Corruptissima Re Publica Plurimae Leges

Statue of Cornelius Tacitus, Austrian Parliament Building, Vienna.

Pulso Tarquinio adversum patrum factiones multa populus paravit tuendae libertatis et firmandae concordiae, creatique decemviri et accitis quae usquam egregia compositae duodecim tabulae, finis aequi iuris. nam secutae leges etsi aliquando in maleficos ex delicto, saepius tamen dissensione ordinum et apiscendi inlicitos honores aut pellendi claros viros aliaque ob prava per vim latae sunt. hinc Gracchi et Saturnini turbatores plebis nec minor largitor nomine senatus Drusus; corrupti spe aut inlusi per intercessionem socii. ac ne bello quidem Italico, mox civili omissum quin multa et diversa sciscerentur, donec L. Sulla dictator abolitis vel conversis prioribus, cum plura addidisset, otium eius rei haud in longum paravit, statim turbidis Lepidi rogationibus neque multo post tribunis reddita licentia quoquo vellent populum agitandi. iamque non modo in commune sed in singulos homines latae quaestiones, et corruptissima re publica plurimae leges.

Tac. Ann. iii. 27.

Both Sides the Tweed

Tweed River Valley, Scotland.
Tweed River Valley, Scotland.

What’s the spring breathing jasmine and rose?
What’s the summer with all its gay train?
Or the splendour of autumn to those
Who’ve bartered their freedom for gain?

Let the love of our land’s sacred rights
To the love of our people succeed;
Let friendship and honour unite
And flourish on both sides the Tweed.

No sweetness the senses can cheer
Which corruption and bribery bind
No brightness that gloom can e’er clear
For honour’s the sum of the mind.

Let virtue distinguish the brave,
Place riches in lowest degree;
Think them poorest who can be a slave,
Them richest who dare to be free.

Both Sides the Tweed, Dick Gaughan.

A Wicked Propensity

Money can purchase soldiers; — soldiers can produce money; and both together can do any thing.  It is this depravation of manners, this wicked propensity, my dear countrymen, against which you ought to provide with the utmost degree of prudence and circumspection.

— The Impartial Examiner, Essay I, Virginia Independent Chronicle, February 1788.