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Henri Frederic Amiel Quotes


Swiss philosopher, poet and critic.
(1821 - 1881)

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"A family without government," says Matthew Henry, "is like a house without a roof, exposed to every wind that blows." - He might better have said, like a house in flames, a scene of confusion, and commonly too hot to live in.
[Family]
 

A man must be able to cut a knot, for everything cannot be untied; he must know how to disengage what is essential from the detail in which it is enwrapped, for everything cannot be equally considered; in a word, he must be able to simplify his duties, his business and his life.
[Decisions]
 

A man only understands what is akin to something already existing in himself.
[Knowledge]
 

A thousand things advance; nine hundred and ninety-nine retreat; that is progress.
[Progress]
 

Action and faith enslave thought, both of them in order not be troubled or inconvenienced by reflection, criticism, and doubt.
[Action]
 

Action is coarsened thought; thought becomes concrete, obscure, and unconscious.
[Action]
 

Almost everything comes from almost nothing.
[Time]
 

An error is the more dangerous in proportion to the degree of truth which it contains.
 

Analysis kills spontaneity. The grain once ground into flour springs and germinates no more.
[Instincts]
 

Any landscape is a condition of the spirit.
 

Blessed be childhood, which brings down something of heaven into the midst of our rough earthliness.
[Blessed]
 

Charm is the quality in others, that makes us more satisfied with ourselves.
 

Clever people will recognize and tolerate nothing but cleverness.
 

Cleverness is serviceable for everything, sufficient for nothing.
[Cleverness]
 

Common sense is the measure of the possible; it is composed of experience and prevision; it is calculation applied to life.
 

Conquering any difficulty always gives one a secret joy, for it means pushing back a boundary-line and adding to one's liberty.
[Problems]
 

Destiny has two ways of crushing us - by refusing our wishes and by fulfilling them.
 

Doing easily what others find difficult is talent; doing what is impossible for talent is genius.
[Genius]
 

Every life is a profession of faith, and exercises an inevitable and silent influence.
 

Everything you need for better future and success has already been written. And guess what? All you have to do is go to the library.
 


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