1 Another time, twice, in fact, I tried hard to be in love.
2 In the first place I spent most of my time at home, reading.
3 But whether I despised them or thought them superior I dropped my eyes almost every time I met anyone.
4 That is, I believe it, perhaps, but at the same time I feel and suspect that I am lying like a cobbler.
5 You declare that you are gnashing your teeth and at the same time you try to be witty so as to amuse us.
6 You declare that you are afraid of nothing and at the same time try to ingratiate yourself in our good opinion.
7 In fact, I would even have put up with looking base if, at the same time, my face could have been thought strikingly intelligent.
8 Of course, I hated my fellow clerks one and all, and I despised them all, yet at the same time I was, as it were, afraid of them.
9 And not only at the present time owing to some casual circumstances, but always, at all times, a decent man is bound to be a coward and a slave.
10 At one time I was unwilling to speak to anyone, while at other times I would not only talk, but go to the length of contemplating making friends with them.
11 Well, in short, actions that all, perhaps, commit; but which, as though purposely, occurred to me at the very time when I was most conscious that they ought not to be committed.
12 At the same time I was genuinely touched and penitent, I used to shed tears and, of course, deceived myself, though I was not acting in the least and there was a sick feeling in my heart at the time.
13 And try letting yourself be carried away by your feelings, blindly, without reflection, without a primary cause, repelling consciousness at least for a time; hate or love, if only not to sit with your hands folded.
14 For forty years together it will remember its injury down to the smallest, most ignominious details, and every time will add, of itself, details still more ignominious, spitefully teasing and tormenting itself with its own imagination.
15 Tell me this: why does it happen that at the very, yes, at the very moments when I am most capable of feeling every refinement of all that is "sublime and beautiful," as they used to say at one time, it would, as though of design, happen to me not only to feel but to do such ugly things, such that.
16 And, in fact, we ought unwearyingly to repeat to ourselves that at such and such a time and in such and such circumstances nature does not ask our leave; that we have got to take her as she is and not fashion her to suit our fancy, and if we really aspire to formulas and tables of rules, and well, even.
17 But I repeat for the hundredth time, there is one case, one only, when man may consciously, purposely, desire what is injurious to himself, what is stupid, very stupid--simply in order to have the right to desire for himself even what is very stupid and not to be bound by an obligation to desire only what is sensible.
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