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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Corruption
 
  Loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.
Shakespeare.    
  1
  The more corrupt the state, the more laws.
Tacitus.    
  2
        ——I have seen corruption boil and bubble
’Till it o’errun the stew.
Shakespeare.    
  3
  Be certain that he who has betrayed thee once will betray thee again.
Lavater.    
  4
  A corrupt judge does not carefully search for the truth.
Horace.    
  5
        E’en grave divines submit to glittering gold,
The best of consciences are bought and sold.
Dr. Wolcot.    
  6
  O that estates, degrees, and offices were not derived corruptly! and that clear honor were purchased by the merit of the wearer!
Shakespeare.    
  7
  I have been young and am now old, and have not yet known an untruthful man to come to a good end.
Auerbach.    
  8
        Our supple tribes repress their patriot throats,
And ask no questions but the price of votes.
Dr. Johnson.    
  9
  He that accuses all mankind of corruption ought to remember that he is sure to convict only one.
Burke.    
  10
                    Whoso seeks an audit here
Propitious, pays his tribute, game or fish,
Wild fowl or venison, and his errand speeds.
Cowper.    
  11
        And conscience, truth and honesty are made
To rise and fall, like other wares of trade.
Moore.    
  12
        He who tempts, though in vain, at last asperses
The tempted with dishonor foul, supposed
Not incorruptible of faith, not proof
Against temptation.
Milton.    
  13
        Corruption is a tree, whose branches are
Of an unmeasurable length: they spread
Everywhere; and the dew that drops from thence
Hath infected some chairs and stools of authority.
Beaumont and Fletcher.    
  14
        When rogues like these (a sparrow cries)
To honours and employments rise,
I court no favor, ask no place,
For such preferment is disgrace.
Gay.    
  15
        Here let those reign, whom pensions can incite,
To vote a patriot black, a courtier white,
Explain their country’s dear-bought rights away,
And plead for pirates in the face of day.
Dr. Johnson.    
  16
  There is something in corruption which, like a jaundiced eye, transfers the color of itself to the object it looks upon, and sees everything stained and impure.
Thomas Paine.    
  17
        This mournful truth is everywhere confess’d,
Slow rises worth by poverty depress’d:
But here more slow, where all are slaves to gold,
Where looks are merchandise, and smiles are sold.
Dr. Johnson.    
  18
  Men by associating in large masses, as in camps, and in cities, improve their talents, but impair their virtues, and strengthen their minds, but weaken their morals; thus a retrocession in the one is too often the price they pay for a refinement in the other.
Colton.    
  19
        At length corruption, like a general flood,
(So long by watchful ministers withstood,)
Shall deluge all; and avarice creeping on,
Spread like a low-born mist, and blot the sun.
Pope.    
  20
 
 
        Like a young eagle who has lent his plume,
To fledge the shaft by which he meets his doom,
See their own feathers pluck’d, to wing the dart,
Which rank corruption destines for their heart!
Moore.    
  21
        Hence, wretched nation! all thy woes arise,
Avow’d corruption, licensed perjuries,
Eternal taxes, treaties for a day,
Servants that rule, and senates that obey.
Lord Lyttleton.    
  22
        The impious man, who sells his country’s freedom
Makes all the guilt of tyranny his own.
His are her slaughters, her oppressions his;
Just heav’n! reserve your choicest plagues for him,
And blast the venal wretch.
Martyn.    
  23
        But though bare merit might in Rome appear
The strongest plea for favour, ’tis not here;
We form our judgment in another way;
And they will best succeed, who best can pay;
Those, who would gain the votes of British tribes,
Must add to force of merit, force of bribes.
Churchill.    
  24
        ’Tis pleasant purchasing our fellow-creatures,
And all are to be sold if you consider
Their passions, and are dext’rous; some by features
Are bought up, others by a warlike leader;
Some by a place, as tend their years or natures;
The most by ready cash—but all have prices,
From crowns to kicks, according to their vices.
Byron.    
  25
  Examine well his milk-white hand, the palm is hardly clean,—but here and there an ugly smutch appears. Foh! It was a bribe that left it. He has touched corruption.
Cowper.    
  26
        For, firm within, and while at heart untouch’d,
Ne’er yet by force was freedom overcome.
But soon as independence stoops the head,
To vice-enslaved, and vice-created wants,
Then to some foul corrupting-hand, whose waste
Their craving lusts with fatal bounty feeds,
They fall a willing, undefended prize;
From man to man th’ infectious softness runs,
Till the whole state unnerved in slavery sinks.
Thomson.    
  27
                        If, ye powers divine!
Ye mark the movements of this nether world
And bring them to account, crush, crush, those vipers,
Who, singled out by a community
To guard their rights, shall, for a grasp of air,
Or paltry office, sell ’em to the foe.
Miller.    
  28
 
 
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