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These words, gentlemen, they inscribed on the pillar, erecting it in the Council Chamber as a reminder to those who daily met in council over affairs of state what their attitude to men like this should be, and hence they swore a common oath to kill them if they saw them even contemplating such conduct. Naturally enough. For where other offences are concerned, the punishment should follow on the crime; but in cases of treason or the overthrow of a democracy it should precede it. If you let slip the moment when the criminals are contemplating some treasonable act against their country, you cannot afterwards bring them to justice for their crimes, since by then they are too powerful to be punished by those whom they have wronged.

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