“Malice and spite”

If a critic tells a particular lie, that particular lie can be pointed out.  If he misses a specific point, that point can be explained.  If he is really wrong in this or that, it will be on this or that that the insulted person will eagerly pounce.  But “malice and spite” are vague words which will never be used except when there is really nothing to pounce on.  If a man says that I am a dwarf, I can invite him to measure me.  If he says I am a cannibal, I can invite him to dinner.  If he says I am a coward, I can hit him.  If he says I am a miser, I can give him half-a-sovereign.  But if he says I am fat and lazy (which is true), the best I can answer is that he speaks out of malice and spite.  Whenever we see that phrase, we may be almost certain that somebody has told the truth about somebody else.

The Illustrated London News, 13 November 1909.

Published in: on January 26, 2011 at 11:49 am  Comments (1)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://chesterton.wordpress.com/2011/01/26/malice-and-spite/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Interesting illustration, thanks for sharing it. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: