Solitude is dangerous to reason, without being favourable to virtue. Remember that the solitary mortal is certainly luxurious, probably superstitious, and possibly mad.
We must reserve a back shop all our own, entirely free, in which to establish our real liberty and our principal retreat and solitude.
~Michel de Montaigne
Most of our platitudes notwithstanding, self-deception remains the most difficult deception. The tricks that work on others count for nothing in that very well-lit back alley where one keeps assignations with oneself: no winning smiles will do here, no prettily drawn lists of good intentions.