"Conscience ... lacks the power to externalize itself, the power to make itself into a Thing, and to endure being. It lives in dread of besmirching the splendour of its inner being by action and an existence; and in order to preserve the purity of its heart, it flees from contact with the actual world, and persists in its self-willed impotence to renounce its self which is reduced to the extreme of ultimate abstraction, and to give itself a substantial existence, or to transform its thought into being.... Its activity is a yearning which merely loses itself as consciousness becomes an object devoid of substance, and, rising above this loss, and falling back on itself, finds itself only as a lost soul. In this transparent purity of its moments, an unhappy, so-called 'beautiful soul,' its light dies away within it, and it vanishes like a shapeless vapour that dissolves into thin air."
"She had no longer any relish for her once favorite amusement of reading. And mostly she disliked those authors who have penetrated deeply into the intricate paths of vanity in the human mind, for in them her own folly was continually brought to her remembrance and presented to her view."
"I sometimes feel a great ennui, profound emptiness, doubts which sneer in my face in the midst of the most spontaneous satisfactions. Well, I would not exchange all that for anything, because it seems to me, in my conscience, that I am doing my duty, that I am obeying a superior fatality, that I am following the Good and that I am in the Right."
"In the depths of every heart, there is a tomb and a dungeon, though the lights, the music, and revelry above may cause us to forget their existence, and the buried ones, or prisoners whom they hide. But sometimes, and oftenest at midnight, those dark receptacles are flung wide open. In an hour like this, when the mind has a passive sensibility, but no active strength; when the imagination is a mirror, imparting vividness to all ideas, without the power of selecting or controlling them; then pray that your griefs may slumber, and the brotherhood of remorse not break their chain."
"... even I am growing accustomed to slavery; so much so that I cease to think of its accursed influence and calmly eat from the hands of the bondman without being mindful that he is such. O, Slavery, hateful thing that thou art thus to blunt the keen edge of conscience!"