Every decent man of our age must be a coward and a slave. That is his normal condition. Of that I am firmly persuaded. He is made and constructed to that very end. And not only at the present time owing to some casual circumstance, but always, at all times, a decent man is bound to be a coward and a slave.
("Notes from Underground")
More Quotes from Fyodor Dostoyevsky:I believe this is so and I'm prepared to vouch for it, because it seems to me that the meaning of man's life consists in proving to himself every minute that he's a man and not a piano key. And man will keep proving it and paying for it with his own skin; he will turn into a troglodyte if need be. And, since this is so, I cannot help rejoicing that things are still the way they are and that, for the time being, nobody knows worth a damn what determines our desires.
I really feel obliged to go to this confounded luncheon.
I am glad that at such a moment my young man turned out to be not so reasonable; the time will come for an intelligent man to be reasonable, but if at such an exceptional moment there is no love to be found in a young man's heart, then when will it come?
It's always worthwhile speaking to a clever man.
By showing him so much respect, Thou didst, as it were, cease to feel for him, for Thou didst ask far too much from Him--Thou who has loved him more than Thyself! Respecting him less, Thou wouldst have asked less of him. That would have been more like love, for his burden would have been lighter.
Ah, Father! That's words and only words! Forgive! If he'd not been run over, he'd have come home today drunk and his only shirt dirty and in rags and he'd have fallen asleep like a log, and I should have been sousing and rinsing till daybreak, washing his rags and the children's and then drying them by the window and as soon as it was daylight I should have been darning them. What's the use of talking forgiveness! I have forgiven as it is!
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Edward H. Harriman
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