THE sheer joy we sometimes take in evil is a thing so striking to the imagination that it supplies one of the strongest arguments for belief in a positive inclination of human nature toward the wrong, in the reality of evil as a force to be set up in opposition to the good, in an "original sin" beyond the help of man, and in the consequent insuperable dualism in morals which lies at the base of all Manicheisms. Says Edgar Allan Poe in "The Black Cat": "I am not more sure that my soul lives than I am that perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heart -- one of the indivisible primary faculties or sentiments which give direction to the character of man."
An elementary and mitigated form of the "joy of evil" is commonly noted in our appetite for "forbidden fruit." "Oh, would virtue had been forbidden," says the "Yorkshire Tragedy." "We should then have proved all