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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe quotes page 1

1749 - 1832, German poet and philosopher

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

A useless life is an early death.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

This is the true measure of love: when we believe that we alone can love, that no one could
ever have loved so before us and that no one will ever love in the same way after us.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

There are two things children should get from their parents: roots and wings.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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

Age does not make us childish, as they say. It only finds us true children still.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A correct answer is like an affectionate kiss.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Life teaches us to be less harsh with ourselves and with others.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I love those who yearn for the impossible.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

First and last, what is demanded of genius is love of truth.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A teacher who can arouse a feeling for one single good action, for one single good poem,
accomplishes more than he who fills our memory with rows on rows of natural objects,
classified with name and form.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using
it.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

All the intelligent thoughts have already been thought. What is necessary is only to try to
think them again.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Without haste, but without rest.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Who strives always to the utmost, for him there is salvation.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

To know of someone here and there whom we accord with, who is living on with us, even in
silence - this makes our earthly ball a peopled garden.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

No one would talk much in society, if he knew how often he misunderstands others.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The greatest happiness for the thinking man is to have fathomed the fathomable, and to
quietly revere the unfathomable.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

One must be something to be able to do something.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Give me the benefit of your convictions, if you have any; but keep your doubts to yourself,
for I have enough of my own.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A talent is formed in stillness, a character in the world's torrent.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Noble be man, helpful and good. For that alone sets him apart from every other creature
on earth.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The only means to gain one's ends with people are force and cunning. Love also, they say;
but that is to wait for sunshine, and life needs every moment.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Beware of dissipating 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.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Of all peoples the Greeks have dreamt the dream of life best.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Men show their character in nothing more clearly than by what they think is laughable.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

It is in self-limitation that a master first shows himself.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

When ideas fail, words come in very handy.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The sum which two married people owe to one another defies calculation. It is an infinite
debt, which can only be discharged through all eternity.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The deed is everything, the glory nothing.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

He who does not know foreign languages does not know anything about his own.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Art is long; life short; judgement difficult; opportunity transient.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A true German can't stand the French, yet willingly he drinks their wines.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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