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[34] In the first place, I must undertake the defence1 of Panaetius on this point; for he has said, not that the truly expedient could under certain circumstances clash with the morally right (for he could not have said that conscientiously2), but only that what seemed expedient could do so. For he often bears witness to the fact that nothing is really expedient that is not at the same time morally right, and nothing morally right that is not at the same time expedient; and he says that no greater curse has ever assailed human life than the doctrine of those who have separated these two conceptions. And so he introduced an apparent, not a real, conflict between them, not to the end that we should under certain circumstances give the expedient preference over the moral, but that, in case they ever should get in each other's way, we might decide between them without uncertainty. This part, therefore, which was passed over by Panaetius, I will carry to completion without any auxiliaries, but fighting my own battle, as the saying is. For, of all that has been worked out on this line since the time of Panaetius, nothing that has come into my hands is at all satisfactory to me.

[p. 303]

1 Vindication of Panaetius: nothing can be expedient that is not morally right.

2 Because he was a Stoic.

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