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Giving money to influence a person's behavior is a form of bribery.

Bribery, a form of corruption, is an act implying money or gift given that alters the behavior of the recipient. Bribery constitutes a crime and is defined by Black's Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of a public or legal duty. The bribe is the gift bestowed to influence the recipient's conduct. It may be any money, good, right in action, property, preferment, privilege, emolument, object of value, advantage, or merely a promise or undertaking to induce or influence the action, vote, or influence of a person in an official or public capacity.


  • When their lordships asked Bacon How many bribes he had taken He had at least the grace To get very red in the face.
  • '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 brought 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.
  • Judges and senates have been bought for gold;
    Esteem and love were never to be sold.
  • His sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.
  • Tis gold
    Which buys admittance; oft it doth; yea, and
    Diana's rangers false themselves, yield up
    Their deer to the stand o' the stealer: and 'tis gold
    Which makes the true man kill'd and saves the thief;
    Nay, sometimes hangs both thief and true man.
  • What, shall one of us,
    That struck the foremost man of all this world
    But for supporting robbers, shall we now
    Contaminate our fingers with base bribes?
  • There is thy gold, worse poison to men's souls,
    Doing more murders in this loathsome world,
    Than these poor compounds that thou mayst not sell.
    I sell thee poison, thou hast sold me none.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)


Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 83-84.

  • And ye sail walk in silk attire,
    And siller hae to spare,
    Gin ye'll consent to be his bride,
    Nor think o' Donald mair.
  • Flowery oratory he [Walpole] despised. He ascribed to the interested views of themselves or their relatives the declarations of pretended patriots, of whom he said, "All those men have their price."
    • Coxe, Memoirs of Walpole, Volume IV, p. 369.
  • A hoarseness caused by swallowing gold and silver.
    • Demosthenes, bribed not to speak against Harpalus, he pretended to have lost his voice. Plutarch quotes the accusation as above. Also elsewhere refers to it as the "silver quinsey".
  • Too poor for a bribe, and too proud to importune,
    He had not the method of making a fortune.
  • But here more slow, where all are slaves to gold,
    Where looks are merchandise, and smiles are sold.
  • Our supple tribes repress their patriot throats,
    And ask no questions but the price of votes.
  • Alas! the small discredit of a bribe
    Scarce hurts the lawyer, but undoes the scribe.
  • Auro pulsa fides, auro venalia jura,
    Aurum lex sequitur, mox sine lege pudor.
    • By gold all good faith has been banished; by gold our rights are abused; the law itself is influenced by gold, and soon there will be an end of every modest restraint.
    • Propertius, Elegice, III. 13. 48.
  • No mortal thing can bear so high a price,
    But that with mortal thing it may be bought.
  • Every man has his price.
    • Sir Robert Walpole, speech (Nov. or Dec, 1734), according to A. F. Robbins, in Gentleman's Mag. No, IV, Pp. 589-92. 641-4. Horace Walpole asserts it was attributed to Walpole by his enemies. See Letter, Aug. 26, 1785. Article in Notes and Queries, May 11, 1907. Pp. 367-8, asserts he said: "I know the price of every man in this house except three." See article in London Times March 15, 1907, Review of W. H. Craig's Life of Chesterfield. Phrase in The Bee, Vol, VII, p. 97, attributed to Sir W---m W---m (William Wyndham).
  • Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.

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