The question is not whether a doctrine is beautiful but whether it is true. When we wish to go to a place, we do not ask whether the road leads through a pretty country, but whether it is the right road.
When a man has reached a condition in which he believes that a thing must happen because he does not wish it, and that what he wishes to happen never will be, this is really the state called desperation.
Why should the Golden Rule be so difficult in business and foreign relations? The happily married treat each other as they wish to be treated. They treat their children better than they wish to be treated themselves. Unless we do unto a friend as we do unto ourselves, we lose a friend. In an emergency we rush to the aid of our neighbor. Is it so great a step to realize that all people everywhere are neighbors?
I will begin with what in my opinion is your lack of restraint. You are like a spectator in a theatre who expresses his enthusiasm so unrestrainedly that he prevents himself and others from hearing. That lack of restraint is particularly noticeable in the descriptions of nature with which you interrupt dialogues; when one reads them, these descriptions, one wishes they were more compact, shorter, say two or three lines.
A litterateur is not a confectioner, not a dealer in cosmetics, not an entertainer. . . . He is just like an ordinary reporter. What would you say if a newspaper reporter, because of his fastidiousness or from a wish to give pleasure to his readers, were to describe only honest mayors, high-minded ladies, and virtuous railroad contractors.
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860 - 1904)
Source: The Personal Papers of Anton Chekhov, Lear, 1950.