It had always, I confess, appeared to me a harmless life enough; not very effective, perhaps, and possibly liable to encourage a man in a trivial sort of self-conceit; but I had always looked upon that as an instinctive kind of self-respect, which kept an intellectual person from dwelling too sorely upon the sense of ineffectiveness; as an addiction not more serious in its effects upon character than the practice of playing golf, a thing in which a leisurely person might immerse himself, and cultivate a decent sense of self-importance.
"I had better not offer an opinion," Alban replied. "Why?" "I can't speak impartially; I dislike Miss de Sor." There was a pause. Alban's sense of self-respect forbade him to try the experiment which Francine had maliciously suggested. His thoughts less easy to restrain wandered in the direction of the garden.
In mathematics, in chemistry, in optics, in mechanics, he was, if not superior, at least equal, to the best of his contemporaries. His confidence in his own powers was the just result of self-knowledge and self-respect.
This is shown in the inebriate by a weakened intellect, a general debility of the mental faculties, a partial or total loss of self-respect, and a departure of the power of self-command; all of which, acting together, place the victim at the mercy of a depraved and morbid appetite, and make him utterly powerless, by his own unaided efforts, to secure his recovery from the disease which is destroying him."
In the Twentieth school of that date there was no waste of the children's time in foolish and fantastic branches of study, in showy exercises and accomplishments, whose display was at once ruinous to the nerves of the visitors, and to the self-respect and modesty of the children.
It would also tend to the formation of virtuous habits and the cultivation of self-respect; for the scholars would then enjoy their pastime in a pleasant and healthful yard, where they have a right to be, and need no longer be hunted as trespassers upon their neighbors' premises, as they now too frequently are.
I reckon the foreman thought it better to have Turk and me late than no dinner. I tried a hundred different schemes to instill ambition and self-respect into that ox, but he was an old dog and contented with his evil ways. "Several weeks passed, and Turk and I became a standing joke with the outfit. One morning I made the discovery that he was afraid of a slicker.
It was his failings as much as his talents that enabled him to work the miracle. His lack of self-respect and humour, his childish egotism, his love of gossip, his naive bathos, and his vulgarities contributed as much to the making of his immortal book as his industry, his wonderful verbal memory, and his doglike fidelity. I have said that his greatness is only reflected. But that is hardly just.
What! a class that is to be in want from no fault of its own, and yet greedily eager to receive from strangers; and to be quite respectable, and at the same time quite devoid of self-respect; and play the most delicate part of friendship, and yet never be seen; and wear the form of man, and yet fly in the face of all the laws of human nature: and all this, in the hope of getting a belly-god Burgess through a needle's eye!
"Oh, damn your self-respect!" he said brutally. "Your cursed book-talk is enough to drive a man to the devil. Anybody but you, with your 'views' and 'opinions' and fads and fancies generally, would be only too glad to oblige a good husband in such a small matter. And surely to God I know what is consistent with your self-respect!