Johann Kaspar Lavater

Johann Kaspar

Swiss-born German Theologian, Poet, Physiognomist

Author Quotes

He who seldom speaks, and with one calm well-timed word can strike dumb the loquacious, is a genius or a hero.

Mistrust the man who finds everything good, the man who finds everything evil and still more the man who is indifferent to everything.

Act well at the moment, and you have performed a good action for all eternity.

He alone is an acute observer, who can observe minutely without being observed.

If you wish to appear agreeable in society, you must consent to be taught many things which you already know.

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.

Trust him little who praises all; him less who censures all; and him least who is indifferent to all.

Volatility of words is carelessness in actions; words are the wings of actions.

What do I owe to my times, to my country, to my neighbors, to my friends? Such are the questions which a virtuous man ought often to ask himself.

What knowledge is there of which man is capable that is not founded on the exterior, the relation that exists between visible and invisible, the perceptible and imperceptible?

When the most insignificant person tells us we are in error, we should listen, and examine ourselves, ands see if it is so. To believe it possible we may be in error, is the first step toward getting out of it.

Where there is much pretension, much has been borrowed; nature never pretends.

Who makes quick use of the moment, is a genius of prudence.

Who, in the midst of just provocation to anger, instantly finds the fit word which settles all around him in silence is more than wise or just; he is, were he a beggar, of more than royal blood, he is of celestial descent.

Wisdom is the repose of the mind.

Wishes run over in loquacious impotence; will presses on with laconic energy.

Words are the wings of actions.

You are not very good if you are not better than your best friends imagine you to be.

He who sedulously attends, pointedly asks, calmly speaks, coolly answers, and ceases when he has no more to say, is in possession of some of the best requisites of conversation.

The miser robs himself.

What is the elevation of the soul? A prompt, delicate, certain feeling for all that is beautiful, all that is grand; a quick resolution to do the greatest good by the smallest means; a great benevolence joined to a great strength and great humility.

He who, silent, loves to be with us, and loves us in our silence, has touched one of the keys that ravish hearts.

The more honesty a man has, the less he affects the air of a saint.

How few are our real wants! How easy it is to satisfy them! Our imaginary ones are boundless and insatiable... He can feel no little wants who is in pursuit of grandeur.

The most stormy ebullitions of passion, from blasphemy to murder, are less terrific than one single act of cool villainy; a still rabies is more dangerous than the paroxysms of a fever. Fear the boisterous savage of passion less than the sedately grinning villain.

Author Picture
First Name
Johann Kaspar
Last Name
Birth Date
Death Date

Swiss-born German Theologian, Poet, Physiognomist