Monday, January 20, 2003

The Intimate Journal of Henri Amiel: December 11, 1872

December 11, 1872

The ideal which the wife and mother makes for herself, the manner in which she understands duty and life, con- tain the fate of the community. Her faith becomes the star of the conjugal ship, and her love the animating prin- ciple that fashions the future of all belonging to her. Woman is the salvation or destruction of the family. She carries its destinies in the folds of her mantle.


Perhaps it is not desirable that a woman should be free in mind; she would immediately abuse her freedom. We cannot become philosophical without losing her special. gift, which is the worship of all that is individual, the defense of usage, manners, beliefs, traditions. Her rĂ´le is to slacken the combustion of thought. It is analogous to that of azote in vital air.


In every loving woman there is a priestess of the past--a pious guardian of some affection, of which the object has disappeared.

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