Quotes Categories

Georg C. Lichtenberg Quotes

(1742-1799), German Physicist, Satirist

Many things about our bodies would not seem to us so filthy and obscene if we did not have the idea of nobility in our heads.

Category: Body

A book is a mirror: If an ass peers into it, you can't expect an apostle to look out.

Category: Books And Reading

A vacuum of ideas affects people differently than a vacuum of air, otherwise readers of books would be constantly collapsing.

Category: Books And Reading

Do we write books so that they shall merely be read? Don't we also write them for employment in the household? For one that is read from start to finish, thousands are leafed through, other thousands lie motionless, others are jammed against mouseholes, thrown at rats, others are stood on, sat on, drummed on, have gingerbread baked on them or are used to light pipes.

Category: Books And Reading

There are very many people who read simply to prevent themselves from thinking.

Category: Books And Reading

It is no great art to say something briefly when, like Tacitus, one has something to say; when one has nothing to say, however, and none the less writes a whole book and makes truth into a liar -- that I call an achievement.

Category: Brevity

A person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the joke he resents.

Category: Character

There were honest people long before there were Christians and there are, God be praised, still honest people where there are no Christians. It could therefore easily be possible that people are Christians because true Christianity corresponds to what they would have been even if Christianity did not exist.

Category: Christians And Christianity

Man loves company, even if it is only that of a smoldering candle.

Category: Company

He who is enamored of himself will at least have the advantage of being inconvenienced by few rivals.

Category: Conceit

To be content with life -- or to live merrily, rather --all that is required is that we bestow on all things only a fleeting, superficial glance; the more thoughtful we become the more earnest we grow.

Category: Contentment

The fly that does not want to be swatted is safest if it sits on the fly-swat.

Category: Cunning

Once the good man was dead, one wore his hat and another his sword as he had worn them, a third had himself barbered as he had, a fourth walked as he did, but the honest man that he was -- nobody any longer wanted to be that.

Category: Disciples

If we make a couple of discoveries here and there we need not believe things will go on like this for ever. Just as we hit water when we dig in the earth, so we discover the incomprehensible sooner or later.

Category: Discovery

If all mankind were suddenly to practice honesty, many thousands of people would be sure to starve.

Category: Dishonesty