Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

28 Aug 1749 // 22 Mar 1832
Poet / Novelist / Humanist / Scientist / Philosopher


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The present is a powerful deity
He who does not see the whole world in his friends, does not deserve that the world should hear of him
He only fears men who does not know them, and he who avoids them will soon misjudge them
He who serves the public is a poor animal; he worries himself to death and no one thanks him for it
The greatest difficulties lie where we are not looking for them
But what is your duty? What the day demands
When I err every one can see it, but not when I lie
Time is itself an element
There are men who never err, because they never propose anything rational
Only the heart without a stain knows perfect ease
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."