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[46] This is what I have always wished respecting you, this is what I have desired, this is what I have prayed for. Even more has happened than I could have desired. For, in truth, I never formed a wish that you should lose your armies. That has happened quite beyond my wish, though I cannot say that it has grieved me; but it never could have occurred to me to wish you the insanity and frenzy into which you have both fallen. Still it might well have been wished. But I had forgotten that that was the most invariable of all the punishments which were appointed by the immortal gods for wicked and impious men.

For think not, O conscript fathers, that, as you see on the stage, wicked men are, by the instigation of the gods, terrified by the blazing torches of the Furies. It is his own dishonesty, his own crime, his own wickedness, his own audacity that deprives each individual of sense and discernment. These are the Furies, these the flames, these the firebrands which distress the impious.

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