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Johann Kaspar Lavater Quotes

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A beautiful smile is to the female countenance what the sunbeam is to the landscape: it embellishes an inferior face, and redeems an ugly one.

A disagreeable smile distorts the lines of beauty, and is more repulsive than a frown.

A fop of fashion is the mercer's friend, the tailor's fool, and his own foe.

A gift, its kind, its value, and appearance; the silence or the pomp that attends it; the style in which it reaches you, may decide the dignity or vulgarity of the giver.

A sneer is often the sign of heartless malignity.

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

Actions, looks, words, steps, form the alphabet by which you may spell characters: some are mere letters, some contain entire words, lines, pages, which at once decipher the life of a man. One such genuine uninterrupted page may be your key to all the rest; but first be certain that he wrote it all alone, and without thinking of publisher or reader.

All affectation is the vain and ridiculous attempt of poverty to appear rich.

All belief that does not render us more happy, more free, more loving, more active, more calm, is, I fear, an erroneous and superstitious belief.

As you treat your body, so your house, your domestics, your enemies, your friends. - Dress is the table of your contents.

Avoid him who, for mere curiosity, asks three questions running about a thing that cannot interest him.

Be assured those will be thy worst enemies, not to whom thou hast done evil, but who have done evil to thee. - And those will be thy best friends, not to whom thou hast done good, but who have done good to thee.

Be not the fourth friend of him who had three before and lost them.

Be not too early in the fashion, nor too long out of it; nor at any time in the extremes of it.

Beware of him who hates the laugh of a child.

Calmness of will is a sign of grandeur. The vulgar, far from hiding their will, blab their wishes. A single spark of occasion discharges the child of passion into a thousand crackers of desire.

Close thine ear against him that shall open his mouth secretly against another. If thou receivest not his words, they fly back and wound the reporter. If thou dost receive them, they fly forward, and wound the receiver.

Conscience is the sentinel of virtue.

Cowards cannot see that their greatest safety lies in dauntless courage.

Depend on no man, on no friend but him who can depend on himself. He only who acts conscientiously toward himself, will act so toward others.

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