Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832)
German poet, novelist and dramatist

"In art the best is good enough."

"All our knowledge is symbolic."

"The deed is all, the glory nothing."

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

"I am not omniscient, but much is known to me."

"When ideas fail, words come in very handy."

"We are shaped and fashioned by what we love."

"Who thinks little of himself, is often more than he thinks."

"There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity."

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

"I can promise to be frank, I cannot promise to be impartial."

"Art is long, life short; judgment difficult, opportunity transient."

"A man that all the world hates, there must be something about him."

"You have to ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste."

"What government is the best? That which teaches us to govern ourselves."

"Whatever necessity lays upon thee, endure; whatever she commands, do."

"Be generous with kindly words, especially about those who are absent."

"Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean."

"All the knowledge I possess everyone can acquire, but my heart is all my own."

"People who think honestly and deeply have a hostile attitude towards the public."

"We really only know, when we don't know; with knowledge, doubt increases."

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Certain flaws are necessary for the whole. It would seem strange if old friends lacked certain quirks."

"He who possesses art and science has religion; he who does not possess them, needs religion."

"It is not enough to have knowledge, one must also apply it. It is not enough to have wishes, one must also accomplish."

"The highest problem in every art is, by means of appearances, to produce the illusion of a loftier reality."

"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words."

"Talents are best nurtured in solitude; character is best formed in the stormy billows of the world."

"The thinker makes a great mistake when he asks after cause and effect. They both together make up the indivisible phenomenon."

"The work of art may have a moral effect, but to demand moral purpose from the artist is to make him ruin his work."

"Every situation--nay, every moment--is of infinite worth, for it is the representative of a whole eternity."

"We can stand only a certain amount of unhappiness; anything beyond that annihilates us or passes us by, leaving us apathethetic."

"Why dost thou awake me, O breath of spring? Thou dost woo me and say:I cover thee with the dew of heaven! But the time of my fading is near, near is the storm that will scatter my leaves! Tomorrow the wanderer shall come. His eyes will search me in the field around, and will not find me."

Copyright: Kevin Harris 1995 (may be freely distributed with this acknowledgement)