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[81] It is such cases as these that sometimes perplex1 us in our consideration, when the point in which justice is violated does not seem so very significant, but the consequences of such slight transgression seem exceedingly important. For example, it was not so very wrong morally, in the eyes of Marius,2 to overreach his colleagues and the tribunes in turning to himself alone all the credit with the people; but to secure by that means his election to the consulship, which was then the goal of his ambition,3 seemed very greatly to his interest. But for all cases we have one rule, with which I desire you to be perfectly familiar: that which seems expedient must not be morally wrong; or, if it is morally wrong, it [p. 355] must not seem expedient. What follows? Can we account either the great Marius or our Marius Gratidianus a good man? Work out your own ideas and sift your thoughts so as to see what conception and idea of a good man they contain. Pray, tell me, does it coincide with the character of your good man to lie for his own profit, to slander, to overreach, to deceive? Nay, verily; anything but that!

1 No material gain can compensate for moral loss.

2 Gratidianus's

3 Never attained, however. For his conspicuous position as a popular leader made him an early mark for Sulla's proscriptions.

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