German Romantic Writer and Novelist
"Mortal man thinks of himself as immortal because his race is immortal: he confuses the drop in the stream with the stream itself."
"There are souls in this world which have the gift of finding joy everywhere and of leaving it behind them when they go."
"Sorrows gather around great souls as storms do around mountains; but, like them, they break the storm and purify the air of the plain beneath them."
"Never part without loving words to think of during your absence. It may be that you will not meet again in this life."
"A timid person is frightened before a danger, a coward during the time, and a courageous person afterwards."
"Fancy rules over two thirds of the universe, the past, and future, while reality is confined to the present."
"We learn our virtues from our friends who love us; our faults from the enemy who hates us. We cannot easily discover our real character from a friend. He is a mirror, on which the warmth of our breath impedes the clearness of the reflection."
"A small sorrow distracts, a great one makes us collected; as a bell loses its clear tone when slightly cracked, and recovers it if the fissure is enlarged."
"The conscience of children is formed by the influences that surround them; their notions of good and evil are the result of the moral atmosphere they breathe."
"Brevity is the body and soul of wit. It is wit itself, for it alone isolates sufficiently for contrasts; because redundancy or diffuseness produces no distinctions."
"Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good action; try to use ordinary situations."
"Begin the education of the heart, not with the cultivation of noble propensities, but with the cutting away of those that are evil. When once the noxious herbs are withered and rooted out, then the more noble plants, strong in themselves, will shoot upwards. The virtuous heart, like the body, becomes strong and healthy more by labor than nourishment."
"Cares are often more difficult to thrown off than sorrows; the latter die with time, the former grow upon it."
"Every man has two educations--that which is given to him, and the other, that which he gives to himself. Of the two kinds, the latter is by far the most valuable. Indeed, all that is most worthy in a man, he must work out and conquer for himself. It is that that constitutes our real and best nourishment. What we are merely taught seldom nourishes the mind like that which we teach ourselves."
"If self-knowledge be a path to virtue, virtue is a much better one to self-knowledge. The more pure the soul becomes, it will, like certain precious stones that are sensible to the contact of poison, shrink from the fetid vapors of evil impressions."
"Never does a man portray his own character more vividly than in his manner of portraying another."
"The grandest of heroic deeds are those which are performed within four walls and in domestic privacy."
"Men ascribe a great value in the sight of God to their barren belief. Why are we so anxious that our neighbor should have our faith and not our practice?"
"Love requires not so much proofs, as expressions, of love. Love demands little else than the power to feel and to requite love."
"The happiness life consists, like the day, not in single flashes of light, but in one continuous mild serenity. The most beautiful period of the heart's existence is in this calm, equable light, even although it be only moonshine or twilight. Now the mind alone can obtain for us this heavenly cheerfulness and peace."
"All weighty things are done in solitude, that is, without society. The means of improvement consist not in projects, or in any violent designs, for these cool, and cool very soon, but in patient practicing for whole long days, by which I make the thing clear to my highest reason. "
"A child’s eye, like the sun, never draws water so readily as in the hot temperature of pleasure. "