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DEGENERACY
[ Also see Depravity ]

In an age remarkable for good reasoning and bad conduct, for sound rules and corrupt manners when virtue fills our heads, but vice our hearts; when those who would fain persuade us that they are quite sure of heaven, appear in no greater hurry to go there than other folks, but put on the livery of the best master only to serve the worst;--in an age when modesty herself is more ashamed of detection than delinquency; when independence of principle consists in having no principle on which to depend; and free thinking, not in thinking freely, but in being free from thinking; in an age when patriots will hold anything except their tongues; keep anything except their word; and lose nothing patiently Except their character:--to improve such an age must be difficult; to instruct it dangerous; and he stands no chance of amending it who cannot at the same time amuse it.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

O, that a mighty man of such descent,
  Of such possessions, and so high esteem,
    Should be infused with so foul a spirit!
      - William Shakespeare

What a falling off was there.
      - William Shakespeare


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