On Hypocrisy

“But at least he’s honest about it,” I said with resignation.

“Give me a hypocrite over an honest villain any day,” said Mr. Magundi. “Hypocrisy at least admits a standard and can be held to it as long as daylight shines on the hypocrite. It’s best simply to be virtuous by habit, and always to do the right thing for its own sake. But it’s far better to avoid wrong from fear of public opinion than never to avoid wrong at all. Honesty is a virtue, but not the very highest virtue of all; and I’d rather be spared by a liar who professes no desire to kill me than slaughtered by an honest murderer.”

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