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John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

Page 995

Henri Frédéric Amiel. (1821–1881) (continued)
      Truth is the secret of eloquence and of virtue, the basis of moral authority; it is the highest summit of art and of life.
      Life is the apprenticeship to progressive renunciation, to the steady diminution of our claims, of our hopes, of our powers, of our liberty.
      Doing easily what others find difficult is talent; doing what is impossible for talent is genius.
      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.
      The efficacy of religion lies precisely in what is not rational, philosophic or eternal; its efficacy lies in the unforeseen, the miraculous, the extraordinary. Thus religion attracts more devotion according as it demands more faith,—that is to say, as it becomes more incredible to the profane mind. The philosopher aspires to explain away all mysteries, to dissolve them into light. Mystery on the other hand is demanded and pursued by the religious instinct; mystery constitutes the essence of worship, the power of proselytism. When the “cross” became the “foolishness” of the cross, it took possession of the masses.
      If ignorance and passion are the foes of popular morality, it must be confessed that moral indifference is the malady of the cultivated classes. The modern separation of enlightenment and virtue, of thought and conscience, of the intellectual aristocracy from the honest and common crowd is the greatest danger that can threaten liberty.
Henrik Ibsen. (1828–1906)
      Only the spirit of rebellion craves for happiness in this life. What right have we human beings to happiness?