Henri Frédéric Amiel (September 27, 1821 - May 11, 1881) was a Swiss philosopher, poet and critic. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)
A man without passion is only a latent force, only a possibility, like a stone waiting for the blow from the iron to give forth sparks.
A thousand things advance; nine hundred and ninety-nine retreat: that is progress.
An error is the more dangerous in proportion to the degree of truth it contains.
Analysis kills spontaneity. The grain once ground into flour springs and germinates no more.
Clever men will recognize and tolerate nothing but cleverness; every authority rouses their ridicule, every superstition amuses them, every convention moves them to contradiction.
Common sense is the measure of the possible; it is composed of experience and prevision; it is calculation applied to life.
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.
Dreams are excursions into the limbo of things, a semi-deliverance from the human prison.
If man was what he ought to be he would be adored by the animals.
If nationality is consent, the state is compulsion.
It is truth alone- scientific, established, proved, and rational truth- which is capable of satisfying nowadays the awakened minds of all classes. We may still say perhaps, 'faith governs the world,'- but the faith of the present is no longer in revelation or in the priest- it is in reason and in science.
Life is short, and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.
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?
Our duty is to be useful, not according to our desires, but according to our powers.
Pure truth cannot be assimilated by the crowd; it must be communicated by contagion.
Society lives by faith, develops by science.
The great artist is the simplifier.
The highest function of the teacher consists not so much in imparting knowledge as in stimulating the pupil in its love and pursuit. To know how to suggest is the art of teaching.
The man who has no inner life is the slave of his surroundings.
The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides. Accept life, and you must accept regret.
The stationary condition is the beginning of the end.
The test of every religious, political, or educational system, is the man which it forms. If a system injures the intelligence it is bad. If it injures the character it is vicious. If it injures the conscience it is criminal.
There is no curing a sick man who believes himself to be in health.
To know how to grow old is the master-work of wisdom, and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living.
To shun one's cross is to make it heavier.
Truth is not only violated by falsehood; it may be outraged by silence.
Will localizes us, thought universalizes us.
Women wish to be loved not because they are pretty, or good, or well bred, or graceful, or intelligent, but because they are themselves.