Nothing is more fairly distributed than common sense: no one thinks he needs more of it than he already has.
I am now convinced that I have never been much in love; for had I really experienced that pure and elevating passion, I should at present detest his very name, and wish him all manner of evil. But my feelings are not only cordial towards him; they are even impartial towards her. I cannot find out that I hate her at all, or that I am in the least unwilling to think her a very good sort of girl. There can be no love in all this.
Just as the office worker dreams of murdering his hated boss and so is saved from really murdering him, so it is with the author; with his great dreams he helps his readers to survive, to avoid their worst intentions. And society, without realizing it respects and even exalts him, albeit with a kind of jealousy, fear and even repulsion, since few people want to discover the horrors that lurk in the depths of their souls. This is the highest mission of great literature, and there is no other.
Nature admits of no permanence in the relation between man and woman. It is only man's egoism that wants to keep woman like some buried treasure. All endeavors to introduce permanence in love, the most changeable thing in this changeable human existence, have gone shipwreck in spite of religious ceremonies, vows, and legalities.
Man is the one who desires, woman the one who is desired. This is woman's entire but decisive advantage. Through man's passions, nature has given man into woman's hands, and the woman who does not know how to make him her subject, her slave, her toy, and how to betray him with a smile in the end is not wise.