On Malice

As water standing behind an earth dam, and finding an aperture, washes it wider and wider and filters through it, if we do not strengthen the dam, or strengthen it insufficiently, at last, with growing weakness on our part and with repeated efforts, the water gets through with greater and greater force, so that at last it becomes very difficult, and even impossible to stop it; so also with malice hidden in the heart of man: if we let it pierce through once, twice, and thrice, it will pour out more and more powerfully, and may at last break through and overflow your dam.

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Malice, or any other passion that has taken root in your heart, has a tendency – in accordance with the infallible law of evil – to discharge itself outwardly. This is why it is usually said of an evil or angry man that he has vented his anger upon another person or upon another object. It is the worst of evil that it does not remain in the heart, but tries to diffuse itself outwardly.”

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