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[ Also see Apologies Conscience Despair Grief Guilt Hell Humility Melancholy Misery Reform Reformation Regret Repentance Retribution Shame Sorrow ]

Rare is the man who suffers no remorse as he passes from the state of confidant to that of rival.
      - Honore de Balzac

Remorse is impotent; it will repeat its faults. Repentance only is a true force; it puts an end to everything.
      - Honore de Balzac

Cruel Remorse! where Youth and Pleasure sport,
  And thoughtless Folly keeps her court,--
    Crouching 'midst rosy bowers thou lurk'st unseen
      Slumbering the festal hours away,
        While Youth disports in that enchanting scene;
          Till on some fated day
            Thou with a tiger-spring dost leap upon thy prey,
              And tear his helpless breast, o'erwhelmed with wild dismay.
      - Mrs. Anna Letitia Barbauld, Ode to Remorse
         (st. 6)

There is "a mental fatigue which is a spurious kind of remorse, and has all the anguish of the nobler feeling. It is an utter weariness and prostration of spirit, a sickness of heart and mind, a bitter longing to lie down and die.
      - Mary Elizabeth Braddon

Remorse is virtue's root; its fair increase are fruits of innocence and blessedness.
      - William Cullen Bryant

One of those terrible moments when the wheel of passion stands suddenly still.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

Remorse is the echo of a lost virtue.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

So do the dark in soul expire,
  Or live like scorpion girt by fire;
    So writhes the mind remorse hath riven,
      Unfit for earth, undoom'd for heaven,
        Darkness above, despair beneath,
          Around it flame, within it death.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

So writhes the mind remorse hath riven.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

Remorse turns us against ourselves.
      - Sebastien-Roch-Nicolas de Chamfort

We can prostrate ourselves in the dust when we have committed a fault, but it is not best to remain there.
      - Francois August Rene de Chateaubriand, Vicomte de Chateaubriand

To consume an honest soul with remorse is the greatest of all crimes.
      - Mlle. Clarion (professional name of Clare Josephe Leris}

Remorse weeps tears of blood.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Remorse is as the heart in which it grows;
  If that be gentle, it drops balmy dews
    Of true repentance; but if proud and gloomy,
      It is the poison tree, that pierced to the inmost,
        Weeps only tears of poison.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Remorse
         (act I, sc. 1)

Remorse, the fatal egg by pleasure laid,
  In every bosom where her nest is made,
    Hatched by the beams of truth, denies him rest,
      And proves a raging scorpion in his breast.
      - William Cowper

God speaks to our hearts through the voice of remorse.
      - Francois Joachim Pierre de Bernis

There is anguish in the recollection that we have not adequately appreciated the affection of those whom we have loved and lost.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

Not sharp revenge, nor hell itself can find,
  A fiercer torment than a guilty mind,
    Which day and night doth dreadfully accuse,
      Condemns the wretch, and still the charge renews.
      - John Dryden

There is no heart without remorse, no life without some misfortune, no one but what is something stained with sin.
      - James Ellis

Not even for an hour can you bear to be alone, nor can you advantageously apply your leisure time, but you endeavor, a fugitive and wanderer, to escape from yourself, now vainly seeking to banish remorse by wine, and now by sleep; but the gloomy companion presses on you, and pursues you as you fly.
      - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus)

Remorse is the punishment of crime; repentance, its expiation. The former appertains to a tormented conscience; the latter to a soul changed for the better.
      - Joseph Joubert

Remorse is the fruit of crime.
      - Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenal)

Man, wretched man, whene'er he stoops to sin,
  Feels, with the act, a strong remorse within.
      - Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenal), Satires
         (satire XIII, l. 1),
        (William Gifford's translation)

It is better to be affected with a true penitent sorrow for sin than to be able to resolve the most difficult cases about it.
      - Thomas a Kempis

To be left alone
  And face to face with my own crime, had been
    Just retribution.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
        Masque of Pandora
         (pt. VIII, In the Garden)

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