Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Mephistopheles on trusting yourself

All this, my friend, will time provide,
And of itself, itself will give;
Soon as you in yourself confide,
You know the way to live!
Mephistopheles to Faust in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe‘s Faust: A Tragedy, translated by Lewis Filmore, (London: William Smith, 1847), p. 79. First published in the German as Faust: eine Tragödie, (Tübingen, Germany: J. G. Cotta’schen Buchhandlung, 1808).

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"All this, my friend, will time provide"




My worthy friend, all this will give—
Trust in yourself, then know you how to live.
— in The Faust of Goethe: Part I, in English verse, translated by W. H. Colquhoun, (London: Arthur H. Moxon, 1878), p. 122.

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"My worthy friend, all this will give"




My friend, thou soon shalt lose all such misgiving:
Be thou but self-possessed, thou hast the art of living!
— in Faust: A Tragedy, translated by Bayard Taylor, (Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1883), p. 82.

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"My friend, thou soon shalt lose all such misgiving"

Paraphrases

  • As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe on inspiration

Wide horizon, eager life,
Busy years of honest strife,
Ever seeking, ever founding,
Never ending, ever rounding,
Guarding tenderly the old,
Taking of the new glad hold,
Pure in purpose, bright in heart—
Thus we gain—at least a start!
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe cited by Kate Vaughan Jennings in Rahel: her life and letters, (London: H. S. King, 1876), p. 1.