The book is "the strange case of dr. jekyll and mr. hyde"
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Jekyll complains that he has lost confidence in himself. The lesson had presumably had something to do with Hyde's affect on Jekyll.
The doctor seemed seized with a qualm of faintness: he shut his mouth tight and nodded. "I knew it," said Utterson. "He meant to murder you. You have had a fine escape." "I have had what is far more to the purpose," returned the doctor solemnly: "I have had a lesson—O God, Utterson, what a lesson I have had!" And he covered his face for a moment with his hands. Ch5