Henri-Frédéric Amiel Quotes

Henri-Frédéric Amiel

To adore, to understand, to receive, to feel, to give, to act: there is my law my duty, my happiness, my heaven. Let come what come will - even death.

Henri-Frédéric Amiel
(The Journal Intime, 1848)
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The ideal doctor would be a man endowed with profound knowledge of life and of the soul, intuitively divining any suffering or disorder of whatever kind, and restoring peace by his mere presence.
Henri-Frédéric Amiel (The Journal Intime, 1873)
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-Frédéric Amiel (The Journal Intime, 1853)
To know how to suggest is the great art of teaching. To attain it we must be able to guess what will interest; we must learn to read the childish soul as we might a piece of music. Then, by simply changing the key, we keep up the attraction and vary the song.
Henri-Frédéric Amiel (The Journal Intime, 1864)
Mutual repect 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-Frédéric Amiel (The Journal Intime, 1862)
What we call little things are merely the causes of great things; they are the beginning, the embryo, and it is the point of departure which, generally speaking, decides the whole future of an existence. One single black speck may be the beginning of a gangrene, of a storm, of a revolution.
Henri-Frédéric Amiel (The Journal Intime, 1868)
In the conduct of life, habits count for more than maxims, because habit is a living maxim, becomes flesh and instinct. To reform one's maxims is nothing: it is but to change the title of the book. To learn new habits is everything, for it is to reach the substance of life. Life is but a tissue of habits.
Henri-Frédéric Amiel (The Journal Intime, 1851)
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.
Henri-Frédéric Amiel (The Journal Intime, 1877)
I am a spectator, so to speak, of the molecular whirlwind which men call individual life; I am conscious of an incessant metamorphosis, an irresistible movement of existence, which is going on within me—and this phenomenology of myself serves as a window opened upon the mystery of the world.
Henri-Frédéric Amiel (The Journal Intime)
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-Frédéric Amiel (The Journal Intime, 1864)
The philosopher is like a man fasting in the midst of universal intoxication. He alone perceives the illusion of which all creatures are the willing playthings; he is less duped than his neighbor by his own nature. He judges more sanely, he sees things as they are. It is in this that his liberty consists - in the ability to see clearly and soberly, in the power of mental record.
Henri-Frédéric Amiel (The Journal Intime, 1872)
To be misunderstood even by those whom one loves is the cross and bitterness of life. It is the secret of that sad and melancholy smile on the lips of great men which so few understand; it is the cruelest trial reserved for self-devotion; it is what must have oftenest wrung the heart of the Son of man; and if God could suffer, it would be the wound we should be forever inflicting upon Him. He also—He above all—is the great misunderstood, the least comprehended.
Henri-Frédéric Amiel (The Journal Intime, 1849)
Each bud flowers but once and each flower has but its minute of perfect beauty; so, in the garden of the soul each feeling has, as it were, its flowering instant, its one and only moment of expansive grace and radiant kingship. Each star passes but once in the night through the meridian over our heads and shines there but an instant; so, in the heaven of the mind each thought touches its zenith but once, and in that moment all its brilliancy and all its greatness culminate. Artist, poet, or thinker, if you want to fix and immortalize your ideas or your feelings, seize them at this precise and fleeting moment, for it is their highest point. Before it, you have but vague outlines or dim presentiments of them. After it you will have only weakened reminiscence or powerless regret; that moment is the moment of your ideal.
Henri-Frédéric Amiel (The Journal Intime, 1850)
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Henri-Frédéric Amiel Biography

Born: September 27, 1821
Died: May 11, 1881

Henri-Frédéric Amiel was a Swiss philosopher and poet. He is best known for his private journal and for his several volumes of poetry

Notable Works

The Journal Intime (1882)


Picture Quotes