To owe life to a malefactor . . . to be, in spite of himself, on a level with a fugitive from justice . . . to betray society in order to be true to his own conscience; that all these absurdities . . . should accumulate on himself—this is what prostrated him.
His mental attitude was compounded of two very simple principles, admirable in themselves but which, by carrying them to extremes, he made almost evil – respect for authority and hatred of revolt against it.
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