Conventional people are roused to fury by departures from convention, largely because they regard such departures as a criticism of themselves.
I am really sorry to see my countrymen trouble themselves about politics. If men were wise, the most arbitrary princes could not hurt them. If they are not wise, the freest government is compelled to be a tyranny. Princes appear to me to be fools. Houses of Commons and Houses of Lords appear to me to be fools; they seem to me to be something else besides human life.
Some say that happiness is not good for mortals, and they ought to be answered that sorrow is not fit for immortals and is utterly useless to any one; a blight never does good to a tree, and if a blight kill not a tree but it still bear fruit, let none say that the fruit was in consequence of the blight.
Since I am a man, my heart is three or four times less sensitive, because I have three or four times as much power of reason and experience of the world -- a thing which you women call hard-heartedness. As a man, I can take refuge in having mistresses. The more of them I have, and the greater the scandal, the more I acquire reputation and brilliance in society.