''Error is acceptable as long as we are young; but one must not drag it along into old age.''
''Legislators or revolutionaries who promise equality coupled with freedom are either phantasts or charlatans.''
''To be sure, a good work of art can and will have moral consequences, but to demand of the artists moral intentions, means ruining their craft.''
''If you don't know foreign languages, you don't know anything about your own.''
''The deed is everything, the glory naught.''
''If we take people only as they are, then we make them worse; if we treat them as if they were what they should be, then we bring them to where they can be brought.''
''So divinely is the world organized that every one of us, in our place and time, is in balance with everything else.''
''We who didn't inherit political power nor are made to acquire riches like nothing better than that which expands and solidifies the power of the spirit.''
''You don't love if you don't take the beloved's faults for virtues.''
''Certain books seem to have been written not for the purpose that we learn something from them but that we know that the author was a knowledgeable person.''
''There is nothing outside of us that is not at the same time in us, and as the external world has its colors the eye, too, has colors.''
''Words express neither objects nor ourselves.''
''If one mistreats citizens of foreign countries, one infringes upon one's duty toward one's own subjects; for thus one exposes them to the law of retribution.''
''Tolerance should really be only a temporary attitude; it must lead to recognition. To tolerate means to offend.''
''Man ... knows only when he is satisfied and when he suffers, and only his sufferings and his satisfactions instruct him concerning himself, teach him what to seek and what to avoid. For the rest, man is a confused creature; he knows not whence he comes or whither he goes, he knows little of the world, and above all, he knows little of himself.''
''The true, prescriptive artist strives after artistic truth; the lawless artist, following blind instinct, after an appearance of naturalness. The one leads to the highest peaks of art, the other to its lowest depths.''
''The true poet is called to take in the splendor of the world and for that reason will always be inclined to praise rather than to find fault.''
''What one doesn't understand one doesn't possess.''
''It is always a sign of an unproductive time when it concerns itself with petty and technical aspects [in philology], and likewise it is a sign of an unproductive person to pursue such trifles.''
''One cannot develop taste from what is of average quality but only from the very best.''
''Neither a work of nature nor one of art we get to know when they have been finished; we must surprise them in the process of being created so as to understand them to some degree.''
''In the colorful reflection we have what is life.''
''The one who acts is always without conscience; nobody has a conscience but the contemplative person.''
''It is as certain as it is strange that truth and error come from one and the same source; for that reason one must often not do something to the detriment of error since one would do also something detrimental to truth.''
''The eternal feminine draws us up.''
''It is a maxim of wise government to treat people not as they should be but as they actually are.''
''One usually thinks people to be more dangerous than they are.''
''Talent develops in quiet places, character in the full current of human life.''
''You can put up with everything in this world except not with a long stretch of beautiful days.''
''Nature is so perfect that the Trinity couldn't have fashioned her any more perfect. She is an organ on which our Lord plays and the devil works the bellows.''
''That we understand something perfectly, that we accomplish something better than anyone else around us, that is what matters.''
''Our foibles are really what make us lovable.''
''More light! [Mehr Licht!]''
''If you are to accomplish all that one demands of you, you must overestimate your own worth.''
''No wonder that all of us feel at home with mediocrity since it leaves us in peace; it gives us the comforting feeling as if one were in the company of one's equals.''
''One of the most striking signs of the decay of art is the intermixing of different genres.''
''There are but few who have ideas and are, at the same time, capable of action. Ideas enlarge but stymie, action enlivens but confines.''
''It would not be worth your while to reach the age of seventy if all the wisdom of the world were to be foolishness before God.''
''Patriotism ruins history.''
''What is part of you, you cannot get rid of, even if you were to throw it away.''
''Translators can be considered as busy matchmakers who praise as extremely desirable a half-veiled beauty. They arouse an irresistible yearning for the original.''
''For usually people resist as long as they can to dismiss the fool they harbor in their bosom, they resist to confess a major mistake or to admit a truth that makes them despair.''
''The safest thing is always to try to convert everything that is in us and around us into action; let the others talk and argue about it as they please.''
''Many hammer all over the wall and believe that with each blow they hit the nail on the head.''
''One is never satisfied with a portrait of persons whom one knows. That is why I have always pitied portraitists. One demands so seldom of others the impossible, but demands just that of the portraitists.''
''What's it to you if I love you?''
''Everything perfect in its kind has to transcend its own kind, it must become something different and incomparable. In some notes the nightingale is still a bird; then it rises above its class and seems to suggest to every winged creature what singing is truly like.''
''We cannot remain long in a conscious state or in consciousness, we must take refuge again in the unconscious since there are our roots.''
''Go to foreign countries and you will get to know the good things one possesses at home.''
''Even though the world as a whole progresses, youth must always start again from the beginning, and as individuals go through the epochs of the world's culture.''
''We gladly put antiquity above our age but not posterity. Only a father doesn't begrudge his son's talent.''
''One would give plenty of almonds if one had eyes to see the beauty of a receiving hand.''
''The miller believes that all the wheat grows so that his mill keeps running.''
''If we meet someone who owes us thanks, we right away remember that. But how often do we meet someone to whom we owe thanks without remembering that?''
''The most original authors of today are original not because they create something new but because they are capable of saying such things as if they had never been said before.''
''Very few people love others for what they are; rather, they love what they lend them, their own selves, their own idea of them.''
''We really learn only from those books that we cannot judge. The author of a book that we were able to judge would have to learn from us.''
''And we went our separate ways without having understood each other. As in this world nobody understands the other easily.''
''If we could do away with death, we wouldn't object; to do away with capital punishment will be more difficult. Were that to happen, we would reinstate it from time to time.''
''To become aware in time when young of the advantages of age; to maintain the advantages of youth in old age: both are pure fortune.''
''One must not criticize that which is common since it remains always the same.''
''The greatest happiness for the thinking person is to have explored the explorable and to venerate in equanimity that which cannot be explored.''
''If society gives up the right to impose the death penalty, then self help will appear again and personal vendettas will be around the corner.''
''The true, prescriptive artist strives after artistic truth; the lawless artist, who follows blind instinct, strives to duplicate the reality of nature. The first one elevates art to its highest peak; the second one lowers it to its basest level.''
''True works of art contain their own theory and give us the measurement according to which we should judge them.''
''Where there is plenty of light there is strong shadow.''
''To be sure, we have inherited abilities, but our development we owe to thousands of influences coming from the world around us from which we appropriate what we can and what is suitable to us.''
''One must be something in order to do something.''
''National literature does not mean much these days; now is the age of world literature, and every one must contribute to hasten the arrival of that age.''
''Pity on the person who has become accustomed to seeing in necessity something arbitrary, who ascribes to the arbitrary some sort of reason, and even claims that following that sort of reason has religious value.''
''What you desire when young, you have in abundance when old.''
''What right those who govern have to govern they don't question, they just govern. Whether the people have a right to depose them that doesn't concern them. All they are concerned with is that the people will not be tempted to depose them.''
''No two people see the world exactly alike, and different temperaments will often apply the same principle, recognized by both, differently. Even one and the same person won't always maintain the same views and judgments: earlier convictions must give way to later ones.''
''Only that type of story deserves to be called moral that shows us that one has the power within oneself to act, out of the conviction that there is something better, even against one's own inclination.''
''Our modern wars make many unhappy while they last and make no one happy when they are finished.''
''The light is there, and colors surround us. However, if there were no light nor colors in our own eye, we wouldn't perceive such things outside of us.''
''Artists have a double relationship towards nature: they are her master and her slave at the same time. They are her slave in so far as they must work with means of this world so as to be understood; her master in so far as they subject these means to their higher goals and make them subservient to them.''
''How can one learn to know oneself? Never by introspection, rather by action. Try to do your duty, and you will know right away what you are like.''
''As soon as you are in a social setting, you better take away the key to the lock of your heart and pocket it; those who leave the key in the lock are fools.''
''One doesn't look at a rainbow any longer that lasts a quarter of an hour.''
''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.''
''Two souls, alas! reside within my breast.''
''Our wishes are presentiments of the abilities that lie in us, harbingers of what we will be able to accomplish.''
''Nature is, after all, the only book that offers important content on every page.''
''So much has already been said about Shakespeare that there doesn't seem to be anything more to say; yet it is the quality of the spirit that it forever stimulates the spirit.''
''The question "From where does the poet get it?" addresses only the what, nobody learns anything about the how when asking that question.''
''All one needs to do is declare oneself free and one will immediately feel dependent. If you dare to declare yourself dependent, you feel independent.''
''No matter what one says, you can recognize only those matters that are equal to you. Only rulers who possess extraordinary abilities will recognize and esteem properly extraordinary abilities in their subjects and servants.''
''One can't dull a project better than by discussing it repeatedly.''
''One must be something to be able to do something.''
''Normally, people believe that, if they hear just words, that these words must lead to some thought.''
''The greatest step forward would be to see that everything factual is already theory. The blueness of the sky reveals the basic law of chromatics. Don't look for anything behind the phenomena, they themselves are the doctrine.''
''I curse all negative purism that tells me not to use a word from another language that either expresses something that my own language cannot or does that in a more delicate manner.''
''All poetry is supposed to be instructive but in an unnoticeable manner; it is supposed to make us aware of what it would be valuable to instruct ourselves in; we must deduce the lesson on our own, just as with life.''
''One needs only to get old to become milder; I don't see anyone make a mistake I hadn't also made.''
''If youth is a fault, it is one that one gets rid of soon enough.''
''The world is for thousands a freak show; the images flicker past and vanish; the impressions remain flat and unconnected in the soul. Thus they are easily led by the opinions of others, are content to let their impressions be shuffled and rearranged and evaluated differently.''
''If the artist is not also a craftsman, the artist is nothing, but calamity: most of our artists are nothing but craftsmen.''
''Every need whose true satisfaction is denied leads by necessity to faith.''
''Reason looks at necessity as the basis of the world; reason is able to turn chance in your favor and use it. Only by having reason remain strong and unshakable can we be called a god of the earth.''
''We cannot and must not get rid of nor deny our characteristics. But we can give them shape and direction.''
''When young one is confident to be able to build palaces for mankind, but when the time comes one has one's hands full just to be able to remove their trash.''
''Sameness leaves us in peace but it is contradiction that makes us productive.''
''Voluntary dependence is the wonderful form of existence, and how could that be possible without love?''
''We are pantheists as natural scientists, polytheists as poets, and monotheists as moral beings.''
''The older I get the more I trust in the law according to which the rose and the lily bloom.''
''One of the most striking signs of the decay of art is when we see its separate forms jumbled together.''
''Microscopes and telescopes really confuse our minds.''
''The force of a language does not consist of rejecting what is foreign but of swallowing it.''
''If you are convinced of a matter, you must take sides or you don't deserve to succeed.''
''Each one of us must carry within the proof of immortality, it cannot be given from outside of us. To be sure, everything in nature is change but behind the change there is something eternal.''
''There is nothing insignificant in the world. It all depends on the point of view.''
''For that is love's nature that it lays claim to exclusive right and that all other claims are nil.''
''Piety is not a goal but a means to attain through the purest peace of mind the highest culture.''
''One criticizes the English for carrying their teapots wherever they go, even lugging them up Mount Etna. But doesn't every nation have its teapot, in which, even when traveling, it brews the dried bundles of herbs brought from home?''
''Mannerism always wants to be finished and doesn't enjoy the process. Genuine, truly great talent, however, finds its greatest satisfaction in the production.''
''The dignity of art probably appears most eminently with music since it does not have any material that needs to be discounted. Music is all form and content and elevates and ennobles everything that it expresses.''
''The errors of the observer come from the qualities of the human mind.''
''If we are out of synch with ourselves, everything is out of synch for us.''
''Every day one should at least listen to a little song, read a good poem, look at a fine painting, and, if possible, say a few reasonable words.''
''That is the way of youth and life in general: that we do not understand the strategy until after the campaign is over.''
''One spares old people just as one spares children.''
''What matters in art is not thinking but making.''
''Superstition belongs to the essence of mankind and takes refuge, when one thinks one has suppressed it completely, in the strangest nooks and crannies; once it is safely ensconced there, it suddenly reappears.''
''It is better for you to suffer an injustice than for the world to be without law. Therefore, let everyone submit to the law.''
''So as to comprehend that the sky is blue everywhere one doesn't need to travel around the world.''
''The new vulcanism is really a daring attempt to connect the present, incomprehensible world to a past, unknown one.''
''Mankind? That is an abstraction. There have always been and always will be only individuals.''
''It is after all the greatest art to limit and isolate oneself.''
''One doesn't always lose when one has to do without.''
''The arts are the salt of the earth; as salt relates to food, the arts relate to technology.''
''Thinking is more interesting than knowledge but not than looking.''
''Someone criticized an elderly man for wooing young women. He replied that that was the only way to rejuvenation, which was, after all, everybody's wish.''
''Experiments are mediators between nature and idea.''
''Music is either sacred or secular. The sacred agrees with its dignity, and here has its greatest effect on life, an effect that remains the same through all ages and epochs. Secular music should be cheerful throughout.''
''Are we not also married to conscience which we would love to get rid of often enough since it is more bothersome than a man or a woman ever could become?''
''Music at its best is not in need of novelty; indeed, the older it is, the more one is accustomed to it, the stronger its effect.''
''When translating one must proceed up to the intranslatable; only then one becomes aware of the foreign nation and the foreign tongue.''
''War is in truth a disease in which the juices that serve health and maintenance are used for the sole purpose of nourishing something foreign, something at odds with nature.''
''It doesn't behoove elderly persons to follow fashion in their thinking nor in the way they dress.''
''Whatever liberates our spirit, without also giving us mastery over ourselves, is destructive.''
''We don't get to know people when they come to us; we have to go to them so as to learn what they are like.''
''Several classical sayings that one likes to repeat had quite a different meaning from the ones later times attributed to them.''
''Love, whose power youth feels, is not suitable for the elderly, just as little as anything that presupposes productivity. It is rare that productivity lasts through the years.''
''The eye doesn't see any shapes, it sees only what is differentiated through light and dark or through colors.''
''Stones are mute teachers; they silence the observer, and the most valuable lesson we learn from them we cannot communicate.''
''He who has a task to perform must know how to take sides, or he is quite unworthy of it.''
''Two souls dwell, alas! in my breast.''
''Certain faults are necessary for the existence of the individual. We would resent it if old friends were to get rid of certain peculiarities.''
''A stated truth loses its grace, but a repeated error appears insipid and ridiculous.''
''The thinking person has the strange characteristic to like to create a fantasy in the place of the unsolved problem, a fantasy that stays with the person even when the problem has been solved and truth made its appearance.''
''Idea and experience will never coincide in the center; only through art and action are they united.''
''Paternity is based anyhow only upon conviction: I am convinced, therefore, I am the father.''
''One errs as long as one strives.''
''Hatred is partial, but love is still more so.''
''The day is for mistake and error, sequence of time for success and carrying out. The one who anticipates is master of the day.''
''Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words.''
''I come more and more to the conclusion that one must take the side of the minority which is always the more intelligent one.''
''The most damaging prejudice consists of banning any kind of investigation of nature.''
''Association with women is the basis of good manners.''
''If one doesn't know one's own country, one doesn't have standards for foreign countries.''
''When married one has to get into an argument once in a while since in this way one learns about the other.''
''Ingratitude is always a sign of weakness. I have never observed that accomplished people were ungrateful.''
''We said that the history of mankind depicts man; in the same way one can maintain that the history of science is science itself.''
''There is no way to face the great advantages of another person than through love.''
''Normally, the sciences distance themselves from life and the return to it via a detour.''
''Fortunately, we can take in only so much misfortune; what exceeds that limit either destroys us or leaves us indifferent.''
''We can most safely achieve truly universal tolerance when we respect that which is characteristic in the individual and in nations, clinging, though, to the conviction that the truly meritorious is unique by belonging to all of mankind.''
''All of us, just because we are able to talk, also believe we are able to talk about language.''
''Which government is the best? The one that teaches us to govern ourselves.''
''Thus one can observe that those who proclaim piety as their goal and purpose usually turn into hypocrites.''
''We must cling to the belief that the incomprehensible is comprehensible; otherwise we would not continue to search.''
''Aptitudes are assumed, they should become accomplishments. That is the purpose of all education.''
''In politics people throw themselves, as on a sickbed, from one side to the other in the belief they will lie more comfortably.''
''I never knew a more presumptuous person than myself. The fact that I say that shows that what I say is true.''
''A leaf that is supposed to grow is full of wrinkles and creases before it develops; if one doesn't have the patience and wants the leaf to be as smooth as a willow leaf from the start, then there is a problem.''
''New inventions can and will be made; however, nothing new can be thought of that concerns moral man. Everything has already been thought and said which at best we can express in different forms and give new expressions to.''