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[79] 20. “But stay,” someone will object, “when1 the prize is very great, there is excuse for doing wrong.”

Gaius Marius had been left in obscurity for more2 than six whole years after his praetorship and had scarcely the remotest hope of gaining the consulship. It looked as if he would never even be a candidate for that office. He was now a lieutenant under Quintus Metellus, who sent him on a furlough to Rome. There before the Roman People he accused his own general, an eminent man and one of our first citizens, of purposely protracting the war and declared that if they would make him consul, he would within a short time deliver Jugurtha alive or dead into the hands of the Roman People. And so he was elected consul, it is true, but he was a traitor to his own good faith and to justice; for by a false charge he subjected to popular disfavour an exemplary and highly respected citizen, and that too, although he was his lieutenant and under leave of absence from him.

1 The moral loss that comes fro wrong ambitions:

2 (1) Marius,

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