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[104] 29. “He need not have been afraid that1 Jupiter in anger would inflict injury upon him; he is not wont to be angry or hurtful.”

[p. 383] This argument, at all events, has no more weight2 against Regulus's conduct than it has against the keeping of any other oath. But in taking an oath it is our duty to consider not what one may have to fear in case of violation but wherein its obligation lies: an oath is an assurance backed by religious sanctity; and a solemn promise given, as before God as one's witness, is to be sacredly kept. For the question no longer concerns the wrath of the gods (for there is no such thing) but the obligations of justice and good faith. For, as Ennius says so admirably:

“Gracious Good Faith, on wings upborne;
thou oath in Jupiter's great name!
Whoever, therefore, violates his oath violates Good Faith; and, as we find it stated in Cato's speech, our forefathers chose that she should dwell upon the Capitol “neighbour to Jupiter Supreme and Best.”

1 Rebuttal.

2 (1) An oath is a covenant with Justice and Good Faith;

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