''Like a prophet, you are possibly teaching us about the workings of the divine mind, but in the process you are ruining the human mind, dear friend.''
''Jealousy is a grievous passion that jealously seeks what causes grief.''
''Prose and poetry are as different as food and drink.''
''What I like best about your system? It is as incomprehensible as the world.''
''To test a modest man's modesty do not investigate if he ignores applause, find out if he abides criticism.''
''Let the will embrace the highest ideals freely and with infinite strength, but let action first take hold of what lies closest.''
''Do you call the jewel blind, because your eye is?''
''The present is never poetic as it serves necessity, necessity, however, is prosaic.''
''Once you have looked at the land from atop the Kahlenberg, you will understand what I write and who I am.''
''The military and the clergy cause us much annoyance; the clergy and the military, they empty our wallets and rob our intelligence.''
''Only by himself, with one acre and a house, will a dunce be a dunce. Once he manages to gain power, he'll turn into a scoundrel.''
''Transcendence: that which transcends experience.''
''Grief, first take on shape! what is shapeless causes fear and torment but when the enemy materializes, half the victory is won.''
''Someone who is reluctant to say what he needs to say, often ends up doing so with an insolence whose crassness is proportionate to his fear, once he gathers the necessary courage.''
''The thing that pleases is not always good and, helas, the good thing does not always please.''
''You say I'm small? I certainly can relate, although it is a matter of perspective. The distance is deceptive, my friend, you stand too low.''
''Genius resembles a bell; in order to ring it must be suspended into pure air, and when a foreign body touches it, its joyful tone is silenced.''
''It's actually the spirit helping the spirit; it is the doctor, the bed, the potion.''
''Genius differs from talent not by the amount of original thoughts, but by making the latter fertile and by positioning them properly, in other words, by integrating everything into a whole, whereas talent produces only fragments, no matter how beautiful.''
''Strength, strength alone, is honorable, the German nation clamors in its majesty. But since it is hard to muster strength so suddenly, they have to make do with boorishness.''
''Just let him be minister if that's what he desires, but without his brother and his brother-in-law.''
''Since love is folly, a foolish woman is more dangerous than a wise one.''
''He is like all the rest: a slave to profit, a master only to his bent for negotiating the best deal.''
''You adorn me with your own opulence. May you never revoke all that you lent me!''
''How great seems human progress when we consider where it began, and how insignificant, when we contemplate the goals for which it strives.''
''There is one privilege we'll never lose; currently it's called nationality. It means that everyone was born somewhere, which is in fact self-evident.''
''A person who looks different all the time frightens me. Only one animal changes its skin: the snake.''
''Erroneous views and presumptuousness send a talent to the insane asylum.''
''Before passing different laws for different people, I'd relinquish myself unto you as your slave.''
''Captivating the spirit of the age is a matter of great talent; being swept away by it characterizes an average mind. The two are as different from one another as activity and passivity.''
''History is the zoology of the human race.''
''Profundity easily turns into dullness and astuteness deteriorates into wit. Be guided by natural common sense and it will accommodate great and small.''
''Boundless in your charity, but shrewd and cautious as a lender, you delight all those today whom you made beggars the day before.''
''Woman is the crown of all creation, but Man is the head who wears it, and even the servant is master in his house.''
''The spirit of poetry combines the profundity of the philosopher and the child's delight in bright pictures.''
''When mundane, lowly activities are at stake, too much insight is detrimental—far-sightedness errs in immediate concerns.''
''Man will return to his origins. Goethe has finally become as squiggly as the city of his fathers.''
''Bunglers and pedants judge art according to genre; they approve of this and dismiss that genre, but instead of genres, the open-minded connoisseur appreciates only individual works.''
''Distinctly different as a child, as an adolescent, in his prime and in his old age, man considers himself as one, not because he acts, but because he knows.''
''What's the meaning of all the pious clamor, condemning cocks and hens? Those who have no teeth are the greatest meat-haters.''
''Many said selfishness was the flaw of our modern age; but then self-conceit emerged from a corner of the deepest hell to join selfishness.''
''Even with limited intelligence, knowing oneself is not as difficult as some say, but to act according to what one has realized about oneself in real life is as difficult as practicing anything else, compared to theory.''
''This searching and doubting and vacillating where nothing is clear but the arrogance of quest. I, too, had such noble ideas when I was still a boy.''
''I understand the phrase "Honor the Women" all too well: the poet has probably a wife of his own, but he prefers to honor another.''
''Lap-dogs and blood-hounds enjoy the greatest respect at court; house-dogs and no dogs at all are not even considered.''
''Today is, after all, today, but yesterday is of the same substance as tomorrow.''
''Schiller moves upward. Goethe comes from up above.''
''Metaphysics must be based on what exists, for it has the task of explicating it.''
''I am a woman, and even if I could proceed with harshness and rigidity, it would disgust me nonetheless.''
''If someone were to think that trees are made to support the sky, they would all seem too short.''
''Plato calls complacency the companion of loneliness.''
''This is too much: I am a human being! Only an angel can forget such a blow, and only a devil can compensate enough for it!''
''The Germans believe that, no matter where, they can get by on knowledge alone. Art, however, requires skill.''
''Do old people always live in the past? What yesterday was firm and true, may not be so today.''
''Soon there will be nothing truly profound that is not achieved by everyone, and of the difficult things in this world only one will be left: simplicity.''
''Our poetry emulates the recent progress in military strategy: Our army's strength is the foot soldiers.''
''Without a notion of the transcendental, human beings would, indeed, be animals; however, only fools can be convinced of it, and only degenerates need such a conviction.''
''If we notice a few errors in the work of a proven master, we may and even will often be correct; if we believe, however, that he is completely and utterly mistaken, we are in danger of missing his entire concept.''
''Is it true that one travels in order to know mankind? It is easier to get to know other people at home, but abroad one gets to know oneself.''
''Critics are reprimanded when they get sarcastic. How absurd! Is the torch of criticism supposed to shine without burning?''
''The old harlot, German philosophy, has finally turned into a church lady.''
''What a pathetic creature is man! His senses are awakened by the hope for the very thing whose consummation puts him to sleep.''
''Although your knowledge is weak and small, you need not be silent: Since you cannot be judges be at least witnesses.''
''A man may welcome his beloved with circumstance, but a woman's love and her concern for his well-being are discreet.''
''"What are the characteristics of today's world so that one may recognize it by them?" It pays pensions and borrows money: credit and monuments.''
''Mozart starved, but you allow Thalberg and Liszt make tons of gold: Of course, you may think that someone immortal cannot die of hunger.''
''He who takes people for smart pays an expensive lesson.''
''Progress will always have as its recourse to exaggerate what it cannot surpass.''
''A cure by regression is homeopathic, like healing the damage done by ministers and ignorance with stupidity and Jesuits.''
''At certain times, men regard poetry merely as a bright flame, but to women it was, and always will be, a warm fire.''
''The noble woman is half a man, even a complete one. Only their imperfections make them women.''
''Isn't it awful that cold feet make for a cold imagination and that a pair of woollen socks induce good thoughts!''
''Who could deny that our Austria is richer than any other country? As the saying goes: "We have money like manure."''
''Compilers resemble gluttonous eaters who devour excessive quantities of healthy food just to excrete them as refuse.''
''You ardently strive for freedom, and I do wish you were free—but, rather than for your sake, so that government won't be.''
''Turning popular opinion upside down does not make an original.''
''It is not a matter of desire, but of coercion and duty.''
''Our age believed herself pregnant with auspicious progeny, but when her hour came, it turned out to be dropsy.''
''Recently, the Germans have developed a tendency to prefer the so-called first (youthful) style of great artists to their mature works. Could it be that they do not realize that their aesthetic criteria, generally speaking, are juvenile?''
''Man lives two lives, woe, were it otherwise! One is seized by death, the other one, his honor, remains.''
''The embers glowing in his bosom could set the world on fire, but they cannot warm the heart of a single human being.''
''I'd wish the government took honest people into consideration, it shows enough consideration for scoundrels.''
''If human beings are immortal, so are animals. If matter has the ability to remember, it also has the ability to think.''
''Perhaps the most embarrassing experience is being caught at a lie by a simpleton who sneers at our asinine cleverness.''
''Why does the past look so enticing to us? For the same reason why from a distance a meadow with flowers looks like a flower bed.''
''Who claims that the heathen's view of the world is incorrect? Life gives you nothing! It is ruled by false gods! Nothing remains true to you but your own self; provided you remain true to it.''
''Nothing genuinely historical was ever lost in this country. For this reason we have two ruling parties: villains and fools.''
''Why do villains have so much influence? Because the honest people are terribly dense.''
''The courts used to be, fair and square, the avengers of secular crimes; but nowadays they demand respect even for the criminal.''
''The likeness of the world? A shadow! And world's glory? A dream!''
''I love the pride whose measure is its own eminence and not the insignificance of someone else.''
''If you think that nobility consists of having sixteen ancestors rather than merit, great Prince, then you may—and you may also praise or condemn me.''
''A pious woman's neighbor, a philanthropist's child, a liberal's servant—these three have a hard life.''
''Poetry, it is often said and loudly so, is life's true mirror. But a monkey looking into a work of literature looks in vain for Socrates.''
''Which people desire to lose what they possess? A sick man his fever, a tormented husband his wife, a gambler his debts, and a girl—her virginity.''
''In order to succeed in a profession, a person not only needs to have its good, but also its bad qualities. The former are the spirit, the latter is the body of the job.''
''There shall be no slave in your home, male or female: Least of all the mother of your son.''
''I look around me and nowhere do I see a stamp of disapproval with which nature marked a woman's candid brow.''
''Prose talks and poetry sings.''
''Science and art, or by the same token, poetry and prose differ from one another like a journey and an excursion. The purpose of the journey is its goal, the purpose of an excursion is the process.''
''From a distance the rushing of the torrent delights and uplifts us, but it rocks us in a flimsy boat, we are overwhelmed by despair. The same applies to danger.''
''Austrian soldiers are like horses: brave but easily frightened.''
''A heart that overflows may seek out merrymaking and boisterous festivities to quietly rejoice, unnoticed amidst the reveling crowds.''
''The uneducated person perceives only the individual phenomenon, the partly educated person the rule, and the educated person the exception.''
''Ideas are not thoughts; the thought respects the boundaries that the idea ignores thereby failing to realize itself.''
''How can you say that love is blind? Keener than a young eagle's is its sight.''
''Just as the queen bee, the highest-ranking, peerless creature of her hive, is surrounded by lowly drones to please her, whereas the workers produce honey, the same way is the one who sits on the throne an equal only to himself, and no one's companion.''
''The ramparts of Vienna are crumbling into the sand; no one wants to live so confined, however, the entire country is already surrounded by a Chinese wall!''
''Swear words and profanities are mere abbreviations of speech, similar to the abbreviations in writing.''
''When we interpret nature, we refer phenomena that are rarely entirely unintelligible back to something that actually exists, but is equally unintelligible.''
''They are miserly, the princes of Austria, you need not grieve about it; they may not donate anything, but they allow themselves to be fleeced, the good lords.''
''Uneducated people are unfortunate in that they do grasp complex issues, educated people, on the other hand, often do not understand simplicity, which is a far greater misfortune.''
''The art of acting presupposes three phases: understanding a part, intuiting a part, and contemplating the essence of a part.''
''No matter which word it is, when I pronounce repeatedly, it ends up sounding utterly ridiculous and meaningless to me.''
''The plot! The plot! What kind of plot could a poet possibly provide that is not surpassed by the thinking, feeling reader? Form alone is divine.''
''Caution is the daughter of circumspection, but she tends to outgrow her mother.''
''I am considered a misanthropist now and then, because I do not socialize with many people. But it's only my mind that avoids you, my heart is still with you, and seeks the distance so that it can keep on loving you.''
''A woman's passion is not the measure of a man's love.''
''A tailor can adapt to any medium, be it poetry, be it criticism. As a poet, he can mend, and with the scissors of criticism he can divide.''
''The character of the crowds is made up of mimicry and hostility.''
''Let no one say that taking action is hard. Action is aided by courage, by the moment, by impulse, and the hardest thing in the world is making a decision.''
''I notice well that one stray step from the habitual path leads irresistibly into a new direction. Life moves forward, it never reverses its course.''
''To enlist the support of the people and of parliament, you only have to propose a profitable villainy.''
''No spoon has yet destroyed a mouth, but the knife of war cuts portions that are hard to swallow. Perhaps the big mouths of the privileged are able to cope with them, but they dull the teeth of the little people and ruin their stomachs.''
''A flutist who is moved to tears by his own performance will soon make the listeners laugh because of the sounds that he produces.''
''You can make the best of it and be content, or you can complain, it makes no difference. What does it matter that human beings judge the things that exist?''
''A love that dies has never lived.''
''A wise man can and should stand above his times, not so the poet, but he should be their apex.''
''Much as I honor the wisdom of the princess—there is something more dashing about a man.''
''No shortcomings of other people cause us to be more intolerant than those which are caricatures of our own.''
''Human life, old and young, takes place between hope and remembrance. The young man sees all the gates to his desires open, and the old man remembers—his hopes.''
''The sun of a prince's good graces resembles that in the skies in that it shines most kindly upon the blackest people.''
''What is done for the children is doubly beneficial, since their success, obvious to everyone, educates the parents as well.''
''When receiving an order, many servants repeat their "yes" numerous times, especially the lazy ones.''
''Disregard for the consequences and for right and wrong nowadays passes as energy.''
''I cannot be exacting because I respect myself.''
''What raises great poetry above all else—it is the entire person and also the entire world.''
''The first indication of a young person's growing smarter is that he no longer understands the things which he used to consider quite intelligible and self-evident.''
''The course of modern learning leads from humanism via nationalism to bestiality.''
''An uprising would punish only the country, and that is out of the question. But there is yet another approach, the most effective form of resistance: contemptuous compliance.''
''The office of the prince and that of the writer are defined and assigned as follows: the nobleman gives rank to the written work, the writer provides food for the prince.''
''Drink and be thankful to the host! What seems insignificant when you have it, is important when you need it.''
''The ideas of an age are most abundant where they are not crowded by original ideas.''
''The most irascible person is most likely to become apathetic in dangerous situations.''
''The verdict on Prince Metternich will soon be out: An excellent diplomat and a bad politician.''
''Genius unrefined resembles a flash of lightning, but wisdom is like the sun.''
''German diligence is actually endurance.''
''I would love to be able to write a tragedy in my imagination—it would turn into a masterpiece.''
''They are not sleeping, but even if they were fast asleep, I'd respect their dreams more than your waking thoughts.''
''The real genres: good and bad.''
''It is the emotions to which one objects in Germany most of all.''
''She sought her happiness exclusively in the happiness of others. Death gave her her own.''
''Those whom the gods chose as their property must not consort with mortals.''
''The manifestation of poetry in external life is formal perfection. True sentiment grows within, and art must represent internal phenomena externally.''
''Whoever places his trust into a system will soon be without a home. While you are building your third story, the two lower ones have already been dismantled.''
''In the arts, foolhardiness is always harmful; even worse, however, is clumsiness.''
''It is fair to despise a cowardly man, but the female sex is strongest when it's weak.''
''To declaim freedom verses seems like a poem within a poem; freedom requires guns, it requires arms, but no feet.''
''The prince exults whomever he selects as his consort, but the queen, rather than elevating the subject of her choice, humiliates him as a man. By all that is right, a man is not intended to be the husband of his wife, but a woman is to be her husband's wife.''
''I know how ingratitude burns, how falsehood tortures, for I have been deceived in friendship and in love; I have learned to lose and to resign myself.''
''Why do comparisons of words and tone poems (poetry and music) never take into consideration that the word is a mere signifier, but that the sound, aside from being a signifier, is also an object?''
''Feeling and thinking are actually the blind man who carries the lame.''
''Those who want to row on the ocean of human knowledge do not get far, and the storm drives those out of their course who set sail.''
''No one will stop to help you when you are in need, but everyone forces opinions upon you that you do not require.''
''The state has no religion for the simple reason that it has each and everyone.''
''Pity, but never love bestows kind words upon the slave.''
''As long as they desire the same object, they are of one mind, but having to achieve the same thing immediately disrupts their unanimity.''
''Two soldiers and a villain are enough to blow up the rights of the citizens.''
''Chance arrives unannounced. It emerges, and when it leaves, we are lucky if the changes it has produced are only external.''
''Moons and years pass by and are gone forever, but a beautiful moment shimmers through life a ray of light.''
''"Mankind is getting smarter every day." Actually, it only seems so. "At least we are making progress." We're progressing, to be sure, ever more deeply into the forest.''
''Since people no longer attend church, theater remains as the only public service, and literature as the only private devotion.''
''The main reason why men and women make different aesthetic judgments is the fact that the latter, generally incapable of abstraction, only admire what meets their complete approval.''
''Gratitude is a fickle thing, indeed. A person taking aim presses the weapon to his chest and cheek, but when he hits, he discards it with indifference.''
''It is good insofar as it is not evil.''
''Servants honor their master by their service.''
''The graceful flowers of innocence are more valuable than the laurel crown of fame.''
''Art is eternally young, but the poet ages. If only he remained as young as art! If only it aged with him!''
''Few colors last; with their eternal thirst, time and light suck on them, and they bleach the black doctor's hat until it's grey like a dunce's cap.''
''North and West have always vied for power and territory, but their recent competition as to which one is more insidious of the two has been more peaceful.''
''It's the misfortune of German authors that not a single one of them dares to expose his true character. Everyone thinks that he has to be better than he is.''
''If someone took the finest marble and knew how to shape it artfully: Prometheus' material was lowly clay, but his statues walked.''
''Reason and the ability to use it are two separate skills.''
''Dilettantes appreciate the work, professors the master at the same time.''
''Drive the women from the bed just as you drove them from the choir; a eunuch sings in Rome, and the priests masturbate.''
''Trying to conceal a crime is like burying a seed in the ground.''
''Morality, a muzzle for the will; logic, a climbing iron for the mind.''
''Art compares to nature like wine to the grape.''
''It is open to question whether the highly individualized characters we find in Shakespeare are perhaps not detrimental to the dramatic effect. The human being disappears to the same degree as the individual emerges.''
''Never expect any recognition here—the system prohibits it. The cross is not affixed to the genius, no, the genius is affixed to the cross.''
''My anger thought you too ignoble for my love, and close examination finds you too magnificent, and only equals are joined together smoothly.''
''How frightening it is to have reached the height of human accomplishment in art that must forever borrow from life's abundance.''
''You even called me stupid in your verse, and I'm almost agreeing, for where stupidity is involved, you are quite an expert, friend.''
''In Germany, a certain artistic sense is fairly common, but the artist's sense is foreign there.''
''Love wants to be confirmed with concrete symbols, but recklessness loves instability.''
''Right and proof are two crutches for everything bent and crooked that limps along.''
''"Why don't you finally publish your works?" My friend, in bad weather one had better stay home.''
''Praised be the good willing women who understand and take part in the fun—the body is an exacting beater, and even the heart is made of flesh.''
''When the theater gates open, a mob pours inside, and it is the poet's task to turn it into an audience.''
''Gold is the gift of vanity and common pride, but flowers are the gift of love and friendship.''
''Piety is the fermentation of the forming mind and the putrefaction of the disintegrating one.''
''Do you think that it is possible to have a mere taste of commonness? Either one hates it or makes common cause with it.''
''A book is quite a beautiful thing, even more so learning. Together, however, all they amount to is called book-learning.''
''Let the famous not denounce fame. Far from being empty and meaningless, it fills those it touches with divine power.''
''Love! Hate! Is there no third?''