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[8] If this be the character which, on account of all my exploits, you wish now to fix upon my whole life, O Torquatus, you are greatly mistaken. Nature made me merciful, my country made me severe; but neither my country nor nature has ever required me to be cruel. Lastly, that same vehement and fierce character which at that time the occasion and the republic imposed upon me, my own inclination and nature itself has now relieved me of; for my country required severity for a short time, my nature requires clemency and lenity during my whole life.

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