Hoyt & Roberts, comps. Hoyts New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations. 1922.
Spiritalis enim virtus sacramenti ita est ut lux: etsi per immundos transeat, non inquinatur. The spiritual virtue of a sacrament is like light: although it passes among the impure, it is not polluted. St. AugustineWorks. Vol. III. In Johannis Evang. Cap. I. Tr. V. Sect. XV.
Corruption is a tree, whose branches are Of an immeasurable length: they spread Evrywhere; and the dew that drops from thence Hath infected some chairs and stools of authority. Beaumont and FletcherHonest Mans Fortune. Act III. Sc. 3.
Tis the most certain sign, the worlds accurst That the best things corrupted, are the worst; Twas the corrupted Light of knowledge, hurld Sin, Death, and Ignorance oer all the world; That Sun like this (from which our sight we have) Gazd on too long, resumes the light he gave. Sir John DenhamProgress of Learning.
I know, when they prove bad, they are a sort of the vilest creatures: yet still the same reason gives it: for, Optima corrupta pessima: the best things corrupted become the worst. FelthamResolves. XXX. Of Woman. P. 70. Pickerings Reprint of Fourth Ed. (1631).
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. PopeMoral Essays. Ep. III. L. 135.
So true is that old saying, Corruptio optimi pessima. PurchasPilgrimage. To the Reader. Of religion. Saying may be traced to Thomas Aquinas. Prim. Soc. Art. I. 5. Aristotle. Eth. Nic. VIII. 10. 12. EusebiusDemon. Evang. I. IV. Ch. XII. St. GregoryMoralia on Job.
The men with the muck-rake are often indispensable to the well-being of society, but only if they know when to stop raking the muck. RooseveltAddress at the Corner-stone laying of the Office Building of House of Representatives, April 14, 1906.