Quotes by Johann Kaspar Lavater

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

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Don't speak evil of someone if you don't know for certain, and if you do know ask yourself, why am I telling it?

Stubbornness is the strength of the weak.
Depend on no man, on no friend but him who can depend on himself. He only who acts conscientiously toward himself, will act so toward others.
You are not very good if you are not better than your best friends imagine you to be.
The jealous are possessed by a mad devil and a dull spirit at the same time.
He who seldom speaks, and with one calm well-timed word can strike dumb the loquacious, is a genius or a hero.
You may depend upon it that he is a good man whose intimate friends are all good, and whose enemies are decidedly bad.
There are many kinds of smiles, each having a distinct character. Some announce goodness and sweetness, others betray sarcasm, bitterness and pride; some soften the countenance by their languishing tenderness, others brighten by their spiritual vivacity.
Genius always gives its best at first; prudence, at last.
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.
The craftiest trickery are too short and ragged a cloak to cover a bad heart.
If you wish to appear agreeable in society, you must consent to be taught many things which you know already.
There are three classes of men; the retrograde, the stationary and the progressive.
Mistrust the person who finds everything good, and the person who finds everything evil, and mistrust even more the person who is indifferent to everything.
The great rule of moral conduct is next to God, respect time.
Who makes quick use of the moment is a genius of prudence.
Neatness begets order; but from order to taste there is the same difference as from taste to genius, or from love to friendship.
He submits to be seen through a microscope, who suffers himself to be caught in a fit of passion.
He is incapable of truly good action who finds not a pleasure in contemplating the good actions of others.
He knows very little of mankind who expects, by any facts or reasoning, to convince a determined party man.
Airs of importance are the credentials of impotence.
The public seldom forgive twice.
I am prejudiced in favor of him who, without impudence, can ask boldly. He has faith in humanity, and faith in himself. No one who is not accustomed to giving grandly can ask nobly and with boldness.
Trust him not with your secrets, who, when left alone in your room, turns over your papers.
To know yourself you have only to set down a true statement of those that ever loved or hated you.
Have you ever seen a pedant with a warm heart?
Beware of him who hates the laugh of a child.
Him, who incessantly laughs in the street, you may commonly hear grumbling in his closet.
Intuition is the clear concept of the whole at once.
Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.
Say not you know another entirely till you have divided an inheritance with him.
The prudent see only the difficulties, the bold only the advantages, of a great enterprise; the hero sees both; diminishes the former and makes the latter preponderate, and so conquers.
Let none turn over books, or roam the stars in quest of God, who sees him not in man.
Be not the fourth friend of him who had three before and lost them.
If you see one cold and vehement at the same time, set him down for a fanatic.
Who has a daring eye tell downright truths and downright lies.
Conscience is the sentinel of virtue.
Action, looks, words, steps, form the alphabet by which you may spell character.
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.
Act well at the moment, and you have performed a good action for all eternity.
He who has no taste for order, will be often wrong in his judgment, and seldom considerate or conscientious in his actions.
He can feel no little wants who is in pursuit of grandeur.

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