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[16] But if we could prove to Caesar that Ligarius was actually not in Africa at all, if we wished to save an unfortunate citizen by an honourable and merciful falsehood; still it would not be the act of a man, in a case of such danger and peril to a fellow-citizen, to contradict and refute our falsehood; and if it were decent for any one to do so, it would certainly not be so for one who had himself been in the same case and condition But, however, it is one thing to be unwilling that Caesar should make a mistake, and another to be unwilling he should be merciful. Then you would say, “Beware, O Caesar, of believing all this—Ligarius was in Africa. He did bear arms against you.” But now what is it that you say “Take care you do not pardon him.” This is not the language of a man but he who uses it to you, O Caius Caesar, will find it an easier matter to abjure his own humanity than to strip you of yours.

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load focus Notes (J. B. Greenough, G. L. Kittredge)
load focus Latin (Albert Clark, Albert Curtis Clark, 1918)
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