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[74] Be that as it may, Basilus had in fact desired that his nephew Marcus Satrius should bear his name and inherit his property. (I refer to the Satrius who is the present patron of Picenum and the Sabine country—and oh, what a shameful stigma it is upon the times!1) And therefore it was not right that two of the leading citizens of Rome should take the estate and Satrius succeed to nothing except his uncle's name. For if he does wrong who does not ward off and repel injury when he can—as I explained in the course of the First Book—what is to be thought of the man who not only does not try to prevent wrong, but actually aids and abets it? For my part, I do not believe that even genuine legacies are moral, if they are sought after by designing flatteries and by attentions hypocritical rather than sincere.

And yet in such cases there are times when one2 course is likely to appear expedient and another morally right.

1 The shame was that states enjoying the rights of Roman citizenship should need a patron to protect their interests in the Roman capital.

2 The same standard for expediency as for moral rectitude.

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