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 :: 1821-1881, Swiss Philosopher, Poet, Critic

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Sacrifice still exists everywhere, and everywhere the elect of each generation suffers for the salvation of the rest.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Sacrifice]

 

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Sacrifice, which is the passion of great souls, has never been the law of societies.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Sacrifice]

 

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Our true history is scarcely ever deciphered by others. The chief part of the drama is a monologue, or rather an intimate debate between God, our conscience, and ourselves. Tears, grieves, depressions, disappointments, irritations, good and evil thoughts, decisions, uncertainties, deliberations --all these belong to our secret, and are almost all incommunicable and intransmissible, even when we try to speak of them, and even when we write them down.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Secrets]

 

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Clever people will recognize and tolerate nothing but cleverness.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Intelligence and Intellectuals]

 

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Mutual respect implies discretion and reserve even in love itself; it means preserving as much liberty as possible to those whose life we share. We must distrust our instinct of intervention, for the desire to make one's own will prevail is often disguised under the mask of solicitude.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Intervention]

 

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Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are travelling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Life and Living]

 

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Women wish to be loved not because they are pretty, or good, or well bred, or graceful, or intelligent, but because they are themselves.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Love]

 

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In every loving woman there is a priestess of the past -- a pious guardian of some affection, of which the object has disappeared.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Lovers]

 

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To marry unequally is to suffer equally.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Marriage]

 

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Materialism coarsens and petrifies everything, making everything vulgar, and every truth false.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Materialism]

 

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Melancholy is at the bottom of everything, just as at the end of all rivers is the sea. Can it be otherwise in a world where nothing lasts, where all that we have loved or shall love must die? Is death, then, the secret of life? The gloom of an eternal mourning enwraps, more or less closely, every serious and thoughtful soul, as night enwraps the universe.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Melancholy]

 

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An error is the more dangerous in proportion to the degree of truth which it contains.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Mistakes]

 

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Mozart has the classic purity of light and the blue ocean; Beethoven the romantic grandeur which belongs to the storms of air and sea, and while the soul of Mozart seems to dwell on the ethereal peaks of Olympus, that of Beethoven climbs shuddering the storm-beaten sides of a Sinai. Blessed be they both! Each represents a moment of the ideal life, each does us good. Our love is due to both.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Music]

 

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The obscure only exists that it may cease to exist. In it lies the opportunity of all victory and all progress. Whether it call itself fatality, death, night, or matter, it is the pedestal of life, of light, of liberty and the spirit. For it represents resistance -- that is to say, the fulcrum of all activity, the occasion for its development and its triumph.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Obscurity]

 

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Order is a great person's need and their true well being.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Order]

 

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Order is power.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Order]

 

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Destiny has two ways of crushing us -- by refusing our wishes and by fulfilling them.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Fate]

 

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Doing easily what others find difficult is talent; doing what is impossible for talent is genius.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Genius]

 

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To do easily what is difficult for others is the mark of talent. To do what is impossible for talent is the mark of genius.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Genius]

 

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It is by teaching that we teach ourselves, by relating that we observe, by affirming that we examine, by showing that we look, by writing that we think, by pumping that we draw water into the well.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Giving]

 

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