5 years ago
"No! I can't bear these despicable mannerisms that so many of your men of fashion affect. There's nothing I hate more than the contortions of your protestation-mongers, the affable exchangers of fatuous greetings, polite mouthers of meaningless words, who bandy civilities with all comers and treat everyone, blockhead and man of sense, alike. What satisfaction can there be in having a man express his consideration for you, profess friendship, faith, zeal, esteem and affection, and praise you to the skies when he'll hasten to do as much for the first worthless scoundrel he runs into? No, no! No man with any self-respect wants that sort of debased and worthless esteem. There's precious little satisfaction in the most glorious of reputations if you find you have to share it with the whole universe. Esteem must be founded on some sort of preference. Bestow it on everybody and it ceases to have any meaning at all. Surrender to the foolish manners of the age and, by God, you're no friend of mine! I despise the all-embracing, undiscriminating affection which makes no distinction of merit. I want to be singled out and, to put it bluntly, the friend of the whole human race is not my line at all."
"The world is governed by intrigue and self-interest, and it's sharp practice these days that wins every time. Men ought to be different from what they are. But is their disregard for justice a reason for withdrawing from their society? The failings of human nature in this life give us opportunities for exercising our philosophy, which is the best use we can put our virtues to. If all men were righteous, all hearts true and frank and loyal, what purpose would most of our virtues serve? Their usefulness lies in enabling us to stay calm and bear the injustices others inflict upon us when we are in the right."
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