The most stormy ebullitions of passion, from blasphemy to murder, are less terrific than one single act of cool villainy; a still rabies is more dangerous than the paroxysms of a fever. Fear the boisterous savage of passion less than the sedately grinning villain.
Villains are usually the worst casuists, and rush into greater crimes to avoid less. Henry VIII. committed murder to avoid the imputation of adultery; and in our times, those who commit the latter crime attempt to wash off the stain of seducing the wife by signifying their readiness to shoot the husband.