The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau — Volume 12 - The book is being addressed by Jean-Jacques Rousseau himself. With this book begins the work of darkness, in which I have for the last eight years been enveloped, though it has not by any means been possible for me to penetrate the dreadful obscurity. In the abyss of evil into which I am plunged, I feel the blows reach me, without perceiving the hand by which they are directed or the means it employs. Shame and misfortune seem of themselves to fall upon me. When in the affliction of my heart I suffer a groan to escape me, I have the appearance of a man who complains without reason, and the authors of my ruin have the inconceivable art of rendering the public unknown to itself, or without its perceiving the effects of it, accomplice in their conspiracy.