It is difficult to say which is the greatest evil--to have too violent passions, or to be wholly devoid of them. Controlled with firmness, guided by discretion, and hallowed by the imagination, the passions are the vivifiers and quickeners of our being. Without passion there can be no energy of character. Indeed, the passions are like fire, useful in a thousand ways, and dangerous only in one--through their excess.
- Christian Nestell Bovee
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For instance, I never complained that my birthday was overlooked; people were even surprised, with a touch of admiration, by my discretion on this subject. But the reason for my disinterestedness was even more discreet: I longed to be forgotten in order to be able to complain to myself… Once my solitude was thoroughly proved, I could surrender to the charms of a virile self-pity.