Swiss Physician and Philosopher
Johann Georg Ritter von Zimmermann
Swiss Physician and Philosopher
Conceit and confidence are both of them cheats; the first always imposes on itself, the second frequently deceives others too.
Liberal of cruelty are those who pamper with promises; promisers destroy while they deceive, and the hope they raise is dearly purchased by the dependence that is sequent to disappointment.
Take care to be an economist in prosperity; there is no fear of your being one in adversity.
Truth lies in a small compass! The Aristotelians say, all truth is contained in Aristotle, in one place or another. Galileo makes Simplicius say so, but shows the absurdity of that speech by answering all truth is contained in a lesser compass, namely, in the alphabet.
Contempt is frequently regulated by fashion.
Many good qualities are not sufficient to balance a single want - the want of money.
That happy state of mind, so rarely possessed, in which we can say, ?I have enough,? is the highest attainment of philosophy. Happiness consists, not in possessing much, but in being content with what we possess. He who wants little always has enough.
Unless the habit leads to happiness the best habit is to contract none.
Economy is an excellent lure to betray people into expense.
Many species of wit are quite mechanical; these are the favorites of witlings, whose fame in words scarce outlives the remembrance of their funeral ceremonies.
The human mind, in proportion as it is deprived of external resources, sedulously labors to find within itself the means of happiness, learns to rely with confidence on its own exertions, and gains with greater certainty the power of being happy.
We never read without profit if with the pen or pencil in our hand we mark such ideas as strike us by their novelty, or correct those we already possess. Reading soon becomes fatiguing unless undertaken with an eye to our own advantage or that of others, and when it does not enrich the mind with new ideas; but this habit is easily acquired by exercise, and then books afford the surest relief in the most melancholy moments.
Egotism is more like an offense, than a crime; though it is allowable to speak of yourself, provided nothing is advanced in favor; but I cannot help suspecting that those who abuse themselves are, in reality, angling for approbation.
Never lose sight of this important truth, that no one can be truly great until he has gained a knowledge of himself, a knowledge which can only be acquired by occasional retirement.
The ill usage of every minute is a new record against us in heaven.
When ill news comes too late to be serviceable to your neighbor, keep it to yourself.
Family pride entertains many unsocial opinions.
News-hunters have great leisure, with little thought; much petty ambition to be considered intelligent, without any other pretension than being able to communicate what they have just learned.
The lust of dominion innovates so imperceptibly that we become complete despots before our wanton abuse of power is perceived; the tyranny first exercised in the nursery is exhibited in various shapes and degrees in every stage of our existence.
When soured by disappointment, we must endeavor to pursue some fixed and pleasing course of study, that there may be no blank leaf in our book of life?. Painful and disagreeable ideas vanish from the mind that can fix its attention upon any subject. The sight of a noble and interesting object, the study of a useful science, the varied pictures of the different revolutions exhibited in the history of mankind, the improvements in any art, are capable of arresting the attention and charming every care; and it is thus that man becomes sociable with himself; it is thus that he finds his best friend within his own bosom.
A good name will wear out; a bad one may be turned; a nickname lasts forever.
Gambling houses are temples where the most sordid and turbulent passions contend; there no spectator can be indifferent. A card or a small square of ivory interests more than the loss of an empire, or the ruin of an unoffending group of infants, and their nearest relatives.
Nobility should be elective, not hereditary.
The more you speak of yourself, the more you are likely to lie.
When we meet with better fare than was expected, the disappointment is overlooked even by the unscrupulous. When we meet with worse than was expected, philosophers alone know how to make it better.