S. Austin Allibone, comp. Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay. 1880.
It is by bribing, not so often by being bribed, that wicked politicians bring ruin on mankind. Avarice is a rival to the pursuits of many. It finds a multitude of checks, and many opposers, in every walk of life. But the objects of ambition are for the few; and every person who aims at indirect profit, and therefore wants other protection than innocence and law, instead of its rival, becomes its instrument. There is a natural allegiance and fealty due to this domineering, paramount evil, from all the vassal vices, which acknowledge its superiority, and readily militate under its banners; and it is under that discipline alone that avarice is able to spread to any considerable extent, or to render itself a general, public mischief.
Edmund Burke: Speech on the Nabob of Ascots Debts, Feb. 28, 1785.
Had covetous men, as the fable goes of Briareus, each of them one hundred hands, they would all of them be employed in grasping and gathering, and hardly one of them in giving or laying out, but all in receiving and none in restoring: a thing in itself so monstrous that nothing in nature besides is like it, except it be death and the grave, the only things I know which are always carrying off the spoils of the world and never making restitution. For otherwise, all the parts of the universe, as they borrow of one another, so they still pay what they borrow, and that by so just and well-balanced an equality that their payments always keep pace with their receipts.