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These are the words of him who can not lie." It is impossible to describe the self-abasement, the grief, the joy, the shame, the hope, and the fear which filled the mind of this poor man. A dawn of comfort at length shone on his benighted mind. His humility and fear of falling back into his former sins, if he should ever recover, Mr. Thomas thought were strong symptoms of a sound repentance.

"Andy understands me, and he laughed. But his mother still smiled the clouded smile. "I hurled myself into the depths of self-abasement. I spared no harsh details. I told of the shampoo, and the candy on the window-ledge, the magazine under the bed. Religiously I itemized every article on my person, giving every one her proper due. Then I excused myself and went up-stairs.

Many of us, and I acknowledge I am one of the many, have developed a form of ascetic mania for self-abasement, a desire for truth which knows no limits in the dissection of its own condition and the disclosure of social and personal shortcomings and disadvantages. This tendency may be easily discerned in much of the German literature of the past twenty years; also, in my books.

This self-abasement was, largely, the result of the girl's natural instincts where her affections were concerned; these had been reinforced by the sentimental pabulum which enters so much into the fiction that is devoured by girls of Mavis' age and habit of thought.

The Chemist looked at the man, standing in self-abasement and degradation before him, and would have looked longer, in an ineffectual struggle for enlightenment, but that Milly resumed her late position by his side, and attracted his attentive gaze to her own face. "See how low he is sunk, how lost he is!" she whispered, stretching out her arm towards him, without looking from the Chemist's face.

This feeling, when disinterested, and connecting itself with the pure idea of duty, and not with some particular form of it, or with any of the merely accessory circumstances, is the essence of Conscience; though in that complex phenomenon as it actually exists, the simple fact is in general all encrusted over with collateral associations, derived from sympathy, from love, and still more from fear; from all the forms of religious feeling; from the recollections of childhood and of all our past life; from self-esteem, desire of the esteem of others, and occasionally even self-abasement.

The man who can bow down and worship the work of his hands shows a morbid craving for self-abasement. It is possible, no doubt, to plead that the graven image is a mere symbol of incorporeal, supersensible deity; and the plea is a good one, if, and in so far as, we can believe that the distinction between the sign and the thing signified is clear to the mind of the devotee.

Besides, our Lord has given her the gift of most sweet tears, great compassion for her neighbours, the knowledge of her own faults, a great reverence for good people, and self-abasement; and I am certain that she has done good to many, of whom I am one. She is continually reminding herself of God, and has a sense of His presence.

Perhaps they shaved off all the hair from their bodies in sign of supereminent self-abasement, leaving themselves naked to the cuticle, that they might prove, by ocular evidence, what a poor ungainly set of wretches they really were, carnally considered; or perhaps they went on all-fours to heaven, in sign of their unfitness to enter into the presence of the pure of mind in an attitude more erect and confident.

"He said that he was a fool, but he was God's fool," Holmes quoted from the letter, with a true sense of the pathos and the humor of the self-abasement. To me Clemens wrote a week later, "It doesn't get any better; it burns like fire." But now I understand that it was not shame that burnt, but rage for a blunder which he had so incredibly committed.