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[63] But our philosophers, (for I confess, O Cato, that I too, in my youth, distrusting my own abilities, sought assistance from learning,) our philosophers, I say, men of the school of Plato and Aristotle, men of soberness and moderation, say that private interest does sometimes have weight even with a wise man. They say that it does become a virtuous man to feel pity; that there are different gradations of offences, and different degrees of punishment appropriate to each; that a man with every proper regard for firmness may pardon offences; that even the wise man himself has sometimes nothing more than opinion to go upon, without absolute certainty, that he is sometimes angry, that he is sometimes influenced and pacified by entreaty that he sometimes does change an opinion which he may have expressed when it is better to do so, that he sometimes abandons his previous opinions altogether, and that all his virtues are tempered by a certain moderation


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