13 January 2010

you sometimes pretend

... "by the way, you heard about the shoulder from me, which means that at this moment you are making wicked use of my own simple-heartedness and trustfulness; but you must agree that that shoulder really wasn't as bad as it seems at first sight, especially for that time; we were only beginning then. I was faking, of course, but I didn't know I was faking. Don't you ever fake, for instance, in practical cases?"
  "Just now, downstairs, I waxed a little sentimental, and felt very ashamed, as I was coming up here, at the thought that you might think I was faking. It's true that on some occasions, though your feelings are sincere, you sometimes pretend; but downstairs just now it was all natural."
  "That's precisely it; you've defined it very happily in a single phrase: 'though your feelings are sincere, all the same you pretend.' Well, that's exactly how it was with me: though I was pretending, I wept quite sincerely. I won't dispute that Makar Ivanovich might have taken that shoulder as an added mockery, if he had been more clever; but his honesty then stood in the way of his perspicacity. Only I don't know whether he pitied me then or not; I remember I very much wanted that."

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Adolescent (2003: 126)