Johann Kaspar Lavater

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Let none turn over books, or roam the stars in quest of God, who sees him not in man.

Johann Kaspar Lavater (November 15, 1741January 2, 1801) was a Swiss poet and physiognomist.

Quotes[edit]

Act well at the moment, and you have performed a good action to all eternity.
  • Where there is much pretension, much has been borrowed: nature never pretends.
    • As quoted in Mental Recreation; or, Select Maxims (1831), p. 234
  • The more honesty a man has, the less he affects the air of a saint.
    • As quoted in Many Thoughts of Many Minds (1862) edited by Henry Southgate, p. 290
  • Act well at the moment, and you have performed a good action to all eternity.
    • Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 4
  • Happy the heart to whom God has given enough strength and courage to suffer for Him, to find happiness in simplicity and the happiness of others.
    • Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 246
  • Never tell evil of a man, if you do not know it for certainty, and if you know it for a certainty, then ask yourself, 'Why should I tell it?'

Aphorisms on Man (c. 1788)[edit]

  • Who in the same given time can produce more than others has vigor; who can produce more and better, has talents; who can produce what none else can, has genius.
    • No. 23
  • You may tell a man thou art a fiend, but not your nose wants blowing; to him alone who can bear a thing of that kind, you may tell all.
    • No. 84
  • Say not you know another entirely, till you have divided an inheritance with him.
    • No. 157
  • Have you ever seen a pedant with a warm heart?
    • No. 260
  • If you see one cold and vehement at the same time, set him down for a fanatic.
    • No. 282
  • He who, when called upon to speak a disagreeable truth, tells it boldly and has done is both bolder and milder than he who nibbles in a low voice and never ceases nibbling.
    • No. 302
  • Him, who incessantly laughs in the street, you may commonly hear grumbling in his closet.
    • No. 305
  • Let none turn over books, or roam the stars in quest of God, who sees him not in man.
    • No. 398
  • Trust not him with your secrets, who, when left alone in your room, turns over your papers.
    • No. 449
  • Neatness begets order; but from order to taste there is the same difference as from taste to genius, or from love to friendship.
    • No. 583
  • The public seldom forgive twice.
    • No. 595
  • Venerate four characters: the sanguine who has checked volatility and the rage for pleasure; the choleric who has subdued passion and pride; the phlegmatic emerged from indolence; and the melancholy who has dismissed avarice, suspicion and asperity.
    • No. 609
  • If you mean to know yourself, interline such of these aphorisms as affect you agreeably in reading, and set a mark to such as left a sense of uneasiness with you; and then show your copy to whom you please.
    • No. 643

External links[edit]

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