Johann Kaspar Lavater

Johann Kaspar

Swiss-born German Theologian, Poet, Physiognomist

Author Quotes

He who seldom speaks, and with one calm well-timed word can strike dumb the loquacious, is a genius or a hero.

Mistrust the man who finds everything good, the man who finds everything evil and still more the man who is indifferent to everything.

Act well at the moment, and you have performed a good action for all eternity.

Trust him little who praises all; him less who censures all; and him least who is indifferent to all.

Volatility of words is carelessness in actions; words are the wings of actions.

What do I owe to my times, to my country, to my neighbors, to my friends? Such are the questions which a virtuous man ought often to ask himself.

What knowledge is there of which man is capable that is not founded on the exterior, the relation that exists between visible and invisible, the perceptible and imperceptible?

When the most insignificant person tells us we are in error, we should listen, and examine ourselves, ands see if it is so. To believe it possible we may be in error, is the first step toward getting out of it.

Where there is much pretension, much has been borrowed; nature never pretends.

Who makes quick use of the moment, is a genius of prudence.

Who, in the midst of just provocation to anger, instantly finds the fit word which settles all around him in silence is more than wise or just; he is, were he a beggar, of more than royal blood, he is of celestial descent.

Wisdom is the repose of the mind.

Wishes run over in loquacious impotence; will presses on with laconic energy.

Words are the wings of actions.

You are not very good if you are not better than your best friends imagine you to be.

He alone is an acute observer, who can observe minutely without being observed.

If you wish to appear agreeable in society, you must consent to be taught many things which you already know.

The prudent see only the difficulties, the bold only the advantages, of a great enterprise; the hero sees both; diminishes the former and makes the latter preponderate, and so conquers.

Humility and love are the essence of true religion; the humble formed to adore; the loving to associate with eternal love.

The proverbial wisdom of the populace in the street, on the roads, and in the markets instructs the ear of him who studies man more fully than a thousand rules ostentatiously displayed.

If you are pleased at finding faults, you are displeased at finding perfections.

There are many kinds of smiles, each having a distinct character. Some announce goodness and sweetness, others betray sarcasm, bitterness, and pride; some soften the countenance by their languishing tenderness, others brighten by their spiritual vivacity.

Just so far as we are pleased at finding faults, are we displeased at finding perfection.

There is no mortal truly wise and restless at once; wisdom is the repose of minds.

Loudness is impotence.

Author Picture
First Name
Johann Kaspar
Last Name
Birth Date
Death Date

Swiss-born German Theologian, Poet, Physiognomist