Georg C. Lichtenberg
1742-1799. German scientist, satirist and anglophile, most famous for his notebooks published posthumously (which he himself called "waste books", using the English bookkeeping term).
Astronomy is perhaps the science whose discoveries owe least to chance, in which human understanding appears in its whole magnitude, and through which man can best learn how small he is.
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Much can be inferred about a man from his mistress: in her one beholds his weaknesses and his dreams.
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Food probably has a very great influence on the condition of men. Wine exercises a more visible influence, food does it more slowly but perhaps just as surely. Who knows if a well-prepared soup was not responsible for the pneumatic pump or a poor one for a war?
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Of all the inventions of man I doubt whether any was more easily accomplished than that of a Heaven.
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A book is a mirror: If an ass peers into it, you can't expect an apostle to look out.
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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.
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With most people disbelief in a thing is founded on a blind belief in some other thing.
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If all mankind were suddenly to practice honesty, many thousands of people would be sure to starve.
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It is hardly to be believed how spiritual reflections when mixed with a little physics can hold people's attention and give them a livelier idea of God than do the often ill-applied examples of his wrath.
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There is no more important rule of conduct in the world than this: attach yourself as much as you can to people who are abler than you and yet not so very different that you cannot understand them.
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