How deep is evil rooted in the breasts
Of all men! tho’ our pardon we extend not
To him, who, grasping at some great reward,
Becomes a sinner: yet since, in proportion
As he grows boldly profligate, he reaps
Greater advantages, he with more ease
The world’s reproachful language may sustain.

[ὡς ἔμφυτος μὲν πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις κάκη”
ὅστις δὲ πλεῖστον μισϑὸν εἰς χεῖρας λαβὼν
κακὸς γένηται, τῷδε συγγνώμη μὲν οὔ,
πλείω δὲ μισϑὸν μείζονος τόλμης ἔχων
τὸν τῶν λεγόντων ῥᾷον ἂν φέροι Ῥόγον.]

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Bellerophon [Βελλεροφῶν], frag. 297 (TGF) (c. 430 BC) [tr. Wodhull (1809)]

Nauck frag. 299. Barnes frag. 44, Musgrave frag. 9. (Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

All men have badness in their natures! The one who takes most pay into his hands, and proves bad, gets no pardon; but if he has more pay for greater audacity, he'll endure censorious talk more easily.
[tr. Collard, Hargreaves, Cropp (1995)]

There is evil in all men. Whoever gets his hands on good money and is seen to be wicked, he is roundly condemned. But if he were yet more daring, gaining even greater reward, he would have less of a problem enduring being criticized by others.
[tr. Stevens (2012)]

Added on 31-Oct-23 | Last updated 31-Oct-23
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