In this novel we see a young man madly in love with a girl from a moderately poor family. This girl falls in love with a very aristocratic prince-- a man without principles, but charming in his childish egotism-- extremely attractive by his sincerity, and with a full capacity for quite... read more
“If it were only possible (which, however, from the laws of human nature never can be possible), if it were possible for every one of us to describe his secret thoughts, without hesitating to disclose what he is afraid to tell and would not on any account tell other people,what he is afraid to tell his best friends, what, indeed, he is even at times afraid to confess to himself, the world would be filled with such a stench that we should all be suffocated. That's why, I may observe in parenthesis, our social proprieties and conventions are so good. They have a profound value, I won't say for morality, but simply for self-preservation, for comfort, which, of course, is even more, since morality is really that same comfort, that is, it's invented simply for the sake of comfort (...)you charge me with vice, corruption, immorality, but perhaps I'm only to blame for being more open than other people, that's all;for not concealing what other people hide even from themselves, as I said before.”Prince Valkovsky
“Damn philosophy! Buvons, mon cher!”Prince Valkovsky
“I have no ideals and I don't want to have them; I've never felt a yearning for them. One can live such a gay and charming life without ideals...and, en somme,I'm very glad that I can get on without prussic acid. If I were a little more virtuous I could not perhaps get on without it, like that fool philosopher (no doubt a German). No! There's stll so much good left in life.”Prince Valkovsky
“...at the root of all human virtues lies the completest egoism! And the more virtuous anything is, the more egoism there is in it.Love yourself, that's the one rule I recognize. (...) Those are my morals...”Prince Valkovsky
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