To persist in evil requires dedication and perseverance. At every step, the temptations to do good are numerous, and at times nearly overwhelming.
The truly evil man, which is to say the enlightened man, does not prize continence for its own sake; but any virtue may be a tool in the pursuit of that which he desires. This is an important principle that every aspiring evildoer ought to take to heart: the truly evil man does not hesitate to practice virtue when doing so conduces to his advantage.
The appearance of piety can be of great use in promoting an evil scheme.
I do not recall a single novel in which the action was confined to repeated sales of identical commercial goods.
Money can buy the satisfaction of almost any lust, whereas lust almost invariably eats up money. To the young man pursuing a life of wickedness, I have this advice to give: always put greed before lust when indulging your petty sins.
Nothing so effectually robs a man of his wickedness as this insidious passion: though lust be accounted a sin, it too often proves a cunning trap that pulls a man inexorably downward, away from his true self-interest, and toward that disinterested sort of love that desires the good of its object. The wickedest man in the world, giving in to his lust, may find himself positively virtuous before he knows it.
What a strange thing it is that a man who, in the eyes of all society, would be condemned as a vicious criminal if he ravished an unmarried woman, can be, by a few words spoken in a church, made into a paragon of virtue, with the uncontested right to ravish the same woman whenever he pleases!
By what defective reasoning was I induced to love virtue, when vice carried off every prize? I have but one defense, which is that the misconception that virtue is of all things most desirable is inculcated in us from our earliest years. Nor would I make any alteration in that education, for now I see clearly the utility of it. For one who has given his life over to wickedness, nothing is more necessary than that the great mass of mankind should believe in virtue. In any jungle there must always be many more prey than predators. Therefore I applaud virtue; I give it my highest commendation whenever I meet with it; I lend it all possible aid and encouragement; I fatten it up, so that it shall in time fatten me up.