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Now formerly, gentlemen, whenever people declared me to be a shrewd, exact man who would do nothing at random or without calculation, I would take it hard, feeling that these terms were wide of my true character; but now I should be glad if you all held this opinion of me, so that you should expect me, if I did set about such an act as this, to consider what profit I stood to get by clearing away the stump, and what loss by preserving it, what I should have achieved if I went undetected, and what I should suffer at your hands if I were exposed.

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