Well, but you affirm that virtue is only elicited by temptation; – and you think that a woman cannot be too little exposed to temptation, or too little acquainted with vice, or anything connected therewith – It must be, either, that you think she is essentially so vicious, or so feeble-minded that she cannot withstand temptation, – and though she may be pure and innocent as long as she is kept in ignorance and restraint, yet, being destitute of real virtue, to teach her how to sin is at once to make her a sinner…

Unrequited love is the only emotion that allows sane people to taste the “life sentence

In today’s ambiguous world, character means despotism, tyranny, absolute intolerance. At last it is time to admire a lack of character, inner weakness. Our epoch is that of noble doubts, blessed uncertainty, sacred hypersensitivity, divine wishy-washiness.

He read disappointment at his response and wondered if she realized that she expected a certain amount of effusive sympathy from the people she told. Rejecting that sympathy made her feel strong, compensating for what she perceived as her weakness. He suspected that the disease was the first time she hadn’t been able to make everything come out all right through the sheer determination that it would be.

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