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In truth, as I said a little time ago, I do not think that the same things are punishments to men which most people consider such, namely condemnation, banishment, or death. Lastly, it seems to me that that which may happen to an innocent, or to a brave or to a wise or to a virtuous man and citizen, cannot be a punishment in the proper sense of the word. That condemnation which is now demanded to be inflicted on you, befell Publius Rutilius, a man whom this city accounted a pattern of innocence. Lucius Opimius was driven from his country—he who, as praetor and consul, had delivered the republic from the greatest dangers. The punishment of guilt and of the consciousness of it, did not belong to the man to whom the injury was done, but to those who did it. But on the other hand, Catiline was twice acquitted; even that man who was the cause of your obtaining your province was acquitted after he had profaned the sacred rites of the Good Goddess. But who was there in all this city who thought that he was released from the guilt of impiety, and not that those who acquitted him were, by their sentence, made accomplices in his wickedness?

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