1. If there is any one, O judges, who thinks Caius Rabirius to be blamed for having entrusted his securely founded and well-established fortunes to the power and caprice of a sovereign, he may back his opinion by a reference not only to mine, but also to the feelings of the man himself who did so. For there is no one who is more grieved at the line of conduct which he then adopted than he is himself. Although we are very much in the habit of judging of the wisdom of a plan by the result, and of saying that the man whose designs have succeeded has shown a great deal of foresight, and that he who has failed has shown none at all. If the king had had any honesty, nothing would have been considered more sagacious than the conduct of Postumus; but because the king deceived him he is said to have acted as madly as possible; so that it appears now that nothing is a proof of a man being wise, unless he can foresee the future.

[2] But still, if there he any one who thinks that Postumus's conduct, whether it proceeded from a vain hope, or from a not sufficiently considered calculation or (to use the strongest possible terms) from pure rashness deserves to be blamed, I will not object to his entertaining that opinion. But I do beg this, that as he sees that his designs have been punished with the greatest cruelty by fortune himself, he will not think it necessary to add any additional bitterness to the ruin with which he is already overwhelmed. It is quite enough not to help to set men up again who have fallen through imprudence; but to press down those already fallen, or to increase their impetus when falling, is unquestionably most barbarous. Especially, O judges, when this principle is almost implanted by nature in the race of man, that those men who are of a family which considerable glory has already distinguished, should with the greatest eagerness pursue the same path as their ancestors, seeing that the virtue of their fathers is celebrated in the recollection and conversation of all men; just as not only did Scipio imitate Paullus in his renown gained by military exploits; not only did his son imitate Maximus; but his own son also imitated Decius in the devotion of his life, and the exact manner of his death. Let small things, O judges, be compared in this way to great things.

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