individual reference to certain circumstances, certain time and space relations, i.e., had a specially direct bearing on the spiritual life of the time in which it was written.

I am fully convinced that the soul is indestructible, and that its activity will continue through eternity. It is like the sun, which, to our eyes, seems to set in night; but it has in reality only gone to diffuse its light elsewhere.

I augur better of a youth who is wandering on a path of his own than of many who are walking aright upon paths which are not theirs.

I can tell you, honest friend, what to believe: believe life; it teaches better than book and orator.

I do not need philosophy at all.

I had rather be Mercury, the smallest among seven (planets), revolving round the sun, than the first among five (moons) revolving round Saturn.

I had rather people laugh at me while they instruct me than praise me without benefiting me.

I hate bungling as I do sin, but particularly bungling in politics, which leads to the misery and ruin of many thousands and millions of people.

I have been too much occupied with things themselves to think either of their beginning or their end.

I know that nothing is mine but the thought that flows tranquilly out of my soul, and every gracious (günstige) moment which a loving Providence (Geschick) permits me thoroughly (von Grund aus) to enjoy.

I let every one follow his own bent, that I may be free to follow mine.

I only look straight before me at each day as it comes, and do what is nearest me, without looking further afield.

I pity men who occupy themselves exclusively with the transitory in things and lose themselves in the study of what is perishable, since we are here for this very end that we may make the perishable imperishable, which we can do only after we have learned how to appreciate both.

I will listen to any one’s convictions, but pray keep your doubts to yourself; I have plenty of my own.

I would fain avoid men; we can give them no help, and they hinder us from helping ourselves.

Ich bin des trocknen Tons nun satt, / Muss wieder recht den Teufel spielen—I am now weary of this prosing style, and must again play the devil properly.“Mephistopheles.”

Ich bin ein Mensch gewesen, / Und das heisst ein Kämpfer sein—I have been a man, and that is to be a fighter.

Ich bin zu alt, um nur zu spielen; / Zu jung, um ohne Wunsch zu sein—I am too old for mere play; too young to be without a wish.In “Faust.”

Ich fühle Mut, mich in die Welt zu wagen / Der Erde Weh, der Erde Glück zu tragen—I feel courage enough to cast myself into the world, to bear earth’s woe and weal.

Ich finde nicht die Spur, / Von einem Geist, und alles ist Dressur—I find no trace of spirit here; it is all mere training.In “Faust.”

“Ich glaube an einen Gott.” Das ist ein schönes löbliches Wort; aber Gott anerkennen, wo und wie er sich offenbare, das ist eigentlich die Seligkeit auf Erden—“I believe in a God.” That is a fine praiseworthy saying; but to acknowledge God, where and as He reveals Himself, that is properly our blessedness on this earth.

Ich glaube, dass alles was das Genie, als Genie thut, unbewusst geschieht—Everything that genius, as genius, does, is in my regard done unconsciously.

Ich habe es öfters rühmen hören, / Ein Komödiant könnte einen Pfarrer lehren—I have often heard say that a player might teach a parson.In “Faust.”

Ich habe nichts als Worte, und es ziemt / Dem edlen Mann, der Frauen Wort zu achten—I have nothing but words, and it becomes the noble man to respect a woman’s word.

Ich möcht mich gleich dem Teufel übergeben, / Wenn ich nur selbst kein Teufel wär—I would give myself up at once to the devil if only I were not a devil myself.Mephistopheles in “Faust.”

Ich schweige zu vielem still; denn ich mag die Menschen nicht irre machen, und bin wohl zufrieden, wenn sie sich freuen, da wo ich mich ärgere—I keep silent to a great extent, for I don’t choose to lead others into error, and am well content if they are happy in matters about which I vex myself.

Ich singe, wie der Vogel singt, / Der in den Zweigen wohnet / Das Lied, das aus der Kehle dringt, / Ist Lohn, der reichlich lohnet—I sing but as the bird sings which dwells among the branches; the lay which warbles from the throat is a reward that richly recompences.

If a man have freedom enough to live healthily and work at his craft, he has enough; and so much all can easily obtain.

If a man write a book, let him set down only what he knows. I have guesses enough of my own.

If aged and life-weary men have called to their neighbours: “Think of dying!” we younger and life-loving men may well keep encouraging and reminding one another with the cheerful words: “Think of wandering!”

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

If destructive criticism is injurious in anything, it is in matters of religion, for here everything depends upon faith, to which we cannot return when we have once lost it.

If each one does his duty as an individual, and if each one works rightly in his own vocation, it will be well with the whole.

If I call bad bad, what do I gain? But if I call good bad, I do a great deal of mischief.

If I choose to take jest in earnest, no one shall put me to shame for doing so; and if I choose to carry on (treiben) earnest in jest, I shall be always myself (immer derselbe bleiben).

If I knew the way of the Lord, truly I would be only too glad to walk in it; if I were led into the temple of truth (in der Wahrheit Hans), I would not, with the help of God (bei Gott) go out of it again.

If I love thee, what is that to thee?

If in the course of our life we see that done by others for which we ourselves at one time felt a vocation, and which we were, with much else, compelled to relinquish, then the noble feeling comes in, that only humanity altogether is the true man, and that the individual can only rejoice and be happy when he has the heart (Muth) to feel himself in the whole.

If it be a bliss to enjoy the good, it is still greater happiness to discern the better; for in art the best only is good enough.

If man had a higher idea of himself and his destiny, he would neither call his business amusement nor amuse himself instead of transacting business.

If men duly felt the greatness of God, they would be dumb, and for very veneration unwilling to name Him.

If people were constant, it would surprise me. For see, is not everything in the world subject to change? Why then should our affections continue?

If the eye were not of a sunny nature (sonnenhaft), how could it see the sun? If God’s own power did not exist within us, how could the godlike delight us?

If we cannot help committing errors, we must build none.

If we reflect on the number of men we have seen and know, and consider how little we have been to them and they to us, what must our feelings be? (wie wird uns da zu Muthe). We meet with the man of genius (Geistreich) without conversing with him, with the scholar without learning from him, with the traveller without gaining information from him, the amiable man without making ourselves agreeable to him. And this, alas! happens not merely with passing acquaintances; society and families conduct themselves similarly towards their dearest members, cities towards their worthiest citizens, peoples towards their most excellent princes, and nations towards their most eminent men.

If we would have a genuine torment, let us wish for too much time.

If we would put ourselves in the place of other people, the jealousy and dislike which we often feel towards them would depart, and if we put others in our place, our pride and self-conceit would very much decrease.

If you do anything for the sake of the world, it will take good care that you shall not do it a second time.

If you do not err, you do not attain to understanding.

If you wish a wise answer, you must put a rational question.

If you would create something, you must be something.

If you would understand an author, you must understand his age.

Ihr sucht die Menschen zu benennen, und glaubt am Namen sie zu kennen / Wer tiefer sieht, gesteht sich frei, / Es ist das Anonymes dabei—Ye seek to name men, and think that ye know them by name; he who sees deeper will freely confess there is something in them which there is no name for.

Ill-humour is nothing more than an inward feeling of our own want of merit, a dissatisfaction with ourselves.

Im Alter erstaunt und bereut man nicht mehr—In old age one is astonished and repents no more.

Im Ganzen, Guten, Wahren resolut zu leben—To live resolutely in the whole, the good, the true.

Im Gedränge hier auf Erden / Kann nicht jeder, was er will—In the press of things on earth here, not every one can do what he would.

Im Leben ist nichts Gegenwart—In life is the present nothing, or there is no present.

Imitation is born with us, but what we ought to imitate is not easily found.

Immer zu misstrauen ist ein Irrthum wie immer zu trauen—Always to distrust is an error, as well as always to trust.

Immer zu! Immer zu! / Ohne Rast und Ruh!—Ever onward! ever onward! without rest and quiet.

In all things, to serve from the lowest station upwards is necessary.

In all times it is only individuals that have advanced science, not the age.

In any controversy, the instant we feel angry we have already ceased striving for truth and begun striving for ourselves.

In art and in deeds, only that is properly achieved which, like Minerva, springs full-grown and armed from the head of the inventor.

In art, to express the infinite one should suggest infinitely more than is expressed.

In breathing there are two kinds of blessings (Guaden): inhaling the air and exhaling (lit. discharging) it; the former is oppressive, the latter refreshing, so strangely is life mingled. Thank God when He lays a burden on thee, and thank Him when He takes it off.

In bunten Bildern wenig Klarheit, / Viel Irrtum und ein Fünkchen Wahrheit, / So wird der beste Trank gebraut, / Der alle Welt erquickt und auferbaut—With little clearness (light) in motley metaphors, much falsehood and a spark of truth, is the genuine draught prepared with which every one is refreshed and edified.

In deinem Nichts hoff’ ich das All zu finden—In thy nothing hope I to find the all.

In der jetzigen Zeit soli Niemand schweigen oder nachgeben; man muss reden und sich rühren, nicht um zu überwinden, sondern sich auf seinem Posten zu erhalten; ob bei der Majorität oder Minorität, ist ganz gleichgültig—At the present time no one should yield or keep silence; every one must speak and bestir himself, not in order to gain the upper hand, but to keep his own position—whether with the majority or the minority is quite indifferent.

In der Kunst ist das Beste gut genug—In art the best is good enough.

In every department one must begin as a child; throw a passionate interest over the subject; take pleasure in the shell till one has the happiness to arrive at the kernel.

In faith everything depends on “that” you believe; in knowledge everything depends on “what” you know, as well as how much and how well.

In high life every one is polished and courteous, but no one has the courage to be hearty and true.

In intercourse with people of superior station, all that is required is not to be perfectly natural, but always to keep within the line of a certain conventional propriety.

In learning anything, its first principles alone should be taught by constraint.

In love all is risk.

In meinem Revier / Sind Gelehrten gewesen / Ausser ihrem Brevier / Konnten sie keines lesen—In my domain there have been learned men, but outside their breviary they could read nothing.

In Nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it, and over it.

In old age nothing any longer astonishes us.

In quite common things much depends on choice and determination, but the highest which falls to our lot comes from no man knows whence.

In regard to a book, the main point is what it brings me, what it suggests to me.

In spite of all his faults, there is no creature worthier of affection than man.

In spite of all misfortunes, there is still enough to satisfy one.

In the dusk the plainest writing is illegible.

In the end we retain from our studies only that which we practically apply.

In the family where the house-father rules secure, there dwells the peace (Friede) which thou wilt in vain seek for elsewhere in the wide world outside.

In the state nobody can enjoy life in peace, but everybody must govern; in art, nobody will enjoy what has been produced, but every one wants to reproduce on his own account.

In well-regulated civil society there is scarcely a more melancholy suffering to be undergone than what is forced on us by the neighbourhood of an incipient player on the flute or violin.

In wenig Stunden / Hat Gott das Rechte gefunden—God takes but a short time to find out the light.

Incense is a tribute for gods only but a poison for mortals.

Instruction does much, but encouragement everything.

Into contradicting / Be thou never led away; / When with the ignorant they strive, / The wise to folly fall away.

Irrthum verlässt uns nie; doch ziehet ein höher Bedürfniss immer den strebenden Geist leise zur Wahrheit hinan—Error never leaves us, yet a higher need always draws the striving spirit gently on to truth.

It can do us no harm to look at what is extraordinary with our own eyes.

It is a characteristic of true genius to disturb all settled ideas.

It is a damnable audacity to bring forth that torturing Cross, and the Holy One who suffers on it, and to expose them to the light of the sun, which hid its face when a reckless world forced such a sight on it; to take these mysterious secrets, in which the divine depth of sorrow lies hid, and play with them, fondle them, trick them out, and rest not till the most reverend of all solemnities appears vulgar and paltry.

It is always the individual, not the age, that stands up for the truth.

It is delightful to transport one’s self into the spirit of the past, to see how a wise man has thought before us, and to what a glorious height we have at last reached.

It is doubt (Zweifel) which turns good into bad.

It is enough for thee to know what each day wills; and what each day wills the day itself will tell.

It is generally a sign of a small mind to think differently from great minds.

It is given us to live only once in the world.

It is in human nature soon to relax when not impelled by personal advantage or disadvantage.

It is incredible how much the mind can do to sustain the body.

It is indeed all twilight in this world, a trifle more or less.

It is mere Philistinism on the part of private individuals to bestow too much interest on matters that do not concern them.

It is much easier to bind on a wreath than to find a head worthy to wear it.

It is much easier to recognise error than to find truth; the former lies on the surface, the latter rests in the depths.

It is natural to man to regard himself as the final cause of creation.

It is not always necessary that the true should embody (verkörpere) itself; enough if it hovers around spiritually and produce accordance (Uebereinstimmung) in us; if it hover (wogt) through the atmosphere in earnest friendly tones like the sound of bells.

It is not enough to know, one must also apply; it is not enough to will to do, one must also do.

It is not enough to take steps which may some day lead to a goal; each step must be itself a goal and a step likewise.

It is not fit to tell others anything but what they can take up. A man understands nothing but what is commensurate with him.

It is not given to the world to be contented.

It is not good for man to be, especially to work, alone.

It is not good to meddle with divine mysteries.

It is only a part of art that can be taught; the artist needs the whole.

It is only because they are not used to taste of what is excellent that the generality of people take delight in silly and insipid things, provided they be new.

It is only in their misery that we recognise the hand and finger of God leading good men to good.

It is only men collectively that live the life of man.

It is only necessary to grow old to become indulgent. I see no fault committed that I have not committed myself.

It is only with renunciation that life, strictly speaking, can be said to begin.

It is sad to have to live in a place where all our activity must simmer within ourselves.

It is sad to see how an extraordinary man so often strangles himself, struggling in vain with himself, his circumstances, and his time, without once coming upon a green branch.

It is said no man is a hero to his valet. The reason is that it requires a hero to recognise a hero. The valet however, will probably know well enough how to estimate his equals.

It is the ambiguous distracted training which they are subject to that makes men uncertain; it awakens wishes when it should quicken tendencies.

It is the strange fate of man that even in the greatest evils the fear of worse continues to haunt him.

It is very easy to obey a noble ruler who convinces (überzeugt) while he commands us.

It is with history as it is with nature, as it is with everything profound, past, present, or future; the deeper we earnestly search into them, the more difficult are the problems that arise. He who does not fear these, but boldly confronts them, will, with every step or advance, feel himself both more at his ease and more highly educated.

It matters little whether a man be mathematically, or philologically, or artistically cultivated, so he be cultivated.

It may indeed be that man is frightfully threshed at times by public and domestic ill-fortune, but the ruthless destiny, if it smites the rich sheaves, only crumples the straw; the grains feel nothing of it, and bound merrily hither and thither on the threshing-floor, unconcerned whether they wander into the mill or the cornfield.

It must be bad indeed if a book has a more demoralising effect than life itself.

It never occurs to fools that merit and good fortune are closely united.

It requires much courage not to be down-hearted in the world.

It seems a law of society to despise a man who looks discontented because its requirements have compelled him to part with all he values in his life.

Jedem redlichen Bemühn / Sei Beharrlichkelt verliehn—Be perseverance vouchsafed to every honest endeavour.

Jeder ausserordentliche Mensch hat eine gewisse Sendung, die er zu vollführen berufenist—Every man above the ordinary has a certain mission which he is called to fulfil.

Jeder Jüngling sehnt sich so zu lieben. / Jedes Mädchen so geliebt zu sein: / Ach, der heiligste von unsern Trieben / Warum quillt aus ihm die grimme Pein?—The youth longs so to love, the maiden so to be loved; ah! why does there spring out of this holiest of all our instincts such agonising pain?

Jeder Mensch muss nach seiner Weise denken: denn er findet auf seinem Wege immer ein Wahres, oder eine Art von Wahrem, die ihm durchs Leben hilft; nur darf er sich nicht gehen lassen; er muss sich controliren; der blosse nackte Instinct geziemt nicht dem Menschen—Every man must think in his own way; for on his own pathway he always finds a truth, or a measure of truth, which is helpful to him in his life; only he must not follow his own bent without restraint; he must control himself; to follow mere naked instinct does not beseem a man.

Jeder Morgen ruft zu, das Gehörige zu thun, und das Mögliche zu erwarten—We are summoned every morning to do what it requires of us, and to expect what it may bring.

Jeder Weg zum rechten Zwecke / Ist auch recht in jeder Strecke—Every road to the right end is also right in every stretch (step or turn) of it.

Jeder Zustand, ja jeder Augenblick, ist von unendlichem Werth, denn er ist der Repräsentant einer ganzen Ewigkeit—Every condition, nay, every moment, is of infinite value, for it is the representative of a whole eternity.

Jedes ausgesprochene Wort erregt den Eigensinn—Every uttered (lit. outspoken) word rouses our self-will.

Joy must have sorrow; sorrow, joy.

Joy shared is joy doubled.

Joyfulness (Freudigkeit) is the mother of all virtues.

Kühl bis an’s Herz hinan—Cool to the very heart.

Kannst dem Schicksal widerstehen, / Aber manchmal giebt es Schläge; / Will’s nicht aus dem Wege gehen, / Ei! so geh’ du aus dem Wege.—Thou canst withstand fate, but many a time it gives blows. Wilt it not go out of thy way, why then, go thou out of its.

Kannst du nicht schön empfinden, dir bleibt doch, vernünftig zu wollen, / Und als ein Geist zu thun, was du als Mensch nicht vermagst—If thou canst not have fineness of feelings, it is still open to thee to will what is reasonable, and to do as a spirit what thou canst not do as a man.

Keep not standing fix’d and rooted; / Briskly venture, briskly roam; / Head and hand, where’er thou foot it, / And stout heart are still at home. / In what land the sun does visit, / Brisk are we, whate’er betide; / To give space for wandering is it / That the world was made so wide.

Keep thyself perfectly still, however it may storm around thee. The more thou feelest thyself to be a man, so much the more dost thou resemble the gods.

Kein grosser Mann muss eines natürlichen Todes sterben—No great man is ordained to die a natural death.

Kein kluger Streiter hält den Feind gering—No prudent antagonist thinks light of his adversary.

Kein Mann ist im Stande, den Werth eines Weibes zu fühlen, das nicht sich zu ehren weiss—No man is able to feel the worth of a woman who knows not how to respect herself.

Kein Mensch / Muss das Unmögliche erzwingen wollen—No man must seek to constrain the impossible.

Kein Wunder, dass wir uns Alle mehr oder weniger im Mittelmässigen gefallen, weil es uns in Ruhe lässt; es giebt das behagliche Gefühl, als wenn man mit seines Gleichen umginge—No wonder we are all more or less content with the ordinary, for it leaves us undisturbed; we have the comfortable feeling of having only to deal with our like.

Keine Probe ist gefährlich, zu der man Muth hat—No ordeal is hazardous which one has the courage to face.

Keinen Reimer wird man finden, / Der sich nicht den besten hielte, / Keinen Fiedler, der nicht lieber / Eigne Melodien spielte—You will meet with no rhymer who does not think himself the best, no fiddler who does not prefer to play his own tunes.

Kennst du das herrliche Gift der unbefriedigten Liebe? / Es versengt und erquickt, zehret am Mark und erneut’s—Knowest thou the lordly poison of disappointed love? It withers up and quickens, consumes to the marrow and renews.

Kennst du das Land, wo die Citronen blüh’n?—Know’st thou the land where the lemon-trees bloom?

Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together.

Lachen, Weinen, Lust und Schmerz / Sind Geschwister-Kinder—Laughing and weeping, pleasure and pain, are cousins german.

Lange Ueberlegungen zeigen gewöhnlich, dass man den Punkt nicht im Auge hat, von dem die Rede ist; übereilte Handlungen, dass man ihn gar nicht kennt—Long pondering on a matter usually indicates that one has not properly got his eye on the point at issue; and too hasty action that he does not know it at all.

Langes Leben heisst viele überleben—To live long is to outlive many.

Langeweile ist ein böses Kraut / Aber auch eine Würze, die viel verdaut—Ennui is an ill weed, but also a condiment which digests a good deal.

Lass das Vergangne vergangen sein—Let what is past be past.Faust to Margaret in the end.

Lass diesen Handedruck dir sagen / Was unaussprechlich ist—Let this pressure of the hand reveal to thee what is unutterable.Faust to Margarite.

Lasst fahren hin das allzu Flüchtige! / Ihr sucht bei ihm vergebens Rat! / In dem Vergangnen lebt das Tüchtige / Verewigt sich in schöner That—Let the too transient pass by; ye seek counsel in vain of it. Yet what will avail you lives in the past, and lies immortalised in what has been nobly done.

Law is powerful, necessity more so.

Laws and rights are transmitted like an inveterate hereditary disease.

Le sens commun est le génie de l’humanité—Common sense is the genius of humanity.

Let a man be but born ten years sooner or ten years later, his whole aspect and performance shall be different.

Let him count himself happy who lives remote from the gods of this world.

Let him who has hold of the devil keep hold of him; he is not likely to catch him a second time in a hurry.

Let man be noble, helpful, and good, for that alone distinguishes him from every other creature we know.

Let no one so conceive of himself as if he were the Messiah the world was praying for.

Let no one think that he can conquer the first impressions of his youth.

Let the shoemaker stick to his last, the peasant to his plough, and let the prince understand how to rule.

Let those who believe in immortality enjoy their belief in silence, and give themselves no airs about it.

Let us leave the question of origins to those who busy themselves with insoluble problems, and have nothing better to do.

Let woman learn betimes to serve according to her destination, for only by serving will she at last learn to rule, and attain the influence that belongs to her in the household.

Level roads run out from music to every side.

Licht und Geist, jenes im Phyischen, dieses im Sittlichen herrschend, sind die höchsten denkbaren untheilbaren Energien—Light and spirit, the one sovereign in the physical, the other in the moral, are the highest conceivable indivisible potences at work in the universe.

Liebe schwärmet auf allen Wegen; / Treue wohnt für sich allein; / Liebe kommt euch rasch entgegen; / Aufgesucht will Treue sein—Love ranges about in all thoroughfares; fidelity dwells by herself alone. Love comes to meet you with quick footstep; fidelity will be sought out.

Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for vicissitudes.

Life lies before us as a huge quarry before the architect; and he deserves not the name of architect except when, out of this fortuitous mass, he can combine, with the greatest economy, fitness and durability, some form the pattern of which originated in his own soul.

Life outweighs all things, if love lies within it.

Life’s no resting, but a moving; / Let thy life be deed on deed.

Literature is a fragment of a fragment, and of this but little is extant.

Lively feeling of situations, and power to express them, make the poet.

Look not to what is wanting in any one; consider that rather which still remains to him.

Love can do much, but duty still more.

Love concedes in a moment what we can hardly attain by effort after years of toil.

Love has the tendency of pressing together all the lights, all the rays emitted from the beloved object, by the burning-glass of fantasy, into one focus, and making of them one radiant sun without spots.

Love of truth shows itself in being able everywhere to find and value what is good.

Lovers are as punctual as the sun.

Lust und Liebe sind die Fittiche / Zu grossen Thaten—Ambition and love are the wings to great deeds.

Männliche, tüchtige Geister werden durch Erkennen eines Irrthums erhöht und gestärkt—Sturdy manly souls are exalted and strengthened in the presence of (lit. by the knowledge of) an error.

Mässigkeit und klarer Himmel sind Apollo und die Musen—Moderation and a clear sky are Apollo and the Muses.

Mögt ihr Stück für Stück bewitzeln, / Doch das Ganze zieht euch an—You may jeer at it bit by bit, yet the whole fascinates you.

Müsset im Naturbetrachen / Immer eins wie alles achten; / Nichts ist drinnen, nichts ist draussen, / Denn was innen, das ist aussen. / So ergreifet ohne Säumness / Heilig öffentlich Geheimniss—In the study of Nature you must ever regard one as all; nothing is inner, nothing is outer, for what is within that is without. Without hesitation, therefore, seize ye the holy mystery thus lying open to all.

Macht, was ihr wollt; nur lasst mich ungeschoren—Produce what ye like, only leave me unmolested (lit. unshorn).

Make the most of time, it flies away so fast; yet method will teach you to win time.

Man and man only can do the impossible; / … He to the moment endurance can lend.

Man does not willingly submit himself to reverence; or rather, he never so submits himself: it is a higher sense which must be communicated to his nature, which only in some peculiarly favoured individuals unfolds itself spontaneously, who on this account too have of old been looked upon as saints and gods.

Man gives up all pretension to the infinite while he feels here that neither with thought nor without it is he equal to the finite.

Man has always humour enough to make merry with what he cannot help.

Man has quite a peculiar pleasure in making proselytes; in causing others to enjoy what he enjoys, in finding his own likeness represented and reflected back to him.

Man is a darkened being; he knows not whence he comes, nor whither he goes; he knows little of the world and least of himself.

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.

Man is ever the most interesting object to man, and perhaps should be the only one to interest him.

Man is intended for a limited condition; objects that are simple, near, determinate, he comprehends, and he becomes accustomed to employ such means as are at hand; but on entering a wider field he now knows neither what he would nor what he should.

Man is not born to be free, and for the noble there is no fairer fortune than to serve a prince whom he honours.

Man is quite sufficiently saddened by his own passions and destiny, and need not make himself more so by the darkness of a barbaric past. He needs enlightening and cheering influences, and should therefore turn to those eras in art and literature during which remarkable men obtained perfect culture.

Man is so prone to occupy himself with what is most common, the soul and the senses are so easily blunted to the impressions of the beautiful and perfect, that one ought by all means to preserve the capability of feeling it. We ought every day at least to hear a little song, read a good poem, see an excellent painting, and, if possible, speak a few reasonable words.

Man ist nur eigentlich lebendig, wenn man sich des Wohlwollens Anderer freut—A man is only truly alive when he enjoys the good-will of others.

Man kann in wahrer Freiheit leben / Und doch nicht ungebunden sein—One may enjoy true freedom, and yet be in chains.

Man kann nicht stets das Fremde meiden, / Das Gute liegt uns oft so fern. / Ein echter deutscher Mann mag keinen Franzen leiden, / Doch ihre Weine trinkt er gern—We cannot always avoid what is foreign; what is good often lies so far off. A true German cannot abide the French, and yet he will drink their wines with the most genuine relish.

Man kommt zu schaun, Man will am liebsten sehn—People come to look; their greatest pleasure is to feast their eyes.

Man lebt nur einmal in der Welt—Only once is it given us to live in the world.

Man muss die Menschen nur mit dem Krämergewicht, keinesweges mit der Goldwage wiegen—We must weigh men with merchant’s scales, and by no means with the goldsmith’s.

Man muss seine Irrthümer theuer bezahlen, wenn man sie los werden will, und dann hat man noch von Glück zu sagen—Men must pay dearly for their errors, if they would be free from them, and then they may regard it a happiness to do so.

Man must hold fast by the belief that the incomprehensible is comprehensible, otherwise he would not search.

Man never comprehends how anthropomorphic he is.

Man schont die Alten, wie man die Kinder schont—We bear with old people as we do with children.

Man spricht vergebens viel, nur zu versagen, / Der and’re hört von allem nur das Nein!—In vain we speak much only to refuse; the other, of all we say, hears only the “No!”

Man supposes that he directs his life and governs his actions, when his existence is irretrievably under the control of destiny.

Man thee for the high endeavour, / Shun the crowd’s ignoble ease! / Fails the noble spirit never, / Wise to think and prompt to seize.

Man wird nie betrogen; man betrügt sich selbst—We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.

Man’s activity is all too fain to relax; he soon gets fond of unconditional repose.

Man’s highest merit always is as much as possible to rule external circumstances, and as little as possible to let himself be ruled by them.

Man’s life is not an affair of mere instinct, but of steady self-control.

Manifold is human strife, / Human passion, human pain; / Yet many blessings still are rife, / And many pleasures still remain.

Mankind will never lack obstacles to give it trouble, and the pressure of necessity to develop its powers.

Many a discord betwixt man and man the returning seasons soften by degrees into sweetest harmony; but that which bridges over the greatest gap is Love, whose charm unites the earth with heaven above.

Many men attain a knowledge of what is perfect, and of their own insufficiency, and go on doing things by halves to the end of their days.

Many men fancy that what they experience they also understand.

Many people take no care of their money till they have come nearly to an end of it, and others do just the same with their time.

Many things there are / That we may hope to win with violence; / While others only can become our own / Through moderation and wise self-restraint. / Such is virtue; such is love.

Mastery passes often for egotism.

Mathematics can remove no prejudices and soften no obduracy. It has no influence in sweetening the bitter strife of parties, and in the moral world generally its action is perfectly null.

May the idea of pureness, extending itself even to the very morsel which I take into my mouth, become ever dearer and more luminous within me.

Mein erst Gesetz ist, in der Welt / Die Frager zu vermeiden—A first rule of mine is to avoid the inquiring class of people.

Mein Leipzig lob’ ich mir! / Es ist klein Paris, und bildet seine Leute—Leipzig for me! It is quite a little Paris, and its people acquire an easy finished air (lit. it fashions its people).

Men are so constituted that everybody would rather undertake himself what he sees done by others, whether he has aptitude for it or not.

Men deride what they do not understand, and snarl at the good and beautiful because it lies beyond their sympathies.

Men fear only him who does not know them, and he who shuns them will soon misjudge them.

Men have but too much cause to secure themselves from men.

Men in general experience a great joy in colour. The eye needs it as much as it does light. Let any one recall the refreshing sensation one experiences when on a gloomy day the sun shines out on a particular spot on the landscape, and makes the colours of it visible. That healing powers were ascribed to coloured precious stones may have arisen out of the deep feeling of this inexpressible pleasure.

Men of uncommon abilities generally fall into eccentricities when their sphere of life is not adequate to their powers.

Men possessing small souls are generally the authors of great evils.

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

Men think they are quarrelling with one another, and both sides feel that they are in the wrong.

Men, in spite of all their failings, best deserve our affections of all that exists.

Mental prayer (mentale Gebet) which includes and excludes all religions, and only in a few God-favoured men permeates the whole course of life, develops itself in most men as only a blazing, beatific feeling of the moment, immediately after the vanishing of which the man, thrown in upon himself unsatisfied and unoccupied, lapses back into the most utter and absolute weariness.

Mentally and bodily endowed men are the most modest, while, on the other hand, all who have some peculiar mental defect think a great deal more of themselves.

Metaphysics, with which physics cannot dispense, is that wisdom of thought which was before all physics, lives with it, and will endure after it.

Method will teach you to win time.

Mind and body are intimately related; if the former is joyful, the latter feels free and well; and many an evil flies before cheerfulness.

Mir gäb’ es keine gröss’re Pein, / Wär’ ich im Paradies allein—There were for me no greater torment than to be in Paradise alone.

Misfortune, when we look upon it with our eyes, is smaller than when our imagination sinks the evil down into the recesses of the soul.

Misunderstanding goes on like a fallen stitch in a stocking, which in the beginning might have been taken up with a needle.

Mit deinem Meister zu irren ist dein Gewinn—To err with thy master is thy gain.

Mit dem Wissen wächst der Zweifel—Doubt ever grows alongside of knowledge.

Mit Kleinen thut man kleine Thaten, / Mit Grossen wird der Kleine gross—With little people we do little deeds, with great people the little one becomes great.

Mit seltsamen Geberden / Giebt man sich viele Pein; / Kein Mensch will etwas werden, / Ein jeder will schon was sein—We are easily disconcerted by strange manners; no man is willing to become anything, every one gives himself out as already something.

Modern poets put a great deal of water in their ink.

Modesty and presumption are moral things of so spiritual a nature, that they have little to do with the body.

Morose thoughts one should never send to a distance.

Most men never reach the glorious epoch, that middle stage between despair and deification, in which the comprehensible appears to us common and insipid.

Much debating goes on about the good that has been done and the harm by the free circulation of the Bible. To me this is clear: it will do harm, as it has done, if used dogmatically and fancifully; and do good, as it has done, if used didactically and feelingly.

Much in the world may be done by severity, more by love, but most of all by discernment and impartial justice.

Much there is that appears unequal in our life, yet the balance is soon and unexpectedly restored. In eternal alternation a weal counterbalances the woe, and swift sorrows our joys. Nothing is constant. Many an incongruity (Missverhältniss), as the days roll on, is gradually and imperceptibly dissolved in harmony. And ah! love knows how to reconcile the greatest discrepancy and unite earth with heaven.

Music fills up the present moment more decisively than anything else, whether it awakens thought or summons to action.

Music in the best sense has little need of novelty (Neuheit); on the contrary, the older it is, the more one is accustomed to it, the greater is the effect it produces.

“Must” is hard, but by “must” alone can man show what his inward condition is. Any one can live unrestrainedly.

My inheritance how wide and fair! / Time is my seed-field, to Time I’m heir.

Nach Freiheit strebt der Mann, das Weib nach Sitte—The man strives after freedom, the woman after good manners.

Nach Golde drängt, / Am Golde hängt, / Doch alles. Ach, wir Armen!—Yet after gold every one presses, on gold everything hangs. Alas! we poor ones.

Napoleon affords us an example of the danger of elevating one’s self to the Absolute, and sacrificing everything to the carrying out of an idea.

Napoleon, for the sake of a great name, broke in pieces almost half a world.

Natur und Kunst, sie scheinen sich zu fliehen, / Und haben sich, eh’ man es denkt, gefunden—Nature and art seem to shun each other, and have met (lit. found each other) ere one is aware.

Nature alone knows what she means.

Nature and art are too grand to go forth in pursuit of aims; nor is it necessary that they should, for there are relations everywhere, and relations constitute life.

Nature cannot but always act rightly, quite unconcerned as to what may be the consequences.

Nature gives healthy children much; how much! Wise education is a wise unfolding of this; often it unfolds itself better of its own accord.

Nature gives you the impression as if there were nothing contradictory in the world; and yet, when you return back to the dwelling-place of man, be it lofty or low, wide or narrow, there is ever somewhat to contend with, to battle with, to smooth and put to rights.

Nature goes her own way; and all that to us seems an exception, is really according to order.

Nature has given to each one all that as a man he needs, which it is the business of education to develop, if, as most frequently happens, it does not develop better of itself.

Nature has lent us tears—the cry of suffering when the man at last can bear it no longer.

Nature has made provision for all her children; the meanest is not hindered in its existence even by that of the most excellent.

Nature has no feeling; the sun gives his light to good and bad alike, and moon and stars shine out for the worst of men as for the best.

Nature in women is so nearly allied to art.

Nature is a Sibyl, who testifies beforehand to what has been determined from all eternity, and was not to be realised till late in time.

Nature is always lavish, even prodigal.

Nature is always right, and most profoundly so (am gründlichsten) just there where we least comprehend her.

Nature is indeed adequate to Fear, but to Reverence not adequate.

Nature is the living, visible garment of God.

Nature is the only book that teems with meaning on every page.

Nature knows no pause in progress and development, and attaches her curse on all inaction.

Nature understands no jesting; she is always true, always serious, always severe; she is always right, and the errors and faults are always those of man. Him who is incapable of appreciating her she despises, and only to the apt, the pure, and the true, does she resign herself and reveal her secrets.

“Nature veils God,” but what I see of Him in nature is not veiled.

Nature works after such eternal, necessary, divine laws, that the Deity himself could alter nothing in them.After Spinoza.

Nature, mysterious even under the light of day, is not to be robbed of her veil; and what she does not choose to reveal, you will not extort from her with levers and screws.

Ne’er linger, ne’er o’erhasty be, / For time moves on with measured foot.

Necessity is cruel, but it is the only test of inward strength. Every fool may live according to his own likings.

Nehmt die Stimmung wahr, / Denn sie kommt so selten—Take advantage of the right mood, for it comes so seldom.

Never by reflection, only by doing what it lies on him to do, is self-knowledge possible to any man.

Nicht alles Wünschenswerte ist erreichbar; nicht alles Erkennenswerte ist erkennbar—Not everything that is desirable is attainable, and not everything that is worth knowing is knowable.

Nicht grösseren Vortheil wüsst’ ich zu nennen / Als des Feindes Verdienst erkennen—I know not a greater advantage than a due appreciation of the worth of an enemy.

Nicht Kunst und Wissenschaft allein, / Geduld will bei dem Werke sein—Not art and science only, but patience will be required for the work.

Nichts Abgeschmackters find’ ich auf der Welt / Als einen Teufel, der verzweifelt—I know nothing more mawkish than a devil who despairs.

Nichts ist höher zu schätzen, als der Wert des Tages—Nothing is to be rated higher than the value of the day.

Niemand ist mehr Sklave, als der sich für frei hält ohne es zu sein—No one is more a slave than he who considers himself free without being so.

Niemand weiss, wie weit seine Kräfte gehen, bis er sie versucht hat—No one knows how far his powers go till he has tried them.

No doubt every person is entitled to make and to think as much of himself as possible, only he ought not to worry others about this, for they have enough to do with and in themselves, if they too are to be of some account, both now and hereafter.

No evil can touch him who looks on human beauty; he feels himself at one with himself and with the world.

No experiment is dangerous the result of which we have the courage to meet.

No expression of politeness but has its root in the moral nature of man.

No greater misfortune can befall a man than to be the victim of an idea which has no hold on his life, still more which detaches him from it.

No man thoroughly understands a truth until he has contended against it.

No one can feel and exercise benevolence towards another who is ill at ease with himself.

No one can find himself in himself or others; in fact, he has himself to spin, from the centre of which he exercises his influence.

No one can obtain what he does not bring with him.

No one easily arrives at the conclusion that reason and a brave will are given us that we may not only hold back from evil, but also from the extreme of good.

No one has ever learned fully to know himself.

No one knows how far his powers go till he has tried.

No one knows what he is doing while he is acting rightly, but of what is wrong we are always conscious.

No one will become anything, every one will already be something.

No one would talk much in society if he only knew how often he misunderstands others.

No productiveness of the highest kind, no remarkable discovery, no great thought which bears fruit and has results, is in the power of any one; such things are exalted above all earthly control. Man must consider them as an unexpected gift from above, as pure children of God, which he must receive and venerate with joyful thanks,… as a vessel found worthy for the reception of such divine influence.

No smaller spirit can vanquish a greater.

No trial is dangerous which there is courage to meet.

No wise combatant underrates his antagonist.

No wonder we are all more or less pleased with mediocrity, since it leaves us at rest, and gives the same comfortable feeling as when one associates with his equals.

Nobody should be rich but those who understand it.

Noch ist es Tag, da rühre sich der Mann, / Die Nacht tritt ein, wo niemand wirken kann—It is still day, in which to be up and doing; the night is setting in wherein no man can work.

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

Not in pulling down, but in building up, does man find pure joy.

Not many words are needed to refuse; by the refused the “no” alone is heard.

Not the maker of plans and promises, but rather he who offers faithful service in small matters is most welcome to one who would achieve what is good and lasting.

Not to believe in God, but to acknowledge Him when and wheresoever He reveals Himself, is the one sole blessedness of man on earth.

Nothing altogether passes away without result. We are here to leave that behind us which will never die.

Nothing can be so injurious to progress as to be altogether blamed or altogether praised.

Nothing exposes us more to madness than distinguishing ourselves from others, and nothing more contributes to maintain our common-sense than living in community of feeling with other people.

Nothing is endless but inanity.

Nothing is good for a nation but that which arises from its core and its own general wants.

Nothing is more hurtful to a truth than an old error.

Nothing is more natural than that we should grow giddy at a great sight which comes unexpectedly before us, to make us feel at once our littleness and our greatness. But there is not in the world any truer enjoyment than at the moment when we are thus made giddy for the first time.

Nothing is more offensive to reason (widerwärtiger) than an appeal to the majority; it consists of a few powerful leaders, of rogues who accommodate themselves, of weaklings who assimilate themselves, and of the mass who follow confusedly, without in the least knowing what they would be at.

Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action.

Nothing is so atrocious as fancy without taste.

Nothing is true but what is simple.

Nothing on earth is without difficulty. Only the inner impulse, the pleasure it gives and love enable us to surmount obstacles; to make smooth our way, and lift ourselves out of the narrow grooves in which other people sorrowfully distress themselves.

Now an incredible deal is demanded, and every avenue is barred.

Nur aus vollendeter Kraft blicket die Anmuth hervor—Only out of perfected faculty does grace look forth.

Nur die Lumpe sind bescheiden, / Brave freuen sich der That—Only low-born fellows are modest; men of spirit rejoice over their feats.

Nur immer zu! wir wollen es ergründen, / In deinem Nichts hoff’ ich das All zu finden—Only let us still go on! we will yet fathom it. In thy nothing hope I to find the all.

Nur in der Schule selbst ist die eigentliche Vorschule—The true preparatory school is only the school itself.

Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt / Weiss, was ich leide!—Only he who knows what yearning is knows what I suffer.

O blicke nicht nach dem was jedem fehlt; / Betrachte, was noch einem jeden bleibt—O look not at what each comes short in; consider what each still retains.

O dass es ewig bliebe, / Das Doppelglück der Töne wie der Liebe—Oh, that it would stay for ever, the double bliss of the tones as well as of the love.

O Gott, wie schränkt sich Welt und Himmel ein, / Wenn unser Herz in seinen Schranken banget—O God, how contracted the world and heaven becomes when our heart becomes uneasy within its barriers.

O süsse Stimme! Willkommener Ton / Der Muttersprach’ in einem fremden Lande!—Oh, sweet voice, much-welcome sound of our mother-tongue in a foreign land!

O sprich mir nicht von jener bunten Menge / Bei deren Anblick uns der Geist entflieht—Oh, speak not to me of the motley mob, at the very sight of which our spirit takes flight!

O was sind wir Grossen auf der Woge der Menschheit? Wir glauben sie zu beherrschen, und sie treibt uns auf und nieder, hin und her—Ah! what are we great ones on the wave of humanity? We fancy we rule over it, and it sways us up and down, hither and thither.

Objects in pictures should be so arranged as by their very position to tell their own story.

Of a thoroughly crazy and defective artist we may indeed say he has everything from himself; but of an excellent one, never.

Of all the superstitions which infest the brains of weak mortals, the belief in prophecies, presentiments, and dreams, seems to me amongst the most pitiful and pernicious.

Of all thieves, fools are the worst; they rob you of time and temper.

Of error we can talk for ever, but truth demands that we should lay it to heart and apply it.

Of great men no one should speak but one who is as great as they, so as to be able to see all round them.

Of the Beautiful we are seldom capable, oftener of the Good; and how highly should we value those who endeavour, with great sacrifices, to forward that good among their fellows!

Of the Wrong we are always conscious, of the Right never.

Oh, be he king or peasant, he is happiest / Who in his home finds peace.

Oh, how sweet it is to hear our own conviction from another’s lips!

Old men lose one of the most precious rights of man, that of being judged by their peers.

On the pinnacle of fortune man does not stand long firm.

On this account is the Bible a book of eternally effective power, because, as long as the world lasts, no one will step forward and say: I comprehend it in the whole and understand it in the particular; but we modestly say: In the whole it is venerable, and in the particular practicable (anwendar).

Once for all, beauty remains undemonstrable; it appears to us as in a dream, when we behold the works of the great poets and painters, and, in short, of all feeling artists.

One always has time enough if one will apply it well.

One born on the glebe comes by habit to belong to it; the two grow together, and the fairest ties are spun from the union.

One can be very happy without demanding that others should agree with one.

One can live in true freedom, and yet not be unbound.

One can never know at the first moment what may, at a future time, separate itself from the rough experience as true substance.

One cannot say that the rational is always beautiful; but the beautiful is always rational, or at least ought to be so.

One cannot speak the truth with false words.

One could not wish any man to fall into a fault; yet it is often precisely after a fault, or a crime even, that the morality which is in a man first unfolds itself, and what of strength he as a man possesses, now when all else is gone from him.

One finds human nature everywhere great and little, beautiful and ugly…. Go on bravely working.

One is always making good use of one’s time when engaged with a subject that daily forces one to make advances in self-culture.

One is not a whit the happier when he attains what he has wished for.

One must be something in order to do something.

One must believe in simplicity, in what is simple, in what is originally productive, if one wants to go the right way. This, however, is not granted to every one; we are born in an artificial state, and it is far easier to make it more artificial still than to return to what is simple.

One must not swerve in one’s self, not even a hair’s breadth from the highest maxims of art and life; but in empiricism, in the movement of the day, I would rather allow what is mediocre to pass than mistake the good, or even find fault with it.

One must take a pleasure in the shell till one has the happiness to arrive at the kernel.

One must weigh men by avoirdupois weight, and not by the jeweller’s scales.

One need only take a thing properly in hand for it to be done.

One need only utter something that flatters indolence and conceit to be sure of plenty of adherents among commonplace people.

One never goes farther than when he does not know whither he is going.

One ought not to praise a great man unless he is as great as he.

One power rules another, but no power can cultivate another; in each endowment, and not elsewhere, lies the force that must complete it.

One rarely sees how deeply one is in debt till one comes to settle one’s accounts.

One really gains nothing from such interests (as occupy the newspaper).

One says more, and with more heart, in an hour than is written in years.

One should never ask anybody if one means to write anything.

One should not neglect from time to time to renew friendly relations by personal intercourse.

One single moment is decisive both of man’s life and his whole future. However he may reflect, each resolution he forms is but the work of a moment; the prudent alone seize the right one.

One soul may have a decided influence upon another merely by means of its silent presence.

One thing there is which no child brings into the world with him; and yet it is on this one thing that all depends for making man in every point a man;—and that is Reverence (Ehrfurcht).

One’s morning indolence is soon gone when one has once persuaded one’s self to put a foot out of bed.

Only by joy and sorrow does a man know anything about himself and his destiny, learn what he ought to seek and what to shun.

Only he deserves freedom who has day by day to fight for it.

Only he helps who unites with many at the proper hour; a single individual helps not.

Only in complicated critical cases do men find out what is within them.

Only learn to catch happiness, for happiness is ever by you.

Only regard for law can give us freedom.

Only the person should give advice in a matter where he himself will co-operate.

Only to the apt, the pure, and the true does Nature resign herself and reveal her secrets.

Oral delivery aims at persuasion, at making the listener believe he is convinced. Few persons are capable of being convinced; the majority allow themselves to be persuaded.

Originality provokes originality.

Our ambiguous dissipating education awakens wishes when it should be animating tendencies; instead of forwarding our real capacities, it turns our efforts towards objects which are frequently discordant with the mind that aims at them.

Our hand we open of our own free will, and the good flies which we can never recall.

Our love of truth is evinced by our ability to discover and appropriate what is good wherever we come upon it.

Our moral impressions invariably prove strongest in those moments when we are most driven back upon ourselves.

Our passions are true phœnixes; when the old one is burnt out, the new one rises straightway from its ashes.

Our relation to things outside of ourselves forms, and at the same time robs us of, our existence, and yet we have to do our best to adapt ourselves to circumstances; for to isolate one’s self is also not advisable.

Our relations are far too artificial and complicated, our nutriment and mode of life are without their proper nature, and our social intercourse is without proper love and goodwill. Every one is polished and courteous, but no one has the courage to be hearty and true.

Our sacrifices are rarely of an active kind; we, as it were, abandon what we give away. It is not from resolution, but despair, that we renounce our property.

Our virtues depend on our failings as their root, and the latter send forth as strong and manifold branches underground as the former do in the open light.

Our works are presentiments of our capabilities.

Over there it will not be otherwise than it is here.

Passions are vices or virtues in their highest powers.

Peacefully and reasonably to contemplate is at no time hurtful, and while we use ourselves to think of the advantages of others, our own mind comes insensibly to imitate them; and every false activity to which our fancy was alluring us is then willingly abandoned.

People (in authority) are accustomed merely to forbid, to hinder, to refuse, but rarely to bid, to further, and to reward. They let things go along till some mischief happens; then they fly into a rage, and lay about them.

People are only accustomed to revolve around themselves.

People dispute a great deal about the good that is done and the harm by disseminating the Bible (Bibelverbreitung). To me this is clear: the Bible will do harm if, as hitherto, it is used dogmatically and interpreted fancifully, and it will do good if it is treated feelingly and applied didactically.

People do not mind their faults being spread out before them, but they become impatient if called upon to give them up.

People may live as much retired from the world as they like, but sooner or later they find themselves debtor or creditor to some one.

People that are like-minded (Gleichgesinnten) can never for any length be disunited (entzweien); they always come together again; whereas those that are not like-minded (Widergesinnten) try in vain to maintain harmony; the essential discord between them will be sure to break out some day.

People would do well if they would keep piety, which is so essential and lovable in life, distinct from art, where, owing to its very simplicity and dignity, it checks their energy, allowing only the very highest mind freedom to unite with, if not actually to master, it.

People would do well if, tarrying here for years together, they observed a while a Pythagorean silence.

Perfect experience must itself embrace theoretical knowledge.

Perfect life is ever in one’s acts to deal with innocence, which proves itself in doing wrong to no one but itself.

Perfection is not the affair of the scholar; it is enough if he practises.

Personality is everything in art and poetry.

Pleasure and sympathy in things is all that is real and again produces reality; all else is empty and vain.

Plunge boldly into the thick of life, and seize it where you will, it is always interesting.

Poetry was given to us to hide the little discords of life and to make man contented with the world and his condition.

Prüft das Geschick dich, weiss es wohl warum; / Es wünschte dich enthaltsam! Folge stumm—Destiny is proving thee; well knows she why: she meant thee to be abstinent! Follow thou dumb.

Presumptuousness, which audaciously strides over all the steps of gradual culture, affords little encouragement to hope for any masterpiece.

Productions (of a certain artistic quality) are at present possible which are nought (Null) without being bad—nought, because there is nothing in them, and not bad, because a general form after some good model has hovered vaguely (vorschwebt) before the mind of the author.

Prophete rechts, Prophete links / Das Weltkind in der Mitten—Prophets to right, prophets to left, the world-child between.

Prudent and active men, who know their strength and use it with limitation and circumspection, alone go far in the affairs of the world.

Pure enjoyment and true usefulness can only be reciprocal.

Quietly do the next thing that has to be done, and allow one thing to follow upon the other.

Rather find what beauty is than anxiously inquire what it is.

Reality surpasses imagination; and we see breathing, brightening, and moving before our eyes sights dearer to our hearts than any we ever beheld in the land of dreams.

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

Reason has only to do with the becoming, the living; but understanding with the become, the already fixed, that it may make use of it.

Reason is directed to the process (das Werdende) understanding to the product (das Gewordene). The former is nowise concerned about the whither, or the latter about the whence.

Reasonable, or sensible, people are always the best Conversation’s Lexicon.

Rejoice that you have still long to live before the thought comes to you that there is nothing more in the world to see.

Religion is not an end, but a means.

Religion is not in want of art; it rests on its own majesty.

Remember that with every breath we draw, an ethereal stream of Lethe runs through our whole being, so that we have but a partial recollection of our joys, and scarcely any of our sorrows.

Renounce, thou must (sollst) renounce! That is the song which sounds for ever in the ears of every one, which every hour sings to us hoarsely our whole life long.In “Faust.”

Renown is not to be sought, and all pursuit of it is vain. A person may, indeed, by skilful conduct and various artificial means, make a sort of name for himself; but if the inner jewel is wanting, all is vanity, and will not last a day.

Revelation nowhere burns more purely and more beautifully than in the New Testament.

Reverence (Ehrfurcht) which no child brings into the world along with him, is the one thing on which all depends for making a man in every point a man.

Riches amassed in haste will diminish; but those collected by hand and little by little will multiply.

Säen ist nicht so beschwerlich als ernten—Sowing is not so difficult as reaping.

Säume nicht, dich zu erdreisten, / Wenn die Menge zaudernd schweift; / Alles kann der Edle leisten / Der versteht und rasch ergreift—If the mass of people hesitate to act, strike thou in swift with all boldness; the noble heart that understands and seizes quick hold of opportunity can achieve everything.

Sacrificed his life to the delineating of life.Of Schiller.

Schönheit bändigt allen Zorn—Beauty allays all angry feeling.

Schadet ein Irrtum wohl? Nicht immer! aber das Irren / Immer schadet’s. Wie sehr, sieht man am Ende des Wegs—Does an error do harm you ask? Not always! but going wrong always does. How far we shall certainly find out at the end of the road.

Schall und Rauch umnebeln Himmels-Gluth—Sound and smoke overclouding heaven’s splendour.

Schlagt ihn tot den Hund! Er ist Rezensent—Strike the dog dead! it’s but a critic.

Schliesst eure Herzen sorgfältiger, als eure Thore—Be more careful to keep the doors of your heart shut than the doors of your house.

Schrecklich blicket ein Gott, da wo Sterbliche weinen—Dreadful looks a God, where mortals weep.

Science has been seriously retarded by the study of what is not worth knowing and of what is not knowable.

Secrecy has many advantages, for when you tell a man at once and straightforward the purpose of any object, he fancies there’s nothing in it.

See, what is good lies by thy side.

Seele des Menschen, / Wie gleichst du dem Wasser! / Schicksal des Menschen, / Wie gleichst du dem Wind!—Soul of man, how like art thou to water! Lot of man, how like art thou to wind!

Sehr leicht zerstreut der Zufall was er sammelt; / Ein edler Mensch zieht edle Menschen an / Und weiss sie festzuhalten—What chance gathers she very easily scatters. A noble man attracts noble men, and knows how to hold them fast.

Sei gefühllos! / Ein leichtbewegtes Herz / Ist ein elend Gut / Auf der wankenden Erde—Do not give way to feeling (lit. be unfeeling). A quickly sensitive heart is an unhappy possession on this shaky earth.

Selbst erfinden ist schön; doch glücklich von andern Gefundnes, / Fröhlich erkannt und geschätzt, nennst du das weniger dein?—It is glorious to find out one’s self, but call you that less yours which has been happily found out by others, and is with joy recognised and valued by you?

Seldom, in the business and transactions of ordinary life, do we find the sympathy we want.

Self-complacence over the concealed destroys its concealment.

Self-knowledge comes from knowing other men.

Self-love exaggerates our faults as well as our virtues.

Selig der, den er im Siegesglanze findet—Happy he whom he (Death) finds in battle’s splendour.

Selig wer sich vor der Welt, / Ohne Hass verschliesst, / Einen Freund am Busen hält / Und mit dem geniesst—Happy he who without hatred shuts himself off from the world, holds a friend to his bosom, and enjoys life with him.

Setz’ dir Perrücken auf von Millionen Locken, / Setz’ deinen Fuss auf ellenhohe Socken, / Du bleibst doch immer, was du bist—Clap on thee wigs with curls without number, set thy foot in ell-high socks, thou remainest notwithstanding ever what thou art.

Shakespeare is dangerous to young poets; they cannot but reproduce him, while they imagine they are producing themselves.

Sich mitzutheilen ist Natur; Mitgetheiltes aufnehmen, wie es gegeben wird, ist Bildung—It is characteristic to Nature to impart itself; to take up what is imparted as it is given is culture.

Sich selbst hat niemand ausgelernt—No man ever yet completed his apprenticeship.

Sie glauben mit einander zu streiten, / Und fühlen das Unrecht von beiden Seiten—They think they are quarrelling with one another, and both sides feel they are in the wrong.

Sie scheinen mir aus einem edeln Haus, / Sie sehen stolz und zufrieden aus—They appear to me of a noble family; they look proud and discontented.Frosch in the witches’ cellar in “Faust.”

Sie sind voll Honig die Blumen; / Aber die Biene nur findet die Süssigkeit aus—The flowers are full of honey, but only the bee finds out the sweetness.

Since time is not a person we can overtake when he is past, let us honour him with mirth and cheerfulness of heart while he is passing.

So gieb mir auch die Zeiten wieder, / Da ich noch selbst im Werden war—Then give me back the time when I myself was still a-growing.

So lang man lebt, sei man lebendig—So long as you live, be living.

So long as you live and work, you will not escape being misunderstood; to that you must resign yourself once for all. Be silent.

So schaff’ ich am sausenden Webstuhl der Zeit / Und wirke der Gottheit lebendiges Kleid—’Tis thus at the roaring loom of Time I ply, / And weave for God the garment thou seest him by (lit. the living garment of the Deity).

So soon as one’s heart is tender it is weak. When it is beating so warmly against the breast, and the throat is, as it were, tied tightly, and one strives to press the tears from one’s eyes and feels an incomprehensible joy as they begin to flow, then we are so weak that we are fettered by chains of flowers, not because they have become strong through any magic chain, but because we tremble lest we should tear them asunder.

So thou be above it, make the world serve thy purpose, but do not thou serve it.

So wonderful is human nature, and its varied ties / Are so involved and complicate, that none / May hope to keep his inward spirit pure, / Ana walk without perplexity through life.

Sobald du dir vertraust, sobald weisst du zu leben—So soon as you feel confidence in yourself, you know the art of life.Mephistopheles in “Faust.”

Social intercourse makes us the more able to bear with ourselves and others.

Sollen dich die Dohlen nicht umschrein, / Musst du nicht Knopf auf dem Kirchthurm sein—If jackdaws are not to scream around you, you must not be a ball on the church spire.

Some of our weaknesses are born in us, others are the result of education; it is a question which of the two gives us most trouble.

Sorrows are often evolved from good fortune.

Sound and sufficient reason falls, after all, to the share of but few men, and those few men exert their influence in silence.

Sprich vom Geheimniss nicht geheimnissvoll—Speak not mysteriously of what is a mystery.

Steep regions cannot be surmounted except by winding paths.

Stirb und werde! / Denn so lang du das nicht hast, / Bist du nur ein trüber Gast / Auf der dunkeln Erde—Die and learn to live, for so far as thou hast not accomplished this, thou art but a darkened guest in a darkened world.

Stirb, Götz, du hast dich selbst überlebt—Die, Gotz; thou hast outlived thyself.

Strive to do thy duty; then shalt thou know what is in thee.

Stupidity is without anxiety.

Sucht nur die Menschen zu verwirren, / Sie zu befriedigen ist schwer—Seek only to mystify men; to satisfy them is difficult.The theatre-manager in “Faust.”

Sufficiently provided from within, he has need of little from without.Of the poet.

Superstition is inherent in man’s nature; and when we think it is wholly eradicated, it takes refuge in the strangest holes and corners, whence it peeps out all at once, as soon as it can do so with safety.

Superstition is the poesy of life, so that it does not injure the poet to be superstitious.

Tages Arbeit, Abends Gäste, / Saure Wochen, frohe Feste, / Sei dein künftig Zauberwort—Be work by day, guests at eve, weeks of toil, festive days of joy, the magic spell for thy future.

Take thought for thy body with steadfast fidelity. The soul must see through these eyes alone; and if they are dim, the whole world is beclouded.

Talent forms itself in secret; character, in the great current of the world.

Taste can only be educated by contemplation, not of the tolerably good, out of the truly excellent.

“Tell me how you bear so blandly the assuming ways of wild young people?” Truly they would be unbearable if I had not also been unbearable myself as well.

Tell me with whom you associate, and I will tell you who you are; if I know what it is with which you occupy yourself, I know what you may become.

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.

That is true love which is always the same, whether you give everything or deny everything to it.

That Mirabeau understood how to act with others, and by others—this was his genius, this was his originality, this was his greatness.

That souls which are created for one another so seldom find each other and are generally divided, that in the moments of happiest union least recognise each other—that is a sad riddle!

That state of life is alone suitable to a man in which and for which he was born, and he who is not led abroad by great objects is far happier at home.

That thought I regard as true which is fruitful to myself, which is connected with the rest of my thoughts, and at the same time helps me on. Now it is not only possible, but natural, that such a thought should not connect itself with the mind of another, nor help him on … consequently he will regard it as false. Once we are thoroughly convinced of this, we shall never enter upon controversies.

That were but a sorry art which could be comprehended all at once; the last point of which could be seen by one just entering its precincts.

That which I crave may everywhere be had, / With me I bring the one thing needful—love.

That which makes men happy is activity (die Thätigkeit), which, first producing what is good, soon changes evil itself into good by power working in a god-like manner.

The absent one is an ideal person; those who are present seem to one another to be quite commonplace. It is a silly thing that the ideal is, as it were, ousted by the real; that may be the reason why to the moderns their ideal only manifests itself in longing.

The all in all of faith is that we believe; of knowledge, what we know, as well as how much and how well.

The amateur, however weak may be his efforts at imitation, need not be discouraged,… for one advances to an idea the more surely and steadily the more accurately and precisely he considers individual objects. Only it will not do to measure one’s self with artists; every one must go on in his own style.

The apprehension and representation of what is individual is the very life of art.

The art of living is like every other art; only the capacity is born with us; it must be learned and practised with incessant care.

The artist stands higher than the art, higher than the object: he uses art for his own purposes, and deals with the object after his own fashion.

The beautiful is a manifestation of secret laws of nature, which, but for its appearance, had been for ever concealed from us.

The beautiful is higher than the good; the beautiful includes in it the good.

The best advice is, Follow good advice and hold old age in highest honour.

The best government is that which teaches us to govern ourselves.

The best is not to be explained by words.

The best thing which we derive from history is the enthusiasm which it raises in us.

The boy stands astonished; his impressions guide him; he learns sportfully; seriousness steals on him by surprise.

The capacity of apprehending what is high is very rare; and therefore, in common life a man does well to keep such things for himself, and only to give out so much as is needful to have some advantage against others.

The children of others we never love so much as our own; error, our own child, is so near our heart.

The Christian religion having once appeared, cannot again vanish; having once assumed its divine shape, can be subject to no dissolution.

The Christian religion, often enough dismembered and scattered abroad, will ever in the end again gather itself together at the foot of the cross.

The circle of noble-minded people is the most precious of all that I have won.

The Classical is healthy, the Romantic sickly.

The combined arts appear to me like a family of sisters, of whom the greater part were inclined to good company, but one was light-headed, and desirous to appropriate and squander the whole goods and chattels of the household—the theatre is this wasteful sister.

The confidant of my vices is my master, though he were my valet.

The conflict of the old, the existent, and the persistent, with development, improvement, and transfigurement is always the same. Out of every arrangement arises at last pedantry; to get rid of this latter the former is destroyed, and some time must elapse before we become aware that order must be re-established.

The corpse is not the whole animal; there is still something that appertains to it, still a corner-stone, and in this case, as in every other, a very chief corner-stone—life, the spirit that makes everything beautiful.

The credit of advancing science has always been due to individuals, never to the age.

The cuffs and thumps with which fate, our lady-loves, our friends and foes, put us to the proof, in the mind of a good and resolute man, vanish into air.

The decline of literature indicates the decline of the nation. The two keep pace in their downward tendency.

The deity works in the living, not in the dead; in the becoming and the changing, not in the become and the fixed.

The demonic in music stands so high that no understanding can reach it, and an influence flows from it which masters all, and for which none can account.

The demonic is that which cannot be explained by reason or understanding, which is not in one’s nature, yet to which it is subject.

The destiny of any nation at any given time depends on the opinions of its young men under five-and-twenty.

The divine power of the love, of which we cease not to sing and speak, is this, that it reproduces every moment the grand qualities of the beloved object, perfect in the smallest parts, embraced in the whole; it rests not either by day or by night, is ravished with its own work, wonders at its own stirring activity, finds the well-known always new, because it is every moment begotten anew in the sweetest of all occupations. In fact the image of the beloved one cannot become old, for every moment is the hour of its birth.

The effect of good music is not caused by its novelty; on the contrary, it strikes us more the more familiar we are with it.

The end of all opposition is negation, and negation is nothing.

The excellent is rarely found, more rarely valued.

The eye sees in all things what it brings with it the faculty of seeing.

The fair point of the line of beauty is the line of love. Strength and weakness stand on either side of it. Love is the point in which they unite.

The formation of his character ought to be the chief aim of every man.

The fresh air of the open country is the proper place to which we belong. It is as if the breath of God were there wafted immediately to men, and a divine power exerted its influence.

The future hides in it / Gladness and sorrow; / We press still thoro’; / Nought that abides in it / Daunting us—onward; / But solemn before us, / Veiled the dark portal, / Goal of all mortal. / Stars silent rest o’er us— / Graves under us, silent.

The generality never suspect the devil even when he has them by the throat.

The God who dwells in my bosom can stir my heart to its depths.

The gods are wont to save by human means.

The gods do not avenge on the son the misdeeds of the father. Each or good or bad reaps the due reward of his own actions. Parents’ blessing, not their curse, is inherited.

The gods, when they appear to man, are commonly unrecognised by them.

The golden age hath passed away, / Only the good have power to bring it back.

The golden age, that lovely prime, / Existed in the past no more than now. / And did it e’er exist, believe me, / As then it was, it now may be restored. / Still meet congenial spirits, and enhance / Each other’s pleasures in this beauteous world.

The good that passes by without returning, leaves behind it an impression that may be compared to a void, and is felt like a want.

The good-for-nothing is he who cannot command and cannot even obey.

The great point is not to pull down, but to build up, and in this humanity finds pure joy.

The great thing, after all, is only Forwards.

The greatest difficulties lie where we are not looking for them.

The greatest man is ever a son of man (Menschenkind).

The head cannot understand any work of art unless it be in company with the heart.

The heavenward path which a great man opens up for us and traverses generally, like the track of a ship through the water, closes behind him on his decease.

The height charms us, the steps to it do not; with the summit in our eye, we love to walk along the plain.

The herd of people dread sound understanding more than anything; they ought to dread stupidity, if they knew what was really dreadful. Understanding is unpleasant, they must have it pushed aside; stupidity is but pernicious, they can let it stay.

The highest gift which we receive from God and Nature is Life, the revolving movement, which knows neither pause nor rest, of the self-conscious being round itself. The instinct to protect and cherish life is indestructibly innate in every one, but the peculiarity of it ever remains a mystery to us and others.

The highest happiness of us mortals is to execute what we consider right and good; to be really masters of the means conducive to our aims.

The highest joys spring from those possessions which are common to all, which we can neither alienate ourselves nor be deprived of by others, to which kind Nature has given all an equal right—a right which she herself guards with silent omnipotence.

The Highest not merely has, but is, reason and understanding.

The highest problem of every art is, by means of appearances, to produce the illusion of a loftier reality.

The history of a man is his character.

The human mind will not be confined to any limits.

The ideal of beauty is simplicity and repose; from which it follows that no youth can be a master.

The imagination is a fine faculty; yet I like not when she works on what has actually happened; the airy forms she creates are welcome as things of their own kind; but uniting with reality she produces often nothing but monsters, and seems to me, in such cases, to fly into direct variance with reason and common-sense.

The impressions of our childhood abide with us, even in their minutest traces.

The instruction merely clever men can give us is like baked bread, savoury and satisfying for a single day; but flour cannot be sown, and seed-corn ought not to be ground.

The Israelitish people never was good for much, as its own leaders, judges, rulers, prophets have a thousand times reproachfully declared; it possesses few virtues, and most of the faults of other nations; but in cohesion, steadfastness, valour, and when all this would not serve, in obstinate toughness, it has no match.

The judgments of the understanding are properly of force but once, and that in the strictest cases, and become inaccurate in some degree when applied to any other.

The life of the Divine Man stands in no connection with the general history of the world in his time. It was a private life; his teaching was a teaching for individuals.

The life which renews a man springs ever from within.

The little done vanishes from the sight of man who looks forward to what is still to do.

The little man is still a man.

The little mind will not by daily intercourse with great minds become one inch greater; but the noble man … will, by a knowledge of, and familiar intercourse with, elevated natures, every day make a visible approximation to similar greatness.

The make-weight! The make-weight! which fate throws into the balance for us at every happiness! It requires much courage not to be down-hearted in this world.

The man of genius can be more easily misinstructed (verbildet) and driven far more violently into false courses than a man of ordinary capability.

The man to whom the universe does not reveal directly what relation it has to him, whose heart does not tell him what he owes to himself and others—that man will scarcely learn it out of books; which generally do little more than give our errors names.

The man who cannot enjoy his natural gifts in silence, and find his reward in the exercise of them, but must wait and hope for their recognition by others, must expect to reap only disappointment and vexation.

The man who in wavering times is inclined to be wavering only increases the evil, and spreads it wider and wider; but the man of firm decision fashions the universe.

The man who is born with a talent which he is meant to use, finds his greatest happiness in using it.

The man who small things scorns will next, / By things still smaller be perplexed.

The march of intellect, which licks all the world into shape, has reached even the devil.

The mechanical occupations of man, the watching any object, as it were, coming into existence by manual labour, is a very pleasant way of passing one’s time, but our own activity is at the moment nil. It is almost the same as with smoking tobacco.

The meditative heart / Attends the warning of each day and hour, / And practises in secret every virtue.

The memory of absent friends becomes dimmed, although not effaced by time. The distractions of our life, acquaintance with fresh objects, in short, every change in our condition, works upon our hearts as dust and smoke upon a painting, making the finely drawn lines quite imperceptible, whilst one does not know how it happens.

The mind must not yield to the body.

The misfortune in the state is that nobody can enjoy life in peace, but that everybody must govern; and in art, that nobody will enjoy what has been produced, but that every one wants to reproduce on his own account.

The moment must be pregnant and sufficient to itself if it is to become a worthy segment of time and eternity.

The more bustling the streets become, the more quietly one moves.

The more thou feelest thyself to be a man, so much the more dost thou resemble the gods.

The most delightful letter does not possess a hundredth part of the charm of a conversation.

The most happy man is he who knows how to bring into relation the end and the beginning of his life.

The most important period in the life of an individual is that of his development. Later on, commences his conflict with the world, and this is of interest only so far as anything grows out of it.

The most important thing is to learn to rule one’s self.

The most objectionable people are the quibbling investigators and the crotchety theorists; their endeavours are petty and complicated, their hypotheses abstruse and strange.

The most original modern authors are not so because they advance what is new, but simply because they know how to put what they have to say as if it had never been said before.

The most part of all the misery and mischief, of all that is denominated evil, in the world, arises from the fact that men are too remiss to get a proper knowledge of their aims, and when they do know them, to work intensely in attaining them.

The most sorrowful occurrence often, through the hand of Providence, takes the most favourable turn for our happiness; the succession of fortune and misfortune in life is intertwined like sleep and waking, neither without the other, and one for the sake of the other.

The native land of the poet’s poetic powers and poetic action is the good, noble, and beautiful, which is confined to no particular province or country, and which he seizes upon and forms wherever he finds it. Therein is he like the eagle.

The noble character at certain moments may resign himself to his emotions; the well-bred, never.

The older we get the more we must limit ourselves, if we wish to be active.

The only means of overcoming adversities is a fresh activity.

The only point now is what a man weighs in the scale of humanity; all the rest is nought. A coat with a star, and a chariot with six horses, at all events, imposes on the rudest multitude only, and scarcely that.

The pardon of an offence must, as a benefit conferred, put the offender under an obligation; and thus direct advantage at once accrues by heaping coals of fire on the head.

The particular is the universal seen under special limitations.

The passions are only exaggerated vices or virtues.

The past is to us a book sealed with seven seals—i.e., which no one need hope fully to open.

The philosopher must station himself in the middle.

The pious have always a more intimate connection with each other than the wicked, though externally the relationship may not always prosper as well.

The place once trodden by a good man is hallowed. After a hundred years his word and actions ring in the ears of his descendants.

The poet must find all within himself while he is left in the lurch by all without.

The poet must live wholly for himself, wholly in the objects that delight him.

The poet should seize the particular, and he should, if there is anything sound in it, thus represent the universal.

The presence of the wretched is a burden to the happy; and alas! the happy still more so to the wretched.

The present moment is a potent divinity.

The primary vocation of man is a life of activity.

The question of the purpose of things is completely unscientific.

The revolutionary outbreaks of the lower classes are the consequence of the injustice of the higher classes.

The rich man does not feel his wealth with any vividness.

The road which runs without a bend / Is that which hath a proper end.

The rude man requires only to see something going on. The man of more refinement must be made to feel. The man of complete refinement must be made to reflect.

The senses do not deceive us, but the judgment does.

The showy lives its little hour; the true / To after times bears rapture ever new.

The society of women is the element of good manners.

The soul is like the sun, which, to our eyes, seems to set in night; but it has in reality only gone to diffuse its light elsewhere.

The spirit in which we act is the highest matter.

The spiritual world is not closed; it is thy sense that is: thy heart is dead.

The spring can be apprehended only while it is flowing.

The stranger’s greeting thou shouldst aye return!

The style of an author is a faithful copy of his mind. If you would write a lucid style, let there first be light in your own mind; and if you would write a grand style, you ought to have a grand character.

The style of writing required in the great world is distinguished by a free and daring grace, a careless security, a fine and sharp polish, a delicate and perfect taste; while that fitted for the people is characterised by a vigorous natural fulness, a profound depth of feeling, and an engaging naïveté.

The sublime produces a beautiful calmness in the soul which, entirely possessed by it, feels as great as it ever can feel. When we compare such a feeling with that we are sensible of when we laboriously harass ourselves with some trifle, and strain every nerve to gain as much as possible for it, as it were, to patch it out, striving to furnish joy and aliment to the mind from its own creation, we then feel sensibly what a poor expedient, after all, the latter is.

The sun-steeds of time, as if goaded by invisible spirits, bear onward the light car of our destiny, and nothing remains for us but, with calm self-possession, to grasp the reins, and now right, now left, to steer the wheels, here from the precipice, and there from the rock. Whither he is hasting, who knows? Does any one consider whence he came?

The tendency of laws should be rather to diminish the amount of evil than to produce an amount of happiness.

The theatre has often been at variance with the pulpit; they ought not to quarrel. How much is it to be wished that in both the celebration of nature and of God were intrusted to none but men of noble minds!

The thoughts we have had, the pictures we have seen, can be again called back before the mind’s eye and before the imagination; but the heart is not so obliging; it does not reproduce its pleasing emotions.

The toil of life alone teaches us to value the blessings of life.

The true scholar learns from the known to unfold the unknown, and approaches more and more to being a master.

The True that is identical with the Divine can never be directly known by us; we behold it only in reflexion (Abglanz), in example, in symbol, in individual and related phenomena; we perceive it as incomprehensible life, which yet we cannot renounce the wish to comprehend. This is true of all the phenomena of the conceivable world.

The unconscious is the alone complete.

The useful encourages itself, for the multitude produce it, and no one can dispense with it; but the beautiful must be encouraged, for few can set it forth, and many need it.

The very nature of the dilettanti is that they have no idea of the difficulties which lie in a subject, and always wish to undertake something for which they have no capacity.

The violets and the mayflowers are as the inscriptions or vignettes of spring. It always makes a pleasant impression on us when we open again at these pages of the book of life, its most charming chapter.

The wealth we cannot wisely administer is an encumbrance.

The web of this world is woven of necessity and contingency; the reason of man places itself between them, and knows how to rule them both. It treats the necessary as the ground of its existence; the contingent it knows how to direct, lead, and utilise; and it is only while reason stands firm and steadfast that man deserves to be called the god of the earth. Woe to him who has accustomed himself from his youth to incline to find something arbitrary in what is necessary, who would fain ascribe a kind of reason to the contingent, which it were even a religion to follow; what is that but to disown one’s own understanding, and to give loose reins to one’s inclinations? We imagine it piety to saunter along (hinschlendern) without consideration, and to allow ourselves to be determined by agreeable accidents, and finally give to the results of such a vacillating life the name of Divine guidance.

The world cannot do without great men, but great men are very troublesome to the world.

The world is a grand book from which to become wiser.

The world is a prison.

The world is nothing but a wheel; in its whole periphery it is everywhere similar, but, nevertheless, it appears to us so strange, because we ourselves are carried round with it.

The world is wide enough for all to live and let live, and every one has an enemy in his own talent, who gives him quite enough to do. But no! one gifted man and one talented persecutes another … and each seeks to make the other hateful.

The world remains ever the same.

Then in the strife the youth puts forth his powers, / Knows what he is, and feels himself a man.

Theory and practice always act upon one another. It is possible to construe from what we do what we think, and from what we think what we will do.

Theory in and by itself is of no use except in so far as it proves to us the connection (Zusammenhang) that subsists among the phenomena.

There are certain times in our life when we find ourselves in circumstances, that not only press upon us, but seem to weigh us down altogether. They give us, however, not only the opportunity, but they impose on us the duty of elevating ourselves, and thereby fulfilling the purpose of the Divine Being in our creation.

There are men who dwell on the defects of their enemies. I always have regard to the merits of mine, and derive profit therefrom.

There are three religions—the religion which depends on reverence for what is above us, denominated the ethnic; the religion which founds itself on reverence for what is around us, denominated the philosophical; the religion grounded on reverence for what is beneath us, which we name the Christian.

There in others’ looks discover / What thy own life’s course has been, / And thy deeds of years past over, / In thy fellow-men be seen.

There is but one misfortune for a man, when some idea lays hold of him which exerts no influence upon his active life, or still more, which withdraws him from it.

There is in nature an accessible and an inaccessible. Be careful to discriminate between the two. Be circumspect, and proceed with reverence…. It is always difficult to see where the one begins and the other leaves off. He who knows it, and is wise, will confine himself to the accessible.

There is no outward sign of courtesy that does not rest on a deep moral foundation.

There is no patriotic art and no patriotic science.

There is no permanence in doubt; it incites the mind to closer inquiry and experiment, from which, if rightly managed, certainty proceeds, and in this alone can man find thorough satisfaction.

There is no vague general capability in men.

There is nothing beyond the pleasure which the study of Nature produces. Her secrets are of unfathomable depth, but it is granted to us men to look into them more and more.

There is nothing in the world more shameful than establishing one’s self on lies and fables.

There is nothing more charming than to see a mother with a child in her arms, and nothing more venerable than a mother among a number of her children.

There is nothing more frightful than for a teacher to know only what his scholars are intended to know.

There is nothing more frightful than imagination without taste.

There is nothing more pitiable in the world than an irresolute man, oscillating between two feelings, who would willingly unite the two, and who does not perceive that nothing can unite them.

There is nothing on earth without difficulty. Only the inner impulse, the pleasure it gives us, and love we feel, help us to overcome obstruction, to pave our way, and to raise ourselves out of the narrow circle in which others sorrowfully torture themselves.

There is nothing so terrible as activity without insight.

There is nothing to be found only once in the world.

There is nothing without us that is not also within us.

There is really something absurd about the Present; all that people think of is the sight, the touch of each other, and there they rest; but it never occurs to them to reflect upon what is to be gained from such moments.

There is something too dear in the hope of seeing again…. “Dear heart, be quiet:” we say; “you will not be long separated from those people that you love; be quiet, dear heart!” And then we give it in the meanwhile a shadow, so that it has something, and then it is good and quiet, like a little child whose mother gives it a doll instead of the apple which it ought not to eat.

There is still enough to satisfy one in spite of all misfortunes.

There where thou art, there where thou remainest, accomplish what thou canst.

Things will always right themselves in time, if only those who know what they want to do, and can do, persevere unremittingly in work and action.

Think ye that God made the universe, and then let it run round his finger? (am Finger laufen liesse).

Those only obtain love, for the most part, who seek it not.

Those only who know little can be said to know anything. The greater the knowledge the greater the doubt.

Those who set their minds to deny things, and are fond of pulling things to pieces, must be treated like deniers-of-motion; one need only keep incessantly walking up and down before them in as composed a manner as possible.

Thou art in the end what thou art.

Thou must renounce; thou must abstain! is the eternal song which sounds in the ears of every one, which every hour is singing to us all our life long.

Thou shall hear no more complaints from me; thou shalt hear only what happens to the wanderer.

Thought expands, but lames; action animates, but narrows.

Thoughts we have had and pictures we have seen can be recalled by the mind; but the heart is not so obliging; it does not reproduce our pleasing emotions.

Thu’ nur das Rechte in deinen Sachen, / Das Andre wird sich von selber machen—In thy affairs do thou only what is right, the rest will follow of itself.

Tief und ernstlich denkende Menschen haben gegen das Publikum einen bösen Stand—Deeply and earnestly thoughtful men stand on an unfavourable footing with the public.

Time is a strange thing. It is a whimsical tyrant, which in every century has a different face for all that one says and does.

Time is incalculably long, and every day is a vessel into which very much may be poured, if one will really fill it up.

’Tis always a delightful thing to see the human understanding following its imprescriptible rights in spite of all hindrances, and hurrying eagerly towards the utmost possible agreement between ideas and objects.

’Tis life itself to love.

’Tis life reveals to each his genuine worth.

’Tis not always necessary that truth should be embodied, it is sufficient if it hovers about in the spirit, producing harmony; if, like the chime of bells, it vibrates through the air solemnly and kindly.

’Tis not prudent, ’tis not well, to meet / With purposed misconception any man, / Let him be who he may.

’Tis not worth while quarrelling with the world, simply to afford it some amusement.

’Tis only humanity as a whole that perceives Nature, only men collectively that live the life of man.

’Tis only in Rome one can duly prepare one’s self for Rome.

’Tis the fate of the noblest soul to sigh vainly for a reflection of itself.

’Tis well for once to do everything one can do, in order to have the merit of knowing one’s self more intimately.

’Tis, in fact, utter folly to ask whether a person has anything from himself, or whether he has it from others, whether he operates by himself, or operates by means of others. The main point is to have a great will, and skill and perseverance to carry it out. All else is indifferent.

To a new truth nothing is more mischievous than an old error.

To acquire certainty in the appreciation of things exactly as they are, and to know them in their due subordination, and in their proper relation to one another—this is really the highest enjoyment to which we ought to aspire, whether in the sphere of art, of nature, or of life.

To act is easy, to think is hard; to act according to our thought is troublesome.

To adhere to what is set down in them, and appropriate to one’s self what one can for moral strengthening and culture, is the only edifying purpose to which we can turn the Gospels.

To appear well-bred, a man must actually be so.

To appreciate the noble is a gain which can never be torn from us.

To be a good poet and painter genius is required, and this cannot be communicated.

To be able simply to say of a man he has character, is not only saying much of him, but extolling him; for this is a rarity which excites respect and wonder.

To be introduced into a decent company, there is need of a dress cut according to the taste of the public to which one wishes to present one’s self.

To blow is not to play the flute; you must move the fingers as well.

To conquer inclination is difficult, but if habit, taking root, gradually associates itself with it, then it is unconquerable.

To fear is easy, but grievous; to reverence is difficult, but satisfactory.

To feel and respect a great personality, one must be something one’s self.

To fix a child’s attention on what is present, to give him a description of a name, is the best thing we can do for him.

To form a poet, the heart must be full to overflowing of noble feeling.

To gain what is fit ye’re able, / If ye in faith can but excel; / Such are the myths of fable, / If ye have observed them well.

To grasp, to seize, is the essence of all mastery.

To guard from error is not the instructor’s business; but to lead the erring pupil.

To have ascertained what is ascertainable, and calmly to reverence what is not, is the fairest portion that can fall to a thinking man.

To know of some one here and there with whom we accord, who is living on with us even in silence, this makes our earthly ball a peopled garden.

To live long is to outlive much.

To look at things as well as we can, to inscribe them in our memory, to be observant, and let no day pass without gathering something; then to apply one’s self to those branches of knowledge which give the mind a sure direction, to apportion everything its place, to assign to everything its value (in my opinion a genuine philosophy and a fundamental mathesis), this is what we have now to do.

To make proselytes is the natural ambition of every one.

To me the eternal existence of my soul is proved from my idea of activity. If I work incessantly unto my death, nature will give me another form of existence when the present can no longer sustain my spirit.

To pass through a bustling crowd with its restless excitement is strange but salutary. All go crossing and recrossing one another, and yet each finds his way and his object. In so great a crowd and bustle one feels himself perfectly calm and solitary.

To receive a simple primitive phenomenon, to recognise it in its high significance, and to go to work with it, requires a productive spirit, which is able to take a wide survey, and is a rare gift, only to be found in very superior natures.

To serve from the lowest station upwards (von unten hinauf) is in all things necessary.

To sow is not so difficult as to reap.

To strive to get rid of an evil is to aim at something definite, but to desire a better fortune than we have is blind folly.

To the capable man this world is not dumb.

To the exiled wanderer how godlike / The friendly countenance of man appears.

To the innocent, deliverance and reparation; to the misled, compassion; and to the guilty, avenging justice.

To the man of firm purpose all men and things are servile.

To understand one thing well is better than understanding many things by halves.

To understand that the sky is blue everywhere, we need not go round the world.

To write prose, one must have something to say, but he who has nothing to say can still make verses.

Travelling is like gambling; it is ever connected with winning and losing, and generally where least expected we receive more or less than we hoped for.

True art is like good company; it constrains us in the most charming way to recognise the standard after which and up to which our innermost being is shaped by culture.

True friendship often shows itself in refusing at the right time, and love often grants a hurtful good.

True music is intended for the ear alone; whoever sings it to me must be invisible.

True religion teaches us to reverence what is under us, to recognise humility and poverty, mockery and despite, wretchedness and disgrace, suffering and death, as things divine.Of the Christian religion.

True sense and reason reach their aim / With little help from art or rule. / Be earnest! Then what need to seek / The words that best your meaning speak?

Truly unhappy is the man who leaves undone what he can do, and undertakes what he does not understand; no wonder he comes to grief.

Truth contradicts our nature, error does not, and for a very simple reason: truth requires us to regard ourselves as limited, error flatters us to think of ourselves as in one or other way unlimited.

Truth is simple and gives little trouble, but falsehood gives occasion for the frittering away of time and strength.

Truth is simple indeed, but we have generally no small trouble in learning to apply it to any practical purpose.

Try to do your duty, and you at once know what is in you.

Über allen Gipfeln / Ist Ruh—Over all heights is rest.

Über vieles kann / Der Mensch zum Herrn sich machen, seinen Sinn / Bezwinget kaum die Not und lange Zeit—Man can make himself master over much, hardly can necessity and length of time subdue his spirit.

Überzeugung soll mir niemand rauben / Wer’s besser weiss, der mag es glauben—No one shall deprive of this conviction that a man’s faith in a thing is not weaker, but stronger, the better he knows it.

Um einen Mann zu schàtzen, muss man ihn / Zu prufen wissen—In order to estimate a man, one must know how to test him.

Um Gut’s zu thun, braucht’s keiner Ueberlegung; / Der Zweifel ist’s, der Gutes böse macht, / Bedenke nicht! gewähre wie du’s fühlst—To do good needs no consideration; it is doubt that makes good evil. Don’t reflect; do good as you feel.

Unbedingte Thätigkeit, von welcher Art sie sei, macht zuletzt bankerott—Undisciplined activity in any line whatever ends at last in failure.

Und wenn ich dich lieb habe, was geht es dich an?—And if I love thee, what is that to thee?

Und wenn ihr euch nur selbst vertraut, / Vertrauen euch die andern Seelen—And if ye only trust yourselves, other souls will trust you.

Und wer mich nicht verstehen kann, / Der lerne besser lesen—And let him who cannot understand me learn to read better.

Unfortunately friends too often weigh one another in their hypochondriacal humours, and in an over-exacting spirit. One must weigh men by avoirdupois weight, and not by the jeweller’s scales.

Unfortunately, it is more frequently the opinions expressed on things than the things themselves that divide men.

Ungern entdeck’ ich höheres Geheimniss—It is with reluctance I ever unveil a higher mystery.

Unless we are accustomed to them from early youth, splendid chambers and elegant furniture are for people who neither have nor can have any thoughts.

Unmöglich ist’s was Edle nicht vermögen—That is impossible which noble souls are unable to do.

Unter allen Völkerschaften haben die Griechen den Traum des Lebens am schönsten geträumt—Of all peoples the Greek has dreamt most enchantingly the dream of life.

Unter mancherlei wunderlichen Albernheiten der Schulen kommt mir keine so vollkommen lächerlich vor, als der Streit über die Aechtheit alter Schriften, alter Werke. Ist es denn der Autor oder die Schrift die wir bewundern oder tadeln? es ist immer nur der Autor, den wir vor uns haben; was kümmern uns die Namen, wenn wir ein Geisteswerk auslegen?—Among the manifold strange follies of the schools, I know no one so utterly ridiculous and absurd as the controversy about the authenticity of old writings, old works. Is it the author or the writing we admire or censure? It is always the author we have before us. What have we to do with names, when it is a work of the spirit we are interpreting?

Unto the youth should be shown the worth of a noble and ripened age, and unto the old man, youth; that both may rejoice in the eternal circle, and life may in life be made perfect.

Unverzeihlich find’ ich den Leichtsinn; doch liegt er im Menschen—Levity I deem unpardonable, though it lies in the heart of man.

Uprightness, judgment, and sympathy with others will profit thee at every time and in every place.

Ursprünglich eignen Sinn lass dir nicht rauben! / Woran die Menge glaubt, ist leicht zu glauben—Let no one conjure you out of your own native sense of things; what the multitude believe in is easy to believe.

Vain for the rude craftsman to attempt the beautiful; only one diamond can polish another.

Vernunft und Wissenschaft, Des Menschen allerhöchste Kraft!—Reason and knowledge, the highest might of man!

Verstellung, sagt man, sei ein grosses Laster, / Doch von Verstellung leben wir—Dissimulation they say is very wicked, yet we live by dissimulation.

Verzeiht! Es ist ein gross Ergötzen / Sich in den Geist der Zeiten zu versetzen, / Zu schauen, wie vor uns ein weiser Mann gedacht, / Und wie wir’s dann zuletzt so herrlich weit gebracht—Pardon! It is a great pleasure to transport one’s self into the spirit of the times, to see now a wise man thought before us, and to what a glorious height we have at last carried it.Wagner to Faust.

Viel Rettungsmittel bietest du? Was heisst’ es? / Die beste Rettung, Gegenwart des Geistes—Many a remedy offerest thou? What is the worth of it? The best remedy (the sole deliverance) is the presence of the spirit.

Vieles wünscht sich der Mensch, und doch bedarf er nur wenig; / Denn die Tage sind kurz, und beschränkt der Sterblichen Schicksal—Much wishes man for himself, and yet needs he but little; for the days are short, and limited is the fate of mortals.

Vollkommenheit ist die Norm des Himmels; / Vollkommenes Wollen, die Norm des Menschen—Perfection is the rule of heaven; to will the perfect, that of man.

Vom Rechte, das mit uns geboren ist, / Von dem ist, leider! nie die Frage—Of the right that is born with us, of that unhappily there is never a question.Mephistopheles in “Faust.”

Vom Vater hab’ ich die Statur, / Des Lebens ernstes Führen; / Von Mütterchen die Frohnatur, / Und Lust zu fabulieren—From my father inherit I stature and the earnest conduct of life; from motherkin my cheerful disposition and pleasure in fanciful invention.Of himself.

Von der Gewalt, die alle Wesen bindet, / Befreit der Mensch sich, der sich überwindet—From the power which constrains every creature man frees himself by overcoming himself.

Wann? wie? und wo? das ist die leidige Frage—When? how? and where? That is the vexing question.

Was du ererbt von deinen Vätern hast, / Erwirb es, um es zu besitzen. / Was man nicht nützt, ist eine schwere Last; / Nur was der Augenblick erschafft, das kann er nützen—What thou hast inherited from thy sires, acquire so as to possess it as thy own. What we use not is a heavy burden; only what the moment produces can the moment profit by.

Was gelten soll, muss wirken and muss dienen—To be of any worth a thing must be productive and serviceable.

Was glänzt ist für den Augenblick geboren; / Das Echte bleibt der Nachwelt unverloren—What dazzles is produced for the moment; what is genuine remains unlost to posterity.

Was hilft es mir, dass ich geniesse? Wie Träume fliehn die wärmsten Küsse, / Und alle Freude wie ein Kuss—What help is there for me in enjoyment? As dreams vanish the warmest kisses, and as such is all joy.

Was hilft’s, wenn ihr ein Ganzes dargebracht? / Das Publikum wird es euch doch zerpflücken—What boots it to present a whole? The public will be sure to pull it to pieces for you.

Was ich besitze, mag ich gern bewahren; der Wechsel unterhält, doch nützt er kaum—What I possess I would like to keep; change is entertaining, but is scarcely advantageous.

Was ich besitze, seh’ ich wie im weiten, / Und was verschwand, wird mir zu Wirklichkeiten—What I possess I see in the distance; and what has vanished becomes for me actuality.

Was ich nicht loben kann, davon sprech ich nicht—I do not speak of what I cannot praise.

Was im Leben uns verdriesst / Man im Bilde gern geniesst—What annoys us in life we enjoy in a picture.

Was ist unser höchstes Gesetz? Unser eigener Vortheil—What is our highest good? Our own advantage.

Was lehr’ ich dich vor allen Dingen? / Könntest mich lehren von meiner Schatte zu springen!—What before all shall I teach you? That you could teach me to jump off my shadow!

Was man in der Jugend wünscht, hat man im Alter die Fülle—What one wishes in youth one has to the full when old.By way of motto to the second part of his “Wahrheit und Dichtung.”

Was man nicht versteht, besitzt man nicht—What we don’t understand we do not possess.

Was man zu heftig fühlt, fühlt man nicht allzulang—Very acute suffering does not last long.

Was nützt, ist nor ein Theil des Bedeutenden—What is useful forms but a part of the important.

Was uns alle bändigt, das Gemeine—What enthrals us all is the common.

We are all collective beings, let us place ourselves as we may; for how little have we, and are we, that we can strictly call our own property?

We are here for the express purpose of stamping on things perishable an imperishable worth.

We are never farther from what we wish than when we fancy that we have what we wished for.

We are never properly ourselves till another thinks entirely as we do.

We are not called upon to judge ourselves. / With circumspection to pursue his path, / Is the immediate duty of a man.

We are not troubled by the evanescence of time, if the eternal is every moment present.

We are only so far worthy of esteem as we know how to appreciate.

We are rid of the Wicked One, but the wicked are still with us.

We are the slaves of objects round us, and appear little or important according as these contract or give us room to expand.

We are too good for pure instinct.

We can never soon enough convince ourselves how easily we can be dispensed with in the world.

We can offer up much in the large, but to make sacrifices in little things is what we are seldom equal to.

We can only know a little, and the question is merely whether or not we know this well.

We cannot all serve our country in the same way, but each may do his best, according as God has endowed him.

We cannot fashion our children after our fancy. We must have them and love them as God has given them to us.

We derive from nature no fault that may not become a virtue, no virtue that may not degenerate into a fault. Faults of the latter kind are most difficult to cure.

We draw the foam from the great river of humanity with our quills, and imagine to ourselves that we have caught floating islands at least.

We eagerly lay hold of a law that serves as a weapon to our passion.

We have, and this is an interesting fact, a plant which may serve as a symbol of the most advanced age, since, having passed the period of flowers and fruit, it still thrives cheerfully without further foundation.

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

We learn nothing from mere hearing, and he who does not take an active part in certain subjects knows them but half and superficially.

We learn to know a thing best in the place where it is native.

We learn to know nothing but what we love; and the deeper we mean to penetrate into any matter with insight, the stronger and more vital must our love and passion be.

We long to use what lies beyond our scope, / Yet cannot use even what within it lies.

We love a girl for very different things than understanding. We love her for her beauty, her youth, her mirth, her confidingness, her character, with its faults, caprices, and God knows what other inexpressible charms; but we do not love her for her understanding. Her mind we esteem (if it is brilliant), and it may greatly elevate her in our opinion; nay, more, it may enchain us when we already love. But her understanding is not that which awakens and inflames our passions.

We may almost say that a new life begins when a man once sees with his own eyes all that before he has but partially read or heard of.

We must all receive and learn both from those who were before us and from those who are with us. Even the greatest genius would not go far if he tried to owe everything to his own internal self.

We must first cross a valley before we regain a favourable and cheerful height; meanwhile, let us see how we can stroll through it with our friends pleasantly and profitably.

We must not take the faults of our youth with us into our old age, for old age brings with it its own defects.

We never learn what people are by their coming to us; we must go to them if we wish to know what they are made of, and see how they conduct or misconduct their surroundings.

We never see anything isolated in Nature, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it, and over it.

We never sufficiently consider that a language is properly only symbolical, only figurative, and expresses objects never immediately, but only in reflection; yet how difficult it is not to put the sign in place of the thing, always to keep the thing as it is (das Wesen) before one’s mind, and not annihilated by the expression (das Wort).

We ought not to isolate ourselves, for we cannot remain in a state of isolation. Social intercourse makes us the more able to bear with ourselves and with others.

We properly learn from those books only which are above our criticism, which we cannot judge.

We read far too many things, thus losing time and gaining nothing. We should only read what we admire.

We retain from our studies only that which we practically apply.

We see the blossoms wither and the leaves fall, but we likewise see fruits ripen and new buds shoot forth.

We should guard against a talent which we cannot hope to practise in perfection. Improve it as we may, we shall always in the end, when the merit of the master has become apparent to us, painfully lament the loss of time and strength devoted to such botching.

We should only utter higher maxims so far as they can benefit the world. The rest we should keep within ourselves, and they will diffuse over our actions a lustre like the mild radiance of a hidden sun.

We usually lose the to-day, because there has been a yesterday, and to-morrow is coming.

Welch Glück geliebt zu werden: / Und lieben, Götter, welch ein Glück!—What a happiness to be loved! and to love, ye gods, what bliss!

Wen Gott niederschlägt, der richtet sich selbst nicht auf—He raises not himself up again whom God smites down.

Wen jemand lobt, dem stellt er sich gleich—Every one puts himself on a level with him whom he praises.

Wenn das Leblose lebendig ist, so kann es auch wohl Lebendiges hervorbringen—When what is lifeless has life, it can also produce what has life.

Wenn du eine weise Antwort verlangst, / Musst du vernünftig fragen—If thou desirest a wise answer, thou must ask a reasonable question.

Wenn du nicht irrst, kommst du nicht zu Verstand—If thou dost not err, thou dost not come to understand.

Wenn ein Edler gegen dich fehlt, / So thu’ als hättest du’s nicht gezählt; / Er wird es in sein Schuldbuch schreiben / Und dir nicht lange im Debet bleiben—If a noble man has done thee a wrong, act as though thou hadst taken no note of it; he will write it in his ledger, and not remain long in thy debt.

Wenn ihr’s nicht fühlt, ihr werdet’s nicht erjagen—If you do not feel it, you will not get it by hunting for it.

Wenn man von den Leuten Pflichten fordert und ihnen keine Rechte zugestehen will, muss man sie gut bezahlen—When we exact duties from people and acknowledge no just claims they may have on us, we ought to pay them well.

Wenn man was Böses thut, erschrickt man vor dem Bösen—When people do evil, they are afraid of the Evil One.

Wenn sich der Verirrte findet / Freuen alle Götter sich—When the wanderer finds his way again, all the gods rejoice.

Wer darf das Kind beim rechten Namen nennen?—Who dare name the child by his right name?

Wer darf ihn nennen?—Who dare name Him?

Wer der Dichtkunst Stimme nicht vernimmt, / Ist ein Barbar, er sei auch wer er sei—He who has no ear for the voice of poesy is a barbarian, be he who he may.

Wer edel ist, den suchet die Gefahr / Und er sucht sie, sie müssen sich treffen—Whoso is noble, danger courts him, and he courts danger; so the two are sure to meet.

Wer fertig ist, dem ist nichts recht zu machen; / Ein Werdender wird immer dankbar sein—To him who is finished off, nothing you can do is right; a growing man (a learner) will be always thankful.

Wer fremde Sprachen nicht kennt, weiss nichts von seiner eignen—He who knows not foreign languages knows nothing of his own.

Wer ist der Weiseste? Der nichts anders weiss und will, als das was begegnet—Who is the wisest man? He who neither knows nor wishes for anything else than what happens.

Wer ist ein unbrauchbar Man? Der nicht befehlen und auch nicht gehorchen kann—Who is a good-for-nothing? He who can neither command nor even obey.

Wer kann was Dummes, wer was Kluges denken, / Das nicht die Vorwelt schon gedacht?—Who can think anything stupid or sensible that the world has not thought already?

Wer lange bedenkt, der wählt nicht immer das Beste—He who is long in making up his mind does not always choose the best.

Wer nichts für andre thut, thut nichts für sich—He who does nothing for others does nothing for himself.

Wer nie sein Brod mit Thränen ass, / Wer nicht die kummervollen Nächte / Auf seinem Bette weinend sass / Der kennt euch nicht, ihr himmlischen Mächte—He who never ate his bread with tears, who sat not on his bed through sorrowful nights weeping, he knows you not, ye heavenly Powers.

Wer will was Lebendig’s erkennen und beschreiben / Sucht erst den Geist herauszutreiben, / Dann hat er die Teile in seiner Hand, / Fehlt leider, nur das geistige Band—He who would know and describe anything living, sets himself to drive out the spirit first; he has then all the parts in his hand, only unhappily the living bond is wanting.Mephistopheles in “Faust.”

Were the eye not sun-related (sonnenhaft), it could never see the sun; were there not in us divine affinities, how could the divine so ravish us?

What a poor creature is the woman who, inspiring desire, does not also inspire love and reverence!

What a road had human nature to traverse before it reached the point of being mild to the guilty, merciful to the injurious, and humane to the inhuman! Doubtless they were men of godlike souls who first taught this, who spent their lives in rendering the practice of this possible, and recommending it to others.

What an inaccessible stronghold that man possesses who is always in earnest with himself and the things around him!

What are we great ones on the wave of humanity? We think we rule it when it rules us, and drives us up and down, hither and thither, as it listeth.

What avails a superfluity of freedom which we cannot use?

What by straight path cannot be reached, / By crooked ways is never won.

What do I gain from a man into whose eyes I cannot look when he is speaking, and the mirror of whose soul is veiled to me by a pair of glasses which dazzle me?

What glitters is for the moment; the genuine is for all time.

What has been written, as well as what has been actually done, shrivels up and ceases to be worth anything, until it has again been taken up into life, been again felt, thought, and acted upon.

What I cannot praise I speak not of.

What is called the spirit of the times is at bottom but the spirit of the gentlemen in which the times are mirrored.

What is excellent should never be carped at nor discussed, but enjoyed and reverentially thought over in silence.

What is genuine but that which is truly excellent, which stands in harmony with the purest nature or reason, and which even now ministers to our highest development! What is spurious but the absurd and the hollow, which brings no fruit—at least, no good fruit.

What is important is to have a soul which loves truth, and receives it wherever it finds it.

What is it that keeps men in continual discontent and agitation? It is that they cannot make realities correspond with their conceptions, that enjoyment steals away from among their hands, that the wished-for comes too late, and nothing reached and acquired produces on the heart the effect which their longing for it at a distance led them to anticipate.

What is my life if I am no longer to be of use to others?

What is nearest is often unattainably far off.

What is not true has this advantage that it can be eternally talked about; whereas about truth there is an urgency that cries out for its application, for otherwise it has no right to be there.

What is the best government? That which teaches us to govern ourselves.

What is the true test of character, unless it be its progressive development in the bustle and turmoil, in the action and reaction, of daily life?

What is there good in us if it is not the power and inclination to appropriate to ourselves the resources of the outward world, and to make them subservient to our higher ends?

What life only half imparts to man, posterity shall give entirely.

What matters it though the Gospels contradict each other if the Gospel does not contradict itself?

What men usually say of misfortunes, that they never come alone, may with equal truth be said of good fortune; nay, of other circumstances which gather round us in a harmonious way, whether it arise from a kind of fatality, or that man has the power of attracting to himself things that are mutually related.

What Nature does not reveal to thy spirit, thou wilt not wrench from her with levers and screws.

What shapest thou here at the world; ’Tis shapen long ago; / The Maker shaped it, He thought it best even so. / Thy lot is appointed, go follow its hest; / Thy journey’s begun, thou must move and not rest; / For sorrow and care cannot alter thy case, / And running, not raging, will win thee the race.

What though the foot be shackled; the heart is free.

What we do not use is a heavy burden.

What we don’t know is just what we need to know; and what we do know we can make no use of.

What we poor mortals have to do is to endure and keep ourselves upright as well and as long as we can. God disposes as he thinks best.

What’s fitting, that is right.

What’s not set about to-day is never finished on the morrow.

Whate’er disturbs his onward course, / Whate’er brings gloom or strife, / It must away, for e’er he sings / The poet must have life.

Whatever a man has to effect must emanate from him as a second self; and how would this be possible were not his first self entirely pervaded by it?

Whatever does not possess a true intrinsic vitality cannot live long, and can neither be nor ever become great.

Whatever is great promotes cultivation as soon as we are aware of it.

Whatever lifts a man out of the common herd always redounds to his advantage, even if it sink him into a new crowd, in the midst of which his powers of swimming and wading must be put to the test again.

Whatever we think out, whatever we take in hand to do, should be perfectly and finally finished, that a word, if it must alter, will only tend to spoil it; we have then nothing to do but to unite the severed, to recollect and restore the dismembered.

When a good man has talent, he always works morally for the salvation of the world.

When a man versed in his subject treats any topic lovingly and thoroughly, he gives us a share in his interest, and forces us to enter into the topic.

When a wife has a good husband it is easily seen in her face.

When all is said, the greatest art is to limit and isolate one’s self.

When at one with ourselves, we are so with others.

When children, we are sensualists; when in love, idealists.

When one does nothing else but while time away, it must of necessity often be a burden.

When one encourages the beautiful alone, and another encourages the useful alone, it takes them both to form a man.

When one is in love, one wishes to be in fetters.

When one is not received as one comes, this is a nether-fire pain.

When one is young, one is nothing completely.

When we take people merely as they are, we make them worse; when we treat them as if they were what they should be, we improve them as far as they can be improved.

When you are compelled to choose between two hated evils, look both full in the face, and choose that which least hampers the spirit and fetters pious deeds.

Where friends are in earnest, each day brings its own gain, so that at last the year, when summed up, is of incalculable advantage. Details in reality constitute the life; results may be valuable, but they are more surprising than useful.

Where none thou canst discern, make for thyself a path.

Where there is much light there is a darker shadow.

Wherefore ever ramble on? / For the good is lying near. / Fortune learn to seize alone, / For that Fortune’s ever here.

Wherein does barbarism consist, unless in not appreciating what is excellent?

Whether one show one’s self a man of genius in science or compose a song, the only point is, whether the thought, the discovery, the deed, is living and can live on.

Which is the great secret? The open secret—(open, that is, to all, seen by almost none).

Who but the poet was it that first formed gods for us; that exalted us to them, and brought them down to us?

Who can heal the woes of him to whom balm has become poison, who has imbibed hatred of mankind from the fulness of love?

Who coldly lives to himself and his own will may gratify many a wish; but he who strives to guide others well must be able to dispense with much.

Who does not help us at the needful moment never helps; who does not counsel at the needful moment never counsels.

Who does not in his friends behold the world, / Deserves not that the world should hear of him.

Who firmly can resolve, he conquers grief.

Who here with life would sport, / In life shall prosper never; / And he who ne’er will rule himself, / A slave shall be for ever.

Who is sure of his own motives can with confidence advance or retreat.

Who is the happiest man? He who is alive to the merit of others, and can rejoice in their enjoyment as if it were his own.

Who is the most sensible man? He who finds what is to his own advantage in all that happens to him.

Who knows art half, speaks much and is always wrong; who knows it wholly, inclines to act, and speaks seldom or late.

Who trusts in God fears not his rod.

Whoever aims at doing or enjoying all and everything with his entire nature, whoever tries to link together all that is without him by such a species of enjoyment will only lose his time in efforts that can never be successful.

Whoever can administer what he possesses, has enough, and to be wealthy is a burdensome affair, unless you understand it.

Whoever gives himself to this (evil-speaking and evil-wishing), soon comes to be indifferent towards God, contemptuous towards the world, spiteful towards his equals; and the true, genuine indispensable sentiment of self-estimation corrupts into self-conceit and presumption.

Whoever wishes to keep a secret must hide from us that he possesses one.

Whole, half, and quarter mistakes are very difficult and troublesome to correct and sift, and it is hard to set what is true in them in its proper place.

Whoso serves the public is a poor creature (ein armes Thier); he worries himself, and no one is grateful to him for his services.

Whoso would work aright must not concern himself about what is ill done, but only do well himself.

Whoso would write clearly must think clearly, and if he would write in a noble style, he must first possess a noble soul.

Why dost thou try to find / Where charity doth flow? / Upon the waters cast thy bread, / Who eats it, who may know?

Wie alles sich zum Ganzen webt / Eins in dem andern wirkt und lebt!—How everything weaves itself into the whole; one works and lives in the other.

Wie das Gestirn, / Ohne Hast, / Aber ohne Rast, / Drehe sich jeder / Um die eigne Last—Like a star, without haste, yet without rest, let each one revolve round his own task.

Wie der alte verbrennt, steigt der neue sogleich wieder aus der Asche hervor—(Our passions are true phœnixes;) when the old one is burnt out, the new one rises straightway out of its ashes.

Wie eng-gebunden des Weibes Glück!—How straitened is the lot of woman!

Wie fruchtbar ist der kleinste Kreis, / Wenn man ihn wohl zu pflegen weiss!—How fruitful the smallest space if we but knew how to cultivate it!

Wie schränkt sich Welt und Himmel ein, / Wenn unser Herz in seinen Schranken banget!—How earth and heaven contract when our heart frets within its barriers!

Wie? Wann? und Wo? Die Götter bleiben stumm / Du halte dich ans Weil, und frage nicht Warum?—How? when? and where? the gods keep silence. Keep you to the “Because,” and ask not “Why?”

Willst du dich am Ganzen erquicken, / So musst du das Ganze im Kleinsten erblicken—Wilt thou strengthen thyself in the whole, then must thou see the whole in the least object.

Willst du immer weiter schweifen? / Sieh, das Gute liegt so nah! / Lerne nur das Glück ergreifen, / Denn das Glück ist immer da—Wilt thou for ever roam? See, what is good lies so near thee! Only learn to seize the good fortune that offers, for it is ever there.

Willst du in’s Unendliche schreiten, / Geh’ nur im Endliche nach allen Seiten—Wouldst thou step forward into the infinite, keep strictly within the limits of the finite.

Willst lustig leben, geh’ mit zwei Säcken, / Einen zu geben, einen um einzustecken—Would you live a merry life, go with two wallets, one for giving out and one for putting in.

Wisdom is only in truth.

With every breath we draw, an ethereal stream of Lethe runs through our whole being, so that we have but a partial recollection of our joys, and scarcely any of our sorrows.

With narrow-minded persons, and those in a state of mental darkness, we find conceit; while with mental clearness and high endowments we never find it. In such cases there is generally a joyful feeling of strength, but since this strength is actual, the feeling is anything else you please, only not conceit.

With poetry, as with going to sea, we should push from the shore and reach a certain elevation before we unfurl all our sails.

With some life is exactly like a sleigh-drive, showy and tinkling, but affording just as little for the heart as it offers much to eyes and ears.

Within us all a universe doth dwell.

Without earnestness there is nothing to be done in life; yet among the people we name cultivated, little earnestness is to be found.

Wo fasse ich dich, unendliche Natur?—Where can I grasp thee, infinite Nature?

Wo viel Licht ist, ist starker Schatten—The shadow is deeper where the light is strong.

Woe to every sort of culture which destroys the most effectual means of all true culture, and directs us to the end, instead of rendering us happy on the way.

Wohl unglückselig ist der Mann, / Der unterlasst das, was er kann, / Und unterfängt sich, was er nicht versteht; / Kein Wunder, dass er zu Grunde geht—Unhappy indeed is the man who leaves off doing what he can do, and undertakes to do what he does not understand; no wonder he comes to no good.

Woman is mistress of the art of completely embittering the life of the person on whom she depends.

Woman, divorced from home, wanders unfriended like a waif upon the wave.

Women should learn betimes to serve according to station, for by serving alone she at last attains to the mastery, to the due influence which she ought to possess in the household.

Words are good, but they are not the best. The best is not to be explained by words.

Worte sind der Seele Bild—Words are the soul’s magic.

Worth many thousand is the first salute; / Him that salutes thee, therefore, friendly greet.

Wouldst thou a maiden make thy prize, / Thyself alone the bribe must be.

Wouldst thou travel the path of truth and goodness? Never deceive either thyself or others.

You accuse woman of wavering affection. Blame her not; she is but seeking a constant man.

You cannot have the ware and the money both at once; and he who always hankers for the ware without having heart to give the money for it, is no better off than he who repents him of the purchase when the ware is in his hands.

You never long the greatest man to be; / No! all you say is; “I’m as good as he.” / He’s the most envious man beneath the sun / Who thinks that he’s as good as every one.

You will as often find a great man above, as below, his reputation, when once you come to know him.

You will get more profit from trying to find where beauty is, than in anxiously inquiring what it is. Once for all, it remains undemonstrable; it appears to us, as in a dream, when we behold the works of the great poets and painters; and in short, of all feeling artists; it is a hovering, shining, shadowy form, the outline of which no definition holds.

You will never miss the right way if you only act according to your feelings and conscience.

Youth would rather be stimulated than instructed.

Youthful failing is not to be admired except in so far as one may hope that it will not be the failing of old age.

Zerstreutes Wesen führt uns nicht zum Ziel—A distracted existence leads us to no goal.

Zerstreuung ist wie eine goldene Wolke, die den Menschen, / Wär es auch nur auf kurze Zeit, seinem Elend entrückt—Amusement is as a golden cloud, which, though but for a little, diverts man from his misery.

Zu leben weiss ich, mich zu kennen weiss ich nicht—How to live I know, how to know myself I know not.

Zu schwer bezahlt man oft ein leicht Versehn—One often smarts pretty sharply for a slight mistake.

Zur Tugend der Ahnen / Ermannt sich der Held—The hero draws inspiration from the virtue of his ancestors.

Zwar sind sie an das Beste nicht gewöhnt, / Allein sie haben schrecklich viel gelesen—It is true they (the public) are not accustomed to the best, but they have read a frightful deal (and are so knowing therefore).The theatre manager in “Faust.”

Zwar weiss ich viel, doch möcht’ ich alles wissen—True, I know much, but I would like to know everything.“Faust.”

Zwei Seelen wohnen, ach! in meiner Brust, / Die eine will sich von der andern trennen—Two souls, alas! dwell in my breast; the one struggles to separate itself from the other.“Faust.”

Zweierlei Arten giebt es, die treffende Wahrheit zu sagen; / Oeffentlich immer dem Volk, immer dem Fürsten geheim—There are two ways of telling the pertinent truth—publicly always to the people, always to the prince in private.

Zwischen uns sei Wahrheit—Let there be truth between us.