I could not become anything; neither good nor bad; neither a scoundrel nor an honest man; neither a hero nor an insect. And now I am eking out my days in my corner, taunting myself with the bitter and entirely useless consolation that an intelligent man cannot seriously become anything, that only a fool can become something.
All this time we sat without speaking. I was considering how to begin. It was twilight in the room, a black storm−cloud was coming over the sky, and there came again a rumble of thunder in the distance.
Nature does not ask your permission, she has nothing to do with your wishes, and whether you like her laws or dislike them, you are bound to accept her as she is, and consequently all her conclusions.
Young man, do not forget to pray. Each time you pray, if you do so sincerely, there will be the flash of a new feeling in it, and a new thought as well, one you did not know before, which will give you fresh courage; and you will understand that prayer is education.
She would certainly eat only black bread and drink only water rather than sell her soul, and she would not surrender her moral freedom in return for comfort; she wouldn't surrender it for all Schleswig-Holstein.