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I dared not advance

This may be a premonition of Victor's own complicity in William's death, or it can be read as one of several instances where we observe on his part a chronic hesitancy to act. This will return in the third volume as a near-paralysis of the will. It is perhaps a natural reaction of one who has pursued one course of action with compulsive energy (see 1.3.6) and then finds himself unable to undo or even cope with the result.