Maxims of Goethe:
- When a rainbow has lasted as long as a quarter of an hour we stop looking at it.
- Researching into nature we are pantheists, writing poetry we are polytheists, morally we are monotheists.
- Considered historically, our good points appear in a moderate light, our faults excuse themselves.
- To do well you need talent, to do good you need means.
- For surely everyone only hears what he understands.
- If you miss the first buttonhole, you can’t ever get fully buttoned up.
- You really only know when you know little; doubt grows with knowledge.
- People think one ought to be busy with them when one isn’t busy with oneself.
- Acumen is least likely to desert clever men when they are in the wrong.
- One doesn’t find frogs wherever there is water, but there is water where you hear frogs.
- Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but not more interesting than contemplating.
- Everyone manages to have just about enough strength left to act according to his convictions.
- Let memory fail as long as our judgment remains intact when needed.
- Dirt glitters when the sun happens to shine.
- Beauty can never be clear about itself.
- Mysteries do not as yet amount to miracles.
“There are people who ponder about their friends’ shortcomings: there’s nothing to be gained by that. I have always been on the lookout for the merits of my opponents, and this has been rewarding.”