The malevolent at times commit good actions, as though they wanted to see whether in fact they afford as much pleasure as good people pretend.

[Les méchans font quelquefois de bonnes actions. On dirait qu’ils veulent voir s’il est vrai que cela fasse autant de plaisir que le prétendent les honnêtes gens.]

Nicolas Chamfort
Nicolas Chamfort (1741-1794) French writer, epigrammist (b. Nicolas-Sébastien Roch)
Products of Perfected Civilization [Produits de la Civilisation Perfectionée], Part 1 “Maxims and Thoughts [Maximes et Pensées],” ch. 2, ¶ 122 (1795) [tr. Merwin (1969)]

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

Wicked people sometimes perform good actions. I suppose they wish to see if this gives as great a feeling of pleasure as the virtuous claim for it.
[tr. Mathers (1926)]

The wicked sometimes perform good actions. One might say they wish to see whether it is true that they engender as much pleasure as respectable folk maintain they do.
[tr. Pearson (1973)]

Added on 7-Aug-23 | Last updated 7-Aug-23
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