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JOHANN KASPAR LAVATER (JOHN CASPAR LAVATER)
Swiss theologian, poet, mystic and physiognomist
(1741 - 1801)
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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.
      - [Smiles]

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

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.
      - [Gifts]

A great passion has no partner.
      - [Passion]

Act well at the moment, and you have performed a good action to all eternity.
      - [Action]

Actions, looks, words, steps from the alphabet by which you may spell characters.
      - [Character]

All affectation is the vain and ridiculous attempt of poverty to appear rich.
      - [Affectation]

All belief which does not render more happy, more free, more loving, more active, more calm, is, I fear, an erroneous and superstitious belief.
      - [Religion]

All finery is a sign of littleness.
      - [Dandy]

An entirely honest man, in the severe sense of the word, exists no more than an entirely dishonest knave; the best and the worst are only approximations to those qualities. Who are those that never contradict themselves? yet honesty never contradicts itself. Who are they that always contradict themselves? yet knavery is mere self-contradiction. Thus the knowledge of man determines not the things themselves, but their proportions, the quantum of congruities and incongruities.
      - [Honesty]

And still, laughter is akin to weeping.
      - [Laughter]

As a man's salutations, so is the total of his character; in nothing do we lay ourselves so open as in our manner of meeting and salutation.
      - [Manners]

As the interest of man, so his God; as his God, so he.
      - [Interest]

As the present character of a man, so his past, so his future. Who recollects distinctly his past adventures knows his destiny to come.
      - [Character]

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

As your enemies and your friends, so are you.
      - [Character]

Avoid connecting yourself with characters whose good and bad sides are unmixed and have not fermented together; they resemble vials of vinegar and oil; or palletts set with colors; they are either excellent at home and insufferable abroad, or intolerable within doors and excellent in public; they are unfit for friendship, merely because their stamina, their ingredients of character are too single, too much apart; let them be finely ground up with each other, and they are incomparable.
      - [Character]

Avoid him who from mere curiosity asks three questions running about a thing that cannot interest Him.
      - [Curiosity]

Avoid pretension; Nature never pretends.
      - [Modesty]

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.
      - [Enemies]

Be certain that he who has betrayed thee once will betray thee again.
      - [Corruption]

Be neither too early in the fashion, nor too long out of it; nor at any time in the extremes of it.
      - [Fashion]

Beware of biting jests; the more truth they carry with them, the greater wounds they give, the greater smarts they cause, and the greater scars they leave behind them.
      - [Jesting]

Beware of him who hates the laugh of a child.
      - [Laughter]

Borrowed wit is the poorest wit.
      - [Imitation]


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