Reference > Quotations > James Wood, comp. > Dictionary of Quotations
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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
James Wood, comp.  Dictionary of Quotations.  1899.
 
Lessing
 
  A poison which acts not at once is not therefore a less dangerous poison.  1
  A single grateful thought turned heavenwards is the most perfect prayer.  2
  An artist is only then truly praised by us when we forget him in his work.  3
  Begnügt euch doch ein Mensch zu sein—Let it content thee that thou art a man.  4
  Besser Rat kommt über Nacht—Better counsel comes over-night.  5
  Betrogene Betrüger—The deceiver deceived.  6
  Borrowing is not much better than begging; just as lending on interest is not much better than stealing.  7
  Das Hohngelächter der Hölle—The scoffing laughter of Hell.  8
  Dem Menschen ist / Ein Mensch noch immer lieber als ein Engel—A man is ever dearer to man than an angel.  9
  Der gute Mann braucht überall viel Boden—The good man needs always large room.  10
  Der Mensch, wo ist er her? / Zu schlecht für einen Gott, zu gut für’s Ungefähr—Man, whence is he? Too bad to be the work of a god, too good for the work of chance.  11
  Ein Gift, welches nicht gleich wirkt, ist darum kein minder gefährliches Gift—A poison which does not take immediate effect is therefore none the less a dangerous poison.  12
  Ein Vergnügen erwarten ist auch ein Vergnügen—To look forward to a pleasure is also a pleasure.  13
  Eine Rose gebrochen, ehe der Sturm sie entblättert—A rose broken ere the storm stripped its petals.  14
  Eingestandene Uebereilung ist oft lehrreicher, als kalte überdachte Unfehlbarkeit—A confessed precipitancy is often more instructive than a coldly considered certainty.  15
  Equality (Gleichheit) is always the firmest bond of love.  16
  Erröten macht die Hässlichen so schön: / Und sollte Schöne nicht noch schöner machen?—Blushing makes even the ugly beautiful, and should it not make beauty still more beautiful?  17
  Es giebt gewisse Dinge, wo ein Frauenzimmer immer schärfer sieht, als hundert Augen der Mannspersonen—There are certain things in which a woman’s vision is sharper than a hundred eyes of the male.  18
  Every man has his own style, just as he has his own nose.  19
  First resolutions are not always the wisest, but they are usually the most honest.  20
 
 
  Gleichheit est immer das festeste Band der Liebe—Equality is the firmest bond of love.  21
  Gottlob! wir haben das Original—God be praised, we have still the original.  22
  Ha! lass dich den Teufel bei einem Haar fassen, und du bist sein auf ewig—Ha! let the devil seize thee by a hair, and thou art his for ever.  23
  He who does not lose his wits over certain matters has none to lose.  24
  He who enquires into a matter has often found more at a glance than he wished to find.  25
  I shall perhaps tremble in my death-hour, but before shall I never.  26
  If a man knows the right way, he need not trouble himself about wrong paths.  27
  If blushing makes ugly people so beautiful, ought it not to make the beautiful still more beautiful?  28
  If ever a fool’s advice is good, a prudent man must carry it out.  29
  It is the mark of a great man to treat trifles as trifles, and important matters as important.  30
  Kein Mensch muss müssen—No man is compelled to be compelled (lit., must must).  31
  Let the devil catch you by a hair, and you are his for ever.  32
  Man lobt den Künstler dann erst recht, wenn man über sein Werk sein Lob vergisst—We first truly praise an artist when the merit of his work is such as to make us forget himself.  33
  Man muss nicht reicher scheinen wollen, als man ist—We must not wish to appear richer than we are.  34
  Man spricht selten von der Tugend, die man hat; aber desto öfter von der, die uns fehlt—We seldom boast (lit. speak) of the virtue which we have, but oftener of that which we have not.  35
  Men are not always what they seem to be.  36
  Nacheifern ist beneiden—To emulate is to envy.  37
  Nature meant to make woman her masterpiece, but committed a mistake in the choice of the clay; she took it too fine.  38
  Nicht die Kinder bloss speist man / Mit Märchen ab—It is not children merely that are put off with stories.  39
  Nicht so redlich wäre redlicher—Not so honest were more honest.  40
  Nur das Gemeine / Verkennt man selten. Und das Seltene / Vergisst man schwerlich—Only what is common we rarely mistake, and what is rare we with difficulty forget.  41
  Nur der Irrthum ist unser Teil, und Wahn ist unsre Wissenschaft—Only error is our portion, and illusion our knowledge.  42
  O ein Fürst hat keinen Freund, kann keinen Freund haben—Oh, a ruler has no friend, and can have none.  43
  Perlen bedeuten Thränen—Pearls mean tears.  44
  Raphael wäre ein grosser Maler geworden, selbst wenn er ohne Hände auf die Welt gekommen wäre—Raphael would have been a great painter even if he had come into the world without hands.  45
  Resist as much as thou wilt; heaven’s ways are heaven’s ways.  46
  Some people obtain fame, and others deserve it.  47
  The contingent facts of history can never become the proof of the truths of reason.  48
  The gift of prayer is not always in our power, but in the eye of Heaven the very wish to pray is prayer.  49
  The hatred which is grafted on extinguished friendship must bring forth the most deadly fruits.  50
  The miracles which Christ and His disciples wrought were the scaffolding, not the building. The scaffolding is removed as soon as the building is finished.  51
  The superstition in which we have grown up does not lose its hold over us even when we recognise it for such. Those who scoff at their fetters are not all free men.  52
  The worst superstition is to consider our own the most tolerable.  53
  The worst wild beast is called “Tyrant,” and the “Flatterer” the worst tame one.  54
  They are not all free who scorn their chains.  55
  Think wrongly, if you please, but in all cases think for yourself.  56
  To act with a purpose is what raises man above the brutes; to invent with a purpose, to imitate with a purpose, is that which distinguishes genius from the petty artists who only invent to invent, and imitate to imitate.  57
  Trau keinem Freunde sonder Mängel, / Und lieb’ ein Mädchen, keinen Engel—Trust no friend without faults, and love a maiden, but no angel.  58
  Was die Natur versteckt, zieht Unsinn an das Licht—What Nature hides from our gaze, want of sense and feeling drags to the light.  59
  Was ist ein Held ohne Menschenliebe?—What is a hero without love for man?  60
  We seldom speak of the virtue we have, but much more frequently of that which we have not.  61
  We should not trust the heart too much. The heart speaks to us very gladly, as our mouth expresses itself. If the mouth were as much inclined to speak the feelings of the heart, it would have been the fashion long ago to put a padlock on the mouth.  62
  Wer allen alles traut, dem kann man wenig trauen—Him who trusts everything to every one, we can trust with little.  63
  Zu viel Wissbegierde ist ein Fehler, und aus einem Fehler können alle Laster entspringen, wenn man ihm zu sehr nachhängt—Too much curiosity is a fault; and out of one fault all vices may spring, when one indulges in it too much.  64
 
 
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