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GOETHE QUOTES IV

The further knowledge advances, the nearer we come to the unfathomable.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

What were a God who only gave the world a push from without, or let it spin around His finger? I look for a God who moves the world from within, who fosters nature in Himself, Himself in nature; so that naught of all that lives and moves and has its being in Him ever forgets His force or His spirit.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, "Phoœmion"

To every one [Nature] appears in a form of his own. She hides herself in a thousand names and terms, and is always the same.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

There is nothing more odious than the majority; it consists of a few powerful men to lead the way; of accommodating rascals and submissive weaklings; and of a mass of men who trot after them, without in the least knowing their mind.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

Nature! We are surrounded by her and locked in her clasp: powerless to leave her, and powerless to come closer to her. Unasked and unwarned she takes us up into the whirl of her dance, and hurries on with us till we are weary and fall from her arms.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

There is constant life in [Nature], motion and development; and yet she remains where she was. She is eternally changing, nor for a moment does she stand still. Of rest she knows nothing, and to all stagnation she has affixed her curse. She is steadfast; her step is measured, her exceptions rare, her laws immutable.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

The assault of our enemies is not part of our life; it is only part of our experience; we throw it off and guard ourselves against it as against frost, storm, rain, hail, or any other of the external evils which may be expected to happen.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

When I observe the luminous progress and expansion of natural science in modern times, I seem to myself like a traveller going eastwards at dawn, and gazing at the growing light with joy, but also with impatience; looking forward with longing to the advent of the full and final light, but, nevertheless, having to turn away his eyes when the sun appeared, unable to bear the splendour he had awaited with so much desire.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

[Nature] is all things. She rewards herself and punishes herself; and in herself rejoices and is distressed. She is rough and gentle, loving and terrible, powerless and almighty. In her everything is always present. Past or Future she knows not. The Present is her Eternity.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

[Nature] spurts forth her creatures out of nothing, and tells them not whence they come and whither they go. They have only to go their way: she knows the path.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

We look back upon our life only as on a thing of broken pieces, because our misses and failures are always the first to strike us, and outweigh in our imagination what we have done and attained.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

In science it is a service of the highest merit to seek out those fragmentary truths attained by the ancients, and to develop them further.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

We live in the midst of [Nature] and are strangers. She speaks to us unceasingly and betrays not her secret.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

Science helps us before all things in this, that it somewhat lightens the feeling of wonder with which Nature fills us; then, however, as life becomes more and more complex, it creates new facilities for the avoidance of what would do us harm and the promotion of what will do us good.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

[Nature's] crown is Love. Only through Love can we come near her. She puts gulfs between all things, and all things strive to be interfused. She isolates everything, that she may draw everything together. With a few draughts from the cup of Love she repays for a life full of trouble.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe

Rest not! Life is sweeping by;
Go and dare before you die.
Something mighty and sublime
Leave behind to conquer time!

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, "Haste Not--Rest Not"

He who is firm in will molds the world to himself.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, Hermann und Dorothea

Age does not make us childish, as some say; it finds us true children.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, Faust

We find from experience that yellow excites a warm and agreeable impression.... The eye is gladdened, the heart expanded and cheered, a glow seems at once to breathe toward us.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, Goethe's Theory of Colours

A man who is ignorant of foreign languages is also ignorant of his own language.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, attributed, Day's Collacon

Most people spend the greatest part of their time working in order to live, and what little freedom remains so fills them with fear that they seek out any and every means to be rid of it.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Sorrows of Young Werther

More light!

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, his dying words, attributed, Publications of the English Goethe Society

Love does not dominate; it cultivates.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, attributed, Words of Wisdom: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, attributed, 20,000 Quips & Quotes

How difficult it is to get men to balance a present sacrifice with a future advantage! How hard to induce them to wish an end, and not hesitate at the means! How many mingle together means and ends, rejoicing in the first without having the other before their eyes. We can offer up much in the large, but to make sacrifices in little things is what we are seldom equal to.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, attributed, Day's Collacon

Whatever it be ... judgment or feeling, that leads us to sacrifice one thing for another, or prefer one before another, decision and perseverance are in my opinion the most praiseworthy qualities in human beings. We cannot buy goods and have our money too, and the man who longs for the wares but has not the heart to sacrifice his money, is as badly off as he who repents his purchase when it is already in his hands.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship

Alas! sorrow from happiness is oft evolved.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, Die Natürliche Tochter

The sagacious reader who is capable of reading between these lines what does not stand written in them, but is nevertheless implied, will be able to form some conception.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, Autobiography

Yes, I have finally arrived to this Capital of the World! I now see all the dreams of my youth coming to life... Only in Rome is it possible to understand Rome.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, Italian Journey

One cannot develop taste from what is of average quality but only from the very best.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, Conversations with Eckermann

When one is polite in German, one lies.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, Faust: Part II

The present moment is a powerful deity.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, attributed, Day's Collacon

A human being needs only a small plot of ground on which to be happy, and even less to lie beneath.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Sorrows of Young Werther and Selected Writings

Where there is much light the shade is deepest.

JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, Goetz Von Berlichingen

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