Fragments from German prose writers

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Page 40 - THE most agreeable of all companions is a simple, frank man, without any high pretensions to an oppressive greatness : one who loves life and understands the use of it ; obliging, alike at all hours ; above all, of a golden temper, and steadfast as an anchor. For such an one we gladly exchange the greatest genius, the most brilliant wit, the profoundest thinker.
Page 39 - Be and continue poor, young man, while others around you grow rich by fraud and disloyalty ; be without place or power, while others beg their way upward ; bear the pain of disappointed hopes, while others gain the accomplishment of theirs by flattery; forego the gracious pressure of the hand, for which others cringe and crawl ; wrap yourself in your own virtue, and seek a friend, and your daily bread. If you have, in such a course, grown gray with unblenched honor, bless God, and die.
Page 147 - To have freedom, is only to have that which is absolutely necessary to enable us to be what we ought to be, and to possess what we ought to possess.
Page 91 - Therefore do her entrails yearn over his waitings ; her heart beats quicker at his joy ; her blood flows more softly through her veins, when the breast at which he drinks knits him to her. In every uncorrupted nation of the earth, this feeling is the same. Climate, which changes everything else, changes not that. It is only the most corrupting forms of society which have power gradually to make luxurious vice sweeter than the tender cares and toils of maternal love.
Page 228 - ... courage to use it without the guidance of another. Sapere aude ! — have the courage to use your own understanding, is therefore the motto of enlightenment.
Page 234 - ... with respect to it, as a priest, he is not free, nor can he be free, because he carries out the orders of another. But as a scholar, whose writings speak to his public, the world, the clergyman in the public use of his reason enjoys an unlimited freedom to use his own reason and to speak in his own person.
Page 228 - Enlightenment is man's emergence from his selfincurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one's own understanding without the guidance of another.
Page 26 - All his efforts are directed to the perfecting of his knowledge; his noble impatience cannot be tranquillized till all his conceptions have arranged themselves into one harmonious whole ; till he stands at the central, point of arts and sciences, and thence overlooks the whole extent of their dominion with satisfied glance. New discoveries in the field of his activity, which depress the trader in science, enrapture the philosopher.
Page 80 - The year is dying away,' says Goethe, ' like the sound of bells. The wind passes over the stubble, and finds nothing to move. Only the red berries of that slender tree seem as if they would fain remind us of something cheerful ; and the measured beat of the thresher's flail calls up the thought that in the dry and fallen ear lies so much of nourishment and life.
Page 71 - A certain degree of solitude seems necessary to the full growth and spread of the highest mind; and therefore must a very extensive intercourse with men stifle many a holy germ, and scare away the gods, who shun the restless tumult of noisy companies and the discussion of petty interests.

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