When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?
Conscience is an instinct, to judge with legal authority according to moral laws; it pronounces a judicial verdict, and just as a judge can only punish or acquit, but not reward, so conscience, too, either acquits or declares us to deserve punishment.
A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession.[A mauvaise conscience, aveu nécessaire. L’œuvre est un aveu, il me faut témoigner.]