Conversations of Goethe with Eckermann and Soret

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George Bell, 1875 - 583 pages

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Page 164 - As soon as we are born, the world begins to work upon us, and this goes on to the end. And, after all, what can we call our own except energy, strength, and will ? If I could give an account of all that I owe to great predecessors and contemporaries, there would be but a, small balance in my favour.
Page 329 - No productiveness of the highest kind, no remarkable discovery, no great thought which bears fruit and has results, is in the power of any one; but such things are elevated above all earthly control. Man must consider them as an unexpected gift from above, as pure children of God, which he must receive and venerate with joyful thanks.
Page 208 - Und so geht mit guten Kindern Selger Engel gern zu Rat, Böses Wollen zu verhindern, Zu befördern schöne Tat. So beschwören, fest zu bannen Liebem Sohn ans zarte Knie Ihn, des Waldes Hochtyrannen Frommer Sinn und Melodie.
Page 175 - Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
Page 51 - German literature, and the study of it, and turned my thoughts to life and to production. So on and on I went in my own natural development, and on and on I fashioned the productions of epoch after epoch. And at every step of life and development, my standard of excellence was not much higher than what at such step I was able to attain. But had I been born an Englishman, and had all those numerous masterpieces been brought before me in all their power, at my first dawn of youthful consciousness,...
Page 380 - To me, the eternal existence of my soul is proved from my idea of activity ; if I work on incessantly till my death, nature is bound to give me another form of existence when the present one can no longer sustain my spirit.
Page 424 - Altogether, man is a darkened being ; he knows not whence he comes, nor whither he goes ; he knows little of the world, and least of himself. I know not myself, and God forbid I should...
Page 177 - A poet deserves not the name while he only speaks out his few subjective feelings ; but as soon as he can appropriate to himself and express the world, he is a poet. Then he is inexhaustible, and can be always new; while a subjective nature has soon talked out his little internal material, and is at last ruined by mannerism. People always talk of the study of the ancients ; but what does that mean, except that it says, ' Turn your attention to the real world, and try to express it, for that is what...
Page 178 - Moliere wrote, girls were in the convent, and he was not forced to think about them But now we cannot get rid of these young girls, and pieces which are weak, and therefore proper, will continue to be produced. Be wise and stay away, as I do. I was really interested in.
Page 380 - the eternal existence of my soul is proved from my idea of activity. If I work incessantly till my death, nature is bound to give me another form of existence, when the present can no longer sustain my spirit.

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