...It would be fascinating to construct a whole life from the acts of forgiveness a man had permitted himself. A person of paranoid structure might be described as one who never forgives, or only with great difficulty; who takes a long time considering it; who never forgets where there is something to forgive and who invents hostile acts against himself in order not to forgive them. The strongest inner resistance such people feel is to any kind of forgiveness. If they achieve power and, at times, have to pardon in order to maintain it, this is done merely for show: a despot never really forgives. Each sign of hostility to him is precisely recorded, and hidden and stored up for later. Sometimes this record is, as it were, expunged in return for genuine submission: the apparent magnanimity of despots has no other meaning. They so ardently desire the subjection of everything which opposes them that they often pay a very inflated price for it.
- Elias Canetti, Crowds and Power