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[175] However, the reason is what I am telling you. You must, therefore, take these facts into account, and, bearing in mind their several misdeeds, punish every one of them as soon as you have caught him. Never mind how long ago the offence was committed; consider only whether they committed it. If you are indulgent today to crimes that aroused your indignation then, it will look as though you sentenced them to repay the money because you were angry, not because you suffered any wrong. For to do something spiteful on the spur of the moment to the man who has hurt you is a symptom of anger; if you are really aggrieved, you wait till you have the malefactor at your mercy, and then punish him. You must not let it be inferred from your placability today that you disregarded your oaths and gratified an unjust passion then. You ought to detest them; you ought to be impatient of the sound of the voice of either of those two men, whose public conduct has been what I describe.

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