Her self-esteem was slowly sinking into a bottomless pit.
Humanism, a word which will often recur in the ensuing paragraphs, denotes a specific bias which the forces liberated in the Renaissance took from contact with the ancient world, - the particular form assumed by human self-esteem at that epoch, - the ideal of life and civilization evolved by the modern nations.
It stimulated the curiosity of latent sensibilities, provoked fresh inquisition into the groundwork of existence, and strengthened man's self-esteem by knowledge of what men had thought and felt and done in ages when Christianity was not.
Lord Gambier was a man of earnest, almost morbid, religious principle, and of undoubted courage; but the administration of the admiralty has seldom given rise to such flagrant scandals as during the time when he was a member of it; and through the whole war the self-esteem of the navy suffered no such wound as during Lord Gambier's command in the Bay of Biscay.
Princess Mary's self-esteem was wounded by the fact that the arrival of a suitor agitated her, and still more so by both her companions' not having the least conception that it could be otherwise.
The old prince knew that if he told his daughter she was making a mistake and that Anatole meant to flirt with Mademoiselle Bourienne, Princess Mary's self-esteem would be wounded and his point (not to be parted from her) would be gained, so pacifying himself with this thought, he called Tikhon and began to undress.
Someone like you would destroy what little self-esteem she does have.