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...represented it to himself either whiter or blacker than it is; and having begun by taking life the wrong way, he ended in madness. In the talent of Rousseau there is always something unwholesome, uncertain, stormy, and sophistical, which destroys the confidence of the reader; and the reason is no doubt that we feel passion to have been the governing force in him as a writer: passion stirred his imagination, and ruled supreme over his reason.
* * * * *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.
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The unfinished is nothing.
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Great men are the true men, the men in whom nature has succeeded. They are not extraordinary--they are in the true order. It is the other species of men who are not what they ought to be.
January 7, 1866.--Our life is but a soap-bubble hanging from a reed; it is formed, expands to its full size, clothes itself with the loveliest colors of the prism, and even escapes at... Amiel, Henri Frederic
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