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James Wood, comp.  Dictionary of Quotations.  1899.
 
W. von Humboldt
 
  A man must seek his happiness and inward peace from objects which cannot be taken away from him.  1
  Death is but a word to us. Our own experience alone can teach us the real meaning of the word.  2
  Diejenige Regierung ist die beste, die sich überflüssing macht—That government is best which makes itself unnecessary.  3
  Earnestness in life, even when carried to an extreme, is something very noble and great.  4
  Even by means of our sorrows we belong to the eternal plan.  5
  Every man, however good he may be, has a still better man dwelling in him which is properly himself, but to whom nevertheless he is often unfaithful. It is to this interior and less unstable being that we should attach ourselves, not to the changeable every-day man.  6
  Man reconciles himself to almost every event, however trying, if it happens in the ordinary course of nature. It is the extraordinary that he rebels against.  7
  Meiner Idee nach ist Energie die erste und einzige Tugend des Menschen—In my regard energy is the first and only virtue of man.  8
  Nobility of nature consists in doing good for the good’s sake.  9
  Prayer is intended to increase the devotion of the individual, but if the individual himself prays he requires no formulæ…. Real inward devotion knows no prayer but that arising from the depths of its own feelings.  10
  Providence certainly does not favour individuals, but the deep wisdom of its counsels extends to the instruction and ennoblement of all.  11
  Sich über das Höherstehende alles Urtheils zu enthalten, ist eine zu edle Eigenschaft, als das häufig sein könnte—To refrain from all criticism of what ranks above us is too noble a virtue to be of every-day occurrence.  12
  That government is the best which makes government unnecessary.  13
  The mere reality of life would be inconceivably poor without the charm of fancy, which brings in its bosom, no doubt, as many vain fears as idle hopes, but lends much oftener to the illusions it calls up a gay flattering hue than one which inspires terror.  14
  The past alone is eternal and unchangeable like death, and yet at the same time warm and joy-giving like life.  15
  Time is the wheel-track in which we roll on towards eternity.  16
  Work, according to my feeling, is as much of a necessity to man as eating and sleeping. Even those who do nothing which to a sensible man can be called work, still imagine that they are doing something. The world possesses not a man who is an idler in his own eyes.  17
 
 
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