etc. He who touches pitch must expect to be defiled. A rotten
apple will injure its companions. One scabby sheep will infect a whole
Il ne faut qu'une brébis galeuse pour gâter tout un troupeau.
Latin: Mala vicini pecoris contagia lædent (Virgil). Tunc
tua res agitur, paries cum proximus ardet. Mala consortio bonos mores
inquinat. Malorum commercio reddimur deteriores. Hic niger est, hunc
tu, Romane, caveto (Horace). Uva conspecta livorem ducit ab uva.
To the same effect is the locution, “C'est une brébis galeuse,” and
the idea implied is, he must be separated from the flock, or else he
will contaminate others.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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