21 Apr The Wisdom of Goethe (JOHANN PETER ECKERMANN)
When we are children, we are sensualists; idealists when we love, and attribute to the beloved object qualities which she does not naturally possess. Love wavers; we doubt her fidelity, and are sceptics before we think of it. The rest of life is indifferent; we let it go as it will, and end, like the Indian philosophers, with quietism.
Tuesday, February 17, 1829
Splendid edifices and apartments are for princes and kingdoms. Those who live in them feel at ease and contented, and desire nothing further. To my own nature this is quite repugnant. In a splendid abode, like that which I had at Carlsbad, I am at once lazy and inactive. On the contrary, a small residence, like this poor apartment in which we now are, and where a sort of disorderly order —a sort of gipsy-fashion—prevails, suits me exactly. It allows my inner nature full liberty to act, and to create from itself alone.
Monday, March 23, 1829
All indolent habits are against my nature. You see in my chamber no sofa; I always sit in my old wooden chair; and never till a few weeks ago have I had a leaning place put for my head. If I am surrounded by convenient tasteful furniture, my thoughts are absorbed, and I am placed in an agreeable, but passive state. Unless we are accustomed to them from early youth, splendid chambers and elegant furniture are for people who neither have nor can have any thoughts.
Friday, March 25, 1831
Conversations Of Goethe
Johann Peter Eckermann