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[97] I felt indeed, O priests, a great and incredible pain; I do not deny it; nor do I pretend to that wisdom which some expected of me, who said that I was too much dispirited and cast down. Could I, when I was torn from such a number and variety of enjoyments, (which I pass over, because even now I cannot speak of them without tears,) deny that I was a human being, and repudiate the common feelings of our nature? But in that case I should neither call that action of mine praise-worthy, nor should I say that any service had been done to the republic by me, if I had only given up, for the sake of the republic, those things which I could bear the loss of with calmness; and that firmness of the mind, resembling that hardness of body, which, even when it is burnt, does not feel it, I should consider insensibility rather than virtue.

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