When David would rightly savor his power and glory, he took a census of the people; in our age, on the other hand, one might say that the people, in order to feel their importance in comparison with a higher power, count themselves.
People think the world needs a republic, and they think it needs a new social order, and a new religion, but it never occurs to anyone that what the world really needs, confused as it is by much learning, is a new Socrates.
This little book seeks that single individual whom I with joy and gratitude call my reader, in order to pay him a visit, indeed, to stay with him, because one goes to the person one loves, makes one's home with him, and remains with him if this is allowed.
Knowledge can in part be set aside, and one can then go further in order to collect new; the natural scientist can set aside insects and flowers and then go further, but if the existing person sets aside the decision in existence, it is eo ipso lost, and he is changed.
To tell a young peasant girl that she is pretty, that she has sparkling eyes, to beg her to turn around in order to observe her form, does not exhibit Don Juan as someone exceptional but simply as a lewd fellow who looks over a girl as a dealer does a horse.