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[172] It would therefore have been too bad to break my word and abandon fellow-creatures and fellow-citizens in misfortune. Had I declined on oath, a private excursion to Macedonia would have been neither decent nor safe. Except for my strong desire to liberate those men, may I die miserably before my time1 if any reward would have induced me to accept an embassy with these men as my colleagues. I proved that by twice excusing myself when you twice appointed me to the third embassy, and also by my constant opposition to them on this journey.

1 The Greek phrase, which occurs also at the end of the De corona, suggests by its jingle the formula of some curse, but cannot be well reproduced in English.

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