Distribution Automatique

Sunday, February 22

from *Amiel's Journal*
10th January 1881

"To let oneself be
troubled by the ill-will, the ingratitude, the
indifference of others, is a weakness to
which I am very much inclined. It is
painful to me to be misunderstood, ill judged.
I am wanting in manly hardihood, and the
heart to me is more vulnerable than it
ought to be. It seems to me, however,
that I have grown tougher in this respect
than I used to be. The malignity of the
world troubles me less than it did. Is it
the result of philosophy, or an effect of age,
or simply caused by the many proofs of
respect and attachment that I have received?
These proofs were just what were wanting
to inspire me with some self-respect.
Otherwise I should have so easily believed
in my own nullity and in the insignificance
of all my efforts. Success is necessary
for the timid, praise is a moral stimulus
and admiration a strengthening elixir. We
think we know ourselves, but as long as we
are ignorant of our comparative value, our
place in the social assessment, we do not
know ourselves well enough. If we are to
act with effect we must count for something
with our fellow men; we must feel
ourselves possessed of some weight and
credit with them, so that our effort may be
rightly proportioned to the resistance which
has to be overcome. As long as we despise
opinion we are without a standard by which
to measure ourselves; we do not know our
relative power. I have despised opinion
too much, while yet I have been too sensitive
to injustice. These two faults have
cost me dear. I longed for kindness, sympathy,
and equity, but my pride forbade me to
ask for them, or to employ any address
or calculation to obtain them....I
do not think I have been wrong altogether,
for all through I have been in harmony
with my best self, but my want of adaptability
has worn me out, to no purpose. Now indeed,
I am at peace within, but my
career is over, my strength is running out,
and my life is near its end.
"Il n'est pas plus temps pour rien excepte
pour mourir."
This is why I can look at it all historically."