1742-1799, German Physicist, Satirist
A book is a mirror: If an ass peers into it, you can't expect an apostle to look out.
A clever child brought up with a foolish one can itself become foolish. Man is so perfectible and corruptible he can become a fool through good sense.
Georg C. Lichtenberg – [Fools and Foolishness]
A good metaphor is something even the police should keep an eye on.
Georg C. Lichtenberg – [Literature]
A handful of soldiers is always better than a mouthful of arguments.
Georg C. Lichtenberg – [Oppression]
A man is never more serious than when he praise himself.
Georg C. Lichtenberg – [Praise]
A person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the joke he resents.
Georg C. Lichtenberg – [Character]
A schoolteacher or professor cannot educate individuals, he educates only species.
Georg C. Lichtenberg – [Teachers and Teaching]
A vacuum of ideas affects people differently than a vacuum of air, otherwise readers of books would be constantly collapsing.
Actual aristocracy cannot be abolished by any law: all the law can do is decree how it is to be imparted and who is to acquire it.
Georg C. Lichtenberg – [Aristocracy]
Affectation is a very good word when someone does not wish to confess to what he would none the less like to believe of himself.
Georg C. Lichtenberg – [Affectation]
As I take up my pen I feel myself so full, so equal to my subject, and see my book so clearly before me in embryo, I would almost like to try to say it all in a single word.
Georg C. Lichtenberg – [Writers and Writing]
As the few adepts in such things well know, universal morality is to be found in little everyday penny-events just as much as in great ones. There is so much goodness and ingenuity in a raindrop that an apothecary wouldn't let it go for less than half-a-crown…
Georg C. Lichtenberg – [Things and Little Things]
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.
Georg C. Lichtenberg – [Astronomy]
Be wary of passing the judgment: obscure. To find something obscure poses no difficulty: elephants and poodles find many things obscure.
Georg C. Lichtenberg – [Obscurity]
Before we blame we should first see whether we cannot excuse.
Georg C. Lichtenberg – [Liberals]
Cautiousness in judgment is nowadays to be recommended to each and every one: if we gained only one incontestable truth every ten years from each of our philosophical writers the harvest we reaped would be sufficient.
Georg C. Lichtenberg – [Skepticism]
Delight at having understood a very abstract and obscure system leads most people to believe in the truth of what it demonstrates.
Georg C. Lichtenberg – [Theory]
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.
Erudition can produce foliage without bearing fruit.
Georg C. Lichtenberg – [Learning]
Even truth needs to be clad in new garments if it is to appeal to a new age.
Georg C. Lichtenberg – [Fashion]