You have been called selfish for the courage of acting on your own judgement and bearing sole responsibility for your own life. You have been called arrogant for your independent mind. You have been called cruel for your unyielding integrity. You have been calle anti social for the vision that made you venture upon undiscovered roads.
People were intrinsically selfish, and many hated the idea of a woman in charge of the institute. They would not put themselves at risk for her. Only a few weeks ago he would have said the same thing about himself. Now, knowing charlotte, he realized to his surprise, the idea of risking himself for her seemed an honor, as it would be to most englishmen to risk themselves for the queen.
A tyrannous and gluttonous demand for affection can be a horrible thing. but in ordinary life no one calls a child selfish because it turns for comfort to its mother; nor an adult who turns to his fellow "for company." those, whether children or adults, who do so least are not usually the most selfless.
The service a man renders his friend is trivial and selfish, compared with the service he knows his friend stood in readiness to yield him, alike before he had begun to serve his friend, and now also. Compared with that good-will i bear my friend, the benefit it is in my power to render him seems small.