Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

German poet, novelist, playwright, courtier, and natural philosopher, one of the greatest
figures in Western literature. In literature Goethe gained early fame with The Sorrows
of Young Werther
(1774), but his most famous work is the poetic drama in two parts,
FAUST. Like the famous character of this poem, Goethe was interested in alchemy. He
also made important discoveries in connection with plant and animal life, and evolved
a non-Newtonian and unorthodox theory of the character of light and color, which
has influenced such abstract painters as Kandinsky and Mondrian.

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Mozart died in his six- and thirtieth year.  Raphael at the same age.  Byron only a little older.  But all these had perfectly fulfilled their missions; and it was time for them to depart, that other people might still have something to do in a world made to last a long while.
Go to the place where the thing you wish to know is native; your best teacher is there. . . . You acquire a language most readily in the country where it is spoken, you study mineralogy best among miners, and so with everything else.

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.  Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:  that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.  All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.  A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no person could have dreamed would have come his or her way.  Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.

Even the lowliest, provided they are whole, can be happy, and in their own way, perfect.
Life belongs to the living, and those who live must be prepared for changes.

People should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of their lives, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.


Nature is the living, visible garment of God.


Take care of your body with steadfast fidelity.
The soul must see through these eyes alone, and
if they are dim, the whole world is clouded.


For a contented life:

Health enough to make work a pleasure.
Wealth enough to support your needs.
Strength to battle with difficulties and overcome them.
Grace enough to confess your sins and forsake them.
Patience enough to toil until some good is accomplished. 
Charity enough to see some good in your neighbor. 
Love enough to move you to be useful and helpful to others.
Faith enough to make real the things of God.
Hope enough to remove all anxious fears concerning your future.


Nothing shows our character more than what we laugh at.

There are but two roads that lead to an important goal and to the doing of great things:
strength and perseverance.  Strength is the lot of but a few privileged people;
but austere perseverance, harsh and continuous, may be employed
by the smallest of us and rarely fails in its purpose,
for its silent power grows irresistibly greater with time.


We must not hope to be mowers,
And to gather the ripe gold ears,
Unless we have first been sowers
And watered the furrows with tears.
It is not just as we take it,
This mystical world of ours,
Life's field will yield as we make it
A harvest of thorns or of flowers.



They are happiest, be they king or peasant, who find peace in their home.


A reasonable person needs only to practice moderation to find happiness.

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


Who are the happiest of people?  They who value the merits of others,
and in their pleasure take joy, even as though t'were their own.

Happy the people who early learn the wide chasm that lies between their wishes and their powers.

Rest not.  Life is sweeping by; go and dare before you die.
Something mighty and sublime, leave behind to conquer time.


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



I am what I am, so take me as I am!

The people with insight enough to admit their limitations comes nearest to perfection.

God made people simple, but how they changed and got complicated is hard to say.

Nothing is worth more than this day.

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

It is better to do the most trifling thing in the world than to regard half an hour as trifle.

People must strive, and in striving, err.

In the realm of ideas, everything depends on enthusiasm;
in the real world, all rests on perseverance.

We are never further from our wishes than when
we imagine that we possess what we have desired.


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



To think is easy.  To act is difficult.  To act
as one thinks is the most difficult of all.

Knowing is not enough, we must apply.
Willing is not enough, we must do.


Life's objective is life itself.


Treat people as if they were what they should be,
and you help them become what they are capable of becoming.



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

We can't form our children on our own concepts;
we must take them and love them as God gave them to us.

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.


How people keep correcting us when we are young!  There's always
some bad habit or other they tell us we ought to get over.  Yet most
bad habits are tools to get us through life.


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