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

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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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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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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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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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Our duty is to be useful, not according to our desires, but according to our powers.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Power]

 

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Our systems, perhaps, are nothing more than an unconscious apology for our faults --a gigantic scaffolding whose object is to hide from us our favorite sin.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Belief]

 

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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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Pure truth cannot be assimilated by the crowd; it must be communicated by contagion.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Communication]

 

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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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Self-interest is but the survival of the animal in us. Humanity only begins for man with self-surrender.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Self-interest]

 

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So long as a person is capable of self-renewal they are a living being.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Change]

 

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Society lives by faith, and develops by science.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Society]

 

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Sympathy is the first condition of criticism.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Sympathy]

 

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Tears are the symbol of the inability of the soul to restrain its emotion and retain its self command.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Tears]

 

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Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Appreciation]

 

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The best path through life is the highway.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Direction]

 

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The fire which enlightens is the same fire which consumes.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel - [Passion]

 

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