"He is a bold surgeon, they say, whose hand does not tremble when he performs an operation upon his own person; and he is often equally bold who does not hesitate to pull off the mysterious veil of self-delusion, which covers from his view the deformities of his own conduct. Rather than see our own behaviour under so disagreeable an aspect, we too often, foolishly and weakly, endeavour to exasperate anew those unjust passions which had formerly misled us; we endeavour by artifice to awaken our old hatreds, and irritate afresh our almost forgotten resentments: we even exert ourselves for this miserable purpose and thus persevere in injustice, merely because we once were unjust, and because we are ashamed and afraid to see that we were so."
— Smith, Adam (1723-1790)
See The Theory of Moral Sentiments: By Adam Smith (London: Printed for A. Millar; and A. Kincaid and J. Bell, in Edinburgh, 1759). <Link to ESTC><Link to ECCO-TCP>
Reading Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, ed. D.D. Raphael and A.L. Macfie (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1984).