She was cold by nature, self-love predominating over passion; rather than being virtuous, she preferred to have her pleasures all to herself.
Boredom was at the root of Lazare's unhappiness, an oppressive, unremitting boredom, exuding from everything like the muddy water of a poisoned spring. He was bored with leisure, with work, with himself even more than with others. Meanwhile he blamed his own idleness for it, he ended by being ashamed of it.
No joy could be greater, they knew, than that of being acknowledged a master, as he was. So he gave up trying to make himself understood and sat listening to them, without a word.
On May 5, 1896, he wrote in his diary; I have no longer anything to say; everything is alike in its horrible cruelty.
One forges one's style on the terrible anvil of daily deadlines.