The beauteous eyes of the spring’s fair night With comfort are downward gazing.
He only profits from praise who values criticism.
Mine is a most peaceable disposition. My wishes are: a humble cottage with a thatched roof, but a good bed, good food, the freshest milk and butter, flowers before my window, and a few fine trees before my door; and if God wants to make my happiness complete, He will grant me the joy of seeing some six or seven of my enemies hanging from those trees.
There is something marvelous in music. I might almost say it is, in itself, a marvel. Its position is somewhere between the region of thought and that of phenomena; a glimmering medium between mind and matter, related to both and yet differing from either. Spiritual, and yet requiring rhythm; material, and yet independent of space.
The spring’s already at the gate With looks my care beguiling; The country round appeareth straight A flower-garden smiling.
The artist is the child in the popular fable, every one of whose tears was a pearl. Ah! the world, that cruel step mother, beats the poor child the harder to make him shed more pearls.
A blaspheming Frenchman is a spectacle more pleasing to the Lord than a praying Englishman.
God will forgive me the foolish remarks I have made about Him just as I will forgive my opponents the foolish things they have written about me, even though they are spiritually as inferior to me as Ito thee, O God.
There are more fools in the world than there are people.
Ordinarily he was insane, but he had lucid moments when he was merely stupid.
It is a common phenomenon that just the prettiest girls find it so difficult to get a man.
If the Romans had been obliged to learn Latin they would never have found time to conquer the world.
Sleep is lovely, death is better still, not to have been born is of course the miracle.
The fundamental evil of the world arose from the fact that the good Lord has not created money enough.
Experience is a good school, but the fees are high.
Literary history is the great morgue where all seek the dead ones whom they love, or to whom they are related.
I fell asleep reading a dull book and dreamed I kept on reading, so I awoke from sheer boredom.
The weather-cock on the church spire, though made of iron, would soon be broken by the storm-wind if it … did not understand the noble art of turning to every wind.
It must require an inordinate share of vanity and presumption, too, after enjoying so much that is good and beautiful on earth, to ask the Lord for immortality in addition to it all.
Communism possesses a language which every people can understand.—Its elements are hunger, envy, and death.
Matrimony is the high sea for which no compass has yet to be invented.
Great genius takes shape by contact with another great genius, but, less by assimilation than by fiction.
Oh what lies lurk in kisses!
The lotus flower is troubled
At the sun’s resplendent light;
With sunken head and sadly
She dreamily waits for the night.
God will forgive me. It’s his job.
If all Europe were to become a prison, Ameriea would still present a loop-hole of escape; and, God be praised! that loop-hole is larger than the dungeon itself.
Nothing is sillier than this charge of plagiarism. There is no sixth commandment in art. The poet dare help himself wherever he lists—wherever he finds material suited to his work. He may even appropriate entire columns with their carved capitals, if the temple he thus supports be a beautiful one. Goethe understood this very well, and so did Shakespeare before him.
Poverty sits by the cradle of all our great men, and rocks them up to manhood; and this meager foster-mother remains their faithful companion throughout life.
The Wedding March always reminds me of the music played when soldiers go into battle.
Be entirely tolerant or not at all; follow the good path or the evil one. To stand at the crossroads requires more strength than you possess.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Berthold Auerbach German Novelist
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe German Poet
- Friedrich Schiller German Poet
- Johann Gottfried Herder German Poet, Literary Critic
- Konrad Adenauer German Statesman
- Novalis German Romantic Poet
- Friedrich Nietzsche German Philosopher, Scholar
- Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi German Philosopher
- Wilhelm von Humboldt German Statesman, Scholar
- Erwin Rommel German Field Marshal